There was a lot of back and forth about bots and text messages, but in the end, Musk settled on buying the company rather than facing a deposition or Chancery Court trial and eventually strode into Twitter HQ carrying a sink.
Elon Musk began Twitter’s new era of private ownership by firing several executives — including previous CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, and policy chief Vijaya Gadde — and, a week later, initiated mass layoffs, drastically cutting its workforce.
The first few weeks of Elon Musk’s Twitter have so far included mass layoffs, the firing of employees who criticized Musk publicly or privately, and hundreds of employees voluntarily accepting Musk’s offer of three months severance instead of the option of joining a new “extremely hardcore” version of Twitter.
Musk has also flip-flopped on paid verification, launching it just over a week after he took over, then putting it on pause after some high-profile impersonations. He then announced it was coming back on November 29th, before telling employees that the company might or might not launch it on that date.
On November 19th, Elon Musk announced that based on the results of a poll posted to his personal account, he’s reinstating the Twitter account of former president Donald Trump. The @realDonaldTrump account was suspended by Twitter on January 8th, 2021, following the January 6th mob attack on the US capitol.
Read on for the latest updates about what’s going on inside Twitter right now.
More layoffs hit Twitter.
Elon Musk has cut half of Twitter’s remaining public policy team, according to a tweet by a member of the team who said she was among those laid off. My understanding is that about 15 people are affected.
This comes after Musk also laid off an unknown number of engineers in Twitter’s infrastructure org last week. In a Twitter Space two days ago I listened to, Musk said that Twitter now has just over 2,000 employees (it had roughly 7,500 when he took over). Musk said in the Space that Twitter was on track to lose about $3 billion next year but should now be “roughly cash flow break even” after his cuts.
The verified @recklesspatel Twitter account is gone.
The fake Nilay Twitter account created by Verge managing editor Alex Cranz — that was “verified” and recommended to many during Elon’s messy first attempt at a $7.99 Twitter Blue subscription — has met its end.
Despite only existing for a little more than a month, we’ll remember @recklesspatel for continuing on after the real Nilay Patel decided to take a break from posting to his real Twitter account (@reckless).
You can still find Nilay’s posts here, on TheVerge.com.
Twitter’s “cashtags” show charts now.
If look at the search result for a cashtag (let’s say, for the sake of example, $TSLA), you’ll now see a chart tracking its stock price, according to a thread from @TwitterBusiness. The charts only seem to show the current day’s performance, but you can click a button to see more information on Robinhood.
The FTC is still asking questions about Twitter under Elon Musk.
Bloomberg reports that an investigation opened this fall into the question of whether or not Elon Musk’s Twitter is capable of complying with its 2011 consent order — the one a company lawyer warned puts it at risk of billions of dollars in fines — is ongoing and has included questioning two execs who left shortly after Musk’s takeover.
FTC lawyers have interrogated two former top Twitter executives in the past month – Damien Kieran, the former chief privacy officer, and Lea Kissner, the most senior cybersecurity officer, the people said. Kieran and Kissner both quit Twitter Nov. 10, alongside the head of compliance.
The probe marks at least the third time the FTC has scrutinized the social media platform over its privacy and data security practices. The review could lead to millions of dollars in fines and a new FTC order imposing obligations on Musk himself that would apply across his companies and remain in effect even if he steps down as chief executive officer or leaves Twitter.
“Why has Bloomberg News been asleep at the switch regarding government censorship of social media?” Musk said in an email seeking comment about the FTC investigation.
Tesla shares rise after poll says Elon Musk should step down as head of Twitter.
Despite all the bots and unscientific approach, Elon Musk tends to obey Twitter polls which is why Tesla stock is up almost 5 percent pre-market after 58 percent of responses say Musk should quit the hellashish job of running Twitter.
Survey says yes.
Taylor Lorenz just got suspended from Twitter.
Although Elon Musk began reinstating the accounts belonging to the journalists he claims “doxxed” his location, he seems to have suspended The Washington Post reporter Lorenz for no obvious reason.
Lorenz says she was locked out of her account shortly after reaching out to Musk for comment about a story. “I received zero communication from the company on why I was suspended or what terms I violated.”
Some journalists are still banned on Twitter.
Insider’s Linette Lopez remains stuck in Twitter jail even after users voted to bring back the accounts Musk claims “doxxed” his locations. Meanwhile, Twitter lifted the ban on sports commentator Keith Olbermann earlier today.
Apple could open up iOS, and the feds finally make a case against SBF.
This podcast was recorded before Elon Musk’s Twitter ban extravaganza reached its peak, but we dug into the @ElonJets mess. From Apple, we’ll check out the report that it will allow outside app stores on iOS as well as the hole left by a missing M-series Mac Pro in its desktop lineup.
I tried to recap Sam Bankman-Fried’s transition from media tour to handcuffs, and then we talked more about the golden age of streaming and why David Zaslav’s biggest problem might be in his presentation.
The Tweetbot company is putting Mastodon first.
Tapbots, the company best known for its third-party Twitter client Tweetbot, plans to work on features for its (currently in early alpha) Mastodon client first and then push “relevant” ones over to Tweetbot, per co-owner Mark Jardine.
Tweetbot will still get updates, but this feels like a big shift for a company that put Twitter first even during the darkest days for its API.