Elon Musk offers to buy Twitter and take it private

darkprincealain

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Looking for that last nail in Twitter's coffin? Here ya go:

Elon Musk Suggests He Will Charge All X/Twitter Users a Fee to Be on the Platform

Elon Musk may flip the switch to make X — the social network formerly known as Twitter — an entirely subscription-based platform.

Musk brought up the idea of charging all users of X/Twitter during a wide-ranging conversation focused on AI that featured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday. “[We’re] moving to a small monthly payment for use of the X system,” Musk told Netanyahu, claiming that it is the only way to eliminate the problem of bots, as reported by Bloomberg’s Dave Lee.

Musk didn’t mention timing of his plan to charge X/Twitter users, nor did he say how much it would cost. According to Musk, X has 550 million monthly active users, who create 100 million-200 million posts daily on the social network.

My question is, why would Netanyahu take a meeting with EM anyway? There’s been such a rise of antisemitism on the platform since EM took over that I would say I’m not taking such a meeting if I were Netanyahu, and in addition, I would seriously consider banning twitter from Israel, but I suppose luckily for us all, I’m not Netanyahu.
 

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Alessandra Kelley

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Looking for that last nail in Twitter's coffin? Here ya go:

Elon Musk Suggests He Will Charge All X/Twitter Users a Fee to Be on the Platform

Elon Musk may flip the switch to make X — the social network formerly known as Twitter — an entirely subscription-based platform.

Musk brought up the idea of charging all users of X/Twitter during a wide-ranging conversation focused on AI that featured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday. “[We’re] moving to a small monthly payment for use of the X system,” Musk told Netanyahu, claiming that it is the only way to eliminate the problem of bots, as reported by Bloomberg’s Dave Lee.

Musk didn’t mention timing of his plan to charge X/Twitter users, nor did he say how much it would cost. According to Musk, X has 550 million monthly active users, who create 100 million-200 million posts daily on the social network.

Annnnnd umpty bajillion new members been pouring into Bluesky today.

(At least the servers seem better able to handle the influx this time)
 

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My question is, why would Netanyahu take a meeting with EM anyway? There’s been such a rise of antisemitism on the platform since EM took over that I would say I’m not taking such a meeting if I were Netanyahu, and in addition, I would seriously consider banning twitter from Israel, but I suppose luckily for us all, I’m not Netanyahu.
Because Netanyahu is becoming an authoritarian and Musk is the authoritarian's best friend.
Ultraconservative Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu considers Left-wing Jewish people to be basically treasonous. His son has said Left-wing people are more dangerous than literal Nazis.

Israel has had a terrible, increasingly authoritarian hard-conservative government doing atrocities for years now, which both uses claims of antisemitism as a shield against all criticism and also happily aligns with antisemites as long as they primarily target Left-wing and secular Jewish people.
 

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Yes, per the NYT, he wants them to be called “posts”.
Well, that's sufficiently generic to go with "X" as a platform name.

He helpfully gave all the other social media platforms a "Brand X" to compare themselves with when advertising too. "We're still free and have at least some hate speech policies, unlike our leading competitor, Brand X!"

Seriously, I guess there are still too many people on the platform for EM's liking. Charging people to use it is likely to force a lot of folks to quit. And fewer users would mean fewer advertising dollars, downward spiral.

Of course, he could just be making noises he won't follow up on, maybe figuring this will make folks on the platform to think he listened to them or something.
 
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Introversion

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Of course, he could just be making noises he won't follow up on, maybe figuring this will make folks on the platform to think he listened to them or something.
I remember back when he was twittering about charging $20/month for a verified account. The pushback resulted in “only” $8/month, for a not-really-verified “blue” or “premium” status, or whatever he calls it now.

So, maybe he’s just flying trial balloons here too? Except his need for moar revenues hasn’t gone away, so he’s bound to start charging more for something.

Still hope this entire fiasco is someday used as an example of How Not To in B-schools, unless that’ll be too “woke” by then?
 
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Musk's X disabled feature for reporting electoral misinformation

Elon Musk's X, formerly called Twitter, disabled a feature that let users report misinformation about elections, a research organisation said on Wednesday, throwing fresh concern about false claims spreading just before major U.S. and Australian votes.

After introducing a feature in 2022 for users to report a post they considered misleading about politics, X in the past week removed the "politics" category from its drop-down menu in every jurisdiction but the European Union, said the researcher Reset.Tech Australia.
 

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Well, I guess then he wasn't really joking to his kids about buying Twitter for the chance to go and manipulate elections to his desires. Surprise! But IMO that would ring a little more true as motivation than just buying Twitter just to wreck it... Even if both are not mutually exclusive.

"[...]every jurisdiction but the EU[...]"

It's sad, but it actually warms my heart just a smidge that our EU actually scares him a little to leave that up.

Fine him anyway, EU, make him bleed and weep. Please? I don't get as bloodthirsty usually, I promise. But he deserves it.
 

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Elon Musk Fires Entire 'Election Integrity Team' at X

Elon Musk posted on X tonight that he has just fired the entire 'Election Integrity Team' at X.

This unit was created to identify threats from foreign and domestic sources by "posting or sharing content that may suppress participation, mislead people about when, where, and how to participate in a civic process, or lead to offline violence during an election."

We now head into the critically important 2024 elections with no guard rails on perhaps the most influential platform in American politics. What could go wrong?
To be honest, I’m surprised xTwitter still had such a team. 🤷‍♂️
 

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Someone posted a screenshot on Bluesky that showed Musk's absolutely flippant response to an account that monitors goings on at the company and reported this change (which of course I can't find now because Bluesky is being wonky). Basically something like, "You mean the group that actually influenced elections? Yeah, they're gone."

Impotent rage is going to end me, I swear.
 

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What was Elon Musk’s strategy for Twitter?

On the day that public records revealed that Elon Musk had become Twitter’s biggest shareholder, an unknown sender texted the billionaire and recommended an article imploring him to acquire the social network outright.

Musk’s purchase of Twitter, the 3,000-word anonymous article said, would amount to a “declaration of war against the Globalist American Empire.” The sender of the texts was offering Musk, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO, a playbook for the takeover and transformation of Twitter. As the anniversary of Musk's purchase approaches, the identity of the sender remains unknown.


The three texts were sent on April 4, 2022. In the nearly 18 months since then, many of the decisions Musk made after he bought Twitter appear to have closely followed that road map, up to and including his ongoing attacks against the Anti-Defamation League, a nonprofit organization founded by Jewish Americans to counter discrimination.

The text messages described a series of actions Musk should take after he gained full control of the social media platform: “Step 1: Blame the platform for its users; Step 2: Coordinated pressure campaign; Step 3: Exodus of the Bluechecks; Step 4: Deplatforming.”
 

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A Company Named X Social Media Is Suing X Corp, a Company Formerly Named Twitter

Turns out Elon Musk isn’t as creative at coming up with company names as we previously thought, as his obsession with the letter X is getting him into some legal trouble. A Florida ad agency for law firms is suing the billionaire’s company over trademark infringement.


Reuters reports that the agency, X Social Media LLC, filed the lawsuit in Florida federal court, arguing that Musk rebranding Twitter to X was grounds for customer confusion. The agency argues that it has consistently used the federally registered trademark X SOCIALMEDIA since 2016, which has led consumers to associate the agency with social media. The lawsuit claims that the ad agency has also invested upwards of $400 million and alleges that X Corp violated Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices.

“As ‘X’ is a social media platform, consumers naturally conflate ‘X SocialMedia’ as an X Corp.’s social media platform,” the lawsuit argues. “X Social Media has already suffered loss in revenue that correlates with X Corp.’s rebrand and use of the mark ‘X.’ It is highly probable this reverse confusion will continue to X Social Media’s financial detriment and to the detriment of the consumers who use and benefit from its services.”
 

ElaineA

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X removes article headlines in news links (AP link)

All a post shows is a picture that goes with the article, and a small link address. A user can still describe the news link in the post, or, predictably, give a wildly misleading headline. Which is happening already. One screenshot I saw shows a photo of Musk with a link to a Fortune Magazine article, and the post itself says, "Elon Musk loses penis in horrific Tesla door-slamming accident."

Meanwhile, Facebook is degrading news links on their site, as well. Including info about covid.

Social Media expert Ryan Broderick put it this way in his Substack (free to read): "Meta is saying, 'We have decimated the American media, removed our competitors, built our advertising monopoly, and we are done pretending we care.'" I think Musk is basically copying this strategy. I haven't been on Xitter for over a month, but I still see a lot of screenshots. It seems it has devolved into a pure outrage-posting site, as everyone jostles for engagement in search of MuskBucks.

It would be nice if this would drive more news orgs to stop paying Xitter and move to Bluesky. Hope springs eternal.
 
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How bad must your behavior be before Bloomberg makes a “moral case” to shun you? I guess now we know.

The Moral Case for No Longer Engaging With Elon Musk’s X

A man was murdered in my neighborhood on Monday. Ryan Carson was waiting at a bus stop with his girlfriend just before 4 a.m. when a man stabbed him repeatedly him in the chest. The couple had been at a wedding.

A video of the attack, obtained initially by the New York Post, was soon seized upon by one of X’s newest “stars” — one of those users who has thrived under the new Elon Musk regime at the former Twitter. His feed (which I will not publicize) is a stream of incendiary incidents from around the world, posted several times a day to an audience that is approaching a million followers.

I don’t follow this account, but X’s algorithm makes absolutely sure that I see what it has to say. A senseless murder is apparently a content opportunity not to be missed. The user’s post on Tuesday contained all the ingredients for success: It was timely. It was shocking. It was an innocent 32-year-old man dying on the streets of New York City. It was a chance, duly taken, to write an inflammatory comment on Carson’s work in public policy, as though it had somehow led to this moment, as though he had it coming.

As I rode the subway home to Bedford-Stuyvesant, I watched as the video clocked 1 million views, then 2 million. Up up up. Disgusting replies flooded in by the thousands: That’s what you get for supporting woke policies; should have carried a gun; looks planned. By the time I got home, I had deleted the app from my phone.

I will have to continue to follow X, of course, because it’s part of my job. But it’s time to step back as an engaged user, one who for the past decade has posted several times a day and scrolled countless times more. My eyeballs are no longer for sale to Musk and whatever grotesque content he wants to serve up in front of them.

Social networks are molded by the incentives presented to users. In the same way we can encourage people to buy greener cars with subsidies or promote healthy living by giving out smartwatches, so, too, can levers be pulled to improve the health of online life. Online, people can’t be told what to post, but sites can try to nudge them toward behaving in a certain manner, whether through design choices or reward mechanisms.

Under the previous management, Twitter at least played lip service to this. In 2020, it introduced a feature that encouraged people to actually read articles before retweeting them, for instance, to promote “informed discussion.” Jack Dorsey, the co-founder and former chief executive officer, claimed to be thinking deeply about improving the quality of conversations on the platform — seeking ways to better measure and improve good discourse online. Another experiment was hiding the “likes” count in an attempt to train away our brain’s yearn for the dopamine hit we get from social engagement.

One thing the prior Twitter management didn’t do is actively make things worse. When Musk introduced creator payments in July, he splashed rocket fuel over the darkest elements of the platform. These kinds of posts always existed, in no small number, but are now the despicable main event. There’s money to be made. X’s new incentive structure has turned the site into a hive of so-called engagement farming — posts designed with the sole intent to elicit literally any kind of response: laughter, sadness, fear. Or the best one: hate. Hate is what truly juices the numbers.

The user who shared the video of Carson’s attack wasn’t the only one to do it. But his track record on these kinds of posts, and the inflammatory language, primed it to be boosted by the algorithm. By Tuesday, the user was still at it, making jokes about Carson’s girlfriend. All content monetized by advertising, which X desperately needs. It’s no mistake, and the user’s no fringe figure. In July, he posted that the site had paid him more than $16,000. Musk interacts with him often.

X is now an app that forcibly puts abhorrent content into users’ feeds and then rewards financially the people who were the most successful in producing it, egging them on to do it again and again and make it part of their living. Know this: As the scramble for attention increases, the content will need to become more violent, more tragic and more divisive to stand out. More car crashes, high school fights and public humiliation.

Decency long left the building at X. It flows from the very top. When former executive Yoel Roth, whom Musk wrongly accused of being a pedophile, warned recently about hate speech on X, CEO Linda Yaccarino’s first reaction was to play down his concerns. On Monday, Musk followed up: “I have rarely seen evil in as pure a form as Yoel Roth.”

I have. It was on the corner of Malcolm X Boulevard and Lafayette Avenue that Monday night, as replayed to the hordes of baying, heartless ghouls X is happy to host and, in some cases, finance. To continue to engage at length with X is to enable this cycle of behavior. You can count me out.
 
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It would be nice if this would drive more news orgs to stop paying Xitter and move to Bluesky. Hope springs eternal.

Somewhat OT, but I'm having trouble getting interested in Bluesky, and I realized when trying to follow you one reason why: your link takes me to my timeline, not to your profile (where I can follow you). This may be because I read through a browser, not with an app.

It's not a huge barrier to entry, but it is a barrier. Past that...I'm having trouble finding much there that isn't celebrity-driven.
 
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ElaineA

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Somewhat OT, but I'm having trouble getting interested in Bluesky, and I realized when trying to follow you one reason why: your link takes me to my timeline, not to your profile (where I can follow you). This may be because I read through a browser, not with an app.

It's not a huge barrier to entry, but it is a barrier. Past that...I'm having trouble finding much there that isn't celebrity-driven.

Yes, I see the complaints about the browser experience still being sub-par. I mostly use it on my phone.

Interesting about finding mostly "celebrity-driven" content. I don't have that experience at all, which tells me there are some pretty significant silos there. I haven't really gone looking for the big accounts, though. I never followed them on Twitter because the important stuff usually filtered to my feed via RTs. That isn't happening as much on Bluesky (yet, or ever? who knows). I have a lot of small-account science and nature stuff in my feed right now while I wait for more news orgs and reporters I like to pop on. It does keep me from doomscrolling since I only get about 5 new posts an hour on my feed. :LOL: