It is a more than mixed record for the management of Twitter by Elon Musk, who arrived at the head of the social network at the end of October after buying it, somewhat in spite of himself finally, for a sum of 44 billion dollars. .
Massive layoffs, controversial decisions, dysfunctions… The weeks follow and accumulate for the platform, which lives to the frantic pace of tweets from its new boss. And the year 2023 was not going to be easy either.
Want to leave, don’t want to leave?
For now, all eyes are on Elon Musk and his possible withdrawal from the direction of the social network. On December 19, the American became a billionaire had invited Twitter users to comment on his fate. 57.5% of the 17 million people polled eventually responded that they favored his abdication. Musk had promised to “stand by the results of this investigation”.
A couple of days later has indicated to be in search ofsomeone pretty crazy” to succeed him, stating that he would always play a role on Twitter and take the leadership of the teams “software and servers”. By mid-November, he had already made it clear that he planned to “reducehis time on Twitter and find a replacement. “I don’t want to be the CEO of any company.”, he had declared during a lawsuit regarding his remuneration at Tesla.
If nothing has been done yet, CNBC has learned that this research was initiated even before Musk posted the idea for consultation on his Twitter account.
Be that as it may, the two months the social network has been at the helm have raised concerns among regulators and politicians in Europe. Last month, Arcom (ex-CSA) even sent a letter to Twitter’s European headquarters in Dublin asking about its capabilities “to maintain a safe environment for the users of its service” and ask him if he was quiet “capable of fulfilling the obligations imposed by law“, especially with regard to “moderation of illegal content and illegal practices”.
And the Digital Services Act (DSA), the new European rules on the subject that will soon enter into force, should strengthen this system of obligations, as well as the penalties that come with it in case of violation – a fine of up to 6% of the annual worldwide revenue for very large platforms. Recently, the arbitrary suspension of journalists’ accounts on Twitter has caused outrage in Europe. “There are red lines. And sanctions soon”, declared the European Commissioner for Values, Véra Jourová.
The year 2023 could also see Twitter face numerous fines for breaching the GDPR. Last week, Ireland’s Cnil decided to open an investigation following the leak of personal data of 5.4 million users, which had led to the sale on the dark web of this information this summer. On the same day, a hacker claimed to have obtained the data of more than 400 million Twitter users thanks to a vulnerability again and invited Elon Musk to pay 276 million dollars, otherwise this database would be resold to other, potentially malicious actors.
The sky darkens at Tesla
Finally, the new boss’s Twitter behavior and escapades have had an impact on the Tesla company, which he also owns. The electric car maker has lost almost 70% of its market value this year after a very strong performance in 2021.
Investors are concerned to see Musk favoring the social network, while the businessman did not hesitate to sell Tesla shares on several occasions to finance the takeover of Twitter. Added to this is an uncertain global economic context, which has already caused the American company to carry out several waves of layoffs. A new one would also be planned for the first quarter of 2023, according to the specialized site Elektrek.
Not to mention that part of Tesla’s valuation is tied to the autonomy of its vehicles, which has experienced some setbacks. According to statistics from the US Federal Highway Safety Agency, Tesla tops the list when it comes to the most accidents involving driver assistance technology.
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