Twitter has become more than a social media platform. It has become a means of communication and discourse that brings people together — and, most recently, it divides people. During a panel at CES, Variety‘s Andrew Wallenstein moderated a conversation with Matt Derella, Global VP Customers Twitter, and did not waste any time to talk about the platform’s biggest user: Donald Trump — but they did not mention his name once. Even though they treated Trump’s name like Voldemort, everyone knew the epicenter of the issue, considering Trump’s recent tweets in regards to the tensions rising between the United States and Iran. However, the conversation did not only apply Trump but to all politicians and world leaders.
Wallenstein said that world leaders are currently discussing the current “geopolitical crisis” especially with the events of the first week of the year — and Twitter is in the middle of it. He asked Derella how that reality sits with him.
“World leaders made Twitter their go-to way to reach their constituents…it’s an amazing thing that’s happening,” said Derella adding, “but it comes with a lot of responsibility.”
He continued, “We think it’s important when leaders are communicating that there is a record of what they said so the world can respond and create a pubic conversation about it.” Derella said that it’s important to serve the public with this conversation and having the world respond to it is very powerful.
“The way Twitter is being used is evolving and so are we,” Derella pointed out.
This comes shortly after Twitter announced they were banning political ads — and this comes as the country is in an election year. “We’re prohibiting [political ads] so we can focus on the earned aspects of Twitter,” said Derella. He said that the use of Twitter shouldn’t be directed at things like elections, but instead, as a platform to engage with potential voters.