Tech Platforms Love Moving Fast — Except When Their Users Are in Trouble

The CEOs of YouTube and Twitter are being far more cautious in addressing the problems of their platforms than they were in building them

Will Oremus


Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty

JJack Dorsey and Susan Wojcicki seem to have little in common, aside from their jobs—running two of the biggest platforms on the internet.

Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, comes across as an accomplished, even-keeled professional who blends in and shuns the spotlight. A Harvard graduate from a distinguished Silicon Valley family, she took over YouTube after successful stints at Intel and Google. A rare profile of her in the New York Times called her “the most measured person in tech.”

Dorsey, Twitter’s co-founder and CEO, is an unkempt idealist who throws himself into wellness trends, mindfulness retreats, and facial grooming experiments. An NYU dropout who once aspired to be a fashion designer, he helped start Twitter after he was rejected for a job at a shoe store. His onstage interview at the annual TED conference was only the latest in his ongoing tour of the media circuit.

Both Twitter and YouTube are rife with abuse, harassment, misinformation, manipulation, and every…