What if you created something that allowed people to make fun of you? Such is the life and career of Jack Dorsey, co-founder and CEO of Twitter, a social media site many of its users partially own to complain about the many, many troubling things wrong with Twitter. The tech guru — who may or may not be weirder than fellow social media god/devil Mack Zuckerberg — did a TED Talk public conversation, part of which involved “concerns and opportunities for Twitter’s future.” They then invited Twitter users to tweet questions via the hashtag #AskJackAtTED, which would then be projected on a big screen behind Dorsey.
And, well, it turned out to be very Bad Idea Jeans.
Granted, the full video of the Talk, which streamed live, has yet to be made available in full on the TED site (though presumably it will be here). Still, there’s plenty of evidence to show that — while there were scores of sincere, serious queries — there were plenty of chuckleheads and weaponized satirists ready to humiliate Dorsey to his face…or rather, to his back.
While Dorsey talked about the problems with metrics and his continuing distaste for the “like” button, some eagle-eyed observers, including those at Mashable, zoomed in on the photos made available, and caught some pretty outside-the-box #AskJackAtTED questions.
“Now that your platform has played a significant role in the end of humankind, what’s your next step?…” read one question.
“You just said your metrics create toxicity,” read another. “So… you’re CEO. Why not change them right now?” Another, from the same picture, asked, “How do you feel about giving a platform to literal Nazis.”
Eventually the tweets disappeared from the screen. Those at TED tweeted one suspicious observer that it was always the plan to ditch them halfway through the conversation, and not because Dorsey was being owned behind his back.
Before it was given the boot, though, one person managed to get on the big board with the question, “Jack, what is Bam Bam?”
Others on Twitter decided, including those who didn’t wind up on the big boards, decided to tweet about other matters involving the man who gave them the ability to tweet in the first place.
Or they actually criticized Dorsey’s answers.