A look at Elon Musk’s first month at Twitter

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Sunday formally marks one month because the world’s richest man took the helm at Twitter.


In that point, Elon Musk initiated mass layoffs and gave remaining staffers a cryptic ultimatum, reinstated the accounts of controversial figures together with former president Donald Trump, and launched — then punted — a plan to cost for Twitter’s iconic blue checkmarks.


After spending months embroiled in an unsuccessful authorized battle to get out of his preliminary proposal to purchase Twitter, Musk made his first splashy entrance into the corporate’s workplaces on Oct. 26, carrying a sink. (In a video of the incident shared on Twitter, he wrote: “Entering Twitter HQ — let that sink in!)


Since then, the billionaire has seemingly left no stone unturned throughout his whirlwind first month as “Chief Twit.” Here is a look at the vary of how Musk (who continues to be, concurrently, CEO of his different corporations Tesla and SpaceX) has already left his mark on one of many world’s most influential social media platforms.


MUSK CLEARS OUT C-SUITE, THE CUTS APPROXIMATELY HALF OF TWITTER’S STAFF


Almost instantly after Musk accomplished his drama-plagued US$44 billion deal to purchase Twitter, he fired former CEO Parag Agrawal and different executives. He then made himself the CEO and sole director of the platform, per a securities submitting.


The dramatic management shakeup, nonetheless, was solely the first style of the foremost staffing overhaul to come back. Musk started wide-ranging layoffs throughout the corporate, decreasing its total headcount by roughly 50 per cent within the span of a few days.


On the eve of Nov. 3 and into Nov. 4, quite a few now-former Twitter workers started posting on the platform that that they had been locked out of their firm electronic mail accounts because the job cuts started to play out in a really dramatic, public method.


The layoffs impacted departments together with moral AI, advertising and communication, search, public coverage, and extra. As the employees mentioned goodbye to their colleagues on-line (many sharing blue hearts and salute emojis to sign that they had misplaced their jobs at Twitter), Musk remained largely silent, at least on the job cuts.


In one other dramatic transfer by the brand new boss, Musk publicly fired a software program engineer who had survived the preliminary spherical of cuts, however who then questioned Musk on Twitter.


MUSK GIVES ULTIMATUM TO REMAINING EMPLOYEES: DO ‘EXTREMELY HARDCORE’ WORK OR LEAVE


In a late-night inside electronic mail after the mass employees cuts, Musk requested Twitter’s remaining workers to decide to “extraordinarily hardcore” work or else go away the corporate with severance pay.


“Going ahead, to construct a breakthrough Twitter 2.0 and achieve an more and more aggressive world, we are going to should be extraordinarily hardcore,” Musk wrote within the memo despatched out on Nov. 16. “This will imply working lengthy hours at excessive depth. Only distinctive efficiency will represent a passing grade.”


In the memo, Musk goes on to stipulate how Twitter will probably be “way more engineering-driven” after which offers employees an ultimatum. “If you might be positive that you simply need to be a part of the brand new Twitter, please click on sure on the hyperlink under,” directing employees to what seems to be a web-based kind.


Musk mentioned any worker who has not accomplished so by 5 p.m. ET on the next day, Thursday, would obtain three months severance.


ADVERTISERS FLEE, AND MUSK DECRIES ‘MASSIVE DROP IN REVENUE’


In the shadow of the mass exodus of staff, a departure of advertisers was additionally brewing.


Since Musk’s takeover, a handful of manufacturers — starting from General Mills to the North Face to the Volkswagen Group — confirmed a pause in promoting on the social community as civil society organizations raised new concern over the route of the corporate beneath Musk.


Approximately per week after he took over the corporate, Musk mentioned that it had seen a “large drop in income.”


“Twitter has had an enormous drop in income, as a consequence of activist teams pressuring advertisers, though nothing has modified with content material moderation and we did every little thing we might to appease the activists,” he mentioned in a tweet on Nov. 4. “Extremely tousled! They’re making an attempt to destroy free speech in America.”


AN ONGOING SAGA OVER BLUE CHECK MARKS KICKS OFF


Another facet of Twitter that Musk rapidly upended is among the platform’s most acquainted options for its customers: the verified blue verify marks that had lengthy been used to verify the authenticity of presidency officers, journalists, and different public figures.


“Twitter’s present lords & peasants system for who has or would not have a blue checkmark is bullsh*t,” Musk tweeted on Nov. 1. “Power to the folks! Blue for $8/month.”


Sure sufficient, on Nov. 5, Twitter launched an up to date model of its iOS app that allowed customers to pay a month-to-month subscription price to obtain a blue verify mark on their profiles. The replace, as outlined on Apple’s App Store at the time, acknowledged that customers would now need to pay $7.99 per month for the corporate’s Twitter Blue subscription to obtain a verify mark on the platform, “identical to the celebrities, corporations, and politicians you already comply with.”


Within days of the rollout of the subscription service, Twitter was inundated with a wave of movie star and company impersonators who rapidly gamed the brand new system to pose as manufacturers and distinguished figures.


Chaos ensued. In one viral instance, a pretend account, which featured a newly bought blue verify mark, purporting to be pharmaceutical big Eli Lilly tweeted {that a} crucial diabetes drug would now be free.


In the wake of the mayhem, Musk finally introduced that it might delay the rollout of the subscription service till the top of the month.


“Punting relaunch of Blue Verified to November twenty ninth to be sure that it’s rock strong,” Musk tweeted on Nov. 15.


On Nov. 24 Musk gave a barely completely different goal date for the relaunch, Dec. 2, and supplied extra particulars in regards to the future service, together with a variety of verify mark colours to indicate the kind of verified account.


TWITTER RESTORES SOME PREVIOUSLY BANNED ACCOUNTS, INCLUDING DONALD TRUMP’S


On Nov. 19, Musk restored the Twitter account of former president Donald Trump, practically two years after it had been completely banned following the Jan. 6, 2021 assault on the Capitol.


The transfer got here shortly after Twitter restored the accounts of a number of different controversial, beforehand banned or suspended customers, together with conservative Canadian podcaster Jordan Peterson, right-leaning satire web site Babylon Bee, comic Kathy Griffin and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.


Ahead of restoring Trump’s Twitter account, Musk posted a ballot asking the platform’s customers if Trump must be reinstated — the place a slim majority (51.8 per cent) voted in favor of it.


“The folks have spoken. Trump will probably be reinstated,” Musk tweeted. “Vox Populi, Vox Dei.” (Latin for “the voice of the folks is the voice of God.”).


Trump has beforehand mentioned he would stay on his personal platform, Truth Social, as a substitute of rejoining Twitter, and has but to tweet since his account got here again on-line.


But a change in his method might maintain main political implications as Trump has mentioned he’ll search the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.


MUSK GOES ON TO GRANT ‘AMNESTY’ TO MOST PREVIOUSLY BANNED ACCOUNTS


After conducting yet one more Twitter ballot, Musk mentioned on Nov. 24 that he’ll start restoring most beforehand banned accounts on Twitter beginning subsequent week. This would mark his most far-reaching transfer but to undo the social media platform’s coverage of completely suspending customers who repeatedly violated its guidelines.


The Thanksgiving Day announcement got here after most respondents voted in favor of his ballot over whether or not to supply “basic amnesty to suspended accounts, supplied that they haven’t damaged the regulation or engaged in egregious spam.”


Once once more, Musk tweeted that “the folks have spoken.”


His latest choices to reinstate beforehand banned accounts, based mostly on the outcomes of his polls on the platform, is notably at odds with how Musk beforehand mentioned he would deal with such decisions.


Just a day after his takeover of Twitter, Musk mentioned that the social media firm “will probably be forming a content material moderation council with extensively various viewpoints.”


“No main content material choices or account reinstatements will occur earlier than that council convenes,” Musk added


It will not be instantly clear if that council was ever created, convened, or concerned within the decision-making behind bringing again Trump and previously banned accounts.

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