Twitter to cut hundreds of jobs


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/10/25/twitter-to-cut-hundreds-of-job.html


#2

you say “curate”, i say “censor” - let’s call the whole thing off


#3

ah yes, of course, unless twitter accurately and fully presents the racial slur from the bio of a php script posing as george zimmerman, and promotes and exhorts users to follow the account, someone got “censored”


#4

Maybe they could hire some Russian trolls, I hear they work pretty cheap.


#5

Twitter’s got a lot of smart people, but are they are smart and tech-centric as Google?

It took Google several years to work on getting search results right for twiddly little edge cases that represented this sort of things – and they’re still working on it.

Why would Twitter get it right? They’re too busy playing deadly internal political games… selling themselves to somebody else would have been a step in the right direction. I wouldn’t want to see them die at Yahoo (and a glad that Yahoo’s impending death* means they won’t coma-acquire anymore) or get dismembered. Could Google have done them well? Who knows – Google’s acquisition of Blogger for non-blog reasons (and subsequent coma) was a large part of the people who founded Twitter getting together to found Twitter.

I like Twitter. I want to see them succeed.

But like Twitter, apparently, I have no idea what that is.


* I am not celebrating, nor do I hate Yahoo. I am sad that Yahoo could never figure out how to steer their ship, nor what their cargo was, nor what port they were heading for today.


#7

How do you know?


#8

How does one decry being exposed to the minimally curated, sometimes awful content of Twitter, yet also decry the algorithmically enforced biases of Facebook? I agree that maybe directing people to explicitly horrible things is a bad idea, but one of the great things about Twitter is the opportunity to engage people who are not like minded, other than your racist cousin. I don’t want to read and fight against hateful things either, but hiding those things away is not the answer. If our social media coddles us in our own bubbles of confirmation what mechanism is there to tell hateful people their behavior is not OK?


#9

I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suspect that Twitter’s decision to provide a public outlet for hate speech has some bearing on their fortunes. We all know that Donald Trump has used the platform as his bully pulpit for quite some time now, and I suspect that future documentaries will credit Twitter with playing a part in Trump’s rise to near-presidency. I can’t imagine that any of this shows up in the “pros” column for any organization that is considering a Twitter acquisition.


#10

[quote=“new_account_001, post:6, topic:88135”]
would you ban all scripts?[/quote]

If only it were possible to avoid promoting racial slurs in your trending topics without banning all scripts!


#11

#12

would you use an algorithm or humans for that, Sisyphus?


#13

Would an opt-in personal account setting of “allow messages from overt and gross racism bots?” do it for you? That shouldn’t be too hard to set up…shit, that guy juuuust got fired.


#14

Someone correct me if I’m making a dumb math mistake; but if an 8% cut is 300 people; just what exactly are 3,750 people doing at Twitter?

They’ve done a nontrivial amount of architectural work in the past, to be able to handle the traffic they have today; but growth is now flat, at best; and from the user side any further development appears to be of the ‘meandering churn’ school. What are they up to?


#15
  1. I still think Twitter is worthless for the most part.

  2. So by my calculations, 3750 used to work there. WTF are they doing? How the hell can a company that makes nothing, produces nothing, and just needs to keep the code tight and servers up employ that many people?

  3. Per Rob’s example - and there are many more - they AREN’T doing anything remotely resembling good moderation. Between this and the harassment stories I am more and more convinced nothing would be lost by a fire in the server room.

  4. I concede if they did have better active moderating, then employing thousands of people would be required. Maybe they need more.


#16

Personally I don’t care about Twitter, but in general I like my internet to be unfiltered and raw.


#17

Ha ha, you read my mind! Now get off my frontal lobe or wherever.


#18

Just like sewage. Which is why no one wants to buy Twitter now. It smells like sewage and is full of trash-monsters.

If you want to sell your house you clean it up and make sure it’s not full of garbage. For Twitter this means not surfacing terrible shit to people who aren’t looking for it.


#19

I technically have a twitter account, but mostly just read and have never had anything worth saying there.

Even from my very limited experience I would say twitter quickly becomes toxic and needs better user curation even if the company doesn’t want even the bare minimum of moderation.


#20

We can’t get rid of Twitter! We wouldn’t be able to make the “haha look at these twits” joke anymore!

But perhaps that is a sacrifice we will just have to make.


#21

Why is that worth keeping, when 300 employees aren’t?

Hey Rob…explain to me how the two are even remotely related to one another?