A Financial Times 2016 wrap-up says Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has “the power to avert global war by suspending just one account.” It doesn’t name names, but it’s clearly talking about the account of President-elect Donald Trump.
“That he chooses not to (even though the inaction gives him no strategic benefit and earns his shareholders very little money) makes Twitter perhaps the worst company ever to exist,” the post opines.
The insult is meant to be tongue-in-cheek, to the extent that jokes about global war can be tongue-in-cheek. It’s an odd blend of fussy phrasing — it also calls the social network a “squawk mortar,” which we guess is a thesaurus-assisted way of saying “squawk box” — with blunt predictions that Trump could set off a war with a few hastily typed words.
Trump would be far from the first person to be banned by Twitter. Last month, the company suspended the accounts of several prominent members of the alt-right movement. The changes were part of Twitter’s efforts to reduce harassment, but white nationalists Jared Taylor and Richard Spencer were among those who said the bans limited free expression.
The post about Dorsey, by FT Alphaville, is part of the FTAV Person of Interest longlist, a place where Financial Times staffers go to have a little fun, mix droll commentary with pronouncements about the collapse of civilization, and, most importantly, show off their vocabularies. Peter Thiel is dismissed as a “plenipotentiary.” Wells Fargo’s John Stumpf is the “mostly unwitting cultural attaché of the non-consensual finbloat movement.”
These insults must sting, but at least no one knows what they mean.
The FTAV Person of Interest also gets in digs at new Trump cabinet pick Rex Tillerson, among others. It says the ExxonMobil executive’s career is “Proof that, if you stare into the abyss for long enough, the abyss says: ‘Hey Rex, want to be Secretary of State?”