Elon Musk continues to clean up Twitter

Published 9 Dec 2022 at 14:21Updated 9 Dec. 2022 at 17:40

Little by little, Twitter gravy Elon Musk is starting to take shape. After reauthorizing Donald Trump on the platform and dismissing half of the workforce, the billionaire continues to clean up “his” social network. This time the changes are about users: about 1.5 billion inactive Twitter accounts will soon be deleted, Elon Musk tweeted on Friday.

“These deletions are obvious for accounts that haven’t tweeted or logged in for years,” he explained. This deletion will free up nicknames and names for potential new users. But this measure is also a gesture aimed at advertisers.

In the wake of Musk’s takeover, many groups (Volkswagen, General Mills, Pfizer, Mondelez, etc.) exited their investments in Twitter. Many fear that the platform will become even more toxic, with the Tesla boss defending a rather absolute view of freedom of expression. Elon Musk himself recently acknowledged that Twitter saw “a massive drop” in revenue. But even though Twitter is a small player in the digital advertising market (1% of the total), it still provides 90% of its income.

Bot hunting

In this context, deleting inactive accounts can improve the audience measurement of said ads. In any case, this is a long-term battle for Elon Musk. During the incredible soap opera of the takeover, the billionaire had already accused Twitter of inflating its audience and of not sufficiently hunting bots, those robots that automatically send “tweets”.

Another measure for advertisers: next week, a new tool will prevent ads from appearing next to tweets that contain certain potentially problematic keywords, according to Reuters. It could be, for example, racist or offensive words, etc. According to the agency, Twitter would also consider reinstating moderators instead of resorting to specialized companies, which would make it possible to better moderate content in languages ​​other than English.

A new Twitter Blue Friday

However, Elon Musk also wants to free Twitter from advertising by generating additional revenue. For this, the billionaire is also rebuilding Twitter Blue. This paid product was launched in 2021 (i.e. before the acquisition) first in Canada and Australia, then in the US, New Zealand and the UK to offer additional services. For example, the ability to classify tweets into folders or a “read” mode…

From now on, Twitter Blue will also integrate the famous “badges”, which were previously free and allowed to authenticate the accounts of politicians, journalists… Three badges (blue for individuals, gold for companies and gray for politicians) will see the day. According to multiple reports, the new Twitter Blue should be available this Friday for $7 a month on the web and $11 on iPhones, according to Reuters.

Finally, Twitter is working on a feature that will let users know if they’ve been the victim of “shadowbanning,” Elon Musk tweeted. This moderation technique, widely used by social networks, consists of temporarily “deleting” certain accounts without, however, deleting them. It is often a penalty when an account uses “bots” to, for example, have such a high number of “likes” or “retweets” that it becomes suspicious… For Musk, “twittos” must have a means to challenge this practice.

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