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Why Is Twitter a For-Profit Platform, Anyway? – New at Reason

Thursday, March 2, 2017 7:25
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Poor Twitter, writes Andrea O’Sullivan. By now, the persistent tug-of-war among user groups complaining about disagreeable content and others who point to the platform’s free-speech roots has been exhausted to the point of cliche. But as the now-ubiquitous microblogging platform continues to crack down on certain speech while its stock price continues to struggle, some are now questioning whether Twitter can survive as a for-profit company at all.

Twitter’s precarious position has even left some users—traditionally those on the left, but increasingly those on the right, as well—calling for Twitter to be pseudo-nationalized by the federal government through “social network neutrality” or by classifying the platform as a public utility. The inherent surveillance and procedural problems presented by this “solution” should be immediately apparent, O’Sullivan writes. Still, there may be something to the argument that a service like Twitter is not best run as a for-profit public corporation.

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