Business in Tech

Twitter’s History Of Abuse Could Be Putting Off Buyers

By this time last month, there were at least five top names that we all thought would be making a bid to buy Twitter but the last of them which is Salesforce decided not to make a bid for the company in what now seems like problem for Twitter.

Twitter is still strong with respect to user engagements only its financial standing is not that rosy and that’s something a change in management could address. But it looks like there may be something else that’s keeping potential buyers away and that may be Twitter’s reputation for abusive behaviour.  

According to Bloomberg, Walt Disney Co. decided not to pursue a bid for Twitter Inc. partly out of concern that bullying and other uncivil forms of communication on the social media site might soil the company’s wholesome family image, according to people familiar with management’s thinking.

Walt Disney was serious about buying Twitter at some point and even went as far as hiring investment banks, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Guggenheim Partners LLC, to help with the microblogging site’s evaluation but in the end, Disney’s biggest investors didn’t think it would be right for a brand behind names like Cinderella and Finding Dory to also be associated with a service that’s known for uncensored intolerance and online bullying.

Well those allegations have been leveled against Twitter in the past that it is usually slow to tackle situations like that. A few months back, comedian Leslie Jones was repeatedly racially abused on Twitter which generated a firestorm. The Ghost Busters actress then threatened to shut down her account over abuse from some right wing guy and only then did Twitter decide to eventually shut down the account of the abuser American media call Milo.

ISIS; the terror organisation has successfully used Twitter to recruit in the past but it also took them a long time to start deleting such accounts which prompted a threat from the terrorist organisation to assassinate Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook.

The list goes on but Twitter is still the preferred place for celebrity and brand announcements. The company is making efforts to make the site more appealing by clinching deals with the NFL to stream games.

There is also a bigger ads push as well with focus on videos and live streaming too.

The best way to know if those steps have made a difference is to wait till next week when we expect to see Twitter’s third quarter earnings report. It’s the earnings season remember.

The other reason Bloomberg sites for lack of interest in buying Twitter is that the  social media pioneer, creator of the 140-character tweet, is losing money and yet sports a market value of almost $12 billion. That would be a big deal even for Disney, which has a market value 12 times that. 

Twitter shares rose less than 1 percent to $16.87 in early trading Tuesday.