Elon Musk continues to make news. And I will start with his most recent piece of news which is that Elon paid a visit to the Apple Campus to see Tim Cook.
No word on what they talked about. But seeing as Elon teed off on Apple multiple times earlier this week, and Apple cutting advertising and deleting its Tweets, he might have had to take a trip to make peace with Apple CEO Tim Cook. This despite word that Elon wants to find a way to keep Apple from taking 30% from every Twitter Blue subscription, which by the way means that Twitter Blue is apparently on hold until that part is figured out. Knowing how Elon can’t keep his mouth shut, I am sure that we will find out some version of this story soon enough.
Another story that surfaced today is that Tesla stock has taken a huge hit since Elon took over at Twtter:
Tesla stock is down 30% since Musk, the electric-car maker’s chief executive, completed his acquisition of Twitter on Oct. 28.
Tesla stock is down 52% since Musk first revealed a 9% stake in Twitter in early April.
If you own the stock, you are likely not happy. And if you’re Elon, the ability for Tesla stock to fund the day to day operations of Twitter has decreased as a result.
Next, from the “see I told you so” department is this:
Elon Musk has been told he faces “huge work ahead” to bring Twitter into compliance with new European rules on disinformation or face a possible ban.
European Union commissioner Thierry Breton made the comments in a meeting with Mr Musk on Wednesday.
He said the social media site would have to address issues such as content moderation, disinformation and targeted adverts.
The back-and-forth comes as the new law is set to go into effect.
And what happens if Elon doesn’t get his act together? Well…:
If firms are found to be violation, they face fines of up to 6% of global turnover – or a ban in the case of repeated serious breaches.
And it’s a safe bet that Elon can’t afford the fines, nor can he afford to have Twitter banned in the EU. Which means that he has a problem. Just like I said he would. It will be interesting to see if he tries to comply with the EU, and anger the rather unsavory characters that he’s encouraged to jump onto Twitter. Or he thumbs his nose at the EU, and risks fines that he can’t afford along with potentially being Thanos snapped out of the 27 EU member states.
One thing that was interesting from this report was this:
In a statement after the meeting, Mr Breton said he welcomed Mr Musk’s assurances that he would get Twitter ready to comply.
“Let’s also be clear that there is still huge work ahead, as Twitter will have to implement transparent user policies, significantly reinforce content moderation and protect freedom of speech, tackle disinformation with resolve, and limit targeted advertising,” he said.
“All of this requires sufficient AI (Artificial Intelligence) and human resources, both in volumes and skills. I look forward to progress in all these areas and we will come to assess Twitter’s readiness on site.”
The EU plans to conduct a “stress test” in 2023 ahead of a wider audit, his office said.
So while that sounds like he’s going to comply, I am not willing to put money on that just yet.
Finally Twitter put out a blog post that among other things, said this:
- First, none of our policies have changed. Our approach to policy enforcement will rely more heavily on de-amplification of violative content: freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach.
- Our Trust & Safety team continues its diligent work to keep the platform safe from hateful conduct, abusive behavior, and any violation of Twitter’s rules. The team remains strong and well-resourced, and automated detection plays an increasingly important role in eliminating abuse.
- When urgent events manifest on the platform, we ensure that all content moderators have the guidance they need to find and address violative content.
- As we improve our policies and processes, bad actors will also develop new methods of disruption. This is not new. Our team of experts is constantly adapting to identify and defuse threats, and we are proud of our early results: impressions on violative content are down over the past month, despite the growth in overall usage on the platform.
- Finally, as we embark on this new journey, we will make mistakes, we will learn, and we will also get things right. Throughout, we’ll communicate openly with our users and customers, to get and share your feedback as we build.
We remain committed to providing a safe, inclusive, entertaining, and informative experience for everyone. We will continue to be transparent as we move through this transition period. And we will listen to you, the people who make Twitter what it is: the town square of the internet.
I’m sorry. But everything that has happened to date seems to indicate the opposite is happening at Twitter. I’d sit here and pick this apart, but I haven’t got that kind of time. The fact is that this blog post is window dressing that was put out there in hopes of putting out the many fires that Elon has started since he took over. Nobody is going to buy this. Not governments, not advertisers, and not the users who feel that Twitter is no longer safe. If Twitter in general, or Elon specifically want to talk about Twitter being a safe space for all, the need to start proving it. Immediately.