Owner of Twitter since October 27, Elon Musk is increasingly controversial. The controversies are linked, without the billionaire doing anything to calm the game.
Ever since Elon Musk announced his intention to buy Twitter, everyone has been warning the businessman of the risks of running a social network. Accustomed to touching the realm of the spectacular with Tesla and SpaceX, the billionaire has decided to play with fire by attacking one of the least regulated areas of the Internet, generally accused by all camps of all the evils of the world. Despite this, Elon Musk did indeed go through with the takeover of Twitter on October 27 (after trying to withdraw for several months, admittedly).
How were the early days of Twitter Era 2? The most optimistic could imagine that Elon Musk would calm things down by delegating, but the billionaire seems to be on a destruction mission. Even in the worst-case scenarios, not many people would have imagined Elon Musk creating so much chaos. In one weekend (November 4-7), more happened at Twitter than it usually does in several months.
Elon Musk discovers the hell that is Twitter
From the first days of his takeover, Elon Musk announced the color. By dismissing the entire management of the social network and appointing himself at the head of the company, Elon Musk wanted to make it clear that he was now alone in charge. He then proceeded to quiz his fans on what to do first, submitting several crazy ideas like splitting Twitter into two (right-wing version and left-wing version), ending the 280-character limit , the return of Vine or the creation of a moderation commission, a bit like Facebook, made up of people with diverse opinions (including extreme ones, as he promised activists).
These early moves might seem confusing, but they were just an appetizer before the real chaos began. On November 1, Elon Musk announced his intention to charge Twitter users $8 per month, in exchange for certification and better promotion by the algorithm. His idea is simple: you will have to pay to be seen on Twitter, at the risk of being invisible to the algorithm. This decision has obviously earned him many criticisms, some accusing him of selling a badge which is normally used to check the credibility of information. Elon Musk usually responds with provocation, instead of trying to dialogue.
Unfortunately, the debate over ending free Twitter isn’t the only problem right now. Elon Musk seems to have entered a downward spiral and is causing disorder wherever he goes.
Layoffs, advertisers, identity theft, permanent exclusions and criticism of journalism… Elon Musk’s crazy weekend
The days pass and Elon Musk seems more and more devoured by Twitter, which we have always known is cursed. Just look at everything that happened from November 4 to 7 (and again, we probably forget some) to understand the extent of Elon Musk’s hell:
- Elon Musk fired 50% of Twitter’s workforce over email, after disabling all employee badges as a security measure.
- Some of the fired employees were recalled, as Elon Musk realized he needed them for duties he had just announced (like longer tweets).
- Elon Musk has complained of a major drop in Twitter revenue since his arrival as advertisers bow to pressure from “activists”.
- Elon Musk refused to apologize after posting a conspiracy theory from a site known to be unreliable.
- He also replied by mockeryprovocation or blockage to all the people who suggested that he question himself.
- Elon Musk’s identity has been impersonated by many certified accounts, who wanted to prove to him that a badge had a meaning.
- Elon Musk mocked comedian Sarah Silverman for not only usurping his name but also his job (he had promised that “comedy was now legal on Twitter”).
- Elon Musk blocked many accounts of critics as well as people who tried to chat with him.
- Elon Musk has announced a change in policy. Any account that changes its name will be permanently banned from Twitter, as previously warned…
- Still because of identity theft, Elon Musk entered into a debate on certification. He lashed out at journalists saying he believed Twitter could be the best news source in the world thanks to its verified users, questioning the legitimacy of the media.
- Elon Musk also argued with Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter, who asked him what reference he relied on to declare that Twitter should become the best source of information in the world.
- Dorsey and Musk also argued over the name of the “Community Notes” feature, which allows users to fake-check each other. Jack Dorsey prefers the old name, “Birdwatch”.
We probably forget other controversies, since Elon Musk continues to respond drop by drop to Internet users who ask him to solve personal or political problems. Twitter seems completely over it, while the promised changes have still not happened…
And this hell is probably just beginning.