HomeTechnologyLive blog: Twitter chaos - Elon Musk makes some big policy moves

Live blog: Twitter chaos – Elon Musk makes some big policy moves


(Picture credit score: Getty Photographs / Carina Johansen)

Reversals and massive choices

Like just about each different little bit of technique Twitter proprietor Elon Musk has launched to the beleaguered social media platform, all of them – even the most important ones – play out on Twitter.

After booting comic Kathy Griffin and different parody and humor accounts, Musk said he was reinstating (opens in new tab) Griffin, Jorden Peterson, and the satirical on-line newspaper, The Babylon Bee.

Musk additionally made it clear that he’s contemplating bringing Former President Donald Trump again, although the “resolution has not but been made.

Maybe the even greater information is the revealing of a brand new Twitter coverage, which Musk initially teased with a tweet that mentioned “Freedom Fridays…” (opens in new tab)

The brand new coverage rapidly adopted in one other tweet.

“New Twitter coverage is freedom of speech, however not freedom of attain.
Unfavorable/hate tweets will probably be max deboosted & demonetized, so no advertisements or different income to Twitter. You gained’t discover the tweet until you particularly search it out, which is not any totally different from remainder of Web.”

A part of this seems to be permitting “hate” speech on the platform however hiding it. That also means folks may see it (although perhaps provided that they conduct a Twitter or Google search). Whereas this transfer will certainly concern some and freak out advertisers, Musk’s plan is to not monetize any of those tweets.

A bigger query stays. How will Musk and his workforce determine “Unfavorable/hate tweets”? These particulars weren’t included. Nor did Musk clarify how and when a tweet is perhaps so incendiary that it could be, say, too hateful and be faraway from the platform, or get its writer banned.

The flurry of tweets got here shortly after experiences that Musk had reversed his resolution (opens in new tab) to lock Twitter’s doorways on Friday and, apparently, ordered some folks again to work.
-Lance Ulanoff

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Memes apart, nevertheless, Elon Musk isn’t as seemingly blasé in regards to the scenario in non-public. There are experiences that Twitter has as soon as once more suspended employees’s badge entry and that its workplaces are briefly closed. Twitter’s employees have been informed that workplaces will reopen on Monday, November 21, although they haven’t been informed why entry is presently restricted.

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The present principle is that Elon Musk and senior employees at Twitter are anxious that staff who haven’t dedicated to Twitter 2.0 will sabotage the platform on their manner out. On prime of that, it seems like they’re additionally attempting to work out who’s leaving (and wishes their workplace entry revoked) and who’s staying. 

In line with a Twitter post (opens in new tab) made at 9:42pm ET on November 17 (02:43am GMT / 12:43pm AEST on November 18) by Zoë Schiffer (opens in new tab) – the managing editor of Platformer – as a result of solely the names of people that mentioned “Sure” to Twitter 2.0 have been collected it’s not instantly clear who has truly left.

We think about Elon Musk and his cronies can even be attempting to persuade employees leaving vital groups to remain – particularly the groups that may then have zero members with out them. If discussions are ongoing this is able to possible add much more confusion to the scenario as Musk wouldn’t need to revoke entry for Twitter employees who find yourself staying with the corporate. 

Properly, it seems many individuals at Twitter weren’t enthusiastic in regards to the prospect of working even more durable than they’re now on Musk’s “Twitter 2.0”. Reportedly a whole lot of employees have been posting farewell messages on Twitter’s inner Slack channels after the 5pm ET deadline handed.

In line with nameless sources who spoke to The Verge (opens in new tab) this new batch of resignations implies that a number of “vital” groups at Twitter have misplaced all or almost all of their members. This apparently consists of Twitter’s site visitors and frontend groups that guarantee engineering requests are despatched to the right backend providers, in addition to everything of Twitter’s core system libraries workforce – with one worker admitting in regards to the latter that “you can not run Twitter with out [them].”

However based mostly on his Twitter timeline, Elon Musk is outwardly fairly relaxed about the entire scenario. In a tweet following this new employee exodus (opens in new tab), he mentioned that “The perfect individuals are staying, so I’m not tremendous anxious.”

He later adopted up with a number of memes, together with one displaying Twitter posing in entrance of its personal grave.

Morning of us, we’re again with the most recent Twitter information, and boy have fairly a number of issues occurred.

Following the mass layoffs that occurred at Twitter two weeks in the past – when Elon Musk fired an estimated half of the platform’s workforce – he issued a requirement to people who remained on Wednesday (November 16): decide to the brand new “extraordinarily hardcore” work tradition or go away.

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Twitter employees had been requested to verify they’re dedicated to working longer hours and settle for that “solely distinctive efficiency will represent a passing grade” by 5pm ET on November 17 (10pm GMT, November 17  / 8am AEST, November 18), or get three months severance and go away the corporate. 

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An fascinating apart to Musk’s look at a trial earlier as we speak, the place he is discussing (opens in new tab) a $56 billion pay bundle involving Tesla.

Musk has revealed that when the ‘restructuring’ is full at Twitter, he’ll be handing it off to a brand new CEO.

As our Managing Editor for Leisure, Matt Bolton quipped earlier: “He’s going to salt the earth, then ask why the subsequent individual didn’t develop something.”

Elon Musk

(Picture credit score: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Free speech = Agree with Musk speech

Elon Musk is a “champion” of free speech and sometimes tweets about how he desires Twitter to be a digital public sq. the place folks can overtly specific their views.

Nevertheless, Musk has proven little persistence for comedy and, it appears virtually zero tolerance for Twitter staff who disagree with him on the platform and even inside Twitter, the place Twitter has its personal firm chat board.

In line with a brand new report in The New York Instances (opens in new tab), Musk fired a Twitter developer, Eric Frohnhoefer, who disagreed with him on Twitter (opens in new tab) about Android app efficiency. Musk additionally, the report claims, requested his workforce to scan the workforce chat board for “insubordinate employees” after which fired them, a few of whom had been commiserating about Frohnhoefer’s firing.

As a substitute of denying the report, Musk sarcastically tweeted, “I want to apologize for firing these geniuses. Their immense expertise will little question be of nice use elsewhere.”

We’re fairly certain nobody would consider any of this if it weren’t all taking place earlier than our eyes and on one of the crucial in style social media platforms on the planet.

Lance Ulanoff

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When you missed out on Twitter Blue and its verification ‘characteristic’, Musk confirmed earlier that it is coming again on Tuesday, November 29, across the time when Black Friday weekend is winding down.

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In an odd transfer by Musk, this was posted the place two actors, beforehand making out that they’d been fired final month, had been pictured to be with them, displaying that they’d been ‘rehired’.

The place’s the humorous right here?

Elon Musk

(Picture credit score: Getty Photographs / Taylor Hill )

In line with the Washington Put up (opens in new tab), Musk has despatched one other e-mail to all Twitter staff, asking them to decide to a ‘Twitter 2.0’ with a ‘hardcore’ work ethic.

The message additionally mentioned that those that didn’t signal the pledge by 5PM Japanese time Thursday, or 10PM UK time, had been informed that they’d obtain three months of severance pay.

It is yet one more demand from its employees after a turbulent 5 weeks, and there is nonetheless an opportunity that this may very well be reversed by the point we head into Christmas.

Elon Musk at 2022 Met Gala

(Picture credit score: Getty Photographs)

Unhealthy information, not-necessarily unhealthy information

It most likely comes as no shock to most of you who’ve been monitoring the Elon Musk Twitter saga for a while that Musk is not a lot of a listener.

In line with a brand new Casey Newton Platformer e-newsletter (opens in new tab), Musk was warned in a prolonged memo earlier than the November 9 rollout of the paid verification plan that there can be bother.

The doc, which Platform obtained, reads extra like a historic doc than a “what if.” It spells out how the plan would result in the “Impersonation of world leaders, advertisers, model companions, election officers, and different high-profile people.”

That’s precisely what occurred earlier than Musk hit the brakes and now seems to don’t have any follow-up plan for Twitter Blue and paid Blue Examine verifications. 

In addition they warned how the brand new plan would drive away present verified customers. Some have left as a result of they’re now not protected against impersonation.

Nevertheless, we now have some excellent news. In line with Newton, Twitter presently has no straightforward manner of eradicating verified checks from those that select to not pay. In different phrases, you probably have a verified account proper now (the one you bought earlier than the fee system was carried out), you might need it for some time longer, particularly as a result of Musk laid off most of the individuals who would possibly assist program such a change.

Included among the many Twitter departed is Sachee MacCaw, a Twitter Software program engineer who ruthlessly trolled Musk on Twitter, particularly after he criticized how the system works on Android until he fired her (opens in new tab). —Lance Ulanoff

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Due to Twitter person @Christapeterso (opens in new tab), a timeline of Elon Musk proudly owning Twitter up till the current day is right here for all to see, and it is solely whenever you learn by way of this thread, that you just notice a lot has occurred in such a brief area of time.

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We have began to identify some tweets of two-factor authentication not working. When you’ve put an e-mail or a cellular quantity in to assist confirm your account whenever you check in, it appears prefer it’s not working accurately.

The code wanted that will help you check in is not being despatched, however it appears as if it really works for e-mail for some, and never a telephone quantity.

In any case, it is regarding {that a} characteristic to assist safe your account is beginning to present bugs and refuse to work for some customers.

When you’re anxious, it might be greatest to test that e-mail verification is switched on on your account as quickly as you’ll be able to.

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After a mildly-quiet Friday, Musk has been replying to a bunch of customers as we speak, with affirmation that the ‘Despatched from iPhone’ message goes away.

When you’re unaware, as you’d ship a tweet from an iPhone or an Android gadget, the tweet would state this. It is resulted in some embarrassing moments for manufacturers, the place it could ship a tweet promoting an Android gadget, however it could be despatched from an iPhone.

So this removing may very well be to do with ads but once more, not simply because Musk and his workforce is not certain why that characteristic has been round for years.

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Ex-Twitter staff are subtweeting Musk with corrections to his tweets, however this time, Musk replied to Tracy Hawkins right here, arguing that this tweet is allegedly false.

Count on to see extra of those tweets within the close to future – we’re in a interval the place staff are feeling not sure in regards to the firm’s roadmap, and their very own future at Twitter.

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When you’ve been experiencing some points when utilizing Twitter as some on the TechRadar workforce have, you are not alone.

It additionally appears as if you may be struggling with these points for a bit longer, as a ‘change freeze’ has been implement. This primarily implies that any adjustments to the code of Twitter, from the way it works to any options in growth, have been paused.

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As each day passes there appears to be one thing that causes an eyebrow to be raised. Elon Musk’s different firm, SpaceX, has seemingly purchased an advert marketing campaign to run on Twitter for the foreseeable.

As Lora Kolodny tweets above, these normally value within the area of $250,000 a day, however it would not be a far cry to suspect that SpaceX has obtained a little bit of a reduction in comparison with different corporations’ advert takeovers previously.

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Elon Musk tweeted his ideas about Twitter engagement late final evening, and it has been a debatable publish to say the least.

A subtweet from Raheel Khursheed caught our eye, as he explains how the social platform barely made a footprint when it got here to linking to different websites.

Elon Musk and Twitter

(Picture credit score: Getty Photographs)

Twitter Blues

Whereas Twitter Blue signups are presently on pause, we’d lastly have some perception into how properly (or not) the brand new program is continuing.

In line with a report in Mashable (opens in new tab), which received some Twitter Blue signup numbers from app-tracking agency Sensor Tower (opens in new tab), Twitter Blue signups generated $488,000, which is, at $8 a pop, 61,000 subscribers. 

Let’s simply say that is not fairly a blue wave. It isn’t horrible, however Twitter has a whole lot of thousands and thousands of every day lively customers and solely a fraction of them are legacy verified. We should always have seen thousands and thousands of individuals signing up for Twitter Blue, proper?

If 91% of Twitter’s income is generated from advertisements (roughly $5 billion in 2021), Twitter Blue has an extremely lengthy technique to go earlier than it will probably assist 50% of Twitter’s general income.

As of this second, although, there isn’t a Twitter Blue signup, and there most likely will not be till Musk and Twitter can work out learn how to get folks to enroll with out inflicting important verification and id points.

This technique is a joke

Over at The Washington Put up, tech journalist Geoffrey Fowler (opens in new tab), with the permission of a sitting Senator and a comic, created two faux “verified” Blue Examine Twitter accounts in minutes.

Massachusetts Senator Edward J. Markey and comic Blaire Erskine each comply with let Fowler create the faux accounts of their names.

As Fowler writes:

“Twitter has mentioned accounts that impersonate individuals are not allowed and face suspension once they’re found. It booted comic Kathy Griffin after she modified her Twitter display screen identify to Elon Musk. However there’s little or no about Twitter’s new paid service that stops you from verifying a faux account. As of the time I revealed this column, its techniques hadn’t detected these weren’t genuine accounts and so they remained on-line.”

What does this show? That there isn’t a verification on this “verification.” Elon Musk has created a damaged system (one since hidden) and that has already been gamed by others to extra devastating impact. 

Somebody created a faux Ely Lilly And Co “verified” Twitter account after which tweeted that insulin was now free (opens in new tab). Whereas it might have been coincidental. the real drug company’s stock did take a dive.

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Regardless of the controversy surrounding the brand new Blue Examine course of and the flexibility to turn into a Twitter Blue member abruptly disappearing from the platform, many individuals have already opted to pay $8 for their very own Blue Examine.

If, nevertheless, you are not glad, you’ll be able to, in keeping with Twitter person @Sprint, get a fast refund in your $8 subscription cost by way of Apple.

This is not stunning since it is simple to unsubscribe to virtually any service you have paid for by way of Apple’s App Retailer.

What @Sprint claims, although, is that after your refund, you continue to get to maintain the “tick” (Blue Examine) for 30 days. Which will or might not be so, although. Whereas it’d take a while for Apple to course of the cancellation and hand it off to Twitter, it appears unlikely that the Blue Examine would cling round for lengthy.

If there’s anybody on the market who did have Blue Examine purchaser’s regret, canceled, and nonetheless has the tick, tell us.

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What’s a journalist?

Lance Ulanoff hopping in right here:

For Chief Twit Elon Musk, a lot of the Blue Examine verification mess boils all the way down to Citizen Journalism. 

Musk desires everybody on Twitter to ship the information (nothing has stopped them to this point). Nevertheless, the unlevel enjoying area of Blue Examine haves and have-nots has created, as Musk sees it, an imbalance. With the which means and worth of Blue checks lowered to the value of an costly cup of espresso (one monthly), it means anybody will be verified and, in the event that they report information on Twitter, have the identical visibility.

Musk Tweeted Friday afternoon, “As Twitter pursues the purpose of elevating citizen journalism, media elite will attempt every little thing to cease that from taking place.”

In Musk’s eyes, skilled journalists are the “media elite” and we’re blocking his everyone seems to be a journalist dream.

As this tech reporter informed Musk on Twitter, although, the problem will not be citizen journalists, it is that the whole Blue Examine system is now not tied to id, high quality, or any semblance of reality. With out that, nobody, together with his citizen journalists, will be trusted.

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Here is a reply from Musk an hour in the past, the place he is enthusiastic of how Twitter Blue goes to date.

Which makes us marvel – has he gotten the memo?

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I used to be considering again to once I first used Twitter on my iPhone, and it was certainly Tweetie, which was purchased by the corporate, after which changed into the app you employ as we speak.

The pull-to-refresh gesture is now a normal on many apps, corresponding to Apple’s Safari and Mail apps.

Simply so as to add to the chaos, Musk has now tweeted this from the Twitter HQ. Whereas we do not ever recommend studying an excessive amount of into tweets, particularly from somebody as mercurial as Musk, it does maybe give us a glimpse into the present mindset of the remaining Twitter staff…

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By tweeting and highlighting this, plainly Musk is conscious, although what he thinks of it’s a thriller, as all the time.

Mastodon apps on iOS and Android

(Picture credit score: TechRadar)

When you’ve heard of Mastodon this week, you are not alone. Fortunately, I have been attempting it out recently and it is a terrific various. There are a few apps you should use proper now on iOS and Android should you’ve already signed as much as Mastodon as properly.

Lance Ulanoff materializes

(Picture credit score: Future)

Our US Editor-In-Chief Lance Ulanoff despatched us this which reads as if he is saying farewell to Twitter:

“I’ve met a number of the coolest folks on Twitter. I’ve interacted with my idols and icons and made true mates. Twitter has all the time labored the way in which my mind works – in bite-sized items. Actually unsure how I’ll keep sure friendships and connections or the place I’ll publish random ideas that make me glad with out it. Please, Microsoft, purchase Twitter.”

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Zoë Schiffer (opens in new tab), author at Platformer, tweeted the above {that a} message was posted within the Twitter Slack, that confirmed the top of Twitter Blue and paid blue ticks so as to cease the impersonations, however any current subscriptions to the service will keep on as ordinary.

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One other one which was despatched to me from Muskaan, this tweet exhibits how damaged the verification system beneath Twitter Blue was. One is the real Apple TV Plus account, one other is a faux one.

Hopefully we’ll see a reversal of this, because it’s already complicated to inform which one is actual or faux for a lot of customers.

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Our (incredible) Computing author Muskaan Saxena despatched me this tweet, and it is a terrific analogy for the way customers are feeling on Twitter.

A mad iceberg within the form of the Twitter chicken is sort of the picture.

So the place can we stand to date?

Musk has but to react to any growth to Twitter as we speak, which is stunning. The above is, on the time of posting this, his newest tweet.

Nevertheless, we have seen a small change with the ticks, the place it is also blue whenever you’re in darkish mode on the location.

The top image shows what an Actually Verified account looks like, while the bottom shows you what a Paid for Verification account looks like

(Picture credit score: Wseagar / Eight-{Dollars})

An fascinating learn by Hamish Hector right here – there is a Chrome extension the place it’ll let you know if a person has been verified with a blue tick, or in the event that they’ve gained one by signing as much as Twitter Blue when it was reside.

Worrying about Twitter

(Picture credit score: Shutterstock)

Let’s be clear – there’s not going to be a alternative for Twitter. Nothing actually will be, however there are potential options.

With this in thoughts, we have three so that you can take into account.

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Here is our US Editor-in-Chief Lance Ulanoff displaying his very first tweet again in 2007.

Because it features a bagel, it is already a terrific tweet in my ebook. The subsequent query for me is, may his last tweet embody a bagel to spherical it off?

Elon Musk at 2022 Met Gala

(Picture credit score: Getty Photographs)

Let’s recap:

On October 30, Elon Musk, CEO and Founding father of Area X, CEO of Tesla, lastly took cost of Twitter after a long-winded buyout of the platform.

In beneath a month, we have seen the verification course of turn into irrelevant and complicated because of the subscription service, Twitter Blue having the ability to grant any person a blue tick, and there is additionally been an enormous firing of employees.

On November 11, Twitter Blue was eliminated completely, and there is been silence from Musk since.

So, virtually inevitably, it appears the Blue Tick verification course of has been canned.

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Because the tweet above states, the chaos continues – therefore why we have began this reside weblog. What is happening?

Here is an instance of how exhausting a few of these faux accounts are to identify:

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Musk himself fell sufferer to this, with numerous faux accounts popping up claiming to be him – and with a Blue Tick to show it. This appeared to be the ultimate straw, as Musk then backtracked on a number of the extra lax parts of the brand new verification course of.

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Nevertheless, as folks predicted, verified accounts began popping up on Twitter, and whereas a lot of them had been clearly parodies, as a result of they’d the ‘Blue Tick’, it grew to become troublesome to inform, particularly with the extra delicate accounts.

Unsurprisingly, the people and firms that had been being parodied weren’t too glad about this. 

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Worryingly for Twitter, many manufacturers began to announce that they’d now not promote on the platform.

Regardless of the considerations and complaints, Musk was initially dismissive.

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By posting memes about folks’s complaints, it left many individuals feeling that he wasn’t precisely taking the problem critically.

Maybe probably the most controversial factor to come back from Musk’s Twitter takeover has been the adjustments to how accounts are verified. 

Beforehand, if the verified account of a media outlet (corresponding to TechRadar (opens in new tab)) or different group revealed one thing, you’ll a minimum of know that it got here from an official supply. The Blue Examine additionally enabled Twitter customers to inform the distinction between the various celebrities on Twitter and customers who had been imitating them.

Nevertheless, Musk carried out a change that may permit anybody to get verified for $8 a month.

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This led to some folks worrying that customers may faux to be official accounts and get simply verified, making it exhausting for folks to inform which accounts had been actual – and which weren’t. And that is precisely what occurred.



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