Dear Elon, why are you destroying Twitter?

I buy Twitter. No, I don’t buy it anymore. But yes come on, I buy it. Without taking anything away from the character’s stature, the soap opera that led Elon Musk to buy Twitter for a record $ 44 billion could be summarized as follows. If the South African tycoon stirred the spirits to the sound of tweets even before getting his hands on the global microblogging giant, since he took over the reins he has done nothing but fuel the chaos.

Let’s rewind the tape. Elon Musk after many months of hesitation, confirmation and denial, concludes the process for the definitive acquisition of Twitter and begins to take on a rather controversial role, that of the executioner. The tycoon’s first move comes a little by surprise and creates the first cracks inside the environment: via four top managers, also ceo Parag Agrawal fired. A few days pass and Musk decides to cut his workforce and puts thousands of employees at the door. The first decisions of the new owner of the platform begin to feed the first doubts in advertisers, to the point that some immediately decide to suspend their advertising campaigns. This is the case with General Motors and Stellantis, among many. These first three evidences would be enough to talk about shock management, but this is only the beginning.

Twitter’s already precarious situation is fueled by the first hesitations of users. In fact, there are many who decide to look around, signing up on new related social platforms, Mastodon above all. However, cutting the umbilical cord is very difficult, and there are actually few abandonments, which are still recorded. Among the main reasons for user dissatisfaction is the implementation of a paid verified account, which allows you to get the blue check next to your nickname (which is usually reserved for well-known personalities and authorities). The choice is widely criticized, because the risk – immediately ascertained – is the spread of disinformation. In particular, each user can get his own pennant and pretend to be a famous person or even a company: the pharmaceutical agency Eli Lilly ended up in the crosshairs of the impostors, – a fake user already certified had announced the distribution of free insulin in the Usa – but also Tesla itself. Even earlier, the user Cade_Onder had taken the “appearance” of the actor Tobey Maguire, changing his profile name (not the nickname) and the photo, announcing the release of the new Spider-Man 4 of Sam Raimi. All false, of course.

Twitter increasingly in the “blue check” chaos and Musk does not rule out bankruptcy

Some parody accounts may be funny, but they are a powerful double-edged sword. If a person doesn’t know who or what to believe, the risk is just around the corner. Let’s think, for example, of the pandemic and the damage that the falsehoods that have persistently circulated online and on social media have caused in the real world. Or think of the powerful misinformation created around Russia’s conflict in Ukraine. The paid blue ticks could have contributed in an even more significant and ‘authoritative’ way to the spread of disinformation, for that aura of legitimacy that they give to accounts. If social media in recent years have made good progress on the prevention of fake news, Musk in a few hours has been able to take ten steps back. Before being forced to temporarily suspend the affiliation system. A temporary stop waiting to find a valid corrective to the subscription system, because without active membership Twitter cannot expect to have a long life.

A few days later, in fact, Musk does not mince words with his employees. His words were more or less these: “Can’t rule out Twitter bankruptcy”. The most attentive connoisseurs of the South African tycoon know well that it is not the first time that Musk véntila the possible bankruptcy of his own company: he did it with Tesla and in the same way with Space-X. And in all circumstances he chose a rather impersonal message, sent by e-mail, to communicate the precariousness of the financial situation of the case. The certainty is that Twitter is in a very serious crisis and is losing about 4 million dollars a day. The drop in revenue has been called “huge” by Musk himself, and in parallel with the growth of advertisers, the new property is convinced that without a large number of subscriptions signed by users it is impossible to clean up the increasingly less fat coffers.

The picture traced is missing another diaspora, which joins that of the users. On Thursday, in fact, Twitter started losing pieces again, this time not by the will of the ‘great leader’, however. The head of cybersecurity, Lea Kissner, announced her departure from the board of the platform: “I made the difficult decision to leave Twitter,” she commented briefly, thanking her for having had the opportunity to work with great people and being proud of the job done. So did the privacy officer, Damien Kieran, and the compliance manager, Marianne Fogarty. Between layoffs and resignations, the various work groups of the company struggle to carry out their duties, some due to the lack of interlocutors with whom they were confronted until a few days before, some due to the actual absence of the figure responsible for making decisions .

In summary, then, Elon Musk buys Twitter and decides to do what he likes, after all he has paid out 44 billion dollars: he fires four top managers, halves the employees and pushes many advertisers to suspend the lucrative advertising campaigns that serve as bread for all. company to survive. He then decides to activate a user verification system with paid blue badges that feeds the discontent of the users, who are then forced to put in mothballs. This choice triggers the first removal of users who are directed to other platforms and that of some managers who are clearly opposed to the conduct of the new owner. Finally, Musk announces that the platform loses $ 4 million a day and is likely to go bankrupt without ad revenue or membership. This is what has been ascertained so far.

The new chapter that now threatens to explode concerns a presumed explosion of hatred and disinformation spread on Twitter, the risk of which has already found confirmation. The United Nations, in the head of communication, Melissa Fleming, does not hide the same concerns that had already advanced chancelleries and politicians from all over the world: “Malicious people are testing the limits of the new course. – he wrote in the last hours – The prevalence of hate speech terms has increased. ” Others have instead reported a sudden surge in racist content, wild conspiracy theories, anti-Semitic memes and shocking language. Despite everything, however, the UN for the moment has decided to stay on board, since “Twitter and other social networks are crucial tools for those who work for a better world. In autocratic countries they allow you to search for prohibited news. In war zones they allow displaced people to keep in touch. Thanks to social networks, movements that improve human rights have been born “.

What do you read in this summary report? Improvisation. Lack of medium to long term perspective. Rash choices dictated by incompetence (being the richest man in the world, and perhaps the most successful, does not mean being competent in running any type of business. All the more so if it involves hundreds of millions of people around the world). Ultimately, Elon Musk’s behavior denotes an immeasurable sense of omnipotence. The same omnipotence of the executioner with the ax in his hands. Dear Elon, why are you unpacking Twitter?

Dear Elon, why are you destroying Twitter?