Have always felt that Twitter is a perfect fit for India: Jack Dorsey

Jack Dorsey, Co-Founder & CEO of Twitter, speaks to Nandan Nilekani of Infosys about his vision for Twitter and the significant role that India plays in the growth of the platform.

JackDorsey

On his maiden visit to India, Jack Dorsey, Co-Founder & CEO of Twitter, spoke to Nandan Nilekani of Infosys about his vision for Twitter and the significant role that India plays in the growth of the platform.

Speaking about his initial journey, Dorsey said he always wanted to make technology work for greater good. “I went to San Francisco at the crash of the internet bubble. I was not an engineer, I was a self-taught programmer. My parents had a computer when I was a kid and I always wanted to understand how to make it work the way I want it to work.”

Dorsey accepted that the evolution of Twitter was being led by the people who use it and that Twitter was making serious investments to understand what all it could become.

“Everything that has made Twitter is actually invented by people who are using it, and that is still the case today. We could do a great job if we could recognise what people want Twitter to be. We have spent a lot of time in the past three years to understand what Twitter wants to be,” said Dorsey.

When asked about the growing polarisation and proliferation of fake news and the fact that there has been a transfer of responsibilities from individuals and communities to social platforms and how he handles it all, Dorsey said, “When it comes to using technologies, it takes time to understand what they are and where they can be used. Any technology at the end of the day is just like a tool. Nation states have become less and less relevant and I think we should not burden nation states or communities with things which we are able to understand. And one of them is increasing the health of public conversation.”

Talking about censorship and social media, Dorsey said, “We have to consider the expectations that people come to Twitter with because it's a public square; it's a place where people gather and they can talk and they can fight, and all these things are expected.  What I expect in a public square, I expect that on Twitter too.”

“However, the problem with that is if you let everything run, some people may not feel safe to be at this public square and they may not feel safe to speak up, and then you cannot see the benefits of having this public square in the first place,” he added.

“In any public square there are concerned citizens; you may see some sort of police force that imposes certain rules. We are also looking for opportunities to encourage people into healthier debates and healthier outcomes.  Our number one priority is to increase the health of this conversation,” said Dorsey.

With India becoming the new engine for digital growth, the role that it plays for platforms such as Twitter cannot be understated.

Speaking about the growing significance of India in terms of driving growth for Twitter, Dorsey said, “Well, that's one of the reasons I am here. I have never been to India and this is my first time here.  I am fascinated by this country not just because it's just the biggest democracy in the world, but also because of the diversity of this country. I have always felt that Twitter is a perfect fit for India. It has a very public culture. It has a very transparent culture. It has a culture of sharing and we have won the hearts of people who are comfortable expressing themselves to the entire world.”

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