Could Twitter Users Own the Platform One Day?
Could Twitter actually become a user-owned cooperative? An idea that once seemed far-fetched has suddenly fallen within the realm of possibility. On May 22, Twitter’s shareholders will vote on a proposal to explore a viable path towards democratic ownership of the company.
The notion of a user-owned Twitter first got some attention back in September following an op-ed in The Guardian penned by Nathan Schneider, author and platform co-ops expert. Since then, a coalition of volunteer organizers and supporters (including Shareable) who had backed the initial campaign launched mini-initiatives to move the concept forward in other ways, from exploring the idea of an investment co-op to hosting roundtable discussions with experts. The group also launched a petition urging Twitter to explore user ownership, which has been signed by more than 3,400 people so far.
Last December, one of those volunteer groups helped submit a one-page proposal for the company to study the feasibility of selling the platform to its users. That’s what’s up for vote in May. It’s a long shot, but nonetheless, it is a shot.