Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) founder Jack Dorsey stepped aside as CEO this week. The company handed over the keys to Parag Agrawal, and then immediately stunned the world with a significant policy change.
I have to say, I was worried about swift action to make Twitter an even less decentralized place for the sharing and consumption of media. Twitter will now ban the sharing of images or videos of private individuals without their permission.
“There are growing concerns about the misuse of media and information that is not available elsewhere online as a tool to harass, intimidate, and reveal the identities of individuals,” the company says.
Here’s the problem. The company plans to take this on a case-by-case basis, and no one has any clue what the rules are. Are you banned from sharing someone’s high school yearbook picture? If you photograph someone committing a crime and post it, is that against the policy?
What are the rules? No one knows.
But it once again highlights the company’s complicated, backward rules around misinformation. By default, this ends decentralization as a hub for news and current events.
This is a huge pile of mess that the company has entered. Without clear guidelines, it could turn into a free-for-all at a time when the company suffers enough from online trolls, bots, and anonymous actors.
I recall Twitter’s leaders attempting to address their rank political hypocrisy on Joe Rogan’s podcast a few years ago, and Dorsey was oddly a voice of reason. He might have been the only rational voice left at that organization. I think Twitter is going to become an already worsening cesspool. And I want nothing to do with the stock.
Dorsey will likely turn his attention to his other company. The fintech giant Square (NYSE:SQ) has taken a few hits in recent months along with its broader sector. But Dorsey had offered some clues about his career aspirations earlier this year.
He said that if he were not working on Twitter or Square, he would be working on Bitcoin (CCC:BTC-USD). And therein lies the collaboration. Square has taken more advanced steps to incorporate Bitcoin onto its platform. At the same time, what better place to be in America right now than in the financial sector.
Quite honestly, on the back of zero-level interest rates, banking can only go up. But disruption by companies like Square will accelerate a rapid shift in the industry. What’s interesting here is that politics don’t dictate Square’s direction. But political winds around the Fairness Doctrine or Section 230 do impact Twitter.
Dorsey’s making the right move by getting away from the political instability that might sink Twitter. And as Square continues to focus on disruption and crypto, that will be a winning marriage.
Square stock is trading around $208 right now. Consensus on Wall Street says that the stock is worth $307, or 47% more than today’s price. Market momentum is negative right now, and it could be a choppy next few weeks. But as Square continues to bounce due to the economic winds, this stock could be too good to pass up if it falls below $200. Add it to your watchlist.