If twitter is a global quasi-public good, shouldn’t it be publicly funded?

Lighthouse CC reNET via Flickror Why Twitter’s Like a Lighthouse

The story of The Independent journalist suspended for, erm, tweeting wrongly, has again drawn attention to a fundamental problem with twitter (and social media generally).

Twitter is providing, I would argue, an incredibly important, revolutionising, digital public square (more on that in my MA thesis, to be published here um soonish). But it’s a privately run platform. It has to make a profit from its sponsors, such as NBC.

As Alex Howard tweeted:

“The “new public square” online is complicated by the fact that “platforms” for free expression are owned by private companies. “

As Ben Goldacre tweeted:

Welcome back @guyadams. Twitter’s eagerness to suspend him makes me VERY nervous about investing effort in this place.