Musk believes that Twitter is the most interesting place on internet. Whether it really is or not is a subjective call, what one can conclude objectively based on data is that Twitter, unlike instagram on tiktok, attracts mostly people from upper end of the income distribution. In other words, an average regular user of Twitter is more well off than the average user of any other social media platform.
Twitter is simply the most interesting place on the Internet. That’s why you’re reading this tweet right now.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 2, 2022
That’s why it’s so sad watching you play with it like it’s a toy and you’re a child.— Frida Ghitis (@FridaGhitis) November 2, 2022
$8— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 2, 2022
Twitter also has an outsized influence on politics and culture because even though politicians and journalists use other social media platforms to disseminate their message, both politicians and journalists primarily use Twitter as their own public sphere, where they interact and learn from other people in their profession.
Twitter, in other words, is the social media platform of patricians, which is why despite having tiny revenue, compared to Google and Meta, it has an outsized influence. This is also the reason why despite have a meagre user base compared to Google, Meta and Tiiktok, Elon Musk is willing to pay $44 billion for the platform.
Because it consists of billions of bidirectional interactions per day, Twitter can be thought of as a collective, cybernetic super-intelligence— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 3, 2022
… with a lot of room for improvement— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 3, 2022
A neuron doesn’t realize it’s a neuron— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 3, 2022
The CEO of Dell (yes, the Dell of Dell laptops and computers), Michael Dell has praised Elon Musk in a tweet, by quoting an iconic speech from Teddy Roosevelt, who played a pivotal role in turning America into a geopolitical power during the Gilded Age. The high praise from someone like Michael Dell is signficant as Michael Dell is not just a CEO but the founder of Dell as well.
Win or lose, respect to @elonmusk for being the man in the arena pic.twitter.com/26kyDiHKbJ— Michael Dell (@MichaelDell) November 2, 2022
Thanks Michael— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 2, 2022
Musk seems quite determined to make verified Twitter users pay $8. The criticsm, if anything, has led to him doubling down.
you get what you pay for— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 2, 2022
To all complainers, please continue complaining, but it will cost $8— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 2, 2022
Musk has also asked Twitter users if advertisers should support free speech or limitations on speech.
Advertisers should support:— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 2, 2022
The people who voted on the poll, and it was not a small poll, certainly seem to think a manner that aligns with Musk's vision for the platform.
Demoract party politician Alexendria Ocasio Cortez(AOC) is quite popular on social media sites and she proudly considers calls herself a socialist. Some time ago, she got into a bit of controversy when it emerged that she owns a Tesla, which does not really seem like a car that a representative of working class would have.
AOC, a politician, spends a fair bit of her time criticising people who engineer the social media companies that she uses to disseminate her political rhetoric.
Lmao at a billionaire earnestly trying to sell people on the idea that “free speech” is actually a $8/mo subscription plan— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 2, 2022
The attempt to mock Musk did not go well.
Your feedback is appreciated, now pay $8— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 2, 2022
November 2, 2022
AOC has often been accused of weaponising envy against people who are materially more well off. Last year, during an interview to Wall Street Journal, Musk said that he does not think most people have a problem with a person who acquire wealth by providing something valuable to the society. "People have a problem with conspicuous consumption I think," he said during the interview. Musk is famous for living in a 'frugal' house, frugal considering the amount of money he has.
Musk also shared AOC's own website on which she sells regular sweatshirts with just her name on in for a whooping $58.
November 2, 2022
Twitter has often been accused of politcal bias as it frequently fact-checks politicians who are right of centre and almost never fact-checks polticians on the left side of the ideological spectrum. This is one of the reason Musk fired Vijaya Gadde, as she was not viewed as a non-partisan employee.
The fact that she led the decision process which resulted in the sitting president of US getting banned from Twitter, did not help. After his acquisition, despite firing Gadde and claiming Twitter will not have a political bias, Musk faces the challenge of restoring trust in Twitter's neurality. Under him, it appears, Twitter has started its effort to regain that trust by fact-checking the White House.
holy shit that fact check 😂 pic.twitter.com/YMlY7lWfm8— Mike Solana (@micsolana) November 2, 2022
The community notes feature is awesome.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 2, 2022
Our goal is to make Twitter the most accurate source of information on Earth, without regard to political affiliation.
The White House has now as a result deleted its own tweet, because the attempt to spin inflation did not work. Musk has signalled that he is happy with the fact-checks.
White House: seniors are getting the biggest SS increase in 10 years.— Spike Cohen (@RealSpikeCohen) November 2, 2022
Context-checkers: That's because inflation is the highest it's been in decades.
White House: *deletes tweet*
Welcome to @elonmusk's Twitter. pic.twitter.com/Zb9kMTy5Be
The system is working 🤣— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 2, 2022
From the tweets Musk is replying to, one can assume what he thinks is driving the criticism towards him. According to him, he is taking away the privilege Twitter 'elites' have and that is why they are angry with him.
Lords who have been knighted by the twitter verification wand are upset that the proles will be able to buy status— Brett Winton (@wintonARK) November 1, 2022
🎯— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 1, 2022
Another tweet Musk retweeted is the one down below:
The entitled elite is not mad that they have to pay $8/month. They’re mad that anyone can pay $8/month.— David Sacks (@DavidSacks) November 3, 2022
It seems Musk has read books by James Burnham which suggest that the first step after aquiring a new nation (well, organisation in this case) should be to flatten the heirarchy. From Musk's tweets and his replies, it seem other than the obvious financial point of increasing revenue from non-advertisement sources, this is one of his motivation.
March Andreessen, the head of Andreessen Horowitz, the venture capital firm which is loaning out Sriram Krishnan to Musk, to help him with the rejig, has said many times that he considers works of Burnham the most insighful work on politics.
After Musk's announcement that verified accounts will need to pay $8 to maintain their verification badge, some people other than Stephen King also began saying that they won't be paying the $8 per month.
Musk had an amusing response to an admittedly rather humorous tweet from a fox news journalist.
Please stop telling us about these celebrities leaving Twitter because of @elonmusk - you’re gonna crash Google from everyone looking up who they are.— Jimmy Failla (@jimmyfailla) November 1, 2022
🤣👻— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 1, 2022
Elon promised in his reply to Stephen King that he will explain his rationale in a detailed manner and he does. Musk lays out why he wants to charge $8 per month for a verification badge and gives a glimpse of what other benifits users who agree to pay the $8 will have, other than the verification badge.
Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is bullshit.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 1, 2022
Power to the people! Blue for $8/month.
Price adjusted by country proportionate to purchasing power parity— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 1, 2022
You will also get:— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 1, 2022
- Priority in replies, mentions & search, which is essential to defeat spam/scam
- Ability to post long video & audio
- Half as many ads
And paywall bypass for publishers willing to work with us— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 1, 2022
This will also give Twitter a revenue stream to reward content creators— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 1, 2022
There will be a secondary tag below the name for someone who is a public figure, which is already the case for politicians— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 1, 2022
Are all these features enough to make you consider paying $8? Musk thinks they are..
November 1, 2022
It is possible that due to Musk's tweets about Twitter, one might forget that he heads SpaceX and Tesla, two companies which have broken the established norms in their respective sector. Rockets are not really reused, they have always been like bullets, one bullet = one shot.
Yes, space shuttles which are manned, have been landed, obviously, how else would the astronauts come back? But the rockets have not been reusable. Parts of the rocket have been used during the manufacturing stage of the next rocket, but a whole rocket being reused? It has always seemed like something out of science fiction.
Falcon Heavy launch in ~30 mins https://t.co/Bluay8q80F— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 1, 2022
That is, until Musk's SpaceX began getting traction in the space exploration buissness. Musk, who grew up on science fiction and has credited the book - 'A hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy' as the reason he is what he is today, suggested one day "why don't we reuse the rockets? Why don't we land them after launching them?"
Can't be done, said many critics. Musk said anything that does not violate the laws of physics, can be done. SpaceX is now a pioneer in launching rockets and landing them in a manner that they can be reused.
Sonic BOOMS!! https://t.co/6n5OxFc0Dy— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 1, 2022
Wow that was amazing, @SpaceX #FalconHeavy pic.twitter.com/Y0ozNxUtun— Forger Stucky (@Stuck4ger) November 1, 2022
It isn't an everday occurance to watch the richest man in history negotiate like a shopowner in Delhi's Lajpat Nagar and it certainly is amusing. In response to the author Stephen King's tweet, Musk asks the author if he will be willing to pay $8 instead of $20.
Elon says that Twitter needs to pay the bills and cannot keep relying on advertisers, adding that he will explain his rationale in a longer form later.
We need to pay the bills somehow! Twitter cannot rely entirely on advertisers. How about $8?— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 1, 2022
I will explain the rationale in longer form before this is implemented. It is the only way to defeat the bots & trolls.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 1, 2022
Speculation emerges that Musk has given Twitter employees the deadline of 7th November to implement his new plan. What is his new plan? Well, it is an effort to reduce Twitter's dependence on advertisers for revenue. As of now, nearly 90 percent of Twitter revenues are a result of payments from advertisers.
Musk want the platform to rely less on a single source of revenue and diversify. In the past, Twitter has dabbled with subscriptions by launching something called Twitter blue. It did not really take off.
Musk's plan is that Twitter users who have a verification badge, should pay to maintian that verification badge, as they are using Twitter's platform to disseminate their content and gaining value from it. Musk also plans to open up the verification badge to many more people, so that anyone who pays for it, can get themselves verified.
$20 a month to keep my blue check? Fuck that, they should pay me. If that gets instituted, I’m gone like Enron.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) October 31, 2022
It's always the really wealthy ones that are the cheapest 🙄🤐— Ginny Mobley (@MobleyGinny) October 31, 2022
It ain't the money, it's the principle of the thing.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) October 31, 2022
A filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission reveals that Musk has dismissed the firm's board and assumed the role of sole director.
“On October 27, 2022, and as a result of the consummation of the Merger, Mr. Musk became the sole director of Twitter. In accordance with the terms of the Merger Agreement, effective as of the effective time of the Merger, the following persons, who were directors of Twitter prior to the effective time of the Merger, are no longer directors of Twitter: Bret Taylor, Parag Agrawal, Omid Kordestani, David Rosenblatt, Martha Lane Fox, Patrick Pichette, Egon Durban, Fei-Fei Li and Mimi Alemayehou.”
Musk clarifies that he is the sole-director only temporarily. It is expected that Musk will appoint new members to the board of directors, members, who in his judgement, are aligned with his vision of what Twitter should be.
This is just temporary— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 31, 2022
Although Musk has fired Vijaya Gadde, the person responsbile for banning Trump from the platform, he has not stated if Trump will return on the platform. Trump has indicated that he prefers to use his own platform which is called 'Truth Social'. However, Trump's platoform has a limited userbase and it is not clear if he will truly choose to not take advantage of the reach that Twitter grants him. Especially considering the fact that he might run for president again.
Musk has said that no decision on allowing people who have been banned has been taken and no such decision will be taken before the US midterm elections.
If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me if Trump is coming back on this platform, Twitter would be minting money!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 31, 2022
Twitter will be forming a content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 28, 2022
No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes.
Musk asks Twitter users if he should bring back Vine. Vine was a short video sharing app which did not really get traction. Vine was acquired by Twitter in the hope that they could expand the user base of the platform and make it a popular short video sharing app. They did not succeed. Some claim that Vine was ahead of its time as short video sharing apps were not really a thing in the 2014s and 15s.
However, short video sharing app became a lucrative sector for social media apps after Tiktok's success. Instagram started its own reels feature to compete with Tiktok. If Musk does indeed bring back Vine, it will be an attempt to reduce the share of market that Tiktok currently occupies. Tiktok is owned by China's Bytedance and faces accusations of spying. Tiktok was banned by India due to national security concerns. People in American think-tanks such as Heritage Foundation and American Enterprise Insititute have suggested that US should follow India's lead and ban Tiktok.
Bring back Vine?— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 31, 2022
If you did that and actually competed with tik tok that’d be hilarious— MrBeast (@MrBeast) October 31, 2022
What could we do to make it better than TikTok?— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 31, 2022
Ironically, China does not have Tiktok, but a domestic version called Douyin. Tristan Harris, a former tech ethicist at Google has pointed out that the app's algorithm outside of China is different from its algorithm inside China. The algorithm decides what kind of content receives a wider audience and in effect, incentivises or disincentivises people to put out certain kinds of content.
Harris points out that whilst the algorithm in US promotes soft-porn, which leads to people creating that kind of content as that is the content which is incentivised, the algorithm in China promotes kids performing science experiments. On the ground, the app nudges individuals in US to record content that is corrosive, and in China, it nudges individuals to record content that is inspiring.
After US Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband is assaulted inside his house by an illegal immigrant from Canada, Musk shares an article from a controversial news website in response to a tweet by Hillary Clinton, which was blaming Republicans for the attack on Paul Pelosi.
After it is pointed out that the source from which he shared the news is unreliable, Musk deletes the tweet. The NYTimes publishes an article claiming that Musk shared fake news. Musk makes his fellow Twitter users laugh at the expense of NYTimes by claiming that he could not have shared an article with fake news bacause he did not share an article published by NYTimes.
This is fake – I did *not* tweet out a link to The New York Times! pic.twitter.com/d6V6m5ATW2— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 31, 2022
The NYT accusing others of fake news: pic.twitter.com/wzMIMezSY0— 💸💸💸 (@itsALLrisky) October 31, 2022
🤣— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 31, 2022
The new owner of Twitter shares an auto-generated email he received from Twitter to teach him how to manage a compnay.
For context, Musk, when he is not on Twitter, is busy managing four companies - Tesla, a an industry pioneer in the space of electric vehicles, SpaceX, a rocket manufacturing and space exploration company which launches missions to the space in a much more efficient manner than NASA and as a result gets contracts from NASA and US Airforce, and NeuraLink and The Boring Company.
NeuraLink is an experimental company that is foccussed on brain computer interface.
Just received this email from Twitter. This is an actual, real email that was autogenerated 🤣🤣 pic.twitter.com/7DQp4sNINX— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 30, 2022
So demanding to allow a mere 30 days to learn this priceless information!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 30, 2022
But Management 201 is such a tantalizing carrot …— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 30, 2022
In a reply to Sriram Krishnan's announcement, one user asks Krishnan "any chance in helping with verification? Denied some 4-5 times despite large following and working to share spaceflight/rocket launches to the masses via my photography. Published in a plethora of huge outlets but Twitter doesn’t seem to care!"
Musk replies to the user by announcing "the whole verification process is being revamped right now".
@sriramk any chance in helping with verification? Denied some 4-5 times despite large following and working to share spaceflight/rocket launches to the masses via my photography. Published in a plethora of huge outlets but Twitter doesn’t seem to care! https://t.co/efL1l1H2d9— John Kraus (@johnkrausphotos) October 30, 2022
The whole verification process is being revamped right now— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 30, 2022
October 30 - After firing the senior executives of the firm, Elon Musk ropes in Sriram Krishnan to help him with the rejig. Sriram Krishnan manages the crypto and Web3 arm of Andreessen Horowitz and he continues his day job with the venture capital firm. The VC firm was founded by Marc Andreessen, who is a friend of Musk. According to court documents that detailed Musk's conversations during his decision to acquire the firm, Marc Andreessen was one of the first people to congratulate him.
Sriram Krishnan has a background in software companies. He worked at Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook (Meta) and Microsoft before working for the venture capital firm.
Now that the word is out: I’m helping out @elonmusk with Twitter temporarily with some other great people.— Sriram Krishnan - sriramk.eth (@sriramk) October 30, 2022
I ( and a16z) believe this is a hugely important company and can have great impact on the world and Elon is the person to make it happen. pic.twitter.com/weGwEp8oga
October 28th, Elon Musk fires senior executives of Twitter including its CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal and legal head Viajaya Gadde. Gadde is apparently the one who decided that Twitter should ban the serving president of the US, Donald Trump. Gadde also made an appearence on the Joe Rogan podcast with the then CEO of the company Jack Dorsey. Joe Rogan had called in journalist Tim Pool to question her. She was ridiculed by Rogan's audience for lying during her appearence and refusing to answer any question honestly.
Elon Musk fires Vijaya Gadde .. footage! pic.twitter.com/gdTDPqL56E— Tee 🇮🇳 (@tee2799) October 29, 2022
After Musk fired her, users on Twitter shared an editied clip of Musk's and Gadde's appearence on the Joe Rogan podcast, ridiculing her.
the bird is freed— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 28, 2022
🎶 let the good times roll 🎶— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 28, 2022
On October 26th, after month of drama and threat of court case, Elon Musk finally buys twitter and visit the Twitter headquarters with a sink, tweeting "Let that sink in". Good old dad humour. Musk's intention to buy Twitter became public in the month of April, when a parody page named "Babylon Bee" was banned by Twitter, which motivated Musk to buy the platform. Babylon Bee is a conervative parody site, something quite similar to "the Onion" but only right leaning instead of left leaning.
Entering Twitter HQ – let that sink in! pic.twitter.com/D68z4K2wq7— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 26, 2022
Meeting a lot of cool people at Twitter today!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 26, 2022
Musk also communicates his intentions and vision for Twitter to advertisers directly.
Dear Twitter Advertisers pic.twitter.com/GMwHmInPAS— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 27, 2022