Elon Musk: the embarrassing blunder of Twitter


Photo courtesy of Time

On Oct. 27, 2022, Elon Musk officially became the sole owner of Twitter for 44 billion dollars. As his first act as owner, he waltzed into Twitter headquarters holding a sink as apart of some dumb joke and instantly began firing employees. Soon after, he tried to rehire a lot of the people that he had fired when he realized that firing people blindly was not very wise.

And this was only the beginning. Before starting it is important to know Elon Musk has a history of acting out of line, for example on his appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast, he notably smoked weed. Initially starting out in the public eye as a “real life Iron Man,” his recent acquisition of Twitter has reminded everyone that Elon Musk is far from that.

Not too long ago, rumors were going around that Elon Musk was going to buy Twitter, even making jokes about its acquisition. The joke turned to reality as Elon Musk ended up purchasing Twitter. After his acquisition of the site, his online presence has increased significantly. Recently he unveiled Twitter Blue, a purchasable Twitter verification. “Power to the people!” Musk said over Twitter, but the truth is not so idyllic as it seems.

Since buying Twitter, Musk has repeatedly rammed his head into a brick wall over Twitter Blue, one of Twitter’s most well known recent disasters, in desperation to earn back the 44 billion he lost buying the platform. The same day Blue was released, thousands of users took to Twitter expressing their thoughts on the new addition. The blue Twitter verification mark was created by Twitter after a man sued the company for impersonation; its primary use was to save Twitter money but it established credibility for celebrities and organizations. Musk decided that this could be his new subscription service, turning an icon that once gave a degree of credibility to people on the platform into a monetized free-for-all. Though, there is humor watching people impersonate celebrities (especially Musk) and companies. It is at the time of writing it is unavailable, but is set to be available again soon.

On Nov. 16, 2022, Musk’s absurd treatment of Twitter’s employees continued and, Musk gave Twitter employees an ultimatum of either leaving or staying to work — and work for comparatively long hours possibly due to the worker shortage. The deadline was Nov. 17, 2022 at 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, and many employees made the decision to quit.

Another blundering decision made by the sole owner of Twitter is far more disastrous and will have real life consequences; the reversal of all suspended accounts that have not spammed egregiously or broken the law. Figures such as former President Donald Trump and many others, including Andrew Tate, who spew hateful rhetoric, have already returned. This brings the worst of Twitter back to the platform and has large repercussions. With the recent mass shooting at Club Q, we have seen the tragedy that bigoted demagogues can produce. Under the guise of free speech; however, it is clear to anyone that Musk is acting solely out of a desire for profit hoping that these controversial figures will bring in more users and generate revenue to combat the fact that twitter is hemorrhaging advertisers. Musk would let misinformation propagate and allow hate to continue to poison minds in order to make money, while being the richest man on Earth.

People online hope or expect Musk to be Twitter’s downfall, although Twitter before Musk contributed negatively in many ways, like inflating meaningless arguments and propagating polarization. Twitter is more than just a platform to many people: often artists use Twitter to promote their art in order to take commissions. The sheer connectivity Twitter has produced is unique; nowhere else do you have an Iraqi government agency tweet something and in the comment section a billionaire celebrity from the US can hold a conversation with someone living in Indonesia. The sheer amount of media that would be lost if Twitter were to shut down would be unfathomable, and a total collapse of Twitter is unlikely. Hopefully Twitter is sold to another company with a more levelheaded approach to making Twitter profitable and with the caution required for managing a site of its importance.