- Elon Musk accomplished his $44 billion buy of Twitter on Thursday.
- Hateful imagery and slurs quickly popped up on the web site in celebration of the acquisition.
- Twitter staffers feared mass layoffs after Musk fired a number of high execs.
The Elon Musk period of Twitter is not off to a robust begin.
Musk lastly accomplished his $44 billion buy of the social-media platform on Thursday. It did not take lengthy for Musk to sack high executives. It additionally did not take lengthy for hypothesis to start about potential layoffs at the firm — and for far-right trolls to have a good time with racist tweets.
The world’s richest man and Tesla CEO tweeted “let the good times roll” on Friday, his first full day as Twitter proprietor. It’s unclear when mentioned good times would start rolling.
The Washington Post reported that hateful photos and racial slurs rapidly emerged after the Musk-Twitter deal closed.
One tweet the Post noticed mentioned “I hear that there have been some changes around here” with a video depicting Nazi imagery. Insider was capable of finding the tweet and affirm it was nonetheless reside on Twitter late Friday afternoon.
And the Network Contagion Research Institute noticed that use of the N-word on Twitter had surged 500% in comparison with the earlier common after Musk purchased the firm.
It appears Musk invited tweets like this by defining himself as a “free-speech” proponent, who incessantly criticized content material moderation.
Ring-wing personalities like Dinesh D’Souza had been even duped by a fake statement from Donald Trump that his Twitter account had been reinstated, prompting temporary jubilation. Other right-wing politicians and pundits have called on Musk to lift other bans.
Musk is now caught between a risky conservative base hailing him as a savior, and the wants of an precise enterprise the place content material moderation is key to attracting advertisers. And he put himself there.
Sure, there’s at all times the probability that Musk might go away Twitter the identical; the one announcement he made on Friday was that Twitter would type a content-moderation council. But it additionally looks as if a bland half measure with a imprecise aim proper now.
Things aren’t significantly better inside the halls of Twitter.
Musk instantly fired a number of high executives at the firm, together with CEO Parag Agrawal (though they’ll get a substantial payday for being canned).
The oustings, and Musk’s total takeover, prompted some Twitter employees to fear for their jobs. One engineer tweeted on Thursday, “I am fully expecting him to fire 69% of us on Friday at 4:20pm.”
By Friday, speculation was swirling inside Twitter about broad layoffs. Staff nonetheless hadn’t been given any path on Musk’s acquisition by early afternoon.
Confusion was additional heightened by photographs and studies on-line of engineers leaving Twitter places of work with packing containers. It prompted debates amongst employees about whether or not it was a hoax or not, Insider’s Kali Hays reported.
The Verge later reported on Friday that it was possible a hoax; one particular person claiming to be a laid-off Twitter staffer mentioned his title was “Rahul Ligma,” which The Verge confirmed isn’t a reputation employed with Twitter (and “Ligma” is an web meme).
Needless to say, the first day of Twitter’s Musk rule was chaotic. Musk did not rein in far-right response, nor had been fears of mass layoffs tempered inside the firm.
Musk has mentioned he views Twitter as a “digital town square” however insisted to advertisers in a letter this week that it wouldn’t become a “free-for-all hellscape.” But his first day did little to ease considerations, each outdoors and in.