The conflict between Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey – A definitive result of competing for a share of the social media market
Which social media platform do you like? Facebook, or Twitter? We aren’t making any statements here as both of these platforms have their own features, and the likeness of any of these platforms depends on individual preferences. Well, this claim is easy to make for us, as a third party, but what if we were the owner of Twitter or Facebook. We wish we could! But seriously, this statement would not be this easy if we had our direct stakes in it.
Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey had to go through it recently. Both of the CEOs had the opposite stance about the ways in which people can use their social media platforms. Both of them had a firm stance and the result what everyone is talking about – the conflict in Silicon Valley.
If you haven’t been following it, then you can read this article in detail to know what it was, how it took place and obviously, who won it. Curious to know? So, let’s not drag your curiosity anymore and start with the details.
When did this Conflict between Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey start?
The conflict between the two leading CEOs of the two leading social media started on 23rd October when CEO of Twitter made an announcement that Twitter would not be allowing any political ads on the platform.
This statement can actually prove to be the fuel in the fire when considering the conflict between Jack Dorsey vs. Mark Zuckerberg.
What type of political content are we talking?
According to the CEO of Twitter, the paid political content of every kind would not be accepted. The advertisement from the political candidates running for elections or the issues based advertisement, especially the one having political repercussions, wouldn’t be allowed. Some of the general examples include the ads on the topics of abortion or climate change.
The reason for this policy is that Jack believes that his platform shouldn’t be spreading fake propaganda about people or parties. According to him, it is important to maintain sanctity and honesty when using speech.
Obviously, this stance contained a rebuttal to Facebook’s policy and the comparison of Twitter’s policy with Facebook, and he tweeted: “This isn’t about free expression. This is about paying for reach. And paying to increase the reach of political speech has significant ramifications that today’s democratic infrastructure may not be prepared to handle. It’s worth stepping back in order to address.”
Even at one of the events, Dorsey said, “We talk a lot about speech and expression, and we don’t talk about reach enough, and we don’t talk about amplification. And reach, and amplification was not represented in that speech,”
He was quite clear that free speech and the paid amplification of the message are two different things. Free speech should be allowed, and there is no one restricting it. The only restriction is on allowing advertising of the political news (for now altogether).
What’s the stance of Facebook?
Facebook’s stance on accepting and spreading political content is totally opposite. In the recent past, a statement from the Facebook administration regarded the acceptance and propagation of paid political content as acceptable.
Their stance is based on the policy that private companies cannot decide what is fake or real. So, it is important that free speech is allowed for everyone, whether it is unpaid or paid. The company declared that no such restrictions would be proposed. Zuckerberg, while defending this policy, said. “I think there are good reasons for this. I don’t think it’s right for private companies to censor politicians and the news.”
Additionally, in one of the statements, Zuckerberg also used political history to justify his stance. He made a connection to the Iraq war by saying: “If more people had a voice to share their experiences, maybe things would have gone differently.”
These opposite statements of both the CEOs of the platforms were the reason for the conflict between Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey that has been in the news in Silicon Valley since then.
But is that it to the Conflict between Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey?
Probably, no. This conflict is not only limited to the wordplay that has been used by both the CEOs. Both of the platforms are taking active steps as well in implementing their stance to the best possible level.
Twitter is ensuring the implementation by nuking all the political advertisements from the platform. This policy is applicable until no proper mechanism for checking the false news and propagation comes into play.
However, that does not mean that Conflict between Mark Zuckerberg vs. Jack Dorsey is going to limit people from sharing their point of view. People can still share and propagate any political view they like. The only difference is that specific targeting for a particular message wouldn’t be accepted anymore. As it was the result of ad campaigns.
In the words of Jack Dorsey, “Best to focus our efforts on the root problems, without the additional burden and complexity taking money brings. Trying to fix both means fixing neither well, and harms our credibility.”
Is Twitter really complying with this policy?
Although, this stance by Twitter is being given more weight by many. But is Twitter really complying with this policy of restricting false political agenda? It can be true to the extent that paid content wouldn’t be supported.
However, the Tweets of President Donald Trump have been clearly violating the terms and conditions of the platform. But these tweets have not been banned or removed by the platform. Similarly, harassment and toxic speech are also the leading problems of this social media platform. And up till now, no such action has been taken.
So, this partial implementation of the policy could actually be damaging to the reputation of the CEO.
Timing of the generation of conflict between Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey:
The timing of the generation of the entire conflict between Mark Zuckerberg vs. Jack Dorsey was not out of the blue moon. These statements from Dorsey were just in time when Facebook was going to announce its revenues for the third quarter.
If you don’t think it is relevant, then think again. When your competitor is just about to announce the achievement of the revenue targets with the market, generating a debate on the policy adopted by the company is enough to propagate a debate over it. And this debate was started as well successfully.
However, no significant impact apart from the general discussion on the topic has been observed, especially because of the timing of this controversy. Maybe because both the companies are now the giants of Silicon Valley and strong enough to handle such petty issues quite well.
Another reason for the mild impact could be because of the CEOs want the free speech to be there along with the healthy debate on the topic. So, there is no point in not accepting others’ opinions even with a major disagreement.
Is twitter the first platform announcing this ban?
No, this is not something new. TikTok issues a similar statement as well. So, the stance that free speech does not mean to talk about anything is having a higher acceptance level. Twitter is not the only platform with this stance, so that puts more weight on Twitter’s policy, and Facebook has to defend its policy alone.
The impact of the policy change by Twitter or its criticism on the policy adopted by Facebook has not particularly yielded any sort of financial impact for both the countries. Because both the companies claim that only a minimal amount of their earnings are from the political campaigns.
Was it a real war?
No, not really. The war of words between the competing companies is what we often see around us. One of the strange things about this conflict between Mark Zuckerberg vs. Jack Dorsey is that none of these CEOs actually took the name of the company or the founder in any way.
So all of the criticism and the rebuttals by both the leaders are now at the will and assumptions of the people. You can expect them to be rebuttals or just call them the general statements. These leaders haven’t actually said anything.
Won’t you all agree?
Who’s the winner?
The conflict between Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey is not something where a clear winner would be seen. Firstly, because both of the companies have their own legacy and following because of the features it provides. Secondly, the acceptance of policy by the general public, in both the cases, would be more focused on the individual stances that each of the individuals would have.
However, as Twitter is more of a platform for political acceptance, the policy stance of banning advertisements from that platform actually makes it stronger. And it actually made Mark Zuckerberg rethink about it. He mentions: “Although I’ve considered whether we should not carry these ads in the past and I’ll continue to do so, on balance, so far, I’ve thought we should continue”.
Overall, no financial impact is expected because of this policy, so we expect that it won’t really make a difference. But yes! This is true till the Facebook administration or Mark Zuckerberg himself won’t put any ban on the political advertisement. If such a ban would come in the upcoming months, then we’ll have to admit that Jack Dorsey would be the clear winner of this situation.
The rivalry between Twitter and Facebook would be there. And so would be the conflict between Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey. But probably on something else in the future.
This was all about the conflict between Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey. Both these stances have some of the value in it, and they are actually right in one way or the other. Told you! Taking a stance in a situation where you are a CEO is different in comparison to the third party. Here, both CEOs claim that their policy is right and in a positive direction for their companies.
What’s your stance here? Which of these policy statements do you think is logical or more beneficial for society? Do you really think the US election of 2020 is going to have any impact by this policy of Twitter? Or the overall relaxation that the ruling party enjoys from Twitter, would it be relevant?