Fri 2 Mar 2018 2:22AM

Do we still want to attempt to buy Twitter

WC William Cerf Public Seen by 127

TWTR is now trading at $32.28/share which is a lot better than the $12/share I paid last year. I think this may put management in a better position to kill our proposal. What do others think?


James McRitchie Fri 2 Mar 2018 2:29AM

Yes, agreed. Perhaps a better strategy is to get them to convert to a benefit corporation https://www.corpgov.net/2018/02/benefit-corporation-accountability-matters/

James McRitchieShareholder AdvocateCorporate Governancehttp://www.corpgov.net9295 Yorkship CourtElk Grove, CA 95758916.869.2402


Eugenia Siapera Fri 2 Mar 2018 9:36AM

As long as Twitter is generating profit for shareholders there will be little incentive for change. I think the #buyTwitter initiative has been extremely valuable in pushing for more user involvement in social media platforms at all levels, and I would love this to continue, because at the very least it is raising awareness and leads to new learning as to what kind of bottom up interventions are possible in the corporate world. Many thanks James for introducing me to the idea of 'benefit corporation', I will look into it.


Rosen Dimov Fri 2 Mar 2018 9:54AM

Dear William, James, Eugenia and fellows, I believe we should continue with our efforts in demcoratizing Twitter and #BuyTwitter, whether successful or not, has the potential to inspire users of all digital platforms to empower themselves and take over! I remain committed to working with you all in drafting a strong proposal for Twitter's May AGM that reflects on the market developments referred to by William, and 'a benefit corporation' model suggested by James may be a good alternative. Furthermore, I will do my best to mobilise the community of the International Young Professionals Foundation that I lead as their elected President in this struggle.


James McRitchie Fri 2 Mar 2018 2:52PM

Rosen, it is months too late to submit a proposal for this year. I was hoping there would be a group willing to work with Twitter on a Users Group as an interim step but it doesn't appear there is a viable group willing to put in the work yet. We can still come back next December with a proposal to study co-op and benefit structures.


Matthew Cropp Fri 2 Mar 2018 11:17PM

My headspace on this front has been mostly in the alternative-institution building side of things, getting the social.coop Mastodon instance built up as a proof-of-concept and alternative. It's grown and evolved quite a bit since we launched in the run-up to the #buytwitter vote, and is now home to home to 825 co-op enthusiasts who've tooted 51,696 times. So, for those interested in directly experimenting with platform co-op social media, come play!

That said, I'd definitely be game to signal boost any renewed effort, as the campaign was a powerful tool for broadening awareness of the platform co-op model.

I think we should be thinking about co-op conversion capital strategies generally so that, if we hit a crash moment, we might be in a position to scoop up and mutualize some platform infrastructure at fire-sale prices. We got a little start on that with the platform co-op investment club spin-off project, but the momentum of that has been side-lined by the place-based investment club network-building work for the moment. The hope, though, is that we will build a platform for starting and easily managing such investment clubs in the coming year, so, once that is in place, I think the time will be ripe for revisiting the PCIC project...


William Cerf Sat 3 Mar 2018 12:16AM

Thank you, James, Eugenia, Rosen, and Matthew for your wonderful comments. Piggybacking in Rosen's first comment. We might want to look at the B Corporation http://www.bcorporation.net/ James, do you mean that we need to start working on our proposal in December 2018 for submission in January 2019 or that we need to wait until December, 2019 and submit in January 2020?

I am the proud owner if eight (8) shares of Twitter. I'd love to collaborate to form an investment club for tiny small-scale non-accredited investors like me. Currently I'm using the Robinhood app. Matthew, what is the PCIC project?


James McRitchie Sat 3 Mar 2018 3:58PM

Proposals were due December 8, 2017 for the 2018 meeting. It is not too early to start thinking now about what to submit next December. I did not submit a proposal for this year because I wanted a proposal for Twitter to move from using options to incentivize employees to using restricted stock (making them owners) and to facilitate forming a User's Group. These seem like positive interim steps that would make Twitter at least slightly more democratic. That approach didn't get much traction with this group, so I discussed with Twitter but did not submit a proposal for this year. I would still like to see a users group but I don't have time myself to help coordinate, so will probably file a proposal next December similar to what I filed in 2016 but to include studying benefit corporations and B-corps.


Jay Cumberland Sat 3 Mar 2018 7:49PM

If we're talking about benefit corporations now, I think we should take into account that a large company like Twitter is extremely unlikely to convert to a benefit corporation. If they converted to a California benefit corporation (a pretty representative one), they would open themselves up to far too much liability from shareholder lawsuits and potentially even third-party lawsuits and it would likely be far too difficult for officers to figure out how to operate. The only options really on the table for converting are the Delaware Public Benefit Corporation (it's not really a B corporation) or the California Social Purpose Corporation. Both of these are designed mainly to allow large companies to do exactly what we want Twitter to do: become something better for the world. Neither of these statutes make the company have a general public benefit. Rather, they make the company focus on one or more specific social purposes (e.g. employees, the environment, etc) in addition to focusing on shareholder value. It seems like a small difference, but it's really huge. It means far less impact, but makes these far more attractive to companies looking to convert. Instead of increasing liability, they decrease it. However, they lend themselves more to green-washing concerns than do actual benefit corporations.


James McRitchie Sun 4 Mar 2018 2:14AM

Jay - helpful. Perhaps their social purpose would be something like "encourage more healthy debate, conversations, and critical thinking." Values page says, "We believe in free expression and think every voice has the power to impact the world." See post on my blog - Benefit Corporation: Accountability Matters https://www.corpgov.net/2018/02/benefit-corporation-accountability-matters/


Chris Cook Sun 4 Mar 2018 11:24AM

My proposal would be an 'adjacent possible' to an ICO, which is a form of finance capital other than conventional debt and equity.

Rather than issuing Coins as (intrinsically worthless) proofs of PAST value transfer/energy use $ denominated TwitCoins (to coin a phrase) would be returnable in payment for the future utility of Twitter services (where IMHO Twitter have hardly even scratched the surface). ie TwitCoins-as-Credits rather than TwitCoins-as-Proofs

A proportion of Twitter gross revenues would then be dedicated within a suitable associative revenue sharing agreement to cancelling returned TwitCoins.

TwitCoins could then also be used to reward staff/management instead of the current conflicted and complex arrangements.

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