Platform Cooperativism Resource Library


A proposal meant to push Twitter to explore the possibility of becoming a user-operated cooperative was met with staunch resistance at the company’s annual shareholder meeting Monday, but supporters of the measure still considered it a victory. Preliminary counts of Twitter investors’ ballots indicate that the proposal, which asked investors to back a study on how Twitter might allow its users to buy the company, indicate the measure failed to gain a majority of votes. […] the aptly hashtagged #BuyTwitter initiative got 4 percent of shareholder votes, according to Jim McRitchie, the shareholder advocate who got the measure on the ballot. Despite ardent opposition from Twitter’s board of directors, Dorsey on Monday seemed “interested” in learning more, McRitchie said. Twitter’s board openly opposed the proposal, saying in an SEC filing that preparing such a report “would be a misallocation of resources and a distraction to our board of directors and management.” Nathan Schneider, a scholar in residence of media studies at the University of Colorado Boulder who has helped organize the campaign, said several shareholders who spoke with him privately said they were hesitant to support the study for fear that it could “create market uncertainty” by indicating that Twitter’s leadership was “in panic mode.” Over the past week, several big-name co-op organizations voiced their support of the measure including British research firm YouGov, which conducted a study that found that nearly 2 million Twitter users in the United Kingdom would consider participating in a cooperatively owned Twitter. If they choose to resubmit the ballot measure, they’ll have a year to try to build consensus — among shareholders, but also among Twitter’s leadership.

Added May 5, 2020