A little over two weeks after the official takeover of Twitter, the level of future difficulty of the platform is refined. Elon Musk, his new boss, crystallizes the attention, the praise of his fanboys and the criticisms of its detractors. The new apostle of freedom of expression – or his very personal interpretation – delivered the main lines of his strategy: fewer employees, less moderation, more monetization, but also more confusion and more whims. The last days experienced by the microblogging platform have thus been more eventful than in previous years. So much so that this Friday, November 18, 2022, quite alarming messages announce the closure of the site (which should not happen).
Great purge of employees
The arrival of Musk at the head of Twitter was initially a social drama. Not content with having fired the entire management as soon as he entered the building – a sink in hand – Elon Musk fired nearly half of the firm’s employees. Some sections, such as those in charge of developing new accessibility features or dedicated to ethics, have been partially or entirely decimated. According to reports published in the press across the Atlantic, Twitter would have asked some to return, explaining for example that some dismissals were made by mistake.
Elon Musk even posted a photo, which some still wonder if it is a joke in bad taste or if the billionaire was duped-spoiler. Type 1. Elon Musk poses there all smiles with two employees allegedly reinstated in the company, when they are two jokers who made the media believe that they were members of the Twitter teams the day of the announcement of the layoffs . They had thus granted several interviews, cardboard in hand, before other journalists revealed the pot of roses.
Twitter will self-destruct if you don’t share this post with 10 of your friends
More surprisingly, Elon Musk sent an ultimatum to Twitter employees, which can be summarized as follows: leave or get your fingers out. They had to click on a “yes” in an email to signify their desire to stay on the raft of the Medusa, having until November 17 to decide. Employees overwhelmingly ignored their boss and his email. And while many departures are still to be expected, employees let loose against Musk in tweets, the latter makes fun of the situation by posting memes like a Reddit user.
However, the situation seems serious. According to US media, Twitter had about 2,900 employees by Thursday’s deadline, following the layoff of 7,500 employees in the takeover and subsequent resignations. Some of the remaining employees told The Verge that, given the scale of the resignations this week, they expect the platform to soon begin to “break”. However, some decimated services are essential to the proper functioning of the platform.
Without drawing plans on the comet, it is easy to imagine that future network outages will be difficult to manage and that the security of the platform and data will be greatly reduced. It is also difficult to predict whether the host of new functions wanted by Musk can be deployed, or whether the platform will quickly fill the gaps in human resources.
the running gag paid certification
When you have the ambition to put your ships on Mars, there is no doubt that you are in a hurry. Thus, Elon Musk wanted to shake up the codes very quickly, too quickly. This says a lot about what he thinks of this network and its relationship to the employees he wants “put to work” when they are not kicked out. In reality, behind the cynicism of the guy hides the businessman who wants to make his platform profitable.
On November 1, the boss of Tesla made his most spectacular announcement: in the coming days (or weeks), users could be certified under the Twitter Blue program for the modest sum of $8/month. And since the tycoon does not seem to have learned during his early childhood that one must think before acting, he reconsidered his decision, indicating that certified accounts can remain so. Then a second certification system will be put in place. Since he’s actually going to experiment with a lot of things and some of them aren’t going to work out and you don’t have to worry about that…
Conclusion, no one really knows if the Twitter Blue subscription has attracted the crowds, but recognizing a certified account (for good reasons) of an average user who has just paid to gain visibility is complicated. As for profitability, advertisers have been more than cautious since the billionaire took power.
Almost total freedom of expression
In his quest for transformation, Elon Musk does not forget the freedom of expression that is dear to him, but all in all relative. Witness the accounts that have paid for certification, have imitated that of the new boss of Twitter and that he has chased unceremoniously, explaining that this very precise use does not match his conception of freedom.
And since it’s Elon who sets the rules, he decided that the account that tracked the movements of his private jet would not be deleted from the platform, although he did not like it. Musk also took the opportunity to tease the media and journalists a bit, explaining roughly speaking that they do not have a monopoly on the “good information” and truth. A speech that reminds us a little of those of the former President of the United States, of whom we still do not know if he will find his account at more than 80 million followers shortly.
You represent the problem: journalists who think they are the only source of legitimate information. That’s the big lie.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 7, 2022
While waiting for everyone to calm down, and failing that Twitter closes, the next few weeks of the social network promise to be as hectic as those that are ending.