Musk pledges to accept the results of the poll about his future at the micro-blogging site

Trump can leave his hat in the sunset: Musk’s Twitter ban after a day of public comments on the oblateness of Twitter

Musk is worried about the number of people he is sending out his messages to. Last week, the Twitter CEO took his Twitter account private for a day to test whether that might boost the size of his audience. The move came after several prominent right-wing accounts that Musk interacts with complained that recent changes to Twitter had reduced their reach.

“I do think it was not correct to ban Donald Trump; I think that was a mistake,” Musk said at a conference in May, pledging to reverse the ban were he to become the company’s owner.

The pair seemed to have soured relations after the summer, with the men trading barbs. Musk responded to Trump by saying it was time for the president to leave his hat in the sunset.

What are the Policies of Social Media? A Critical View of Musk and Other Silicon Valley Societies: What TWoT’s Future Looks Like

Any company, including Twitter, is a result of the people’s work. The people who have always been attracted to TWoT are sort of weird. You don’t know it until you work for the company. And those people are all the ones who are going to leave. Those are not the people who are going to stay. So all of that is gone.

“I don’t know that Twitter engineers ever sat around and said, ‘We are creating a Skinner box,’” said Natasha Dow Schüll, a cultural anthropologist at New York University and author of a book about gambling machine design. She said that is what they have built. It’s one reason people who should know better regularly self-destruct on the site — they can’t stay away.

It is going to be very difficult. The people who will pay the most for them are people like us. Yes, Twitter was experimenting with subscriptions before Musk came in, but it was languishing as a product. I was a subscriber, and I didn’t feel like I was getting much value out of it.

It’s a theme he reiterated both in public, telling Twitter employees at an all-staff meeting that the platform should allow all legal speech, and in private, texting investor Antonio Gracias that “Free speech matters most when it’s someone you hate spouting what you think is bull****.”

“Even slightly loosening content moderation on the platform is sure to spook advertisers, many of whom already find Twitter’s brand safety tools to be lacking compared with other social platforms,” Enberg said.

For a “keyhole view of what Twitter under Musk will look like,” just look at alternative platforms such as Parler, Gab and Truth Social that promise fewer restrictions on speech, said Angelo Carusone, president of the liberal nonprofit watchdog group Media Matters for America.

On those sites, he said, “the feature is the bug — where being able to say and do the kinds of things that are prohibited from more mainstream social media platforms is actually why everyone gravitates to them. They are actually cauldrons of misinformation and abuse.

The status of Twitter’s new policies, in the meantime, remains unclear — Lorenz is unbanned, and Musk said Paul Graham’s account will be restored as well, while also claiming the link policy “will be adjusted to suspending accounts only when that account’s primary purpose is promotion of competitors, which essentially falls under the no spam rule.”

The ban on Alex Jones, who was kicked off for abusive behavior in the fall of 2018, could possibly be lifted.

The person urged Musk to hire “someone who has a savvy cultural/political view” to lead enforcement, suggesting “a Blake Masters type.” Masters, the Republican Senate candidate in Arizona who received an endorsement from Trump, has joined his false claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him.

Twitter is going to be a Hellscape when Donald Trump gets rid of his facebook ban? A characterization of Twitter by Elon Dorsey

Allowing Trump and others to return could set a precedent for other social networks, as Facebook considers reinstating the former president when its own ban on him expires in January 2023.

After a video meeting a few weeks later with Agrawal and Musk, Dorsey tersely summed up the situation in a text to Musk: “At least it became clear that you can’t work together. That was clarifying.”

As today began at Twitter, there were essentially two groups at the company, one employee told me: those working on projects that Musk has been deeply involved in, such as the revamped Twitter Blue subscription, and everyone else.

And what do you make of the characterization that has come from Elon and people around him that Twitter is this kind of bloated, overstaffed, slow-moving company where everything takes way too long to ship, where there’s kind of a culture of sitting on your hands and not really doing much, and where with some quick, decisive action, you could really trim some fat and reestablish the company and make it profitable?

“The long-term potential for Twitter, in my view, is an order of magnitude greater than its current value,” he said on Tesla’s earnings conference call last week.

It’s being loaded with a significant amount of debt, and he’s going to have to start making those interest payments. It is very important for advertisers to know that the platform isn’t going to become a hellscape. If these content-moderation protections roll back, are their ads going to run next to really controversial or unseemly content?

Advertisers want to know that they aren’t going to be subsidizing extremists, that they are not going to be turning off potential customers, and so on.

Musk Tells Twitter to Move On: Why he Acceded to the Social Media Platform and Is It Good For Civilization?

What exactly he meant is, as always, anyone’s guess. Musk told staff that the company should get in on the “super-app” craze, which involves anything you might use your phone to do.

Other American tech companies, including Facebook and Uber, have tried this strategy, but so far Chinese-style super-apps haven’t caught on in the United States.

He has said that he wants Twitter to move away from ads to subscriptions. And then, today, on just the precipice of this deal closing, he puts out this statement on Twitter, says, “Dear Twitter advertisers, I wanted to reach out personally to share my motivation in acquiring Twitter.” It is important for the future of Civilization to have a common digital town square and he believes that is the reason he acquired the social media platform.

It could please some of Musk’s supporters, who would love to see him get back to work at the company he’s invested $43 billion in.

The departures come just hours before a judge in Delaware sets a deadline for the deal to be finalized. If an agreement is not reached she will schedule a trial.

The Conversation between Tesla CEOs on Twitter, Slack, Blind, and the Verge: Twitter Employees and the Employee-On Section 230 and the CEO of a Tech Company

It states that this is the top line for Vijaya and Counsel. So that suggests to me that this was maybe a meeting with Vijaya and the legal and policy teams. This is happening in Slack again, the VP. Writes, “discussed ideas around the future of Twitter and having it on your own terms — content moderation, working with foreign governments, standards of speech around the world, section 230. He was very knowledgeable about this and its importance to Twitter.

Many Twitter employees have recently noted the absence of Parag Argawal, their current CEO, who Musk soured on after the two initially started talking about Musk joining Twitter’s board. “He has been completely absent for weeks,” one current Twitter employee, who requested anonymity to speak without the company’s permission, said of Argawal. One person said that he had ghosted them. Both Twitter’s Slack and the Twitter employee-only section of Blind, an anonymous message board for tech workers, are full of similar comments about Argawal, according to screenshots seen by The Verge.

The execs received handsome payouts for their trouble, Insider reports: Agrawal got $38.7 million, Segal got $25.4 million, Gadde got $12.5 million, and Personette, who tweeted yesterday about how excited she was for Musk’s takeover, got $11.2 million.

Musk was questioned about his splits between his companies in court on Nov. 16. Musk had to testify in Delaware’s Court of Chancery over a shareholder’s challenge to Musk’s potentially $55 billion compensation plan as CEO of the electric car company.

Although they came quickly, the major personnel moves had been widely expected and almost certainly are the first of many major changes the mercurial Tesla CEO will make.

Twitter HQ – When Will It Go Private? When Twitter Comes to a Standstill: The Strange Case of Musk’s Twitter

Twitter’s moderation is seemingly guided less by set rules and more by what its owner wants at any moment. While Musk argues he’s protecting people from being doxed, this week he censored accounts freely—not for illegal speech, but because they offended him.

He continued: “There is currently great danger that social media will splinter into far right wing and far left wing echo chambers that generate more hate and divide our society.”

Yildirim said that, unlike Facebook, Twitter has not been good at targeting advertising to what users want to see. She said that Musk’s message suggests he wants to fix it.

But it’s also a realization that having no content moderation is bad for business, putting Twitter at risk of losing advertisers and subscribers, she said.

“You do not want a place where consumers just simply are bombarded with things they do not want to hear about, and the platform takes no responsibility,” Yildirim said.

Musk has said that the deal is going through. He strolled into the company’s San Francisco headquarters Wednesday carrying a porcelain sink, changed his Twitter profile to “Chief Twit,” and tweeted “Entering Twitter HQ — let that sink in!”

And overnight the New York Stock Exchange notified investors that it will suspend trading in shares of Twitter before the opening bell Friday in anticipation of the company going private under Musk.

Sarah Personette, the company’s chief customer officer, said that she had a great discussion with Musk on Wednesday and endorsed his Thursday message to advertisers.

Musk’s apparent enthusiasm about visiting Twitter headquarters this week stood in sharp contrast to one of his earlier suggestions: The building should be turned into a homeless shelter because so few employees actually worked there.

Is it possible to talk about this message that was sent to advertisers in the short term? Truly, one of the most bizarre twists in this whole thing. Musk has been railing against advertisements for a long time.

Musk has (mostly) acted in line with the results of polls posted to his own Twitter account in his time owning the company, but the Musk Rules can be fluid. He also promised previously that “No major content decisions or account reinstatement” would happen without convening a content moderation council, then retroactively claimed that no longer applied due to activist groups that “broke the deal.”

Blue Checks: How the Internet Exploded in the Era of Donald Trump’s Campaign against the Industrialization of Social Media (Violation of The Laws of Peculiarities)

The first version of this article was published in the newsletter. There is a daily digest about the evolving media landscape.

After a long day of turmoil on his account, Musk stopped new sign-ups for his $8-a-month subscription service. Offering anyone the chance to slap a “verified” badge on their account had led to widespread impersonation of government officials, corporations, and celebrities. The platform had descended into chaos after the resulting craziness, caused by accounts misrepresenting themselves as Eli Lilly and others, triggered an advertiser pullout.

Yeah. I mean, look, I have to say, I have long been in favor of letting anyone who wants to verify themselves part of this plan. It is not just making people pay in order to keep their badges. It also means that you could get a Badge if you pay.

It seems like there is a lot of right-wing circles inside of the world of edon, and with the idea of blue checks, that’s what I think. People on Fox News and other conservative media outlets are always talking about this blue check mob of people on social media, mostly journalists and other figures who are self-critical and sensitive about their checkmarks.

In a year when the internet was under attack, Musk said that it was the best thing one could do to save it.

Emmergency Podcast elon Muskowns Twitter? (LAUGHING) A Few Years After, and What Happens When a Kid Shows Up with a Sink

This transcript was produced with speech recognition software. While it has been reviewed by human transcribers, it may contain errors. Please review the episode audio before quoting from this transcript and email [email protected] with any questions.

It sounds like a front-page headline in a movie about the future. Like, “Space Magnate Buys Microblogging Platform.” (LAUGHING) You know, it’s just, like — but this is real. This happened. I read it with my own eyes a couple of hours ago.

Yeah, this was one of the weirdest parts of this whole thing. It was the purpose of this joke to let that sink in, and that is what he did when he went to San Francisco and showed up with a sink.

He shows up at the company’s headquarters. He meets with a bunch of employees. He apparently makes the rounds and sort of shake some hands, and gets a coffee at Twitter’s, like, in-house coffee place. And we don’t hear anything more on Wednesday.


The Twitter CEO’s Role in the Big Picture: Why Parag Agarwal is a Legendary CEO, not a Car?

Yeah, by the way, I would like to imagine how that goes, right? Engineer Frank or someone else is going to look at the code and then they are. It wasn’t possible to run that on a car.

Before we talk about that, let’s take a close look at what has been happening on the site this week. It has been one crazy thing after another. Casey, on Friday, after our emergency podcast, you reported that Twitter engineers inside the company had been instructed to print out the last 30 to 60 days’ worth of code that they had written, for review.

It has been through different phases in its lifetime. But at least leading up to this whole fiasco, I can’t think of a better place to work. People were respectful. People were honest. And people had legitimate goals.

It looked like it was chaotic over there. No one knew what was going on or who had jobs and who didn’t. There is no good way to transition a company with thousands of employees and a new owner to private ownership without alienating the existing employees. So this was always going to be messy, but I was shocked by just how fast it all happened.

I sort of disagree there. You know what you could have done to make it less messy. Waited more than 10 minutes to fire the CEO, right?

They couldn’t have had a meeting on Friday because they couldn’t say that Parag is going to ride off into the sunset or that they are celebrating the big milestone in the history of the company. There could be any of those things, but they did not happen.

Wait, let me ask you a question. And I’m sorry to interrupt you, but I have to ask right now. Is Parag Agarwal’s tenure as Twitter CEO one of the most legendary CEO runs of all time? In November, the man comes. He will be gone by October. He makes $42 million by mostly not using social networks and sending out weekly email that has no new information. When we have more, will be in touch.

Yes, that’s true. Although for what it’s worth, I’ve heard from very few of them jumping for joy over the payout from the sale of the stock, right? They are worried about what the future will look like. I think that is a valid point. The Twitter folks — and this is why Parag is getting that 42 million. It’s the best price you could ever imagine for this company.

If people are able to put a bit more thought into some of the decisions and less fire from the hip it might do some good. “He needs to learn the areas where he just does not know things and let those that do know take over.”

That number did not come from me. And so everyone sort of laughed nervously. I was surprised that he said he wasn’t going to gut the company, at least to the levels that people have talked about, but I was interested in seeing him interact with those employees.

It’s like, he’s really looking forward to kicking the tires on this thing, figuring out what it is, what it does! But then, in the sort of note, they go, they say, sort of, two interesting things. One is, Elon wants subscriptions to be 50 percent of revenue at some point.

He thinks that more credit cards on file could be beneficial for the company. But Kevin, talk about what a big percentage of revenue 50 percent would be for Twitter.

On one hand, you know, it is a job at the micro-blogging site. I know from speaking to many of the employees there that the company does want to give people a voice, and the idea of giving more people a voice is a real source of inspiration.

According to a worker, Musk wants employees to keep track of how often he recommends his followers.

Got it, I got it. If I were Musk, I would not use the Slack service on the first day that I get access to it. Bad idea.

Also discussed his work with Starlink and how he’s providing internet to countries like Iran and Russia without government interference, and what this could open for Twitter.” There’s a lot in there, and it clearly seems like it’s mostly off the top of his head. There are a lot of intriguing ideas about what Twitter could look like.

This deal has so much more to be discussed with you. Kate Conger, my colleague, sent me a very exciting message this morning that said that she would be breaking a lot of the news about the New York Times deal for The New York Times tonight.

So it seems like Elon’s — I guess, he’s calling himself the Chief Twit now? Is that his official title? Do we know? Is that what he’s calling himself?

The first move as Chief Twit may have been the firing of at least four executives, including the CEO. Have you heard anything more about potential executives being fired or additional moves that he’s going to make just in the next few hours?

Maybe thousands. I mean, that would be a lot, but that’s sort of the magnitude of what’s been expected. We’ve been chasing this deal and reporting on it and talking to people around it for the past few months. And it can be easy to get kind of caught in the sort of frenzy of activity in moments like this, but I think it is worth just taking a step back, and thinking about how major and, frankly, historic this deal is.

The largest leveraged buyout in the history of the world happened here. This is one of the biggest technology deals ever. It’s the first time that a major social network has changed ownership since Myspace was sold. And I think it’s also, in some ways, the culmination of this kind of decade, really, of transformation in social media.

I think back to a decade ago, when social media was seen as a force that would lead to revolutions, to occupy Wall Street, to take down law enforcement officers, and so on.

I believe that this transition for Twitter is going to feel similar, in a number of ways, to the one we’re going through right now, which is having the direction of the company change, having the priorities change and having a lot of employees leave. And I guess it’s a sign of just the industry growing and maturing, and some of these companies getting to the stage in their lives where they can be bought out.

But it also is something, like you said, where this company is going from a platform that is used by people who do not have a voice and are trying to access a voice. I think that other platforms will be the destination for people who want to speak out in this new era.

I believe that today was the day that Musk realized that 90 percent of the revenue he makes is targeted advertising. Is there any other explanation?

It’s funny that you’re saying, like, who posted on his account. Because a lot of what he said in that message is really similar to the things that he said back in April when he first announced that he wanted to buy the company. He said, this is important for the future of civilization, and that was kind of how he was sort of fitting the Twitter deal in with his persona as this, like, space explorer, right?

Like, these are all projects that have the potential to radically alter our civilization and do things for humanity. That is his vision for it. So these are things that he’s said before. I think he is correct. Twitter needs to make money now, more than it ever has.

The new Twitter owner has said he plans to establish a new content moderation council, comprised of “representatives with widely divergent views” to help determine Twitter’s policies. He insists that the platform’s policies haven’t changed yet.

I think that this is one of the things that Elon has said that he wants to do and made a top priority. And so I think that those things are going to happen fairly quickly. The person who took control of the company and moved to fire some of the executives he had criticized for a long time.

He has promised to let free speech reign and has reinstated high-profile accounts that broke rules against making hate speech or spreading misinformation. He has also said he would suppress negativity and hate by depriving some accounts of “freedom of reach.”

This is an interesting time to be making those moves, right? Brazil has its presidential election this weekend. The US’s mid-terms are taking place in a few days. So these are very important moments where the integrity of the information on the platform is very important, and it will be put to the test.

And if he decides to roll back some of these rules in the next day or two, then we’re immediately going into elections that are going to be a little bit more of a free-for-all than they have in the past.

Why is Musk’s Twitter account going into foreclosure? What’s going on? When’s the deal closing? What are we going to do?

Do you think these people are going to leave? Do you think there will be a lot of people who will take their account down in the next 24 hours? Is this a small but vocal minority?

I would love to think that everybody on Twitter is going to leave in protest. The reality is that a lot of people may stay. But it’s going to be interesting to see who stays.

And I think that they come in these moments of really intense outrage, where the platform has done something, or something has happened on the platform that people find so objectionable, that they just kind of rage-quit the platform. I think that there might be decisions made at the end of the day, but it doesn’t mean that the deal is done. I’ve had enough. I’m done. I’m out of here. But I don’t think that just the deal closing is that outrage moment.

With his decision-making under attack from his supporters and a journalist who ghosted his pleas for a public response, Musk may be ready to hand his toy over to someone else.

They want to see what kind of steward is going to be in this company. It didn’t seem like he was a good steward of it during the acquisition process He wasn’t really in a position to come up with new ideas for what to do with it.

Then, he spent months trying to get out of buying it. Right? It is hard to assume that he has turned over a new leaf because of all of that. But at the same time, we do have to wait and see, because what other choice do we have?

The Apple Effect on Facebook, Twitter, Tinder and Other Social Media Business Efforts in the Future of the Digital Economy: The Case Against Wall Street Murmurs

Yeah I think everyone who is still on Twitter at this point is like a die-hard addict. Like, they’re not going anywhere — (LAUGHING) including me. Like, I was thinking tonight, like, do I really want to —

So Casey, we’ve talked about Twitter. This week has been brutal in the social media industry and I want to talk about it. So this is earnings season. Tech companies are releasing their third quarter results.

I have, sort of, but I have to confess that every time a story involves App Store guidelines or privacy policies, my eyes glaze over, and I stop paying attention.

That is completely reasonable. The entire future of the digital economy is going to be changed byHard Fork, but it is here for you to learn about it.

I want to walk you through a few of the stories that talk about Apple’s influence over not just the products and services that we use every day, but entire businesses that will only ever be able to be built because of it.

What does that mean? You are a developer. You have a new app. Maybe you have a Twitter replacement that you’ve just put together and you want to put it into the App Store. But in order for it to show up, Apple’s human reviewers have to approve it. That is very good, right? It prevents a lot of bad things from being found in the App Store. Over the years, reviewers have begun to dictate what types of businesses can and can’t be formed on this platform. A few things come out of the 700-word revision of the App Store guidelines, which took place this week.

Number one, they say digital purchases for content that is experienced or consumed in an app, including buying advertisements to display in the same app, such as sales of, quote, “boosts,” for posts in a social media app must use in-app purchase. I understand how boring this sounds.

So somebody — maybe you have a farmer’s market, and you post to your farmer’s market page, the tomatoes are really good this season. You decided to boost that. Facebook was able to collect all of that money up until today.

That is correct. So they’re going to get 30 percent of all that, going forward. There are boosts on the site. Tinder has boosts. They have already used in-app purchases for those boosts, but Meta has not. So with this update, Apple is effectively asking Meta to cough up that additional 30 percent.

Yeah. I am totally convinced that I buy this. Like, app tracking transparency, which was the name of this feature, clearly did just wipe out tens of billions of dollars from all of these companies. We should tell you what else that enabled. It enabled Apple to build a massive advertising business, right?

And so all of this costs money to run, and so that’s why we take a 30 percent cut or a 15 percent cut of what’s going on our App Store. So have you talked to anyone at Apple? These changes to their App Store guidelines are making all these developers angry, so what do they say about justifying these positions?

Right. Why are you doing this now? This has been happening for a while on Facebook. Apple is making money. But you know, inflation is out there. It wants to preserve its 45 percent gross profit margins. What does it have its reviewers do? Hey, why don’t we go back through those app guidelines, and see where else we can squeeze out an additional.

iTunes, iTunes, and the Podcasting Industry: Where are the Audiobooks? How do you need to go? Why do you have to buy an audiobook?

Number two is on the music streaming service. Both Apple and Spotify compete. Apple has a service for listening to music. It does too. Apple’s music service has a big advantage, which is that it doesn’t have to pay itself 30 percent of all sales for people who subscribe through the app, right?

So this is a real challenge to Spotify, whose main business, for a long time, was selling music. So Spotify decides to diversify. It decides, we’re going to try to take over, literally, the entire podcasting industry, so that we can better compete with Apple. They introduce a new plank in their plan, which is that they will sell audiobooks.

There is a problem here too. It can’t be done on your phone if you tried to buy a book on it. It just sort of says, mysteriously, mm, you can’t complete this purchase here for some reason. Wink, wink, maybe go to the web. Right?

It is a similar situation that Spotify is in. Apple doesn’t like the language that Spotify is using to tell its own customers how to buy an audiobook, so they reject the app at three different times.


Doesn’t the Dark Web Want to Buy a Book on Spotify? Emergency-podelon Muskoks Owns Twitter

If you have bought drugs on the darkweb, send us a voice memo here at Hard Fork. We want to hear whether it was easier than buying an audiobook on Spotify. That was thing number two.

If the apps do not include buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms other than In-App Purchase, then they may not allow users to browse NFT collections owned by others.

Great. Here is what it means. One, it means that if you want to sell an NFT inside an app on iOS, then you’re going to have to pay Apple your 30 percent. I think that’s pretty standard, right?

But when you talk to crypto people about the promise that they see in NFTs, it’s that NFTs avoid these sort of gatekeepers. You can buy them anywhere. You do not have to use the App Store, right?

Because this means a pillar of the vision for Web3 gets wiped out, and you have no recourse other than to hope that Tim Cook will change his mind at some point.


Why Did Apple Get More Brazen About It? What Happened to Epic Games and the Digital Economy that Cannot exist, Right? Is Apple Okay?

It is really interesting. I feel like this is a story that I have been observing for a while now, and I am glad that you are telling it to me because it does feel like Apple has gotten more brazen about this. I mean, there was a trial.

The makers of the game, Epic Games, sued Apple last year, saying that they were acting like a monopoly and setting up a toll booth to make it hard for people to use their phones.

But there’s this other part of the future, which is the stuff that isn’t getting built, because it can’t get built. So the stories I walked you through are about the digital economy that can’t exist, right? We can’t have a world where social media companies can come up with quick and easy ways to boost their revenue without handing a huge chunk of it to Apple.

It is not possible to buy audio books through an easy method unless it is an Apple audiobook. And if you want to make NFTs, the foundation of some kind of new digital service, mm, it’s actually not going to work on iOS, so your best bet is to get people to sideload it through Android, or the entire thing just has to exist on the web.

After the lawsuit from Epic, they changed the guidelines for whether or not they could direct people outside of the App Store to buy things. There have been a few things that have changed. But why do you think Apple is dialing this up?

It isn’t a very good business since Apple doesn’t have to pay itself 30 percent of revenue, right? I believe that there is harm to consumers in the area because we don’t have the very best services that Apple has to offer. And I’d just like to see that playing field leveled out a little bit more, if only to make it easier for me to buy an audiobook every now and again.

And so it can just keep on extending those tendrils. It knows we have a Congress that has never passed any new laws related to the regulation of tech companies, right? So it’s sort of free to get in there and do whatever it wants.

Who does that leave? It really just sort of leaves the Federal Trade Commission, maybe the Department of Justice, to, if they were interested, do some sort of antitrust action against Apple. We should say that there have been antitrust actions against Apple in Europe, and I am sure regulators around the world will follow suit.

Does Apple really need to close the Door on its App Store? A remark on the emergency pod ELON MUSK owns Twitter?

But in the meantime, it feels quite brazen. I wonder what the cost of living in a world where many services cannot be built is like.

Right. I think it’s worth trying to see this from another point of view because Apple knows the criticisms are out there. The App Store I think has said in the past that we built it. We built the iPhone.

What you just said was exactly what they said. Again, I am sympathetic to that. I think that they do deserve a cut, right? I think there is a lot of services they provide that could be done for a flat fee. It’s like, do you really need 1/3 of my revenue?

I think there needs to be limits on it, especially when it comes to competitive services. It’s like, I think Spotify is a really good music service, but over time, it’s become less of a music service, because that’s just not a very good business.

You have to be able to buy a copy of my audiobooks. I mean, that can not be done in nine steps. I do wonder, though, if this comes from Apple feeling like the door may be about to close on them. Because as you mentioned, there are all these antitrust actions happening in Europe.

This Epic Games lawsuit is still out on appeal, so there’s still a chance that a judge, or even the Supreme Court, could force Apple to open its App Store and reduce its cut. I wonder if Apple is just saying that this entire party that we have been throwing for the last decade may be coming to an end. We might have to take out the toll booth, so let’s just crank the dial.

It would help explain why Apple raised the price of Apple TV+ 40 percent to $6.99 a month, if that is the case. So yeah, enjoy “Ted Lasso” at a much higher cost.


Snap, Meta, and Meta lost $Measures of Shares in the First Three Months of 2016: The State of the Social Media Economy

And across the board this quarter, it’s just been really bad. So Snap reported that it’s losing money. It lost $359 million in the third quarter. Its stock has plummeted this year.

The company that oversees Facebook, Meta Platforms Inc., posted a decline in revenue for the second quarter in a row, and its shares are at their lowest level since 2015. Weaknesses in earnings reports from Microsoft and even the parent company of Alphabet led to Meta’s disappointing results.

The layoffs come at a tough time for social media companies, as advertisers are scaling back and newcomers — mainly TikTok — are threatening the older class of social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

So the first is that it’s just the economy. The economy is not doing well. Inflation is high. We may be entering a recession. The recession is bad for advertising based businesses.

So big companies that spend a lot on ads and social media and traditional media — generally, one of the first things that gets cut when you enter a downturn is the advertising budget.

Why aren’t Meta employees really dumb? An executive from Meta says Apple is taking a lot of risks to improve their core business, and that’s why it happened

The layoffs this week were significant because of the distraction from Meta’s core business, according to a former employee. Reduction in staff numbers should have been stretched out over time if natural attrition had not occurred when each attempt to innovate failed. “We just launched this huge blockchain initiative that required hundreds of people—or maybe even more,” says the former employee. What happened to those people when it was over? They stayed and worked on other things. The former employee cites issues with internal communication that suggested people drifted off into obscurity within the massive Meta machine. “It seemed like we were doing all these things that went nowhere, but we never got an update of: ‘It went nowhere, but here’s the actions we’re taking’,” he says.

They over hired. They don’t lay people off. They need to get fit, and so they are all kind of inefficient. That is one other explanation.

Yeah. I mean, and I’m certainly prepared to believe that when you have tens of thousands or more than 100,000 employees, some of them aren’t getting all that much work done. One of the things Meta has problems with is that it has too many ideas.

I feel like that is a hot take. Like, this company has two ideas — like, clone TikTok and build VR. If they are not doing a good job, that seems very different from if they have too many employees.

Right. So that’s one theory that’s out there — these companies are just lazy and undisciplined. There are three theories, the first of which is the idea that it is all Apple’s fault. Executives at some companies, including Meta, will talk about this.

There was a story this week that said that developers were mad because they started to see ads for casino gambling games on their App Store pages because they were selling their productivity apps. Now, Apple has since walked that back, but it seems clear that Apple is building a huge advertising business on the backs of these changes that it has made.


What Are the Most Profitable Social Media Platforms? The Emergencypod elon Muskowns Twitter, And What Are They Trying To Sell?

Oh, yes! You know, I don’t know, because honestly, Kevin, I would throw a couple other things in there. Like, one is competition. Right? Like, TikTok is in there somewhere, and I’d be curious to know what you make of TikTok.

These platforms are getting a bit old and outdated, right? I think this is related to two. Like, every social platform is essentially just kind of chewing gum that loses the flavor after a little bit too long. And some of these platforms are starting to lose their flavor.

And then, I think the third is the targeted advertising piece, which I think Apple really is killing, or at least wounding, making it harder to do that at the same profit margins and the same level of profitability as it was just a couple of years ago. The question for me is: If the economy recovers, will we still have successful social media platforms that are profitable? The era in tech may be over. Do you think that is a good idea?

They are still growing. That is not an app that is in decline. And yet, they are losing money, because the advertising market just isn’t there. So that seems to me like an app that if the economy does turn around, if advertisers do come back, they’ve got the users.

Their problem is not that they are losing popularity, whereas I think Facebook and Instagram are in much more trouble, because even if and when advertisers do come back, their usage is declining. They are losing something in the equation that makes it possible for users to stay on these apps for a long time.


Focusing on the Business of Social Media: What are We Waiting for in the Next 10 Years? What Are We Expect to Learn from Social Media?

All of these explanations miss something for me, which is I think there is a lot more going on right now. And this is an idea that I would say is like a strong view, weakly held. I don’t think I have a lot of confidence in it.

To me, social media means three things. It means your town square. You are where people come to discuss what is happening in the world. Number two, I think social media, just in the name, has two parts — social and media.

Targeted advertising is the reason why social media apps are powered by it. That is the business model that allows them to be free, that allows them to work, and that uses all of that data that’s created to make the advertising experience better and make more money to pay for the whole thing.

On the second piece, I think we’re also seeing a splintering of social media apps into communication and broadcast. So contrast, like, a Snapchat, which is mostly messaging, with a TikTok, which is mostly broadcasting. And I think we’re starting to see those kinds of apps separating from one another.

The Evergreen TikTok – What Are You Really Interested in? What Do You Want to Follow? How Do You See It?

Republicans are going viral, spreading their talking points, just as are Democrats. I still believe that you have a place for everyone to talk about it. Look at the comment section of any viral TikTok, right?

It is very, very bright. It is getting the attention. So I think by some large measure, TikTok has just replaced Facebook as the place where we go to get our information, our entertainment.

It just introduced a B-Reel clone, because it wants all my friends posting, like, a daily selfie to give me another reason to engage. So all of these things are kind of constantly morphing and transforming into versions of each other. And I think you see TikTok — even though it started out as this big broadcast platform, it increasingly wants to build in all of those messaging features and keep it there as long as it possibly can.

TikTok, every time I open the app now, it’s saying we just found this person in your contacts. They’re on a video game. Do you want to follow them? If my friends ever post a TikTok, I will see them there on the Friends tab.


Why do we live in the age of private messaging? What do we have to say about Facebook and Twitter? I’m afraid that’s a different era

I think you are correct. Apple hurts these businesses with app-tracks transparency, but that is causing them to shift their focus to other businesses. It means that Meta is trying to become a hardware business.

For a TikTok, it means that they’re going to lean really hard into e-commerce and creating live shopping shows to try to get you buying stuff there. You can buy digital gifts for creators who might be live-streaming, right? Maybe you will be able to subscribe to those creators to get more content.

Businesses are evolving in response to what Apple did, but they aren’t going to die by themselves. So you sort of add all of that up — and I do think that you’re right that in one sense, this era where we would all go on to Facebook every day and we would post our status and comment on each other’s statuses — that does feel a little bit different.

I think that a new era has come, and that the funniest stuff is made by pro creators or really talented amateurs, and we discuss it over private messages. And I think that’s why it really feels different, right? It feels like the conversations that used to be public are now private. It used to be very clear in your face, right?

You would post your relationship status changes on the internet. But now, it’s like, look at this funny thing. LOL. This is a funny thing. That is the current state of social media.

This could ruin my life. My relationships with my family could be ruined by this. This can cost me my job. It is a much harder business to monetize for people to shift to private messaging. Right?

Like, we had these 10 years where we were all just going ham on social media, posting our innermost thoughts, our things that we would normally just share with a tight group of people. We posted it to everyone that we work with at the time, and also to our high school friends.

It was a time when we didn’t know how many people were listening. And so we were just dancing like nobody was watching. Right? And then, we kind of realized, oh, everyone is watching. I could get in trouble.


Emurgence of Melon Muskowns Twitter: Is It All Just For Fun? What Do You Think? How Do We Live in a World with Social Media?

Because that is where people want not just privacy, but encryption — some of them want, which means you can’t take their data and use it to target ads. It’s also just not a place where people have traditionally had a lot of targeted advertising. I think if ads were put into our group chats, we would be angry.

Sorry, whichever Apple VP is now furiously drafting up a memo to insert targeted ads into iMessage. But I do think that that’s sort of a thing that we’ve all learned in the last decade. And maybe to bring it around full circle to the Twitter discussion, I really think there was an era where we didn’t know how powerful these apps were.

We are being more careful about when we want to be the performer and when we want to be the audience, I think, and that is changing our relationship with that audience. I think there was a time when we were sort of very happy being both on any given day. And now, we’re really picking and choosing our moments, which actually feels much more sustainable for the future of the species.

Yeah. The problem is that if everyone does both their private and public communications on the same platform, it will lead to a much smaller business.

Yeah. I mean, I’m happy to live in a world where every person doesn’t feel like they need to be posting 24/7 for clout, just so they can get a job or have friends, right? It feels a bit more chill if we use the apps for entertainment rather than messaging our friends a few times a day.

My school had a lot of drama as a result of it. Did you see it? Did you see Scott and Bethany just changed their relationship status? I think there was a level of naivete on our parts as the users, as these platforms got bigger, about how — about who we were talking to.


Dark Side of the Wild: The Dirty Part of Dark Fork” Production at the End of the Percolation Era

And I think that era is really over. I am pretty sure these businesses will recover most or all of their revenue if the economy recovers. But I do think there’s a bigger change that’s happened on the part of the users that is not going to reverse itself.

That is correct. This era is going to end. When the AI-generated content gets so good, that it’s personalized only to you, and there’s not even anyone you would share it with, because it’s so specific to your personal taste, so that we just sort of enter a mode of pure consumption, and we become the people in the floating chairs like in “Wall-E.”

“Hard Fork” is produced by Davis Land. We’re edited by Paula Szuchman. This episode was fact checked by a third party. The show was engineered today by Cory Schreppel.

Original music by Dan Powell, Elisheba Ittoop, and Marion Lozano. Special thanks to all of them. You can give us an email address. For this week, that is all. We will see you down the trail.

What Have Startups Learned in the Eleventh Day of Musk’s Layoffs? How Many Employees Are Losing Their Jobs?

The process has been frightening and confusing, according to conversations with eight employees over the weekend. In the absence of official communication, workers have been using private Discords to communicate with one another.

The Washington Post reported that layoffs would hit roughly a quarter of the staff, heavily impacting teams including sales, product, engineering, legal, and trust and safety.

Some workers have begun to consult with lawyers over their options in the event that they are recalled. Others are in open revolt, tweeting public threads about various aspects of the organization that have been broken after the ready-fire-aim disaster of Musk’s layoffs process.

On Saturday afternoon, one week after the initial round of layoffs, Platformer was the first to report that a second wave of cuts had hit the company. This time, the cuts were aimed at Twitter’s contract workers. Around 80% of the team was lost, and on a percentage basis it was even worse: by the next day, about 4,400 of them had lost their jobs.

In the interim, Musk tapped venture capitalists and friends as he considered major changes to the company. The list includes investor Jason Calacanis, Craft Ventures partner David Sacks and Sriram Krishnan, an Andreessen Horowitz general partner focused on crypto and Twitter’s former consumer teams lead.

If you are feeling sad and depressed, just want to know that you aren’t the only one. this sucks.

What Should I Do Now? How Should I Work at Twitter? A Slack Message from Musk, Rezaei, and Heath

Another employee said that employees in other slack channels are sharing contact information if they lose access to their communications

Musk has pressed engineers to work on at least two major projects, and to complete them within days or weeks. One is changes to Twitter Blue that would require users to pay to retain their verification badges, possibly as much as $20 a month. We can confirm that the second plan is to revive the short-form video app vine as a standalone product or as a part of the core Twitter app. Our colleague at The Verge Alex Heath reported that, in the case of changes to Blue, the features must ship by November 7th or the team will be fired.

The Vine project has generated moderate enthusiasm so far, we’re told. After Musk gave the go-ahead Sunday night, more than a dozen engineers volunteered to be part of the project.

Some employees are being told to build something and show it to Musk. In one Slack message we saw, an engineering director urged his team to come up with new products and features and share them directly with their new CEO. “At best: you will get some feedback. The director wrote that he may ask for it to be shipped asap. “At worst, you will be asked to stop and work on something else. Even in this case, at least you worked on something you love.”

Similarly, on Monday, Behnam Rezaei, senior director of software engineering at Twitter, sent a note to his team acknowledging “big changes” were coming. According to the email obtained by platformer, he said that cultural change would be the most important change. “Some good, some bad.”

So if you ask what should I do now: do good engineering work. Write code. The site should be fixed, and kept up. I know the criteria for being at Twitter is that. It’s not working on a fancy project for Elon. The culture change is related to shipping and delivering. I encourage you to rotate more on coding and shipping, and less on documentation, planning, strategy etc. If you want to be in a group this week, you can code and ship 5x as usual. Building what Elon asks or thinks sexy is not the criteria. Being helpful and helping our users is what the criteria is. You don’t need any instructions from me. All of you are software engineers. You know what needs to be improved. Do it. You’re in charge.


Why Vine? What Musk and Mullenweg are trying to tell Twitter about how he bought Twitter to keep it alive, and what we can learn from it

But Musk’s attention can be unnerving, too. One employee we spoke with said they had mixed feelings about working on a project Musk is known to be focused on, such as Vine.

Jay Sullivan, general manager of consumer and revenue products, removed the company and his title from the general manager of core technology’s bio, which said he was a former president of micro-messaging service Twitter. The New York Times reported on Tuesday that the Chief Marketing Officer had left the company, and on Tuesday night she sent out a single blue heart.

Calacanis earlier this week tweeted that he was in New York on behalf of Twitter meeting with “the marketing and advertising community.” He has also tweeted questions to Twitter users about the platform’s subscription and bookmark features.

We are doing something different this week. The CEO of automattic is Matt Mullenweg and he bought the social network to keep it alive. Alex and I will write down a bunch of what Matt told me and then send it to Twitter to see what we can learn.

House of the Dragon on HBO, a Male-Presenting Project: A Tale of Two Men, Two Microscopic Ladies, and Two Social Media Guys

Tori wants you to encourage your male-presenting friends interested in fathering children to watch House of the Dragon on HBO. The new album from Natalia Lafourcade is recommended by Mike. Lauren says you should reexamine your relationship with social media.

The person can be found on the micro- social networking site. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. There is a main hotline atGadgetLab. The show is produced by a man. Solar Keys has the theme music.

You can always listen to this week’s podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here’s how:

If you’re on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can search for Gadget Lab by using an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Podcasts app just by tapping here. We are on other services as well. And in case you really need it, here’s the RSS feed.

The Musk-Looper lawsuit: Musk’s tweets violate the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act and their law enforcement actions

On Thursday, Musk and his company had not given any notice of the layoffs. The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Statute requires employers with at least 100 workers to report layoffs if they involve 500 or more employees.

“If your employment is not impacted, you will receive a notification via your Twitter email,” a copy of the email obtained by CNN said. Next steps will be sent via your personal email if your employment is impacted.

Some employees said Friday that they had lost their access to their work accounts. The email to staff said job reductions were “necessary to ensure the company’s success moving forward.”

The class action lawsuit alleges that the social networking site is in violation of the WARN Act after laying off some employees.

The lawsuit alleges that the workers were not given enough notice of their firing in accordance with both the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) and California WARN Act. These acts require that companies give employees at least 60 days of advance notice before a mass firing takes place.

The same day, she cited reports that Musk was reneging on severance for laid-off Twitter employees, threatening workers who talk to the media and refusing to make rent payments. Lopez described his actions as “classic Elon-going-for-broke behavior.”

When AI Talking to Human Employees Tells Us What They’ve Learned, What They Have Done, and What They Can Do About It

We will be having a normal interview with them, but we will talk to them. But instead of playing you their voice, which would de-anonymize them and risk getting them in trouble or getting them fired, we are going to transcribe what they say. And then, we’re going to feed those words back into a text-to-speech AI generator and play you an AI-generated version of their voice.

And we should say up front, like, these voices — they’re not going to sound 100 percent exactly human. It’s going to be a little weird and, frankly, robotic. This is the only way to get a real snapshot of what is going on inside the company, and the only way to hear the actual human employees speak about what is happening.

I like that when we started this show, we said we would never put on AI voices unless we had a really good reason and a really limited capacity. Twice in five episodes, and now.

Well, you were wrong about Elon buying Twitter, and you were wrong about this not being a podcast filled with robot podcasters. So two strikes for Casey.

Yeah. And this is one of the — sometimes as a reporter, you get a tip that sounds so silly, that you think, well, this couldn’t possibly be true. So when I got this tip that Elon and his people were telling people, print out your last 30 to 60 days of code, I thought, well, that can’t be true.

Two of my sources say that that doesn’t make sense to me. OK? But then, I start texting around, start getting on the phone with some folks, and then the two people that told me that I was wrong came back to me and said, oh my god, he’s actually asking people to print out their code!

Why is this funny? Why is this interesting? This is not the right way to evaluate someones skills as a software engineer. People are generally not evaluated by how much code they’ve written, right?

If you show up with a printout of 100 pages of code, that’s not necessarily a good thing. Did you do better by eliminating some code? Sort of streamlining it. So.

Who prints code? I was surprised that the coding programs have a Print button in them. That is not something you are bringing to your code review.

Twitter relaunches: what are the risks? What are they saying? What have they been up to and what can we do about it?

Like, there’s just this boss in charge who, like, doesn’t really seem to know what he’s doing, and everyone’s just kind of humoring him. But it’s not — it’s not the kind of thing that usually happens at a big tech company.

It is not. The people from Elon are obsessed with figuring out who is a good engineer at the company, right? So Elon very much worships at the altar of the engineer. He thinks of himself as an engineer.

I have talked to some people who are getting late night calls from random engineers, and I asked them what they thought of the team. Who are the top performers? What are the low performers?

And so this code printout exercise, as ridiculous as it seems, was all part of this sort of evaluation system where they’ve been trying to figure out, who at this company do we need to keep in order to keep the service running?

And who can we lay off? That is kind of the unspoken part of this. This code printing fiasco is something we have. Then, on Sunday, you reported that Twitter was considering tying verifications to Twitter Blue subscriptions, and explain what that means.

Well, we’ll potentially know by the time this podcast comes out if they have relaunched Twitter Blue. They are attempting to relaunch it as we speak. The reporting that I have seen and heard is that they will try to charge more for Blue in-app on iOS than they will on the web. As far as I know, Apple doesn’t usually like that, so I wonder if that was the thing that Elon and Tim talked about. Only they know.

The team has identified several other risks but has yet to identify any solutions. The company does not have an automated way to remove verified badges from accounts. “Given that we will have a large amount of legacy verified users on the platform (400K Twitter customers), and that we anticipate we’ll need to debadge a large number of legacy verified accounts if they decide not to pay for Blue, this will require high operational lift without investment.”

Yeah. People, including Stephen King, the horror author — he tweeted, ”$20 a month to keep my blue check? If that is implemented, I will be like Enron.

Wait, let me just say, Stephen King has written about some of the most terrifying horrors imaginable, and nothing scared him more than the idea of paying $20 a month for his verification badge.

And I think it would be good for Twitter and most social networks if anybody wanted to optionally verify their identity. It would be great for the credibility of the whole thing. But it does come with a lot of questions that, so far, have mostly gone unanswered.

And I think that’s how a lot of journalists get verified. But there’s also a process. If you’re a famous person, you can ask to be verified. And the reason the verification exists, we should say — like, it’s not about a status marker.

It’s not about, this person’s important. It was created because Oprah joined the social networking site many years ago, and so many people pretended to be her on the site, causing a lot of problems. And so Twitter needed a way to basically allow users to tell whether the person they were talking to was actually the person they purported to be.

Yeah, and I think it’s fair to say, this is a necessary feature of the platform. It is a feature that can be found on every platform that is social. You need a way to say, this is the real Oprah, and that is not the real Oprah.

Right. I think it’s fair to say that over the years people have come to see these checkmarks next to your name as sort of a status symbol, right? Like, it means that you’re someone, it means that it —

Right, exactly. And so I think the idea initially coming out of the Elon war room was that people who were verified cared so much about being verified and staying verified, that they would pay for the privilege. We got this idea of $20 a month for verification.

Now, that almost immediately results in, as you said, an entire Twitter timeline meltdown, where users are saying, no way will we pay $20 a month. I pay for more than that. That’s more than I pay for YouTube.

It seems insane to keep my little check mark. In response to Stephen King’s message on the social network, Elon said we need to pay the bills. Only the advertisers can make a big difference to this social media company. How about $8? So Stephen King has become the pricing consultant for Twitter verification.

This seems like a way to make money, while at the same time punishing the blue checkmarks which is very different from how other social media platforms treat their creators.

According to a person familiar with the matter, Musk and Sacks have recently discussed the idea. A plan that allows everyone to use a limited amount of time on the social network but still requires a subscription would be desirable, the person said.

It does create a lot of economic value for people like you and me. It does matter to us. News organizations use many software solutions that help them do their jobs. Maybe it should be part of that.

Now, apparently, Elon did say something, like they’re going to have maybe some sort of separate legacy verification program for — I don’t know — government entities that aren’t going to pay the $8 a month. So there’s still a lot of details to be worked out here.

Life Under Musk Two Twitter Employees-Speak Out: Where Are We Going? What Are We Expect? What Will We Need in the Next 10 Years?

One of the greatest moments of culture for the past 10 years has been at the Krispy Kreme. At the same time, the culture has also moved on. The code base for Vine is 10 years old, and the idea that it is now going to be revived and turn into a TikTok competitor — that’s a really steep hill.

I would also say, like, not an immediate revenue driver, right? That’s something they’re just going to have to put a ton of effort into. A new social network is coming into being. So that’s a huge, heavy lift. I think it could be fun to have a very popular American short-form video network that wasn’t owned by Facebook or YouTube. We will have to see if they can do it.


How Do Two Twitter Employees Speak Out? Some Common Questions about Working Families and their Families in the U.S. Environmental Health Care System

That is correct. They are being told they have days to ship this. You will be fired if this does not ship by this date in some cases. If it is one hour past deadline, you will be fired.

So people are sleeping very little. They are sleeping in their offices, and frankly, some of them are terrified. Some of them have work visas. If they lose this job, they have 60 days to find another one or they will be out of the country. The serious nature of the jobs for which these people have them makes it more important than ever.

Welcome to “Hard Fork,” Mockingjay. It is 10:00 AM Pacific on Wednesday. How’s your day going so far? Do you know anything notable that happens today?


Stressful. I’m Stressful and I know I can handle it! Life Under Musk Two Twitter Employees Speak Out: News from the LHC

Stressful. I am very stressed out because I feel like I have a job that I want and need to keep and not have anyone give me any support or acknowledge me. Already, there have been multiple rumor mill-based scares.

First, of course, was that layoffs are supposed to happen Monday. They didn’t happen. Now, the rumor has it it’s going to be Friday. It’s exhausting. I know we are paid well.

Most of us have some savings to sit on. Some people do not. But it is also just nerve-racking not to know, especially as we’re entering a really tough hiring market in tech. We are entering the holidays.


The Sighs: Life Under Musk Two Twitter Employees Speaker Out (Miscellaneous Business Intelligence)

It’s important to say that you have a new CEO at your company. You don’t get an email that says who’s in charge and who’s on the board, and most of the C-suite have either been fired or resigned.

That is correct. We have received no information except for what gets sent to us. There is not a lot of Comms. There is really nobody answering, even messages in the company-wide channels.

And so what is that like, when, day to day, you wake up, and it’s almost like a scavenger hunt across seven different apps, just to figure out what you’re supposed to be doing?

You have probably heard, and you have been reporting on some of the infamous code reviews. I have seen examples of people saying that code was written entirely by them and not crediting people who collaborated with them, all in hope that they will be on some preferred status list.

Absolutely. What they are asking for is volume, not quality. Everyone is sharing every piece of code they have ever written, no matter how small or insignificant it is. The Sighs.


I Can’t Cohabit with Work, Or How Do I Wanna Be? (A Reply to a Message from a Manager)

Yeah, I reported on a message from a manager who said, basically, if you don’t know what you’re working on right now, work on something. Work on anything.

Over the course of the day, similar messages trickled in on Blind, an app for coworkers to anonymously discuss their workplaces, and on external Slacks that employees have established to have more candid discussions.

And multiple people have sent me this post. I am wondering if you have seen it. And I’m not going to read the whole thing. But the headline is “I can’t cope.”

I am on the team that works to make all of those ridiculous dreams come true. Management threatens to fire us if we miss delivery, even though it is outside our control. If we don’t work at weekends, we’re gone. If we take PTO or leave, we’re gone.

People are working long hours. I work 20 hours per day at full speed. I wake up in the night to attend status calls. Even when I’m not working, I can’t stop worrying about it. I can’t cope. I’m an absolute mess. At a point, I am at breaking point. This is after a few days of Elon.

My heart goes out to this person. I hope they are able to find gainful employment, and in that four hours while they are trying to sleep and take care of themselves, applying to jobs.

And I sincerely hope that there is care taken for people who are on visas. All of the people I know who are here on visas have no idea what will happen to them. They haven’t been told anything.

This is more than a cry for help for privileged tech people who are moving from a six-figure salary to another six-figure salary. These people are trying to come to the United States with a job and some knowledge and will do well in this country.

I think it’s not because people are sitting on their hands. The way this company is structured makes it nearly impossible to do anything, even if you are trying to get appropriate approvals by going through Byzantine processes, and being told how things are changing from day to day. There is some truth in that statement. This is the absolute wrong way to deal with it.

Quitting Twitter: What Do You Think? What Are You worried about? How Do You Want to Describe What Happens If You Were Not Here?

I would like to know if you have thought about the degree to which that might be at risk and what fears you may have about the future of the service.

We don’t have to live in Tiny Talk Town. We all know that. There are other places online that are a decent hang. But Twitter is unique, and its most fervent users are unlikely to leave en masse. And most of the knee-jerk “I’m outta here” reactions to Musk’s takeover aren’t that compelling, unless you’re a writer assigned to collate celebrity tweets. A thoughtful, considered approach to quitting Twitter that doesn’t end in a bang might be the smarter move. Think of it as quiet quitting, but for social media.

Life Under Musk Two Twitter Employees Speak Out: An Overview of What Happened at a Teleparallel Reactor

I was scared and relieved. It will be frightening if you don’t have income. But at the same time, I hope that all of us who get fired will just get to chill out for a day or so, and then wake up on a couple of days later and say, all right, got to get that resume out there. Got to be energized about these other jobs, because right now it’s sucking the life out of us.

Uncertainty. There are people who aren’t even certain if they should continue doing the work they’re doing. There is a lot of unknowns, along with what has been reported on, leads to this cognitive conflict and constant stress.

Privacy concerns and misuse of new features are raised even in the lowest parts of engineering. And their only job is to write random code that no one’s ever going to see, just like the piping behind the scenes. The company had a culture of letting people talk about these things. And more often than not, it caught us on issues before it ever made it to the public like.


Life Under the Musk Two Twitter Employees-Speak Out: Is He Really That Kind Of A Psi That Is All You Need?

That’s complicated because no one really knew. I mean, I guess there was sort of groupthink that existed that was this guy was not a nice person. There were a lot of people who thought that he should have been banned for awhile for his behavior. Everything came from there.

I mean, he’s certainly been more aggressively attaching himself to various political viewpoints and their talking points. And if it serves him, he’ll lean into it.

The company has grown a lot, but not so well, having been there for a number of years. I don’t disagree with people when they say there’s probably too many managers, too many engineers. Maybe delivery is a little too slow. Management has never been the company’s strong point.

You don’t go through any change without structural change. If he just came in and did the same thing, like, what’s the point?


Life Under Musk Two Twitter Employees-Speak Out: What I Mean? How I Feel the Pressure to Change Twitter Blue

OK. So there’s an idea there that Twitter should be moving faster than it has been. We’ve been hearing that Elon is saying, ship this thing by next Monday or else you are going to be fired. As an engineer, when you hear that you have a three – or four-day deadline, what does that do to you?

I can no longer focus on my mind. We need to have this done by Friday, because our priorities shifted, and the deadline is three to four days. That is a little nerve-racking. Might add a few more hours. It’s necessary to get it done. It makes sense.

But I think the major differentiator here is just the sheer scale. I would not be asked to completely modify Twitter Blue by Friday. That’s just completely absurd.

And the sheer number of systems that need to be touched on, the number of engineers that have to be dragged in, that’s like raising the Titanic from the bottom of the ocean.

It isn’t just a set of code that needs to be written. You also need to coordinate across a bunch of people, right?

Yeah. Ranking blue check users higher than others is something he wants to add to the system, and it’s one of the feature sets that has been reported on. They have to completely reshift how that entire process works. We have to figure out what the whole services are in the company.

Yeah. If a person came to you and said they want to redo twitter blue, what time frame would you be given, which would make you say that it seems like a reasonable amount of time?

It depends. If the change requires a lot of infrastructure changes, it could take a long time. We’re more concerned with reliability than we are moving fast.

But feature-wise, I guess if I had to give a round-about time frame, there would probably be something that could possibly be deployed within a quarter to two quarters.


Life Under Musk Two Twitter Employees Speak Out: A New Look at What Digital Currency Is Trying to Tell Us In a Social Media Environment

And not only is this an engineering problem, it’s a social problem. We have to do testing. We need to figure out how this can be abused. What are people going to do with it? The bros of the digital currency are scheming to steal more money from people by abusing this feature.

Right. And that’s what goes on with all major releases at a big social network, is trying to figure out, we change this feature, what are the 10 other things that happen? And you’re essentially saying it sounds like that these deadlines are so short that this stuff may be released without any of that testing or scrutiny, that sort of trying to figure out what could go wrong. They’re going to be free.

Yeah. There are two sections about user privacy and privacy data. We don’t worry about user data because we’re not doing anything with it. And then now it’s just a blue check on a profile.


Life Under Musk Two Twitter Employees Speaker Out: What Do You Think? How Do You Feel? An Interview with Musk on the Vine Space Project

So there’s a couple of things. And it depends on where you are in the leadership stack, as far as Musk and his people. The one overarching message that got communicated was to find something you like. And hopefully Musk likes it functionally.

Think about it. If you give him an idea and he thinks it is cool, he wants it done in a week. You have sacrificed all the teams around you.

He is God. I am curious to know what you think about the proposed changes, such as the charge of $8 a month for Twitter verification, which is proposed by Musk and his inner circle. What do you make of those proposals? Do you think they are good ideas?

I mean, one of the first decisions he made was to redirect the logged-out view to the Explore page. And I don’t know this for certain, but my basic understanding of the goal here was that we might even be able to serve ads to people that aren’t logged in.

If you don’t log in at all, they’ll show you a lot of the wrong stuff, which may lead to you creating an account. Maybe you will see ads if you linger and browse through some Tweets. A lot of people would agree that his change was easy to understand.

The Vine one, it’s not the worst idea. I think that’s too little, too late, according to the cynical part of me. You know? TikTok is TikTok, and that’s a mighty hill to climb.

But sure. I mean, we do have all the original content from Vine. The nostalgia factor, which is huge, gives us a foothold to launch something.

We’ve been working on building a product like that for a while and we have the media. Every tech company has tried at one point or another. Is this something we can do? There’s been mock-ups.


Life Under Musk Two Twitter Employees Speak Out: A Possible Solution to the Company’s Big Picture, but What We Cannnot Say About It

It’d probably be the most boring. You could make a really interesting ethereal horror movie by walking around and not knowing what to do.

There’s no communications. So the only people talking are people in a corner. But it’s not like, oh, the whole company went to an all-hands and learned what’s happening. It’s everybody asking, are we ever going to see him? Should I continue with my work? Do they still serve lunch?

We do not know what may happen to your job as we record this. As you think about it, do you want to be working at Twitter in three months? Do you feel like you are ready to leave?

Culture is real. I mean, culture seeps through the product. For all of Twitter’s faults, a lot of the way the company behaved was because people cared so much. That can be very frustrating in its own way.


Comments on a Labor Law Supremacy filed at the Social Media Site: A Conversation with Kevin Roose (CASEY)

I mean, people have seen this. So now we’re moving into the phase equivalent to “move fast and break things,” with no care for the people who are using it, which just sort of defeats the point.

The news about the work hours is something he is reading. He has been speculating about what kind of labor law lawsuits will come out.

If you want to give people information about what’s happening at the social networking site, you can send them to CASEY. His email address is Kevin. Roose —

The lawsuit was filed in an attempt to “make sure that employees are aware that they should not sign away their rights and that they have an avenue for pursuing their rights,” Shannon Liss-Riordan, the attorney who filed the complaint on Thursday night, told Bloomberg.

How Steve Jobs Made Its Way: What he Has Done Before Apple, and How he Will Make It Work for the Future of the Computer Industry

Jobs developed personal computers for 20 years, his entire adult life. He was familiar with the company he was running because he had founded it and led the team that came up with its flagship product. In his years away from Apple, he had founded another computer company with a forward-thinking approach to the internet and next-generation operating systems. Plus, he was Steve Jobs. He could turn around the computer giant in a matter of minutes. It took him a long time to come up with his plan. While the colorful iMac he unveiled to me that day in May would help push Apple back into the black, it wasn’t until the company’s entry into non-PC devices that it became a profit machine. And Apple’s post-PC future wasn’t even on Jobs’ road map in 1998.

Musk need not look farther than his own successful enterprises to realize the absurdity of his haste. The company was five years old when he took over. 17 years after being formed, Musk came up with a plan to turn the company around, but it didn’t make a profit until 2020. Musk gets a lot of responsibility for whatTesla has achieved, and for things like his persistence. The company that Musk is associated with, SpaceX, is not reporting earnings. It takes a long time to make rocket ships, and cutting corners can end up killing people.

In a letter to employees obtained by multiple media outlets, the company said employees would find out by 9 a.m. Pacific Standard Time if they had been laid off. The email did not say how many people would lose their jobs.

He was installed as the sole board member and removed the board of directors. Many employees of the company took to their micro-fiche to show their support for each other with the blue heart and blue bird symbols.

Barry C. White, a spokesperson for California’s Employment Development Department, said Thursday the agency has not received any recent have not received any recent such notifications from Twitter.

Covid PLANdemic and Donald Trump: A Black Hole with an Inappropriate Biomechanics Effect on the Intensive Care Unit

“The Covid PLANdemic was created by Big Pharma to silence me. She said that everybody tried to silence her. Please speak at a lower volume. I’m sorry, am I too loud for your precious intensive care unit? You are not even sick!

“Hi. Your profile is very funny. I love funny guys,” Schumer, dressed in a red dress, said as the bot. “They said I was a bot, which is crazy. I’m all woman and I love funny guys like you. In fact, you should check out this website where me and some other girls hang out.”

James Austin Johnson played Donald Trump in front of the council. The account of Trump was banned in 2021,

We have moved to Truth Social, and we love it. It’s very great,” Johnson’s Trump said. It’s terrible in many ways. It’s very bad. Very bad. It’s a little buggy in terms of making the phone screen crack, and the automatically draining of the Venmo.”

Comments on the Musk-Ginzburg Disruption on Twitter and the Re-introduction of an Official Twitter ‘Official’ badge

The note shared with the AP states that you can’t use the services in a way intended to artificially amplify or suppress information. The reason was not the same as what Musk explained.

Comedian Kathy Griffin had her account suspended Sunday after she switched her screen name to Musk. She told the reporter that she had used his profile photo.

All the content moderators weren’t let go. Lol,” Griffin joked afterward on Mastodon, an alternative social media platform where she set up an account last week.

After posting a series of messages in support of Democratic candidates on Saturday, the actor changed her name back to her true one. “Okey-dokey.” I’ve had fun and I think I made my point,” she tweeted afterwards.

The disruption appeared to be continuing on Friday. In its latest reversal on the matter, Twitter said it would re-introduce a gray “Official” badge for select accounts to help confirm their identities. The decision came after Twitter was forced to fend off a wave of verified-account impostors this week, including some posing as former President Donald Trump, Nintendo, and the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, among others. These accounts were created when Musk decided to give a blue check mark to all account holders that wanted to pay $8 a month, without any questions or questions being asked.

It said the service would first be available in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the U.K. However, it was not available Sunday and there was no indication when it would go live. Esther Crawford told The AP it wasn’t launched yet, but that it was coming soon.

Keeping Twitter Safe during Elections: What Yoel Roth and his Employees Think about the Company’s Peculiar Pay Wall

Yoel Roth, the head of safety and integrity at the micro-dotted social networking site, was trying to put those concerns to rest. He said the company’s front-line content moderation staff was the group least affected by the job cuts.

Until September, Edward Perez was director of product management at Twitter, overseeing the product team devoted to civic integrity. Joining the company in September 2021, after more than three decades working in election integrity, Perez’s role was to keep Twitter safe during times of great upheaval—such as elections—from a product perspective. Perez feels that he needs to speak out after Musk decided to allow users to pay to get a blue check.

Perez is a board member at OSET Institute, a nonpartisan group dedicated to election security and integrity, and he says the drama around corporate takeover is sucking up all the oxygen in the room. The focus on Musk is leading to insufficient attention being given to election-related issues.

Meanwhile, Musk’s increasingly erratic leadership, coupled with his habit of tweeting in eye-watering bad taste, gave many current and former employees I spoke with a sinking feeling about the future of their company.

Today let’s talk a bit more about how the company botched its layoff process, what happened inside Twitter on Monday, and what that paywall might look like.

The most vulnerable among us are pregnant women, employees with cancer, and people on visas, so managers wrestled with their decisions in order to keep them employed, according to a former employee.

Why do all the employees in a large tech company have a problem? A rumor about the possibility of private chats with coworkers on the Blind app

It was rumored that employees of companies could chat privately with their coworkers on the Blind app. But within a day it was being posted in public Slack channels.

I want to let everyone know that we have the chance to ask people who were left off if they will come back. I need to put together names and rationales by 4 pm on Sunday, according to a message read to employees by a manager. If any of you have been in touch with folks who might come back and help us, please submit your nominations before 4.

The manager thought we might use some help with the mobile devices. The company has been reaching out to both engineers and designers over the past day in an effort to get them back, Platformer is told.

The layoffs of the teams in Europe are just like those in the US. The 1 Cumberland Place office in Dublin used to be home to 500 tweeting employees and now uses war terminology to describe events. People who remain employees are “survivors,” and colleagues who have been let go are “fallen,” says one person with knowledge of the matter, who asked to remain anonymous. The first employees of the company to hear from Musk was in Ireland on November 10. They were told that they would have to work 40 hours per week from the office.

The remaining managers are bracing themselves for a bigger workload than before. According to one person I talked to, a technical manager should spend at least half their time writing code and at least 20 individual contributors. Others have been given a lot of direct reports.

One employee told me that two teams were working on his pet projects for 20 hours a day. “But the majority of the company is kind of just sitting around. No chain of command, no priorities, no organization chart and in many cases no idea who your manager or team is, that’s how it is.

Why are Sacks layoffs so controversial? Employee questions about a Twitter user asking about Apple’s jet and Musk’s private jet

Sacks has been very consistent in its comments, whether it was justifying a feud with Apple or trying to stir up outrage about the public knowledge regarding Musk’s private jet. A Twitter user asked Sacks last month what he and Musk disagree about, and Sacks responded with just one thing: “Chess.”

The vice president told employees that the current layoffs were covered in the most recent Podcasts and that there was some insight into why this was happening. “I think it is worth listening to in order to understanding the macro environment we are operating in.”

Most employees were more interested in their health benefits, which had suddenly become a question mark. The company’s open-enrollment period was supposed to begin today, according to its global calendar, but no information was available in the company’s human-resources system. Employees posted several questions about benefits inside Slack today, but all went unanswered by management.

At least some teams began to have meetings with their employees where they could learn about their priorities, what their managers are, and what organizational charts look like.

The company told advertisers it is thriving, but it added 15 million users since the end of the second quarter.


Twitter Blue: Launching an Updated App to Verify a Trademark App and the Implications for Privacy, Security, and Democracy

The new version of the app was released on Saturday with release notes that said it was now available. Calacanis wrote a copy that many derided as a fake email. The current version of Blue was the only thing that those who had subscribed to were able to get.

After discussing the potential effects of launching thousands of verified accounts onto platforms in the middle of the US elections, the company was forced to postpone the launch.

Incidentally, Twitter is under a consent decree with the federal government requiring full documentation, in writing, of any foreseeable risks of “any product or service affecting commerce.” The changes to Twitter Blue were done two weeks after Musk bought the company. Do you think there’s full documentation about its risks? Sounds like Twitter’s lawyers are worried!

It was presented to Esther Crawford, a director of product management at the company who in recent weeks has risen to become one of Musk’s top lieutenants. Musk was briefed as well, sources said, as was his attorney Alex Spiro. And while Crawford appeared sympathetic to many of the concerns in the document, sources said, she declined to implement any suggestions that would delay the launch of Blue. (Crawford did not respond to a request for comment.)

It was not known if Musk and Sacks are serious about the paywall. It doesn’t appear imminent as the Blue team is occupied with the launch of expanded verification.

From Tiny Talk Town to New Twitter: A Simplistic Approach to the Complexity of Live, Public, Private and In-Public Tweets

Musk said that tiny talk is so small it feels like it is coming from his own mind. In Tiny Talk Town there’s a lot of conversation about billionaire industrialist and philanthropist Mr. Musk.

If entropy is your thing, staying on Twitter means you don’t have to take any action at all. You could stop posting, and just ride it out to see if the reign of Musk continues and thatTwitter is able to survive.

A relatively small group of people power Twitter. Heavy users who use English make up less than 10 percent of the total users but generate 90 percent of all revenue, according to internal company research.

So active users are a noisy bunch, and it would be easy for, say, an electric car entrepreneur who follows a disproportionate number of extremely active “blue checks” on Twitter to mistake his own Twitter experience for everyone’s experience. That’s how it goes for journalists. Half of the users on the service don’t have an original account and most of their posts are replies. They go about their lives after watching live sports, celebrity news or checking in on current events. They’re “lurkers.”

Lurking isn’t doomscrolling, a practice (and phrase) that took hold during the early days of the Covid pandemic, when many people found themselves stuck at home and grasping at info on social media. Choosing to sit back and observe for a while is a simplistic approach to dealing with the complexity that is New Twitter. After you have checked in on the toy, close the browser or app tab. If you’re interested in sending a message, then disengage. Keep one eye on it during basketball games. Direct the message threads to another location if you have to. For another time, please save your most original thoughts.

Twitter Has No Debt, But It Does Make Sense: A Wall Street Analogue of Elon Musk and the Loss Of Wall Street Funds

Elon Musk’s management of Twitter, including the banning of multiple journalists, has “severely damaged” market sentiment around Tesla, and risks sparking a backlash from advertisers and consumers, a Wall Street analyst warned on Monday.

Now, Twitter did set up Tips — a way to send cash to people you like — but it doesn’t take a cut of that money. It does take a cut of the revenue from Super Follows, a way to make your tweets a subscription service, but Twitter’s share is dwarfed by the fees taken by Apple for in-app purchases.

I don’t think a lot of advertisers would want to come back to someone with that attitude toward impersonation, even without an economic downturn. The open question to me is whether users want to stay in that environment, because there is a new layer of hoaxing and scamming. The influx of new checkmarked users has made Mark Cuban’s mentions miserable. Cuban is one reason that people stay on the platform.

The banks taking an immediate loss, if they offloading the debt from Twitter, makes sense. Banks may choose to hang on to the debt for a while to see whether the market conditions change. unloading debt gets even harder if there is a social media company hitting the bed. Musk is the richest man in the world, so banks are willing to negotiate terms with him about debt repayment. But I do wonder how long they want to hold these loans and who might buy them. If banks cannot place debt, that means it is difficult for any other buy-outs in tech to get done.

Twitter Layoffs: The fate of the Twitter Six-to-Eight Person Team in Brussels? When Meta was founded, Facebook became a giant

Remember Libra, Meta’s ambitious plan to enter the cryptocurrency market? Or Lasso, Meta’s ambitious attempt to outdo TikTok? Meta had ambitious plans to turninstagram and Facebook into e-ommerce giants, as well as a Smartwatch to compete with the AppleWatch, but all failed.

That only tells a small part of the story according to people watching the company from the outside. A former Meta employee with knowledge of the company’s operations says that the news of the layoffs is more than a correction of the PAIN years and he was not allowed to speak on the record. It is most likely the last five to 10 years. The losses can be due to the wide range of risky and failed experiments conducted by the parent company, says the former employee. “I just can’t think in the last five years of a successful Meta app or feature that wasn’t acquired,” the ex-employee says—before suggesting Stories, perhaps, which itself was borrowed from Snapchat.

Newprojects made it easy to get new employees at Facebook. One of the world’s biggest companies, with lots of money and big plans for dominating all aspects of consumers’ lives, was formerly known as Facebook. In 2017, Meta employed 25,000 staff. The company had 87,000 employees before it cut 11,000 from its payroll. The company has grown headcount by an average of 28 percent in each of the last five years. The newly slimmed-down Meta is still three times as large as it was last year.

In Europe, a major concern is the fate of Twitter’s six-to-eight person team in Brussels, which worked on European policy and was the main point of contact with regulators working on upcoming legislation that could affect the entire platform. Only two people remain, say two people with knowledge of the matter.

There is no centralized list of who has been fired. Employees have been looking at their workmates statuses on the app to see if they are still working. Dublin is not the only European office to be affected by layoffs. Social media posts show employees in Brussels and London have been let go too. It’s unclear if employees in Twitter’s other European hubs—Hamburg, Madrid, Utrecht, Paris, Berlin and Manchester—have also been affected.

The CEO of a social network company that makes social media obsolete: Musk’s Twitter disappearance two days after the launch of its free verification feature

Mr. Musk, with his union- busting record and his ruthless firing of people who disagreed with him, is like a boss that is just out of step with the national mood. Some 1,200 employees at the company decided not to sign his pledge, raising questions about whether the company would survive. Mr. Musk already faces at least one lawsuit over “hard core” — filed by disabled employees who believed the policy would result in discrimination against them.

In the past week alone, one of the world’s most influential social networks has laid off half its workforce; alienated powerful advertisers; blown up key aspects of its product, then repeatedly launched and un-launched other features aimed at compensating for it; and witnessed an exodus of senior executives.

Just two days after its launch, the menu option to sign up for a paid subscription was gone from the app, while the add-on was the only place you could find it. It was not clear when the offering would be restored.

Hours after the gray badges launched on Wednesday as a way to help users differentiate legitimate celebrity and branded accounts from accounts that had merely paid for a blue check mark, Musk abruptly tweeted that he had “killed” the feature, forcing subordinates to explain the reversal.

The account’s very next tweet, a day and nine hours later, said exactly the opposite: “To combat impersonation, we’ve added an ‘Official’ label to some accounts.”

The paid verification feature’s rocky rollout attracted widespread criticism from misinformation experts who had warned it would make identifying trustworthy information much more difficult, particularly in the critical period following the US midterm elections. Some of Musk’s fellow high powered users had tough feedback.

From one CEO to another, for your customer service hat on. I just spent too much time muting all the newly purchased checkmark accts in an attempt to make my verified mentions useful again,” tweeted billionaire Mark Cuban.

You have a choice, according to Cuban. The onus is on the users to make their own choices with the new Twitter that gives them access to paid accounts. Or bring back Twitter curation. One makes it much easier to get information on the internet. The other is awful.”

The group formed the #StopToxicTwitter coalition after Musk took over and urged the advertisers to pull their ads until the company commits to better brand safeguards and moderation standards. Fifty of the top advertisers pulled their ads, and dozens of other companies cut back on spending on the platform within a few weeks.

Internal warnings about social media fraud and false-positive actions: Musk’s recommendation for reducing the negative publicity caused by false verification on social media accounts

“Motivated scammers/bad actors could be willing to pay … to leverage increased amplification to achieve their ends where their upside exceeds the cost,” reads the document’s first recommendation, which the team labeled “P0” to denote a concern in the highest risk category.

The team found that posing as world leaders, advertisers, brand partners, election officials and other high profile individuals was a P0 risk. The loss of legacy verification may cause an increase in impersonation of high-profile accounts on the social media platform.

On November 1st, when the document was circulated internally, Musk was considering a $99-a-year annual subscription for Blue; only later, after an exchange online with writer Stephen King, did he lower the cost. The move wound up increasing the risk for scams, as the desire to make fun of brands and government officials became an impulse buy at $8.

The team noted that if verified users were forced to pay, and if the risk of being impersonated was increased, they would leave the platform for good. Privileges and exemptions from legacy verified accounts could cause confusion and lost trust, they wrote. “We use the health-related protections … to manage against the risk of false-positive actions on high-profile users, under the assumption that the accounts have been heavily vetted. If that signal is no longer used, we run the risk of false positives or loss of privileges due to higher rate limits.

The company won some support for its trust and safety team, which included retaining verification for some high-profile accounts.


The Platformer Email-Related Layoffs to the Public Employees: Implications for Safety and Security at the CIO’s Silicon Valley

For the most part, though, the document offers a wish list for features that would make the product safer and easier to use, most of which have not been approved.

Despite the warnings, the launch proceeded as planned. A few days later, with the predictions of the trust and safety team largely realized, Musk belatedly stopped the rollout.

Functions affected included content moderation, recruiting, ad sales, marketing, and real estate, among others. It is not known how the loss of thousands of moderators will affect the service. It seems that more and more people are choosing to stay away from the site due to the decreasing number of available police officers.

The contractors were not given anything after the email was sent to the full- time employees telling them that layoffs were coming a night before. Neither did their managers, who discovered one by one over the weekend that people they had been counting on to perform critical tasks had suddenly disappeared from the company’s systems.

Some employees told us that they had been bracing for cuts ever since the layoffs earlier this month. But the abrupt nature of the cuts will likely send many former contractors scrambling: as Platformer was first to report, vendors told them via email their medical benefits would end today, their final day of employment.

On Twitter’s Code Freeze: The “Goons” of Sunday’s Whislash and a Call to the “Commentary”

I don’t think it’s helpful to speculate on the true motives behind Sunday’s whiplash The impact and the intention are separate things. They hit you in the face regardless of who intended to do it. Now you have to deal with the situation that they’ve created. I hope you will also as well, because my thoughts turn to the people who were impacted by the policy change. Those Twitter users who spent Sunday wondering whether the platform they used and trusted to find and promote their work, make connections with others in their field, and in many cases, rely on for income, would allow them to continue.

Employees continue to show a great deal of solidarity among one another. But not to the coterie of volunteer venture capitalists and on-loan engineers from Tesla and the Boring Company that have been carrying out Musk’s orders: those they refer to universally, including on Slack, as “the goons.”

This was more than just a run-of-the-mill code freeze, during which engineers can commit code but not deploy it. It’s fairly common, and for most of the time since Musk took over, it’s been under one. Such freezes are generally intended to reduce the chances that a bug disrupts Twitter’s systems.

Engineers were told they could not write code until further notice according to an internal email obtained by Platformer. Exceptions will be granted if there is an “urgent change that is needed to resolve an issue with a production service, including any changes reflecting hard promised deadlines for clients,” the email said, and employees get “approval from VP level and Elon explicitly stating that the change needs to be made.”

Engineers who attended a late night meeting on Slack were confused. Is there a ticket that I can reference? An engineer was brought in to implement the freeze. I don’t see any context. A colleague said that they don’t have much context at the moment. This is coming from the team that works at E.L.

I want to apologize for the slowness of the platform in a lot of countries. App is doing >1000 poorly batched RPCs just to render a home timeline!” Musk said on Sunday morning that he was referring to remote procedure calls. Musk also complained about the number of microservices Twitter employs, which are generally understood to prevent the entire site from breaking every time one part of it goes down.

The experience in India is not great. That’s because the payload gets delivered from further away (laws of physics come into effect) and that back-and-forth data transfer between the phone and the data center starts compounding.

India has a higher concentration of low power phones that are not as strong as ours, and this leads to them performing worse in general.


Why Does the Code Freeze? Why Does Eli Lilly Stop All Campaigns? Why Do Some Tweets Start to Frustrate? How T-Mobile and GroupM Receive The Same

Why does the code freeze? Musk has become paranoid that disgruntled engineers may sabotage the site on their way out, so some think that might be the case.

Eli Lilly paused all of its ad campaigns on Friday because of the Blue debacle. The move potentially cost Twitter millions of dollars in revenue, according to the Washington Post. It took the social media site six hours to remove a fake account saying that Eli Lilly would make the drug free.

The news left the ad team without a direction, according to internal conversations with current employees.

Many of your markets and clients are seeing large declines in the fourth quarter. “Please add any commentary, questions, issues in this thread and I’ll endeavor to raise as many as possible TY!”

One employee responded that T-Mobile had requested to “pause the campaigns due to brand safety concerns.” (Three days later, former T-Mobile CEO John Legere asked Musk to let him run Twitter, to which Musk responded simply “no.”)

Another employee of the micro-publishing service said General GM had asked to stop campaigns. “The initial reason they gave is elections, but it looks like an open-ended pause, because the team requested to meet next week to help them make a case to global on why they shouldn’t.” Later, this same employee added: “Pause on [GM] til end of year confirmed and implemented. Brand safety is the reason now.

GroupM, which has $60 billion of media spend every year, told its clients that it was a high-risk media buy, according to an email obtained by Platformer. Twitter’s agency partnerships lead explained the situation in Slack: “Given the recent senior departures in key operational areas (specifically Security, Trust & Safety, Compliance), GroupM have updated Twitter’s brand safety guidance to high risk. While they understand that our policies remain in place, they feel that Twitter’s ability to scale and manage infractions at speed is uncertain at this time.”

Content moderation is an important component of the current rules of the social networking site.

Should the Musk Takeover of Twitter? Embracing the Plight of the Next Billionaire: The Case for a Digital Social Media Empire

Mid-afternoon on Monday, after Musk announced he would begin disconnecting up to 80 percent of unspecified microservices, some users said two-factor authentication temporarily stopped working via SMS. Others reported noticing partial site outages and difficulty downloading their archives.

There are people that know how to fix those problems, but they can’t continue working for the company or they’re not allowed to send new code. And the question haunting engineers at the end of the day was not whether any new cracks in the service would emerge, but how many, and when.

“I’ve always thought that a move to a subscription business would make sense for Twitter … it’s never been a great advertising platform,” said Larry Vincent, associate professor of marketing at USC’s Marshall School of Business. Although it offers a similar level of user targeting, twitter’s advertising business has long been smaller than that of rivals like Facebook.

A platform is better than an app, or so the theory goes, because you can use a platform to build multiple apps, or enable other developers and companies to build apps from which you might take a 30 percent cut. The proprietary platform shouldn’t be taken lightly even if it has some advantages, it should be taken very seriously and not be trusted if the code is not strong. The liability of intellectual property is one that compromises everything a company might create because it makes things proprietary and gives billionaires the power to kill them. Whether or not he actually destroys it, Musk’s takeover of Twitter is a case study in how to destroy something, a model for the next billionaire who fancies a social media empire. Our communication channel for the next vaccine we might need is now at risk.

It is not certain if capturing the attention of the online world will translate into subscription payments or other revenue growth.

The Last Tweet from Elon Musk: A Tale of Two Hard Cores and Three Months of Breaking the Ghettocracy

Have you ever gotten an email at midnight from your boss with a very threatening subject line? Emailiquette says we are not supposed to get midnight emails from bosses. But Elon Musk is no ordinary boss, and it’s safe to assume he didn’t get the memo on empathetic leadership. So, true to form, as chief executive of Twitter, after laying off nearly half of his staff, bringing a sink to work and proclaiming he would be sleeping at the office “until the org is fixed,” Mr. Musk recently issued this late-night ultimatum to his remaining employees: From this point forward, Twitter was going to be “extremely hard core.” Were they ready to be hard core? They could select “yes” — or opt for three months of severance pay.

To Mr. Musk, the word hard core means “long hours at high intensity” and a culture where only the most exceptional performance would be accepted. I’d wager that more than a few workaholics, bosses or otherwise, weren’t entirely turned off by the philosophy behind that statement, and yet it immediately conjured images of sweaty Wall Street bankers collapsing at their desks, Silicon Valley wunderkinds sleeping under theirs and the high-intensity, bro-boss cultures of companies like Uber and WeWork, with their accompanying slogans about doing what you love and sleeping when you’re dead. It’s a prepandemic mind-set that, sure, some bosses may long for but many more employees are determined never to go back to.

Many users followed suit and wrote about their experiences on the platform. For some, like writer Dan Sheehan, gaining a platform on Twitter later allowed them to excel in their personal and professional lives.

“I built this following for myself, and that got me some of my first job offers just in the copywriting space. He says he paid the bills using that method.

Sheehan was able to dedicate time to writing his novel through the use of copywriting and the project was made reality through help from his large followers on social media.

“The fact that I was able to keep the lights on, the bills paid, while writing the book, and then have the book reach that audience of over 100,000 people directly, none of that could have been done through traditional means,” he says.

“For the longest time, creative fields have been cornered by the wealthy, or the children of the wealthy… Twitter allowed you to build this audience that made you undeniable to the people holding the keys to that.”

Azucena was able to get a platform and open a door into the journalism industry after she was able to use the power of social media.

“It’s just unfortunate that the diversity problem continues, and I don’t know how now, those communities are going to find each other… She says that the social networking website helped her to start reading other people’s work.

The Disability Twitter Files: A Dark Matter Concerning the Scale of the Twitter Age, the Future of Social Media and the End of Twitter

For years Wendi Muse was an active member of ‘DisabilityTwitter’, a group dedicated to people with disabilities. She posted resources to help people find masks, as well as sending some from the personal stockpile she had amassed. She noticed a higher demand for reliable N95 masks in the sick community this year.

Over 12,000 masks have been sent out from Muse’s living room since January. She thinks she wouldn’t be able to reach as many people if it weren’t for her social media presence.

It has been crucial, because it has given me more information and access to other people who don’t have the same resources as me, and also given me a way to reach out to other people who are less fortunate.

Muse is among the many who would lose out if the potential end of Twitter happens.

“I think that uneasiness of not knowing is making it more difficult, especially for people who are disabled, elderly, who maybe don’t have social networks in person right now.”

Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk on Thursday said he plans to introduce an option to make it possible for users to determine if the company has limited how many other users can view their posts. Musk is taking on an issue that’s been a cry from conservatives who claim the social network has suppressed or banned their content.

“Twitter is working on a software update that will show your true account status, so you know clearly if you’ve been shadowbanned, the reason why and how to appeal,” Musk tweeted on Thursday. He did not provide additional details or a timetable.

His announcement came amid a new release of internal Twitter documents on Thursday, sanctioned and cheered by Musk, that once again placed a spotlight on the practice of limiting the reach of certain, potentially harmful content — a common practice in the industry that Musk himself has seemingly both endorsed and criticized.

The second set of the so-called Twitter Files, shared by journalist Bari Weiss on Twitter, focused on how the company has restricted the reach of certain accounts, tweets or topics that it deems potentially harmful, including by limiting their ability to appear in the search or trending sections of the platform.

The internal documents appear to have been given to the journalists by Musk’s team. Musk on Friday shared Weiss’ thread in a tweet and added, “The Twitter Files, Part Duex!!” There are two popcorn-related things.

Twitter reveals how Yoel used Twitter to criticize the 2016 Presidential Referendum against Donald Trump and the inauguration of General Relativity

Weiss offered several examples of right-leaning figures who had moderation actions taken on their accounts, but it’s not clear if such actions were equally taken against left-leaning or other accounts.

Twitter’s former head of trust and safety has fled his home due to an escalation in threats resulting from Elon Musk’s campaign of criticism against him, a person familiar with the matter told CNN on Monday.

Roth’s position involved him working on sensitive issues including the suspension of then-President Donald Trump’s account in 2021. Some employees of the social media company questioned if the former president’s use of the platform violated its policies after Weiss posted a series of swaspages that they said showed internal discussions about banning Trump.

On Election Day in 2016 he wrote, “I’m just saying, we fly over those states that voted for a racist for a reason.”

We all made some questionable statements but I want to make it clear that I support Yoel. Musk believes that he has integrity and that all of us are entitled to our political beliefs.

Twitter ultimately said at the time of Trump’s ban that his tweet about American patriots suggested that “he plans to continue to support, empower, and shield those who believe he won the election,” and that the tweet concerning the inauguration could be viewed as a further statement that the election was not legitimate or that the inauguration would be a “safe” target for violence because he would not be attending.

“I also am not seeing clear or coded incitement” to violence, Twitter safety staffer Anika Navaroli said in a slack message about Trump’s January 8 tweet saying: “The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!”

While working for the House committee investigating January 6, INRDeals INRDeals gave testimony that she and other staffers were worried about the danger of violence and the fact that the Proud Boys and other extremists had echoed statements by Trump.

Another staffer, whose name was removed in the screenshot, said in Slack that a subsequent tweet that day from Trump saying he would not attend President Joe Biden’s inauguration was also “a clear no vio[lation].” But a different staffer questioned whether that tweet could be “proof that [Trump] doesn’t support a peaceful transition,” according to Weiss’ tweets.

It doesn’t appear that using research for high-profile decisions isn’t in line with how social platforms make content moderation decisions.

What Twitter Can Don’t Do About Child Sexual Exploitation – An Expert Report on Missing and Exploited Children in San Francisco

The members of the council who gave photos of the email to The Associated Press were not willing to reveal their identity due to fears of reprisal.

The volunteer group provided expertise and guidance on how Twitter could better combat hate, harassment and other harms but didn’t have any decision-making authority and didn’t review specific content disputes.

Twitter, which is based in San Francisco, had confirmed the meeting with the council Thursday in an email in which it promised an “open conversation and Q&A” with Twitter staff, including the new head of trust and safety, Ella Irwin.

Those former council members soon became the target of online attacks after Musk amplified criticized of them and Twitter’s past leadership for allegedly not doing enough to stop child sexual exploitation on the platform.

A growing number of attacks on the council led to concerns from some remaining members who sent an email to Twitter on Monday demanding the company stop misrepresenting its role.

One of the advisory groups that the Trust and Safety Council had was focused on child exploitation. This included the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, the Rati Foundation and YAKIN, or Youth Adult Survivors & Kin in Need.

How Did You Come to the Closing of Tumblr? Hey, Welcome Back, I think I know what you were thinking about when you bought a social network

I think you are our first repeat CEO guest inside of a year. You were on in March

, and we talked a lot about WordPress and a little bit about Tumblr. I wanted to have you back because you are one of the few people I know who has ever purchased a social network, and it seems like a really good time to talk about the challenges that come along with purchasing a large, at-scale social network with millions of passionate users. So welcome back.

It is slightly different. Yahoo bought

Tumblr for $1.1 billion in 2013

, and then there was a series of ownership changes. It was bought by automattic for $3 million in 2019. How did you come to a price for a social network? Of course we are talking about the 44 billion for the social networking site. You actually evaluated a social network, its technology, and its user base, and you said, “You know what, this isn’t $1 billion, it’s not even $100 million, it’s $3 million.” How did you come to that price?

We were able to bring Automattic to the table because we have a deep-tech infrastructure company that we can use to rewrite a lot of things and also bring more stability and moderation to the table. We were just rounding that corner of the process when people began saying, “Maybe I need an alternative”, after the controversy surrounding the social networking site.

Thank you. The internet is a better place with everything that we make. We’re always asking, “How can we put users more in control? How can we align our business model more with what our customers and users want?”

Open-source is obviously at the core of everything we do. The General Public License is what makes the website open-sourced. Pocket Casts are also open-sourced. It is taking a long time for us to be open-sourced. I think the last time I said it I was a little bit more hopeful. It’s just a lot of code, but we will get to it.

I believe open-source is a fundamental human right. It is equally as important as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, or any other freedom as technology is growing in importance. It’s important to have the freedom to see how our software works and to modify it.


A Conversation between Twitter and Tumblr about Mental Health and Public Safety in People’s Social Networks and Mobile Apps (an interview with Matt Mullenweg)

That is only one piece. The similarity between Tumblr and Twitter here is very much dealing with your gatekeepers to distribution, in this case, Apple. Matt was much more positive than I had expected. My impression has always been that the two app stores are largely the same. He was like, “No, Google is pretty easy to work with.” You need to manage the two big gatekeepers at some point. We have seen that Tumblr has had its challenges, and we have seen Elon run into those challenges.

We’re seeing that happening in real time at Twitter. They will allow someone like Ye back on, and then take him off again. There’s a phrase we use for a huge amount of speech, and that is “lawful but awful.” It might be mean or hurt people’s mental health, but it’s not illegal. If we wanted to host it we need to think about society and the people who use it. It’s as if you were hosting a party. It’s important to provide a safe environment for everyone there, that includes food, water, restrooms, and other things. I feel like when you’re hosting a social network, it’s your responsibility to provide a safe and healthy environment.


The Business of Using Social Media to Make Life Happen: Ceo Elon Musk’s Decisions on Twitter (and other) About the Business of Social Media

I want to get all the way there. Honestly, I want to spend most of our conversation talking about what those kinds of decisions are like. I think far too often the casual observer thinks they’re easy, and far too often Elon Musk acts like they’re easy. In reality, anybody who has tried to make those decisions, like yourself, finds out they are extraordinarily complicated. The tradeoffs are bad and everyone is going to hate you after. But let’s start at the beginning. Why did you buy Tumblr?

There are more weekly active users of the site in the US than in any other country. It is possible that the events that happen in a city in a week can happen on a social network just as much as it is possible to do on a mobile device. People don’t think that will happen. The Parler, the Gabs, the Substacks and even the Posts struggle with this early on.

Two, I wanted to see if we could create a mainstream social media that wasn’t reliant on surveillance capitalism or advertising as its primary business model. We run ads on Tumblr, but we also have upgrades that turn off ads, and we’re introducing lots of other subscriptions — some fun, some serious. If we can make it a subscriber-supported thing, then we can truly be aligned. The business model would align users with its business if I were no longer running it.

Absolutely. We have seen some amazing examples of that in the last couple of weeks. At its best, it’s like, “Well, what if people’s social media time could go to something like that?” It’s something that puts a little more control in the hands of users. You should feel good after using it and you feel creatively charged. That’s what we have been working on since we bought it.


Turning Tumblr Into a Fun and Fun Place: Modeling the Growth of a Fashion-Like Site with a Social Media Platform

There was a six-month waiting period for support tickets when we purchased Tumblr. Imagine you’re an active Tumblr user, you post a picture of your manicure, and your account gets locked — in a really mean way, by the way. It was like, “You have violated blah, blah, blah. You’re locked out.” You appeal it and say, “Hey, no, this was just a picture of my hand,” but you don’t hear back for months. A good formula to destroy a user base. That was where it was.

You are saying that it was sold to you for the smallest amount possible, because it is de minimis. It was for the smallest amount you would pay, knowing that its carrying costs were high. Was that a conversation that was straight? We aren’t going to figure out how much money the site makes and how much revenue it brings in to come to a valuation. It needs a good home because it is bleeding cash. We’ll be that home. What is the smallest number the board of directors will accept?

I think what Verizon cared about was the employees and the user base, which is also what Automattic cared about. We really oriented that. Internally, we budgeted about $100 million that we were going to spend on Tumblr to turn it around.

I think it’s tough when you’re buying a company for a reason. It would not be a turn around if it was doing well. Some of the employees have not been as successful as you would hope, which is a nice way of saying that they probably shouldn’t be there. But we also bought it because it was working. I wouldn’t say that Tumblr is dead, despite what I would say was corporate mismanagement. There are still a lot of young users, and we were very interested in how it was continuing to grow.

I would say Tumblr’s struggle with advertisers is actually lack of targeting. Some people might opt out of Tumblr because they’re uncomfortable with the younger user base and the kind of silliness of it. That’s fine. I would say we can unlock a lot of revenue, but we have decided to not do the tracking and targeting that everyone else does. It is more difficult to get advertisers to spend money. We’re introducing some. There is some tracking I’m totally okay with, like device and country. That sort of stuff is not new. A bit of it is both users and advertisers. Some of it is quite enlightening. Your user base can be used to buy ad space on Facebook and other social networking sites. They all have tools of their own. You can target so much that it’s kind of insane.

How can you not let the baby get into the water? We brought the team over from the beginning and we tried to change a bunch of people that have been with the company for a long time. I actually took some of my very best people in the company and switched them over to do different jobs inside of Tumblr — engineers, designers, et cetera. That helped us create a new team and identify low performance.

So we have remade the team, we have made the tech, and we’re starting to remake the product. I am happy because we are starting to have some fun. You saw the blue checkmark thing. We’re also starting to innovate on the format a bit. On Tumblr, for example, you can now have a post which has a gallery and a video — it’s basically multimodal social media posting. Blogs have done this for a long time, but we’re bringing it into the social media form and onto mobile. That’s fun for me, because the creativity that is being expressed there is more than what you can do on any other social network right now.

That timeline is really interesting. By the end of 2022, you should be saying, “Now we’re having fun,” because you bought it in 2019. That is a long time to integrate the cultures, reset the expectations, and then get to product innovation. Or maybe from a user perspective it’s a long time, but from your perspective maybe it’s lightning fast. Which one do you think it is?

It is the most difficult thing to do in my business career. I have been doing this a while. We have done successful acquisitions, like WooCommerce and other things, but this has been harder than anything I’ve done before, which is why I stepped in to run it directly in February. We weren’t seeing the amount of turnaround that we had hoped for.

Do you think that part tracks with the Twitter timeline? There is a huge culture reset and public comments about how the company was Trash at every level after Musk takes over. Do you wish you had done something like that? Do you think that would have been effective?

By the way, just to provide you cover for this answer, there’s a part of me as a leader that is sometimes like, “Maybe I should just run around saying everything is trash and reset.” I think every leader finds something attractive in this way of working. Most people are not this maniacal. I’m not. I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if I did this to my team.

If you’re in any leadership position though, there is something appealing about saying, “Oh man, I wish I could just clear the deck.” When I was much younger and meaner, I worked at another large company — which shall remain nameless — and I would often think, “I wonder if I could just fire half the people on this floor? If anyone noticed, would they? There is something about a large company that makes that kind of thinking possible. Now that I have provided you cover, do you think that you should have done something more drastic?


Twitter and the Talent Exodus: Why Twitter and Stripe Came So Hard to Lose Their Footprints in the Software Industry?

I don’t know. It is very difficult to play it back again. About 85 percent of the team is new on Tumblr, or was not there at the acquisition. That is a pretty big switch that happened over a couple of years. Some of it was natural attrition, and some of it was performance management.

There is also something that I’ve just never seen in my business career, which is the talent exodus. As an example, Stripe laid off 15 to 16 percent of its staff, which was surprising, because Stripe is a golden child. You think they tried to do that as performance management. They tried to get rid of the people they considered to be low performers. I would guess that Twitter was probably going to do a layoff anyway, though probably not as big as it was nor as sloppy. I think they were going to because every other tech company has.

There are some examples that can be used to illustrate what Stripe will do there. You could assume that some percentage of the people they laid off, who they considered to be low performers, were actually quite good, but you would maybe be cautious to hire out of that layoff. If we were targeting that, we would assume that these were not the folks that had Stripe saying, “These are the crucial people we need to keep.”


Why Do We Need Spaces? Is It Possible to Build a Live Audio Product, and Would You Like to Build It for Hire Them?

It is funny. We have come up after some moments in tech history. Intel was created because a team of people left Fairchild Semiconductor, so now Intel exists and we think of it as an institution. It feels like maybe we’re living through that moment again as tech companies have these gigantic layoffs, where entire teams of people who like working together are now available. The team behind Spaces wants to work with you again, but they just want to do it for you again. Is it possible to build a live audio product? Is it possible that you would just hire that team?

I think that team is good, but I don’t know if we would do a live audio product. A lot of the conversations I had were used to create a dedicated landing page. The first line on the page is, “We love Twitter,” which is true. I like to follow people on TWITTER.

If you’re hiring the missionaries, you don’t do it with a “we’re going to crush Twitter” message, because they have poured their heart and soul into Twitter over the past however-many years. They love the site so they aren’t motivated to kill it. What I think is interesting is asking, “Hey, could we do it again, avoid some of the mistakes, and create an alternative?”


What Did You Learn About The Acquisition of Tumblr? An Empirical Study on the Success and Merger of a Large Website

The acquisition story is finished with a few quick questions. You said the burn when you bought it was $60 million-ish a year. Are you closer to profitability now or is that burn the same number?

No. We brought it down, but we would need to grow Tumblr’s revenue by another $20 or $30 million a year to get it to break even at its current people cost.

The good news is we are merging some of the teams. For example, Tumblr doesn’t need its own separate trust and safety, or terms of service. It did have one, but we actually have similar problems across all of our properties, like protecting against illegal content, responding to DMCAs quickly, and taking down hate speech. We are able to use the same tools to monitor every upload and other thing because they are similar issues. At that point it’s not only a cost for a website.

That’s very good. We talked a lot about hiring and size, and you said that you had 85 percent turnover. Is the Tumblr team bigger or smaller than when you acquired it?

One of the classic questions is this one. How is that team structured? Is it structured the same as when you got it, or is it different?


The Top Five Things that I’ve Learned in a 21-Year-Old Company (including an Appendix by Mark Levinson)

I mean, I have come in as CEO, and naturally the big changes to the structure are because I’m running a lot of different things, including Automattic and, separately. I very much have a leadership style that pushes a lot of things onto the leads within the company. I’m not like, “We need to have a meeting every day with the executive team and blah, blah, blah.” I’m more like, “Here are the five most important things to me, get them done. What are the most important things in your life? What am I missing?”

Automattic does a lot of asynchronous communication. There haven’t been a lot of changes. I have brought over some folks from Automattic to help me out, including a chief operating officer and others, that are really helping with the day-to-day. I would say it’s a fairly standard structure other than that.

Then there’s the other set of incentives. We want to show you what we want and you want to show us what you want. The positive incentives almost always go completely unrecognized as part of the content moderation puzzle. Do you think that seems right to you? Is it fair to be that reductive and say the product people at social networks are basically making content moderation?

Oh yes. I think I tweeted that. Although the title headline is a good one, I don’t agree with it. But man, it was spot-on. You did a great job. If you are listening to this, you need to read that post, where I think you link to some of the nuances of content moderation and doing it at scale.

There is a learning curve. Whatever user base you attract will cause new types of problems even if you hire people. Mental health issues are big there because of the younger demographic of teenagers that are a tad more angsty. If you search for tags, we will build a lot of stuff so that we can tell you if help is needed. There is a phone number. It gets better.

There is a community that is short for eating disorders called the pro-ana community. This was a community of folks who were using a social network in a way that’s not illegal, but was basically encouraging anorexic behaviors. I’m not an expert in this at all, but my understanding is that it is a mental health challenge and ultimately quite physically debilitating for people who suffer from this. If you’re hosting and promoting content that’s encouraging that, what are you doing to those kids, those people, as a society? Again, it’s not illegal, but it is your responsibility to control the distribution of that, to tamp it down if people are posting it, and to try to provide them pointers to resources — because we’re a tech company, we can’t help with that. There are lots of nonprofits and people we can point to that are actually professionals at this, and we can try to nudge people in the right direction.

By the way, that really works. There are stories where tech has made society better. I’ll talk about two things. There are people who abuse children who take pictures, and other things around child exploitation material. Tech companies have basically come together and created technological solutions and data sharing that have become quite good at catching this. Law enforcement do their jobs after it all gets passed to them. I think that has helped quite a bit.

Then there’s suicide prevention. On pretty much every social network and search engine, if you type in certain terms, they will jump in and say, “Hey, here’s pointers to resources.” There is a lot of sharing about things like where to find a phone number, what resources are best, and how to do this in every language. This is part of our responsibility to society, so tech companies and competitors share it with each other.


Does Your Content Matter? Why Do You Need to Be Afraid of Teenagers? When Social Media Has It Happened, Why Do We Need to Embrace It?

In those instances, the product is being shaped in line with the values of the company. Those things are horrible, I don’t mean to diminish them at all, but preventing them is universally agreed upon, right?

Right. We should not encourage young people, especially young women, to be anorexic. That is a big problem in that community. We need to intervene in suicidal thoughts and talk to people to stop it. Those moves are aggressive. You’re saying, “We’re going to stop the speech, we’re going to shut it down, we’re going to show up when we see this stuff to get in your way and say, ‘Go to these resources.’” They are aggressive interventions, but they’re not controversial.

They are still at scale, even though they are smaller than everyone else. When you think about running a social network at scale, it seems like we over-rank the part where there’s a liberal bias inside the content moderation team that we must overcome. We then significantly under-rank that people don’t want to be in a platform full of racists. Advertisers don’t want to be near that content and that’s why moderation decisions are being made. Has that been your experience? Do the advertisers exert pressure on what things you allow?

It was a heavy-handed reaction. The company has a lot of revenue and it is better to deal with them than it is. Content moderation farms in other countries have started automatically reviewing every post and reblog on Tumblr. I would call it faulty machine learning, they were applying it. Someone who is famousposted a picture of their manicure and posted a picture of their hand which was locked out for being adult content. What the algorithm was looking at was, “Well, there’s a lot of skin tone as a percentage of this image, so this is likely adult content.”

The lines aren’t even clear on what is porn or what isn’t, or on who is qualified to say what people on platforms should be looking at besides the platform itself. The values inside the company might not line up with what you want users to be able to do on the platform. There are 8 million external actors with their own values who have control over the platform. Walk me to this point. I choose porn, but I can pick any speech area that has the same problems.

When users post a comment they can rate themselves on a rating system. It is possible that this could be drugs, it could be violence, it could be a human form. We still don’t allow what we jokingly internally call “things going into things,” or what people might call hardcore pornography. The service is still not appropriate for things like that and there is a larger window for what is allowed. We seemed to be unifying Tumblr’s position with ours.

It’s very Tumblr. Content moderation issues are something I think Tumblr had. Part of why they got shut down by Apple is that they were not doing a good job policing illegal content, in addition to the porn stuff. It is my supposition that Apple wanted to make an example out of the situation by removing Tumblr from the App Store even though it is owned by one of their largest partners in the world. That must have woken people up, like, they are taking this seriously.

Something we changed since our last podcast was that we actually reopened more adult content, specifically what we call “artistic expressions of the human form.” If you had posted literally Michelangelo’s statue of David on Tumblr before, the content moderation rules would have locked the post or locked your account. We got good at appeals and everything like that, but we were stuck with these old rules, and we couldn’t really change those rules until we had some better community moderation in place.

It’s interesting, because Elon also talked about bringing the MPAA movie rating system into this, which is actually where we started in the first iteration of this feature. It is fraught when getting into the history of the rating system. Think about it. If there was one female nipple in a movie, all of a sudden it’s like PG-13 or R, but then there can be any amount of violence, gore, and blood spurting out — which obviously is not great for kids either — and that could be rated PG. A Taxonomy is a more nuanced form of classification.

Yeah. You open your Tumblr and you’re browsing through, you don’t want that stuff popping up when someone walks by. That’s embarrassing for everyone involved. We really thought about it from a user-centric point of view. We have seen that this actually aligns incentives.

Let’s say you’re a burlesque performer in New York City. Right? Bathtub gin? It is a famous and awesome burlesque place. You want to show off your skills. You should tag this because you don’t want your kids to see these, and now you know that it will be protected. People who want to see this can find it even if they aren’t aware that it exists. Everyone’s happy. The incentives are very aligned.

The violations now are not for what you post, but for mistagging. We are very strict when it comes to mistagging, because obviously that is wrong. It could endanger kids. It could do lots of things. We allow you to post more if you are tagged correctly. We have done it while trying to navigate Apple’s App Store, credit card processors and everything else.

Yeah. Well, how do Twitter and Reddit get away with it? They allow everything, like “things going into things.” Pretty much anything you could find on a porn site is also on Twitter and Reddit. How do they get away with something? One, maybe they’re just too big and they have enough legit content that Apple wasn’t really worried about it. Maybe they made web-only retreats as well. We decided to duplicate that feature.

I wish we knew more. We don’t really know what goes down when Apple deals with the App Store and distribution. That is, unless you have someone like Matt who’s willing to talk about it, and even he kind of admitted he’s not really sure exactly what goes down.

I think we made a mistake in submitting the app one time where we set a toggle wrong, so that then creates another week. Then Thanksgiving happened. It is an odd platform. You could just ship most of the tech we have. You can test, you can put things up, you can take them down. In the app stores, it goes through a person, and depending on who the person is, they might interpret the rules differently.

I would say Apple’s and Google’s app store moderation is night and day. You can roll out a tool, and then roll it back because of the good tools that come with it. They allow way more stuff and it’s fast. They aren’t as harsh about in-app purchases. It is completely different.

If you sign up for a New York Times subscription on The New York Times’ website, they make it really hard to cancel it. You have to chat with someone and it takes 30 minutes of your time. It’s like a gym membership being canceled. It is terrible. It’s a horrible user experience. If you subscribe to The New York Times through Apple though, you can just click a button to cancel your subscription. I think that is Apple advocating on behalf of users for something that is user-friendly. They have things we all agree on, such as canceling subscriptions, and they have a section that they do. It feels like they still think they’re the underdog.

It’s like they still think they have an existential risk of being snuffed out any moment. Apple has more money in their bank than most countries. They are one of the most powerful entities on the planet, even more than most governments. They are starting to shift into a more benevolent role, because they realize their size and power.

They are being pushed and that is great. The EU and US are starting to push a little bit. I bet internally, as well, there are folks inside of Apple who would agree with my position on these things. It could also be the next generation. As new leaders come up through the organization, perhaps that will shift some of their policies.

What you’re describing are people who didn’t come up as the underdogs. When Apple was the favorite most of the executives were there. Over time, you can see their culture.


The hardest part of taking over Flickr: When have you been? What have you learned in your life? How have you dealt with the frustrations that you have encountered?

Taking over the site is described as one of the most difficult experiences you have had. It’s this stuff. “Now I’m the politician who is in charge of a large city or a small country. The users are doing what they want, and I can’t do anything about it. App stores, credit card processors, whoever, are all deeply interested in whatever I do. What do you think are the limits of your authority to make decisions? It seems like that is at the center of it. You aren’t a tech executive who wants to make the button blue. You’re a politician who’s saying, “I hope I’m going to make a policy decision that is expressed out through all these constituents and will achieve the result I want.”

I think it would be a good way to describe my situation in the next 10 years, because I am very libertarian in terms of what people should be allowed to say. I am alright with disagreeing with things I don’t agree with and with people saying bad things about me. I’m a public figure. Great.

I believe that I have become more conservative in this area of hate speech. Of course, calls to violence are pretty noncontroversial. I would say bullying, or trolling, is maybe more in the middle. If you remember Flickr in the early days — like with Stewart Butterfield, Caterina Fake, Heather Champ, and Derek Powazek — they fostered an amazing community, often manually, by going and commenting on new users or choosing what they highlighted.


What’s up with Twitter? How much do you need to be a member of the twitter community? What kind of platforms do you want to see?

That whole fun, amazing, beautiful thing happened partially because we created a space where you could have a “yes, and…” improv environment, with people riffing off each other and without a few bad actors coming in and spoiling it. I believe we’ll see a lot of that stuff in the future. It actually keeps growing, too. What is the name of the posters put up in New York? Yesterday I saw a picture and now there are posters for Goncharov.

He’s goofing. He’s posting memes. You are very familiar with the community and the website. You are in it. Do you think it’s important for you, as the leader, to be consuming the service as a member of the audience? Because I think it cuts both ways.

It’s one hundred percent. There is a little bit where I do understand. My guess is that folks, like a Mark Zuckerberg, a Parag Agrawal [former Twitter CEO], or other leaders of social media, use the platforms a lot, but probably just under a secret account. They have an alt.


Democracy is Capitalism: How Smart Are Social Networks, Private Companies, and Machine Learning to Influence Us? A Reassessment and Analysis of the Role of Advertising in Social Media

You also need to be aware of your surroundings. My preferences are not what the entire community is told to do. I am super liberal in a lot of things. That is me. I will be open about that. I don’t say people who disagree with me aren’t welcome.

I think that there are two levels to this. One is under pressure. Advertisers say they disagree with xyz, and then they leave. They vote with their wallets, which they’re welcome to do. The market is a free market. It’s capitalism. That is the kind of expression of what it is.

I am not sure if I agree with that name and shame. I would call that more capitalist activism, which I think it behooves all of us to do. We should vote with our finances, support companies that agree with us, and not spend money with companies that don’t. There’s a second level though that I think is just inherent to the business model, which I talked about with surveillance capitalism earlier. Sorry, I’m blanking on the name of the author who wrote the book on this.

The intersection of that and democracy is something I think we’re grappling with. If democracy says that free, informed citizens are able to vote on people and vote on how they’re governed, I like that model. I think social networks and private companies miss the point of a social contract and morality that we can all agree to as participants in the system. You don’t have to vote for the leaders of Facebook.

As personalization, targeting, and machine learning and AI become so good, technology’s ability to influence you becomes amazing. Today, we are seeing this. How good is the TikTok algorithm? Is it good to advertise on the photo sharing website, social media platform, and popular app, IG. “Gosh, they know me so well. I buy a lot of things on the photo sharing site. They’ve got me dialed in.” That being applied to political influence is playing off in both sanctioned and unsanctioned ways. China, Iran, Russia are using our open society to influence Americans. It’s the whole thing.

It was easier to hack the voting machines because of the good story, but it was not something we wanted to do.

We were all worried about hacking the voting machines because that was a good story, but it’s way easier to just hack the people and influence the voters. The voting machines are fine, just influence the voters. Every election it happens. We know this for a fact. It isn’t a conspiracy. How do we protect and inoculate society against that, when the business models of these networks are designed around the engagements and the influence, essentially?


Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, and the Age of Scaling and Ad Play on Social – Does Matt Mullenweg Need You to Measure Your Brand Safety?

It makes sense to not be reliant on advertising and that is what Matt has figured out for Tumblr. I don’t know if it’s for that reason, but there’s also this element where the scaled ad play on social is kind of over. Meta is working on paid products for it’s apps. I don’t believe the newer social companies are focused on a scaled ad play. I believe we are past that era.

The companies still have to pay those bills, though. They have to pay for the network, as well as build the data centers. Advertisers subsidize that cost because it is a real cost.

Especially when the advertisers are saying you have to keep moderating as much as you have been, and your entire stated purpose of buying the thing is to moderate less. There is a lot of tension there, I think. As the CEO of Tumblr who is trying to build an advertising business, do you explicitly hear from big companies, “We need you to measure your brand safety before we show up and give you money”?


Where are you going? Where do you think moderation belongs in the stack? A note on Ben Thompson’s “A Framework for Moderation”

The telecom companies are worse for everything than the tech companies are. With Comcast, you can effectively target a set of three or four houses and serve cable ads to just them, and then track that. Your financial data will be shared by banks and credit card companies, and they will correlate that with your spend in the store. The amount of tracking is insane. The amount of data shared is where governance needs to step in, because capitalism is not self-regulating well there.

To wrap this up, I want to ask where you specifically think moderation belongs in the stack. I’ll draw the distinction between, WordPress VIP that you have for enterprise customers where you host WordPress for them, and Tumblr. There is this idea that the closer you are to the pipes of the internet, the less moderating you should do. So Comcast and AT&T should not look at the bits that are going across their network. Cloudflare maybe shouldn’t, right? They are an infrastructure provider that rides on top of those rails. AWS has a set of policies, like they won’t host white supremacist sites, but that’s basically it. That is the whole line.

It’s true. I think you summarized it really well. Ben Thompson wrote a book titled “A Framework for Moderation.” I really liked how he laid it out. You want to give the governments a say on what should be allowed or not, instead of companies making their own decisions. Governments have checks and balances. We have courts, we have elections, we have all these things that say we should have a feedback mechanism as part of society, for these rules and for what should be allowed to exist or not.

Do you think the US government should be involved? It’s clear that everyone wants someone else to solve this problem or make the decisions. The most likely set of actors that would do that are government officials, and they shouldn’t. Especially in this country, they should not make those rules. The First Amendment does not say that speech regulations should be made. I am like, my frustration…

Basically everyone, I think this is the problem. The government should set some rules according to your stance on the First Amendment.

That’s a line of dicta from a case that was overturned. Everyone points at it, but

there’s no law against shouting “fire” in a crowded theater


Voluntary and vitiated manslaughter laws exist if you are causing harm. There are laws around hate speech. We have laws around certain types of crimes.

Yes, definitely. You murdered someone, but you have gotten all the way to that. There’s no law against hate speech. You can just say that people of other races are bad. You can just do it.

Yes, in other countries. In this country, most people would rather the government make some rules than anything else and almost every instance I was given was not actually a rule. The Brandenburg case changed the law so that you can’t yell “fire” in a crowded theater. You can shout “fire” in a crowded theater all you want, you are not going to cause imminent lawless action. You’re just going to get people to get the hell out. So that’s what I mean.

Germany is a good example. Germany has decided that since there is a history ofNazi behavior, they will take a firm stance against them than the US does. Great, as a society they have decided that. That might not stay the same over time.

The US has had tons of horrible laws in its history, maybe more bad ones than good ones. Those will evolve over time. Perhaps even the First Amendment needs to evolve over time, but how would we change that? states would need to approve a new amendment. There’s a really high bar for changing these things.


The Slowness of Government can be a Good Effort in the Next Millennium: Beto O’Rourke and the Cult of the Dead Cow

That is a good thing. I think that sometimes the slowness of government can be an advantage, because hopefully that deliberation can help forge a better outcome. It is not a good example of that right now with the way they fight, but ideally they reach a middle. Companies don’t do that. Companies trying to do content moderation are attempting to recreate government in a private sector which is not accountable, lacks feedback mechanisms, and lacks courts. It is a weird system.

So yes, I kind of do wish that governments had clearer and better laws around this. I also agree that when they have tried to wade into this, there have been some terrible outcomes, like FOSTA/SESTA. I am hopeful that the next generation of leaders will regulate this stuff in a more positive way than the government has been able to. They are digital natives. Gosh, Beto O’Rourke used to be a hacker. He was part of Cult of the Dead Cow. I spoke to him, and he was like, “I used to be a web designer.”


The Right People, the Right People: How Do We Live, and How Are We Going to Act? Why I’m So Glad to Help

I know that others are coming up who can. We definitely have an issue where people are holding onto power for a really long time, since the ‘70s or ‘80s. We don’t have anything like this in history. As that starts to shift, I think that we’ll start to see a more dynamic republic. At least that’s what I’m hoping for. That is the person that I am donating to and the person I am voting for. As a citizen, I’m trying to advocate for more of that.

I don’t want to be removed from the responsibility or the pressure. I think that the responsibility and power put on me and our team is beyond what is warranted by the social contract in our society or from our users. I think there is a better system for this.


TikTok – a journalist’s view of government speech laws in Germany. How many are hacks in the country? What do they think?

I am terrified of government speech regulations. It’s my open bias as a journalist. I think they’re bad on their face. I see them in places where they work. Germany has a long, tortured history. They are still difficult in that country. I think from a distance, that it seems pretty good. From the perspective of many people in Germany, this is more complicated than you think.

TikTok does not incentivize you to make text posts. They don’t want to be on its platform. It incentivizes videos. It is fascinating to think about how many of them are hacks. The platform itself is not geared to make you post text. It is meant to make you post videos. That is a content moderation, I think. The users have done something other than using that platform.


Why is WordPress so big? Why do we care about the Macroscopic Files in Blogosphere? What do we know about the New York Post and Hunter Biden laptop stories?

Is this as big a deal as we made it out to be? All of the issues we have discussed have been discussed in public. It is my opinion that only 100 percent of the time in content moderation you make mistakes.

You do. It is humans. Humans will make mistakes. It’s how you correct the mistakes that really matters. The Hunter Biden laptop stuff that is now the Twitter files is a lot of the stories we are at the center of. The New York Post story was taken off of the social network’s website. Guess who hosts the New York Post? We do.

I was interested in hearing Matt talk about the Hunter Biden laptop story. I didn’t know they hosted the New York Post, but that they even debated potentially pulling that… We don’t really understand the impact of where you sit on the stack and the content decisions you make. The power that a company like WPK could have was even more apparent than taking down a story on social media.

Wait. So WordPress VIP hosts the New York Post. There was a meeting to decide whether to take down the New York Post links after the Biden laptop story was published.

There was a discussion. Absolutely. There is always a discussion and there are reports. People contact us saying, “Take this down,” or, “This is violating your policy.” The policies are just the beginning. The interpretation of the policies is where the science and art are.

We’ll make mistakes as well. We’ve accidentally taken down blogs, either by some script that went wrong, or by a human who clicked the wrong button or made a mistake interpreting our policies. It’s all about how you fix it.


Does Donald Trump have a platform? Is it still working, or is it still a victim? The phenomenology of the right and the left

I think we’re in a weird period where particularly the right in America is incentivized to say that there’s a huge censorship problem or that they’re being suppressed. Donald Trump was the leader of the free world and the most powerful person in the U.S., but he was also a victim. I am amazed that this is still working, but is the problem actually there? Does he actually not have a platform? Is there not a robust discussion around the Hunter Biden laptop? Are there any articles, testimonies, or anything else?

Maybe we just need to say that this is actually working right now, and perhaps we should question the framing that there’s something fundamentally broken or wrong here in the first place. The current system will make mistakes. It’s not perfect, but gets to correctness pretty quickly, usually within a matter of hours or days, not weeks or months.


Tweeting about Tumblr and Twitter: What advice does Musk need for him? How to keep an open mind, when new facts come to light

That is the perfect last question. For the last few years, you have done this. The social network you purchased made you buy it. You were a very good tech executive when you bought Tumblr. You were very successful with WordPress and all the other companies, so for you to say that this is the most humbling experience of your business career, I think that is very meaningful. You have now done it for three years. What is the best advice you have for Musk?

To keep an open mind, which I actually believe he will do. I think he can update his views when new facts come to light, even if I disagree with him. Over the past few weeks we have seen it happen on the social networking site. I fully expect him to end up where the rest of us are and where Twitter was prior to him. I wish he could have avoided a lot of pain along the way, but do you know the saying, “There are no atheists in foxholes”? I think that there are no free speech obsists who run social networks because they start to realize that the public square is messy and that they have to be responsible for the users and society.


How did Decoder boot Parler from the Apple Store? What have we learnt about Mac OS, what are we going to learn about Lon Musk, and what will we do next?

That is awesome. Well, Matt, obviously I could talk to you for hours and hours about this stuff. I am interested in the experience of running these companies so thank you for visiting Decoder. We’ll see if we can set a faster record for you to come on next time than we did this last year.

Now to put all this in context I’m joined by Verge deputy editor Alex Heath. He is going to show me how it is connected to Musk. Alex Heath, welcome to Decoder.

You have been reporting on social media and I wanted to speak to you. There are some things that you hear from Matt and some things that you hear from Musk on a daily basis.

When they also booted Parler from the Apple store, there were some leaked emails between Parler and Apple that were like, “You need to improve your moderation,” and it was very vague. That is the thing with Apple. These threats are always vague.

Source: The Project X: Turning Social Media into a Bank, Not a Tweet-Tumblr. Or, When Do People Want to Make Money?

Then there is what they are attempting to build towards. It is incredible how similar they are. They want to get away from a pure dependence on advertising, and they want to launch paid consumer products like Twitter Blue or tipping on Tumblr. Tumblr actually has fake verified badges, which is one of the funniest social media products in years.

What about the side of money that is paid? They’re all talking about payments. They want to be able to make you send money to other people on the network. It seems like, “What if a bunch of people are sending money around and we took cents out of every transaction?” It is the most boring product for a social network and I get why you are interested in that. I am not sure if I want to send money on 50 different platforms.

It depends. If you have a thriving creator system where creators are posting more content and asking for payment, maybe you do want to have money in the system. The original idea for was formulated in the early 1970s by Elon. He told employees in a meeting that PayPal was just the first step in what he wanted to do. He calls it “Project X” and wants to turn it into a bank. No one has done that successfully.


What are CEOs saying about the Apple/Apple relationship? A follow-up question for Tim Sweeney and what Apple wants to see in the future

This would be a follow-up question. Is there anything else? Is it, “Okay, I saw a good tweet, I’m going to kick a couple bucks towards the person who wrote the tweet”? I don’t know why I would do that, but it is the baseline.

Yeah, the Musk / Apple relationship right now appears to have played out as he tweeted angry things about Apple reducing its ad spend, in-app purchases, and free speech. He then went to the Apple campus and they had some sort of conversation. Musk told employees in a public space that Apple spend was all back up and he had stopped complaining about the 30 percent fee. He is just going to spend Apple’s ad dollars right back to Apple. That is pretty funny. The money is just moving in a circle.

I get the indication that every CEO knows that there’s a line, and that they are willing to walk right up to that line. The line for Matt is clearly farther than most other CEOs that I talk to. They don’t want to go over that line. Matt understands that Apple has a lot of power, they hold us up in reviews, and there are nipples on the website. They recreated a system to allow nudity on Tumblr by putting toggles on the web. They are like, “This complies with Apple.” He’s willing to talk about that. I don’t think he’s willing to go one step further because Apple can destroy his business.

Over and over again on this show, we discover the line of what CEOs are going to say about Apple. I think that is very interesting. I think it’s interesting that the line doesn’t exist for him.

I think what Elon has shown is that the conversation is shifting from, “Apple’s control is a business issue for everyone,” to, “It’s actually a speech issue.” Tim Sweeney and other CEOs are kind of piling on this. I think this is the next phase. You may have a problem that you need to fight even if it is just a PR stunt. I’m not sure Apple is equipped to engage with that level of attacking.

I believe they are ready for it. I think they will show you what the apps are like. They have bad things you don’t want your kids to see. We are in the middle and make sure your children don’t see it. If you want to view that material, use our web browser. I think that has fundamentally been their answer for a long time.

What Happens When You Stop Tweeting about the Jet: How Do You Wanna Be? Why shouldn’t we just wall it off? What should we do about it?

@ElonJet, an account run by college student Jack Sweeney that uses public flight-tracking data to tweet the location of the entrepreneur’s private jet, is at the heart of these policy changes. After taking control of the social networking service, Musk said that he would allow the account to stay online and that Sweeney had previously been offered money to take it down. The New York Times, The Washington Post and CNN are some of the organizations that have suspended reporters. Even links to Mastodon have been blocked, with Twitter identifying the site as “potentially harmful.”

He isn’t there right now. Unless it’s illegal, you can essentially say the most hate-filled thing on the site. Our job now is to not amplify it, to not suggest it in the timeline, and to basically corner that speech off to the follower graph of that account.

Right now their baseline for success is, “We are not amplifying hateful, racist, misogynistic tweets and we’re not putting them next to ads.” They want that, but it hasn’t happened yet. They will think they’re adhering to their “freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach” principle, and no platform has shown that that’s enough.

Who will be on a platform with bad people? That’s the weird part to me. It’s funny. To some extent, with overt racism, overt sexism, and overt transphobia — and Matt brought up the pro-ana community, which says, “anorexia is good” — on the whole, people are like, “Yeah, that stuff is bad.” There is a lot in the gray area. People don’t want to be on platforms where there is a lot of bad stuff. So if you need to grow the user base and have payments, don’t you need to do more than wall it off? Don’t you need to just make it go away?

You would think so, especially if your goal is to be the town square. It turns out that if you actually think about the digital representation of what an actual town square would look like, it’s not a good place to be. It’s everyone from the town in one square yelling at each other, which is what Twitter has already been. They have earnestly been trying to get rid of the worst voices in a way that seems measured based on the own internal correspondence that Elon has had his friends trying to disseminate with the Twitter files. Maybe that is the reason why the whole town square concept doesn’t work.

You said that the file have been passed on by the man. It is unclear how they are being generated. There are a lot of question marks there. They show well-meaning people debating difficult decisions and coming to some conclusions. Maybe you disagree with that entirely. Maybe you think they aren’t really that good. Even if you think it’s a shadowy liberal conspiracy, you can’t really disagree with, “Yeah, they’re talking about hard decisions and reaching a conclusion, while also talking about how to justify their conclusion.”

What Do Social Media Users Think about White Man’s Representation of Political and Non-Poetty Persons? “Nobody like me, but I won’t like to be the dictator”

Then there’s this concept of shadow banning and limiting your reach, and what you just described is exactly that. We will make sure you don’t show the content of your social media posts to anyone. They don’t like how you are racist and they’re going to limit you, so perhaps you’ll know. That is a very difficult kind of judgement. I don’t think that you can automate it. Are you sure how they will implement that?

No, and they don’t know. They hope to automate the worst of the worst, but there is more than that. There’s no platform that is doing this automated de-amplification of nuanced, potentially sarcastic but hateful speech at scale. I think it is very ironic that he is having cherry-picking files dumped that show them doing what he is saying is not freedom of speech.

I guess with the new Twitter 2.0, the hardcore Twitter, he’s trying to make a point that it will continue, but it won’t be politically motivated. I think that the people before were doing this because of their political leanings. There are some cringeworthy things that former Twitter executives have said about exposing their leanings in the way they did. It is the same thing. It’s like he’s saying, “I’m going to keep doing this, but you like me, so therefore it’s going to be okay.”

Once you’re the head of a social network, you’re the benevolent dictator, whether you want to be or not. I think the same thing could happen to Jack Dorsey, because he is like, “I will just be the dictator.”


What Happened When Hunter Biden, the Stackmaster, Discovered a Russian Operations on Twitter, and What Happens If They Did, Or Should They Have Done?

He tried not to be. Almost for the worse. He tried too hard not to be involved, and we are seeing that now. It is like, “Where was Jack?” That is a whole other thing.

The ramifications of where you sit in the stack and the content decisions you make aren’t considered by the culture.

It is important that we do more to peel back how these companies actually deliberate, either by almost doing it or not. The closest I can come to agreeing with the way the files are being handled is that. I agree with the core nut of that idea, but the way it’s being done is not great. Matt spoke about that and it shows we don’t really know about the conversations that happen on the internet.

It is important for everyone to remember that we are deep into it. You can just get Hunter Biden’s laptop if you want it. It is sold in the store by Apple. There was a time when no one understood the provenance of the laptop, and no one understood what was on it. It was mostly non-consensual nudes being shared, and people thought it was a Russian operation. The over-heatedness of that moment probably led to that conversation. It is also remarkable for the technical capability of that conversation to even exist.

We are still talking about it. I guess it’s because it’s such an uncomfortable thing that could have happened and did happen on Twitter. When something is very political we see it in the heat of the moment. We actually have these platforms that sit at various layers of the stack that have tremendous power to literally just wipe that off of the internet. What would happen if they actually do?


The Meltdown of Trump: What he said and tweeted about his time in office, and how he ended up in the newsroom

All right, this has been a fascinating episode. I’m curious to see how fast he can come back to basics of a social network. Matt’s a smart guy. Zuck is a very smart person and he arrived at the place that looked a lot like the place that was used to be on TWITTER. If the constraints are such that all these smart people sort of arrive at the same spot, I’m curious to see if Elon arrives at that same general position in the end.

Around the time Trump was inaugurated in 2017, I said to colleagues in the newsroom where I worked at the time that we shouldn’t cover everything he said or tweeted. Previously, a president’s every word was assumed to be a carefully chosen signal of future policy, and was reported as such. Trump, on the other hand, clearly said many things purely to get a rise out of people. Reporting on them, I argued, just fed the flames. An editor pushed back. He said that he was the president. “What he says is news.”

There were many rapid-response news stories about Musk taking a jab at the former chief infectious disease expert as well as at gender diversity. There is a picture of his bedside table with two replica guns on it, and there is more about his post about the right-wing meme of the same name.

This is precisely the way coverage of Trump worked. The liberal-leaning media were drawn to stories about the fact that he was clearly not fit to run for president and that he would only succeed in bringing the country down in flames. There was plenty of good reporting going on at the same time, but these polarizing accounts tended to dominate the conversation. The losers were the public, whose understanding of what was actually happening across the country was forced through incompatible narratives around the behavior of one unhinged man in the White House.

The suspension of the elonjet account of Paul Sweeney, a billionaire investor and Musk’s travels on Twitter

Paul Graham, a prominent venture capitalist and Musk fan, told his 1.5 million followers that this was the last straw and that he had to find him on Mastodon. His Twitter account was promptly suspended, and soon after restored as Musk promised to reverse the policy implemented just hours earlier.

Sweeney ran similar “bot” accounts tracking other celebrities’ airplanes. The accounts that tracked private jets used by billionaires Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg were all live on the internet for hours after the suspension of the elonjet account.

He immediately filed an online form to appeal the suspension. His personal account was also suspended due to rules against platform manipulation and spam.

And then hours later, the flight-tracking account was back again, before it was shut down anew. A policy team for the company sought to explain new rules on Wednesday.

Musk said that any account that doesxing location info of anyone will be suspended as it is a physical safety violation. “This includes posting links to sites with real-time location info. Someone traveling on a slightly delayed basis doesn’t mean the posting of their location is a safety issue.

A request for a comment was not responded to. Musk has promised to eradicate automatically generated spam from the platform, but Twitter allows automated accounts that are labeled as such — as Sweeney’s were.

The @elonjet account has chronicled Musk’s cross-country journeys since he took over at the helm of the company, from his home base near Austin, Texas to various California airports for his work.

It showed Musk flying to East Coast cities ahead of major events, and to New Orleans shortly before a Dec. 3 meeting there with French President Emmanuel Macron.

In a January post pinned to the top of the jet-tracking account’s feed before it was suspended, Sweeney wrote that it “has every right to post jet whereabouts” because the data is public and “every aircraft in the world is required to have a transponder,” including Air Force One that transports the U.S. president.

The bans also raise a number of serious questions about the future of the free press on Twitter, a platform that has been referred to as a digital town square. Will news and media organizations remain on the platform, while Musk hastily bans their reporters without explanation? Will their reporters be pulled? Do you know their content? And what will major advertisers such as Apple and Amazon do?

Those words ring very empty today. As Harwell told me, “Elon says he is a free speech champion and he is banning journalists for exercising free speech. I think that calls into question his commitment.”

An associate professor of the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication at Hofstra University wrote about issues affecting women and social media. Her book “This Feed Is on Fire: Why Social Media Is Toxic for Women and Girls — And How We Can Reclaim It” will be published by Alcove Press in 2024. The opinions expressed in this commentary are her own. Read more opinion on CNN.

Musk’s latest power moves are nothing short of dangerous. Recently unemployed tech and journalism workers should take them as a rallying call to unite to create new, healthier online spaces. Our dependence on a mysterious czar to set the terms of our public debates is the only thing we have to lose.

Musk tweeted late Friday that the company would lift the suspensions following the results of a public poll on the site. The percentage of people who favored unsuspend accounts was over 50 percent, while those who did not said the suspension should be lifted in seven days.

Most of the accounts were back early Saturday. Business Insider’s Linette Lopez was suspended after the other journalists with no explanation, she told The Associated Press.

Do journalists get their doses of Twitter? The story of O’Sullivan, Binder, Mashable, Facebook and the Spaces conference kicked off

The move sets “a dangerous precedent at a time when journalists all over the world are facing censorship, physical threats and even worse,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

The banned platforms included mainstream websites such as Facebook and Instagram, and upstart rivals Mastodon, Tribel, Nostr, Post and former President Donald Trump’s Truth Social. Twitter gave no explanation for why the blacklist included those seven websites but not others such as Parler, TikTok or LinkedIn.

Sally Buzbee, the executive editor of the Washington Post, said that Drew Harwell was not allowed to work for the newspaper after accurate reporting about Musk.

CNN said that the suspension of a number of reporters including CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan is concerning but not surprising.

Another suspended journalist, Matt Binder of the technology news outlet Mashable, said he was banned Thursday night immediately after sharing a screenshot that O’Sullivan had posted before his own suspension.

The screenshot showed a statement from the Los Angeles Police Department sent earlier Thursday to multiple media outlets, including the AP, about how it was in touch with Musk’s representatives about the alleged stalking incident.

The old regime atTwitter was governed by its own biases, and it sure seems as if the new regime has the same problem, she said.

If the suspensions lead to the exodus of media organizations that are highly active on Twitter, the platform would be changed at the fundamental level, said Lou Paskalis, longtime marketing and media executive and former Bank of America head of global media.

CBS briefly shut down its activity on Twitter in November due to “uncertainty” about new management, but media organizations have largely remained on the platform.

“We know there are news breaks on Facebook and other sites, but we are going to now go after journalists for seeing at the main tent pole of the social networking site,” he said. “Driving journalists off Twitter is the biggest self-inflicted wound I can think of.”

The suspensions may be the biggest red flag yet for advertisers, Paskalis said, some of which had already cut their spending on Twitter over uncertainty about the direction Musk is taking the platform.

Shortly after Musk signed out of a session at which he was being questioned about the ousting of the reporters, the Spaces conference chat went down. Musk had said that Spaces was offline to deal with a bug. Late Friday, Spaces returned.

Insights from Musk on Twitter: ‘Should I Step Down?’ The Billionaire After his Takeover of Twitter

Twitter rival Mastodon has grown eight times its size in a matter of weeks, going from approximately 300,000 users in October to 2.5 million in November, according to a blog post by the platform’s founder, Eugen Rochko.

After Musk received broad blowback for suspending the Twitter accounts of several journalists, the billionaire took to his platform Sunday to pose a question: “Should I step down as head of Twitter? I will abide by the results of this poll.”

Replying to a tweet Sunday, in which MIT artificial intelligence researcher Lex Fridman said he would take the CEO job, Musk hinted he hasn’t been completely happy with his new gig.

Musk just needs more attention from his captive audience, with a promise that there will be votes about major policy changes in the future.

It’s right and timely that his time as the CEO ended the same way as his tenure as the company’s founder started: with a poll.

Musk has sold billions of dollars worth of Tesla stock, most likely to pay for his purchase of Twitter. Over the past week, that has sent the stock of the company down. But Tesla shares were up 5% in premarket trading after the poll results were revealed.

More than 17 million votes were cast in the informal referendum on his chaotic leadership of Twitter, which has been marked by mass layoffs, the replatforming of suspended accounts that had violated Twitter’s rules, the suspension of journalists who cover him and whiplash policy changes made and reversed in real time.

Why Should CEOs of Social Media Companies Be? An Investment Perspective on Musk, Tesla, and Other Silicon Valley Founders: An Analysis with Rusch and Horowitz

Twitter announced a new policy on Sunday that took many users aback: It said tweets including links to other social media sites would no longer be allowed, calling such posts “free promotion.”

Theconsistent standards application forTwitter users has created a broad public backlash against Musk that will in turn hurt the company, said Rusch.

The attempt to block competitors was Musk’s latest effort to crack down on certain speech, after he shut down a private jet tracking account last week.

Rusch added that Musk’s behavior over the past few months as “chief Twit” has created “brand public backlash” that could tarnish Tesla’s brand image — particularly with key consumer groups.

Oppenheimer specifically cited Twitter’s decision last week to ban several journalists, including CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan, as a catalyst for the downgrade.

Ross Gerber, a shareholder in both Musk’s companies, said over the weekend that he hopes Musk finds a CEO for the company in the first quarter of 2020.

Calacanis, who was a reporter during the dot com boom, is an early-stage investor who has backed well-known companies. He has also launched several media properties and hosts two podcasts (one in partnership with Sacks).

Calacanis questioned who the most miserable job would be in tech and media. Who is insane to run a social network? Calacanis asked his followers on the social networking site if he or Sacks should run the company separately or together, or if someone else should take over. There was a majority vote for “other.”

Sacks, who along with Musk was among the original founding team at PayPal, has at least some experience managing a social network. He founded and sold Yammer to Microsoft for more than a billion dollars.

On paper, Krishnan may be the most obvious choice of the group. He has direct experience working on the Twitter product, having previously helped manage the teams responsible for features of the platform such as search and the home timeline. He also previously worked on mobile ad products for Snap and Facebook.

More recently, he has invested in crypto startups at Andreessen Horowitz, which could give him experience helpful to fulfill Musk’s goal of building payment capabilities for Twitter and making it more than just a social media app.

Krishnan is arguably the least well-known — and therefore perhaps the least controversial — of Musk’s current Twitter leadership team, which could help deflect some of the recent negative attention the company has received.

Some people like to speculate about other possible leaders for the social media company like Donald Trump’s son-in-law, and his business partner, Musk.

Kushner is friendly with the Saudi Royal Family, one of Twitter’s largest investors. Prior to working as an advisor in Trump’s White House, Kushner worked for his family’s real estate development company, and last year he said he would leave politics and start an investment firm. Kushner also previously owned the weekly New York newspaper, the New York Observer.

The Elephant in the Room: The Bugger Attack on Billionaire Wall Street Chains and General-Purpose Software Platforms During the Musk Era

By now, many had expected Musk to address the elephant in the room following his rapid decisions after previous polls. He has not. In fact, Musk spent most of Monday conspicuously quiet, refraining from tweeting for a remarkable 18-hour period.

In the field of information security, there’s a kind of vulnerability known as the evil maid attack whereby an untrusted party gains physical access to important hardware, such as the housekeeping staff coming into your hotel room when you’ve left your laptop unattended, thereby compromising it. We have here a new analog, just as capable of wrecking systems and leaking data. If you want to call it the billionaire attack, so be it. The weapon is money, and more specifically, the likelihood that when the moment arrives you won’t have enough of it to make a difference. A call is being made inside the house.

The reason this strategy works is that most ideas of any consequence are owned by people with more money than you, and then whenever possible they string them together into a network with the specific intent of making the gravity inescapable. Founders and investors and excitable technology writers like myself frequently use the term “platform” to describe technical systems with granular components that can be used to compose new functionality, and the power sources propelling the technology industry find platforms particularly appealing when the bits can be monetized each time they are used.

The problem is fought on the deepest level possible. It would be difficult enough for Musk to kill off a chain if a few users objected, but it would be even harder if a lot of users objected. The risk of losing access is infinitesimal, because thechain is its own app. This comes with different complications, of course, but losing information outright due to a hostile party is not one of them. For example, when the Hic et Nunc marketplace for NFTs went under in late 2021, another version relaunched, putting a new wrapper around the same content. Interoperability is almost like organic self-defense because of the nature of the shared resource.

Or consider the case of WordPress, the early blogging engine that has since grown into increasingly elaborate general-purpose content management software. It now powers about 40 percent of the open web, with which it is loosely synonymous. There is a huge economy surrounding it, many of them are in the business of helping companies with websites, developers, and developers who work for them. This can happen because the core is open source and encourages the same things. WordPress has been around for a long time and its straightforward RSS feeds decisively lost out to Twitter’s social features, so in 2022 there is a reasonable argument that it is a bit long in the tooth. It is a bigger technical success than it is known for, due to the fact that it is not at risk.

“We are excited to see Mastodon grow and become a household name in newsrooms across the world, and we are committed to continuing to improve our software to face up to new challenges that come with rapid growth and increasing demand,” Rochko wrote.

Mastodon’s app was at number 8 on the free social networking apps on the Play Store and at number 11 on the Apple app store as of Tuesday morning. There are over a hundred third-party apps for Mastodon, which is a decentralized social network.

Comments on Elon Musk’s Twitter Power and the Impact of Twitter’s Social Media Users’ Reply to the Covid-19 Disagreement

In the blog post, which reflect the Mastodon founder’s first remarks since the link ban, Rochko highlighted Musk’s significant power as owner and CEO of Twitter.

Centralized platforms have the power to impose arbitrary and unfair limits on what you can say while holding your social graph hostage.

Free Press is a media and technology justice advocacy organization that has an Editor’s Note written about their director of digital justice and civil rights. Free Press is a founding member of the coalition. Her opinions are her own in this commentary. You can express your opinion on CNN.

Free Press agrees that Musk must step aside. One of the main things the CEO needs to do is to make sure that the health and safety of its users is taken care of before one of the most egotistical and unpredictable billionaires in the world can take over.

His amnesty to previously suspended accounts has given us the return of neo-Nazis like Andrew Anglin, right-wing activists like Laura Loomer and other figures who have spread hate to millions of followers.

With regard to reversals, Twitter’s potential new leadership needs to undo its decision to allow Covid-19 misinformation and disinformation to spread unchecked across the social network. The pay-to-play blue checkmark feature, whichallows verified users to post longer videos and have their content prioritised at the top of replies, mentions and searches, needs to be retired. And they must cease Musk’s “general amnesty” plan on accounts that were suspended before he took over.

When Elon Musk polled Twitter users about whether to reinstate former President Donald Trump’s account, he quickly followed through on the majority’s wish to do so. He pronounced it in Latin, for the voice of the people is the voice of God.

Likewise, when Twitter users voted on another of his polls to provide “general amnesty to suspended accounts,” he went ahead and did it. He also accepted the users’ votes to restore the accounts of tech journalists who he suspended on Friday.

While it’s unclear how he would restrict voting to only those who pay for the company’s subscription service, such a change could dramatically reduce the number of Twitter users who could vote in polls. It would also skew those who can vote to the users who are willing to pay up for Twitter Blue, which includes the controversial paid verification feature Musk pushed to introduce. Musk and his Monday statement prompted comparisons to poll taxes.

Over a matter of days, Twitter launched, and then was forced to un-launch, a paid verification feature that was instantly manipulated by satirical accounts impersonating verified major brands, athletes and other public figures on the platform.

Others who backed Musk’s attempt to run a micro-publishing company are upset about the decision. The policy is the final straw according to venture capitalist Paul Graham. I give up.”

Mr. Musk was questioning the quality of anyone applying for the role. Beyond the “foolish” crack in Tuesday’s tweet, he previously wrote, “Those who want power are the ones who least deserve it.”

I forgive you for coming back to it, but for those of us who have stopped using laptops, let me ask: What happened last weekend?

I’m fortunate to know a lot of creatives, journalists, and tech workers. When I woke up on Sunday to the news, it was delivered to me by tweets from artists terrified they’d be banned from Twitter for linking to their own portfolios and to platforms where they accept commissions for their artwork. I read horror stories from authors who were terrified that the Linktrees their publishers asked them to create to promote their books, reviews, and Goodreads profiles were suddenly bannable offenses on Twitter.

What was essentially a small online riot ensued, with Twitter users from all corners decrying the new policy. Within hours, not only had the company backtracked, but all mentions of the less-than-day-old policy had been scrubbed from Twitter feeds and the company website. It took a lot of time for anyone to see it. If you know what I mean, I wouldn’t say you missed it.

My friends on Twitch interrupted their streams to discuss the news, worried that they wouldn’t be able to tweet to announce they were starting a new stream, or add a link to their Twitter bio to help viewers find them. All of these things created the potential for lost income for people who, I would argue, need it more than the folks who made these policy decisions. Everyone in Silicon Valley claims to want to foster and empower the type of disruptive entrepreneurial spirit that these creators have.

The Mastodon Effect: How to Decide if Twitter is In Crisis (Review by Calore, C.C.E.A.D. )

Michael Calore: That’s the most terrifying thing about this story is the fact that in the six or seven or eight days between now and the time that this episode airs, absolutely anything could happen.

It’s time to get things done as 2023 arrives. Consider it a deadline for those of us who’ve been dithering: Twitter is in crisis, and each user must decide their own course of action.

Why would anyone do this? You may feel the sunk cost of investing so many years building your followers, lists, and reputation on the platform is too much to let go. You may still see things that make you smile and feel good on the platform. You may be insulated from many of the bad things happening on the rest of the internet if you have carefully selected the list of people you follow. Maybe the chaos hasn’t hurt your experience, and you only dip in and out. Maybe you don’t care about what’s happening outside of your own Twitter account.

Mastodon has gotten the lion’s share of attention as alternatives to Twitter have entered the conversation. It launched in 2016 and has a familiar format and feel that doesn’t seem foreign to longtime Twitter users. The character-count limit of 500 is higher than Twitter’s, and there are lots of ways to post images, sound, animations, links, and polls. Unlike on Twitter, you can edit posts, but old versions of the posts are still visible to others, and if your edited post was reposted, others will be made aware of your edits. Mastodon also has a useful content warning feature that allows you to warn followers about sensitive or triggering information in a post.

Because different server instances can be tailored to specific interests or types of communities, you may be able to find people with similar interests and feel welcome more quickly than you would on other social networks. There are tools that help connect users who came over from a micro-blogging site.


How Popular is Mastodon? Musk’s Twitter Followers and Facebook Followers are Bounded on View Counts, but Not Reply or Like

Because of its decentralized nature, all of Mastodon’s users aren’t on one server; instead they’re spread across different communities, and new users must choose where they want to start. It could be an obstacle to start if you’re indecisive.

Mastodon has no official verification process because of it’s nature. Users can get links to home pages automatically verified, but not their Mastodon profile itself.

Musk invited a group of people into a room at the company’s headquarters to look for answers. The engagement numbers are tanking.

Several sources have direct knowledge of the meeting, and he said this was ridiculous. I have more than 100 million followers, and I am only getting tens of thousands of impressions.

Employees showed Musk internal data regarding engagement with his account along with a Google Trends chart. They said that Musk was at his most popular in search rankings because of a score of 100. He has a score of nine. Engineers looked into the possibility that Musk’s reach was artificially restricted but found no evidence of bias against him.

It has now been seven weeks since Twitter added public view counts for every tweet. At the time, Musk promised that the feature would give the world a better sense of how vibrant the platform is.

He said that over 75% of users read, but not reply or like, and that those are public actions.

The Twitter Scenario: One Employee Says: “I’m all gonna make Sense of this,” “I don’t know,” “What do you think?”

One employee said that they hadn’t seen much in the way of cogent strategy. Most of our time is devoted to three areas: putting out fires caused by firing the wrong people, performing impossible tasks, and improving efficiency without clear guidelines of what the expected end results are. We mostly move from dumpster fire to dumpster fire.

“There’s times he’s just awake late at night and says all sorts of things that don’t make sense,” one employee said. “And then he’ll come to us and be like, ‘this one person says they can’t do this one thing on the platform,’ and then we have to run around chasing some outlier use case for one person. It doesn’t make sense.

The San Francisco headquarters, whose landlord has sued Twitter for nonpayment of rent, has a melancholy air. The standard greeting when passing each other in the halls is “where are you interviewing?” and “where do you have offers?” Employees have to reserve beds in advance on the eighth floor.

Slack — once the epicenter of Twitter’s open culture, where employees discussed anything and everything — has gone dormant. The current employee said that it was a ghost town.

“When you’re asked a question, you run it through your head and say ‘what is the least fireable response I can have to this right now?’” one employee explained.

(Of course, that’s not true for everyone at the company. A person says that there are some people who are just ass-kissers and brown-nosers who are trying to use the clear vacuum to their advantage.

The employee stated that the terrible relaunch of Twitter Blue resulted in many brands being impersonated and top advertisers leaving the platform.

At the same time, “he really doesn’t like to believe that there is anything in technology that he doesn’t know, and that’s frustrating,” the employee said. “You can’t be the smartest person in the room about everything, all the time.”

“I do think the recent vibe overall in tech, and fear of not being able to find something else, is the primary factor for most folks,” an employee said. “I know for a fact that most of my team is doing hardcore interview prep and would jump at likely any opportunity to walk away.”


Twitter’s response to the FOIA report on recent privacy and security measures vs. new forensic standards in the 21st century

There is also a sense of unease about how recent changes will be reviewed by regulators. As part of an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission, Twitter committed to following a series of steps before pushing out changes, including creating a project proposal and conducting security and privacy reviews.

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