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[liberationtech] Saudi Prince invests $300mn in Twitter

planetary planetary at plntry.net
Mon Dec 19 12:09:29 PST 2011


Agreed, but will make the point one more time that engineering oriented choices with political consequences are no less material in their impact, and perhaps no less urgent to confront.

And one might argue that there are political choices embedded in a desire for a "neutral" policy stance, but that's probably not for this list. 

On Dec 19, 11, at 12:06 PM, Parker Higgins wrote:

> My sense is that IF there is any correlation between #Occupy* and
> hair-trigger bans, it is very likely to be an institutional (and
> unintentional one) as a result of OWS account behavior style.
> 
> Obviously, Twitter's "anti-spam" methods aren't targeting spam, as such;
> they're targeting historically spam-like behavior. High frequency
> @-replies which include multiple popular hashtags, sort of the hallmark
> of OWS tweeting, could potentially be one of those behaviors.
> 
> So: if there's a problem, it looks like an engineering one and not a
> political one. Just my 2¢.
> 
> Parker
> 
> On 12/19/11 11:53 AM, Jillian C. York wrote:
>> I'm sorry, but I call bullshit on the targeting of #Occupy.  I haven't
>> seen one legit incident yet, and this is something that a) I'm sensitive
>> to and b) I track closely.
>> 
>> The Trending Topics algorithm is, in my opinion, wonky and in need of
>> serious rethinking, but blatant censorship it is not.
>> 
>> On Mon, Dec 19, 2011 at 11:50 AM, planetary <planetary at plntry.net
>> <mailto:planetary at plntry.net>> wrote:
>> 
>>    There are certainly fewer visible incidents one could point to with
>>    Twitter, but are they really more virtuous, or better at concealing
>>    suppressive behavior?
>> 
>>    There is considerable sentiment within the #Occupy* movement that
>>    Twitter has targeted its users, with increasing reports of incidents
>>    on hair-trigger account bans and the ongoing concern about the
>>    trending topics representation.   Considering the difficulty of
>>    substantiating any bias there, one tends to wonder, how much of that
>>    difficulty really provides cover for a cleaner public image for Twitter?
>> 
>>    These are potentially explicable as functions of complex policies
>>    and algorithms, but if it has the same effect of suppressing
>>    visibility of certain grassroots movements, how intentional does it
>>    have to be?
>> 
>>    Would love to get some real comparative data on this. A project
>>    we're contributing to for #Occupy might just help...
>> 
>>    On Dec 19, 11, at 11:43 AM, Jillian C. York wrote:
>> 
>>>    Well, because Facebook has a fairly poor track record on privacy
>>>    and free expression.  They've earned the scrutiny.  Thus far,
>>>    Twitter has not.
>>> 
>>>    On Mon, Dec 19, 2011 at 11:38 AM, Luke Allnutt <AllnuttL at rferl.org
>>>    <mailto:AllnuttL at rferl.org>> wrote:
>>> 
>>>        Bet there would be a lot more outrage if it was Facebook
>>>        though. :) 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>>        On 19 Dec 2011, at 20:34, "Jillian C. York"
>>>        <jilliancyork at gmail.com <mailto:jilliancyork at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>> 
>>>>        Oh also?  This is--on the surface--just as alarming and I
>>>>        don't remember half the fuss:
>>>>        http://venturebeat.com/2011/08/01/twitter-dst-confirm/
>>>> 
>>>>        On Mon, Dec 19, 2011 at 11:32 AM, Jillian C. York
>>>>        <jilliancyork at gmail.com <mailto:jilliancyork at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>>> 
>>>>            Ha, you think that's bad, you should see how many calls
>>>>            I've gotten asking what effect Kim Jong-Il's death with
>>>>            have on the North Korean Internet!
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>>            On Mon, Dec 19, 2011 at 11:30 AM, Brian Conley
>>>>            <brianc at smallworldnews.tv
>>>>            <mailto:brianc at smallworldnews.tv>> wrote:
>>>> 
>>>>                I agree with Jillian. Slow news day on the markets?
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>>                On Mon, Dec 19, 2011 at 11:21 AM, Jillian C. York
>>>>                <jilliancyork at gmail.com
>>>>                <mailto:jilliancyork at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>>> 
>>>>                    Honestly?  I trust that this will have less than
>>>>                    zero effect on Twitter's policy.  Twitter has
>>>>                    stood up to a whole lot of other powerful
>>>>                    players, including the US and UK governments. 
>>>>                    Saudi's powerful, but we're talking about a share
>>>>                    of under 5%. Try as they might, Kingdom Holding
>>>>                    will likely have minimal effect.
>>>> 
>>>>                    Is it icky?  For sure, but so are a lot of deals.
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>>                    On Mon, Dec 19, 2011 at 3:26 AM, Daniel Isaiah
>>>>                    Ong <danielo at cs.stanford.edu
>>>>                    <mailto:danielo at cs.stanford.edu>> wrote:
>>>> 
>>>>                        Thoughts?
>>>> 
>>>>                        http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/12/19/saudi-prince-invests-300-million-in-twitter/?hp
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>>                          Saudi Prince Invests $300 Million in Twitter
>>>> 
>>>>                        BY MARK SCOTT
>>>>                        <http://dealbook.nytimes.com/author/mark-scott/>
>>>> 
>>>>                        LONDON — The Saudi Prince Walid bin Talal and
>>>>                        his investment company, Kingdom Holding, said
>>>>                        Monday they had bought a “strategic stake” in
>>>>                        the social media site Twitter for $300 million.
>>>> 
>>>>                        The investment represents roughly 3 percent
>>>>                        stake of the company, based in San Francisco,
>>>>                        which was valued at $8 billion in August.
>>>> 
>>>>                        In a statement, Prince Walid, who owns 95
>>>>                        percent of Kingdom Holding, said the purchase
>>>>                        was part of a strategy “to invest in
>>>>                        promising, high-growth businesses with a
>>>>                        global impact.”
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>>                                Article Tools
>>>> 
>>>>                         *
>>>> 
>>>>                            E-mail
>>>>                            <http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/12/19/saudi-prince-invests-300-million-in-twitter/?hp>
>>>>                          * Print
>>>>                            <http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/12/19/saudi-prince-invests-300-million-in-twitter/?pagemode=print>
>>>>                          * Recommend
>>>>                          * Share
>>>>                              o TUMBLR
>>>>                              o DIGG
>>>>                              o LINKEDIN
>>>>                              o REDDIT
>>>>                              o PERMALINK
>>>>                         o
>>>>                          * Twitter
>>>> 
>>>>                        Despite ongoing volatility in the financial
>>>>                        markets, investors have shown continued
>>>>                        interest in Internet companies. Last week,
>>>>                        the social network gaming company Zynga
>>>>                        raised $1 billion in an initial public
>>>>                        offering, while Groupon, the daily deals
>>>>                        site, raised $700 million from the markets in
>>>>                        early November.
>>>> 
>>>>                        Kingdom Holding stock was up about 6 percent
>>>>                        in midday trading in Riyadh.
>>>> 
>>>>                        Prince Walid, who also own stakes in U.S.
>>>>                        blue chip companies such as Citigroup,
>>>>                        General Motors and Apple, is the nephew of
>>>>                        Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah. He also is one
>>>>                        the of the Arab world’s richest men, with
>>>>                        assets worth an estimated $21 billion,
>>>>                        according to Arabian Business magazine.
>>>> 
>>>>                        The investment in Twitter comes after the
>>>>                        company’s co-founder Biz Stone announced in
>>>>                        June that he would be stepping back from the
>>>>                        fast-growing social media. Twitter’s other
>>>>                        co-founder, Evan Williams, was replaced by
>>>>                        the current chief executive Dick Costolo last
>>>>                        year.
>>>> 
>>>>                        Despite the management shake-up, Twitter has
>>>>                        continued to gain traction, particularly in
>>>>                        the Arab world, where it was credited with
>>>>                        playing a role in the recent popular
>>>>                        uprisings across North Africa and the Gulf.
>>>> 
>>>>                        Arabic is now the fastest growing language
>>>>                        used on Twitter, according to the data
>>>>                        intelligence company Semiocast.
>>>> 
>>>>                        The volume of Arabic messages, for example,
>>>>                        has multiplied by 2,146 percent in the 12
>>>>                        months ending in October, according to
>>>>                        figures from Semiocast. That makes Arabic the
>>>>                        eighth most used language on the site.
>>>> 
>>>>                        “We believe that social media will
>>>>                        fundamentally change the media industry
>>>>                        landscape in the coming years. Twitter will
>>>>                        capture and monetize this positive trend,”
>>>>                        Ahmed Reda Halawani, Kingdom Holding’s
>>>>                        executive director of private equity and
>>>>                        international investments, said in a statement.
>>>> 
>>>>                        The website currently has over 100 million
>>>>                        active users, and raised approximately $400
>>>>                        million of new capital last summer. That
>>>>                        investment was led by DST Global, the
>>>>                        investment firm headed by the Russian
>>>>                        billionaire Yuri Milner.
>>>> 
>>>> 
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>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>>                    -- 
>>>>                    jilliancyork.com <http://jilliancyork.com/> |
>>>>                    @jilliancyork | tel: +1-857-891-4244
>>>>                    <tel:%2B1-857-891-4244> | google voice:
>>>>                    +1-415-562-JILL
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
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>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>>                -- 
>>>> 
>>>>                Brian Conley
>>>>                Director, Small World News
>>>>                http://smallworldnews.tv <http://smallworldnews.tv/>
>>>>                m: 646.285.2046 <tel:646.285.2046>
>>>>                Skype: brianjoelconley
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>>            -- 
>>>>            jilliancyork.com <http://jilliancyork.com/> |
>>>>            @jilliancyork | tel: +1-857-891-4244
>>>>            <tel:%2B1-857-891-4244> | google voice: +1-415-562-JILL
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>>        -- 
>>>>        jilliancyork.com <http://jilliancyork.com/> | @jilliancyork |
>>>>        tel: +1-857-891-4244 <tel:%2B1-857-891-4244> | google voice:
>>>>        +1-415-562-JILL
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
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>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>>    -- 
>>>    jilliancyork.com <http://jilliancyork.com/> | @jilliancyork | tel:
>>>    +1-857-891-4244 <tel:%2B1-857-891-4244> | google voice:
>>>    +1-415-562-JILL
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
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>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> -- 
>> jilliancyork.com <http://jilliancyork.com> | @jilliancyork | tel:
>> +1-857-891-4244 | google voice: +1-415-562-JILL
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
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> 
> -- 
> Parker Higgins
> Activist
> Electronic Frontier Foundation
> https://eff.org
> _______________________________________________
> liberationtech mailing list
> liberationtech at lists.stanford.edu
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