Jack Dorsey, the erstwhile punk rocker, masseur and failed fashion designer who helmed Twitter for years, stepped down from the platform on Monday, shocking many in the business — but giving a boost to the company’s stock prices.
Since 2006, Dorsey had led Twitter, staying above the fray as the social media platform weathered controversy after controversy after it was accused of censorship and even inciting violence; it famously banned former President Donald Trump after the January 6 riots but still allows the Taliban to tweet to its followers.
Over the years Twitter banned thousands of users who had employed the platform to send spam messages in the form of bots, which sent out thousands of posts which were sometimes used to sway elections. At other times, rival accounts were hacked and spam messages were sent through them, triggering the automatic shutting down of the accounts.
Investors cause Twitter stock to soar after Jack Dorsey announcement
With the Dorsey era now over, investors appeared to welcome the development, perhaps showing relief that the controversial CEO, who is known for his quirkiness, will be riding off into the Twitter sunset.
A former Twitter employee told the New York Post “Nobody expected Jack to reach the heights that he did. He used to be a semi-homeless, hippie, software developer who couch surfed.
“In many ways he is the anti CEO. Those guys are douchey dudes and he is his own person. He’s just a different guy. Whoever takes Jack’s place at Twitter will be less distinctive than Jack.”
The company announced on Monday that Twitter PTO Parag Agrawal will be the new CEO of the firm. Meanwhile, the shadow Dorsey cast is a long one, and many pundits are still marveling at his many odd metamorphoses over the years.
Nick Bilton, the author of the book “Hatching Twitter,” says “He’s almost like one of those Russian dolls, with a new outer shell put on every couple of years.
“He went through a phase where he wore these weird Dior Homme (reverse collar) shirts. Now he’s in his (designer) Rick Owens bohemian phase. At one point he was obsessed with wabi-sabi, a Japanese design philosophy that is odd and eccentric. There’ve been jeans and A-line skirts.”
The near-constant stories emanating from the Dorsey camp became legendary — perhaps none more so than when he sent clippings from his beard to rapper Azealia Banks so she could make them into a type of magical amulet. Although he later denied doing so, the rapper later deleted her Tweet describing the incident.
Many appear to be relieved that Dorsey is stepping down, perhaps making way for a smoother, less controversial helmsman at Twitter.
This is actually the second time Dorsey has stepped away from the platform after he famously let Evan Williams take over leadership in October of 2008.
not sure anyone has heard but,
I resigned from Twitter pic.twitter.com/G5tUkSSxkl
— jack⚡️ (@jack) November 29, 2021
Eccentricities, lack of political awareness clouded CEO’s image
However, when he returned to the CEO position in 2015, his eccentricities had taken on a new life and he had so many social interests apart from the platform that they are thought to have distracted him from leading Twitter effectively.
The former Twitter employee added that “He was extremely hard working and spent a huge amount of time to build the company. But his interests were too expansive for him to be a focused CEO.”
Author Bilton says that it goes a great deal deeper than that, and that “A lot of people think Dorsey is a checked-out CEO.”
The former tech maven spends a great deal of time on maintaining his health, which includes consuming only water, salt and lemon for breakfast; he also reportedly endorses microdosing on LSD, according to a story from the Times of London.
He walks to and from work in San Francisco – but when he works at home he does so using infrared light, which he believes is mood-enhancing. Dorsey, who is worth approximately $11 billion now, according to Forbes, grew up in St. Louis, with his homemaker mother and engineer father.
Sometimes Dorsey’s interests show that he doesn’t exactly keep up with the news, despite having been in the business of disseminating it. He famously toured the embattled country of Myanmar, posting that it was “an absolutely beautiful country … (where) people are full of joy and the food is amazing.”
Appearing to be completely unaware of the repeated crimes against humanity of which the Myanmar government stands accused, the former CEO came in for a round of roasts on social media.
Andrew Stroehlein, the European media director of Human Rights Watch, stormed “You forget to mention you’re in a country where the military has committed mass killings & mass rape, forcing hundreds of thousands to flee, in one of today’s biggest humanitarian disasters.”
Trump banned — while Taliban members keep their Twitter accounts
Dorsey, who was born November 19, 1976, is not only the co-founder of Twitter, he is also the founder and CEO of Square, a financial payments company, to which he stated in his resignation that he will devote his time in the future.
Twitter has been embattled from the start, as the platform has been plagued by anonymous accounts which used it to foment unrest and political division.
The platform has banned many thousands of accounts over the years which it stated violated its terms of service. Most often, however, users who are suspended based on alleged violations of Twitter’s terms, are usually not informed which of their tweets were the cause.
They are told only that their accounts will not be restored, and they are told which of Twitter’s rules the company claims were violated. In addition to community guideline policy decisions, the Twitter spam-detection systems are sometimes manipulated or abused by groups of users attempting to force other users’ suspensions.
In January of 2019, Twitter formally provided information on instances where governments have attempted to utilize Twitter for “foreign information operations.”
Some commentators, such as technology entrepreneur Declan McCullagh and law professor Glenn Reynolds, have criticized Twitter’s suspension and banning policies as overreaches of power.
Twitter frequently responds to media enquiries about suspended accounts with the boilerplate message “We do not comment on individual accounts, for privacy and security reasons.”
However, Twitter announced that Taliban spokesmen will be able to maintain accounts on its social media platform “as long as they abide by the terms of service” and “do not use their tweets to advocate violence.”
Mediaite reported that Twitter gave the Taliban a green light to keep tweeting while noting the social media site would “continue to proactively enforce” its rules on the “glorification of violence, platform manipulation and spam.”
“Twitter’s top priority is keeping people safe, and we remain vigilant,” said the company in a statement this past year. Twitter also noted that it was “witnessing people in the country using Twitter to seek help and assistance” – although it didn’t mention the Afghans in question were seeking help and assistance to escape from the Taliban.
Among the Taliban spokesmen who have accounts on Twitter are Suhail Shaheen, with 360,000 followers; Zabihullah Mujahid, with 318,000 followers; Dr. M. Naeem, with 213,000 followers; and Qari Yousaf Ahmadi, with 65,000 followers.