We don’t select a Snort of the Day for you very often. Although there’s many a snort to consider, most of them aren’t worth the handful-of-hundred words it takes to make a post-worthy treatment.
This one is kind of a no-brainer, however.
Twitter’s ad revenues, for several reasons, are plunging precipitously in recent days. One of those reasons is the ad boycott of social media by some major companies, much touted in the mainstream media, supposedly in sympathy with “social justice” protests.
It’s hard to judge the real impact of that. As with other such efforts, it looks Astro-turf and strategically timed; i.e., nothing like a spontaneous show of sympathy with anyone’s cause. It frankly looks like some deep-pocketed moguls trying to soften Twitter and Facebook up for extortion and incremental takeovers.
But users fleeing the platform may also be at work, to some extent. Conservatives, and others who prize freedom of expression, are increasingly tired of arbitrary suppression of their speech at Twitter. The double standard has been breath-taking; e.g., actor James Woods being hit with indefinite suspensions for unexplained reasons, while flaming anti-Semites and other radicals, some of them making death threats on the platform, enjoy immunity from any sort of suppression or reprisal.
The rapid growth of interest in alternative social media in the last couple of months has been marked. At the same time, Twitter’s ad revenues are falling.
So one of the options Twitter is looking at — apparently this is not a joke — is making their service, or at least some aspects of it, available by paid subscription.
Yes, someone at Twitter seems to imagine users will pay money for the privilege of being arbitrarily silenced by a woke mob of content monitors.
CNN quotes Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey:
“You will likely see some tests this year” of various approaches, Dorsey told analysts on an investor call held to discuss the company’s second quarter earnings results. Dorsey said he has “a really high bar for when we would ask consumers to pay for aspects of Twitter,” but confirmed that the company is seeking to diversify its sources of revenue in what are “very, very early phases of exploring.”
One thing this would do, of course, is give users subjected to arbitrary suppression an even better basis for bringing lawsuits. So there’s that.
But file it under Reason Number 744,962 Why We Can’t Have Nice Things. Certainly productive of a knee-jerk Snort, at the very least.