Twitter co-founder Evan Williams offered his regrets and an apology for any part his social networking service may have played in putting Donald Trump in the White House.
“It’s a very bad thing, Twitter’s role in that,” Williams told The New York Times. “If it’s true that he wouldn’t be president if it weren’t for Twitter, then yeah, I’m sorry.”
Williams just recently got wind of Trump’s interview with FOX News Channel’s Tucker Carlson Monday in which the POTUS said, “Let me tell you about Twitter — I think that maybe I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Twitter.” He went on to add that Twitter sidesteps what he calls fake news, saying, “Twitter is a wonderful thing for me, because I get the word out.”
Earlier this month, Williams stood before the graduating class at the University of Nebraska and told them that Silicon Valley stars have seen themselves as the Greek God Prometheus, who stole fire from Mount Olympus and gave it to mankind.
“What we tend to forget is that Zeus was so pissed at Prometheus that he chained him to a rock so eagles could peck out his guts for eternity,” Williams told the class. “Some would say that’s what we deserve for giving the power of tweets to Donald Trump.”
Although Williams’ intention to connect people was an admirable one, he now believes “the internet is broken” and that the situation is getting progressively worse. What began as a rewarding tool of liberation for those without voices has sometimes been eclipsed by the emergence of fake news, trolling and the showcasing of beatings, murders and suicides in real time.
“I thought once everybody could speak freely and exchange information and ideas, the world is automatically going to be a better place,” Williams said. “I was wrong about that.”
The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from the Times.