Popular Transcripts FULL TRANSCRIPT: Obama’s Complete Victory Speech | Election 2012

Sonix is an automated transcription service. We transcribe audio and video files for storytellers all over the world. We are not associated with Barack Obama. Making transcripts available for listeners and those that are hearing-impaired is just something we like to do. If you are interested in automated transcription, click here for 30 free minutes.

To listen and watch the transcript playback in real-time , just click the player below.

FULL TRANSCRIPT: Obama's Complete Victory Speech | Election 2012 (transcribed by Sonix)

Barack Obama: More than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward. It moves forward because of you.

Barack Obama: It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression, the spirit that has lifted this country from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope. The belief that while each of us will pursue our own individual dreams, we are an American family and we rise or fall together as one nation.

Barack Obama: Tonight, in this election, you, the American people reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back. And we know in our hearts that for the United States of America, the best is yet to come. I want to thank every American who participated in this election.

Barack Obama: Whether you voted for the very first time or waited in line for a very long time. By the way, we have to fix that. Whether you pounding the pavement or picked up the phone. Whether you held an Obama sign or a Romney sign, you made your voice heard and you made a difference.

Barack Obama: I just spoke with Governor Romney and I congratulated him and Paul Ryan on a hard fought campaign. We may have battled fiercely, but it's only because we love this country deeply and we care so strongly about its future. From George to Lenore to their son, Mitt Romney, family has chosen to give back to America through public service. And that is his legacy that we honor and applaud tonight.

Barack Obama: In the weeks ahead, I also look forward to sitting down with Governor Romney to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward. I want to thank my friend and partner of the last four years, America's happy warrior, the best vice president anybody could ever hope for Joe Biden.

Barack Obama: And I wouldn't be the man I am today without the woman who agreed to marry me 20 years ago. Let me say this publicly, Michelle, I have never loved you more. I have never been prouder to watch the rest of America fall in love with you, too, as our nation's first lady. Sasha and Malia, before our very eyes, you're growing up to become two strong, smart, beautiful young women just like your mom. And I'm so proud of you guys, but I will say that for now, one dog's probably enough.

Barack Obama: To the best campaign team and volunteers in the history. You were new this time around and some of you have been at my side since the very beginning. But all of your family, no matter what you do or where you go from here, you will carry the memory of the history we made together and you will have the lifelong appreciation of a grateful president.

Barack Obama: Thank you for believing all the way to every hill, through every valley. You lifted me up the whole way, and I will always be grateful for everything that you've done and all the incredible work that you've put in. I know that political campaigns can sometimes seem small, even silly.

Barack Obama: And that provides plenty of fodder for the cynics who tell us that politics nothing more than a contest of egos or the domain of special interests. But if you ever get the chance to talk to folks who turned out at our rallies and crowded along a rope line in the high school gym or saw folks working late at a campaign office in some tiny county far away from home, you'll discover something else.

Barack Obama: You'll hear the determination in the voice of a young feild organizer who's working his way through college and wants to make sure every child has that same opportunity. You'll hear the pride in the voice of a volunteer who's going door to door because her brother was finally hired when the local auto plant added another shift.

Barack Obama: You'll hear the deep patriotism in the voice of a military spouse who's working the phones late at night to make sure that no one who fights for this country ever has to fight for a job or a roof over their head.

Barack Obama: That's why we do this. That's what politics can be. That's why elections matter. It's not small, it's big. It's important. Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs.

Barack Obama: And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy. That won't change after tonight, and it shouldn't.

Barack Obama: These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty. And we can never forget that as we speak, people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter, the chance to cast their ballots like we did today.

Barack Obama: But despite all our differences. Most of us share certain hopes for America's future. We want our kids to grow up in a country where they have access to the best schools and the best teachers.

Barack Obama: A country that lives up to its legacy as the global leader in technology and discovery and innovation with all the good jobs and new businesses that follow. We want our children to live in America that isn't burdened by debt, that isn't weakened by inequality, that isn't threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.

Barack Obama: We want to pass on a country that's safe and respected and admired around the world, a nation that is defended by the strongest military on earth and the best troops this this world has ever known.

Barack Obama: But also a country that moves with confidence beyond this time of war to shape a peace that is built on the promise of freedom and dignity for every human being, we believe in a generous America, in a compassionate America, in a tolerant America, open to the dreams of an immigrant's daughter who studies in our schools and pledges to our flag.

Barack Obama: To the young boy on the south side of Chicago sees a life beyond the nearest street corner. To the furniture worker's child in North Carolina who wants to become a doctor or a scientist, an engineer or an entrepreneur, a diplomat or even a president.

Barack Obama: That's the heat. That's the future we hope for. That's the vision we share. That's where we need to go forward. That's where we need to go.

Barack Obama: Now, we will disagree, sometimes fiercely, about how to get there, as it has for more than two centuries, progress will come in fits and starts. It's not always a straight line. It's not always a smooth path. By itself, the recognition that we have common hopes and dreams won't end all the gridlock or solve all our problems or substitute for the painstaking work of building consensus and making the difficult compromises needed to move this country forward.

Barack Obama: But that common bond is where we must begin. Our economy is recovered. A decade of war is ending, a long campaign is now. And whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you. I have learned from you and you've made me a better president. And with your stories and your struggles, I return to the White House more determined and more inspired than ever about the work he is to do and the future that lies ahead.

Barack Obama: Tonight, you voted for action, not politics as usual. You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours, and in the coming weeks and months. I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties to meet the challenges we can only solve together reducing our deficit, reforming our tax code, fixing our immigration system, freeing ourselves from foreign oil.

Barack Obama: We've got more work to do. But that doesn't mean your work is done. The role of citizen in our democracy does not end with your vote. America's never been about what can be done for us. It's about what can be done by us together through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self government. That's the principle we were founded on.

Barack Obama: This country has more wealth than any nation, but that's not what makes us rich. We had the most powerful military in history, but that's not what makes us strong. Our university, our culture are all the envy of the world. But that's not what keeps the world coming to our shores. What makes America exceptional are the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on earth.

Barack Obama: The belief that our destiny is shared, that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and the future generations to the freedom which so many Americans have fought for and died for. Comes with responsibilities as well as rights. And among those are love and charity and duty and patriotism. That's what makes America great.

Barack Obama: I am hopeful tonight because I've seen the spirit of work in America. I've seen it in the family business whose owners would rather cut their own pay than lay off their neighbors. And then the workers who would rather cut back their hours than see a friend lose a job.

Barack Obama: I've seen it in the soldiers who reenlist after losing a limb and in those seals who charged up the stairs into darkness and danger because they knew there was a buddy behind them watching their back.

Barack Obama: I've seen it on the shores of New Jersey and New York, where leaders from every party and level of government has swept aside their differences to help a community rebuild from the wreckage of a terrible storm.

Barack Obama: And I saw just the other day in Minner, Ohio, where a father told the story of his eight year old daughter whose long battle with leukemia nearly cost their family everything, had it not been for health care reform passing just a few months before the insurance company. I had to you to not just talk to the father, but meet. This incredible daughter of his.

Barack Obama: And when he spoke to the crowd, listening to that father's story, every parent in that room had tears in their eyes because we knew that little girl could be our own. And I know that every American wants her future to be just as bright. That's who we are. That's the country I'm so proud to lead as your president. And tonight, despite all the hardship we've been through, despite all the frustrations of Washington, I've never been more hopeful about our future.

Barack Obama: I have never been more hopeful about America. And I ask you to sustain that hope. I'm not talking about blind optimism, the kind of hope that just ignores the enormity of the tasks ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. I'm not talking about the wishful idealism that allows us to just sit on the sidelines or shirk from a fight.

Barack Obama: I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.

Barack Obama: America, I believe we can build on the progress we've made and continue to fight for new jobs and new opportunity and new security for the middle class. I believe we can keep the promise of our founding, the idea that if you're willing to work hard, it doesn't matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love.

Barack Obama: It doesn't matter whether you're black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, abled, disabled, gay or straight. You can make it here in America.

Barack Obama: It's.

Barack Obama: I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggest. We're not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions. And we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United.

Barack Obama: Grace, we will continue our journey forward and. Just what is that we live in the greatest nation on earth.

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Education Tips on how to increase podcast listeners

We recently spoke with Blake Oliver from the Cloud Accounting Podcast about some of things he’s done to build his listener base. He explains the importance of engagement and how that propelled their podcast. He also talks about having influential industry people on his podcast drove a lot of new listeners. And lastly, he speaks about how the Sonix Media Player DOUBLED his listener base overnight.

You can see the Sonix Media Player below in action. Note the sandwich icon on the top right of the player. If you click that you can quickly navigate to any part of the transcript!

Lots of great insights in here. Enjoy!

How the Cloud Accounting Podcast DOUBLED its listeners (transcribed by Sonix)

Intro chat with Blake Oliver

Jamie: Hi, you’re here with Sonix and we’re talking to Blake Oliver today about his podcast and why he’s been able to double his listeners using the Sonix Media Player.

What is the Cloud Accounting Podcast about?

Blake: We are a weekly news update for accountants and bookkeepers who are interested in cloud accounting technology.

Jamie: I just got a couple of questions. The first one is how is your podcast going?

How is the Cloud Accounting Podcast going?

Blake: It’s going pretty well, I think we’re at something like 60 plus episodes now. So, in the current form, we’ve been doing it for a little over almost actually almost exactly a year. And it takes a while to get traction. Right. The first 50 episodes, I don’t know. You know, maybe a few hundred people were listening to each one of those. We’re in a niche right in the accounting world. But we just stuck with it and kept doing it and I think that’s what it takes. So, now we’re I think the last 4 episodes are a 1,000 listens each. So just onward and upward from there.

Jamie: Awesome. So what are your biggest challenges as it relates to podcasting?

What are the biggest challenges as it relates to podcasting?

Blake: So, initially it was just learning how to do it, because I do all the production. For something that wasn’t revenue generating for the first year I didn’t feel like going out and spending money on somebody to record it and produce it for me. And, you know, I’m kind of a stickler so I wanted to be able to pick which sections I’m going to cut and all that stuff.

How Blake learned how to create, produce and publish a podcast

Blake: I had to learn how to use the software–I use Adobe Audition. We use a tool called Zencaster to record the audio. You know, it took me like a solid day to figure out how to do an episode. And then I’ve got it down to a point where I can edit a 30 minute episode and post it in a couple of hours. So I just you know, we’ll do that on a Friday afternoon or evening with a beer or something like that.

Blake: Yeah. And the other challenge was figuring out the format. So we tried an interview style format and then we realized every podcast was doing that. And it got boring because if you had a bad guest, then you know the episode’s shit.

Blake: So, we decided we were gonna mix things up and do a weekly News Round-Up. And just sticking with that as our format I think has has really helped us grow the listener base because now they know what they’re going to get. And we’ve been really consistent about recording and and putting out an episode every week just trying to figure out the format and how to make it work. That was the biggest challenge. And now I think if we just keep doing it and we’re consistent with the quality, then hopefully we can grow to 10,000 thousand listeners.

Jamie: You’ve always been an entrepreneur and that’s almost like a pivot you created for your podcast. And I guess the question I have, with that, is as other podcasters look for listeners. What did you do to increase your listeners?

How did Blake grow and double his podcast listener base

Blake: Engagement is really huge. So, that’s that’s part of the reason we did the interviews in the first place. We figured, OK, if we interview somebody like Guy Pearson from Practice Ignition, who is known thought leader in the accounting world, then he’ll promote it and that’ll get us more listeners. So that that worked really well. But then we were having trouble keeping them because not every interview is going to be that good. And we were starting to run out of people to talk to.

Jamie: So you’re saying engagement was one or other things that you did to help grow your base from hundreds of listeners to thousands?

Using social media to grow the Cloud Accounting podcast listener base

Blake: Being active on a particular social media platform has been great. David and I have sort of keyed in on Twitter as being our best channel for this show, because I think the very quick rapid discourse on Twitter mirrors the way we like to handle stuff on the show. It’s very quick, like, here’s a news story that was important to accountants and we’ll talk about it for two to five minutes and then we’ll move on to the next one. So not these long, drawn out episodes that people are used to in our industry. They’re really boring.

Blake: And so then Twitter is great for that. So we will share out the stories that we talked about in every episode on Twitter throughout the week and say: “As discussed on the Cloud Accounting Podcast”, we created a handle for the podcast where people can go and link to the different services we’re streaming on. So that has been really helpful.

Engagement has been key to growing the listener base

Blake: And then engaging with different listeners. So listeners will tag us on Twitter with their thoughts as they listen to the episode and we will retweet those. We will comment on those. Even though our show isn’t live and it’s pre-recorded, we have a conversation throughout the week after the episode drops. And that gets people excited about it. They start talking about it. Our most loyal listeners, we will shout out to them on the show. That has been a really, really powerful tactic.

Jamie: Awesome. That makes a lot of sense.

Why Blake is inspired by Taylor Swift 🙂

Blake: So it’s funny because I heard a story about Taylor Swift when she was first starting out. Not that we’re ever gonna be as famous as she is. Right? But.

Jamie: You never know.

Blake: Yeah, well, maybe in the accounting world but apparently she responded to every single fan letter and engaged with everybody who was following her when she had a small following. And that built up that core loyal following that has become this massive following. So that’s what I think engagement can do.

Jamie: So you’re saying Taylor Swift is your role model?

Blake: Really? I think she’s probably everybody’s role model in a lot of ways. So.

Jamie: Right.

Blake: Yeah.

Jamie: Right. Ok. More specific to Sonix. We know you use Sonix. Why do you transcribe your podcast?

How the Sonix media player helped doubled his podcast listener base

Blake: So this goes with getting the show out there for more people. I find that it’s hard to convince people to go into their podcast app, search for a podcast that they’ve never heard of, and then listen. It’s a big commitment. And so the idea with using Sonix was because you guys have this amazing web player. I can have every episode transcribed, clean it up, and then post it on my episode page for every episode shortly after it goes live.

Blake: And so that way, when people who aren’t subscribed to the podcast, they find it online. Not only do they see the show notes, but they see a full transcript right below the show notes and they can just click anywhere in the transcript to play that particular part.

Blake: And to give you an example on our most popular episode to date. We had a 1,092 unique listeners to the podcast who actually listened to the episode or downloaded the episode, but because we also transcribed it in Sonix, the Sonix player had 2,387 uniques. So, basically, twice as many people were reading the transcript and playing the audio on the Sonix player as were downloading in their podcast app.

How the Sonix media player has driven more loyal listeners

Blake: And I think that episode helped us get more loyal listeners. Of course, not everybody is going to go and then subscribe to the podcast. They might just come for that one particular story. But the fact that they were able to listen to us and not just read it on the episode page. My suspicion is that that’s what helped us grow our listener base.

Blake: After that we went from like 500 listeners on every episode to almost a 1,000 now.

Jamie: Sounds like the Sonix media player is helping from a discovery standpoint. So you’re saying it’s a little bit more challenging for a brand new listener to go through the regular channels of downloading your podcast through Apple or Google Play, but they can easily find you on your web site?

Attracting listeners that aren’t subscribed to a podcast app

Blake: Yeah, and I think one reason it helps in our niche is because accountants are often on their desktop computers or laptops. So like if they’re going to listen to the podcast, they’d have to go over their phone and find it. And that’s just friction right there.

Blake: Whereas if they found us through a Google search because they’re searching about Quickbooks, then they would just click play and oh, now it’s there. And they want to get straight to the Quickbooks stuff because that’s what they’re interested in. Accountants like to get straight to the point. They can just scroll through the transcript and then click on whatever they want to hear.

“The Sonix media player is awesome” 🙂

Blake: For me, the embedded web player is awesome. There’s transcription services out there, lots of them, but nobody has a web player that works as well as yours.

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The above audio transcript of “How the Cloud Accounting Podcast DOUBLED its listeners” was transcribed by the best audio transcription service called Sonix. If you have to convert audio to text in 2019, then you should try Sonix. Transcribing audio files is painful. Sonix makes it fast, easy, and affordable. I love using Sonix to transcribe my audio files.

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Solution: Automated caption generator

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Step-by-step: Automated subtitles & captions step-by-step

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Popular Transcripts FULL TRANSCRIPT: David Sacks Interview with Kara Nortman | Upfront Summit 2019

Sonix is an automated transcription service. We transcribe audio and video files for storytellers all over the world. We are not associated with Kara Nortman or the Upfront Summit. Making transcripts available for listeners and those that are hearing-impaired is just something we like to do. If you are interested in automated transcription, click here for 30 free minutes.

To listen and watch the transcript playback in real-time , just click the player below.

FULL TRANSCRIPT: David Sacks Interview with Kara Nortman | Upfront Summit 2019 (transcribed by Sonix)

Kara Nortman: We’re very fortunate today to have David Sacks with us. I think many of you guys know David Sacks, but I’ll give a quick introduction. Founding COO of PayPal, Founder and CEO of Yammer. And then most recently, in his operating repast, went into Zenefits during its most difficult time as CEO. And then, a very prolific and successful angel investing career in a few companies you guys might have heard of – Facebook, Slack, Airbnb, SpaceX just to name a few of them. And then, most recently, David started Craft Ventures, a $350 million venture capital fund. So, we have a lot of topics to cover today.

David Sacks: Great.

Kara Nortman: So, David, you’ve made some big bets both with your career and as an investor in trends kind of before other people saw them. So, FinTech with PayPal, the consumerization of communication in the enterprise with Yammer, which Microsoft obviously bought for over a billion dollars. I think what’s probably most interesting to start off with for this audience are: so, what trends are you most excited about? What are you thinking about? What are you investing around?

David Sacks: Yeah. Well, thanks. Thanks for having me. I think the computing era that we’re in right now is the era of devices and sensors. You know, each successive era in computing kind of redefines the one that came before it. When you had the shift to mobile, we kind of interpreted — we kind of reinterpreted the PC as an insufficiently personal computer. The mobile device is really the most important, is the most personal computer.

David Sacks: I think what’s happening with device and sensors is we’ll look back at the mobile phone as just one of, you know, end devices that become internet-connected and transformed in the process. Well, there’s going to be a proliferation that’s already happening of new kinds of devices, appliances, sensors. And I think that’s creating a lot of interesting new business models.

Kara Nortman: And you just used to invested in one, I think, that you announced last week. Do you want to tell us a little bit about Swarm?

David Sacks: Yeah. So, Swarm is a critical enabler of this trend. It’s a — Swarm actually creates a — It’s a satellite network, a new satellite network. But what it does is they’ve got a chip the size of a quarter that any developer will be able to put in their IoT device, and it will just be kind of magically connected to the internet. Right now, if you want to connect a device, an IoT device to the internet, you need to have a WiFi hotspot or a cell tower. And what Swarm will enable is just, you know, it’ll work anywhere just kind of automatically. You pay a metered rate for your data. And right now, that’s not really possible with the existing satellite solutions. They’re just kind of too expensive, and the procurement process is too difficult.

Kara Nortman: And so, what are the kind of the killer apps that once this is built you think will sit on top of these devices?

David Sacks: Yeah. I mean, it’s — So, the ones that are easy to think of are the ones where people are trying to connect a sensor where there’s no internet access. It could be a shipping container on a boat that’s the middle of the ocean, or it could be a sensor in an agricultural field, or it could be traffic lights. Well, you know, how do you connect those things easily?

David Sacks: But I think what’s really exciting is that once you create kind of ubiquitous connectivity, what are the new applications that we’re going to see that don’t even exist today in the same way that, you know, every expansion of internet access has led to all sorts of — whether it was — you know, first, it was kind of you went from dial-up, to broadband, to WiFi. And this is kind of the next step in that evolution.

Kara Nortman: And so, I mean, a couple questions for a company like this, right. It’s a big ambition, big vision, a lot of potential applications. I’d say, first, how do you due diligence the founders and the technology in a space like this?

David Sacks: Yeah.

Kara Nortman: Start there.

David Sacks: Yeah. So, I mean, in this particular case, we used some experts in our network to help us evaluate the core technology, the kind of the micro satellites. What they’ve done is they’ve invented a satellite that’s like this big. I mean, it’s tiny but fully — Well, they can put a satellite in space for about 1% of the cost of those big Iridium satellites. And so, it’s just incredibly disruptive on the cost side, and that allows them to offer this kind of very simple metered rate. It’s kind of API for internet access.

David Sacks: I think, for us, we’re not big on necessarily taking a tremendous amount of invention, like scientific invention risk. In this case, the company had already proven the satellites work. They had three of them already in space. And so, we just had to believe in the market adoption. And we feel very comfortable taking kind of market risks.

Kara Nortman: And so, then, flipping to the market side. So, sort of the world is your oyster. In terms of go-to markets, a bunch of different applications from bringing internet to the developing world, to connecting lights. I definitely have one light in particular I’d like to move faster. So, if you know anyone once it’s live, please lob in a request for me.

David Sacks: Right.

Kara Nortman: But how much does the team think — how much are you looking for the team to think about go-to market at this stage? And how far in advance are they developing those use cases?

David Sacks: Yeah. I mean, we talk about it extensively. For me, the founding team having a distribution plan is critical. In fact, I would say that the team innovating on the distribution side is as important as them innovating on the product side. And I’m always looking for a team that’s figured out a distribution trick.

David Sacks: The way we did at Yammer with, you know — Yammer was one of the first viral applications inside of the enterprise. And so, we use kind of consumer vitality as our trick to grow in the enterprise. At PayPal, it was also viral, but we used sign up for referral bonuses. We also bootstrapped off of eBay. So, I’m always trying to figure out like, what is the thing that’s going to allow this to grow at some unusually fast rate?

Kara Nortman: Got it. Wonderful. So, maybe shifting gears to another kind of company in the space that we both probably love to talk about, but you’ve been with since the beginning. Is Bird kind of one of those companies you think fits into this thesis?

David Sacks: Yeah, totally because it’s — you know, basically, you connect a scooter to the internet, and you, you know, pack it with new devices or new sensors like GPS and other things, and all of a sudden, you’ve got a new mode of transportation. And so, that’s really exciting. I think it’s a great example of how when you take a kind of non-obvious device and connect to the internet, you can enable all sorts of new businesses.

David Sacks: And I do think from our standpoint as startup investors, the device has to be somewhat non-obvious because Amazon and the big Google, big companies are connecting all the obvious ones. I mean, Amazon right now is running down a checklist of they’re connecting your microwave and all that. And so, if you’re just kind of doing that, I don’t think it’s interesting enough for startups, but if you take a really non-obvious one, I think Bird’s an example of the kind of magical things that can happen. And I really do think it’s a new mode of transportation in cities that’s just going to keep getting bigger and bigger.

Kara Nortman: Awesome. Okay. We’re going to unpack Bird a little bit. Have anyone heard of Bird? Can you raise your hand in the audience? Okay, just kidding. So, let’s start with the easier stuff. You funded Bird in the first $3 million round. It’s right in our backyard in Santa Monica. We eventually got smart and caught up. But what did you see at that stage? This is a founder you’ve worked with in the past, but in a space that no one was talking about back then.

David Sacks: Yeah, yeah. So, I mean, Travis had work for me at Yammer. I thought he was a terrific entrepreneur, and he came to me with this idea. I thought it was crazy. I mean, you know, you’re just going to leave these scooters. No one has really seen this. This is really a new type of scooter.

Kara Nortman: And you had funded him in something that didn’t quite work, right?

David Sacks: Yeah, I’d written his first angel check in his previous company, which was on-demand car washing service. It was called Cherry. The company didn’t work, but it created some interesting tech. It got acquired by Lyft. And then, he got recruited to be an executive at Uber. So, he was very deep in this transportation space. And what he saw at Uber was that half of trips in cities are under three miles, and he discovered this really new form factor with these new battery-powered scooters that were coming out of China, and he had this idea that we could solve that last mile problem more cheaply, more easily, more convenient doing this.

David Sacks: And, you know, when I first heard the idea, I thought it was crazy because, you know, you’re just going to leave these things on the street, and people are somehow going to know how to use them. But then, I actually tried the product, and it was a lot more magical than I was expecting. And so, you know, I wrote him an angel check. And then, when we had the fund, we wrote him, you know, a venture check as well.

Kara Nortman: Yeah. I mean, I remember. Obviously, the business grew up under our eyes. And so, I remember one day running around UCLA, and nobody was on any of the bikes, and everyone was on Bird scooters all over the place. And it was just very clear that something was happening.

David Sacks: Yeah. In fairness to you guys, I had the opportunity to preempt the round because of my relation with Travis. So, yeah, it would’ve been a tough one for anyone else to get. But, yeah, I just thought it was just this really magical thing. And you can see how transformative it’s been. And, now, we’re in a little bit of a, sort of, pessimistic news cycle about it. But people should just keep in mind that one year ago, scooters were only available in one city, Santa Monica, that was actually criminally prosecuting the company for launching there.

David Sacks: And a year later, we’re now in hundreds of cities all over the world. It’s become this revolution. And cities have now embraced it and accepted it. We’ve got operating agreements with dozens of cities now. The Mayor of Boston just said yesterday he wants to welcome them. The New York Times has come out on their editorial page saying that they should be brought into Manhattan. So, this whole wave is just getting started.

Kara Nortman: So, I mean, do you think — So, this market euphoria, slight pessimism euphoria. So, let’s kind of plot the line. Let’s plot the line through it.

David Sacks: Yeah.

Kara Nortman: So, what — Let’s hit some of the harder topics. Let’s first talk about safety. So, there’s a lot — you know, there’s a lot of opinions on safety. I think people don’t necessarily know the safety story of Bird, but tell me how you think that safety is, you know, the original board member, and what Bird is doing specifically in that area.

David Sacks: Yeah. So, I mean, from the beginning, Bird has been very concerned about safety. One of the things we realized very early on is that night riding. So, you know, riding late at night would be dangerous for riders. We never allowed it. So, I think, you know, we turn off all the scooters at 9:00 p.m. If you look at where are the fatalities and critical injuries have actually occurred, it’s generally been between midnight and 4:00 a.m. in the morning. You know, our competitors have not done this. They want the extra rides, and we think it’s irresponsible.

David Sacks: The only fatality that’s occurred on a Bird has been — It was actually a Bird that was stolen out of a charger’s house and was ridden at 4:00 a.m., which kind of it’s the exception that kind of proves the point about this, you know, riding late at night. That wasn’t something we could control because the scooter was in task mode. But if you look at our competitors, they’ve just had, you know, multiple fatalities at night. We think it’s really irresponsible. Anyway, the company has, I think, done a lot on the safety side. And, you know, they’ve given away a lot of free helmets. They’ll send you one if you want one. And they’ve done a lot on the rider education side as well.

Kara Nortman: And so, we have Travis here tomorrow. So, I’m not going to go too deeply on the economics and other questions that he’ll likely get to. But I think from that perspective of the investor and the board member, what are some of the lessons learned? What are some of the things you think the market’s getting wrong? You know, add to or dispel any myth that you’d like.

David Sacks: Yeah. So, I think, in 2018, the big challenges or the things that the company had to prove were, first of all, product market fit. I mean, again, everybody was incredulous, including myself, about this idea until Travis proved that people wanted it. And I think the company has proved that in its first year.

David Sacks: And the other thing is regulatory acceptance. I mean, we had to fight these battles including in, you know, our home city. But I think that cities have generally come out on the right side of this, which is it’s going to be allowed, there’s going to be operating agreements, or creating permits. And so, I think those are the big battles.

David Sacks: I think, in 2019, the big battle or the big things that the companies are focused on is dialing in on the economics. And there, the challenge is and what we’ve learned is that if you just use a retail scooter, scooter that’s available for sale on Amazon, which is what all the copycats are doing, the economics of that won’t work. The scooters aren’t rugged enough. They’re too easy to steal. There’s no supply chain for parts. And so, we’re seeing from Bird and, you know, also, the other kind of market leader, Slime, is they’ve now both vertically integrated, developed their own supply chains, developing their own scooters. And I think it’s a significant barrier to entry because if all you’re going to do is use these retail scooters, we can tell you that that business does not work.

Kara Nortman: Yeah.

David Sacks: But it’s what was available a year ago. So, when Travis want to prove product market fit, it’s what was available, it’s what he used. But, now, we’ve again gone vertical and are building our own.

Kara Nortman: Yeah. So, last quick question, and then we’ll move on to another topic. It’s a company that’s raised a lot of capital quickly, and is sort of in a blitz scaling moment, and suspending quite a bit of capital to take share. How do you think about, you know, bumpy markets for for a company like Bird?

David Sacks: Well, I think that is the right strategy. I mean, PayPal did the same thing. You know, we were — you raise a lot of capital, and you burn a lot of capital in order to take market share. And I think that is the right approach. The reality is that consumers aren’t going to want to have five scooter apps on their phone, you know. There’s going to be, you know, one, maybe two scooter apps on their phone. And, you know, getting the biggest footprint, creating the most liquidity in the market, developing that supply chain, those are all capital intensive things, but they’re what is required to win this big market.

David Sacks: And I’m not a fan of kind of Lean startup methodology. At least once you have product market fit, I am a fan of blitz scaling, which is once you know that there’s a market there, you need to basically go all out to win it. And I think that is the right strategy for Bird.

Kara Nortman: And also knowing that there’s margin there, right? And that-

David Sacks: Yeah.

Kara Nortman: And so — but totally makes sense.

David Sacks: So, we know there is because with every successive generation of scooter that we use, the economics keep improving. And so, if you look at like Bird Zero, which is their own homegrown scooter, it’s much more ruggedized. It’s better on anti-theft. The economics are vastly better than the retail scooters. And there’s — I mean, I don’t want to spill the beans, but there’s new miles of scooters coming. And with every successive generation of supply, the economics just keep getting better and better.

David Sacks: You know, one thing I can tell you about like retail, the retail scooters is you can now buy a $25 chip set or brain kit from China and convert, you know, those Xiaomi or Ninebot scooters. So, you know, you take that stolen scooter, convert it to a personal scooter. And that’s, I think, what’s fueling a lot of the theft. You can’t do that with Bird’s own scooter because it’s something they completely own. There’s no chip set for that. So, it’s just one example of how everything gets better when you control it yourself.

Kara Nortman: Absolutely, absolutely. One of the things I love about LA and about scooters growing up here is you literally would see women in their couture, maybe it was, you know, ready to wear, but, you know, they were dressed up with their heels on their Bird scooters. And it was — you know, a beautiful sight to see all kinds of people using Bird scooters.

David Sacks: Totally.

Kara Nortman: So, let’s hit — I want to get into some other things, but before we do, I know you’re looking at a couple other themes. Just to leave it with potential co-investors in the audience, what are some of the other themes at a high level you’re thinking about?

David Sacks: Yeah. So, I have two partners at Craft. You know, one of them is Jeff Fluhr, former founder of StubHub, which is, you know, the most popular ticketing marketplace. He’s spending a lot of time looking at marketplaces. But the big shift he’s seeing is moving from product marketplaces to service marketplaces. It’s not really about selling goods. It’s more about selling services. And a lot of those are B2B marketplaces. And so, we’re taking a look at a lot of those things.

David Sacks: And then, my other partner, Bill Lee, spends a lot of time on emerging areas like VR, crypto, gaming, and you know. And what we’re seeing there is, you know, we made a big investment in Cloudnine. We led that Series A round. It’s an e-sports company. E-sports has just gotten huge. And we think there’s a lot of things like that in gaming and virtual brands that get us excited.

Kara Nortman: Awesome. Wonderful, wonderful. Okay. Well, so, shifting gears a little bit. You know, one of things we sometimes in VC or newer VCs, maybe a bit more timid, you know, there’s kind of a maybe sometimes a lot of copycat investing, tiptoeing. You’ve made some big, bold bets very quickly. So, you know, one of my favorite and most overused words in venture capital, it’s the synergy of its time, is conviction. But tell us, you obviously have a lot of conviction to make the bets you’ve made. Tell us what gives you conviction.

David Sacks: Yeah. I mean, I guess, I’m not like tremendously worried about job security. And our LPs are diversified. So, I kind of figure it’s okay for me to be more concentrated. The number one thing that gives me conviction is when I can use the product myself. And I mean, that’s not always possible, but when I can use the product myself, and it’s a product that is useful to me, and I love it.

David Sacks: And so, Bird was a case like that where I tried it down here in LA. And then, when I went back to San Francisco, I felt myself missing it. So, you know, I’m listening to that voice in my head. Same thing with Uber, you know. I think I discovered Uber in 2010. And six months later, like I got rid of my car. I just went full Uber. And so, I reached out to the company to invest in that. Similar story with Houzz and PlanGrid, which I was doing a construction project, and I used PlanGrid for my plans, and I used Houzz for my interior design.

David Sacks: And so, anytime I’m using a product, I will reach out to the company and see if I can invest in it. Obviously, that doesn’t work for something like Swarm. And, you know that, I’m going to rely on things like, you know, obviously, how great is the team, and, you know, does this product make sense, can I put myself in the shoes of who the customer is, and have they thought of that distribution trick.

Kara Nortman: Yeah, I love it. I love it. I always say I know I’m very excited about a company only when I’m driving my husband crazy. If I can’t stop talking about this like, “Did you make an investment already?” So, I think it was passion, do the work, all the stuff that our mothers probably told us but not everyone does. So, that’s exciting.

Kara Nortman: Okay. So, we’re going to shift gears, and I’d love to talk a little bit. I think you and I were just talking about this. We met back when you were starting Geni, which is the predecessor company to Yammer. So, first question, you started Geni in LA-

David Sacks: Yeah.

Kara Nortman: … many moons ago, but then you moved Yammer up to the Bay Area. Is that — Why did you do that? And tell me how you would think about it today.

David Sacks: Yeah. I think, you know, that was 10 years ago. And, you know, we felt that the LA ecosystem, the tech ecosystem was a lot smaller back then. It’s not a decision I would make today. I think if I were down here with a startup today, I would not try to move it. And the reason is just because the tech ecosystem in LA has just gone so much bigger. It’s so much deeper. There’s so much more talent. There’s, you know, a lot more investors like you guys who cover it. There’s this — the relative advantage, I think, of Silicon Valley is just it’s much less, and there’s a lot of advantages to LA now as well.

David Sacks: So, yeah. I mean, I think, you know, LA is an ecosystem that we really like as investors. So, you know, I was an angel investor in SpaceX, and we did have a follow-on investment through the fund. They’re obviously been here for a long time. There was Bird, Cloudnine, the sports company I talked about. I think that LA is definitely the epicenter for all things, e-sports, and content, and gaming-related. We actually did a seed round in a B2B cannabis marketplace in LA and which is based in LA. And so, yeah.

Kara Nortman: So, if the other ones don’t go well, we got you guys covered.

David Sacks: Yeah. So, there’s been — you know, there’s just been a lot of really interesting companies that are coming out of LA now. And so, we think it’s a great ecosystem.

Kara Nortman: Awesome, awesome. And how — you’re also somebody who, in the distant past, made a movie, Thank You for Smoking, which was a great movie. If you haven’t seen it, those of you who are like in your early 30s, go back and watch it. But I was curious, like how do you compare and contrast innovation in Silicon Valley and in tech in LA to innovation in more of kind of the traditional content fields or Hollywood?

David Sacks: Yeah. I mean, after producing a movie, I went back into tech. I wanted the relative sanity of the startup business after my exposure to Hollywood. I think, you know, the basic problem is entrepreneurship is very hard in Hollywood, in the kind of traditional content business because the entrepreneur really kind of gets squeezed between the studios, kind of the distribution gatekeepers on the one hand, and then the talent on the other. And those are really the two big kind of rent extractors. And I think it’s very hard for an entrepreneur to come in and disrupt that.

David Sacks: You know, obviously, Netflix has done a lot of very big scale, but I think for a startup, it’s just very tough. And, you know, the great thing about startups is just, you know, there are no real gatekeepers yet. And the talent are the entrepreneurs. And so, you know, I always — there’s always something that kind of rubs me the wrong way about when I got to Hollywood and started producing this movie. You know, I learned that there were these people called the talent, and I wasn’t one of them. And that always, you know, maybe a little bit kind of concerned. So, yeah, I just think, you know, tech moves a lot faster, it’s much more scalable, and it’s much more kind of free and open to entrepreneurs. So, yeah.

David Sacks: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. The room, they’re always there. When there are problems, there’s room for solutions as well. We’re just about out of time. So, maybe we’ll leave with one kind of last thing. Maybe a bit of advice. Again, we have a lot of VCs the audience. So, you’ve, now, been on both sides of the table.

David Sacks: Yeah.

Kara Nortman: As a kind of former operator and, now, board member, what’s your advice to, you know, somebody sitting around the table as a relatively new board member or, you know, a longstanding board member as to what’s been most valuable to — what’s the most valuable kind of board behavior you’ve seen? And what are the things that drove you crazy as a founder?

David Sacks: Yeah. I had, you know, really — I had a really great board at Yammer. I mean, I got along with everybody, and everyone contributed in different ways. You know, I think that there’s a lot of things that an investor can bring to a startup. You know, let’s say, first, is being a great sounding board. You know, giving feedback, strategic advice. You’re never going to be deeper in the problem than an entrepreneur, but I think you can provide — Again, you can just be a sounding board and make sure that you’re giving feedback, make sure they’re thinking about it the right way.

David Sacks: I, also, think that investors tend to have more breath. So, you know, founders are, you know, hopefully, just very heads down obsessed with what they’re doing. Investors get a lot more breath. And so, they can bring, you know, benchmarks. They can kind of tell you, you know, what’s working in other contexts. They can tell you what your numbers should be, you know, at this stage or, you know, what number — you know, is this cap number a good number or a bad number? So, you know, I tend to think that investors can provide perspective, and that can be that can be helpful.

Kara Nortman: Any pet peeves?

David Sacks: Probably the thing that that VCs do the most is just overestimate the number of things that a startup can really do. And so, there tends — You know, if you have a board that every board member has kind of their pet thing they want the company to do, the reality is that startups can’t get that much done. And so, you know, the thing I’m always pushing for is just focus, you know. Like what is the one most important thing that we need to get right now and let’s just be obsessively focused on that. So, yeah, that’s probably the — I don’t know it’s a pet peeve but it tends to be. Just by having a lot of voices at the table, that can be the unintended consequences as you kind of defocus the company a little.

Kara Nortman: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, listen, David, thank you so much. We’re so honored to have you here. This is a wonderful conversation.

David Sacks: All right. Thanks, Kara.

Kara Nortman: So, we really appreciate it.

David Sacks: Yeah, absolutely. Thank you.

Kara Nortman: Let’s give David a round of applause.

David Sacks: All right, great. Thanks. Yeah.

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Popular Transcripts FULL TRANSCRIPT: Joe Rogan Experience #1236 – Jack Dorsey

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FULL TRANSCRIPT: Joe Rogan Experience #1236 – Jack Dorsey (transcribed by Sonix)

Joe Rogan: Three, two, one, boom. Hello, Jack.

Jack Dorsey: What's up?

Joe Rogan: Nice to meet you, man.

Jack Dorsey: Nice to meet you, finally.

Joe Rogan: Yeah. Keep this sucker like a fist from your face.

Jack Dorsey: Got it.

Joe Rogan: Good. First of all. dude, you started a company. When you started Twitter, when you guys first started, did you have any idea — Well, there's no way you could have had any idea what it would be now.

Jack Dorsey: No.

Joe Rogan: But one of the things I always try to emphasize with people when people are like, "Twitter's crazy," I'm like, "How could it not be crazy? There's never been anything like it before." Like imagine trying to predict the kind of impact — The President of the United States uses Twitter to threaten other countries.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: I mean, who the fuck saw that coming?

Jack Dorsey: Not us.

Joe Rogan: Nobody saw that coming.

Jack Dorsey: Not us.

Joe Rogan: What did you think it was going to be when you first did it?

Jack Dorsey: Well, you know, we were building this thing for ourselves. And that's how everything starts. We wanted to use it. We wanted to stay connected with each other. We-

Joe Rogan: Like a group text almost?

Jack Dorsey: Like a group text. We loved our phones. We loved technology. We actually started this as a hack week project out of a failed company called Odeo. It's podcasting.

Joe Rogan: I remember that. I remember Odeo.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah. Super early on. We were really creative folks, but we weren't that passionate about where podcasting was going in our particular domain. And we just got a lot of competition early on. iTunes just released a podcast directory, but we knew we wanted to work together. We knew we love this idea of one-button publishing, we love this idea of collaboration, we love this idea of being anywhere, and being able to share what was happening. That was the idea. I mean, that was it, and that's what we wanted it to be.

Jack Dorsey: And I think the most beautiful and, also, sometimes, uncomfortable aspect of Twitter is we really learned what it wanted to be, and the people helped create it. Like everything that we hold sacred now, the @ symbol, the hashtag, the retweet, those were not invented by me or the company. Those were things that we discovered, things that we discovered people using. And we just observed it, and we noticed what they were trying to do. They're trying to talk with one another. They were trying to collect tweets around topics with a hashtag.

Joe Rogan: Has anybody figured out when the first use of hashtag something was created?

Jack Dorsey: Yeah, it was actually our Lead Designer, Robert Anderson, who leads our design of the Cash App. Hired him for a Square later on, but he was the first one. He was actually communicating with his brother, and he put @Buzz. His brother's name is Buzz. And it just spread. It wasn't en masse, but people were doing it.

Jack Dorsey: But what was most interesting is not what they're doing, but what they wanted to do with it. They wanted to address each other. And that changed the company completely. That changed the service because it went from just broadcasting what's happening to conversation and to being able to address anyone publicly out in the open, which, came with it, a lot of power and, also, a lot of issues as well.

Joe Rogan: Yeah. The use of hashtags, like looking up #Fryfest or hashtag — Anytime that something weird that's in the news, that's such a unique way to find things. But to go on Twitter and to utilize that, it's — I mean, it's interesting that this guy just did it just to contact his brother.

Jack Dorsey: Well, that was the @ symbol. The hashtag was this guy, Chris Messina.

Joe Rogan: Oh, different guy.

Jack Dorsey: And he was trying to tag around topics that he was tweeting about. And, again, that spread. All we did was made it easier. We made it more accessible. We enabled everyone to do it. With the @ symbol, we made a page that collected all mentions of your name. With the hashtag, we allowed people to search immediately, so you could tap on the keyword, and you would see everyone talking about that or tweeting about that specific hashtag. So, these things were just emergent behaviors that we didn't predict, and they became the lifeblood of the service.

Joe Rogan: What's fascinating to me about something like Twitter or even something like YouTube is that there's not a lot of other ones like it. There's just this one thing.

Jack Dorsey: Absolutely.

Joe Rogan: Like how does that happen-

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: … where this one thing sort of gets adopted by everybody and takes over, and then just becomes these overwhelmingly massive platform? I mean, there's really — Here's Vimeo and there's a few other videos services, but nothing on the scale of YouTube. And that's the same thing with Twitter. There's nothing on the scale of distributing information in a quick, short, 280-character form like that.

Jack Dorsey: I don't think we could plan for it. I don't think we could necessarily build for that. Someone said recently too, we just gathered a bunch of our leadership last week in Palm Springs for an offsite, and someone said recently that Twitter was discovered. And I think what's behind all that is that it hit something foundational. It hit something essential. And my co-founder, Biz, likes to say that Twitter can never be uninvented. It's here. It changed everything, but the use of it has been revolutionary.

Jack Dorsey: And it's just a simple idea of if you could text with the entire world, if you could actually reach anyone in the world, or anyone could see what you're thinking, which I think is also the beautiful thing about text and the medium, you can actually get someone's raw thoughts, and anyone in the world can see that instantaneously. It becomes a subconscious. It becomes this like global consciousness. And it gets to some really deep places in society. And some of those places are pretty uncomfortable.

Joe Rogan: Well, it also gets to some really deep places psychologically. There's a weirdness to it, right? There's a weirdness to-

Jack Dorsey: Definitely.

Joe Rogan: … sending text particularly @anonymously, and there's so many accounts that are just an egg.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: There's so many accounts where they're clearly designed. Like sometimes, someone will twit something mean to me, and I'm like, "Hmm, I wonder what this person's up to?" So, I go to their site, and it's just them tweeting mean shit at people all day long. Like it's probably some angry person at work, and they're like, "I'm just going to find people and fuck with them all day."

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: Did you realize or when did you realize — I'm sure you're aware of it. When did you realize that this was almost out of your control in terms of the scale of it?

Jack Dorsey: There wasn't one moment. There wasn't one moment that it just felt completely resonant. It's unfolded into the next thing, and the next used case, and it just keeps surprising us with how people are using it. You know, it definitely — Recently, I think, we've identified some of the areas of the service that we need to pay a lot more attention to.

Jack Dorsey: Twitter is unique, and that it has two main spaces. One, which is your timeline. And those are the people that you follow. And when you follow someone, they've earned that audience. And then, it has this other world where anyone can insert themselves into the conversation. They can actually mention you, and you'll see that without asking for it. You can insert yourself into hashtags, into search, and these are areas that people have taken advantage of, and these are the areas that people have gamed our systems to, in some cases, artificially amplify it but, also, just to spread a lot of things that weren't possible with a velocity that they're not possible before.

Joe Rogan: Now, when this is all happening, what's the conversation like at Twitter? When you're recognizing that this is happening, that people are gaming the system, like, what do — How do you guys — How do you mitigate it? What's the discussion?

Jack Dorsey: Well, early on, it was pretty surface level like, how do we change some of the app dynamics? But more recently, we're trying to go a lot deeper and asking ourselves a question. When people open Twitter, what are we incentivizing? What are we telling them to do when they open up this app? We may not explicitly be doing that, but there's something that we're saying without being as clear about it. So, what does the like button incentivize? What does the retweet incentivize? What does the number of followers and making that number big and bold incentivize?

Jack Dorsey: So, I'm not sure what we should not — I'm not sure if we should incentivize anything, but we need to understand what that is. And I think, right now, we do incentivize a lot of echo chambers because we don't make it easy for people to follow interests and topics. It's only accounts. We incentivize a lot of outrage and hot takes because of some of the dynamics in the service not allowing a lot of nuance and conversation earlier on.

Jack Dorsey: Pseudonyms, this ability to not use your real name, incentivizes some positive things like it allows for whistleblowers and journalists who might fear for their career or, even worse, their life and under certain regimes but, also, allows for people, like the example you mentioned, of just random fire and spread of abuse and harassment throughout.

Jack Dorsey: So, those are the things that we're looking at. And how do we enable more of the conversation to evolve? How do we increase the credibility or reputation of accounts? How do we identify credible voices within a particular domain? Not just through this very coarse, grain, blue, verified badge, but if you're an expert in a particular topic how do we recognize that in real time and show that, so that we can provide more context to who you're talking to, and if you want to engage in a deeper conversation or just ignore, mute, or block them?

Joe Rogan: But what is the conversation like while you're at work? Like when you're realizing that all this stuff is happening, and you're realizing that, now — I mean, particularly, because the president uses it so often. It's such a — I mean, it's his preferred platform for communicating with the people, I mean, even more so than addresses. It's very strange.

Joe Rogan: What's the conversation like in the office when you're trying to figure out, "Hey, what's our responsibility here? Like, how are we supposed to handle this? How do we-" I mean, in some ways, what Twitter is doing is it's really kind of — it's flavoring the public narrative. It's flavoring the way we communicate with each other in our culture worldwide.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah. I mean, the conversation has definitely evolved. I think, in the past, we just got super reactive. We were reacting to all the negative things that we're seeing, and that led to a lot of short-term thinking. More recently, we've just looked much deeper. We don't react to the present day. We look for some of the patterns.

Jack Dorsey: And, you know, we have a company that is not just serving the people of this particular country, the United States. This is global. We have global leaders all around the world using us in different ways. Some, with a higher velocity. Some recognize more the power. Some put out statements. Some lead conversations. But it's looking at all those dynamics and not trying to hyper focus on any one, a particular one, because if we do, we're only building it for one portion of the population or only one perceived present-day crisis.

Joe Rogan: But what I'm trying to get at was like, okay, when things come up, like, say, if you find out that there's people from ISIS that are using Twitter, and they're using Twitter and posting things, like, what is the conversation like? How do — What do we do about this? Do we leave this up? Do we recognize this is free speech? Do we only take it down if they're calling for murder or hate speech? Like, what — How do you handle that?

Jack Dorsey: Well, it evolves, I mean, because we first saw ISIS when the world saw ISIS. And we needed to change our policy to deal with it.

Joe Rogan: What was the initial reaction to it? So, once you realized that people from ISIS were making Twitter accounts, and they were trying to recruit people, and doing all these things, what was the thought process?

Jack Dorsey: It's the question, like, what are we going to do about this?

Joe Rogan: Yeah.

Jack Dorsey: We haven't experienced this before. We need to-

Joe Rogan: Nobody has. I mean, you're essentially pioneers.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah, but there are people who have experienced it in different forms and different mediums. So, we reach out to our government partners and friends and to our law enforcement partners. We reached out to our peer companies to ask if they're seeing the same things that we're seeing. We have a bunch of civil societies that we talk to to get their take on it as well. And we try to balance that across, you know, varied spectrums, whether it'd be, you know, more organizations that are more focused on preventing online harassment, all the way to the ACLU and EFF who are protecting the First Amendment online.

Jack Dorsey: So, we try to get as many perspectives as possible, take that, and then make some informed decisions, but also realize that we're probably going to make some mistakes along the way, and all we can do to correct some of that is just be open about where we are. And that's probably where we failed the most in the past is we just haven't been open about our thinking process, what led to particular decisions, how our Terms of Service evolve. In Terms of Service as an area in our industry, it's just a — it's a mess. No one reads them.

Joe Rogan: Right.

Jack Dorsey: You know, you sign up for these services, and you quickly hit accept.

Joe Rogan: Yeah.

Jack Dorsey: And we expect people to read these rules of the road, but they haven't read them, and-

Joe Rogan: Have you ever read them?

Jack Dorsey: I have read them read.

Joe Rogan: You've read your own.

Jack Dorsey: I've read-

Joe Rogan: Have you read Facebook's?

Jack Dorsey: I haven't read Facebook's.

Joe Rogan: Yeah. You-

Jack Dorsey: I'm not on Facebook.

Joe Rogan: You're not on it?

Jack Dorsey: I'm not on Facebook.

Joe Rogan: Wow. Fuck Facebook, right? No, I'm just kidding. What about Instagram, you've read theirs?

Jack Dorsey: I was in the first 10 users of Instagram.

Joe Rogan: Really?

Jack Dorsey: Kevin was an intern. Kevin Systrom was an intern at Odeo. And I was one of the first investors of Instagram and love the service. I don't think I've ever read their Terms of Service.

Joe Rogan: Yeah, that's what I'm saying, even you.

Jack Dorsey: Even me. But I read ours, and one of the things I noticed right away as, you know, you read our Terms of Service, and one of the first things that we put at the top of the page was copyright and intellectual property protections. You go down, and you scroll down, and you see everything about violent threats, and abuse, and harassment, and safety. And it's not that the company intended for that to be the order. It's just we just added things going on.

Jack Dorsey: But even a read of that puts forth our point of view. Like we're actually putting copyright infringement above the safety-

Joe Rogan: Right.

Jack Dorsey: … the physical safety of someone. So, we need to relook at some of these things, and how they've evolved, and how they reacted, and-

Joe Rogan: But is it above just because it's listed second? I mean, they're essentially all in the same one sheet.

Jack Dorsey: They're on the one sheet.

Joe Rogan: When you bring it up, when you discuss it first, is that really critical? They're all part of the Terms of Service.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah, but I think that ordering matters. Like, what do we consider to be most important?

Joe Rogan: Right.

Jack Dorsey: And we have to consider physical safety to be that one thing that we protect the most.

Joe Rogan: Right.

Jack Dorsey: And I-

Joe Rogan: So, physical threats.

Jack Dorsey: Physical threats.

Joe Rogan: Doxxing.

Jack Dorsey: Doxxing, anything that impinges on someone's physical safety. This is an area where I don't think technology and services like ours have focused on enough. We haven't focused on the off-platform ramifications of what happens online.

Joe Rogan: So, what do you do, like, here's a good for instance. This situation with this young kid who had the MAGA hat on, and the Native American gentleman who was in front of him banging the drum. And then, people are calling for this kid's name. They want his name, they want his address, including Kathy Griffin. Like, how do you handle something like that?

Jack Dorsey: Well-

Joe Rogan: Because that's essentially request for doxxing.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah. And that is a new vector that we haven't seen en masse. I mean, these are the cases that bring up entirely new things. So, we have to study it. We have to see how we reacted, what happened with the network. But this goes back to the incentives. Like we are incentivizing this very quick reaction, and it's taking away from some more of the, like, considered work that we need to do to really diagnose what's happening in the moment. And it was — It's such an interesting case study to see how that evolved over just 48 hours. And-

Joe Rogan: Yes. That's one of the most fascinating news cycles or stories in the news cycle in quite a while because it's nuanced. There's many different levels to it.

Jack Dorsey: It's extremely nuanced, yeah.

Joe Rogan: And a lot of like really knee-jerk reactions.

Jack Dorsey: Totally, but we helped that.

Joe Rogan: How did you help it?

Jack Dorsey: Well, it's just that's how some of the dynamics of the service work. And those are the things we control.

Joe Rogan: But is that how some of the dynamics of the service or is it the way people choose to use the service? Like, if you are a thoughtful person, you wouldn't just — Like, for instance, the original image that was distributed came from an account that's now banned, right? And so, it was discovered that that account was a troll account. How does that happen? And what was the thought process behind that? Because the image that they posted was a legitimate image. It really did happen. It was a part of an actual occurring event. So, why did you ban the person or the troll account that put it up?

Jack Dorsey: I don't know about this particular case, but it's likely that it was found — There's a lot of what you see on the surface of Twitter, and some of the actions that we take on the surface, but where we spend a lot of our enforcement is actually what's happening underneath. So, in many cases, we have trolls or people, like the case that you mentioned, whose sole purpose is just to harass, or abuse, or spread particular information. And, oftentimes, these accounts might be connected, or they start one account that gets banned, they start another account. But we can actually see this through a network lens, and we can actually see some of those behaviors. So, that might have been one of the reasons. I'm not sure in that particular case but, you know, the-

Joe Rogan: How do you know? Do you know because of IP addresses? Do you know because of the-

Jack Dorsey: A variety of things. So, it could be trying to use the same phone number or same e-mail address, IP addresses, device IDs, all these things that we can use to judge what's happening within the context. So, we do have a lot of occurrences of suspending or temporarily suspending accounts because of activities across accounts. And that happens a ton. But what I mean in that we're helping this right now is like some of the incentives, like just imagine seeing that unfold, and when you see someone with one take, it kind of embolden something to follow along, and then this mob kind of rolls.

Joe Rogan: Yeah.

Jack Dorsey: So, there has to be a way for us to incentivize a lot more considered and more nuanced introspection of what's going on.

Joe Rogan: Yeah, give everybody mushrooms. It's probably the only way. I don't know. How are you going to get people to be more considerate? I mean, what-

Jack Dorsey: Providing more context.

Joe Rogan: I mean, this is essentially your engineering social behavior, right?

Jack Dorsey: Yeah, providing more context.

Joe Rogan: Providing more context. How so?

Jack Dorsey: Providing more context. Like, an example, let's say Brexit for example.

Joe Rogan: Okay.

Jack Dorsey: So, if I followed a bunch of accounts, I like Boris Johnson who is constantly giving me information about reasons to leave, I would probably only see that perspective.

Joe Rogan: Nigel Farage.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah. And those — A lot of folks just will not follow accounts that have a completely different perspective or a different influence. A number of people do. Hopefully, journalists do. But most people won't do that work. So, this is the only tool we give people: follow an account. If, however, during that time you followed the hashtag, you followed the hashtag #voteleave, 95% of the conversation in the tweets you see are all reasons to leave, but there is a small percentage that shows a different perspective and that shows a different reasoning. We don't make it easy for anyone to do that. And that is a loss-

Joe Rogan: Easy for anyone to follow-

Jack Dorsey: Follow the hashtag.

Joe Rogan: … outside of perspective.

Jack Dorsey: Follow the hashtag, follow a topic, follow an interest. And because of that, we help build an echo chamber and something that doesn't really challenge any perspective. And not to say that we should force it upon people, but we don't even make it easy for people to do in the first place. So, the way you do that today is you go the explorer tab, you look, you search for a hashtag, or you tap into a hashtag, and you can see all the conversation.

Jack Dorsey: But that's work. And most people just won't do the work. They'll stay in their timeline, and they'll see what they need to see, and I can certainly imagine why if I'm just following a bunch of people who have the exact same take on this, it just continues to embolden, and embolden, and embolden, and they see nothing of a different perspective on the exact same situation.

Joe Rogan: What's interesting to me is the difference between Twitter and Instagram. Essentially, it's not just the photographs. What's weird that has happened was there's shitty people on Instagram as well. I mean, there's a lot of arguments and things along those lines, but they don't overwhelm the initial post; whereas, with Twitter-

Jack Dorsey: Totally different surface.

Joe Rogan: Yeah.

Jack Dorsey: Instagram is a post. I mean, it's a post that's not really eliciting conversation. It's eliciting comments.

Joe Rogan: But not just that. It's difficult to follow the conversations.

Jack Dorsey: I don't think there is a conversation. It's-.

Joe Rogan: Well, sometimes, there is. Sometimes, people are going back and forth about a particular subject that's discussed in the initial post, but it's not very clear.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: Whereas with Twitter, it's only conversational.

Jack Dorsey: It's only conversation.

Joe Rogan: But even if there's a photograph, even if somebody posts a photograph on Twitter and has conversation under it, the photograph seems to be lack of secondary importance.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah, it's super fluid and super messy too.

Joe Rogan: Yeah.

Jack Dorsey: But the thing is every — On Instagram or any blog, you have this post, the statement, and you have comments underneath; whereas, with Twitter, everything is on the same surface.

Joe Rogan: Right.

Jack Dorsey: It's all one surface.

Joe Rogan: Yeah. My friend, Kurt Metzger, likes that about Facebook. He says because in Twitter, he goes, "I post something, and then all these fucking morons post something." And he goes — You know Kurt, he's very animated. He's like, "And their shit looks just like my shit. It's all together, all piled up." He goes, "But if I post something on Facebook," he goes, "I have this whole thing. Like this is the original statement."

Jack Dorsey: Yeah, my control.

Joe Rogan: And then, underneath it, yeah, you fucking say whatever you want, but no one's no one's reading.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: Like they're reading the original initial post, and it's clear that there's a differentiation between the initial post and the secondary post.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah. You know, there's room for both models, but this conversation, most conversations, it's not you making a statement, and me just reacting to that.

Joe Rogan: Right.

Jack Dorsey: Like our conversation of all of us based on what we say. We can interrupt one another. We can-

Joe Rogan: Yes.

Jack Dorsey: You know, we can completely change the subject. I can take control of the conversation. And the people who might find that interesting follow it. And the folks that don't just stop listening; whereas, you can't do that in a post-comment model.

Joe Rogan: Yeah. Also, text is so limited. I mean, it's great for just getting on actual facts, but it's-

Jack Dorsey: Also thinking. It's just so close to thinking, right. There's no composition.

Joe Rogan: Right.

Jack Dorsey: You know. And that, to me, is the most beautiful thing about Twitter, but also something that, you know, can be uncomfortable. Like I can compose my life on Instagram, I can compose my thoughts within a Facebook post, and they can look so perfect, but the best to Twitter is just super raw, and it's right to the thinking process. And I just think that's so beautiful because it gets to consciousness. It gets us something deeper. And I think that deeper-

Joe Rogan: Well, how so? How is it different than a post on Instagram or a post on Facebook?

Jack Dorsey: The speed demands. You know, the character constraint, the speed kind of just demands a more conscious, present, focused thinking versus like stepping back and-

Joe Rogan: Composing a letter.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah, and composing a letter, and thinking about all the outcomes.

Joe Rogan: But, oftentimes, people do compose it as a letter, and they break it up into separate 280-character posts.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah, the thread.

Joe Rogan: What was the thought process in going from 140 to 280? Because the one thing that I liked about 140 is you can't be verbose.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: You can't just ramble and, you know, like, it's great for comics because it forces us to write jokes like with the economy of words.

Jack Dorsey: Exactly. We found a lot of resonance with journalist because of the headlines. We found a lot of resonance with comics because of the rhythm. And we found a lot of resonance with hip hop as well because of the bars, and just the structure, and the constraint allowed that flow. The thinking was we looked at, you know, languages around the world, and there's some languages like German, 140 characters, you can't really say much. You can't really say much at all.

Joe Rogan: Right, because the words are so long.

Jack Dorsey: There are some languages like Japanese, 140 characters is 140 words. And what was interesting about Japan was Japan is one of our largest countries where we're bigger than Facebook there. We're-

Joe Rogan: Are you not bigger than Facebook in America?

Jack Dorsey: No.

Joe Rogan: What the fuck? I don't even use Facebook. Sorry, Facebook.

Jack Dorsey: I don't either.

Joe Rogan: I mean, I use it in terms of if I post something on Instagram, it goes to Facebook.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: But when I go to Facebook, it just seems like a lot of — Well, this does seem like Twitter too, a lot of arguing. But Twitter seems to be more fun, if that makes any sense. Even though there's a lot of chaos, when something — One of my favorite things is when someone posts something stupid, and then underneath it is a bunch of GIFs. Do we says GIFs or GIFs? How do you say GIF? Does anybody know?

Male: Ask him.

Jack Dorsey: GIFs. GIFs.

Joe Rogan: How do you say?

Jack Dorsey: I say GIFs. I know it's juries out.

Joe Rogan: A bunch of GIFs that are hilarious.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: Like I was just mocking someone relentlessly. Like that is one of my favorite things about Twitter. When someone, like Donald Trump posts something ridiculous, and then I'll go, and I'll look at the responses, like, "Baaaa." How do you care?

Jack Dorsey: It's a public conversation. You can-.

Joe Rogan: Yes.

Jack Dorsey: You can see how everyone react, but like it's all — The interesting thing about Twitter is there's not one Twitter. It's like you have politics Twitter, which can be super toxic. You have sports Twitter, you have NBA Twitter, you have MMA Twitter, you have a UFC Twitter, you have KPop Twitter, you have e-sports, whatever.

Joe Rogan: Black sports.

Jack Dorsey: You have black Twitter.

Joe Rogan: That's Jaime's. Jaime loves black Twitter.

Jack Dorsey: You have all these different twitters, and you have a completely different experience-

Joe Rogan: Yes.

Jack Dorsey: … based on what Twitter you follow-

Joe Rogan: Sure.

Jack Dorsey: … and what Twitter you participate in.

Joe Rogan: Yeah.

Jack Dorsey: Some of them are like super engaging, super funny. Some of them are you want to walk away from it.

Joe Rogan: Yeah. I got to a certain point where I couldn't read replies anymore. I just, "Hmm." It's just — Not that it's that toxic. The vast majority of interactions I have with people are super positive.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: I mean, absolutely like more than 99%. But it's — I didn't — I don't have time, and I don't have time to be constantly responding to people. And it just didn't — The sheer numbers. I think when I got around 3 million-ish followers I'm like, "I can't do this anymore." It's just it's overwhelming. Like I don't have the resources.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah. I am a huge believer in serendipity. So, you look at your replies once, and you might see something that just like strikes you, and that's enough. You don't need to read through all of them.

Joe Rogan: Yeah, sometimes.

Jack Dorsey: And it's just-

Joe Rogan: But then, you might miss something groovy.

Jack Dorsey: You might, but I also believe the most important things come back up.

Joe Rogan: What I used to do a lot, I would go through my mentions. And when people would essentially use that as almost a news aggregator. I'll go through my mentions that people would post cool stories, and I would retweet those. And so, because people knew that I would retweet them, they would send me a lot of cool stuff. So, because of that, because it's reciprocating, I got a lot of really cool stuff sent my way.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah, yeah, yeah. You're pushing. You're pushing more out to expand the network.

Joe Rogan: Yeah. And I reinforced it. I just I wanted to thank people for posting cool stuff, and they love the fact they would get a retweet. And so, they would send me like interesting science stories or, you know, very bizarre nature stories. And I'd just be retweeting them all the time. Go to — But then, after a while, I'm like, "This is a lot of time." It's a lot of time. So, now, essentially, what I do is I just post something and I'm just kind of like, "Ugh." I just walk away.

Jack Dorsey: But that, I mean, that speaks to what we want to incentivize more. We want more people contributing things back to the network, back to the-

Joe Rogan: Yeah.

Jack Dorsey: Back to the public conversation. And I know it doesn't feel like this today for most people, but my ideal is someone walks away from Twitter learning something, and they're actually learning something entirely new.

Joe Rogan: I think that happens a lot.

Jack Dorsey: And it might be a new perspective.

Joe Rogan: That happens a lot.

Jack Dorsey: It probably happens more often than we think.

Joe Rogan: Depending on who you follow.

Jack Dorsey: Exactly.

Joe Rogan: Yeah.

Jack Dorsey: It's all dependent on the Twitter you follow. And like, you know, the health Twitter is amazing. You know, I learned some. Like I followed Rhonda Patrick and a bunch of folks who are into sauna.

Joe Rogan: She's amazing. Yeah.

Jack Dorsey: And Wim Hof and [Ice Bess] and Ben Greenfield. And you just follow them, and you just get all this new information about alternative views of how to stay healthy, how to live longer. And I can't find that anywhere else-

Joe Rogan: Yes.

Jack Dorsey: … in one place like that.

Joe Rogan: Right.

Jack Dorsey: And then, it's not just them broadcasting. When they retweet something or when they tweet something, there's a whole conversation about it. So, you know, some people say this is — you know, "This has not been my experience," or "This is not true for me," or "Actually, have you seen this connected thing?" And I just go down this rabbit hole, and I learn so much. But that's not the experience for everyone. ***

Joe Rogan: No. Well, yeah, it's not the experience for everyone, and it's not really — I don't think it's what everyone wants either. Sometimes, people just like to go on there and talk shit.

Jack Dorsey: That's true.

Joe Rogan: I mean, someone that's trapped in a cubicle right now, and they just want to go in there, and get in arguments about gun control or, you know, whether or not Nancy Pelosi is the devil. And this is-

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: This is what — You know, it serves a purpose for them.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: The thing that gets strange though is who's to decide. You know, there's this concept — There's a discussion, I should say, where some people believe that things like Twitter, or Facebook, or any forum where you're having a public discussion should be considered almost like a public utility. Like anyone has access to the electric power. Even if you are — You know, even if you're a racist, you still can get electricity. And some people think that you should have that same ability with something like Twitter or the same ability with something like Instagram. Obviously, this is — We're in uncharted territory. And you-

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: You are in uncharted territory.

Jack Dorsey: Totally.

Joe Rogan: Just no one has been there before. So, who makes the distinctions? When you see someone that it's saying something that you might think is offensive to some folks but not offensive to the person who's saying it, maybe the person who's saying it feels like they need to express themselves, and this is important to say, and how do you decide whether or not this is a valid discussion, or if this is "hate speech," which is — You know there's some things that are hate speech, and there's sometimes people who use the term hate speech, and it's just a cheap way to shut down a conversation.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah. So, the simple answer is we look at conduct. We don't look at the speech itself, we look at conduct. We look at how the tool is being used. And you're right in that, like, I think when people see Twitter, they see and they expect it to be a public square. They can go into that public square, they can say whatever they want, they can get on a pedestal, and people might gather around them, and listen to what they have to say. Some of them might find it offensive and they leave. The difference is there's, also, this concept of this megaphone. And the megaphone can be highly targeted now with Twitter as well.

Joe Rogan: Right.

Jack Dorsey: So, it's not the speech. It's how it's amplified.

Joe Rogan: So, what do you do if, like, say — Let's say there's someone in the media. Let's say it's a prominent feminist. And then, you have a bunch of people or let's say just one person, and their Twitter feed is overwhelmingly attacking this prominent feminist. Just constantly a tagger, calling her a liar, calling her this, calling her that. When do you decide this is harassment? When do you decide this is hate speech? Like, how do you — I mean, this is-

Jack Dorsey: We look at the context.

Joe Rogan: This is a fictional account, right?

Jack Dorsey: Yeah, yeah.

Joe Rogan: Fictional person we're talking about. But in this for instance, what would dictate something that was egregious enough for you to eliminate them from your platform?

Jack Dorsey: Well, that's a heavy action. So, that's the last resort. But we look at the conduct. We look at — Oftentimes, as you said, the probability of someone who is harassing one person, it's highly probable that they're also harassing 10 more people.

Joe Rogan: Right.

Jack Dorsey: So, we can look at that behavior. We can look at how many times this person is being blocked, or muted, or reported. And based on all those, all that data, we can actually take some action. But we also have to — We have to correlate it with the other side of that because people go on, and they coordinate blocks as well, and they coordinate harassment, and they coordinate — I'm sorry not harassment but reporting. Reporting a particular account to get it shut down and to take the voice off the service.

Jack Dorsey: So, these are the considerations we have to make, but it all starts with conduct. And, oftentimes, we'll see coordinated conduct, whether it'd be that one person opening multiple accounts or coordinating with multiple accounts that they don't own to go after someone. And there's a bunch of vectors that people use retweet for that, the "tweet" for that a lot as well. Like they'll quote tweet a tweet that someone finds, and they'll say, "Look at this idiot. Twitter, do your thing." And then just this mob starts, and goes, and tries to effectively shut that person down.

Jack Dorsey: So, there's a bunch of tools we can use. The permanent suspension is the last resort. One of the things that we can do is we can down-rank the replies. So, any of these behaviors and conduct that looked linked, we can actually push farther down in the reply chain. So, it's all still there, but you might have to push a button to actually see it. You might have to show more replies to actually see this harassing account or what might look like harassing language.

Joe Rogan: And this is manually done or this-

Jack Dorsey: No, no, no. This is all automated.

Joe Rogan: It's automated?

Jack Dorsey: Yeah, yeah.

Joe Rogan: But how would you know?

Jack Dorsey: A lot of the ranking, and looking at amplification, and looking at the network is automated.

Joe Rogan: Right. Like in terms of down-ranking, is there a discussion as to whether or not this person's reply should be down-ranked? How do you figure that out?

Jack Dorsey: It's a machine learning and deep learning model and they just-

Joe Rogan: Whoa. So, it's AI?

Jack Dorsey: It's AI, and they learn.

Joe Rogan: Oh, Christ.

Jack Dorsey: And we look at how these things are doing, and where they make mistakes, and then we improve it. It's just constantly improving, constantly learning.

Joe Rogan: Does that feel like censorship to you, like automated censorship? Because, I mean, who is to decide other than people whether or not something is valid?

Jack Dorsey: Well, we're not looking at the speech in this particular case. We're looking at the conduct.

Joe Rogan: The conduct.

Jack Dorsey: The conduct of someone in fast velocity attacking someone else.

Joe Rogan: Okay.

Jack Dorsey: Right. So, those are the things that our technology allows. It changes the velocity. It changes how to broadcast a message that someone didn't really ask for and didn't want to hear. We don't touch — If I follow Joe Rogan, you'll see every single tweet. We don't touch it. Right?

Joe Rogan: Right.

Jack Dorsey: But that's an audience that you earn. But in your replies page, we have a little bit more room because this is a conversation that starts up, and some people just want to disrupt it. And all we're saying is we're going to look and move in the disruption down. Not that it's hidden, but it's still there, but you just see it a little bit further down.

Joe Rogan: Like, there was — What was the instance with Ari? I should text him right now, get him to answer me in real time. But Ari Shaffir got kicked off Twitter because he said something to Bert like, "Bert, I'm going to fucking kill you." Bert Kreischer, being our good friend, all of us are good friends, and he's like, "You fucking dummy, I want to kill you," or something like that.

Male: He took his record albums. He said like, "I'm going to steal and break them all." He jokingly got mad.

Joe Rogan: Right, right, right.

Male: That's Ari though.

Joe Rogan: Bert was — I think it was all bullshit, right?

Male: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Joe Rogan: I don't mean Bert really stole his records.

Male: Yeah, yeah, yeah. He kept them. Yeah, he gave them back to him eventually.

Joe Rogan: Yeah.

Male: Yeah.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: He's like< "I'm going to fucking kill you."

Jack Dorsey: So, what happened or probably happened, and I'm not sure of that particular case, but what probably what happened there is someone might have reported that tweet. One of our agents, human agent, without context of their friendship or that relationship, saw it as a violent threat and took action on that.

Joe Rogan: Right.

Jack Dorsey: And those are the mistakes that we're going to make. That's why we need an appeals process.

Joe Rogan: Or Bert needs to keep his fucking greasy hands off Aris' records, right?

Jack Dorsey: That's probably not going to happen. We need to make sure that we're reacting the right way.

Joe Rogan: Yeah.

Jack Dorsey: Like, look, we're going to make mistakes. We're trying to — The problem with the system right now is most of the work and the burden is actually on the victims of abuse while they're getting harassed. So, a lot of our system doesn't enforce or act unless these tweets are reported, right? So, we don't take suspension actions or removal of content actions unless it's reported.

Jack Dorsey: The algorithms rank and order the conversation, but they don't take suspension actions. They don't remove content. They might suggest to a human to look at this, who might look at our rules, and look at the content, and try to look at the context of the conversation, and then take action. But we would like to move towards a lot more automated enforcement.

Jack Dorsey: But more importantly, how do we highlight? How do we amplify more of the healthier discussion and conversation? Again, not removing it. We're going to a world, especially with technology like blockchain that all content that exist, that is ever created will exist forever. You won't be able to take it down. You won't be able to censor it. It won't be centralized at all.

Jack Dorsey: Our role is around what we recommend based on your interest, and based on who you follow, and helping you to get into that on ramp. But if you look at the arc of technology, it's a given that anytime something is created, it's going to exist forever. This is what blockchain helps enable down the line. And we need to make sure that we're paying attention to that, and also realizing that our role is like, how do we get people the stuff that they really want to see, and they find valuable, that they'll learn from, that will make them think, that will help them evolve the conversation as well.

Joe Rogan: Now, when you say amplify the messages that you deemed to be more positive, right, like how do you decide that?

Jack Dorsey: People decide it.

Joe Rogan: People decide.

Jack Dorsey: People decide it based on like, "Are they engaging in replies? Are they retweeting it? Are they liking it?" Are they-

Joe Rogan: But, sometimes, it's really negative. Like, sometimes, the people that are engaging in it, engaging, they're attacking someone. So, is that valuable, or is it just unfortunate?

Jack Dorsey: It's valuable. I mean, every signal is something that we can learn from, and we can act on. But it's going to constantly evolve.

Joe Rogan: Right.

Jack Dorsey: I mean, these models that we have to build will constantly have to learn what the network is doing and how people are using it. And our goal is healthy contribution back to the public conversation. That is what we want. We want to encourage people into more bigger, informative, global conversations that they will learn from.

Joe Rogan: Are you constantly aware of how much this is changing society, and that you are one of the four or five different modalities that are radically changing society? Whether it's Facebook, or Instagram, or any of these social media companies, it's radically changing the way people communicate with each other. There's a giant impact on the way human beings talk and see each other. And the way we process ideas and the way we distribute information is unprecedented. There's never been anything like that before. And you setting up something that you think it's going to be a group chat.

Joe Rogan: Do you member the early days when you would say like "@Jack is going to the movies." You would say it. Like, that's how we would say it. I would say "@JoeRogan is on his way to dinner."

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: That's how people would do it.

Jack Dorsey: The status.

Joe Rogan: It's fucking — it was weird-

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: … that somewhere along the line, that morphed, and it's-

Jack Dorsey: It morphed because that's what the world wanted to do with it.

Joe Rogan: That's what they wanted to do with it.

Jack Dorsey: That's where they wanted to take it.

Joe Rogan: Yeah.

Jack Dorsey: And I just think it's so reflective of what the world is and, in some cases, what the world wants to be.

Joe Rogan: So, it's a pathway for thinking. Just a pathway for people to get their thoughts out, but a really — a powerful one, an unprecedented method of distributing information. It's really nothing ever been like this before.

Jack Dorsey: No, no. And it won't. This mode of communicating will not go away. It will just get faster. It will become a lot more connected. And that's why our work is so critical to figure out some of the dynamics at play, that make it — that cause more negative outcomes and positive outcomes.

Joe Rogan: I think about it because — Well, I think about it because it's just a hugely, significant thing. But I also think about it because of podcasts because podcasts are in a similar way. Just no one saw it coming, and the people that are involved in it are like, "What the fuck are we doing?"

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: Like me, I'm like, "What am I doing? What is this?".

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: Like, for me, it's like, "Oh boy, I get to talk to guys like Ben Greenfield, and Jonathan Haidt, and all these different people to learn some stuff." And I've clearly learned way more from doing this podcast than I ever would have learned without it. No doubt about it, unquestionably. But I didn't fucking plan this.

Joe Rogan: So, now, all the sudden, there's this signal that I'm sending out to millions and millions of people. And then, people are like, "Well, you have a responsibility." I'm like, "Oh great." Well, I didn't want that. I didn't want a responsibility to what I distribute. I just want to be able to have a freak show, just talk to people, like whatever. There's certain people that I have on whether it's Alex Jones or anyone that's controversial where people will get fucking mad. "Why are you giving this person a platform?" I go, "Okay. Hmm, I didn't think about it that way and, and I don't think that's what I'm doing. I think I'm talking to people and you can listen."

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: But it's giving that person a platform because they're saying, "Well, no, they'll tone down." Like Milo Yiannopoulos, that was one of the arguments people gave me. Like he toned down his platform when he was on your show, so you could get more people to pay attention to him. I'm like, "Okay, but he also talked about-" That was one of the reasons why he was exposed was my show because he talked about that it's okay to have sex with underaged boys if they're gay because there was like a mentor relationship between the older gay man and the younger, and people were like, "What the fuck are you talking about?"

Joe Rogan: And that was a big part of why he's been removed from the public conversation. That was one of the things. And then, there's the discussion like, "Well, what is that? What is removing someone from the public conversation? If someone is very popular, and they have all these people that like to listen to them, what is the responsibility of these platforms, whether it's YouTube, or Twitter, or anyone. What is their responsibility to decide whether or not someone should or shouldn't be able to speak?"

Joe Rogan: And this is a thing that I've been struggling with, and it bounced around inside my own head, and I see that you guys struggle with it, and pretty much everyone does. Youtube does. And it is a hugely significant discussion that is left to a very relatively small amount of people. And this is why this discussion of what is social media? Is it something and everybody has a right to, or is it something that should be restricted to only people that are willing to behave and carry themselves in a certain way?

Jack Dorsey: I believe it's something that everyone has a right to.

Joe Rogan: Everyone has a right to, but you still ban people. Let's say like, Alex Jones. you guys were the last guys to keep Alex Jones on the platform. You were the last ones.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: And I believe you hung in there until he started harassing you personally, right?

Jack Dorsey: No, no, no, no. He did not-

Joe Rogan: He came to your house, he begged.

Jack Dorsey: No, no. You know, he did a very different things on our platform versus the others.

Joe Rogan: Oh, okay.

Jack Dorsey: So, we saw this domino effect over a weekend of one platform banning him, and then another, another, another in very, very quick succession.

Joe Rogan: Right. And people, I think, would have assumed that we would just have followed suit, but he didn't violate our Terms of Service.

Joe Rogan: Right.

Jack Dorsey: And afterwards, he did. And we have — You know, we a policy. And if there's a violation, we take enforcement actions. One might be asking the account holder to delete the tweet. Another might be a temporary suspension. Another might be a permanent suspension.

Joe Rogan: So, what you're saying — So, like, let's use it in terms of like him saying that Sandy Hook was fake. He did not say that on the platform. He did not say that on Twitter. He only said that on his show.

Jack Dorsey: I don't know all the mediums he said it in.

Joe Rogan: What did he do?

Jack Dorsey: What we're looking at is the conduct and what he did on our platform.

Joe Rogan: So, what did he do on your platform that was like — that you all were in agreement that this is enough?

Jack Dorsey: I'm not sure what the actual, like, violations were. But we have a set number of actions. And if they keep getting — If an account keeps violating Terms of Service, ultimately, it leads to permanent suspension. And when all the other platforms are taking him off, we didn't find those. We didn't find those violations, and they weren't reported. But again, it goes back to a lot of our model. People weren't reporting a lot of the tweets that may have been in violation on our service, and we didn't act on them.

Joe Rogan: Right. Like a good instance is what's going on with Patreon. I'm sure you're aware of the Sargon of Akkad thing. He did a podcast a long time ago, I believe six months or so ago, where he used the N-word, and the way he used it is actually against white nationalists. And he also said a bunch of other stuff, and they decided, Patreon decided that what he said on a podcast was enough for them to remove him from the platform, even though he didn't do anything on their platform that was egregious. And, also, they had previously stated that they were only judging things that occurred on their platform.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: There's been a giant blow back because of that because people are saying, "Well, now you're essentially policing, and not based on his actions, just on concepts and the communication that he was using, the way he was talking. You're eliminating him from being able to make a living, and that you're doing this because he does not fit into your political paradigm. The way you want to view the world, he views the world differently. This is an opportunity for you to eliminate someone who you disagree with."

Jack Dorsey: Yeah. I mean, I don't know the nuances of their policy, but we have to pay attention to folks who are using Twitter to shut down the voices of others.

Joe Rogan: Right.

Jack Dorsey: That's where it gets weaponized. And we also have to pay attention to where people are using it that put other folks in physical danger. And that is where we need to be most severe. But, otherwise, everyone has a right to these technologies. And, I think, they also have a right to make sure that they have a very simple and open read of the rules. And we're not in a great state there. Our rules and our enforcement can be extremely confusing to people.

Joe Rogan: What has been the one thing that came up that was perhaps the most controversial? Like I know my friend, Sam Harris, was trying to get you guys to ban Donald Trump and saying if you follow your Terms of Service-

Jack Dorsey: I just did a podcast with him actually as well. It should come out today or tomorrow.

Joe Rogan: He's a fascinating guy, Sam Harris. I love him to death. But what he was trying to do was like saying, "Hey, he's threatening nuclear war." Like, he's saying, "Hey, Korea, my bombs are bigger than your bombs. Like what else does the guy have to do to get you to remove him from the platform?" When you guys saw that, what was your reaction to that? Was there an internal discussion about actually banning the President United States?

Jack Dorsey: Well, so, two things there. One, it was the context that presidents of this country have used similar language in different mediums. They used it on radio, they used it on television. It's not just through Twitter. And even if you were to look at the presidency of Obama, it wasn't exactly the same tone in this exact same language, but there were threats around the same country. And we have to take that context into consideration.

Jack Dorsey: So, the second thing is that we need — The most controversial aspect of our rules and our Terms of Service is probably this clause around public interest and newsworthiness, where powerful figures or public figures might be in violation of our Terms of Service, but the tweet itself is of public interest.

Joe Rogan: Yes.

Jack Dorsey: There should be a conversation around it. And that is probably the thing that people disagree with the most and where we have a lot of internal debate. But we also have some pretty hard lines. If we had a global leader, including the President of United States, make a violent threat against a private individual, we would take action. We always have to balance that with like, "Is this something that the public has interest in?" And I believe, generally, the answer is yes. It's not going to be in every case but, generally, the answer is yes because we should see how our leaders think and how they act.

Joe Rogan: And essentially, it all-

Jack Dorsey: That informs voting. That informs the-

Joe Rogan: Yes.

Jack Dorsey: … conversation. That informs whether we think they're doing the right job, or we think that they should be voted out.

Joe Rogan: Well, it's very important to see how someone uses that platform. And when someone uses it the way he uses it, and then becomes president, and continues to use it that way that's when people are like, "What?"

Jack Dorsey: He's been consistent. I think he joined in 2009, 2012.

Joe Rogan: Yeah.

Jack Dorsey: You look at all of his tweets all the way back then, and it's pretty consistent till today.

Joe Rogan: Yeah. I mean, he likes to insult people on Twitter. It's fun for him.

Jack Dorsey: Yes, he does.

Joe Rogan: It's just I never thought he would keep doing it. I thought once he became president, maybe just lock it down, try to do a good job for the country. And then, after four years or eight years, just go back to his old self, "Fuck you, fuck the world, fuck this," but no. He's just — It's just, in one way, it's hilarious. See, as a comedian, I think it's awesome because it's so hilariously stupid. It's so preposterous that he even has the time to talk about Jeff Bezos' affair, and the fact that he got caught with the National Inquirer getting text messages and calls him Jeff Bozo like, "Don't you have shit to do man?"

Joe Rogan: But as a comedian, I am a gigantic fan of folly, almost against my better judgment. I like watching. I like watching disasters. I like watching chaos. When I see nonsense like that, I'm like, "Oh Jesus". I'm drawn like a moth to a flame. But on the other part of me is like. "Man, this sets a very bizarre tone for the entire country," because — one of things about Obama, like Obama or hate Obama because he was very measured, very articulate, obviously, very well-educated. And I think that that aspect of his presidency was very good for all of us because he represented something that was of a very high standard in terms of his ability to communicate, his access to words, the way he measured his words, and held himself. I think that's good for us. Like yeah-

Jack Dorsey: It's aspirational.

Joe Rogan: Yeah. It's like, "Look at that guy. He's talking better than me, That's why he's the president." But when you see Trump, you're like, "He doesn't talk better than me. He doesn't use Twitter better. He's not — He's just this fucking mad man."

Jack Dorsey: But isn't it important to understand that-

Joe Rogan: Yes.

Jack Dorsey: … and to see it-

Joe Rogan: Exactly.

Jack Dorsey: …and like to — Hopefully, that informs opinions and actions.

Joe Rogan: 100%. That's my point. That's my point is like that this is this weird gray area where I think, overall, I definitely support your decision to not ban him for violating your Terms of Service. Like we need to know.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: You know, and it's — How do you know how many accounts are bots? How do you know how many accounts are from a Russian troll farm?

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: Like how do you know that?

Jack Dorsey: So, this is really challenge and something that we're trying to wrap our heads around, but like one of the things we're trying to do is like let's scope that problem down a bit. Let's use the technology we have available to us, like face ID, like touch ID, like the biometric stuff to identify the humans. Let's identify the humans first.

Joe Rogan: So, how do you use that because face ID not really available? Is it available to you guys? You just leaked something you shouldn't have told me?

Jack Dorsey: No, no, no, no. We haven't used it yet, but you can use it for things like, is this a human operating this?

Joe Rogan: It's like Apple Pay, you can use it for that, so.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah, it's completely locked into the local device. We don't have access to your images, to your face, or whatnot, but the operating system can tell us that this is the legit owner of this phone; and therefore, it is human. And technology always has to change. People find ways around that and whatnot. But if we go the opposite direction, and we look for the bots, the problem with looking for the bots is people assume that they just come through our API, but the scripting has become extremely sophisticated. People can script the app, can script the website, and make it look very, very human.

Jack Dorsey: So, we're going after this problem, first, trying to identify the humans as much as we can, utilizing these technologies. None of this is live right now. These are considerations that we're making and trying to understand, like what the impact would be and how we might evolve it. But we need to because that information would provide context for someone like this is an actual human that I'm talking to. And I can invest more time in it, or I can just ignore the thing because it's meaningless.

Joe Rogan: Now, is Apple willing to share that with you. I mean, when you're talking about biometrics, fingerprints, or face ID

Jack Dorsey: No, no, no. Not the data. It's just the operating system verifies that, you know, this-

Joe Rogan: That there's individual user.

Jack Dorsey: It's an individual, and it's unlocking.

Joe Rogan: Right.

Jack Dorsey: Like, you know, when you use the — Our Cash App uses this, right. So, Square's Cash App, when you want to make a transfer to someone, when you want to send someone money, or when you want to buy bitcoin, we turn on face ID, and you verify that you are you, and you are the owner of the phone, and then it goes. We don't get images of your face. We don't see who you are.

Joe Rogan: That's what you want me to think. I know, yeah.

Jack Dorsey: That's all locked down by the operating system, and that's the way it should be.

Joe Rogan: Right. Right, sure. Has there ever been any consideration to not allowing people to post anonymously?

Jack Dorsey: Well-

Joe Rogan: Like what you said earlier about journalists and whistleblowers, that is political.

Jack Dorsey: So, look at platforms that have a real names policy. Look at Facebook.

Joe Rogan: Right.

Jack Dorsey: Are the problems any different?

Joe Rogan: I don't know because I don't go there, but for what I understand, there's a lot of — still, a lot of arguing there.

Jack Dorsey: It's the same-

Joe Rogan: A lot of political arguing. A lot of old people.

Jack Dorsey: They're the same vectors, the same patterns.

Joe Rogan: I think, older. It's like older, in general.

Jack Dorsey: It seems. I, also, am not really hanging out there, but it seems a little bit older.

Joe Rogan: It's a lot of grannies looking at pictures of their kids, grandkids, and stuff.

Jack Dorsey: That's what it's made for. It's connecting-

Joe Rogan: Arguing about ignorance.

Jack Dorsey: It's connecting with the people that you know. And that, to me, is the biggest difference with Twitter. It's connecting with the people you don't know-

Joe Rogan: Well-

Jack Dorsey: … that you find interesting, and like it's around topics and stuff that you find that you want to learn more about.

Joe Rogan: When you saw Zuckerberg testifying, and realizing like how this platform is being used, and what are the dangers of this, and then you see these senators that really don't know what the fuck the technology is or-

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: It really highlights how we're entering this-

Jack Dorsey: There's a gap.

Joe Rogan: Really, yeah. Well, not just a gap. A gap and the critical understanding of how these things work, and what they are in terms of like how these really important politicians who are the ones who are making these decisions as to whether or not someone has violated laws, or whether or not something should be curbed or regulated.

Joe Rogan: Yeah.

Jack Dorsey: And they don't really even understand what they're talking about.

Jack Dorsey: No. I mean, there's-

Joe Rogan: So few people do.

Jack Dorsey: Because they're not using it directly. They're not using in the way that people are using it every single day and-

Joe Rogan: Right.

Jack Dorsey: … they don't have the same experience that people have every single day. And, you know, in terms of regulatory, and our regulators, and our governments, you know, I think the conversation is often about how regulators will come in, and start writing rules, and setting expectations for how companies or services might behave. But there's a role for the company to educate, and there's a role for the company to educate on like what technology makes possible, whether it'd be positive and also some of the negatives that become possible as well.

Jack Dorsey: So, I think, we have a role to help educate and to help make sure that we're — you know, really, we're pushing towards what I think the job of a regulator is, which is, number one, protect the individual; number two, level the playing field, and make sure that those two things are not compromised by special interests trying to protect their own domain, or profits, or dominance within a particular market.

Joe Rogan: What do you mean by level the playing field?

Jack Dorsey: Level the playing field, so that an individual has the same opportunity that someone else might have our company might have.

Joe Rogan: So, okay. So, like anybody-

Jack Dorsey: So, anyone-

Joe Rogan: … can have a Twitter account.

Jack Dorsey: Anyone can have a Twitter account. And, you know, they have, at least, you know, an equal opportunity to contribute to it. And whatever they do with it will change the outcome. Some people might become very popular because they're saying stuff people want to hear. Some people won't see any following whatsoever because they're not adding anything original, or interesting, or different in terms of perspective.

Joe Rogan: Where do you see this going? When you look at these, kind of, emerging technologies, not necessarily emerging anymore, established now, but still, you know, a new thing in relative terms of human history, where do you see this going? And does it get more intrusive? Does it get deeper into our lives? Like what — And when you look at new technologies like augmented reality and things along those lines. do you see new possibilities and new things that make things even more complicated?

Jack Dorsey: I mean, yeah. I mean, we just have to assume that we naturally use more and more technologies, more and more things become open, more and more things increase the velocity. There's more communication, not less. Like this is not going away. And it's just-

Joe Rogan: Right.

Jack Dorsey: It's just a question of what we do with it. So, where I want it to go, and where I want Twitter specifically to go is, you know, I think, it's existential right now that we have global conversations about some things that will become crisis. Climate change being one of them. There's no one nation state that's going to solve that problem alone. Economic disparity being another, the rise of AI, and job displacement, and just like us offloading decisions to these algorithms.

Jack Dorsey: Those are things that that no one nation, no one community is going to solve alone. It takes the entire world to do so. So, I want to make sure that we're doing our best to get people seeing these global conversations and, ideally, participating in them because it helps. It helps us solve the problems faster. I just believe that more open society allows us to solve problems much faster.

Joe Rogan: So, you, in many ways, see Twitter as having some sort of a social responsibility in this discussion.

Jack Dorsey: Totally, totally, totally. Yeah. And I think a big part of is like, right now, like how are we ensuring that there is more healthy contribution to that global conversation. And, you know, I just think it's so critical that we start talking about the things that are facing all of us, not just one nation. I do think that that's where our current model really puts the world at a disadvantage because it incentivizes more of the echo chambers, which lead to things like nationalism, instead of taking the broader picture, and looking at what's happening around the world to all people, to all of humanity.

Joe Rogan: What do you do though to balance the conversation, or what responsibility do you think you have to balance a conversation in terms of the way conservatives view it versus the way liberals and progressives view it.

Jack Dorsey: Balance it. I mean, show-

Joe Rogan: I mean, is there a responsibility? Do you have a responsibility, or is it just leave it up to the people and let them figure it out, the same way they figured out hashtags and everything else?

Jack Dorsey: I think we have a responsibility to make it easier to do that.

Joe Rogan: Easier. How so?

Jack Dorsey: Right now, it's just too hard. Most people will not — You know, have a sticker mindset.

Joe Rogan: Venture outside of their bubble.

Jack Dorsey: They will not venture out. They will not break their bubble.

Joe Rogan: Right.

Jack Dorsey: But if you — because it's — Right now, on the surface, it's just so hard to do that. I can only follow accounts, and I have to look into and just imagine like, you know, trying to get an understanding of your own politics. People can't just look at your bio. They have to look through all your tweets, they have to listen to a bunch of your podcasts and whatnot. And that's a bunch of work. If we shift it more towards topics and interest, at least, we have the potential to see a bunch more perspectives. We see-

Joe Rogan: How do you do that though?

Jack Dorsey: The simplest thing is like follow a hashtag, follow a topic. Like why can't you just follow Warriors Twitter or, you know, NBA Twitter? Why do you have to go and find all the coaches, and the players, and the team.

Joe Rogan: So-

Jack Dorsey: We can do that. We can help make that a whole lot easier for folks.

Joe Rogan: So, there's something like Brexit or something. So, if you go to #Brexit, you're going to get the whole conversation. You're going to get the pros, the cons, the left, the right, the whole deal, the centrists. You're going to get everybody versus following the people that you already follow that agree with what you think.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah. The probability is higher that you'll get more. You'll get more variety of perspective. And not even — Don't even follow Brexit. Follow Vote Leave if you want to leave. But within that topic, there might be some dissenting opinions. And you get to choose whether those inform you, whether that emboldens your position or not. And, again, I'm not saying that we should force that upon it, but it's not easy to even do that today, right. The only tool we give you is finding and following the accounts. And that-

Joe Rogan: But people search hashtags. They do search hashtags, right?

Jack Dorsey: They don't based on the timeline.

Joe Rogan: They don't?

Jack Dorsey: I mean, it is a small percentage of people. The people that really know Twitter know how to do that. But most people, they follow an account, and they stay in their timeline. And their world is their timeline.

Joe Rogan: Hashtags can be corrupted too. I mean, people-

Jack Dorsey: Totally, they can be gamed.

Joe Rogan: Yeah.

Jack Dorsey: They can be gamed.

Joe Rogan: Yeah, I-

Jack Dorsey: And taken over.

Joe Rogan: I took over #vegancat. Go to #vegancat.

Jack Dorsey: What is that?

Joe Rogan: It's a rap. That's mine now. In my last Netflix special about a woman who said a bunch of horrible things to me because I've put a picture up on Instagram of some deer meat. I wrote, "This is a meat from a deer that like to kick babies. It was about to join ISIS." And I wrote #vegan, which was the mistake, right, to write #vegan. But the #vegan people went fucking crazy and came after me because I entered into their timeline with meat.

Jack Dorsey: There it is.

Joe Rogan: Have you got a #vegancat? It's all either pictures of — See. Like it says, "Joe Rogan," right, "Thank you. I haven't laughed that hard in a while #vegancat." It's people that are feeding their fucking cat vegan food, and they're all dying. And in the special, I say, "Every cat looks like it's living in a house with a gas leak." Like they're all-

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: … like laying like, "Where the fuck is the real food?" But this is real. Like this-

Jack Dorsey: It generates conversation, different perspective.

Joe Rogan: But the thing is if someone does something like that, like you can — like pick a person, you know, whatever that person is, whatever they're doing, if they have a hashtag that they utilize all the time for their movement or whatever, someone could mock them, and then use that. And if it's a public figure or someone who's got a prominent voice, then, all of a sudden, that hashtag becomes — People just take it over and start mocking them-

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: … with that hashtag.

Jack Dorsey: But it has to be done en masse.

Joe Rogan: Yes.

Jack Dorsey: I mean, it has to be coordinated. And, sometimes, people like figure out how to game the system, and coordinate it, and amplify that message in an unfair way. And that's what our systems are trying to recognize.

Joe Rogan: How sick did that cat look?

Male: Amazing.

Joe Rogan: That poor fucking cat. That was a real one. That was a real #vegancat.

Jack Dorsey: Wow.

Joe Rogan: These poor bastards. So, when you look back at emerging social media, like we go all the way back to MySpace, right. MySpace, you got Tom. Tom was sitting there, and you're in your top eight, and, you know, people would like post music that they liked, and it was never political. It was very — often, very surfaced. And for comics, it was a great way to promote shows, and it was an interesting way to see things. But it was like the seed that became Twitter or Facebook or any of these.

Jack Dorsey: That's one of them. I think, we — At least, for us, like, we got more of our roots from AOL instant messenger and ICQ.

Joe Rogan: Hmm, ICQ.

Jack Dorsey: Because, it was — You know, you remember the status message where you said like, "I'm in a meeting," or "I'm listening to this music," or "I'm watching a movie right now."

Joe Rogan: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Jack Dorsey: That was the inspiration.

Joe Rogan: Oh.

Jack Dorsey: And what we took from that was being able to — Like, if you could do that from anywhere, not bound to a desk, but you could do that from anywhere, and you could do it from your phone, and you could just be roaming around and say, you know, "I'm at Joe Rogan's studio right now," that is cool. I don't need my computer. I'm not bound to this, chained to this desk. I can do it from anywhere.

Jack Dorsey: And then, the other aspect of instant messenger was, of course, chat. So, one of the things that the status would do is you might say like, you know, "I'm listening Kendrick Lamar right now," and I might hit you up on chat and say, like, "What do you think of the new album?" But, now, it's all public.

Joe Rogan: Right.

Jack Dorsey: So, it's just everyone can see it. That's the biggest difference. And that, to me, is what Twitter is, Myspace, it was profiles. And, you know, people organized around these profiles and this network that developed between people. And that is Facebook. Facebook optimized the hell out of that, and they scaled the world. We were something very different. You know, we started with a simple status. And then, people wanted to talk about it. And we decided that it should be on the same surface. It shouldn't be subservient to the status. It should be part of that flow. And that's what makes Twitter, you know, so fluid.

Joe Rogan: Now, when you look at this sort of metamorphosis or this evolution between those initial social media, whether it's AOL, Instant Messenger, that eventually became like ICQ, what was that one that we would use, that gamers would use, that it was like a livestream-

Jack Dorsey: Search?

Joe Rogan: … message board. No. It was like-

Male: For a while, people were using TeamSpeak, but I don't know-

Joe Rogan: No, no, it wasn't. It wasn't that.

Male: … if that's on your plan that's more recent.

Joe Rogan: It wasn't that. It wasn't TeamSpeak. It was — Like you would go there, and share files and stuff, and people would go — Like if Ice play a lot of online video games-

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: And we play on teams, and we have teams go play other teams, and he would use this sort of — It was like a — It wasn't a message board because it was all in real time. What the fuck was it called?

Male: OnLive?

Joe Rogan: No.

Male: No? Okay.

Joe Rogan: All right, forget it.

Male: Yeah, sorry.

Joe Rogan: Anyway, guys would go there, and you could send people files through it.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: And, you know, teams would go and meet, and it would be a chat, like an online chat-

Jack Dorsey: Yeah, yeah.

Joe Rogan: … that would be in real time.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah, it's — I mean, we have a lot of our roots in AOL, Instant Messenger, but also like IRC, Internet Relay Chat and Usenet, which were, you know, these old internet '70s technology.

Joe Rogan: IRC is what I was talking about.

Jack Dorsey: IRC?

Joe Rogan: Yeah. That's the one.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah, okay, okay.

Joe Rogan: Yeah.

Jack Dorsey: So, Internet Relay Chat is-

Joe Rogan: Yeah.

Jack Dorsey: … like this giant chatroom that anyone can join. It's a range around topics. And-

Joe Rogan: That's — What's interesting about that is you could see people typing. You see it occurring in real time. You see it popping up in real time.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: You know. Just I wonder like, what is the next evolution of this? Because no one saw anything going from ICQ to Twitter. No one saw anything going from that to Instagram, and to where we're at right now where it really does flavor the conversation of our entire culture. I mean, before, it was just a thing that was happening, that was happening on people's computers.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: Now, it's a thing that's happening on people's computers. And, now, phones. And, now, your whole life. It's a very different influence.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: And I wonder because everything does accelerate.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: Things constantly move forward and become more and more integrated into our life experience. And I wonder, what is the next stage of this?

Jack Dorsey: I mean, like the secular trends, and, you know, you look at technology, and you look at technologies like blockchain, for instance, and I think, you know, we're moving to a world where anything created exists forever; that there's no centralized control over who sees what; that, you know, these models become completely decentralized, and all these barriers that exist today aren't as important anymore.

Joe Rogan: When you think of something like gab, like gab seems to be a response to the fact that some people are getting banned from other platforms, and they're just allowing anybody to come on say and anything they want.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: The downside of that is, of course, the most horrible people are gonna be able to say anything they want with no repercussions. The good side is anybody can say whatever they want.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah. I haven't studied them too much, but I do know that they have taken action on accounts as well. They have suspended accounts. And they have-

Joe Rogan: At what basis?

Jack Dorsey: … a Terms of Service as well.

Joe Rogan: What do they suspend accounts for? Do you know?

Jack Dorsey: I don't know. It's probably conduct-related. It's probably — It might be doxxing, you know.

Joe Rogan: Probably, right?

Jack Dorsey: But it's just a question of, like, you know, the rules. And if you agree to the rules, then, you know, you sign up for the service. And if not, there will be other services. But like you look at the trends, and I think, you know, certainly things become a lot more public, and certainly things become a lot more open. Certainly, the barriers and the boundaries that we have in place today become less meaningful. And I think there's a lot of positives in that. And I also think there's a lot of danger that we need to be mindful of.

Joe Rogan: Now, you, as a CEO, as a guy who's running this thing, what has this been, this experience been like for you? Because I've got to imagine that it wasn't anything that you predicted. No one predicted Twitter, right?

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: So, to, all the sudden, have this responsibility-

Jack Dorsey: Twitter changed everything. I mean, it-

Joe Rogan: And you're a young guy. How old are you?

Jack Dorsey: 42.

Joe Rogan: That's young to be in control of that much, and to have it over the time of — What has it been? 11 years?

Jack Dorsey: 13 years.

Joe Rogan: 13 years.

Jack Dorsey: We'll be 13 in March, yeah.

Joe Rogan: Yeah. So, you were really fucking young.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: Like what has that been like for you?

Jack Dorsey: It's been both beautiful, and scary, and uncomfortable, and learning. It's just been a ton of learning and evolving. And like it it shows me every single day where I need to push myself what I don't know. And I think a big part is like just the realization that we're not gonna be able to do this alone. And I don't think we have to either. These are what the technologies that continue to allow us.

Jack Dorsey: We can — If we have to have all the answers around enforcement or policy, we're not going to serve the world. We have aspirations to serve every single person on the planet, and we have aspirations to be the first consideration for the global public conversation. And, you know, if we're the bottleneck for all of this, we're not going to reach those aspirations. So, it's just thinking deeply about how we might distribute more of this work, and decentralize more of it, and look at, you know, the platform itself, and like what we need to change to reach that reality.

Jack Dorsey: And I think we've got to look really deep and foundational. It goes back to, you know, your question on 140. One of the things that we saw was, you know, we shifted to 280 characters, and that — You know, this 140-characters is so sacred, you know.

Joe Rogan: Yeah.

Jack Dorsey: It became this cultural thing. And I was in love with it, and so many people are in love with it. But one of the things we noticed as we moved to 280 is that the vast majority of tweets that are broadcast don't go above 140, even with that limitation raised. But where they do go above 140 is in replies. When people reply, they tend to go over 140-character limit, and even bump up into the 280 limit.

Jack Dorsey: And what it allowed — What we've seen it allow is just more nuance in the conversation. It allows people to give more context and kind of just get their experience on the table a bit more; whereas, 140 did not allow that. So, we have seen that increase, the health of those conversations and the discussion. So, it's stuff like that that we need to question and not hold so sacred.

Joe Rogan: Is there any consideration to expanding it further?

Jack Dorsey: Not right now. We were-.

Joe Rogan: How about a million characters? No?

Jack Dorsey: Well, we don't have edit tweets right now. So, we-

Joe Rogan: Do you think that that's good or bad?

Jack Dorsey: Well, if you can't edit 140 characters, you're going to be really pissed off if you write a million characters in kind of those things.

Joe Rogan: You know what I would like? I would like edit, the ability to edit like if you make a typo or something like that, but also the ability for people to see the original.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: Like edit but see the original.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: Like say if it is-

Jack Dorsey: We're looking at exactly that.

Joe Rogan: Oh really?

Jack Dorsey: We're looking at exactly that. The reason we don't have it in the first place is we were born on SMS. We're born on text messaging. When you send a text, you can't take it back.

Joe Rogan: Right.

Jack Dorsey: So, when you send a tweet, it goes to the world instantaneously.

Joe Rogan: Right.

Jack Dorsey: You can't take it back. So, when we-

Joe Rogan: But does not exist anyway. I mean, no matter what, if you send someone something even, if you — on Instagram, people are gonna know the original.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah, they screenshot it, and they-

Joe Rogan: Yeah.

Jack Dorsey: You know, they do their thing. But like you could build it such that, you know, maybe we introduce a five-second to 30-second delay in the sending. And within that window, you can edit.

Joe Rogan: I'm gonna need more time than I do. If I fuck something up, like someone has to tell me.

Jack Dorsey: But the-

Joe Rogan: "Hey, man, you misspelled that word." Shit, did I? God damn it.

Jack Dorsey: The issue-

Joe Rogan: But sometimes, autocorrect gets you.

Jack Dorsey: Totally. But the issue with going longer than that, it takes that real time nature and the conversational flow out of it.

Joe Rogan: Yes.

Jack Dorsey: So, then, we're delaying these tweets. And like when you're watching UFC or you're watching like Warriors basketball, a lot of the great Twitter is like just like in the moment. Just like, you know, it's the roar of the crowd. It's like, you know, looking across at someone you're in this virtual stadium with, and just saying like, "Oh my god, that shot. Can you believe it?" And-

Joe Rogan: But isn't clarity more important because you're not going to-

Jack Dorsey: It depends on the context.

Joe Rogan: Yeah.

Jack Dorsey: It depends on the context.

Joe Rogan: But you're still gonna have the ability to communicate quickly.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: But you also have the ability to clarify.

Jack Dorsey: That's where we need to really pay attention because if you're in the context of an NBA game, you want to be fast, and you just want to be at the moment, and you just — You know, you want to be raw. But if you're in the context of considering what the president just did or making a particular statement, then you probably need some more time. And we can be dynamic there.

Joe Rogan: What's interesting to me is how few people use video. Like I thought when you guys have video on Twitter, I'm like, "Well, a bunch people are gonna be making videos and putting those up on Twitter." And it's not. It's not that often.

Jack Dorsey: It depends on who you follow. It's huge for some aspects of Twitter. It's-

Joe Rogan: Is it?

Jack Dorsey: It's less so in others but-

Joe Rogan: What aspects is huge for?

Jack Dorsey: A lot of sports. I mean, we see a lot of like just the replays and the recaps and like-

Joe Rogan: Right, for sure, yeah.

Jack Dorsey: You know, aspects of a particular shot that people want to comment on. I don't like — I think it's dangerous for us to focus too much on the medium, whether it'd be images, or GIFs, or video. It's more about the conversation around it. Like that's what we want optimized for.

Joe Rogan: It's definitely very popular for sports, and in a folly, and, you know, there's a — What is a — There's a bunch of animal attack videos that you can-

Male: Nature is Metal.

Joe Rogan: Yeah, Nature is Metal is a good one and Hold my Beer. That's another good one. I mean, it's all videos. But what I meant was people making a video, talking about something.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Joe Rogan: This is what I was trying to say. What I think is this and that, blah, blah, blah. You don't see a lot of that. And I thought maybe that would be something that people would adopt more.

Jack Dorsey: To a different speed, you know. And I think, like the consumption of video, I mean, you see this in the technology right now. Like people are subtitling every single video because people might be in an environment where they can't turn the audio on, or, like, a video, like I have to scrub through to see what's interesting.

Joe Rogan: Right.

Jack Dorsey: With text, I can just see it. And it allows for a lot of serendipity to find something that I probably wouldn't have seen unless I watched the whole damn video. So, like the ability to clip something, the ability to like index in, I think, is really critical. So, it's not — To me, it's not about the format. It's about the use case and the context that you're in.

Joe Rogan: Now, going back to the responsibility that you guys have, and you in particular, like when this became what it is now, and when it became evident that it became this gigantic way of changing the way human beings communicate with each other, was there ever any regret, or was there ever a moment where you're like, "What the fuck have I gotten myself into?"

Jack Dorsey: I mean, there's — I'm always reflective of where I am and what I'm doing. I think that the biggest has been around — Twofold. One, how the dynamics of the service allow it to be weaponized in order to silence someone else or to drive them off the surface entirely, which goes against the entire concept of free speech and free participation. Like we just can't stand for that. We need to make sure that everyone feels that they have an opportunity at a voice. And when you have these coordinated attacks, it's just it's not fair.

Jack Dorsey: Second is around, you know, this concept of an echo chamber and the filter bubble. I just — I don't feel personally good about that. I don't feel that we thought that through enough in the early days. I think we should have moved towards biasing the service towards topics and interests much, much sooner than we're now considering doing.

Joe Rogan: Now, when you have these considerations, when you take these actions, do you consult with psychologists, or sociologists, or historians, or people to try to put in perspective for you what the ramifications of each individual move would be?

Jack Dorsey: I try to read as much as possible. I try to talk to as many people as possible. Just get a completely different perspective and-

Joe Rogan: Is there any internal disagreement about actions that you take?

Jack Dorsey: Oh yeah. There's always debate. There's always debate. But, I think, my role is to ask ask questions and make sure, like, what is our goal here? What are we trying to do? You know-

Joe Rogan: And that evolves?

Jack Dorsey: That evolves, that evolves. Like, is this, over the long term, going to be a net positive for all humans, all humanity? Like, how do we balance the considerations of, you know, how we serve everyone? And, like, how do we get down to something? How do we get down to a fundamental answer and a central answer? And that, to me, is where the real truth is, is when you can get to something foundational. But, you know, I like having conversations with as many people from as many different fields as possible and getting the perspective on it. So, I ask questions all the time.

Joe Rogan: It's interesting the way you're phrasing this too that you are looking at this as a method to save, or to help people, to serve people. You're looking at this as a way that you can benefit society, that society can benefit from your platform, can benefit from this ability to communicate. You're not just looking at it as a tech company that has to remain profitable. And that is-

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: One of the more interesting things about tech companies, to me — I mean, there's been a lot of criticism, maybe justified in some ways, that tech companies all lean left. But what is interesting to me is that name another corporation that willingly, of its own choice, takes that into consideration that they want to serve the world and serve culture in a beneficial way regardless of profit.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: I mean, because you're not really selling anything, right. You guys have a platform. Obviously, it's financially viable, but you're not selling things, right?

Jack Dorsey: Well, I mean, we do our models based off people's attention.

Joe Rogan: Yeah.

Jack Dorsey: And they're paying us with their attention. And that's extremely valuable, and something that we need to really, really honor. But I agree with you. I mean, look at Tesla. You know, I just listened to the recent earnings call. And one of the things that Elon said was, "Look, there are two reasons for Tesla. Number one is to advance, you know, different sources of energy and more renewable sources of energy because it's a fundamental and existential crisis that's facing all humanity. And number two is to advance autonomy because it'll save lives and give people time back."

Jack Dorsey: And then, you start talking about how to make that possible. And that's where, you know, our business comes in. How do we make that possible? And we have a great business. We need to improve a bunch of it, but it serves what we think our larger purpose is, which is serving the public conversation. We want to see more global public conversations. We want our technology to be used to make the world feel a lot smaller, to help see what common problems we have before us, and, ideally, you know, how we can get people together to solve them faster and solve them better.

Joe Rogan: You also seem to be embracing this responsibility that you're helping to evolve culture. And this is part of providing this method to communication — of communication rather. It's helping to evolve culture. And this is something that is really only applicable to tech companies in some strange way. And it's weird that so many of them share this.

Joe Rogan: Like I was personally a little weirded out when Google took out Don't Be Evil. Like that was a big part of their operating model.

Jack Dorsey: Did they take that out?

Joe Rogan: Yes. Yes. Right?

Male: Mmhmm.

Joe Rogan: Make sure. I don't want to get sued. Pretty sure they removed that from what would — What do you call that? Their operational directive? What is-

Male: It's in the code of conduct.

Jack Dorsey: Code of conduct. And it's not there anymore, right? They removed it.

Male: So, yeah. The other article says they removed the clause.

Joe Rogan: And this-

Jack Dorsey: It's kind of a weird thing to tell people not to be evil.

Joe Rogan: It's weird that they take it out. Once you already said it, it's way weirder to say, "Yeah, fuck it. We were wrong. Just go ahead."

Jack Dorsey: There's another way of saying that though.

Male: They changed it to, "Do the right thing."

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: Oh. Well, what does that mean? What the fuck does do the right thing mean? Do the right thing, so you can make more money? You know, like, "Hey, we want to make money. We'll do the right thing. It's makes more money.".

Jack Dorsey: I mean, that's why — Like, that's why this openness is so critical. I mean, that's why-

Joe Rogan: Yes.

Jack Dorsey: Like the public — To me, the public conversation is so important. We can talk about stuff like that.

Joe Rogan: Right.

Jack Dorsey: And there will be companies forming today that look at objectives and mandates like that and base their whole culture around it. And is that the right idea?

Joe Rogan: Well, it's-

Jack Dorsey: I don't know. But if we're not talking about it, we won't be able to answer that question.

Joe Rogan: What's also interesting because Google is so all encompassing, right. You have Gmail, you have Android. I mean, that — They are the number one operating system for mobile phones in the world on top of being a search engine. There's so much involved in that company. And, again, like almost all tech companies, they heavily lean left, and they — Because they had that Don't Be Evil as a part of their code of conduct, it seemed like something that was a good idea to have.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: And it, sort of, defined what I was talking about that tech companies are uniquely progressive.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah. I mean, I don't know. I don't know what makes that. I think, no matter what, like, we — The internet allows for a very healthy skepticism of nearly everything.

Joe Rogan: Yeah.

Jack Dorsey: I'm from Missouri. It's a Show-Me State.

Joe Rogan: Are you really from Missouri?

Jack Dorsey: Yeah, I'm from St. Louis, Missouri. We're all skeptics. My mom was a Democrat. My dad was a Republican. My dad listened to Rush Limbaugh and Hannity all the time. I found myself somewhere in the middle. But one of the things I appreciated, we had a ton of fights, and arguments, and yelling matches around the kitchen table. But, like, I appreciate the fact that we could have them. And I felt safe to do so. And I didn't feel like — I mean, obviously, they're my parents, but they weren't judging me because of what I said, and-

Joe Rogan: They didn't force you to be a Republican or a Democrat.

Jack Dorsey: Didn't force me to think a particular way. Like, I think they were good, at least, showing different perspectives even in this union that they have. And I don't know. It developed a skepticism in me that I think is healthy, and I have a lot of skepticism of companies like ours and leaders like me. I think that's right. I think that's right, and people should. And we — I mean, I was formed through a lot of the ideals. I think I just fell in love with what it made possible.

Jack Dorsey: And I never ever want to run afoul of those ideals. And, you know, the removal of barriers, and boundaries, and the connection that we have because of it. And, you know, I think often and reflect often about my role and the centralization of my role in our company, and I want to figure out and help figure out, like, how we can continue to add massive value and be an amazing business, which is us and will always be us.

Jack Dorsey: But at the same time, be a participatory force in this greater good that the internet has really started. And it's not led by any one individual or any one company. And that's the beauty of it. And I want to make sure that we find our place in that, and we can also contribute massively to it. And I think we can. It's just going to take a lot of work, a lot of introspection, and a lot of experimentation. A lot of making mistakes and failures too.

Joe Rogan: Well, and it's very encouraging that you have that attitude because, you know, a lot of people, I think, in a similar situation would try to control the narrative. They would try to reinforce their own particular perspective on things and try to get other people to adopt it or try to push it. And I think it's very important-

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: … to just have this open discussion. And I think it's very important to review your own thoughts and ideas.

Jack Dorsey: Totally.

Joe Rogan: And one of the best ways to do so is through the-

Jack Dorsey: Put it out there.

Joe Rogan: Yeah, put it out there.

Jack Dorsey: Put it out there and have other people review it.

Joe Rogan: Yeah.

Jack Dorsey: Peer review is a great process. And the-

Joe Rogan: That was the way this podcast has evolved more than probably anything.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah. That's the thing. I mean, you did this because you want to learn from people. And the platform that you've created, millions get to learn from it as well.

Joe Rogan: Yes.

Jack Dorsey: And that's just so amazing. Like I learn from your podcast all the time. And that's what technology makes possible. But with that power also comes ramifications. And if we're not talking about the ramifications and, like, at least, being open about what we know and what we don't know. And, I think, we're — I think we state and post a lot more of what we know rather than what we don't know.

Joe Rogan: Why don't you guys-

Jack Dorsey: And that's just so interesting.

Joe Rogan: Why don't you guys steal Don't Be Evil? Put that in your own shit. Fuck you, Google.

Jack Dorsey: I don't know if that's going to help anything. Then, what is that telling our employees to do?

Joe Rogan: Don't be evil. It's real simple. Don't be a dick.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah. I mean, how do we get deeper in just, like, seeing more conversation around what is "evil."

Joe Rogan: Have you guys considered expanding your influence in other venues? Like, you know, Google started off as a search engine. Now, it's fucking everything. Have you guys considered doing something similar?

Jack Dorsey: I think, we probably did too much of that early on. And that's what led to a bunch of issues from a corporate standpoint. We're just trying to do too much too many times.

Joe Rogan: Like what?

Jack Dorsey: I don't know. We're trying to be everything to everyone. And like, you know, we had, you know, a video thing, and we had — We're looking at gaming stuff and messaging. And it lost focus of what we are good at. What we're good at is conversation, and what we're good at is public conversation. So, we now have — As a company where, we have just such an amazing focus on what that means and how that evolves.

Jack Dorsey: And there's just — There's some really cool things that we can do there. Like we have this app called Periscope. And one of the things that we're discovering is, like, a lot of people are using it to podcast. A lot of people are using it to share their thoughts, and these people come in, and, you know, they chat, and have a conversation. And one of the things we did recently is we allowed the audio to play in the background. It's super simple, but what we found was that people didn't necessarily want to watch the video of people talking. They just want to hear what they're saying. And that just opened the door for more types of use cases.

Jack Dorsey: And there's some really exciting things coming out with Periscope that, I think, add a new dimension to what conversation looks like, and how it is experienced, and how it evolves. And those are the things I get really excited about. It's like, how can we make conversation better? And, you know, how do we make it feel more live? How do we make it feel more electric? And how do we bring new technology into it that just opens a door for an entirely new way of talking?

Jack Dorsey: And that's the thing that I think has been most educational to me about Twitter is, you know, as we talked about, we started with this idea of sharing what was happening around you. And then, people told us what they wanted to wanted it to be, and it became this conversational medium. It became this interest network. And it became a thing that was entirely new. And, you know, we observed it, and we learned more and more of what it wanted to be in. And as we get deeper and deeper that we're going to be surprised by some of the technologies that we thought would be used in this way, but it turns out that the massive use case, and the resonant use case, and the fundamental use case is going to be created right before our eyes by the people using it.

Joe Rogan: Now, did you guys acquire Periscope or was-

Jack Dorsey: We acquired Periscope, yeah.

Joe Rogan: And what was the thought process when you were acquiring it?

Jack Dorsey: We like the live nature of it. We like the broadcast aspect.

Joe Rogan: Why keep it as Periscope? Why not have it be like Twitter Live?

Jack Dorsey: There's a specific community on Periscope. And I think it's interesting from an experimentation standpoint. We can play with ideas there. It's a smart playground.

Joe Rogan: Scott Evans, I think, uses it better than anybody. He gets on it-

Jack Dorsey: Yeah, he's really good at it.

Joe Rogan: Yeah.

Jack Dorsey: And he's one that I think has figured out just the knack behind it. You know, he starts every one of them with this simultaneous sip of coffee.

Joe Rogan: Yeah.

Jack Dorsey: So, he gets his listeners and his viewers engaged right away. And then, he just goes on. And then, every now and then, he'll, you know, look at the comments, and riff off them. So-

Joe Rogan: He lets people build up too. Like, he'll announce that he's going on, and then wait a little while, say hello to some people.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: Then, once a bunch of people are in the room, then he starts talking.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah. And I just — I find that so interesting because that is the future of conversation. It's looking at the patterns. It's looking at what people are trying to do with the thing. And then, you build technology around it. And that becomes the next big thing. And we just have to — We have to hone our power of observation, hone our power of, like, connecting the dots, and looking at all the patterns, and what people are — It's what's the question behind the question? What's the statement behind the statement that they're making? And if we can get good at understanding some of those fundamental central things, then we've reached — We've, at least, created the probability that most people in the world will find it useful and find it valuable.

Joe Rogan: Joey Diaz as the other person that uses Periscope better than anybody live, but he just gets on.

Jack Dorsey: I haven't seen his.

Joe Rogan: He just gets baked. It gives you a morning — What does he call it? Morning Band Head?

Male: The Morning Joint.

Joe Rogan: The Morning Joint, yeah. He'll smoke a joint or smoke a bowl in the morning, and then just sort of let everybody know-

Jack Dorsey: Doing something-.

Joe Rogan: … what's mine is mine.

Jack Dorsey: Doing something in sync with one — with more people is interesting. Like we've had some folks who are interested in doing meditations through Periscope.

Joe Rogan: Oh, that's a great idea.

Jack Dorsey: You can — I mean, if you look at the surface level, you can't imagine anything more boring than like watching someone meditate. But if you're actually meditating with them, there's something powerful about it. And, like, what can we do to improve that experience?

Joe Rogan: What about people using it for group workouts? Is anyone doing that?

Jack Dorsey: I'm sure it's happened, and I haven't seen it personally, but I'm sure it's happening.

Joe Rogan: How much more people do you have on Twitter than Periscope?

Jack Dorsey: A lot.

Joe Rogan: A lot more, huh?

Jack Dorsey: A lot. It's one of those things that I, personally, just have a lot of conviction around, and I have a lot of belief in the format, and I — You know, every now and then, we don't have instant hits. It just requires a lot of patience. And we need to really learn what it wants to be. And, sometimes, that takes time. And, you know, I think, oftentimes, I've certainly done this, you know, we shut down things a little bit too early.

Jack Dorsey: We did this at Square. Like we had this amazing technology, an app I love called Square Wallet. And it allowed you to — You know, you link your credit card, and you have all these merchants around you here in LA, and you could walk up to a coffee merchant. And as you walked up, your name would pop up on the register, so you could say like, "I want a cappuccino. Put it on Jack." And it just automatically charge your card. And it would only happen if you were within, like, two feet. We're using Bluetooth, and geolocation, and whatnot.

Jack Dorsey: But, you know, we had it for about three years, and it just didn't take off, and we shut it down. And I kind of regret doing that, but it also paved the way for another thing that I didn't want to give up on, and that was the Cash App. Like for four years, it was just a slug. Like a lot of people in the company wanted to shut down the thing. They saw it as something that wasn't successful. And, you know, recently the team reached number one in the App Store in the United States.

Joe Rogan: Yeah.

Jack Dorsey: Like, we are all — We are against all these incumbents like Venmo, and PayPal, and it finally clicked. And it's just because we have the patience and the conviction around our belief.

Joe Rogan: Yeah, it's a great app too. And the ethics behind it are really fantastic too. We're really thankful for the Cash App, especially my friend, Justin Rand, and his fight for the forgotten charity that every time you use the code word, joerogan, all one word, it all goes-

Jack Dorsey: We match it.

Joe Rogan: $5 goes to that. And they've built two wells for the pygmies in the Congo.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: And they've raised thousands of dollars in building more wells right now. It's really, really cool.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: We're really, really happy about that.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah, yeah. I love it. I think it's-

Joe Rogan: It's a great way to save money too. I mean, when you can save 10% at Whole Foods-

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: I mean, that's real.

Jack Dorsey: Well, the other thing is like the population that we serve, typically, are underserved by banks or unbanked entirely.

Joe Rogan: Yeah.

Jack Dorsey: Today, we are their bank account.

Joe Rogan: Right.

Jack Dorsey: But more importantly, they don't have access to things like rewards. You don't get rewards on a typical debit card or credit card.

Joe Rogan: Right.

Jack Dorsey: So, like, just, you know, going to your favorite place and getting an instant 10% off, or whatever it is, is out of reach for most people because the financial institutions don't enable that, and they won't even enable them to get in the door in the first place.

Joe Rogan: Well, if people were listening to this on YouTube, you don't know what the fuck we're talking about, the Cash App has a thing called the Cash Card, which is a debit card that you get with it, and there's a thing called Boost. And with Boosts, all you do is pick a boost in the app, and then use your cash card as a debit card, and you get these automatic discounts. And they're real discounts.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: And in this-.

Jack Dorsey: Instant, instant.

Joe Rogan: For folks with bad credit, there's no credit check. You can direct deposit your paycheck right into the app. And the fact that you guys do things like support Fight for the Forgotten, and you're supporting UFC Fighter Ray Bourque's son who's got some serious medical bills-

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: … it's really, really cool.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah, yeah. I'm really proud of that. I'm really proud of the team. It's a very small team, but they're doing some big things.

Joe Rogan: I hear a lot of good things about it too. I've run into people on the street that tell me they use it, and they're very happy about it.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: So, it's nice to see, again, an emerging technology that's profitable, but, yet, also, has a really good set of ethics.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Joe Rogan: Do you have Don't be Evil in Cash App's code of honor?

Jack Dorsey: No, no, no.

Joe Rogan: Maybe you should not take it. It's free now.

Jack Dorsey: One of our equivalent operating principles within Cash and Square is like under — like, how do we understand someone's struggle? Like, how do we understand? Like, how do we have empathy for like what they're struggling with? And, like, when it comes to finance, they're struggling with a lot.

Joe Rogan: Yeah.

Jack Dorsey: Typically, they're struggling with the ton.

Joe Rogan: What was the thought process with — I mean, one of the things that's kind of cool about the Cash App is that you can buy and sell bitcoin with it.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: Are you guys going to consider other forms or cryptocurrency as well?

Jack Dorsey: Not right now. So, back to the internet, I believe the internet will have a native currency.

Joe Rogan: Really?

Jack Dorsey: It will have a native currency. And I don't know if it's Bitcoin. And I think it will because just given all the tests it's been through, and the principles behind it, how it is created. And, you know, it was something that was born on the internet, that was developed on the internet, that it was tested on the internet. It is of the internet.

Jack Dorsey: And the reason, you know, we enabled the purchasing of bitcoin within the Cash App is, one, we want to learn about the technology, and we want to put ourselves out there, and take some risk. We're the first publicly-traded company to actually offer it as a service. We're the first publicly-traded company to talk to the FCC about bitcoin, and what that means. And it made us uncomfortable. We had to, you know, like really understand what was going on. And that was critical and important.

Jack Dorsey: And then, the second thing is that, you know, we would love to see something become a global currency. It enables more access. It allows us to serve more people. It allows us to move much faster around the world. And we thought we were going to start with how you can use it transactionally, but we noticed that people were treating it more like an asset, like a virtual gold. And we wanted to just to make that easy. Like, just the simplest way to buy and sell bitcoin. But we also knew that it had to come with a lot of education. It had to come with constraint because, you know, two years ago, people did some really unhealthy things about, you know, purchasing bitcoin. They maxed out their credit cards and put all their life savings into the bitcoin.

Jack Dorsey: So, we developed some very simple restrictions and constraints, like you can't buy Bitcoin on the Cash App with a credit card. You have to — It has to be the money you actually have in it. And we look for day trading, which we discouraged and shut down. Like that's not what we are trying to build. That's not what we are trying to optimize for. We made a children's book explaining what bitcoin is, and where it came from, and how people use it, and where it might be going. So, we really tried to take on the role of education and have some like very simple healthy constraints that allowed people to consider what their actions are in the space.

Joe Rogan: Now, when you have something like the Cash App, which it's very much a disruptive technology in terms of, like, decentralization of banks and currency. And, you know, to have it where everything is going right — You're direct depositing a paycheck right in the app if you so choose. Then, you could also buy Bitcoin, which is another disruptive technology. I mean, that — This is another step towards this sort of new way of doing things now.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: And is there pushback from any companies or is there-

Jack Dorsey: Oh, yeah, yeah. I mean, like, you just look at, like, some of the major banks and their consideration around Bitcoin. They all love blockchain because of the efficiencies it can create for their business and potentially new business lines. But, you know, I think, there is a-.

Joe Rogan: Explain blockchain for people who don't know what we're talking about.

Jack Dorsey: Blockchain is a distributed ledger. And what that means is that it's, basically, a distributed database where, you know, the source of truth can be verified at any point around the network. And you can see, you know, this annotation around how content or how around money, like, traveled.

Joe Rogan: So, you don't have to go to an institution to get them?

Jack Dorsey: So, the records, yeah, there's no centralized check. There's no a centralized control over it. And I think that is threatening. It's certainly threatening to certain services behind banks and financial institutions. It's threatening to some governments as well. So, I just look at this and, like, how do we embrace this technology, not react to it, you know, more from a threat standpoint, but, like, what does it enable us to do, and where does our value shift?

Jack Dorsey: And that's what we should be talking about right now is like how our value shifts. And there's always really strong answers to that question. But if you're not willing to ask the question in the first place, you will become irrelevant because technology will just continue to march on and make you irrelevant. And it's the people that like are, you know, growing up with this technology, or born with the technology, only knowing that technology, or are asking the tough questions of themselves that are going to be super disruptive to their business, and they're thinking about right now, and they're taking actions.

Jack Dorsey: And, you know, we're doing that at Square, and we're doing that at Twitter. And like that, to me, represents longevity. That represents our ability to thrive. And we got to push ourselves, we got to make ourselves uncomfortable, and we've got to disrupt what we held sacred, and what we think is success because, otherwise, it's not going to be bigger than what we have today.

Joe Rogan: Yeah, I couldn't agree more. And I think that cryptocurrency, to me, represents one of the more interesting discussions on the internet lately.

Jack Dorsey: Totally.

Joe Rogan: What is money?

Jack Dorsey: Yeah.

Joe Rogan: And why are we agreeing that it's these pieces of paper that the Federal Reserve prints out?

Jack Dorsey: Totally. It's a fascinating time in technology because, like, that, to me, was one of the last, big, centralized nationalized instruments is currency, is money. And when you think about the internet as a country, as a market, as a nation, it's going to have its own currency. But what's interesting about the internet as a nation, it's the whole world. It is the whole world. So, the world gets one currency. It gets one thing they communicate in. And that, to me, is just so freeing and so exciting.

Joe Rogan: Yeah, I'm very excited by it. And I'm also very excited at the fact that it's only been around for such a short period of time but-

Jack Dorsey: 10 years.

Joe Rogan: And it's become a part of the global conversation.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah, it's like a good brand.

Joe Rogan: I also think that it's going to open up the door to potential universal languages. And I think this is-

Jack Dorsey: Totally.

Joe Rogan: This is-

Jack Dorsey: Totally.

Joe Rogan: Yeah.

Jack Dorsey: Yeah, that excites me a lot about Twitter is like, how do we — Like it — If we want to get the world into a conversation, not a single conversation but, at least, being able to see that global conversation, like we've got to work on technologies that would like instantly translate.

Joe Rogan: Yes.

Jack Dorsey: We got to work on technologies that I can speak as I'm speaking right now. And in real time, people are hearing it in their context, in their language, in their dialect. That is amazing. That is so exciting.

Joe Rogan: Yeah.

Jack Dorsey: And like just how that evolves, and how it impacts, not just communication like this but music. And just like, you know, how hip hop, and rap, and, you know, just — It just — It's amazing to think about where that can go and where that can take us.

Joe Rogan: Yeah. And I think you and I are extremely fortunate to be alive right now during this time because, I think, it's one of the strangest and most unique times-

Jack Dorsey: Totally

Joe Rogan: … in human history.

Jack Dorsey: Totally.

Joe Rogan: I don't think there's ever been a time where things have changed so radically, so quickly.

Jack Dorsey: Totally. Yeah. And I feel, you know, we're just — We're able through technologies like Twitter to, at least, see and acknowledge some of the issues that we're still facing that we're probably in the dark before. And I think that's so critical to making any sort of improvements for making any sort of evolution and for making it better for everyone on the planet.

Jack Dorsey: And, you know, as uncomfortable as, you know, sometimes Twitter makes people feel, I think it is necessary to see those things and have conversations about them, so that we can understand how we might move forward and how we might really get at the biggest problems facing us all. And, you know, there's some huge ones, some huge ones right now that if we don't have — if we don't talk about it, like, it will drive us to extinction, and like it will threaten our ability to be in a planet, to live on this planet.

Joe Rogan: I agree. Thank you.

Jack Dorsey: Thanks again.

Joe Rogan: Thanks for everything, man. Thanks for being here.

Jack Dorsey: Thank you.

Joe Rogan: Thanks for doing what you're doing. Thanks for having the attitude that you have. I really, really appreciate.

Jack Dorsey: Thank you. Joe.

Joe Rogan: My pleasure. Bye everybody.

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Education How to record better audio on your phone

Transcribe high quality audio from events with Sonix - how to better record audio from your phone

There’s a smartphone in your pocket everywhere you go. You can make phone calls with it using the built-in microphone. And with easy to use recording apps, you the ability to easily record in-person interviews, lectures, and meetings.

But when you re-listen to these recordings, the audio just doesn’t sound quite right. Sometimes the audio sounds muffled, or there’s a lot of intrusive background noise, or you can’t easily discern certain words and phrases. Don’t worry, this is completely normal.

Bad audio quality is something that you and your listeners can quickly detect and be frustrated about. Not only is it hard to listen to, but it’s hard to understand what is being said. Automated transcription services such as Sonix have a hard time with low quality audio recordings.

What should you do? Well, you don’t have to buy thousands of dollars of gear or book a recording studio to have great sound. It’s easy to capture great audio from your phone by simply tweaking a few key settings, changing how you record, and for the best results: invest in a portable microphone.

Tweak your recording settings:

Put your phone on airplane mode and mute your notifications.

By putting your phone in airplane mode, you prevent phone calls and text messages from interrupting your recordings. Also, most phones have a “Do not disturb” feature, this will prevent notifications and vibrations from interrupting your audio recording.

iPhone (iOS): Voice Memo app (included with your iPhone)

Improve the audio quality by recording in lossless format (which is a non-compressed audio file). You can easily do this by going to Settings > Voice Memos > Audio Quality and choosing “Lossless.”

iPhone (iOS): Voice Record Pro app (free with ads or ad-free for $7 USD)

Voice Record Pro is a more powerful version of the built in Voice Memos app. You can control the gain, sample rate, bit rate, and encode quality. You’ll need to use trial and error to see what settings will suit the environment that you are recording in. Try a short test recording and re-listen to it with headphones to see what settings decrease the environmental distortion and sounds clearest.

Android: Titanium Recorder (free with ads)

Titanium Recorder is a powerful voice recorder. Tap the menu button (it has three dots in the top right of the screen) and choose Settings. Here, like in Voice Record Pro, you can adjust the sample rate, bit rate, and gain to make sure that your audio recording is clear in the environment that you are recording in. Just like above, try a short test recording and re-listen to your recording with headphones and change the settings as necessary.

Change how you record:

Ensure that your microphones are not covered or obstructed.

First, find where your phone’s microphones are located. They are usually at the bottom of the smartphone because that’s where you’d speak into if you were making a phone call. They could also be by the camera(s). Just make sure that when you are recording, you don’t have a case or your finger covering these microphones. By uncovering your microphones, you will prevent your recording from sounding muffled or garbled.

Point your microphones towards your main speaker.

Most phone microphones are directional and if your microphones are pointed away from the main speaker, it relies on the echos or reverberations of the speaker’s voice off of the wall or table. These echos are really hard to decipher and cause the audio quality to be very poor.

For big rooms, bring the microphone closer to the speaker.

If you are recording in a conference room and want to better transcribe your meeting minutes, pass the phone around from speaker to speaker. Having the microphone closer to the speaker will make the audio sound much better. Also, if you are recording a lecture or a speech, sit in the front row if possible; do not try to record from ten rows back.

Portable microphones you should consider:

An external microphone will give you the best audio quality.

By supercharging your phone with an external microphone, you will ensure that you have the best recordings. However, it’s a challenge to choose which microphones will work best with your phone. iPhones require the microphones to have a Lightning connector, while Android phones require the microphones to have a USB-C connector.

Based on our interviews with a few of our most active customers here at Sonix, we have narrowed down the list to a few affordable options:

iPhone: Sennheiser HandMic Digital

The hand-held Sennheiser HandMic Digital is ideal for recording speeches and is great for mobile journalists, podcasters, and musicians. It is a top quality microphone with a high-quality cardioid microphone with a shockmount – which allows it to significantly reduce handling noise while recording only the speaker and eliminating any side noise. It has a lightning adapter so you just plug it into your iPhone and you’ll have instant broadcast quality recordings as long as you hold the microphone close to the speaker. The Sennheiser HandMic Digital Microphone is available on Amazon for $259.

iPhone: Shure MV88 iOS Digital Stereo Condenser Microphone

The Shure MV88 iOS condenser microphone conveniently connects to the bottom of your iPhone and provides a stereo microphone to capture more of the surrounding environment instead of just one speaker. It automatically can adjust the EQ, compression, and limiting features to guarantee that you always get the optimal results. This microphone is built for the on-the-go journalist for when you need a quick and easy microphone to record that on-the-record interview. The Shure MV88 iOS Digital Stereo Condenser Microphone is available on Amazon for $149.

Android: Beyerdynamic FOX USB Condenser Microphone

The desktop Beyerdynamic Fox Microphone is a studio grade quality microphone that you can put on a desk or a table when recording and it will give you great audio quality over USB-C. It has a large diaphragm condenser capsule that will accurately reproduce your voice and eliminate a lot of environmental noise. The Beyerdynamic FOX USB Condenser Microphone is available on Amazon for $149.

Both iPhone and Android: Apogee MiC +

The Apogee MiC Plus is a professional studio quality microphone that you can plug into both your iOS devices (iPhone, iPad), Andoid, or Mac/PC. This microphone is incredibly flexible and can record any sound from interviews to podcasts to vocals to music. It’s small enough to fit in your pocket so it is perfect for recording on the go and has flexible connectivity over both lighting and USB-C. Just plug it into your phone and you are ready to get a high quality recording with increased dynamic range. The Apogee MiC Plus is available on Amazon for $259.

Lavalier Microphone: BOYA Omnidirectional Clip-on Lapel Mic

For a more subtle approach, you might want to consider clipping a lavalier microphone to a tie, shirt, collar and then run the cable to your phone under your clothing. This is great for capturing great sound during a video without having to hand hold a microphone. A lavalier microphone helps capture high-quality, clear sounds because by clipping it to your clothing you guarantee that it is only capturing your voice.  The BOYA Lavalier Microphone model BY-DM1 is the iPhone/Lightning version that’s available on Amazon for $69.95, and the BOYA Lavalier Microphone model BY-DM2 is the Android/USB-C version that’s available on Amazon for $69.95.

One final thought:

Not only will having high quality audio recordings improve the quality of your automated transcriptions with Sonix, they will also benefit your listeners who have a higher likelihood to stay better engaged with your content. If you only were to do one thing as a result of reading this article, we would highly suggest that you add a portable microphone.

Or if you are truly rebellious, you can add a standalone portable digital recorder such as the Zoom H1n Portable Digital Recorder (available on Amazon for $139.95) and have a fully dedicated, pocket-sized device for your recording needs.

Popular Transcripts FULL TRANSCRIPT: Rachel Maddow Presents – BagMan – Episode 6: A Disappearing Act

Sonix is an automated transcription service. We transcribe audio and video files for storytellers all over the world. We are not associated with the BagMan podcast. Making transcripts available for listeners and those that are hearing-impaired is just something we like to do. If you are interested in automated transcription, click here for 30 free minutes.

To listen and watch the transcript playback in real-time , just click the player below.

Rachel Maddow Presents – BagMan – Episode 6: A Disappearing Act (transcribed by Sonix)

Rachel Maddow: What you're about to hear, I think, is one of the most surreal clips I've maybe ever heard when it comes to American politics. This is a TV interview with a Vice President. And what he's about to allege here is that the President of the United States, who he served with, was threatening to have him murdered. This is not an outtake from some over-acted political thriller. This is a real interview that really happened. And the Vice President here, of course, is Spiro Agnew.

Male Voice: Agnew says he left because of a death threat from the White House. He quotes Nixon Chief of Staff Alexander Haig urging him to resign with the words, "The President has a lot of power. Don't forget that." Agnew writes that the remark sent a chill through his body. He took it as an innuendo that anything could happen. He might have, in Agnew's words, "a convenient accident," an interpretation that, even today, he refuses to disown.

Spiro "Ted" Agnew: I didn't know what General Haig meant when he said, "Anything may be in the offing, things may get nasty and dirty." There's no doubt in my mind that these things are possible. I don't say it was a probability, but I do say it was a possibility.

Male Voice: You think that there were men around Richard Nixon, either in the White House staff or in the official mechanism of the CIA, who were capable of killing a Vice President of the United States if they felt he was an embarrassment?

Spiro "Ted" Agnew: I don't doubt that at all.

Rachel Maddow: Spiro Agnew didn't just make that allegation that one time. He made it repeatedly. He wrote about it in a book. He went on the record in a series of interviews stating that he believed President Richard Nixon might have him killed.

Male Voice: You say that you were actually fearful that if you did not go along, President Nixon or General Haig, it's not quite clear, might have ordered you assassinated. Could you explain that?

Spiro "Ted" Agnew: I was concerned. And I think my concern at that time, based on my frame of mind after being seven months in a pressure cooker of attempts to get me to resign office, gave me reason to be concerned. I brought along with me this testimony from the Select Committee on the Government Operations Committee involving intelligence activities. This is the United States Senate-

Rachel Maddow: What Spiro Agnew pulls out at this point is a copy of a US government report about the CIA's efforts to assassinate Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. He says what that report shows is that even though the CIA was never given a direct order from the President to kill Castro, they knew they were authorized to do it. He's making the point that even if Nixon never gave a direct order to kill him, to kill his Vice President, it's conceivable the CIA would take its cues from Nixon and act anyway.

Spiro "Ted" Agnew: It is possible for these things to happen. I've never said it was a probability that my life was in danger. I said it was one of the factors that crossed my mind, and it was the straw that broke the camel's back after all the pressures that had been put on me.

Rachel Maddow: Spiro Agnew was alleging on national television that as a sitting Vice President, he was possibly the target of a contract killing by the President. He said he even bought a gun at the time for his own protection.

Nick Thimmesch: You acknowledge that you had fear at this time, but after you left office, did you ever go to the federal government to get a permit for a handgun?

Spiro "Ted" Agnew: Yes.

Nick Thimmesch: Why did you get that handgun, and what period was this?

Spiro "Ted" Agnew: I think was immediately after I left office. I got it because I still had some fears.

Nick Thimmesch: Do you have a handgun?

Spiro "Ted" Agnew: No, I've never carried a handgun. I thought it was sufficient that people would know I had the permit to carry one.

Rachel Maddow: This is the story that Spiro Agnew wanted people to believe about the circumstances in which he left office, that he was another one of Richard Nixon's victims. Agnew's tale of woe was that Nixon's inner circle, specifically Nixon's Chief of Staff Al Haig, pressured him for weeks to resign. And when he refused to do it, they threatened his life. And thereby, forced him out when he otherwise wouldn't have left. Okay, maybe. Seems nuts, but maybe.

Rachel Maddow: That said, there is another explanation for why Spiro Agnew stepped down when he did. And it does involve a three-letter federal agency but not the CIA. It involves special agents from the IRS who had been quietly and very diligently going through Vice President Agnew's past.

Rachel Maddow: Those agents and the Baltimore federal prosecutors working with them had already turned up the smoking-gun evidence of the bribery and extortion scheme that Agnew had been running in Maryland and in the White House. But they also started turning up something else, details about what exactly Spiro Agnew seemed to be doing with all that money he was making as a criminal. And that part of the investigation got into areas of Agnew's personal life that were maybe becoming a little uncomfortable for him.

Ron Liebman: There were some personal expenses in there that pre-Monica Lewinsky and pre all that we've come across, and some stories that we came across, which, unlike Ken Starr, I guess, we just said, "This is not a part of the case."

Rachel Maddow: Ron Liebman and his fellow Baltimore prosecutors had stumbled upon an aspect of Agnew's life and crimes that may have hit a nerve for the Vice President.

Ron Liebman: You know, these guys, they have all personal peccadilloes. You know, they have money and power, and they do stupid things. And we came across financial evidence of that, and we heard some stories about that. One of them quite bizarre, but that wasn't part of the case.

Rachel Maddow: The Baltimore prosecutors never actually used the information they would start to uncover about Agnew's personal life, but Spiro Agnew was aware that the IRS was digging into it. And what it involved was evidence of what seemed like a secret life. mistresses, sports cars, expensive gifts that never seemed to make it to Agnew's wife, Judy. Here's Prosecutor Tim Baker.

Tim Baker: There was jewelry, too.

Mike Yarvitz: Jewelry to Agnew?

Tim Baker: A woman's watch, which Judy never got.

Mike Yarvitz: What does that suggest?

Tim Baker: Uhh.

Rachel Maddow: Death threat, and handguns, and CIA assassination plots sounded like a really cool reason to have to step down. But that probably wasn't the reason he had to step down. Spiro Agnew had carefully crafted this straight arrow, moralistic, hard line public image as a man of honesty, and virtue, and conservative integrity. He knew that if he continued to fight, all of that would come crashing down around him. It was finally time to cut his losses and go away.

Rachel Maddow: You're listening to Bag Man. I'm your host, Rachel Maddow.

John Chancellor: Good evening. Washington was stunned today by the disclosure that Vice President Agnew was under criminal investigation by federal authorities in his home state of Maryland.

Ron Liebman: Well what we were concerned was, you know, he gets into court, and he says, "Well, wait a minute, I changed my mind."

Marty London: And the people in the room, they gasped. It then became clear what this was about.

John Chancellor: Spiro Agnew is in disgrace, fallen from power, a convicted criminal.

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Rachel Maddow: Episode 6: A Disappearing Act.

Male Voice: The Tonight Show will not be seen tonight, so that we may bring you the following NBC News Special Report.

John Chancellor: Good evening. The country tonight is in the midst of what may be the most serious constitutional crisis in its history.

Rachel Maddow: The Saturday Night Massacre took place on October 20, 1973. It was Richard Nixon in a fit of rage, trying to end the investigation into Watergate that his own Justice Department was conducting. Nixon ordered his Attorney General, Elliot Richardson to fire the Special Prosecutor who was leading that investigation. And when Richardson refused to do that and resigned himself instead, that sparked a true-blue constitutional crisis.

John Chancellor: Agents of the FBI, acting at the direction of the White House, sealed off the offices of the Special Prosecutor, the offices of the Attorney General, and the offices of the Deputy Attorney General. That's a stunning development. And nothing even remotely like it has happened in all of our history.

Rachel Maddow: The Saturday Night Massacre is the signal moment in US history. But many of the people who've lived that history are still around to tell it. JT Smith was Elliot Richardson's top assistant at the Justice Department that day.

JT Smith: I don't want to sound like a pretentious 29-year-old, but I was sorely vexed by events. And I had a lot of yellow, legal pad notes that bore upon the stuff we've been talking about. I took my notes, put them in my briefcase, and walked out without being searched by the FBI. And I took them home, and I was sufficiently paranoid about the direction of the country, I hid them in the attic of my house.

Rachel Maddow: What sort of incredible to realize with hindsight and what's never mentioned in the history books about that moment is that Elliot Richardson and his team, when the Saturday Night Massacre happened, they were just coming off what may have been one of the most dramatic moments in the history of the US Justice Department.

Rachel Maddow: The Saturday Night Massacre happened on October 20, 1973. Just 10 days before that, on October 10th, Attorney General Elliot Richardson had single-handedly forced the resignation of the Vice President of the United States. It was October 9th when Elliot Richardson cut a high-stakes plea deal with Vice President Agnew's lawyers that would keep Agnew out of jail, but in exchange, he would offer his immediate resignation from office. Agnew's attorney, Marty London, helped reach that deal.

Marty London: I thought Elliot Richardson, in the end, made a deal because he saw this as a potential Constitutional crisis and a national disaster.

Rachel Maddow: The deal was made. As controversial as it was, it was made. But what happened to Spiro Agnew in the last 24 hours of his Vice Presidency? It was this all-night, sirens wailing, down to the last minute, surprise sweat fest like you can't believe.

Rachel Maddow: In all of US history, a Vice President had never before been forced to resign. And at that moment, it wasn't really clear how to do it, logistically even. They had to dig through the archives to figure out the logistics, to figure out that the way a Vice President technically resigns, the instrument of resignation, turns out it's through a letter submitted to the Secretary of State. Okay, so, he'll resign to the Secretary of State.

Rachel Maddow: After figuring that out, and finalizing the deal, and setting a court date for the very next day, October 10th, Marty London and the rest of Agnew's defense team rushed back to the Vice President's office to draft that resignation letter. Again, there was no precedent for what that should look like. What should the letter say?

Marty London: Nobody had written, thought about preparing for this. So, we've got two hours to get out a resignation letter. I don't know how so many people got in that room. He had — The Vice President had some guy who was like counselor to the Vice President, another guy was there, another guy was there, Frank Sinatra had sent a lawyer. And, now, people are writing fantastic, long explanations.

Marty London: One guy said, "I'm resigning because the President is pushing me out, and outrageous." Another guy writes a letter, "I'm resigning because of the press wanted me gone." And the other guy said, "The Department of Justice want to be gone." And another guy said, "It's the fucking Democrats, they want me gone." It's everything. And we're going nowhere. It's an hour and a half later, the clock is ticking, the temperature room is 85 degrees, I said, "I got it guys. I got it." Thus, I pat myself on the back here. I got it. "Oh yeah? What's your letter?" It says, "I hereby resign as Vice President of United States. Respectfully." Everybody says, "Well geez, that will do it."

Rachel Maddow: That chaotic scene in the Vice President's office though, that was nothing compared to what was happening back in Baltimore that night at the US Attorney's Office. The plea deal that had been reached with Agnew allowed the prosecutors to submit a detailed statement of evidence into the record laying out what crimes exactly Spiro Agnew had committed. The payoffs as Governor, the payoffs as Vice President, everything the prosecutors had.

Rachel Maddow: What the prosecutors would, ultimately, draft was a 40-page long statement of evidence laying out Agnew's alleged crimes. But the night before the court date, it wasn't done yet. And these three Baltimore prosecutors, they stayed up all night that night trying to get it finished in time.

Barney Skolnik: It was all written the night before we went to court. I mean, it was like this all-nighter thing, like it was being back in college. We were exchanging drafts. I think maybe Timmy wrote, you know, these parts. And I wrote some parts. And Ron wrote some parts.

Tim Baker: We just started dictating and drafts would go, pages would. It wasn't like complete drafts. Sections would go back and forth, back and forth, marked up, retyped, marked up, retyped, and we were on a deadline.

Ron Liebman: At like 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning, the Attorney General of the United States and Henry Petersen, I think, drive to Baltimore in the middle of the night, early in the morning, and sit in George Beall's office as we start feeding him these papers, which was extraordinary. This is the Attorney General the United States at 2:00 in the morning in Baltimore? You know, on my best days, I wouldn't want to be in Baltimore at 2:00 in the morning.

Tim Baker: And I think it's like 6:00 a.m., it's given to the US Marshals, who then, we were later told, at points on the Baltimore-Washington Expressway, we're doing in excess of 85 miles an hour. And then, it had to be to Agnew's lawyers by something like 8:00 a.m. in Washington. It was some terrible hour, and they got it there just in time.

Rachel Maddow: They got it there, in fact, five minutes late. This 40-page statement of evidence that was thrown together all night, overnight, it was rushed to DC with a sirens wailing police escort, like it was the holy grail. For these prosecutors, it kind of was. Spiro Agnew was about to walk into court and plead to a felony count of tax evasion, and these prosecutors wanted the American people to know that he had not only been caught for tax evasion.

Tim Baker: We knew what it had to do. It had to bury him, so that the country could see this wasn't a witch-hunt, to use a current expression, that there was a very substantial, solid case against him.

Ron Liebman: It was a big issue for all of us, all of us, because what we certainly couldn't allow to happen would be for Vice President to plead Nolo to a tax count, and then the walk out and say, "This is nothing. This is some little mistake I made. This is absolutely — These guys are liars. I made a little mistake on my tax returns. I've made amends. I'm going to pay back the money that I should have paid. And I'm going back to work."

Rachel Maddow: So, the statement of evidence was finally ready. The Vice President's resignation letter was finally ready. A 2:00 p.m. court date was set. But not a single soul in the country, except for the people directly involved, knew what was about to happen in that courtroom.

Rachel Maddow: Now, the press knew that there was going to be a hearing in court that afternoon, something to do with the wrangling over the Agnew case, but what the press thought the hearing was going to be about was them, about newspapers' efforts to quash these subpoenas that Spiro Agnew's lawyers had sent to various reporters to try to get them to reveal their sources. The press showed up that day ready to cover a hearing about that. All of the lawyers for the news organization showed up at the counsel's table ready to fight about those subpoenas to the reporters. And then, into the courtroom, walked the attorneys for the Vice President.

Marty London: And they see us walking in, and we sit at the near table, and they look at us with hostility. I mean, sneering. Just Angry. And then, two federal marshals come over to them, and they say, "Pick up all your papers and move to the gallery." And they're resistant, but, I mean, these are federal marshals, and the marshals do not explain why. They just said, "Clear this table and clear it now. You can go stand in the back." And they stand in the back. And in walks, to occupy that table, Elliot Richardson, George Beall, and some more of Beall's assistants.

Ron Liebman: The bailiff makes an announcement, you know, "Ladies and gentlemen, proceeding is about ready to begin. This courtroom is going to be locked. So, if you can't stay, you have to get out. You have to leave now."

Rachel Maddow: The Baltimore prosecutors are there, sitting next to the Attorney General himself. They know, and the Vice President's lawyers know, that what was about to happen in that courtroom was something really big and surprising. The resignation was ready. The 40-page statement of his crimes was ready. The deal was ready, and the country was about to have the whole thing sprung on them for the first time. The hearing was set to begin at 2:00 sharp. There was just one problem.

Marty London: It's now 2:00, and I am sweating because at our table is me and Jay Topkis, and Jud Best is back in the clerk's office on the telephone. And it's 2:00, and somebody from this play is missing.

Rachel Maddow: Everything was set. One of Agnew's lawyers was in the clerk's office at the court waiting to give the order over the phone to deliver Agnew's resignation letter, to transmit that letter to the Secretary of State as soon as the Vice President himself walked into the courtroom. It was all choreographed. Each moment scripted and ordered for a very specific reason. And the time was now, but the Vice President of the United States was nowhere to be found. On the prosecution side, they had long feared that something just like this might happen.

Ron Liebman: What we were concerned was, you know, he gets into court, and he says, "Well, wait a minute, I changed my mind. These are bogus charges. I don't know why I'm here. I'm the Vice President the United States. I'm immune from prosecution. Marshal, could you unlock that door please. I got to go." You know, we're dealing with the Vice President of the United States. We are being as careful as we can be. We're on tenterhooks, right? We want this done just so. It had to be done just so, or it wouldn't happen.

Rachel Maddow: At 2:00, when the Vice President was the only one missing, it looked for a brief moment like it might not happen, even to Agnew's lawyers.

Marty London: Listen, you want to know if I got a little nervous between 2:00 and 2:01 because the man was a minute late? The answer is I was anxious. I wouldn't say nervous, but I was anxious. I said, look, if I have a 2:00 court date, I'm there at 1:45. I mean, I've been doing this for a long time. I can understand him not wanting to come into that courtroom, and I do get it, him not wanting to come into that courtroom, and sit there at that table for 15 minutes with all those people staring at the back of his neck. So, I don't know. I assume that he may have been there at 1:45, sitting in his car out at the curb, looking at the watch and saying, "Okay, I better go in." And maybe my watch was a minute fast. Maybe he was there at 2:00. I was anxious, but I'd never occurred to me that he was not going to do it.

Rachel Maddow: That wait for the Vice President to show up, the question of whether or not he would show up, that hung in the air for a very tense moment, until the courtroom doors swung open again.

Marty London: 2:01, exactly, in walks our client. And the people in the room, they gasped. It then became clear what this was about.

Ron Liebman: It was a noticeable hush. Gasp. You know, it was a surprise to so many people in there. The courtrooms is locked, Agnew walks in, the judge gets on the bench, the bailiff or the law clerk calls, "Oyez, oyez. All rise." Everybody rises, everybody sits down, and there's, you know, Spiro Agnew in his well-tailored suit and his nice haircut about to plead Nolo Contendere to a felony.

Marty London: Jud Best comes out of the clerk's office and says, "I've just been on the telephone with the offices of the Secretary of State. They have received the Vice President's resignation letter." And, ultimately, the judge accepts the plea, and he sentenced him to a fine and a sentence of probation. And we walk out of the courtroom with the ex-Vice President of the United States. It was a stunning, stunning, stunning development.

Rachel Maddow: For the first time in American history, a sitting Vice President appeared in court to answer criminal charges. For the first time in American history, a Vice President plead to a felony. And for the first time in American history, a Vice President resigned his office in disgrace.

Rachel Maddow: Spiro Agnew arrived at the courthouse as the Vice President. As he crossed the threshold into the courtroom, his resignation was simultaneously submitted. He left that courtroom minutes later as a convicted felon. He, then, spoke to the stunned reporters outside who had had no idea that any of this was coming.

Spiro "Ted" Agnew: I categorically and flatly deny the assertion that have been made by the prosecutors with regard to their contention of bribery and extortion on my part. I will have nothing more to say at this point. I will make an address to the nation within a few days.

Rachel Maddow: Spiro Agnew decision to agree to a plea deal and resign, it happened so fast that Agnew's own staff at the White House didn't even know that day that it was going to happen. Here's David Keene, Agnew's top political aide.

David Keene: He went to Baltimore to plead nolo. And Mike Dunn, who is the Chief of Staff, and he called the senior staff together to tell us. And I pounded my fist on the desk and said, "Can't the son of a bitch have the balls to come and tell us himself?"

Rachel Maddow: There was a lot of crazy stuff that happened in the United States of America in 1973. But the Vice President of the United States suddenly resigning in disgrace, surprise. That stunned the country.

Male Voice: Good evening. If you have just joined us, we are obliged to tell you the story we've been running since shortly after 2:00 this afternoon, namely, that Vice President Spiro T. Agnew is now the former Vice President. He resigned today. It's been quite a day for news, JC.

Female Voice: It really has. I think the public is still in shock. Many people just disbelieve it. It's hard to accept that it has come to this.

Male Voice: There was disbelief on Capitol Hill where most House and Senate members had come to believe the Vice President's assertions that he fully intended to fight the charges all the way.

Mark Hatfield: We have a period of time when there is political erosion. Confidence and faith in the whole system has been challenged by many people. And, now, to have this confirmation of the worst suspicions that some people held is really a very profound impact on the whole country.

Male Voice: Can you tell us what your reaction is to the resignation?

Mike Mansfield: Well, it was totally unexpected. And I don't know what to say.

Rachel Maddow: That was the Majority Leader in the Senate at the time, Democratic Senator Mike Mansfield. The reaction in the country to Spiro Agnew's sudden resignation was kind of a muddled mess. It was a lot of things all at once. It was stunned confusion from a lot of people. There was elation from those who felt that justice had been served. There was also absolute outrage from Agnew's supporters, who really had stayed with him right til the very end.

Female Voice: I'm just sick about it. I think he's a man of his word, and I think they've all been doing the same thing ever since I started voting. And I think it's just too bad. I think he's a great man.

Female Voice: I think it was very unnecessary. I'm just, oh, I'm just sick. I'm very unhappy. I don't think it was necessary. I think it's a lot of political hogwash. And I'm, oh.

Male Voice: Did you vote for Agnew?

Male Voice: I certainly did.

Male Voice: What do you think of him now?

Male Voice: I think it's very unfortunate. The man seems to be railroaded or something. I don't know if this is all fact, a lot of insinuation has been brought out.

Rachel Maddow: Spiro Agnew built this base of support in the Republican Party. He convinced his supporters that he was innocent. He was the victim of a witch hunt. And even though he had just plead no contest to a felony in open court, his supporters just still couldn't accept it. They couldn't absorb it. They have been primed to believe in his innocence, and to hate, and resent, and suspect everything about this prosecution.

Rachel Maddow: But, you know, a weird thing happened in the courtroom that last weird day. It was just an odd moment in the courtroom itself that didn't seem like much at the time, but it would ultimately shake even Agnew's most committed supporters. And it would ultimately cost Agnew much more than just having to resign from office and walk away. That's next.

Chris Hayes: Hey, it's MSNBC's Chris Hayes. If you enjoyed Bag Man, be sure to check out my friend, Rachel Maddow, on my podcast, Why is This Happening?, where I get the opportunity to dig deep into the forces behind the stories playing out in the news in order to understand why certain cultural and political phenomena came to be. Rachel joins me to talk about covering the news in this unprecedented political moment. We also talk all about Bag Man and how this incredible podcast came to be. So, click on over and check out Why is This Happening? And you can listen now wherever you get your podcasts.

John Chancellor: Spiro Agnew is in disgrace, fallen from power, a convicted criminal. It's something that none of his critics would even have predicted not long ago. And it is one of the biggest news stories of our time.

Rachel Maddow: The day that Spiro Agnew walked into a federal courthouse in Baltimore to plead to a felony and resign the Vice Presidency, one of the people inside the courtroom that day was a Law Professor from George Washington University, a professor named John Banzhaf.

John Banzhaf: I showed up and, initially, they would not let me in. I was reluctantly led into the courtroom, but with a very solemn warning that if I attempted to say anything, if I stood up, if I did anything at all, there were two big marshals behind me, and they would immediately take me out of the courtroom. And I was told in very strong language, "Don't stand. Don't say anything. Don't try to have any role."

Rachel Maddow: It was a little bit of a strange thing for this law professor to be in court that day. To him, it was stranger still the way that he felt threatened by those federal marshals. But in his view, the strangest thing about the whole proceeding in that courtroom that day was the resolution of it. Spiro Agnew was being allowed to plead to a felony, but he wasn't being sent to jail, and he wasn't even being forced to pay back any of the bribe money that he allegedly took.

Rachel Maddow: What was the punishment here exactly? I mean, resigning from office, yes. But is that it? After that remarkable day in court where, surprise, the Vice President is pleading to a felony and, oh by the way, he's also resigned, after that day, Banzhaf went back to his law classes at GW. And there, he found that his law students were as perplexed as he was about how the whole thing had shook out.

John Banzhaf: I mean, they said to me, "Professor Banzhaf, if somebody robs a bank, and he's given a plea deal, he's, at least, required to give back the money." Agnew, as a Governor and Vice President, should be held to an even higher standard. They were outraged that he was allowed to get off on a minor plea, no time, and keep all the ill-gotten gains.

Rachel Maddow: Spiro Agnew had resigned his office. He was basically starting to disappear into obscurity, but this class of law students decided they were going to make a project out of him. They weren't going to let him go away quietly.

Rachel Maddow: The law students and Professor John Banzhaf's class came up with a plan. Their first effort was to lobby Maryland's governor to bring a civil lawsuit against Agnew, since after all when he was taking those bribes and shaking down those contractors, it was the State of Maryland that was being defrauded. The State of Maryland should get that money back.

Rachel Maddow: The Governor of Maryland met with these students to hear them out, to hear their plan. But even though he took the meeting, and he heard what they had to say, at the end, he told them no, he wouldn't do it.

John Banzhaf: When we left, we were literally bewildered. I recall riding back in the car and the students are saying, "Well, why didn't they bring it? We don't understand. What's going on?" And I'm their professor who's supposed to know these things. And, of course, I had no answer for them. I could not figure out why they wouldn't want to bring the action. It was only quite a bit later when we learned that Governor Marvin Mandel was, likewise, on the take and was probably on the take, literally, while he was deciding not to bring this action.

Rachel Maddow: The State of Maryland had been harmed, but the Governor of the State said he wasn't willing to bring this case. So, the students went to Plan B. They found an old British common law legal principle that they believed would let them sue on Maryland's behalf, even if they didn't have the State's support to do it. They found some Maryland taxpayers to be their plaintiffs.

Rachel Maddow: And those law students did sue Spiro Agnew on behalf of Maryland taxpayers to recoup the bribe money that he had taken. It ended up taking years, but, eventually, they won. A court ruled that Agnew had, in fact, taken bribes, that he had defrauded the State, and he was ordered to write a check to the State of Maryland for more than a quarter million dollars.

Rachel Maddow: And those students, they not only exacted some of the punishment, they felt like Agnew had escaped back in 1973. They also got one more crucial thing when it comes to the scales of justice here. They got a confession. Well, a confession by proxy.

Rachel Maddow: Back in 1973, when this little investigation in Baltimore first started, Agnew himself, it turns out, admitted the whole scheme to his lawyer, his personal lawyer, a man named George White. Then, later, in his own book about the scandal, Agnew, oops, broke the confidentiality of his own attorney-client relationship with George White when he chose to write about the conversations he'd had with White while the case was unfolding.

Rachel Maddow: That was a mistake because when that lawsuit was eventually brought against Agnew by the law students at GW, not only was the court able to force Agnew to pay back some of the money he had ripped off from the taxpayers, the court was also able to get sworn testimony under oath from Agnew's own lawyer about Agnew confessing that he was guilty.

Female Voice: Today, only because ordered to by the judge, George White broke his silence. He described learning about the kickback scheme from three Agnew associates who were threatening to implicate the Vice President. Confronting Agnew, he said, "Ted, this is terribly serious. You've got to level with me. I've got to know the truth." According to White, Agnew replied, "It's been going on for a thousand years. What they told you is true."

Rachel Maddow: Quietly, in the courts, when Spiro Agnew was already a trivia question and a hard one, quietly, while basically nobody was watching, Agnew's entire story fell apart. All the denials, all the claims that this was a witch hunt, or that he was the real victim here, iI all fell apart. And his guilt was laid bare in court and for the record because his longtime personal lawyer flipped on him.

Rachel Maddow: When Agnew showed up to court that day in October 1973 to plead to a felony and resign the Vice Presidency, that 40-page statement of evidence that was assembled by the prosecutors, it was released to the public. It was this damning recitation of what Agnew had done as an elected official. All of the payoffs, all of the extortion, all of the crimes committed even as Vice President.

Rachel Maddow: And that document, all these detailed allegations from the prosecutors, it is a matter of public record. But even so, it's one that sort of feels secret even now. All these years later, it is hard today to find that document, even if you're really looking for it.

Rachel Maddow: The information contained in it is not what people immediately think when they hear the name Spiro Agnew. "Oh yeah. Agnew, Nixon's Vice President. Didn't he have like a tax evasion problem? Something from back before the time he became Vice President?" That's how Agnew's remembered, but Agnew really was way worse than history remembers him for, if he's remembered at all.

Rachel Maddow: Agnew, basically, disappeared into history after he resigned. He got a job working for Eva Gabor's fifth husband, seriously. Frank Sinatra helped him pay the relatively minor fines that were imposed by the court back in 1973. Agnew wrote a bad novel, a thriller with sort of unsettling sex scenes in it, frankly. He also published that memoir in which he claimed that Richard Nixon was going to have him killed. But basically, big picture, Agnew just went away. And the few times that he did reappear, he was always asking for sympathy. This was from an interview with him in 1980.

Spiro "Ted" Agnew: The penalty I've paid is very heavy. People say, "Agnew didn't pay any penalty. He bought his way out of jail with the Vice Presidency," but they don't know what a penalty I paid. They don't understand I lost my right to practice law, I lost my pension. And the worst penalty of all is during those years immediately following my resignation when I was not at all answering the charges to walk down the street and see people say. "There he goes." To be recognizable, not just in the United States, but any place I went in the world. That's a pretty severe penalty.

Rachel Maddow: Spiro Agnew probably does deserve to be more infamous than he is. But the team of federal prosecutors who discovered his crimes and took him down, they deserve to be more famous than they are. George Beall, the US Attorney who refused to let pressure from the White House interfere with his investigation. He went on to prosecute that subsequent sitting Governor of Maryland for corruption. Marvin Mandel, a Democrat. He got him too.

Rachel Maddow: Run Liebman and Barney Skolnik, They both took part in that prosecution of Maryland's next Governor. And then, like George Beall, they both moved into quiet careers in private practice. Tim Baker he ended up getting George Beall's old job as Maryland US Attorney before he, too, went into private practice. They all ended up doing fine.

Rachel Maddow: But none of them ended up etched into our history books and our national memory for the role that they played in, well, saving the republic from a national catastrophe, saving the country from a criminal Vice President ascending to the Presidency amid the ashes of Watergate, which would have plunged the country from Watergate right into another catastrophic scandal in the White House, and likely the forced removal of the next President right after Nixon.

Rachel Maddow: What further damage would have been inflicted on the country if we had had to remove not one but two corrupt criminals sitting Presidents back-to-back within months of each other? These young kids from Baltimore, these determined federal prosecutors, they saved us from that disaster. Their case was obstructed from the White House on down. They were attacked and maligned by the most powerful politicians in the country. They endured that at the ripe old average age of about 32, they kept their heads down and they kept going.

Rachel Maddow: Their bosses, US Attorney George Beall and Attorney General Eliot Richardson, they led them without fear or favor. They shielded them. And then, Elliot Richardson single-handedly got Agnew out, restoring and protecting the line of succession for the American Presidency.

Rachel Maddow: Elliot Richardson held a press conference the day after Spiro Agnew resigned as Vice President. And remember, Elliot Richardson would, himself, be forced out of office just days later, less than two weeks later in the Saturday Night Massacre. But during that press conference upon the resignation of Agnew, Richardson was asked directly what lessons the country should take from what we'd just been through.

Male Voice: We've been through a period of unprecedented in American history. What do you believe a nation can learn from the Agnew case?

Elliot Richardson: I would hope, first, that the nation would feel that the process of criminal justice is one that it can trust and have confidence in. I would hope they would feel that the interests of the nation have been placed first by all those concerned, including the Vice President himself. I would hope that, most fundamentally, all of us would have confidence that our system works.

Elliot Richardson: Indeed, I think this is the most affirmative aspect of all that has taken place over recent months, all the disclosures, the investigations, the indictments. They have exposed the shoddy side of the governmental and political process, but they have also demonstrated that the governmental and political process is capable of uncovering these things and having uncovered them taking proper action.

Rachel Maddow: The system works. The system is not destroyed by bad people behaving badly. It can deal with bad behavior and with corruption from those in power. Our system doesn't break when that happens. It's designed to confront that problem and to fix it. And in this case, it did. A criminal occupant of the White House who tried to obstruct justice at every turn, to destroy the credibility of his own Justice Department, to smear the free press reporting on it, he was not allowed to get away with it.

Rachel Maddow: Thanks to Elliot Richardson, and George Beall, and that team of young, scrappy Baltimore prosecutors, the line of succession to the US Presidency was restored and protected, and justice was done.

Rachel Maddow: George Beall passed away not long ago. He died in January of 2017, just days before the inauguration of our current President. Upon his passing, one of his successors as US Attorney in Maryland put out a public statement honoring the work that George Beall did throughout his career, but particularly focusing on this case.

Rachel Maddow: The statement said this. "George Beall was a legendary federal prosecutor, an exemplary public servant, and a lawyer of unsurpassed integrity. Although George Beall's family was politically active, and Vice President Agnew was a member of Beall's own political party, Beall did not hesitate to pursue this case. His commitment to justice serves as an example to us all."

Rachel Maddow: That statement about one Republican having the courage to pursue another without hesitation, that was written by one of George Beall's successors as Maryland's US Attorney. It was written by Rod Rosenstein, who's now Deputy Attorney General of the United States.

Rachel Maddow: Be sure to join us next week for the final episode of Bag Man. You will want to hear how this all turns out. That's next week. We'll see you then.

Rachel Maddow: Bag Man is a production of MSNBC and NBC Universal. This series is executive produced by Mike Yarvitz. It was written by myself and Mike Yarvitz. Editorial and production support from Jonathan Hirsch and Marissa Schneiderman from Neon Hum Media. And you can find much more about the story on our website, which is msnbc.com/bagman.

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