Elon Musk, the Skinner Box: What’s Happening in Twitter? Employees at the Linear Collider Room (the Story of Musk and the New Deal)
On Thursday, Elon Musk’s ownership of Twitter entered a terrifying new phase when he began wielding his power to censor the press. The Twitter accounts of several journalists who have covered Musk critically recently — in other words, done their jobs — were suspended.
But more than professional utility ties me to the site. Twitter hooks people in much the same way slot machines do, with what experts call an “intermittent reinforcement schedule.” Most of the time, it’s repetitive and uninteresting, but occasionally, at random intervals, some compelling nugget will appear. Unpredictable rewards, as the behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner found with his research on rats and pigeons, are particularly good at generating compulsive behavior.
A cultural anthropologist from New York University said she wasn’t aware that engineering people for the social networking service would ever say that they were creating a Skinner box. But that, she said, is essentially what they’ve built. It’s one reason people who should know better regularly self-destruct on the site — they can’t stay away.
Musk spoke to his team late Sunday night. Eighty people were pulled in to work on the project and it became priority number one at the company. Employees worked through the night investigating various hypotheses about why Musk’s tweets weren’t reaching as many people as he thought they should and testing out possible solutions.
The absence of Parag Argawal, who Musk soured on after the two first started talking about Musk joining the board, has been noted by many employees. The current employee who requested anonymity said that he has been completely absent for weeks. “He has ghosted us,” said another. According to a leaked picture, there are lots of comments about Argawal in both Blind and Slack.
Elon Musk has taken control of Twitter and ousted the CEO, chief financial officer and the company’s top lawyer, two people familiar with the deal said Thursday night.
Comments on Musk’s Twitter Bidding Against Agrawal: An Outburst from the Silicon Valley and the Impact on Free Speech Rights on Twitter
The departures come just hours before a deadline set by a Delaware judge to finalize the deal on Friday. If there wasn’t an agreement, she would schedule a trial.
The changes that came quickly had been anticipated and are likely to be the start of many changes that the CEO will make.
According to court filings, Musk clashed with Agrawal in April before deciding to make a bid for the company.
He used social media to criticize the company’s top lawyer. His tweets were followed by a wave of harassment of Gadde from other Twitter accounts. For Gadde, an 11-year Twitter employee who also heads public policy and safety, the harassment included racist and misogynistic attacks, in addition to calls for Musk to fire her. The harassing messages lit up again on Thursday after she was fired.
The message appeared to address the concerns of advertisers that Musk’s plans to promote free speech by cutting back on content will cause more online toxicity and drive away users.
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.”
The note is a change in Musk’s position about free speech rights being unfairly affected by blocking misinformation on the platform, according to Yildirim.
“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.
Yildirim said that the platform takes no responsibility and that it does not want consumers to simply be bombarded with things they don’t want to hear about.
Why Musk hasn’t Heard of Twitter: The New York Stock Exchange Takes the Business Off of the Ad-Development Regime
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.
Top sales executive Sarah Personette, the company’s chief customer officer, said she had a “great discussion” with Musk on Wednesday and appeared to endorse 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.
The weakened economy, months of uncertainty surrounding Musk’s proposed takeover, and the fact that there’s more than one consumer are reasons why Musk doesn’t wish to shake upTwitter’s ad business.
A version of this article first appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter. Sign up for the daily digest chronicling the evolving media landscape here.
Musk has chosen to communicate through unconventional means, like Trump, instead of using conventional means. For example, Musk disclosed that “the whole verification process is being revamped” in a random reply message to a photographer. Normally, such an announcement would be rolled out in a highly choreographed manner.
In fact, not only has Musk himself contaminated the information environment he now reigns over, but he is apparently working to dismantle the little infrastructure erected to help users sift through the daily chaos. Recent news reports, including from CNN, indicate that he plans to strip public figures and institutions of their blue verified badges if they do not pay.
A business story might include charging for verified badges. The move will have consequences on the information landscape. It will make it hard for users to distinguish between authentic and inauthentic accounts.
The right has for years lashed out at “blue checks,” whom in their eyes represent elitist gatekeepers who control the conversation, even though many conservatives also don blue badges. Taking away those free blue checks, and the air of authority they give upon the profile they are appended to, will certainly delight some conservatives.
On Musk’s Twitter Paywall (and How to Tell the Managers that You Won’t Kryptonize), or Does Isaacson Really Wanna Knew?
Musk’s authorized biographer, Walter Isaacson, tweeted in 2018 that “the best thing” one could do to “save social networks, the internet, civil discourse, democracy, email, and reduce hacking would be authenticating users.”
Musk’s erratic leadership, coupled with his habit of retweeted in bad taste gave many current and former employees a sinking feeling about the future of their company.
Friday’s layoffs had been brutal for all involved, including those involved in planning them — many of whom themselves lost their jobs. While the process varied by team, some managers were asked to submit to Musk’s team two sentences about all of their direct reports: one sentence explaining what the employee did, and one sentence justifying their continued employment at Twitter.
Managers agonized over the decisions, and jockeyed with their peers in an effort to preserve employment for the most vulnerable among them: pregnant women, employees who have cancer, and workers on visas among them, a former employee told me.
Several teams were wiped out completely, as they were cut more than others. As it turned out, though, the company went too far. As I was first to report on Saturday, managers were being told to ask laid-off employees if they wanted to return to their old jobs.
It began as a rumor on Blind, the app where employees of various companies can chat anonymously with their coworkers. But within a day it was being posted in public Slack channels.
Why did Musk and Musk reappear? Returning Engineers, Designers and Software Engineers: An Employees’ Perspective in the Era of Platformer
“Sorry to @- everybody on the weekend but I wanted to pass along that we have the opportunity to ask folks that were left off if they will come back. I need to put together names and rationales by 4 PM PST on Sunday,” one such message from a manager to employees read. “I’ll do some research but if any of you have been in contact with folks who might come back and who we think will help us, please nominate before 4.”
The manager said that they might use some help with the mobile devices. Engineers and designers have been reached out by the company in an effort to return them, according to Platformer.
Some employees are worried that if they can’t return on their own, the company will formally lay them off. Under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, businesses with more than 100 full-time employees are required to give 60 days notice if they lay off 33 percent or more of the staff. At Twitter, that notice included a promise to pay people for the next 60 days and give them a month of severance.
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.
Meanwhile, remaining managers are bracing themselves for a much higher workload than they were previously used to. One person I spoke with was told that any technical manager should expect to manage at least 20 individual contributors, while also spending at least half their time writing code. Others have been given more direct reports.
One employee told me that two teams are doing 20-hour days on his pet projects. “But the majority of the company is kind of just sitting around. In many cases no organization chart, no hierarchy of authority, and in some cases no idea who your manager is.
What are employees saying about Musk, Sacks, and the future of the Silicon Valley? An employee opinion piece from Musk and Palihapitiya
To learn what they are supposed to do, employees looked to some unusual sources. Musk banned anyone who impersonated someone else without warning after a number of famous people began to do so. I was told by someone in the policy team that Musk had made a decision, and that some employees were talking about how to implement it.
One former employee said that the health team was told to listen to David Sacks’ weekly show for insights on why half their colleagues had left them. Sacks, a venture capitalist who has been helping to manage the Musk transition, co-hosts the “All-In” podcast with fellow Twitter adviser Jason Calacanis and VC Chamath Palihapitiya.
“The most recent podcast covers the current layoffs happening across tech and provides some insight into why this is happening/necessary,” a vice president told employees. It’s worth it to understand the macro environment we are operating in.
The health benefits have become a question mark due to the interest most employees have in them. 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. There were several questions about benefits that went unanswered by management.
By the day’s end, I’m told, at least some teams had began to hold meetings in which employees were informed who their managers are, what their organization charts look like, and what their priorities will be.
The company is telling advertisers that it is thriving, even though it has been adding a lot of users since the beginning of the year.
But the new Blue likely faces larger problems. Platformer has learned that the existing version only had 100,000 active subscribers. The new version will be more expensive and the value of the platform seems unclear for most regular users. It’s unclear how the company will persuade enough people to subscribe to justify the effort.
Then, after a debate about the potential effects of unleashing thousands of new verified accounts onto the platforms in the middle of the US midterm elections, the company postponed the launch.
A person familiar with the matter says that Musk and Sacks discussed the idea in recent meetings. A plan might allow everyone to use the service for a short time and then require them to subscribe to keep using it, the person said.
Other employees have warned about a secondary feature of the new Blue that Musk added at the last minute: reducing ad load in the Twitter app by half. Estimates showed that Twitter will lose about $6 in ad revenue per user in the United States by making that change, sources said. Factoring in Apple and Google’s share of the $8 monthly subscription, Twitter would likely lose money on Blue if the ad-light plan is enacted.
Musk has been heavily involved in the chaotic launch of Blue, participating in standup meetings and exchanging regular emails with Esther Crawford, a director of product management at the company. “There is one decision-maker and that is me,” Musk told workers, according to meeting notes shared with employees in Slack.
It couldn’t be learned how serious Musk and Sacks were about the paywall; it wasn’t responded to by the social media company. The launch of expanded verification is what the Blue team is focused on, and it’s not likely to happen soon.
Tiny Talk Town: A Disruptive Exodus of Senior Executives in Musk’s Twitter Explanation for the Covid Pandemic
“Tiny talk is talk so small it feels like it’s coming from your own mind,” Musk fired off shortly past 10 pm last Thursday, a thought so deep it might have bubbled up from a fish-bowled dorm room. We all reside in Tiny Talk Town, which is where all the talk is about Musk.
Quiet quitting is rejecting the burden of going beyond what is necessary for the sake of your employer but also draining your own money. On Twitter, it’s about not giving more to a platform than most people can expect to get back. Finding a way to use the newtwitter without using you is required if you want to stay on.
A relatively small group of people power Twitter. According to internal company research, heavy users who have a large following in English make up less than 10% of monthly users but account for more than 50% of global revenue.
For years, so many people around the world have relied on Twitter to function as a town square — a space for people to debate issues openly. Of course, only 23% of Americans are on Twitter and of those who use the platform, the top 25% of users by tweet volume produce 97% of tweets, according to the Pew Research Center. The conversations on Twitter influence what people talk about offline and have an outsize influence on the public debate.
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. To sit back and observe for a while, is basically a simple approach to dealing with the complexity that is New Twitter. If you’re interested, check in on Musk’s new toy before you close your browser tab. Send a message, then stop. It is important to keep an eye on it during basketball games. If you have to, direct the messages to other areas. It is a good idea to save your most original thoughts for another time.
One of the most influential social networks in the world has laid off half its workforce in the last week alone, blew up key aspects of its product, and unleashed other features meant to compensate for it, all of which have caused a huge exodus of senior executives.
It is a stunning reversal of fortune for Musk, who purchased the company for a whopping $44 billion, but also for a platform used by some of the most powerful people on the planet.
When the Twitter app shut down, Twitter’s verified support account stopped responding to Musk’s tweet during the November ephemeral campaign
That paid subscription service, too, was also suspended on Friday with little warning, just two days after its official launch, with the menu option to sign up for Twitter Blue suddenly disappearing from Twitter’s iOS app — the only place the add-on had been offered. It was not immediately clear when the company might restore the offering.
Hours after the gray badges were launched, Musk canceled them and forced subordinates to explain the reversal.
“We’re not currently putting an ‘Official’ label on accounts but we are aggressively going after impersonation and deception,” Twitter’s verified support account tweeted on Wednesday evening.
The misinformation experts warned that the paid verification feature would make identifying trustworthy information more difficult during the crucial period following the US midterm elections. The platform had tough feedback from some of the high-powered users.
“@elonmusk, from one entrepreneur to another, for when you have your customer service hat on. Mark Cuban said he spent too much time muting his newly purchased checkmarks in a bid to make them useful again.
Cuban said that he had a decision to make. “Stick with the new Twitter that democratizes every tweet by paid accounts and puts the onus on all users to curate for themselves. Or do something to bring back TWITTER COMMENT. One can make time and information more efficient. The other is awful.”
According to Frohnhoefer’s report, the social networking site made zero calls to remote procedures. Instead, he says, when the app starts up, it makes around 20 background requests. Seemingly to clarify his original tweet, Musk then responded, “The fact that you don’t realize that there are up to 1200 ‘microservices’ being called when someone uses the Twitter app is not great.” The number that is required to generate the home schedule is closer to 200 than 1200, Frohnhoefer said.
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. Many things were said by Trump in order to get a rise out of people. Reporting on them, I argued, just fed the flames. Another editor tried to push him back. “He’s the president,” he said, or words to that effect. “What he says is news.”
This is how coverage of Trump was done. The liberal media was drawn to stories that proved that a person who is clearly not suited to being president will only succeed in bringing himself down in flames, while the right-wing media gave him no interest in grasping basic policy. 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.
This is how things are with Musk and Twitter. The new owner of the social network has a relationship with so many journalists who cover him that is unreliable, and it is often used to amplify claims on both sides of the issue.
Friedersdorf feels that Musk’s journalistic detractors should give him more benefit of the doubt given that he banned West, refused to reinstatement Jones, and helped suppress the story about Biden’s laptop. I do not think that strays towards both-sides-ism.
An associate professor is writing 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. There is more opinion on CNN.
Several reporters who were suspended Thursday night had written about the new policy which involved Musk’s allegations that a stalking incident in Los Angeles affected his family.
A healthy town square should be a place where people can find reliable information. The researchers found that before Musk took over, there had been an order of magnitude of greater refuting hate and misinformation on TWoT.
The account suspensions came on the heels of Twitter’s announcement on Monday that it was disbanding its Trust and Safety Council — a group of outside experts that advised the company on issues like human rights, child sexual exploitation and mental health.
It is clear that we cannot rely on Musk for a safe, open forum. We need new social networks that are not profit run by boards that are looking at the public’s interest. And many of the people who have these skills have just been laid off from their jobs. There have been layoffs at tech and journalism companies recently, including Facebook and CNN, with more coming at The Washington Post. Some of these professionals should work together to create new social platforms designed to provide the truly open town hall we so desperately need.
Musk tweeted late Friday that the company would lift the suspensions following the results of a public poll on the site. Over 45% of respondents wanted the suspension to be immediately unsuspend, while over 42% wanted it to be lifted in seven days.
Most of the accounts were back early Saturday. One exception was Business Insider’s Linette Lopez, who was suspended after the other journalists, also with no explanation, she told The Associated Press.
She said she posted a court-related documents to her followers that contained a Musk email address. That address is not current, Lopez said, because “he changes his email every few weeks.”
The Mashable Exodus: The Dangerous History of a Digital Journalism Regime in the Light of Musk’s Stalled Report on Twitter
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.
Mastodon, a social network where people are leaving, had an official account banned. The reason was unclear, though it had tweeted about the jet-tracking account. Twitter also began preventing users from posting links to Mastodon accounts, in some cases flagging them as potential malware.
Sally Buzbee, the Washington Post’s executive editor, said that technology reporter Drew Harwell was thrown out of the Post after they published accurate reporting about Musk.
CNN said in a statement that they were concerned by the suspension of a number of reporters.
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.
He has promised to let free speech reign and has reinstated high-profile accounts that previously broke Twitter’s rules against hateful conduct or harmful misinformation. He has also said he would suppress negativity and hate by depriving some accounts of “freedom of reach.”
She said the old regime had its own biases and it sure looked like the new one had the same problem.
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.
The CBS briefly shut down itsTwitter activity in November due to “uncertainty” about new management and media organizations have largely remained on the platform.
“We all know news on social networking sites, and to now go after journalists at the main tent pole of them,” he said. “Driving journalists off Twitter is the biggest self-inflicted wound I can think of.”
Advertisers have already cut their spending on the platform because of the uncertainty around Musk’s direction on the platform.
On Thursday night, Twitter’s Spaces conference chat went down shortly after Musk abruptly signed out of a session hosted by a journalist during which he had been questioned about the reporters’ ousting. Musk said that Spaces had been taken offline to deal with a bug. The space came back late Friday.
Advertisers are also monitoring the potential loss of Twitter users. Insider Intelligence projected that social media site will lose 32 million users over the course of the next two years due to a number of issues.
Cohost currently has 130,000 users, only 20,000 of which are what Cohost considers active users, according to Kaplan. T2 has a waitlist in the five digits, according to Oh, who says that number continues to grow. In November, Mastodon hit 2.5 million users but has since declined to about 1.5 million users in a cautionary tale to other services.
What the hell happened last weekend when artists were banned from Twitter? A case study of the WIRED founders and human rights advisors Sarah Oh
I forgive you for coming back to WIRED, but for the rest of the world, we need to ask: What the hell happened last weekend?
Let me explain: I’m lucky enough to know a lot of creatives as well as a lot of journalists and tech workers. When I woke up Sunday to the news, I received a message from artists that they were going to be banned from Twitter for linking to their own portfolios and accepting commission work 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 was a quick watch for anyone who watched it on the internet. If you are aware of what I mean, I wouldn’t say you missed it.
When we at WIRED talk about “platforms and power,” this is what we’re talking about. Any steward of a platform, even a CEO, founder, and middle manager, has the duty of setting and enforcing policies and guidelines for that platform’s safe and legal use. That is up to the person, not in question. Online spaces can go bad fast if there aren’t good rules. It’s an issue when platforms choose to actively harm their users through policy decisions, and when changes are large enough to force them to either adapt or abandon ship.
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. After all, these same creators have the kind of disruptive, entrepreneurial spirit that everyone in Silicon Valley claims to want to foster and empower.
Sarah Oh was out of a job as a human rights advisor at the social media company at the time of Musk’s acquisition, but decided to work on a rival service with a friend.
With Gabor Cselle, who previously worked at Twitter and Google, she launched T2, currently available in beta. It also has a 280- character limit for posts on its social feed. But the key selling point, according to Oh, is its focus on safety.
We feel we are well positioned to create an experience that allows people to share what they want to share without fear of abuse or harassment and so we really do want to do it, according to Oh.
In the months since Musk completed his takeover, a small but growing number of services have launched or gained traction by appealing to users who are uncomfortable with the billionaire’s decisions to slash Twitter’s staff, rethink content moderation policies and reinstate numerous incendiary accounts that were previously banned, among other moves.
There are new entrants in the markets that include a startup backed by Musk and a service from a once-powerful company. T2 and other similar apps are not the best example of what it means to take a different approach.
Artifact, the news feed powered by artificial intelligence, was described by the founders of social media serviceInstagram as a personalized news feed. CNN tested the app, and it looked a lot like news reader applications like Apple News. Artifact displayed popular articles from large media organizations and smaller bloggers in a main feed, tailored to users based on their activity and selected interests.
All of these apps are competing for the chance to give users a news feed that is different from one they see on the micro-networking service.
“Something that we’ve heard a lot from people who are moving over from Twitter, either partially or fully, is that it is just for them a nicer experience overall,” said Jae Kaplan, co-founder of Anti Software Software club, the group that develops Cohost, a text-based social media feed similar to Twitter. The service launched publicly in June of last year, after Musk offered to buy Twitter. In November, after Musk completed the takeover, the platform saw a surge in activity, adding 80,000 users within 48 hours.
Kaplan believes it is important to distinguish between a fake account and a verified account because people have been referring to us when they do as a fake account.
Shortly after taking over the company in November, Musk stated that it had hit an all-time high user number even after the initial exodus of users. As part of the acquisition, Musk took the company private, and no longer reports user numbers in quarterly securities filings.
Where should people go if they leave? There isn’t a platform that is able to take on the function of TWotter, and nothing is really prepared for it, said Karen North, Clinical Professor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. No platform has a worldwide user base that represents people from all walks of life.
Musk, a cousin of the Twitpic CEO, sent a note to everyone that would see it, using the abbreviation “@here” to ensure that everyone would see it. Please help solve this problem by making dashboard and writing software for it. There is a high level of importance. If you are willing to help out please thumbs up this post.”
When bleary-eyed engineers began to log on to their laptops, the nature of the emergency became clear: Elon Musk’s tweet about the Super Bowl got less engagement than President Joe Biden’s.
Biden’s tweet, in which he said he would be supporting his wife in rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles, generated nearly 29 million impressions. Musk, who supported the Eagles, generated more than 9 million impressions and deleted his post in frustration.
In the wake of those losses — the Eagles to the Kansas City Chiefs, and Musk to the president of the United States — Twitter’s CEO flew his private jet back to the Bay Area on Sunday night to demand answers from his team.
This is called a power user multiplier and only applies to the man, according to our information. The code also allows Musk’s account to bypass Twitter heuristics that would otherwise prevent a single account from flooding the core ranked feed, now known as “For You.”
The app opened on Monday and it found that Musk dominated the feed with a few dozen or more of his posts visible to anyone who followed him and millions who did not. Over 90 percent of Musk’s followers now see his tweets, according to one internal estimate.
After Musk’s timeline takeover caused an uproar Monday, he seemed to suggest that the changes would be walked back, at least in part. “Please stay tuned while we make adjustments to the uh .… He referred to it as algorithm.
The artificial boosts applied to his account remain in place, although the factor is now lower than 1,000, we’re told. Tuesday was a good day for Musk, as he reported 43 million impressions, on par with his recent average.
A lot of people use social networks, but Musk’s antics remind them of a problem: Why are certain posts more popular than others? Why am I seeing a different thing than the one I’ve seen before?
Engineers for services like TikTok can give high-level answers to the questions. It is almost impossible to say something is true with any degree of accuracy if you rely on hundreds or thousands of signals, and the algorithms that make predictions deliver posts to millions of users.
The most obvious reason for this discrepancy is that people think that there’s more to it than that. You can change the ranking methodology so that they show you posts no matter what.
Is There a Standstill in the Cosmic Social Media Age of Pseudoscalar Perturbation?
“He bought the company, made a point of showcasing what he believed was broken and manipulated under previous management, then turns around and manipulates the platform to force engagement on all users to hear only his voice,” said a current employee. “I think we’re past the point of believing that he actually wants what’s best for everyone here.”