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Twitter’s Jack Dorsey takes on censorship, trolls and the 140-character limit

Sharon Gaudin | March 21, 2016
Marking Twitter’s 10th anniversary, Dorsey gives wide-ranging TV interview

In this morning's interview, Dorsey also briefly took on reports that Twitter is looking to dramatically raise its 140-character limit on tweets.

"It's staying," he said. "It's a good constraint for us."

And that's good news for Jeff Kagan, an independent industry analyst.

"I'm glad to see them sticking with their 140-character tweets," he said. "That's Twitter. Remove that and Twitter starts to get watered down and blends in with everyone else."

Further, Kagan said, "I think 140 characters is plenty. You can add links and you can add a second tweet if you need more room. Twitter is all about brevity."

Dorsey also talked about the trolls who use Twitter to bash people. "It's disappointing but it's a reflective of the world," said Dorsey. "We see as much optimism and positivity as negativity. And the most important thing is that we empower dialogue, we empower conversations so people can work out their issues."

It's that ability to create immediate dialogues that has gained Twitter its worldwide popularity, with the site taking on significant roles in elections, political and social strife and natural disasters.

"Bottom line: After 10 years, I think Twitter is still in the game and users still love it," said Kagan. "It doesn't mean that Twitter hasn't got problems, however. Every company needs to continue to innovate."

Blau agreed.

"Their success in their 10 years is a testament to their early focus on mobile and establishing themselves as the go-to community for real-time news and events," he said. "That is a fairly powerful position to be in."

As for Dorsey, when Lauer asked him if Twitter would be around to celebrate its fifteenth anniversary, he didn't hesitate with his answer.

"We'll be here on the twentieth," he said. "We'll be here on the thirtieth. It's a fundamental service. We have a lot of heart in the company. We have a lot of purpose. We understand what we are and what we stand for."

 

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