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Ev Williams says online advertising is a broken business — what’s that mean for Twitter?

The guy who runs Medium is down on ads. What does that mean for the other company he helps manage?

Asa Mathat

Medium CEO Ev Williams wrote Wednesday that the business model behind ad-supported media online was a “broken system.”

“It simply doesn’t serve people,” Williams wrote. “The vast majority of articles, videos, and other ‘content’ we all consume on a daily basis is paid for  —  directly or indirectly  —  by corporations who are funding it in order to advance their goals.”

“As a result, we get … well, what we get. And it’s getting worse,” he continued.

Williams was talking specifically about Medium’s business model, but don’t forget: Williams is also a co-founder, board member and the largest single shareholder at Twitter, a social network with media ambitions that makes almost all of its money from — you guessed it — ad-supported media.

If Twitter were a normal company, the fact that someone who owns 6 percent of it — and has a significant hand in managing it — is openly worried about its core business model, might freak people out.

But Twitter is Twitter, so it’s going to take more than a Medium post to make a dent these days. Twitter shares rose 2.5 percent today.

This article originally appeared on

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