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The Brand Story of Twitter and Elon Musk

Updated: Nov 19, 2022

In the wake of Elon Musk's purchase of Twitter becoming final and the story that is unfolding due to his decisions and the controversy surrounding it, I've created this post of news articles to keep a record of what happened and how it affected the world.

Discover As stories get added and the bigger story begins to take shape, I think we will see an anti-climatic result and the controversy will die down. Right now a lot of the controversy is due to the unknown and fear being stoked by both sides of the political spectrum in the USA.

I have scoured news from legitimate english speaking news sources around the globe hoping to find a more rounded and less heated heads reporting on what is happening. Throughout this article you will find my two cents about what I think and I hope you will add you two cents in the comments below.

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From NPR

Fired by tweet: Elon Musk's latest actions are jeopardizing Twitter, experts say

Eric Frohnhoefer thought his tweets to Twitter CEO (and his new boss) Elon Musk explaining why there was a problem with the platform's speed was innocuous enough.

Musk had tweeted, "I'd like to apologize for Twitter being super slow in many countries," blaming it on "poorly batched RPCs" (remote process calls).

Frohnhoefer responded to the post and said the billionaire was mistaken on the cause of the app's slow speed. He also suggested potential solutions.

Frohnhoefer had been a staff software engineer at the company for eight years, with an expertise on Android systems. In other words, he knew a thing or two about how the site worked.

"I feel like I didn't cross the line. I feel like I answered it appropriately. And yeah, obviously they saw it differently," Frohnhoefer told NPR.

There were some on social media that watched Frohnhoefer's exchange with his boss and saw it as problematic, and a potential fireable offense. But Frohnhoefer noted part of Twitter's culture, at least prior to Musk, was about being able to flag problems and to disagree when the company's product was at issue.

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Elon Musk gives Twitter employees an ultimatum: Stay or go by tomorrow

New owner Elon Musk has told remaining Twitter employees they will need to decide by Thursday afternoon whether to stay at the company or quit.

In an email to staff entitled "A Fork in the Road," Musk said Twitter would "need to be extremely hardcore" to succeed. Those who choose to stay should expect long, intense hours of work. Those who leave will receive three months' severance pay, he wrote.

In the ultimatum, first reported by The Washington Post, Musk wrote that he values engineers over designers, project managers and other staff in what he envisions will be "a software and servers company."

The combative message is the latest sign of escalating tensions inside Twitter, a company that has been beset by chaos and confusion since the billionaire's $44 billion takeover in October.

Musk immediately fired top executives. Since then, he's laid off about half of the staff, or roughly 3,700 employees, and fired others after they publicly criticized him. People who held key roles in divisions including content moderation, cybersecurity and legal compliance have resigned.

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From Reuters

Musk's all-nighters at Twitter raise concern for Tesla investors

In 2018, Elon Musk was working through the night and sleeping at Tesla Inc's (TSLA.O) factories in California and Nevada as the company struggled to ramp up production of the Model 3.

On Monday, Musk said he had worked through the night at Twitter's San Francisco headquarters and would keep "working & sleeping here" until the social media platform - which he recently acquired for $44 billion - was fixed.

A self-described "nanomanager," Musk's penchant for working long hours in moments of crisis has been a well-known part of his brand. But the billionaire's deep dive into Twitter, after a protracted buyout that he tried to scrap, has some Tesla investors worried about his capacity to focus on his role as CEO of the world's most valuable carmaker.

"Tesla investors are going to be frustrated," said Gene Munster, managing partner at venture capital firm Loup Ventures. "He's probably going to spend more time on Twitter than any Tesla investor feels comfortable about."

Musk, who is expected to testify in court on Wednesday about whether a $56 billion pay package at Tesla is justified, did not respond to a Reuters email seeking comment.

He tweeted on Monday "I have Tesla covered too," saying he planned to work at the electric vehicle maker for part of this week. Tesla has an office in Palo Alto, California, and a factory in Fremont, California.

Tesla's shares have dropped by 50% since early April, when he disclosed he had taken a stake in Twitter. Sales of Musk's own Tesla shares - totaling $20 billion since he disclosed his Twitter stake - have added to the pressure.

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Musk warns of Twitter bankruptcy as more senior executives quit

Twitter Inc's new owner Elon Musk on Thursday raised the possibility of the social media platform going bankrupt, capping a chaotic day that included a warning from a U.S. privacy regulator and the exit of the company's trust and safety leader.

The billionaire on his first mass call with employees said that he could not rule out bankruptcy, Bloomberg News reported, two weeks after buying it for $44 billion - a deal that credit experts say has left Twitter's finances in a precarious position.

Earlier in the day, in his first company-wide email, Musk warned that Twitter would not be able to "survive the upcoming economic downturn" if it fails to boost subscription revenue to offset falling advertising income, three people who have seen the message told Reuters.

Yoel Roth, who has overseen Twitter's response to combat hate speech, misinformation and spam on the service, resigned on Thursday, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

In his Twitter profile on Thursday, Roth described himself as "Former Head of Trust & Safety" at the company.

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Twitter Is on a Collision Course With Europe

Layoffs leave only two people in the company’s Brussels office, just as Europe prepares to enforce sweeping new tech rules.

FROM THE OUTSIDE, it might not look like much has changed in the repurposed 1970s office block that serves as Twitter’s European headquarters. But inside, the mood has soured.

Just like in the US, Twitter’s teams across Europe have suffered heavy layoffs. Staff in Dublin, Ireland’s 1 Cumberland Place office, which used to house around 500 Twitter employees, have been using war terminology to describe the past week’s events. People who remain employees are “survivors,” and colleagues who have been let go are “fallen,” says one person with knowledge of the matter, who asked to remain anonymous. The first time employees in Ireland heard from the company’s new owner, Elon Musk, was on November 10, almost two weeks after his takeover. In an email, they were told that they would be required to work from the office 40 hours per week.

There is no centralized list of who has been fired. Instead employees have been looking at their colleagues’ statuses on workplace messaging app Slack to see if they are still working. Dublin is not the only European office to be affected by layoffs. Social media posts show employees in Brussels and London have been let go too. It’s unclear if employees in Twitter’s other European hubs—Hamburg, Madrid, Utrecht, Paris, Berlin and Manchester—have also been affected.

In Europe, a major concern is the fate of Twitter’s six-to-eight person team in Brussels, which worked on European policy and was the main point of contact with regulators working on upcoming legislation that could affect the entire platform. Only two people remain, say two people with knowledge of the matter.

That means Twitter has slashed its team as the European Union introduces landmark new technology rules, says Mathias Vermeulen, director of Brussels-based consultancy AWO. “It's definitely not a good look at a time when so many obligations are going to be imposed on companies, and at a time where regulators expect meaningful relationships with people based in Brussels.” By comparison, Meta and Google employ between 20 and 30 people each in the city, he says. Twitter did not reply to WIRED’s request to comment.

Even before the takeover, the company was facing a wave of scrutiny across the bloc. Trials against Twitter are pending in France, Germany, and the Netherlands about hate speech, defamation. and privacy. There is also concern in Ireland that Twitter did not follow the country’s strict employment rules while carrying out mass layoffs. Ireland’s Tánaiste (or deputy head of the government), Leo Varadkar, has still not received a collective redundancy notification in relation to potential redundancies at Twitter as required by law, a spokesperson for Ireland’s Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment told WIRED. And there is growing uneasiness in the European Parliament about Musk’s commitment to comply with Europe’s new Digital Services and Digital Markets Acts, now that its policy team in Brussels has been reduced to a skeleton staff.

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From Tim Denning

You’re Missing the Point About Elon’s Purchase of Twitter

“They leave your content up, limit its reach, then label it with ‘misinformation’ to make you look like a moron”

Elon is the guy everyone loves to hate.

Sometimes he makes my blood boil and I want to throw a small brick at his face in protest. But other times he sends chills down my spine.

Every time he launches one of those big-daddy rockets of his, I get all hot and bothered. Through solar panels, electric cars/trucks, space exploration and robots, he’s taking humanity forward in giant leaps. The purchase of Twitter is his latest project.

It’s pissed a lot of people off and they’ve missed the point of this amazing opportunity for all of us.

How we got to this point (quick and dirty)

Let’s not make this story longer than it needs to be.

Papa Elon originally got asked to join the Twitter board. He said yes. All the tech bros high-fived each other. Elon changes his mind and decides not to join the board.

In a bold power move Elon says “I’m buying the whole damn company, doncha know.”

Twitter celebrates with a roar. It’s heaven on earth.

Elon then accuses Twitter of having too many bots pretending to be humans. He cancels the deal and risks a huge billion-dollar penalty.

Smart people aren’t fooled. Yolo Elon just got buyer’s remorse because all stocks