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Twitter Users Laugh at Twitter, but Wall Street Makes a Real Statement

Sometimes bad writing is a big deal. And sometimes it's not.

Asa Mathat
Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Wait a minute: You’re saying that Twitter, a company that employs many smart people, spent a day straining to impress Wall Street — and then blew the whole thing with a terribly written mission statement?


Also: Nope!

To catch you up, if you didn’t spend yesterday on Twitter*: On Wednesday, Twitter hosted a day-long show for investors, which generated a flurry of data points about the company’s size and ambition.

But at the end of the day, a certain kind of Twitterer focused on one particular slide that popped up during CFO Anthony Noto’s presentation, which contained a “strategy statement.”

To be fair, it was a doozy of a strategy statement:

“That’s a mouthful. I struggle reading it every time,” Noto said, after struggling to read it.

Then, after the Wall Street Journal highlighted the clunker of a sentence in a story, the paper’s Dennis Berman went to town, identifying it as a “mission statement” while cataloging its many flaws in a single tweet:

And then — because Twitter is pretty much designed to work this way — Twitter’s “mission statement” went viral. Conclusion: Twitter is broken because Twitter’s mission statement is broken.

And it’s still going.

But! Twitter is wrong, says Twitter: Twitter’s actual mission statement existed before investor day, and it remains unchanged:

For the record, this is the real deal. Note the absence of ugly words like “platform” and “revenue”: “To give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.”

See? You can’t believe everything you read on Twitter! Maybe especially when it’s about Twitter?

The good news, for Twitter, is that Wall Street doesn’t care what Twitter users say. But it does care what Twitter executives say: Investors pushed the stock up more than seven percent — a couple billion dollars worth of market cap — by the end of the day.

True story.

* Or if you have and you’re more interested in other things.

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