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On Twitter, Part 2

Apu jumping in front of a gun to shield James Wood from a robber's gun in that a scene from the Simpsons.

Weird fan boys jump up to shield Elon Musk from valid criticism, much like Apu jumping in front of an armed robber's bullet.

It took a little over six months, the publication of some embarrassing texts, and a round of will-they-or-won't-they finance it, but Space Karen's deal to acquire Twitter has finally closed.

Once again, I have some thoughts. Consider this a follow-up to my April 2022 post in which I speculate about Melon Husk's intentions.

  1. Apartheid Clyde is living up to that nickname. He's reinstated the accounts of 🍊, that north Georgia congresswoman, and Kim Kardashian's anti-Semitic ex-husband, among others. He's interacted with various members of the right-wing Twittersphere. I think it's safe to say that he's part of the right wing, and thinks right-wing voices have been unfairly silenced on Twitter. By right wing, I explicitly mean that he holds white supremacist and white nationalist views that he wants us to think are centrist and reasonable.
  2. The problem with giving right wingers a voice when you're a company that gets about 90% of its revenue from advertising is that advertisers don't want to risk their ads appearing near white supremacist, homophobic, or otherwise hateful content.
  3. They also don't want to give money to a company that allows anyone to pay $8 and destroy $15 billion in market capitalization. Content moderation, impersonation, harassment, and bots are the reasons why Twitter wasn't acquired sooner. Remember that Disney considered it, then bailed.
  4. Thanks to the disastrous Twitter Blue rollout and his own behavior, Twitter has lost 50 of its top 100 advertisers.
  5. Twitter is a social media company, emphasis on the media. It made money and built influence by being a site people paid attention to. In exchange, advertisers would pay Twitter money to capture some of that attention. If it becomes too toxic, people will stop paying attention. Emerald Mining Heir does not seem to grasp this concept.
  6. Élan Musty has fired or driven away roughly 50% of Twitter's full-time workforce and 80% of its contractors. Many of those employees worked on content moderation. Others ensured that systems stayed functional. Unmoderated content and site outages will not bring back advertisers or their revenue.
  7. The loss of engineering talent does not bode well for security, user privacy, and site reliability either. The departure of legal and compliance staff also puts Twitter at risk of violating its consent decree, and running afoul of European privacy regulations. I would not be surprised if we got word of a breach or an egregious privacy violation sometime soon.
  8. Twitter is now saddled with $13 billion in debt for which buyers are offering an unusually low $0.60 on the dollar.
  9. In fact, 🦨 has unloaded billions of dollars' worth of Tesla stock to buy a company that was profitable in just two of its nine years. He's made himself look like a terrible businessman and awful leader.
  10. If he runs Twitter with such chaos, how does he run the company that makes two ton machines capable of deadly speeds? Do you trust his leadership enough to buy a car from him?
  11. Elmo has likely damaged Tesla's brand as well. That's a bad move in an era of increased competition in the luxury electric vehicle space. Rivian, Lucid, Polestar, Fisker, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Audi, and Genesis all offer high-end electric cars that don't directly support the world's most famous internet troll.
  12. Perhaps the point is to destroy Twitter, and use the losses to offset his tax burden or recoup some of the taxes he's already paid after selling Tesla shares. That would at least make sense.