#324 – To Tweet or Not To Tweet | Parabol Skip to main content

To Tweet or Not To Tweet

Friday Ship #324 | November 11th, 2022

Fridayship 324 Parabol

This week we decided to stop posting on Twitter.

We often describe ourselves as a ‘Tension-Led Company.’ That means, when a team member feels a “tension” – a concern, a worry, some frustration – they are expected to propose a change to how we work that would resolve that tension. By each solving our own problems, we are all engaging in making a better Parabol, and frankly, get to enjoy fewer day-to-day frustrations.

Last week, as Twitter was officially turned over to new ownership, a tension rose up in a teammate:

From there, we commenced with a hearty conversation, over the course of 45 replies in a Slack thread. Teammates raised questions and reactions, following a process like our consent-based governance process (Ironically, this implementation was inspired by a tweet!). Some folks agreed and some did not:

If we do this, should we have a broader discussion on where to draw the line on what social platforms we use? Can we justify staying on TikTok if we don’t want to support platforms with potentially damaging effects on the fabric of society?

We don’t currently spend advertising $$ on twitter, which would be what I would want to stop (and what you see many large brands starting to pause). My opinion is that most social media platforms are ultimately bad for society (we can’t have nice things)…but not sure it means we walk as a business supporting and building our users…yet

“Based solely on the principles for removing the Twitter account, I believe we should also remove the Facebook account. I’d actually be MORE open to that because our audience doesn’t hang out there and the platform is arguably worse than Twitter for content moderation, radicalisation, etc.”

“Stopping Twitter entirely feels to me like a knee-jerk reaction to the news

“It seems to me the least I can do is not give my money, my energy, etc., to things I know are out of line with my values, and are actively working to make a world that is worse. That’s what having principles is: it’s making a choice not because it will practically do something, but because it’s the right thing to do. Can we honestly say that putting energy into Twitter is the right thing to do?

“I truly appreciate that as a company ethics always come first… We evaluate all of our strategies with that ethical eye, and I don’t see why not doing it with this as well. What we decide to do is as important as where and how we do it”

Just as important as being able to raise concerns is not getting stuck in an endless cycle of discussion, without moving forward. Our process biases towards action because it starts with a proposed solution.

In this case, the conversation made it clear that we needed a process for deciding on how to engage with emerging (or declining) social platforms. A proposal arose:

The process was approved, and off we went – out of the Twitterverse.

As someone who has worked in social media for the entirety of my working life, it’s a strange time. What used to be spaces to share photos of your lunch or find classmates you no longer speak to, then open spaces where powerful and less powerful actors are placed seemingly on an equal field.

But ultimately, these opens space are not even fields: the makers of platforms have an out-sized influence on how we understand the truth of our world, and whose perspective gets more attention. In the case of Twitter, they’ve determined $8/month is the cost of shaping reality.

These makers are held to relatively little accountability. As participants, we largely do not have a voice in shaping the platforms where we engage.

But as Parabol team members, we do have a voice in shaping our own culture, the space we share together. And it warms my heart to see us actively engaging in making it better.


We have green across the board this week. Our top of the funnel is slightly higher than last week, together with our total registered users and MAUs continuing to increase at a steady clip.

Weekly meetings are up 14%, one of the biggest jumps in the whole year! It’s very exciting to see our Standups Tool finding steady users, and our Sprint Poker reaching record numbers.

This week we…

started planning moving off of RethingDB entirely. We’ve been building new features with PostGres, and working in two systems is getting taxing.

published a post on 29 Effective Meeting Tips.

celebrated a variety of holidays: All Saints Day 🇨🇴, Election Day & Veterans Day 🇺🇸, Bank holiday 🇪🇸 and Independence Day 🇵🇱! As a truly global team (we’re spread across ~10 countries!), it’s always interesting to see what holidays team mates are celebrating.

settled back on GitHub projects for managing our work, after a brief experiment with ZenHub.

shipped v6.81.0 of Parabol to production.

Next week we’ll…

attend FounderCon!

round off Sprint #111.

Have feedback? See something that you like or something you think could be better? Please write to us.

Aviva Pinchas

Aviva Pinchas

Aviva is a product and marketing leader with a passion for remote work and organizational design. She previously worked on WooCommerce at Automattic, one of the world’s largest fully distributed companies. Aviva lives and works in Austin, TX. 

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