Elon Musk, who was first called a “head idiot” in his Twitter bio, now introduces himself as the “Twitter Complaint Hotline Operator.” Less than a week after buying the social network, the multibillionaire, boss of Tesla and Space X, hastily released a trail that caused both anger from users and fierce criticism from employees.
On Friday, October 28, after six months of negotiations and several faces, the world’s richest man became the CEO of Twitter. Immediately after the acquisition, Elon Musk became the “sole director of Twitter,” dissolving the board, according to an official filing with the Financial Markets Authority (SEC) on Monday. The first tweet of the new head of the social network – “The bird is free” was received very differently. For example, European Commissioner Thierry Breton, for example, directly answered him: “In Europe, it will fly according to our rules.” For Edward Snowden, a former employee of the American NSA and whistleblower, “it will cause controversy, but the censorship of the platforms has clearly gone too far.”
Since then, Tesla’s boss has expressed himself on social media, sometimes to joke or “troll” and sometimes to announce the direction he wants to give the company.
The number of resignations?
In addition to the resignation of the board of directors, several leaders were reportedly fired without official approval. Several American media reports, citing employees, that Elon Musk has hired Tesla engineers to review the work of Twitter employees and continue with layoffs. “The ongoing firing process is a farce and a disgrace. Tesla supporters are making judgments about people they know nothing about other than the number of lines of code produced. This is complete nonsense,” Taylor tweeted on Sunday. Liz says the manager of the engineering team has been fired.
According to “Washington Post”, the multibillionaire plans to cut 75% of his new company’s 7,500 employees. For now, chief legal officer Vijaya Gadde and chief product officer Jay Sullivan have removed all mention of Twitter from their profiles. Head of Engineering Nick Caldwell’s account lists a “former manager at Twitter.” Sarah Personette, director of operations in charge of advertiser relations, announced her resignation as Dalana Brand, who took care of diversity within the California group.
After taking office, Elon Musk, like many political figures on the American right, promised to create a “content moderation board” to set what he now considers too restrictive restrictions. He personally responded to various user complaints accusing Twitter of censorship, stressing one that the network should be “balanced and not favoring any side” and another that “profiles suspended for minor or questionable reasons will be released from Twitter custody.”
On Sunday, she herself deleted one of her tweets, which included a link to a conspiracy theory about the attack on her husband by House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi. However, not shying away from joking about it, he responded to a New York Times article about the fake news sharing: “That’s a lie! I didn’t tweet a link to the New York Times!”. Former UN special rapporteur on freedom of expression, David Kaye, mocked the billionaire’s various caps: “The Elon troll Twitter boss should warn Elon to retract (this tweet).
Controversial first draft: making a certificate payment
On Tuesday, Elon Musk clarified his first big project. Following 112 million subscribers, the new CEO aims to develop an $8-a-month subscription for users who want to verify the authenticity of their accounts. “With the current system of lords and peasants, those with blue ticks and those without, it’s stupid. Power to the people! Blue for $8 a month,” he said. In other words, Elon Musk would like to pay for verified accounts on the social network. Currently, only certain profiles, especially governments, companies, media, political, cultural or sports personalities can claim this guarantee of authenticity.
The benefits of these subscribers are that their tweets will be prioritized, but they will also be able to post longer videos and be exposed to “half the ad,” Elon Musk said. This new offering should help the platform fight fake accounts and diversify its revenue streams, while its business model is 90% dependent on advertising, a market itself that is currently struggling. This announcement is also dictated by the urgency of repaying its debts related to the transaction: from 2023, at least $12 billion will have to be repaid by Twitter. It’s not easy for the social network, which has rarely turned a profit throughout its history.
Still, the idea of paying to have your account certified has drawn a lot of criticism. Pranay Pathole, an engineer admirer of the multi-billionaire, tweeted: “If everyone gets a token of approval, there will be a problem with the validity of the information.” According to the specialized website “The Verge”, Elon Musk initially thought of raising the monthly subscription price to $20. “Twenty bucks a month to keep my blue badge? Damn, they should pay me instead. If this is set up, I’m out,” bestselling author Stephen King tweeted Monday. Elon Musk responded by offering eight dollars.
According to employees, the relevant engineers are expected to work tirelessly to overhaul the subscription until November 7, and have been informed that their jobs are in jeopardy.