Disney didn’t buy Twitter because of bots, ‘hate speech’

Disney was on the verge of buying Twitter in 2016, however the former high govt on the Mouse House pulled the plug because he mentioned the platform was full of “hate speech” and bots — echoing the same declare made by Tesla boss Elon Musk.

Robert Iger, the previous CEO of The Walt Disney Company who stepped down two years in the past to make means for present boss Bob Chapek, informed a tech convention in Los Angeles on Wednesday that he realized a “substantial portion” of Twitter customers “were not real.”

Iger’s anecdote seems to again Musk’s declare that Twitter has downplayed the presence of bots in the course of the Tesla chief’s negotiations to buy the company for $44 billion. Twitter sued Musk after he sought to terminate the settlement.

Disney was on the verge of shopping for Twitter earlier than the 2016 presidential election.

In his 2019 memoir “The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company,” Iger wrote that the boards of each firms got here to a deal, however he determined to drag out because of the “nastiness” that was prevalent on the positioning.

Bob Iger appeared on the Vox Code Conference with journalist Kara Swisher in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
Getty Images for Vox Media

On Wednesday, Iger delved deeper into the saga of Disney’s aborted acquisition of Twitter, saying that he reconsidered the deal because the poisonous discourse on the positioning was not in sync with the company’s healthful, family-friendly, and feel-good model.

He informed the Vox Code Conference in Beverly Hills on Wednesday that Twitter would have been a “phenomenal” distribution car for Disney.

“We were intent on going into the streaming business,” Iger informed convention attendees.

“We needed a technology solution.”

When Iger and his lieutenants at Disney heard that Twitter was up on the market, he mentioned that they began the acquisition course of “immediately.”

Elon Musk sought to terminate a $44 billion acquisition of Twitter -- prompting the social media company to file a lawsuit.
Elon Musk sought to terminate a $44 billion acquisition of Twitter — prompting the social media company to file a lawsuit.

“It was viewed as sort of a social network,” Iger recalled.

“We were viewing it as something completely different. We could put news, sports, entertainment, [and] reach the world.”

“And frankly, it would have been a phenomenal solution, distribution-wise,” Iger mentioned.

Disney was about to consummate the acquisition till Iger went residence and “contemplated it for a weekend.”

Iger mentioned that he had second ideas.

“I’m not looking at this as carefully as I need to look at it,” Iger mentioned he thought on the time.

“Yes, it’s a great solution from a distribution perspective,” Iger mentioned on Wednesday.

“But it would come with so many other challenges and complexities that as a manager of a great global brand, I was not prepared to take on a major distraction and having to manage circumstances that weren’t even close to anything that we had faced before.”

Iger mentioned that Disney “estimated” that there have been a big quantity of bots, although he mentioned they have been “not a majority.”

In 2019, Iger wrote in a memoir that he had second thoughts about acquiring Twitter due to the
In 2019, Iger wrote in a memoir that he had second ideas about buying Twitter as a result of “nastiness” on the positioning.
AFP by way of Getty Images

“I don’t remember the number but we discounted the value heavily,” Iger mentioned.

“But that was built into our economics. Actually, the deal that we had was pretty cheap.”

Iger mentioned one other issue dissuading the company from taking up Twitter was the vitriol on the positioning.

Iger said the
Iger mentioned the “hate speech” on Twitter didn’t match the Disney model of feel-good leisure.

“Then you have to look, of course, at all the hate speech and potential to do as much harm as good,” he mentioned.

“We’re in the business of manufacturing fun at Disney — of doing nothing but good, even though there are others today that criticize Disney for the opposite, which is wrong.”

Iger added: “This was just something that we were not ready to take on and I was not ready to take on as the CEO of a company and I thought it would have been irresponsible.”

Back to top button