Archive for November 22, 2022

Elon Musk Wants Weekly Reports From Every Single Twitter Employee While At The Same Time Cutting Their Perks

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 22, 2022 by itnerd

If you decided that staying at Twitter was the right decision as you wanted to prove that you were “hardcore”, you might be rethinking your life choices. The Verge is reporting that Elon wants weekly reports from every Twitter employee now:

Talk about micro management. While I am always willing to be surprised, I would shocked if this level of micro management has a positive effect on Twitter. I also would be surprised if this doesn’t send more employees headed to the exits.

On top of this, Musk is cutting perks at Twitter based on this report from The Verge:

Yeah, that’s going to help his employee retention efforts. #Sarcasm

By the way, what’s with the use of the word “Hardcore!” and “More Hardcore!” That just sounds dumb. It’s almost as if Musk is trying to turn the word “hardcore” into a rallying cry. The thing is, that people will only rally around you as a leader if they respect you. And based on the last few weeks of what the world has seen at Twitter, there’s nothing that one can respect about Elon Musk. Thus this is likely going to be a #Fail for Elon.

Kanye West’s antisemitic ‘Death Con 3’ tweet nearly doubled follower count growth rate new research shows

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 22, 2022 by itnerd

The rate of growth of U.S. rapper Kanye West’s follower count on Twitter nearly doubled after his threat last month to go “death con 3” on Jews, according to a new analysis conducted by the National Contagion Research Institute (NCRI) in partnership with the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM).

The study looked at what it called the “Antisemitism Attention Economy” and found that recent controversial social media posts by West, also known as “Ye,” and NBA basketball star Kyrie Irving metastasized populist Jew-hatred across the ideological spectrum, from white supremacists to Black Hebrew Israelites.

The NCRI/CAM put up a very insightful Twitter thread on this which I have reprinted below:

This is horrifying. And this should serve as a massive wake up call for people on social media as well as social media platforms to silence people like Kanye West and Kyrie Irving. But as we’ve seen lately from Twitter and its leader Elon Musk, there’s zero desire from Musk to get rid of these people to stop them from amplifying racist and anti-semitic messages. Thus I am very concerned that we will see an increase in this sort of thing which is good for nobody.

Guest Post: Cryptojacking malware soars nearly 4x in Q3 2022

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 22, 2022 by itnerd

After recent turbulence in the crypto market, Atlas VPN decided to analyze the cybersecurity side of the crypto landscape and found that new modifications of cryptojacking software used in the act of hijacking a computer and using it to mine digital assets against the user’s will, grew 3.8 times in Q3 2022. 

As many as 153 thousand new variants of malicious mining software were detected by Kaspersky in the third quarter of the year. In Q2, the number of new cryptojacking variants stood at around 41 thousand. 

However, data also reveals that the number of cryptojacking victims did not change significantly. In fact, it decreased slightly.

Analysts believe that fraudsters were trying to capitalize on the predicted growth in the crypto market. However, the predictions fell short, the market did not expand to new heights, and their strategy did not come to fruition. 

Nevertheless, cryptojacking is still one of the most common online threats. The number of victims each quarter range from 300 to 500 thousand.

Cryptojacking 101

Cryptojacking is a rather new threat, which emerged rapidly due to the impressive financial rewards of cryptocurrency mining. 

To read the full article, head over to: https://atlasvpn.com/blog/cryptojacking-malware-soars-nearly-4x-in-q3-2022

TELUS launches fourth annual Indigenous Reconciliation & Connectivity Report

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 22, 2022 by itnerd

Today, TELUS released its fourth annual Indigenous Reconciliation & Connectivity Report, detailing how the company embeds Reconciliation within its business, and sharing inspiring stories of connectivity and modern technology enabling transformative outcomes for Indigenous businesses and communities. Last year, TELUS was the first technology company in Canada to launch a public Indigenous Reconciliation Action Plan, and remains committed to Indigenous engagement as a cornerstone of its actions moving into 2023 and beyond.

TELUS’ Indigenous Reconciliation Action Plan is underpinned by four pillars with measurable targets and timelines. Key milestones for 2022 include:

  • Connectivity: In partnership with Indigenous governments, TELUS connected 12 more Indigenous lands to broadband Internet in 2022. Now, more than 83% of homes, small businesses, and governing bands on Indigenous land can access high-speed internet and participate in digital tools.
  • Enabling social outcomes: The Indigenous Communities Fund provided $100,000 in grants to five Indigenous-led organizations, focused on mental health and well-being; language and cultural revitalization; access to education; and community building. Another $100,00 will be allocated to additional projects by the end of 2022.
  • Cultural responsiveness & relationships: In partnership with the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, and Indigenous artist Carey Newman (Hayalthkin’geme), TELUS committed $1 million to launch the digital Witness Blanket project to further amplify truth-telling from Indigenous voices and Survivors about the residential school system.
  • Economic Reconciliation: The TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good invested $6 million in Indigenous-owned for-profit companies.

To ensure Indigenous ways of knowing are represented in TELUS’ Reconciliation Action Plan, TELUS established an Indigenous Advisory Council consisting of Indigenous leaders, subject matter experts and Elders, to provide ongoing guidance on the implementation of the company’s commitments and targets. The Indigenous Advisory Council is guided by Luc Lainé of the Huron-Wendat Nation, Shani Gwin of Métis Nation Alberta, Carol Anne Hilton of Hesquiaht Nation, and  Dr. Kim van der Woerd of ‘Namgis First Nation. In addition to these members, the council will be adding up to six new members in 2023.

Last year, TELUS provided relief to Indigenous communities affected by the fires, floods and mudslides across B.C. Its network team worked around the clock to maintain and repair service to keep customers connected, donated hundreds of mobile devices, and delivered more than 8,650 pounds of food and essential goods including PPE by boat, car and helicopter to residents in need.

To learn more about TELUS’ commitment to Reconciliation and to read the 2022 Indigenous Reconciliation and Connectivity Report, visit telus.com/reconciliation.

Twitter Blue May Not Reappear On The 29th Of November Says Elon Musk

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 22, 2022 by itnerd

You might remember that the first thing that Elon Musk wanted to do was roll out Twitter Blue with a verification checkmark. Well, that turned into a train wreck next to a dumpster fire very quickly. And Elon was forced to pull it. Now according to The Verge, it may not return on the 29th of November:

Elon Musk told Twitter employees on Monday that the company won’t relaunch its paid verification subscription, Twitter Blue, until “we’re confident about significant impersonations not happening,” according to a recording of his remarks obtained by The Verge.

Musk said last week that his $8 per month Blue subscription would be made available again on November 29th. But in the meeting with employees, he said the timing of the launch was unclear: “We might launch it next week. We might not. But we’re not going to launch until there’s high confidence in protecting against those significant impersonations.”

This was confirmed later in a Tweet:

I am guessing that he took a beating from a number of advertisers who were impersonated on the platform. Thus if he relaunches this, he needs to be 1000% sure that nothing bad will happen or he is pretty much screwed. The reason being is that while he wants to shift Twitter income away from advertising as being the primary source of cash, he needs that advertising revenue in the short to medium term unless he wants to fund Twitter by selling Tesla stock like he recently did.

Another tidbit that is worth mentioning from this Verge article is this:

He also told employees that Twitter was done with layoffs and hiring again, according to a recording of the meeting obtained by The Verge.

Maybe that’s because his power play of wanting “hardcore” employees backfired in such a spectacular manner. The question is if anyone would want to work for this guy given what’s gone on these past few weeks? And if Musk is thinking that he can get former Twitter employees to come back, he may want to think twice. Apparently a lot of firms want ex-Twitter staff. Perhaps he should have thought about that before swinging the axe.

The EU Could Be About To Add To Elon Musk’s Problems

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 22, 2022 by itnerd

Elon Musk is a guy who has 99 problems at the moment when it comes to Twitter. Well, that count could increment with a significant problem next week via a summons from the EU to explain himself and what he’s doing with Twitter:

The world’s richest man who recently bought the social media company is set to receive an invitation to come to the European Parliament in Brussels and explain himself, two Parliament officials told POLITICO. 

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola briefed top EU lawmakers in a closed-door meeting Thursday that she will invite Musk soon. The move comes at the request of lawmakers from the Liberal group Renew, a spokesperson for the group said. 

And:

“There are sound reasons to suggest that the standards applied by Twitter until now, may be weakened, at a time when the fight against election interference, misinformation and hate speech is more important than ever,” wrote Liberal lawmaker Dita Charanzová (Czech) and Sophie in ‘t Veld (Dutch) in a letter to Metsola on November 8. 

Lawmakers want Musk to show up in Brussels in person to hear about his plans and remind him of European laws governing technology.

Knowing him, he will try to brush this off. Or drop some of his questionable memes and act like this is no big deal. But ignoring the EU or flipping them off is something you do at your own peril. Even though the EU can’t directly call him to testify, he’d be smart to show up if he was called. Because if they get mad at him and pass some sort of legislation to govern the behaviour at Twitter, he’s not going to be a happy camper. Besides that, the EU has some of the strongest privacy laws on the planet. Thus if he’s smart, he’d make sure he’s on the right side of that.

This will be interesting to watch. Get your popcorn ready.

Civil Rights Groups Band Together To Pressure Advertisers To Dump Twitter

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 22, 2022 by itnerd

Elon Musk might think that “activists” are bad and causing advertisers to bolt from the platform. But those “activists” are about to really crank up the pressure on him and Twitter. Reuters has the details:

The groups in the Stop Toxic Twitter coalition complained that Musk had vowed to advertisers that Twitter would take a considered approach to reinstating banned accounts and convene a new content moderation council. No such council has been created as of Monday.

“It was a real breach,” Angelo Carusone, president of Media Matters, a left-leaning media watchdog that is part of the coalition, said on Monday. He said Musk “was lying from the beginning.”

“In less than three weeks Musk has gone back on every promise he made to civil-rights leaders and advertisers,” said Jessica Gonzalez, co-chief executive of media and democracy group Free Press, which is also part of the Twitter coalition, in a press release.

It doesn’t surprise me that Musk might have lied as he doesn’t seem like someone who can be trusted. And from what I have observed over the years, most of the time he doesn’t seem to care about his ability to keep his word. But here’s why that might come back to bite him this time around:

Of Twitter’s top 100 advertisers by total spending this year, 51 have paused ads according to private conversations with the coalition, public statements or spending data provided by ad measurement firm Pathmatics, Carusone said.

The coalition is asking brands that have not publicized their Twitter pause to issue public statements and help generate pressure on the other 49 advertisers that have taken no action, he said.

“You need to take a stand and draw the line,” Carusone said. “It’s important for big spenders to say they have stopped.”

The coalition will consider naming the companies later this week if they have not issued a public statement about pausing ads, he added.

Being named and shamed is likely going to be a great motivator for the 49 companies in question to not be on the wrong side of this issue. And it seems to be having an effect:

The names atop the list of Twitter’s top advertisers have shifted from the week before Musk closed his deal to acquire the company. Major brands HBO and Mondelez were Twitter’s top two advertisers in the week before the acquisition, according to data from Pathmatics. But between Nov. 10 and Nov. 16, after Musk laid off half of Twitter’s staff, the top two largest advertisers were FinanceBuzz.io, a personal finance website and Trendytowns, an ecommerce site based in Singapore.

Pathmatics data showed that the top 100 advertisers between Nov. 10 to Nov. 16 spent an estimated $23.6 million on Twitter, down from $24. 2 million spent between Oct. 16 to Oct. 22 before Musk became Twitter’s owner.

Keep in mind that the majority of Twitter’s revenue comes from advertising. And if you have “A” tier advertisers, you can charge more for advertising. But it looks like he hasn’t got “A” tier advertisers at the moment based on the above. So Twitter isn’t making as much money. Which means that this play by these groups has a very high chance of success. Which means that Elon should be paying attention to this. Or if he is smart, which he’s proven not to be smart given his recent track record, he would find a way to make nice with these people. But I don’t see that happening. And he’s going to have a major problem as a result.