Elon Musk offers to buy Twitter and take it private

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Nether

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Trump, for example, HAS money...he just does whatever he can to not pay you or underpay you. People hate doing business with him because he's not a trustworthy individual; all the building industry people in/around NYC, no matter how conservative, didn't want to vote for him because they KNEW he was full of shit. You can be the richest man on the planet and have the liquidity to back it up, but if you're known for not honoring your word, then it'll be hard to do business. (of course some people still will, but they're not gonna be The Greatest People. You don't want to work with other backstabbers)

That's pretty much how real-estate operates, though. It's a volatile industry with a lot of shady doings. While Trump is one of the most notable real-estate moguls, how he operates is hardly unique. And most of the issues surrounding his projects are pretty common, too.

The other year, I was binging Bright Sun Films on YT which covers the history of abandoned places -- which is mostly real estate projects where things fell through. A single project -- like a hotel or casino -- can change hands dozens of times before being either completed or, more likely, scrapped. And a lot of people always wind up unpaid

Speaking of: I am dumb and gay I don't know how business works. How does a sole owner of a business take money from that and put it into their own pockets? Like if Bob at Bob's Big Discount Book Barn wants to buy a new yacht, can he just say "ooo random bonus for me!" and then that gets charged as income? Or can he just open the company check book and say "I'm writing a check out to me and there's nothing you can do about it"? Or do you just give yourself whatever salary you want and there's a steady flow of income from that?

Oh joy, I'm guessing you've never heard about the exciting world of leveraged buyouts and vulture capitalism!

You -- yes, you! -- can buy a company by putting almost no money down and finance the rest via loans against the value of the purchased company. Sometimes the vulture capitalist only puts down less than 1% of the company's value. You can then pay yourself bonuses, sell the company's assets, etc, and put it in bankruptcy to screw your suppliers, lenders, etc, after you've extracted all the value you can get... and then you move onto the next company.

There are several ways you can extract value from the company you're looting, but these are some of the obvious ones:

1) Salary. It's just earned income, taxable at the normal rates, and boring.

2) Bonuses. Again, earned income, taxable, but a bit more questionable. You can also get more creative with bonuses.

3) Non-income benefits. These are taxable, but I don't really know the rates. This includes company provided things you can't just expense against the company (although there are an insane number of things you can expense against the company)

4) Expensing against the company. This one can be a bit of a gray area, but it's huge in business and politics. This can include travel, lodging, amenities (including meals), work-related items, etc. iirc, some executives have kept second apartments which are paid for by the company. These aren't taxable (and can be used as a deduction for the company).

5) Shareholder dividends. This is more applicable with private companies. These are taxed differently but, for the most part, if you're looting a company or otherwise in bad faith, it's a little bit harder to exploit these. Basically, you'd have to be operating at a profit and then you're getting a return on that profit.

That said, I don't see him being able to extract much value from Twitter and he's supposedly buying it legit instead of engaging in the usual glorified theft.

Of course, it may all simply be leading to the worst-case scenario where he destabilized Twitter so much it can't survive no matter what/who/when. What a mess.

I mean, there are a lot worse potential outcomes.
 
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Brigid Barry

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So on the thing about "spam accounts" holding up the deal, iirc, when Facebook went public wasn't the value diminished because a lot of the accounts didn't have information to sell to advertisers? That's when they really started hammering their "real name" policy. I got locked out for a year (and then they forgot? I was absolutely not going to send them a copy of my government documents). Then it went to people being able to report you for using a fake name (because the disagreed with you) and then your account would get locked if you didn't pony up identification. I am somehow permanently blocked from FB and I don't know how or why. 🤣


Sorry. Maybe he's making sure he is going to have enough personal information to sell to advertisers. I don't know quite how it works.
 

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So on the thing about "spam accounts" holding up the deal, iirc, when Facebook went public wasn't the value diminished because a lot of the accounts didn't have information to sell to advertisers? That's when they really started hammering their "real name" policy. I got locked out for a year (and then they forgot? I was absolutely not going to send them a copy of my government documents). Then it went to people being able to report you for using a fake name (because the disagreed with you) and then your account would get locked if you didn't pony up identification. I am somehow permanently blocked from FB and I don't know how or why. 🤣


Sorry. Maybe he's making sure he is going to have enough personal information to sell to advertisers. I don't know quite how it works.
I don't think Twitter sells. Facebook absolutely sells. They also get data piped into them from other sites and services (like period tracking apps), if it's just installed on your phone (which it is by default in a lot of new phones), it looks at the names of the WiFi networks where you spend a lot of time to figure out who your neighbors and coworkers are. Facebook does A LOT of data colleciton and has "ghost profiles" of people who don't have it. They also own Insta and Whatsapp, too, so all of those users are feeding into them, too.

Twitter has stuff like "interests" on you and presumed demographics. Meanwhile on Facebook your friends say "Happy 50th birthday!" and now Facebook knows exactly how old you are. Your friends post photos of you at parties or vacations and....well they don't even need to tag your face. Facebook already knows what your face looks like :) The reason why Facebook is worth so much is that they have the data to say "people who like Wrangler jeans are 80% more likely to vote Republican in the primary" and Republican politicians can now target fans of Wrangler jeans with their ads. The presidential election saw both sides spending ONE MILLION A DAY on Facebook ads.

While over on Twitter everyone gets ads for the same 5 companies, including BP and trucks. Also on Twitter you can block the accounts of the companies so you just........don't see ads from them anymore. Can't do that on Facebook. The one ad product they have that's pretty good is buying a spot on Trending AND you get the little "custom emoji" next to the hashtag. When that first launched it cost $1M to do that, idk if that's still the case.

Most of the companies that sell your personal data are ones you've never heard of, and that's by design. For The Older Folx in here, y'all remember Publishers Clearing House? And how you say "yeah sure give me some mailers" so you have the chance at a Giant Novelty Check? Well, they sell your name/address/interests to other companies. And someone else does, too, which is why you get all those pre-approved credit card offers.
 
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Twitter has stuff like "interests" on you and presumed demographics.

Twitter randomly populates my interests list with people I have never heard of or things (and people) in whom I have no interest at all. Its all over the place. I go in every two days to uncheck the items that it has checked for me. Some of its choices make me very angry indeed.


Most of the companies that sell your personal data are ones you've never heard of, and that's by design. For The Older Folx in here, y'all remember Publishers Clearing House? And how you say "yeah sure give me some mailers" so you have the chance at a Giant Novelty Check? Well, they sell your name/address/interests to other companies. And someone else does, too, which is why you get all those pre-approved credit card offers.

This member of the Older Folx has nfi what Publishers Clearing House is and I suspect that most of us in that group are not NFT-level gullible.
 

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For The Older Folx in here, y'all remember Publishers Clearing House?
Hey, who are you calling Old, bub? :ROFLMAO:

Gosh, yes. My parents got most of their magazine subscriptions through them. Never won the sweepstakes, though.

I also remember their current spokesperson, Marie Osmond, from Way Back When. I had a poster of Donny on my bedroom wall ::swoon::
 

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Publisher's Clearing House might have only been an American thing? They would have ads on tv with people holding comically oversized checks for a million bucks or something saying WOW LOOK AT ALL THIS MONEY I WON! And you can, too! All you have to do is sign up for this mailing list.

This also drove me to see if I could un-sign up for those pre-approved credit card things. And I found the form, and tried to use it....but it said I wasn't allowed to, because you're not allowed to have 000, 0000 or 00 in your social security number.....but I was born in NH, and all SSNs from there start with 001, 002 or 003....so am I just not allowed to opt out of these things? And the only way to reach them for help is a phone call or snail mail. I'm being oppressed.
 

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This also drove me to see if I could un-sign up for those pre-approved credit card things. And I found the form, and tried to use it....but it said I wasn't allowed to, because you're not allowed to have 000, 0000 or 00 in your social security number.....
Based on what I've seen (I'm across the border) there are a TON of socials with 00 either at the beginning or elsewhere, hence the dubious expression I'm making at my computer monitor. Do you mind if I ask what service this was? Was it dmachoice(dot)org ?

I stopped getting most of the pre-approved garbage mail when I went to each of my credit card companies and "opted out", which I was able to do via the automated systems. By default all of your creditors are sharing your information to 3rd party affiliates, subsidiaries, yadda yadda. Charities do the same thing.

(I thought the FTC "Do Not Call" list might have had something to do with it, but I think I was wrong)

ETA: It must have been on Twitter, because I've been off FB for a while, but I almost choked at some of the "suggestions" that they made for me. And I was constantly having to uncheck things that I wasn't interested in - very tedious.
 

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I mean, there are a lot worse potential outcomes.

I get (from previous posts) that you don't like Twitter. But since you quoted me, I'm going to defend my statement a bit. I will be personally bummed if Twitter dies because it's the only SM platform I use, but it's not going to ruin my life if it dies. When I said "worst case," I meant for Twitter itself. A company is people, and a lot of people stand to lose their livelihoods because the ultra-wealthy feel like f**king around. There isn't a replacement company where all of these people can land.

There will also be a stock market impact and believe it or not, a lot of working class people are unknowingly invested in Twitter/the communications sector institutionally. Teacher's unions, labor unions, municipalities. I wish there hadn't been deregulation that allowed for pensions to be invested in the stock market, but here we are. It may not be a huge impact, but for someone looking to retire this year, it could be harmful watching their pension payout fall.

So yeah, the loss of what you consider a cesspool might not be a bad thing for users and bystanders, but they aren't the only ones impacted.
 

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I get (from previous posts) that you don't like Twitter. But since you quoted me, I'm going to defend my statement a bit. I will be personally bummed if Twitter dies because it's the only SM platform I use, but it's not going to ruin my life if it dies. When I said "worst case," I meant for Twitter itself. A company is people, and a lot of people stand to lose their livelihoods because the ultra-wealthy feel like f**king around. There isn't a replacement company where all of these people can land.

There will also be a stock market impact and believe it or not, a lot of working class people are unknowingly invested in Twitter/the communications sector institutionally. Teacher's unions, labor unions, municipalities. I wish there hadn't been deregulation that allowed for pensions to be invested in the stock market, but here we are. It may not be a huge impact, but for someone looking to retire this year, it could be harmful watching their pension payout fall.

So yeah, the loss of what you consider a cesspool might not be a bad thing for users and bystanders, but they aren't the only ones impacted.

I feel like you're so fixated on the possibility of it shutting down that you're overlooking the amount of harm that could be caused which, at the same time, will likely cause the site to tank and investors will still lose that money.

Do I feel the world would be a better place if Twitter didn't exist? Obviously, although another equally abhorrent platform would likely take its place so it doesn't matter. However, do I feel Twitter could be much, much more damaging? I mean, duh? You're worried about people having investments for retirement, but how much good is that going to do if the country winds up in ruins?
 

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Based on what I've seen (I'm across the border) there are a TON of socials with 00 either at the beginning or elsewhere, hence the dubious expression I'm making at my computer monitor. Do you mind if I ask what service this was? Was it dmachoice(dot)org ?
It was opt-out? An FTC thing? It's annoying because I get them for both my old name and my current name.....same SSN, but very different names (and credit histories/scores. I lost like 20 points on my credit score from changing my name). I've signed up for all the different do not call lists...........course that doesn't stop everyone.
 
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I vaguely recall my father, a few years ago, receiving something from social security saying his benefits would no longer be paid because he no longer existed. It was because he'd turned 100 and apparently that buggered up their systems.
 

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It was opt-out? An FTC thing? It's annoying because I get them for both my old name and my current name.....same SSN, but very different names (and credit histories/scores. I lost like 20 points on my credit score from changing my name). I've signed up for all the different do not call lists...........course that doesn't stop everyone.
My name change wasn't that significant but it causes endless headaches. Apparently you're only allowed to change it once. I had to send 40+ pages certified copies to the VA out in California and instead of updating my name they locked me out of the system. The difficulty around name changes is stupid.

Also: I don't think that the fate of the nation is tied to Twitter, but that's just me.
 

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If TFG is running in 2024 and allowed back on Twitter, I do think Twitter will play a part in the fate of the nation?
Let me rephrase:

I don't think Twitter is the sole factor in the fate of the nation to the degree that we should ignore any consequence other than catastrophic failure on a national level. We can fall to ruin without it, money gives the Great Cheeto power, and his base will find him even without social media.


ETA: given the way his cronies started bailing on him at the end of his term I would like to think that he wouldn't get the nomination (and then he runs independent and splits the vote) but this is the twilight zone so who tf even knows anymore.
 
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My name change wasn't that significant but it causes endless headaches. Apparently you're only allowed to change it once. I had to send 40+ pages certified copies to the VA out in California and instead of updating my name they locked me out of the system. The difficulty around name changes is stupid.

Depending on who you ask, I'm still my old name...because my birth certificate hasn't been updated. Nor has my passport. And it's still my old name on my student loans, and T Mobile, because I have to physically go to a store with the court order, and I see the bill once a month so it doesn't bug me seeing my old name lol

And that's why "true name" policies on Facebook (and perhaps even Twitter) are bullshit. There are a ton of situations in which a legal name is not the name a person goes by or is known by. And what document is the "correctest" one? Like if you go to a bank to change the name on your accounts, the court order isn't enough, you need an updated state ID. But social security just needs the court order. Also to change it with the post office you need the updated ID....which is mailed to you....under your new name....I had to write a note and put it in my mailbox for the mail person to know lol. The entire name change process cost me something like $600+ (and it'll be something like another $200 for my passport, so fuck that, I'll just make work pay for it if they ever send me on a trip). That's not a thing many people can do.

Also we all know how bullshit it is to require someone to pony up "sufficient" ID for voting because of how hard it is to get that stuff.

(also there's some states where you can only update your birth cert once. So you better hope your dad didn't give the wrong spelling to the nurse in the hospital and then it had to get updated and that used up your one name change)(I dated a guy with 3 birth certs cause that happened and also he's trans)
 

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Depending on who you ask, I'm still my old name...because my birth certificate hasn't been updated. Nor has my passport. And it's still my old name on my student loans, and T Mobile, because I have to physically go to a store with the court order, and I see the bill once a month so it doesn't bug me seeing my old name lol

And that's why "true name" policies on Facebook (and perhaps even Twitter) are bullshit. There are a ton of situations in which a legal name is not the name a person goes by or is known by. And what document is the "correctest" one? Like if you go to a bank to change the name on your accounts, the court order isn't enough, you need an updated state ID. But social security just needs the court order. Also to change it with the post office you need the updated ID....which is mailed to you....under your new name....I had to write a note and put it in my mailbox for the mail person to know lol. The entire name change process cost me something like $600+ (and it'll be something like another $200 for my passport, so fuck that, I'll just make work pay for it if they ever send me on a trip). That's not a thing many people can do.

Also we all know how bullshit it is to require someone to pony up "sufficient" ID for voting because of how hard it is to get that stuff.

(also there's some states where you can only update your birth cert once. So you better hope your dad didn't give the wrong spelling to the nurse in the hospital and then it had to get updated and that used up your one name change)(I dated a guy with 3 birth certs cause that happened and also he's trans).y
And don't assume that your dad did the deed by accident!
My father was born and his mother wanted to give him the middle name 'Edgar', for someone in her family, presumably. My grandfather said "Alright dearie, you lie here and rest, while I do the paperwork." (There were already three other children, two boys, so this didn't seem to be a big issue.)
My dad was known as 'Edgar' for all the usual purposes of middle-naming, and life went on. (His mother left town when he was 8 for what it's worth, and that may indeed be relevant for the ending of this story.)
Anyway, my dad grew up and began to require government paperwork of his own. It was brought to his attention that legally, his middle name was Joseph, and that no 'Firstname Edgar Lastname' existed.
Apparently, his dear old dad had preferred 'Joseph' and simply registered him that way, without ever mentioning it to anyone else.
This, to my mind is as sneaky, petty, underhanded piece of double-dealing as a man who claimed to be a 'Christian' ever did.
And my father took great pleasure in going through the Byzantine process of getting his name changed to the one that he had always thought of himself as.
I suspect this explains a lot about my father's family: why his mother left and why the four siblings were never particularly close.
Except my Aunt Betty, a saint who will someday get her reward in Heaven, for being the best of us.
 
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This refers to one of Elon Musk's other endeavours.

The question now is, has Musk invented a set of underground tunnels for transportation, like London already had 150 years ago, or given the narrow clearance and the fire risk has he invented a set of underground tunnels for interring bodies, like Rome already had 2000 years ago.


Musk fans in the original thread are excusing the half-arsed work as being teething problems for a new technology.
 

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hehehehehehhe hahahahahahah hooo boy this one is fun

[Musk violated a Twitter NDA by sharing how they come up with their "What % of our users is bots?" thing]

I mean, a sample size of 100 is.....not very good lol. But also Elon saying that he's going to test this by looking at 100 of his own followers is.......that's gonna make skewed results, dude. I imagine a ton of bots follow him because of his size and influence. People are constantly harassing him about crypto stuff, and since people always go into his comments to defend him, it's a great space to advertise stuff.

But also........can you really tell if someone is a bot just by looking at their tweets? Twitter can look at the info on the device that posted a tweet and other backend data to determine if someone's behavior is botty. Elon (and his followers, which he's asking them to try, too) don't have access to that, so they can't come up with that info themselves.

So now we can add "statistics" and "data analysis" to "things that Elon has no fucking clue about"
 

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So now we can add "statistics" and "data analysis" to "things that Elon has no fucking clue about"

That's not how I read it.

Musk joked Twitter cannot determine how many false accounts there is (i.e. "I picked 100 as the sample size number, because that is what Twitter uses to calculate <5% fake / spam / duplicate.") because there are no checks for opening accounts. That has been Musk's beef with Twitter for some time and he vowed to fix this when he gets his hands on Twitter. Then Twitter legal said that he broke an NDA with that comment, which is stupid on the face of it, hence Musk's second comment ( "Twitter (TWTR) legal just called to complain that I violated their NDA by revealing the bot check sample size is 100!" ).

This is Musk making fun of Twitter, and a way to lower Twitter's market value even more so he can buy it on the cheap. As for that NDA thing, it takes more time to file a complaint and have it go before a court than Musk completing the transaction and taking over Twitter's management so this NDA thing is a moot point. Not enough to get him banned too. He can say whatever he wants. On Twitter, no less. NDA or not.

Musk might be a rich d**k and an a**h**e packed into one, but he's not _that_ stupid.

-cb
 
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That's not how I read it.

Musk joked Twitter cannot determine how many false accounts there is (i.e. "I picked 100 as the sample size number, because that is what Twitter uses to calculate <5% fake / spam / duplicate.") because there are no checks for opening accounts. That has been Musk's beef with Twitter for some time and he vowed to fix this when he gets his hands on Twitter. Then Twitter legal said that he broke an NDA with that comment, which is stupid on the face of it, hence Musk's second comment ( "Twitter (TWTR) legal just called to complain that I violated their NDA by revealing the bot check sample size is 100!" ).

This is Musk making fun of Twitter, and a way to lower Twitter's market value even more so he can buy it on the cheap. As for that NDA thing, it takes more time to file a complaint and have it go before a court than Musk completing the transaction and taking over Twitter's management so this NDA thing is a moot point. Not enough to get him banned too. He can say whatever he wants. On Twitter, no less. NDA or not.

Musk might be a rich d**k and an a**h**e packed into one, but he's not _that_ stupid.

-cb

I'm sorry to say that Elon has further posted and has proven me correct. [article]

One reason it’s difficult to gauge whether an account is “real” or not, for whatever definition of “real” you choose to apply, is that there’s a limited amount of information available publicly. As Agrawal notes: “The use of private data is particularly important to avoid misclassifying users who are actually real. FirstnameBunchOfNumbers with no profile pic and odd tweets might seem like a bot or spam to you, but behind the scenes we often see multiple indicators that it’s a real person.”

By “private data” he likely means things like direct message activity, logins and browsing behavior that are invisible to anyone viewing from the outside but clear to the internal systems. Many Twitter users engage with the platform silently, and who can blame them?

This is convenient for Twitter because no one can verify the numbers it puts out. Though there’s little reason to think the company is outright fabricating or doctoring the numbers here, it’s inarguable that they have motive and opportunity to do so in subtle ways that would only be visible to an auditor with access to the same data they do.

The question of user authenticity, of course, goes right to the heart of a social media platform’s reach and ability to monetize, and we’ve seen over and over that falsifying or misrepresenting these numbers can have serious effects on the willingness of advertisers and premium services subscribers to pay.

Or, as billionaire and hopeful Twitter owner Elon Musk put it: “💩💩

His follow-up question, “So how do advertisers know what they’re getting for their money? This is fundamental to the financial health of Twitter,” is a baffling one. As someone ostensibly interested in running a social media company, it’s difficult to believe that he would not have performed some basic due diligence on the types of metrics that the industry uses to keep track of these things. After all, as Agrawal points out, these numbers have been reported regularly for a long time.

It’s not that the question is a bad one, it’s just odd that he would ask it here and now, after making a very risky buyout offer of the business — a business which he seems to not understand the elementary operations of. Companies like Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and others that monetize engagement have been defining and redefining “how advertisers know what they’re getting for their money” for a decade.
 

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