On Twitter

As of 5th November 2022, shit is going down at Twitter HQ. What was once a social media giant is on the brink of collapse... maybe.

As you all know, billionaire Elon Musk is now the CEO of Twitter. This is not going to be a rant piece about capitalism, because I can't be bothered. This also isn't going to be a shill piece for Musk - I don't care about him and what happens to Tesla or Twitter or whatever.

His formal acquisition has brought upon many radical changes. Let's first talk about the layoffs. Musk is cutting the Twitter workforce down by 75%. Twitter employees have received emails notifying that their badge accesses have been revoked and that they will soon receive further emails notifying if they have been kept or fired. However, employees started noticing that their work laptops have been remotely wiped, and they cannot access any of their work accounts, thus confirming that they have indeed been fired without the need for an email.

I'm not here to debate the ethics of this - a lawsuit has been slapped on Musk, as California law requires a 60 day notice before a mass layoff. And I totally sympathize with the fact that these people are losing their main sources of income. It's scary. But I don't really feel much for the employees otherwise.

Go on YouTube or TikTok or whatever, and search up "Day in the life of [insert large megacorp company here]". You will find TONS AND TONS of videos of employees flaunting their rich lifestyle. Watch any one of them, and they are almost carbon copies of each other. They do very little actual work within their company. They eat out for almost every single meal. They have seemingly enough time to binge a ton of episodes of [current show] on Netflix. They seem more obsessed about how well-off they are rather than the details of the job that they actually have.

The point is - the majority of employees for any Big Tech company actually don't work a lot, despite being paid high salaries. Only a handful of people in these companies do the heavy lifting. That's why I don't really care about the layoffs - these people were getting paid to do nothing, and just like Musk has tweeted over and over again, they were just bloating the overall workforce. If twenty other factors didn't come into play here, Twitter would have done just fine without these employees.

Another thing I'd like to talk about is the overhaul of the verification system. Prior to Musk's acquisition, it was difficult to get verified unless you were already super famous, or you were a pseudo-journalist with good connections to Twitter employees. (Seriously - the amount of blue-checkmarks I've seen with sub-5k followers is insane.) Now, you can basically buy a verification badge by paying an $8 monthly fee.

I don't understand the griefing about this (if we remove factors we'll talk about later). If you are famous enough to be verified, you should be rich enough to afford it. I guess the only downside would be accounts with blue checkmarks posing as celebrities, but I don't really care. I thought celebrities were proponents of capitalism, tax the rich, whatever whatever.

Here's another talking point to come out of this whole thing - Twitter is rapidly losing advertisers. Musk partially paid for Twitter via debt, and he needs a way to make it back. Advertisers are gone, and stocks are also plunging. People can see that the $8 verification fee is also a way to make back this money. If Musk wants to make Twitter profitable, he needs to pull something revolutionary out of his ass.

As a result, people are "moving" to other platforms. I say "moving" because a) they're still posting on Twitter, and b) they will probably stop posting on the alternative platforms and move back to Twitter. Several are moving to obvious choices like the Fediverse, especially the Mastodon instances (because they're the most pozzed out of all of the fedi). Another platform has been gaining traction called Co-host. It has quickly become embroiled in controversy however, since the owners may or may not allow child porn on the site. But then again, Twitter as it is has a HUGE child porn problem, so it comes as no surprise. (Funny how not one of the 7,500 Twitter employees could be bothered to stop pedo rings, huh?)

An addendum: people who think Musk is going to make Twitter more pro-free speech are wrong - he is vowing to combat disinformation in the lead-up to the US Mid-term elections. "Disinformation" is an arbitrary term at this point. You can take anything that goes against the narrative down in the name of disinformation.

So what does this all mean for Twitter? I don't know. Things aren't looking good for Twitter short-term, sure, but I can't say for the long term. All we can really do is watch and wait. And if you're personally affected by this whole thing, may I say two things to you that you have always said to other dissenters of the norm:
1. Twitter is a private company, it can do what it wants; and
2. Build your own/find another platform.