The Twitter Gong Show Is Getting Even Worse…. Where Do I Even Begin?

This Twitter situation is simply getting crazy. But there are some themes that intertwine. Let’s start with the fact that some really “interesting” people have signed up for Twitter Blue accounts:

Almost 140,000 people paid $8 for a Twitter Blue subscription between November 10 and 15, the New York Times reported. 

The Times cited data from Travis Brown, a software developer in Berlin, who found over 137,000 accounts with Twitter Blue subscriptions between November 10 and 15 using a computer program. The program downloaded data including user’s following lists, screen time, the date they joined Twitter, and verification status. 

Brown found that the typical Twitter Blue subscriber had around 560 followers but some had over a million including Mika Salamanca, a YouTube creator with 3.9 million Twitter followers; Arabic news site, Alwatan News with 2.7 million followers, and several adult film performers. 

Many Twitter Blue subscribers were far-right influencers like Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse, Libs of TikTok, and Catturd2. 

Brown’s data showed that thousands of subscribers were linked to around 5,000 far-right Twitter accounts that had been flagged for pushing extremist ideas and some were also listed by Cornell University for posting conspiracy theories about election fraud. 

Twitter and Travis Brown did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the data outside normal working hours.

Now this isn’t exactly promising. But let’s go down the rabbit hole. Musk is now doing this:

Musk posted a poll on Wednesday asking whether the platform should offer “a general amnesty to suspended accounts, provided that they have not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam.” 

At the time of writing, 72% of the almost 3 million voters have said yes. 

That ties into this Tweet from Musk:

One based on this could get the impression that Musk is using this as a pretext to slant Twitter to the right. If that’s the case, this whole situation with Twitter will get ugly. How so you ask? How about this:

Julia Mozer and Dario La Nasa, who were in charge of Twitter’s digital policy in Europe, left the company last week, according to the Financial Times.

The executives were the driving force in getting the company to comply with the EU’s landmark Digital Services act, which came into force last week setting new rules for Big Tech firms to keep users safe online.

Other executives had already left the small Brussels office at the start of the month as Mr Musk sacked half of the company’s from 7,500 to around 3,750 in the weeks following his £38bn takeover. 

The Tesla and SpaceX chief executive had tweeted that “the bird is freed” after completing his acquisition of the platform. 

Shortly afterwards, European commissioner Thierry Breton issued a curt reminder of the EU’s content-moderation laws, saying: “In Europe, the bird will fly by our rules.” 

Mr Musk had said that Twitter’s series of layoffs was over this week, as he launched a recruitment drive. 

If you recall, Twitter is in the crosshairs of the EU due to moves like the stuff that I mentioned above for starters. And they will look at moves like the ones above with some degree of alarm. And they will react accordingly by calling Musk onto the carpet. The thing is, I can see Musk flipping the bird to the EU which will start a big fight between the two. You should get your popcorn ready for that when it happens. Because Elon’s right wing leanings are clearly coming into play here.

In other Twitter news, Musk also did this:

Elon Musk’s Twitter has decided to scrap holiday pay for contractors working for the social-media company, according to Platformer reporter Zoë Schiffer.

The measure will start during Thanksgiving, according to Schiffer.

Amid the mass layoffs since Musk’s takeover, Twitter started to fire contractors on November 12 and those affected found out they’d lost their job when they were locked out of work accounts, Axios reported.

It’s not the only measure that Twitter has reportedly introduced in the runup to Thanksgiving.

The Verge’s Alex Heath said on Thursday that some Twitter engineers received an email on Wednesday evening, saying they were fired because their “code is not satisfactory.” Twitter sent “performance warning” emails to other engineers, telling them to “restore our confidence and demonstrate your contributions to the team,” according to Heath.

The report came off the back of a leaked email, seen by Insider, saying on Monday that all Twitter employees who were coding or doing technical work would be expected to submit a weekly summary of everything they’ve worked on.

This is just plain stupid and is sure to send more employees to the exits. Nobody likes to be micromanaged. And when you combine that with no holiday pay, that’s a recipe for a big reaction from the workers in question. Especially since other companies are circling to grab Twitter employees.

Finally, let’s go back to Musk. I’m going to put it out there that he is a racist. I say that because of this:

What hasn’t been clear is what, exactly Musk thinks of Black Twitter, which is arguably the most critical community to have taken shape organically and to elevate Twitter’s relevance as a platform for conversation, activism and storytelling along the way. Before now, that wouldn’t have mattered. Nobody cared what Twitter co-founder and ex-CEO Jack Dorsey thought about Black Twitter, because it was undeniable that Black Twitter was good for business under his watch.

Musk, however, is a different story: his notions of “free speech” on the platform mean greenlighting the comeback of Donald Trump and other hatemongers and as a manager he’s fired thousands of employees who were part of an intentional internal strategy to attempt to make the company as diverse as the voices on its platform. And now, weeks into his tenure as “chief twit”, we have an idea of exactly what regard Musk holds Black Twitter and the community of Black staffers inside the company. The Independent reports on a Musk tweet, since deleted, in which he made light of t-shirts that had been created by the company’s “Blackbirds” employee resource group, and mocked the Black Lives Matter movement.

I encourage you to read the entire article because clearly this is unacceptable and needs to be called out. And you might want to keep this in mind the next time you think of buying a Tesla. Or using Twitter.

One Response to “The Twitter Gong Show Is Getting Even Worse…. Where Do I Even Begin?”

  1. […] problematic for Elon. It reinforces that he’s a racist, which is something that I said in this article from a week ago when he mocked Black Twitter. And I am pretty sure this will put Elon on a […]

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