The announcement by Elon Musk about his intention to retire from the head of Twitter is the latest shock that has shaken the social network since its takeover by the billionaire at the end of October.
– “The bird is free” –
On October 27, 2022, controversial billionaire Elon Musk announced the purchase of Twitter for $44 billion after a saga that lasted more than six months. “The bird is free,” he tweets, alluding to the network’s logo.
“Twitter is now in good hands,” hails former President Donald Trump, who was banned from the platform after the Capitol attack in early 2021.
On the contrary, associations fear that Elon Musk will open the floodgates for misinformation and hate speech.
The European Union warns on the 28th that Twitter will have to respect its new digital rules, which oblige the major platforms to moderate their content.
Elon Musk tries to reassure by promising a future “content moderation council”.
– Advertisers postpone –
In the wake of the takeover, General Motors will temporarily stop paying for ads on Twitter, becoming the first major advertiser to question its presence on the network, where 90% of its revenue comes from advertising.
Other companies are following suit, such as the American giants General Mills (Cheerios and Häagen-Dazs) and Mondelez international (Oreo cookies) or even Volkswagen and Audi.
– Eight dollars to verify his account –
On November 1, Elon Musk announced the upcoming launch of an eight-dollar monthly subscription for users who want to have their account certified as authentic and be less exposed to advertisements.
Account certification was previously free and only available to certain profiles, such as governments, companies, media, political, cultural or sports personalities, etc.
– Wave of layoffs –
On the 4th, Twitter begins a wave of layoffs affecting about 50% of its 7,500 employees worldwide.
“Unfortunately, there is no other choice when the company loses more than four million dollars a day,” defends Elon Musk.
– Cacophony around Twitter Blue –
On the 9th, a great cacophony surrounds the launch on iPhone of the new Twitter Blue, the paid subscription to have your account authenticated.
For 48 hours, many accounts pretend to be those of celebrities or businesses. These impersonations lead Twitter to suspend Twitter Blue on the 11th.
– Warning from US authorities –
On the 10th, the US Competition Agency (FTC) issued a rare warning, saying it was following recent developments on Twitter “with great concern”.
The FTC points out that Twitter faces significant fines in the event of breaches of data security and privacy rules.
– Ultimatum and cascade departures –
On the 16th, the billionaire sends an ultimatum to his employees: they must agree to “work long hours with high intensity” or they will be made redundant.
According to several American media, hundreds of them choose to leave.
– Trump reinstated, Kanye West suspended –
After a subscriber survey, Elon Musk decided on the 19th to lift the suspension of Donald Trump’s Twitter account.
In the process, he announces the mass recovery of banned accounts – if they have not broken the law – as well as the end of the fight against disinformation about Covid.
On December 2, Twitter suspended the account of American rapper Kanye West for “inciting violence”, revealing the limits of the absolute freedom of speech that Musk advocates.
– Paid subscription, continued –
After several tests, the billionaire launched a new payment formula on Twitter on the 12th, including account verification.
– Suspension of journalists’ accounts –
Twitter suspended the accounts of several journalists covering the social network and its new owner on the 15th. Some of them had tweeted the day before Twitter’s decision to suspend the account that automatically reported the routes of Elon Musk’s private jets.
The EU immediately threatens the latter with “sanctions”. On the 17th, some of the suspended accounts will be reactivated.
– Musk against a withdrawal –
On the 19th, a majority of participants (57.5%) in a poll launched on Twitter by Musk himself voted that the entrepreneur should give up the management of the social network.
After casting doubt on the results of the poll and casting doubt on his intentions, Elon Musk finally announced on the 20th his retirement from Twitter as soon as he had “found someone crazy enough” to succeed him.