CEO Jack Dorsey asked to leave after 48 million users were revealed to be bots.
Twitter’s co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey is being pressured to step down after it was revealed that as much as 48 million twitter users, around 15% of its user base, may be bots. This is double the figure cited by twitter themselves, and spells trouble for the company, that is already having a difficult time holding onto advertisers. The new findings are the result of a study carried out at the University of Southern California and Indiana University.
Jack Dorsey left the company previously, but returned in 2015 to help turn things around for the social media network, which was struggling and having trouble attracting investors. Since then, things haven’t gotten much better. Twitter has seen less than a 1% growth year-over-year and in its fourth quarter earnings from last year, the company fell short of its expected SGD 1 billion earnings, but did manage to beat Wall Street’s predictions of a 12 cent return per stock, ending at 16 cents per stock.
One reason for the low earnings results from weak advertising sales of SGD 893 million, which in turn stem from concerns from advertisers about the placement of ads on Twitter. According to a report from the UK in The Times, many larger and well-established companies (‘blue chip’ companies) found their ads alongside offensive or racist material including jihadi recruitment videos. This is causing some companies to remove their adverts.
As a side note, it’s worth noting just how significant that last point is. Social media networks like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube get a lot of their revenue from advertisers, and their survival depends on those advertisers. Social media is, in a sense, a slave to the opinion of such companies, which is why a lot of them have begun filtering content that seems politically incorrect or offensive, even when it’s nowhere near as extreme as ISIS recruitment videos. The only way for a company like Twitter to survive is to go with the flow, but this is a double edged sword as well, because many of its users will be just as offended when they see their favorite twitter users being blocked for writing something mean.
All of the problems Twitter is facing have compounded into falling stock prices, and that is contributing to why Dorsey is being asked to step down. Since February, twitter’s stock has plummeted by 19%.
source: The Times