The management of Twitter has reacted to the ban on its operations by the Nigerian government, assuring Nigerian users that it will work to restore access.
In a statement on its Public Policy handle, the social media platform said: “We are deeply concerned by the blocking of Twitter in Nigeria. Access to the free and #OpenInternet is an essential human right in modern society.”
The microblogging site said, “We will work to restore access for all those in Nigeria who rely on Twitter to communicate and connect with the world. #KeepitOn,”
The Federal Government had Friday suspended, indefinitely, the operations of the microblogging and social networking service site in Nigeria, citing the persistent use of the Twitter platform for activities that were capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.
The Twitter ban was announced by the Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, two days after Twitter deleted President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet posted wherein he threatened to deal with secessionists “in the language they understand”.
The social media networking site had said the tweet violated the Twitter Rules.
The President had released series of tweets after meeting with the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, at the State House in Abuja on Tuesday, wherein he warned that those promoting insurrection and those sponsoring destruction of critical national assets would soon have the shock of their lives.
He had also threatened to deal with “those misbehaving today” “in the language they understand.”
The ban has attracted widespread condemnations as Nigerians described it as a violation of the rights of citizens and a prelude to dictatorship.
Twitter Management Undergoing Major Shake-up
Following the unexpected resignation of former Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey and the appointment of Parag Agrawal as the new CEO, the bird app’ management is undergoing a major shake-up.
In a regulatory filing on Friday, the company said that Dantley Davis, who ran Twitter’s design and research and Michael Montano, the Engineering Lead are leaving the company.
Davis, who joined Twitter in mid-2019 after three years at Meta Platforms Inc., has been a controversial figure inside Twitter, with some employees saying that his management style did not fit the company’s culture.
Montano, the company’s Head of Engineering, on the other hand, has been a Twitter long-time veteran and was known as a champion of giving employees flexibility and enabling remote work.
It was also reported that Jennifer Christie, Twitter’s Head of People, will leave the company at the end of the year. This move is said to be unrelated to the reorganization and had been previously announced internally. She will be replaced by Dalana Brand, the company’s Vice President of People experience and head of inclusion and diversity.
Similarly, Senior Product Management Director Sara Beykpour announced on Friday that it was her last day with Twitter. Contrary to what has been circulating in the media, Beykpour, who is married to Twitter executive Kayvon Beykpour, decision to leave was a coincidence with the reorganization.
The shake-up is meant to streamline the company’s operations and accelerate its growth. It will bring together employees previously divided by job function — such as engineering, design and product development — on teams organised by what they’re working on, such as consumer product, revenue and core tech. The Washington Post wrote.
In a company-wide email obtained by The Washington Post, Agrawal said that he will focus on clear decision-making, increased accountability, and faster execution. He added that he was making a number of organisational and leadership changes to best position Twitter to achieve the company’s goals. He said the company has discussed the critical need for more operational rigour and it must start from the top.
Meet Twitter’s New CEO, Parag Agrawal
The Indian-born Parag Agrawal was appointed the new CEO of Twitter on Monday, picking the leadership baton from the outgoing CEO, Jack Dorsey. Data from Bloomberg showed that Agrawal is the youngest CEO to run a company in the S&P 500.
The 37-year-old Agrawal was born in Ajmer, Rajasthan, India. His father was a senior official in the Indian Department of Atomic Energy and his mother is a retired school teacher. Agrawal obtained his B.Tech. degree in Computer Science and Engineering from IIT Bombay in 2005, and further pursued Ph.D. in computer science from Stanford University in the United States.
According to his LinkedIn profile, he began his career as a researcher with Microsoft in 2006, thereafter worked with Yahoo!. He later returned to Microsoft in 2009, keeping his old role. Mid-year 2020, he joined AT&T Labs, Inc. after which he joined Twitter as Distinguished Software Engineer in 2017, a few years after he rose to the post of Chief Technical Officer. He’s currently serving as the Chief Executive Officer at Twitter.
The company revealed that Jack Dorsey, the outgoing CEO, will remain on the company’s board of directors until his term expires in 2022. While serving as Twitter’s CEO, Dorsey was also working with his payment processing company, Square in the same capacity as CEO. However, it was believed that his resignation from Twitter will enable him to focus on his payment company and also pursue other interests.
The new CEO, Agrawal is the first full-time CEO Twitter has had in years. Following his appointment on Monday, he sent his first official message as the CEO to Twitter employees. He said, “We recently updated our strategy to hit ambitious goals, and I believe that strategy to be bold and right,”
“But our critical challenge is how we work to execute against it and deliver results — that’s how we’ll make Twitter be the best it can be for our customers, shareholders, and for each of you.
“The world is watching us right now, even more than they have before, It’s because they care about Twitter and our future, and it’s a signal that the work we do here matters”. Agrawal wrote on Monday.
Twitter shareholders are expecting Agrawal to create a clear path strategy towards building the company’s revenue and engagement metrics. Despite the expanding growth of Twitter’s users, the company still lags behind in growth, stock returns and revenue compared to its peers in the social media space like Snapchat and Meta. Although Jack Dorsey has upped the company’s return and revenue by 62 percent and 68 percent respectfully since he took leadership in 2015, however, this could not be compared to the growth recorded by its social media rival, Meta, previously Facebook who reportedly gained over 250 percent in stock returns and over 4 times sales growth in the same time frame.
Speaking on the expectations from the new CEO, Jill Wilson the chief marketing officer for Esquire Digital said Agrawal is expected to pick up where Dorsey left off and continue to fight for users which are being lured away by competitors like TikTok and Instagram. “Agrawal has his work cut out for him in terms of keeping Twitter relevant and getting the everyday user on board, and monetizing the platform in general”. She added.
However, Mark Shmulik, an equity research analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein believed otherwise. He argued that in order to remain competitive Agrawal may need to change the company’s culture so as to ensure that new products and strategies can be implemented at a quicker pace than it was done in the past leadership. “Can he at least avoid being the cog that everything needs to go through to get approvals and to get things moving? Can he give more autonomy to different parts of the org so they can move at a quicker pace?” Shmulik said.
Although Agrawal is just coming to the public limelight, growing Twitter business isn’t the only challenge at hand but also the moderation of speech through Twitter which has become a growing concern in the political sphere. “The new CEO will need to work out how to stop his platform being a machine that is routinely and perpetually hijacked to distort the news agenda, produce fake popularity and influence, and provide a warped lens on the world,” said Imran Ahmed, the CEO of the Center for Countering Digital Hate.
Meta, Formerly Facebook, Cryptocurrency Head to Quit the Company
Facebook parent company Meta’s head of cryptocurrency David Marcus has recently announced that he will be leaving the company by the end of the year.
The departure of David Marcus comes after the company’s trial and failure to initiate a cryptocurrency which could be used to send money online to any person in the world through Facebook products, according to a report from CNBC.
David Marcus joined Meta, which was formerly referred to as Facebook in August 2014 after serving as the President of Paypal for two years. His initial role at Facebook then was as the Vice President in charge of the social media company’s Messenger service. He then went ahead to leave the Messenger division, launching Facebook’s financial projects unit in May 2018.
The financial projects division announced the company’s Libra blockchain currency, as well as the company’s Calibra digital wallet in June 2019. It proceeded to say that the company held hope that both announced projects would be able to go live in 2020.
However, neither of the two projects was able to go live in 2020 as Facebook went on battling very firm backlash against its cryptocurrency aspirations from lawmakers and regulators all over the world. The company then went ahead to release its own digital wallet which was renamed Novi in October. The digital currency has since been renamed Diem and is now run by an independent association but still remains unreleased to the general public.
In a tweet thread in which Marcus announced his departure, Marcus stated that there was still a lot to do right after the launch of Novi and his passion for change in payments and financial systems remained. He however stated that his “entrepreneurial DNA” had been pushing him for too long just for him to ignore it.
Marcus’s exit is not isolated, as other key executives who were at the forefront of Facebook’s ill luck in the blockchain left the company as well.
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