The tweet-powered t-shirt vending machine in the room at Twitter’s shareholder meeting didn’t work at first. A Twitter employee attending to the machine walked me through the three hashtags required to get the shirt, but the machine wasn’t recognizing my tweeting. So, after 10 minutes of small talk with the employee about our proposal, I told her “Thank you” and started to go. But then the employee opened the vending machine door and handed me a shirt. Such a simple fix!
At Monday’s annual meeting, Twitter shareholders did not approve our proposal.
But by winning 4% of the vote, we can – and very likely will – resubmit a better proposal next year to democratize Twitter.
Twitter’s opposition statement to our proposal said it couldn’t be done. The truth is, even some of the strongest allies of #BuyTwitter assumed it was too complex. We’ve been through eight months of organizing, from op-ed to petition to proposal, defense, andMonday’s vote tally. Looking back, it all seems simple, like unlocking a vending machine.
Now, after the meeting, everything seems possible for our group.
A stock market analyst who helped guide our efforts emailed me, saying: “This study could be a game changer… You have legitimacy now from the shareholder vote. That carries weight. Leverage it to the fullest. Media coverage may very well be in your favor, too.”
Momentum from the vote is one way that #WeAreTwitter #BuyTwitter has succeeded so far at building organized power among Twitter users and shareholders.
Here is some more of what we’ve accomplished together:
- Advancing democratic ownership and accountability on the platforms we use, including a couple dozen individuals doing analysis, web design, advocacy with allies, and more.
- Dozens upon dozens of articles featuring #BuyTwitter including The Financial Times, WIRED, Salon, Recode, Vanity Fair, and The Co-op Water Cooler.
- Hundreds upon hundreds of tweets in the past week alone about #BuyTwitter, including an original love ballad on YouTube!
- A letter signed by major of coop allies, including the International Co-operative Alliance, Co-operatives UK, the National Cooperative Business Association, and Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada. You can sign it, too!
- Another letter by the International Co-op Alliance, on behalf of 2.6 million enterprises and 1 billion members worldwide.
- A poll conducted last week found that more than 2 million UK Twitter users would consider investing in a democratic Twitter.
- A Twitter Moment of selected highlights uniting #BuyTwitter, #NetNeutrality, #Coops, #corpgov, and exiting the stock market.
This is just the beginning. What’s next?
- Help build cooperative social media by joining the new Social.coop, a cooperatively owned instance of the federated, open-source Mastodon network. This is just one of many projects you can support in the #platformcoop ecosystem.
- Explore the broader movement for cooperative platforms and an Internet of Owners by attending The People’s Disruption conference in NYC and other events around the world.
- Join the organizing effort in our Loomio group. What should next year’s proposal say? Should we press on as a social media users’ union? A cooperative investment club?
I hope we can get together for an open online conversation. Until then, share our celebration tweet and have a wonderful week.
Danny and the #WeAreTwitter team
PS: If someone you know wants a free kitten, tell them to get one here.