OLIVIER DOULIERY / AFP
Elon Musk bought Twitter but is causing a wave of change that is not to everyone’s liking.
TWITTER – A week after the formalization of the takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk, many questions continue to arise this Thursday, November 3. Tensions and anxiety reign in the exchanges between the new owner of the social network and many users anxious to understand what the platform will look like in the future.
Freedom of expression, dismissals, paid option… The HuffPost takes stock of the changes that Twitter has undergone since the takeover by the billionaire, and the consequences of this takeover.
Half of the employees made redundant
Bad news for Twitter employees. According to DailyMail, Elon Musk will thank half of his 7,500 employees on Friday, November 4. These massive layoffs are justified as allowing the platform to reduce its costs to generate more income, one of the first objectives of the sulphurous entrepreneur who bought Twitter for 44 billion dollars.
A few days before the transaction, the washington post revealed that Elon Musk wanted to fire 75% of the workforce. The figures have therefore been revised downwards, but the announcement remains a blow for employees who have already seen several leaders leave, including ex-boss Parag Agrawal.
In addition, teleworking will no longer be authorized for employees (with some exceptions), always with the aim of saving money.
Certified accounts become chargeable
In order to increase Twitter’s income, Elon Musk decided to make account certification ” authentic “. Users who have the blue dot next to their name will have to pay 8 dollars per month.
The boss of Tesla and SpaceX had first announced an amount of 20 dollars, before the famous writer Stephen King (and other users) complained about the amount. After a short exchange with the author and faced with this outcry, Elon Musk therefore decided to reduce the price. However, his initiative is still not unanimous. The French Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire has thus acknowledged that paying him “will hurt a little”.
With this project, the new general manager wants to merge Twitter Blue (a subscription to paid features at 5 dollars per month already existing in the English-speaking world) and the possibility of having his identity verified and certified. Currently, only certain profiles can request this guarantee of authenticity, in particular governments, companies, the media, political, cultural or sports personalities, etc.
Brands stop advertising
An ardent defender of absolutist freedom of expression, the South African billionaire had published a message intended to reassure advertisers shortly before the takeover. He had indeed promised not to do Twitter “a hellish place open to all, where anything can be said without consequence”. This before all the same reinstating Kanye West (who now calls himself Ye), suspended a little earlier after anti-Semitic remarks. As a pledge of good faith, Elon Musk, however, postponed the case of Donald Trump until later.
In view of these prevarications, a collective of nearly 50 associations for the defense of democracy or the fight against disinformation urged the biggest advertisers on Twitter (including Coca-Cola, Google and Disney) to threaten Elon Musk to stop all advertising on the network if ever there “ liquidated » content moderation.
General Motors has already announced that it will temporarily suspend its spending on the platform. According to the FinancialTimes, the cosmetics giant L’Oréal would also have taken this decision. Information denied to Reuters by a company spokesperson.
Faced with these criticisms, Elon Musk announced that he wanted to form a content moderation council. He also claimed to have discussed with several minority rights NGOs on “ how Twitter will continue to fight hate and harassment ».
Personalities flee the platform
And it’s not just advertisers who are questioning the platform. Some personalities have chosen to leave Twitter permanently since the takeover of Elon Musk. This is the case of the composer Toni Braxton who fears the drift towards hate speech, of the creator of the series Grey’s Anatomy Shonda Rhimes or the singer Sara Bareilles.
I’m shocked and appalled at some of the “free speech” I’ve seen on this platform since its acquisition. Hate speech… https://t.co/IVWWF0vNPe
— Toni Braxton (@tonibraxton)
Not hanging around for whatever Elon has planned. Bye.
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes)
Welp. It’s been fun Twitter. I’m out. See you on other platforms, peeps. Sorry, this one’s just not for me. ❤️🙏🏼
— Sara Bareilles (@SaraBareilles)
A movement still far from significant, but which still shows the reluctance of a part of society to Elon Musk’s projects for the blue bird.
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