Over the past couple of years I’ve given Jack Dorsey a lot of shit. To be fair, he’s ruined the world.
Okay, maybe that’s a little harsh, but he’s certainly done his fair share of aiding and abetting the current toxic environment the world finds itself in.
Jack held the switch.
Jack let it happen. He watched as a once-entertaining, once-illuminating, once-vital network to global communication became a garbage fire of hate. He did nothing to stop it. Or curb it. He didn’t see a problem.
I hope you see the problem now, Jack. If you don’t, it’s certainly not for lack of being warned about it.
I used to love Twitter. But this is too much for me. It’s time for me to go. Twitter’s given me a lot in the ten years I’ve been there. I’d like to return the favor. I have one final gift for you, Jack. I’ve written your resignation letter. I pray you use it soon. It’s time for you to go too.
January 1, 2018
Effective immediately I resign my position as CEO of Twitter.
I am sorry I’ve let everyone down. I’ve let down the people who put me in this position, believing that I had the leadership qualities to do the job. Obviously, I didn’t. I’ve let down the employees who trusted me with their careers. Because of me, your time here will always be a black mark on your résumés. I’ve let down the people who connect to the world through our platform. Because of me, the most fragile of those voices, the ones that needed the most amplification and protection, have been silenced. The only people I haven’t let down is the fascists. They’re pretty happy.
In my time as CEO, I had an opportunity to help shape the world. Which I guess I did. Both Twitter and the world are now worse than on the day I started. I helped America elect an autocrat. I let him use our platform — the one you entrusted me with!— to spread his racist and sexist vitriol throughout the world.
I had a chance, no — an obligation!, to kick Donald Trump off Twitter when he broke our terms of service time and time again. Instead, I craved the engagement he brought us. People were paying attention to us again! I let greed be my guide.
I hid my cowardice behind a screen of “free speech!” I didn’t realize that hate speech, when left unchecked, only serves to imprison valuable and diverse voices that need to be heard. I was blinded by libertarian ideals because it was the libertarian ideals of Silicon Valley that allowed someone as mediocre as me to rise as high as I did. I now realize that if marginalized voices aren’t free, no voices are. I wish I’d read Baldwin instead of Rand. I renounce Ayn Rand as a farce.
I’m sorry about wearing the woke shirt. I didn’t earn it. I’m taking some time off to find out what being woke really means. I’ve heard you, and it seems I’ve got some real waking up to do.
For years I’ve laid in bed at night, unable to sleep, thinking of what I could have done. Thinking of how I was in a position to build a communication platform that united people, a communication platform that brought people together, a communication platform that might connect an elementary school student in Sri Lanka with her favorite writer in London, or a musician in New Orleans with a jazz fan in Tokyo, or a young man in the Dominican Republic with his favorite ball player in Toronto. There was a time when Twitter made those relationships possible. That time is gone. And it died on my watch.
Not only did I kill that dream. I turned it into a nightmare.
I’m sorry I let you all down.
—Jack Dorsey, former Twitter CEO