3 days that changed Twitter: Elon Musk’s chaotic weekend
Elon Musk enters Twitter HQ
Photo: Elon Musk via Twitter/AFP
That boom! Klang! boom! What you’ve heard this weekend is the voice of Twitter, Elon Musk, a baffling and violent three days as the ancient social media network is brought into the consciousness of the world’s richest internet troll. After six months of litigation trying to get out of the deal, all of a sudden, Twitter was reinvented like its new chief Twit. And just like that, there have been major firings, media shenanigans, reports of $20 verification levels, the spread of fake news, threats of lawsuits against the company’s former leaders, and the possibility of Vine returning to compete with TikTok. It’s more of a frantic bashing from the new management than a blur. Old Twitter is dead, but there’s still some reason for the confusion here. After all, Musk still has to make money here—if not for himself, but also for investors who deliberately “overpaid” just to be part of this group of backers. Here’s what we know about Twitter’s future this weekend:
Musk is forming a content review board
Donald Trump hasn’t returned to the platform, at least not yet, but Musk has always been clear that he intends to change the way Twitter adjusts its content. As a concrete step in that direction, he announced that the company would form a group with “widely diverse viewpoints” to oversee the new process.
He will reportedly start charging users blue check fees
On Sunday, The Verge’s Alex Heath broke the news that Musk wants to charge $20 a month for verified accounts. There are over 360,000 verified Twitter accounts – most of which belong to brands and celebrities. All of these are marked with a blue checkmark next to the username to indicate that the Kim Kardashian account you may be following is actually managed by that person. Many journalists also own them — causing a lot of panic on the right, who see them as the new elite status symbol.
Many verified users immediately shrugged About the prospect of losing the little graphic next to their name. Its business logic remains ambiguous: Even if every verified account is registered, it generates less than $90 million in annual revenue, or about 1.8% of last year’s $5 billion in revenue.
But then again, the move may not be all about the money. It might just change the nature of the platform to something Musk prefers. Musk wrote on Oct. 26, just days before he took control of the platform, Musk wrote on Oct. 26: “One of the beautiful things about Twitter is how it empowers citizen journalism — people can Spread the news without building bias.” Getting a blue check indicates that someone is important and likely has some sort of institutional backing. Regardless of the original purpose of verification, it has become a status symbol. By downplaying that status and making money more explicit, Musk is taking his first steps toward changing Twitter’s culture and model.
He might resurrect Vine
Musk has to make money — at least $850 million a year in debt repayments he owes to the banks that funded his acquisitions. But Twitter has never been very good at making money — even when its competition was basically just Facebook. How does Musk plan to make money in the TikTok era? Probably by bringing back Vine, the Twitter-owned short-video platform that predates the Chinese-owned behemoth:
Through it all he has done a lot of shooting
For so long, Parag Agrawal, we hardly know who you are. Instead of crowning himself exactly as Agrawal’s CEO successor, Musk opted for a gimmicky Chief Twit title. But the company’s CEO and former general counsel have now departed, replaced by some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley.according to era, They include venture capitalist Jason Calacanis, lawyer Alex Spiro and former Twitter executive Kayvon Beykpour who was fired by the previous CEO. But rank and file also go. Musk has previously said he will lay off about 75% of the company’s workforce (though he has shied away from doing so), and this weekend had a confusing period when engineers were expected to literally prove their code was correct.
and give his new employees some very aggressive deadlines
Twitter has about 7,500 employees. Retainers who still work there are now expected to work all the time – an obvious touchstone that can force people who don’t want to work there to leave.Some were told that if they didn’t complete a new captcha by Wednesday, they would be locked out firedwhich is the kind of huge request that Musk is known for.
He mocked media reports of false dismissals
On Friday, several people showed up outside Twitter’s headquarters with cardboard boxes. Their names are Rahul Ligma and Daniel Johnson, and they say they have been fired by the company. The news outlet reported it but did not confirm that they actually worked there. It turned out that it was a scam.Musk tweeted because there was a dick joke.
He used the platform he now owns to spread fake news (before deleting his own tweets)
On Sunday, Musk tweeted a link to an article by the Santa Monica Observer that peddled right-wing lies and suggested that the man who attacked Paul Pelosi was his secret lover. The Observer is a fake front, the kind of site that looks like an obscure local news page but actually spreads conspiracy theories, like Hillary Clinton actually died in the 2016 debate with Donald Trump, and replaced by a substitute.
Musk deleted the tweet, but when it was New York Times He spread the story, doubling down on his hostility to the mainstream media: https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1586871691686223872
He’s plotting a new legal battle against Twitter’s old board
According to Musk, Musk has begun to close the Delaware Chancery Court case because he controls the company and it will likely be resolved soon. Andrew Jennings, a professor at Brooklyn Law School. It’s an ugly and bitter lawsuit, and now that Musk controls the company he once fought, he now has the resources to get revenge on the company forever and ever. Check out this tweet from Musk on Sunday:
Translation: Twitter’s head of security and integrity, Yoel Roth, got into an argument with the rest of the company, Amir, and fantasized about using his key internal metrics against him in an internal Slack message, suggesting this Amir made himself appear to be manipulating statistics, He was more successful than he actually was. (The point here is that Musk accused Twitter of doing the same, saying there are fewer bots on its platform than it actually is).
Musk’s specific allegation here is that Twitter and its lawyers may have been wrong in “deliberately withholding” information from him — the Delaware Chancery Court won’t give him all the Slack information he wants. But that’s not the point here. The point here is that, under Musk’s control, he can now browse the company’s data unfettered, something he couldn’t do when he fought them last month. In this particular case, there appears to be some kind of data mining operation that is processing old Twitter Slack messages. The goal here seems to be that Musk wants to finally prove he was right all along, with bots and fraud and all the other allegations he’s made along the way. And now, he has a platform to tell the world.