Did Elon Musk set up his business reality show on Twitter?

Elon Musk is inaugurating a new model in the business world, we could call it “business reality” with global implications. The best thing is that it is broadcast live on Twitter: his company, his speaker.

In the best style of modern politicians: Musk first announces the changes to the great mass of social networks and then applies them. This is how it was from the beginning with the purchase of Twitter until today, going from the charges for approved accounts to the closure of the parodies that pretend, with humor or without it, to be recognized personalities, a practice of which there are local examples of politicians or examples world of actresses and artists.

The latest example of this way of leading the company was to close the account of the American actress and comedian Kathy Griffin, since she had impersonated Musk himself without specifying that it was a joke: he replaced the name of his profile with that of the businessman, and then his punishment came, because the tycoon owner of Tesla was not amused.

Minutes after this happened, Musk tweeted: “Going forward, any Twitter user who engages in phishing without clearly specifying ‘parody’ will be permanently suspended.” This is how it works now: execute first, then clear. So it was with the purchase: first he announced it and then he put the millions of dollars to spin.

This is how the decline begins —or not— of a social network that seemed like a public square where everyone said what they wanted, now Musk manages it as if it were his living room. Even in Colombia, several tweeters with thousands of followers have begun a migration to similar networks like Mastodon —it has existed since 2016—, and the same is happening in the world, which has been a source of ridicule for the now owner of Twitter.

But not all the moves are media, on November 4 hundreds of Twitter employees said they had been fired, they found out because they did not have access to institutional mail; It is estimated that 50% of employees have been left out in recent days and countries like Spain are already monitoring movements that would go against workers’ rights.

This way of negotiating, which can resemble the moves in the media that businessmen or politicians have always made to speculate, have had their busiest moment in recent days when Musk spent his time weighing up how much a user could pay to have a verified account. He started by setting a monthly price of $20 and then lowered it to $8.

After the decision, which has not yet been applied to users, Musk has spent it like any boy expert in memes saying whatever comes to mind, criticizing that no one complains about paying $8 for a coffee, but they do for have a verified account. Thus, he has been in charge of staying in the conversations of his own social network.

It has also gone deep with politics. Yesterday, one day before the local and parliamentary elections —in which there will be state referendums—, Musk risked supporting the Republican party, showing his cards and agreeing with those who claim that he is a supporter of Donald Trump.

Musk’s more than 114 million followers were able to read it: “To independent voters: Power sharing curbs the worst excesses of both parties, which is why I recommend voting for a Republican Congress, since the Presidency is Democratic.” And before the avalanche of comments he clarified: “To be clear, my historical affiliation to a party has been Independent, with a real voting history completely Democratic until this year.”

Precisely on this subject, El País de España published: “The alleged exercise of equidistance, in favor of a counterweight of powers, however, does not manage to hide a political orientation that was made clear in May, when it announced that, after having voted in previous elections to the Democrats, I would now support the Republicans. In mid-August, the businessman tried to qualify his bet by ensuring that he will always be on the side of ‘the moderate half of the Democrats and (the moderate half of) the Republicans’ ”.

All this happens in the middle of a speech in which Musk presents himself as a horseman of truth who seeks to give more power to the people, referring with that term to those who in colloquial Colombian can be understood as “people on foot”. It is not an empty speech, on the contrary it is linked to populist movements, Donald Trump also said it when he fought against media such as The New York Times, Jair Bolsonaro did it and even has its local chapters.

Musk’s behavior, his eccentricities and the way in which he governs his companies from Twitter —in addition to the mystery with which he works in Tesla and Space X— have given rise to all kinds of theories that are spread through social networks and there has been no lack of someone he sees him as a man from the future: speaking on screens in the style of Big Brother, a character who sees everything in George Orwell’s novel 1984.

The truth is that the figure of Elon Musk looks much more like the billionaire character in the movie don’t look up, which premiered on Netflix a couple of months ago – the same actor, Mark Rylance, said that the owner of Tesla was his inspiration –: a man obsessed with life in space, with the answer to all things in technology and with the certainty that life on Earth may have an end soon; It is not gratuitous that Musk has said that his bedside book is Exodus – the second book in the Bible that speaks of Israel’s escape from Egypt – and that he can only be contacted in the stars.

He is a strange character, Elon Musk, a son of his time who is unpredictable and who has armed himself with an image that no one can understand very well. He is both an entrepreneur, as a rock star, as an influencer, in short, he is an avatar

The confirmation of the purchase of Twitter by Elon Musk continues to generate controversy, due to the decisions that the businessman may make in the coming days and with which he may possibly change the course of the platform.

The arrival of the businessman has even caused some Hollywood celebrities to decide to say goodbye to the social network, although their accounts are still active.

One of the first to express her departure was Shonda Rhimes, remembered for creating the Grey’s Anatomy series, and who has 1.9 million followers on her account. Another who joined this list is the executive producer of This is Us, Ken Olin: in his farewell message he invited his followers to “protect democracy”. The American singer and songwriter of Portuguese origin Sara Bareilles is another of the personalities who left the social network, which currently has more than 436 million active users each month. Singer Toni Braxton also departed.

Musk’s arrival on Twitter was also felt in the business sector. Important companies such as General Mills, Audi, Volkswagen and Mondelez International Inc. stopped advertising on the platform after the tycoon took office, in part because of concerns about how the content shared in this space will begin to be moderated, reported The Wall Street Journal. Some automakers like Ford and General Motors told Forbes they won’t buy ad space on Twitter until they better understand the future of the social network.

Did Elon Musk set up his business reality show on Twitter?