Jack Dorsey, Mark Zuckerberg and the fight for social media’s soul

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To understand the difference between Mark Zuckerberg’s and Jack Dorsey’s management styles, let’s start with a story about a goat.

About 10 years ago, Facebook’s founder invited Twitter’s chief to his Silicon Valley home for dinner and served a goat he’d just killed. Zuckerberg had hunted the animal as part of a famous New Year’s challenge in which he vowed to only eat meat he’d personally slaughtered. When the goat came out, the meat was cold, Dorsey told Rolling Stone last year. “I just ate my salad,” said Dorsey, a finicky eater who practices intermittent fasting.

The home-cooked meal wasn’t just a bizarre interaction between two of Big Tech’s most powerful moguls. It’s an example, granted an extreme one, of a simple fact: Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg do things differently. Those differences, in turn, play out on their freewheeling social networks, which are now at the center of a growing political controversy over misinformation, free speech and content moderation in a world where most people get their news online first.

At the center of that controversy is President Donald Trump, an avid Twitter user who’s griped about social media for years even as he’s used the platforms to reach his base. His anger hit a new ceiling this week when he signed an executive order taking aim at Facebook and Twitter. The order sets the stage for discussion to come about whether social media platforms should keep their protected status as distributors of content — rather than publishers of content — under Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act.

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