Not a great start

You know, all the rich sociopaths have to buy their own social media site to make sure no one can talk about how awful they are. Facebook, Parler, Gab, Gettr, Truth Social, now all absorbed by greedy rich people trying to build cozy little nests for their abhorrent views. Well, Elon Musk now owns Twitter. What is the first thing a committed Free Speech warrior would do, to demonstrate that commitment? How about firing a bunch of people?

Elon Musk became Twitter’s owner late Thursday as his $44 billion deal to take over the company officially closed, marking a new era for one of the world’s most influential social media platforms.

As one of his first moves, he fired several longtime top Twitter executives, according to three people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters. One of those confirmed the deal was complete.

He has also said he plans to cut the Twitter workforce by 75%. At the same time, he’s been anxious to reassure advertisers that oh no, he’s not going to turn Twitter into a free-for-all hellscape.

After all, he just sank $44 billion into this purchase, he’d rather not see it immediately collapse. Most of that money came from other financial backers, too, and they don’t want to see their investment callapse, either. I expect we’re going to see only slow changes in the service for a while.

Like letting Trump back on.

The one thing I know for sure is that the new ownership is not going to lead to improvements in Twitter. It’s all going to go to shit, with the only question being how quickly. Start preparing for your departure, if you’re on Twitter at all, right now! I’ve had a presence on Mastodon for a long while now, and it’s good, in a lot of ways better, than the bird site, just with less volume and fewer precious celebrities.


  1. says

    I’ve been on Mastodon since 2017, and the conversation there has always been better. When the opportunity arose to take on adminship of an instance, I jumped at it — and I’ve been running since January 2018. (I eliminated the length-limit on posts on our instance a couple of years ago, which has further improved things.)

    We got nine new users last night, which I think is an order of magnitude over the previous one-day record. …and we’re just one of thousands of instances; there must have been a pretty substantial exodus when this news hit. Twitter is going to become more mainstream and authoritarian, and that’s probably the way they like it.

  2. says

    #1: Do you find anything useful on Twitter?

    The thing about Mastodon is that the quality of your experience is going to depend on the people you follow. I see more echoes of the latest news stories on Twitter, but is that what social media should be good at?

  3. Akira MacKenzie says

    Oh! Will that mean my account that was perma-banned after telling some Trumper that they deserved to be hated be reestablished?

  4. says

    I said farewell on Twitter last night (made sure it wasn’t complete flounce as I can’t guarantee I won’t be back) and I’ve been fighting the urge to log back in all morning.

  5. acroyear says

    I was mostly there just to follow Star Trek, Doctor Who, and a few Star Wars celebs. Some of them are already leaving (Marina Sirtis was the first).

  6. cartomancer says

    I’m not convinced this is a huge change. The only difference seems to be that instead of a cabal of relatively unknown capitalist sociopaths, the thing is owned by one very well known capitalist sociopath and his cabal of same.

  7. says

    Twitter is “important to the future of humanity” and that’s why he’s buying it (after wanting and then not wanting to buy it)? Is he really stupid enough to think that sounds plausible? Or is he spouting that sort of bullshit just to remind everyone that he doesn’t have to sound intelligent to us proles?

  8. raven says

    This is actually a huge tragedy.

    I find twitter to be useful and I find myself spending more time reading tweets. These days, mostly I use it for following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

    Unlike Facebook which is a toxic swamp that needs to sink back into the ooze that it came from.
    Facebook isn’t doing so well now and they earned it.

    I’m sure Musk will destroy Twitter.
    I’m just not sure of how long it will take him.
    Elon Musk is so weird and toxic that I will never buy anything associated with him.

  9. raven says

    In these dark days, as the days get shorter and the nights longer, while the Russians threaten to nuke the world after genociding the Ukrainians, there isn’t much good news.
    But there is some.

    Facebook scrambles to escape death spiral as users … – CNBC › 2022/09/30 › facebook-scram…

    Sep 30, 2022 — Facebook scrambles to escape stock’s death spiral as users flee, sales drop · Meta is trading at its lowest since early 2019, and the stock is …

    CNBC claims Facebook is in a death spiral with users fleeing and revenue dropping.
    That is a good start anyway.

  10. mordred says

    Of course the usual people seem to be celebrating the “end of cencorship” and thank Musk for fighting back againts the left-green woke … whatever.

    Raven@11 So you are not interested in a one way trip to Mars or an ugly, big, expensive car with an AI that might kill you?

  11. mordred says

    Raven@12: Facebook struggling is indeed good news. I kinda hope that will be the outcome for Musk-Twitter too. The chief twit rambling about freeze peach and then telling the advertisers that it’s not gonna be that free might be a good first step to piss of both sides. And declaring to fire 75% of the employees should really help with the day to day business…

  12. says

    The only reason I’ve ended up spending so much time on Twitter in recent months is the lack of anything to read online (other than this blog and Rebecca Watson’s blog). Everything is either behind a paywall or has so many ads expanding & shrinking that the text won’t hold still.
    So, Twitter. But I’ve seen enough of Elon’s tone-deaf bullshit that I don’t really want to contribute to his wealth & power grabs. I don’t plan on deleting my account just yet, but I’ll start by not logging in to the site for a while, starting with today, the first day after the announcement.
    I’ll just come straight here in the morning

  13. Dennis K says

    With this, Trump’s muzzle will be removed per Musk’s contrarian urges. Expect to see every inane, idiotic utterance reported on with breathless fascination across all walks of mainstream American media.

  14. Nemo says

    Facebook hasn’t changed ownership (Meta is just a holding company created from Facebook, like Google -> Alphabet), and AFAICT, all the others you listed (apart from Mastodon) were explicitly created as right-wing alternatives to Twitter. Twitter is the only one that’s been taken over, AFAIK.

  15. Pierce R. Butler says

    Musk wounds his own finances and kills a catalyst for global attention-deficit-disorder: win-win.

    Let’s start a betting pool: Will TwitCorp under the Musk regime last as long as the Truss tenure at Number 10?

  16. F.O. says

    @PZ #4: To be honest I have no idea what I use Twitter for.
    Mostly trying to follow people with experiences different than mine.
    Been following Iran.
    Doomscrolling, for the most?
    I can probably live without.

    I found the Mastodon UI very confusing, and I don’t have many brain cells left to dig deeper without a more specific need or goal.

  17. Dan Phelps says

    How do you delete your Twitter account? I could just delete the app and never look again, but obliterating the account might be better.

  18. jimmyfromdelaware says

    You left off that the Plutocrat Jeff Bezos owns Washington Post and Sheldon Adelson owns a Las Vegas Paper.

    Why is this uniquely corrupt to what has been already happening?

  19. Artor says

    Jimmy, why do YOU think it’s uniquely corrupt? I don’t think anybody but you has suggested it is. We are all well aware of the machinations of plutocrats, but this is the one that’s happening right now, which is why people are talking about it right now. Did you have some more whataboutism to invoke, or was that all?

  20. says

    Tumblr showed that a bad decision can reduce a social media site ro next to nothing. I wouldn’t mind this happening to Twitter, now that Musk have taken over. I used ro love Twitter but only use it to mostly browse news