Elon Musk’s GAME SET the tone but has he met his MATCH?

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 21 November 2022
Credit: Alain Bonnardeaux via Unsplash

#RIPTwitter #GoodByeTwiter #TwitterDown. 

Reports of the death of the blue bird app have been exaggerated but mourners have already started.

The future of a slimmed Twitter was in question as staff, many of whom were quitting rather accepting new work rules, were locked out of their offices until sometime Monday US time.

The latest move by the new owner, Elon Musk, who bought the social media platform for $US44 billion, is the next in a series of what the market sees as management failures, including telling staff they "need to be extremely hardcore".

At the weekend, Musk, following an online poll of 15 million people (51.8% in favour), allowed former president Donald Trump to regain his twitter account.

Trump's account was switched off after the January 6, 2021, riot in Washington. Musk: "The people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated."

Advertisers, who provide 90% of the microblogging platform’s revenue, have been staying away from Twitter, unsure of brand safety under the control of the world’s richest man.

Ritesh Kotak, a cybersecurity analyst, told CBC News: "I don't think it's the end. But the platform is in turmoil, there's no ifs ands or buts."

Twitter letter nov 2022

A report by US-based news agency Associated Press:  "Musk’s managerial bomb-throwing at Twitter has so thinned the ranks of software engineers who keep the world’s de-facto public square up and running that industry insiders and programmers who were fired or resigned this week agree: Twitter may soon fray so badly it could actually crash."

Musk sacked half the 7,500 staff and more are reported to be resigning, using the hashtag #LoveWhereYouWorked to say they’ve quit. 

One wrote: “The saddest thing when reading resignation tweets from #lovewhereyouworked is how many people have been at Twitter for 8, 10, 12 years. The sheer amount of institutional knowledge Elon is driving away is incalculable. Thank you to everyone who's leaving for everything you made.”

The billionaire, who cut the tech industry’s traditional free lunch, told employees to come back to the office and to commit “long hours at high intensity”. They were asked to click YES on an email if they agreed or alternatively accept severance. Many say they won't accept new conditions. 

And in an email early one morning last week, Musk: “ … there is a good chance Twitter will not survive the upcoming economic downturn.”

One former Twitter employee told the BBC: "I think when the dust clears today, there's probably going to be less than 2,000 people left."

A headline in the New York Times: “Elon Musk’s Twitter Teeters on the Edge After Another 1,200 Leave”

In San Francisco, someone calling themselves a projection activist was last week projecting messages about Musk on the Twitter headquarters building: “ … mediocre manchild, pressurised privilege, petty racist, megalomaniac …”

@Gia_Vang: "Someone is projecting multiple messages onto Twitter headquarters building in SF from a neighboring building."

twitter musk abuse on twitter hq san francisco nov 2022 via Twitter

The Associated Press quoted Robert Graham, a veteran cybersecurity entrepreneur: “It does look like he’s going to blow up Twitter … I can’t see how the lights won’t go out at any moment.”

However, Musk said: “The best people are staying, so I’m not super worried.”

Bruce Daisley, a former Twitter vice president, told the BBC that former Twitter engineers say the platform could "fail as soon as Monday".

"There's a large number of features that really seem to be predicated on having engineers on site," he said. "If those engineers have gone, then it does threaten the sustainability of the product.”

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