Disney almost bought Twitter but backed off because "the nastiness is extraordinary"

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/09/23/disney-almost-bought-twitter-b.html


Sooner or later even the Nothingness chokes on something.


Hold up a second…

guys like Iger don’t really have any beliefs about anything, just presentations for different audiences

So if I said, “You have to remember people like @beschizza are just a bunch of socialists who hate America” I am fairly certain you would say it is a gross mischaracterization of an individual/group of people at the very least.

Do you know Iger? Have you met him and sat down and discussed his beliefs or value system?

I am not saying Bob Iger is a wonderful human being, but let’s hold off on the gross generalizations of “people like that” statements.

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I assume that assessing things for acquisition is relatively standard practice within the house of mouse; but Twitter seems like an odd choice(potentially why they decided against it).

If you just want to use it to make noise for your own purposes you can do so without owning it at relatively low cost. A few social media flacks, maybe some advertising(or bot ‘consultant’) spend to push things up the ranks a little and hopefully ensure that you count as a VIP for any contact you need to have with Twitter.

The amount you gain, vs. the pit of suck you take on, by going from that level of engagement to actually owning the place seems profoundly unexciting.

I don’t know if Rob changed it but it says “guys like Iger don’t really have any public beliefs about anything.” Which is 100% true. When you run a company the size of Disney you try very hard to not put any potential customer off. No ammunition for anyone.


It must have been, because I copied directly from the posting.

And that statement I think is generally true and a good thing IMO. When large industry leaders do openly and publicly take a stand it should be for important social matters…not whether or not Twitter is good or bad.

Agreed entirely on your point.

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As agies pointed out, I did a ninja-edit to make clear that I’m talking about what CEOs say in public, not their private true selves.

However …

On the contrary, by the definitions held by someone with unreasonable beliefs about America and Socialism, it’s an accurate description of mine. The problem is not their characterization, it is their character.

This might seem a caviling response, but it’s important to recognize that trying to correct our adversaries’ perceptions and beliefs is a big old liberal waste of time. Just nod, then beat them like a drum.


A smart move on Iger’s part. Disney acquiring Twitter would have been like a devotee of health-food and exercise suddenly deciding to ingest asbestos.


The issue is at no point should we ever mischaracterize another person or group of people based on some gross generalization or fallacy. Just because Bob Iger is a CEO of a large corporation doesn’t automatically mean he is the same as the Koch Bros.

So again the same thing holds…you cannot judge someone’s character until you actually know them. His job does not define him, no more than yours defines you, or mine me. We are more than just our career or title. I don’t think you’re being petty.

His father, Arthur used to teach Advertising/Marketing at New York Institute of Technology. I took his class back in the day. Cool guy. Don’t know anything about Bob. If he is anything like his father, he is probably not a raging dillhole.

(Internet search shows he passed away 9 years ago) :frowning:


Define “know”.


While many of us have not met Nostradumbass, his character and person are well documented and he hides nothing about who he is. He is an open cheap and shitty book. We all know him.

Iger has no real public persona with the exception of his public face as the CEO of Disney. None of us know him based on that.

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This is what I argue when friends come out to publicly defend people accused of crimes. We’re all capable of behaving differently with various people. I couldn’t honestly say I knew 100% what someone else would do, or what they have or haven’t done (unless I was present at the time).

I’m not sure what makes those friends of the accused so confident that they know everything about the folks they’re defending.


The only justification for buying Twitter would be to burn it to the ground.


There’s a lot of toxicity on Twitter, but I don’t know of a better platform for speaking truth to power, undercutting hegemonic narratives or shining light on things we’d otherwise know very little about, like the protests in Hong Kong (previously Occupy, Arab Spring, etc.). Individual journalists and people on Twitter covered the protests inside the DNC in 2016; Disney-owned CNN didn’t. (More hilariously, the Twitterverse also shut down Disney’s “Incredibles 2” Oscar campaign series of tweets with memes from Sony’s more deserving “Into the Spider-Verse”, which ultimately won) So I imagine that’s the sort of thing Iger shakes his fist at the sky about when he daydreams about buying Twitter.

In general, I’m kinda surprised by the negative perceptions of Twitter, given how key it was as a platform to giving steam to movements like #MeToo and #BLM etc. Anyone want to imagine how far those movements go under Disney-owned Twitter?


My main point was that an acquistion of Twitter by Disney would go against all of their corporate and brand values, and not just because of the toxicity of the brand. Disney runs a tight ship (sometimes too tight, esp. in the IP department), for example, while Twitter is run by a bunch of serial screw-ups. Also, Disney sticks to the middle of the road politically (ABC News is about as “edgy” as it gets in that regard – CNN is owned by AT&T/Time-Warner), where Twitter entertains extreme views on both sides as its deranged form of “centrism”.

So yes, Twitter is a wash at best when it comes to toxicity. Any of the progressive movements you mention would have found platforms and the equivalent of hashtags if Twitter didn’t exist, and Dorsey seems to think that it’s only fair to give Gamergators a platform if MeToo gets one, and to give white supremacists a chance to be heard if BLM does. And then there’s their number 1 user (usually doing a number 2 in the Oval Office’s bathroom while he tweets at 3AM).

It’s a rubbish platform in a different way that Facebook is a rubbish platform. The sooner they both go away – I hope to be replaced by federated, decentralised platforms that no-one can acquire – the better.


The massively disproportionate ‘ratio’ of negative to positive content is rather overwhelming.


I don’t know of any other mainstream platform that has a higher Nazi-to-human ratio.


Also, it’s just about the worst medium for having a discussion about anything meaningful.


I’ll have to take your word for it, among with the similar opinions that many others have expressed over the years;

I personally avoid that site like the plague.

(They originally ‘lost me’ at the old “140 character limit.”)