Former Vice President Al Gore claimed today that he created the social media service Twitter.
In an interview on The Today Show this morning, the former presidential candidate surprised host Matt Lauer with the shocking boast that he was one of four founders of the San Francisco-based site.
Supposedly in the studio to discuss his new book, Gore quickly turned the conversation to his controversial business career, which he argued is under-appreciated by the public.
"I'm very proud of what we achieved at Current TV," he said. "We managed to make a massive profit for our investors despite low ratings and a consistently abysmal programming quality.
"But I think my biggest success in business so far has been the creation of Twitter. As co-founder of the company I've watched this tiny microblogging service grow into something that is really enormous in the world of entertainment, politics and society.
"I mean, where would the world be today without tweets? You have celebrities and politicians making world-changing announcements exclusively on our site. Frankly, I think more people should be thanking me for coming up with this idea."
Truth in the Balance
Twitter was founded in 2006 by four employees of the now-defunct podcasting site Odeo --- Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Evan Williams and Biz Stone. It has since grown to become the second largest social media platform after Facebook, with more than 200 million monthly active users.
Although Al Gore is not an unknown in the tech industry --- he serves on Apple's board of directors --- it is highly unlikely that Gore's involvement in Twitter had gone unremarked until now.
"I'm sorry, I must be hearing things," responded Lauer. "Are you saying you were somehow involved in creating Twitter?"
"Involved? Matt I came up with the whole idea," Gore replied. "I even designed the first logo. Do you really think Biz Stone is an actual name? Biz Stone was the pseudonym I worked under while I was at Twitter.
"We decided to keep my involvement private to avoid drawing any unwanted political attention to the company. But those were some of the best days of my life. Ordering a pepperoni from Zuppa Pizza and coding late into the night with Jack and Noah. We really changed the world."
Gore served as a senator from Tennessee from 1985 to 1993 and vice president of the United States from 1993 to 2001. He previously claimed to have played a key role in the creation of the Internet.