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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.




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.








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.



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.







From WIRED


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.








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 (including Twitter) crashed. No good billionaire wants to overpay.

Fair is fair.

The matter is scheduled to get heard in court. Weeks before the hearing Elon says “okay, you scoundrels, I’ll buy your company for the original stinking price.” Nice.


The scandalous text messages that most people misunderstand


As part of the whole legal battle Elon’s texts get leaked.

This is the first time us normies get a peak behind the scenes. It’s juicy. Big-time cats like Joe-Bro-Rogan approached Elon. Their intentions often looked selfish and like they were sucking up to the head of the schoolyard.

Joe said “Are you going to liberate … [the platform] from the censorship-happy mob?”

This is where things get interesting.

Love it or not, the current model of social media blocks free speech. If you say something the naughty boys running Silicon Valley don’t like, you could get banned or your content could get deleted. Soz.

The most embarrassing thing is when they leave your content up, limit its reach, and then label it with “misinformation” to make you look like a moron.

Former co-founder of the little birdy platform, Jack Dorsey, knows this all too well. He’s a smart dude. The text messages between Elon and Jack reveal a lot (Elon calls him Jack Jack — cute).

It starts with this message early on.






From the Guardian


‘It’s given a voice to many’: chaos at Twitter sparks real fears for free speech in south-east Asia


Social media has been crucial to pro-democracy protests across the region, from Myanmar to the Milk Tea Alliance in Thailand and Hong Kong


When Thai journalist and free speech defender Pravit Rojanaphruk joined Twitter in 2011, the social media platform was for him just a home for a few academics and politicos arguing among themselves.


But over the next decade – in tandem with Thailand’s pro-democracy and monarchy reform movement – young people and activists flocked to Twitter to organise, share information and exchange protest tactics across borders. Pravit himself increasingly turned to his 85,000 followers to get the word out about facing forced resignation and sedition charges for criticising the government.


“It’s given a voice to many people who have been voiceless. Many used a pen name, so they feel much more comfortable,” Pravit says. “Over the past three or four years, Twitter has been the outlet driving the agenda.”




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From the New York Times


When Your Layoff Has a Hashtag

Tech companies that created more workplace transparency see their own tools used to critique them.


There were few scenes of workers packing up their cubicles, shoving plaques in boxes and commiserating over beers. Instead, there were tweets.

Hung Truong, an engineer, watched his Twitter feed fill with layoff-related posts this past week. Friends and former colleagues were all out of work. Mr. Truong, 39, had been there. At the start of the pandemic, he’d lost his job at Lyft. And he recalled the strange relief of posting that on Twitter, knowing he wouldn’t have to give the painful update to followers one by one. That’s an experience thousands are now sharing, as Twitter, Meta and other companies slash their work forces: Getting laid off in a time of extreme transparency, with social media providing an outlet for immediate processing.

This took on a particularly ironic twist at Twitter, where employees used a platform that had created this new era of workplace transparency to talk about their own workplace. Alternately angry and reflective tweets from laid-off Twitter workers stacked up under the hashtags #LoveWhereYouWorked and #TwitterLayoffs.






From ABC


Senior members of Twitter's privacy, security teams exit after warning about Elon Musk


Senior members of Twitter's privacy and security teams have exited the company, according to an internal message from a company lawyer obtained by ABC News that warns of employment contract violations and legal repercussions if new owner Elon Musk doesn't comply with an FTC agreement.


Among the staffers that left were chief privacy officer Damien Kieran, chief compliance officer Marianne Fogarty and chief information officer Lea Kissner, according to the message. Kissner confirmed their resignation in a Tweet earlier this morning. None have responded to ABC's request for comment.


The message was posted to Twitter's Slack by a lawyer on Twitter's privacy team and viewable to all staff. "Over the last two weeks, Elon has shown that he cares only about recouping the losses he's incurring as a result of failing to get out of his binding obligation to buy Twitter," the lawyer wrote to fellow employees. The Verge reported first on the lawyer's message.


The Twitter lawyer's message comes after Musk announced he'd require employees to be in the office 40 hours a week, eliminating remote work. The lawyer believes this is a "fundamental change to our employment contracts," they wrote to the Slack group consisting of over 2,000 members. "I do not, personally, believe that Twitter employees have an obligation to return to the office. Certainly not on no notice, the attorney wrote.








From TMZ


PAID VERIFIED CHECK CAUSES FRENZYAfter Fake LeBron Trade Tweet


No, LeBron James isn't demanding a trade back to Cleveland ... but a verified Twitter account pretending to be the Los Angeles Lakers star duped people into thinking so on Wednesday -- as a result of Elon Musk's $8 blue check mark rollout.


The bird app's new subscription feature already has the trolls running wild ... and King James was the first to fall victim to the antics.


An account named @kIngjamez tried to pull a quick one shortly after the verification party got started ... saying, "I am officially requesting a trade."








From CNBC


Read Elon Musk’s first email to all Twitter employees: Remote work over, company needs subscriptions to survive downturn


  • Elon Musk said he is putting an end to Twitter’s “work from home forever” policy in his first email to the staff of the social network that he now owns.

  • He also warned the company might not survive the downturn without significant subscription revenue.

  • Additional C-level executives have also resigned from Twitter, including CISO Lea Kissner.


In his first companywide email to Twitter employees, new owner and CEO Elon Musk said he was ending the social network’s “work from home forever” policy. Now, according to the email obtained by CNBC, Musk wants employees to be in a Twitter office at least 40 hours a week, and plans to personally approve any alternative arrangements.


He also warned employees that the company might not survive the economic downturn without significant subscription revenue. Musk wants to shift the company’s business so that it generates at least half of its revenue from subscriptions, and can become less reliant on advertising. But he said, in the staff email, that he still anticipates Twitter will generate significant revenue from advertisers.






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From CTV


Elon Musk warns Twitter's survival at stake as staff quits

Elon Musk warned Twitter employees Thursday to brace for “difficult times ahead” that might end with the collapse of the social media platform if they can't find new ways of making money.


Workers who survived last week's mass layoffs are facing harsher work conditions and growing uncertainty about their ability to keep Twitter running safely as it continues to lose high-level leaders responsible for data privacy, cybersecurity and complying with regulations.


That includes Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of trust and safety — a previously little-known executive who became the public face of Twitter’s content moderation after Musk took over and who had been praised by Musk for defending Twitter’s ongoing efforts to fight harmful misinformation and hate speech. An executive confirmed Roth’s resignation to coworkers on an internal messaging board seen by The Associated Press.


The developments were part of another whirlwind day in Musk's acquisition of the social media platform. It began with an email to employees from Musk on Wednesday night ordering workers to stop working from home and show up in the office Thursday morning. He called his first “all-hands" meeting Thursday afternoon. Before that, many were relying on the billionaire Tesla CEO's public tweets for clues about Twitter's future.


“Sorry that this is my first email to the whole company, but there is no way to sugarcoat the message," wrote Musk, before he described a dire economic climate for businesses like Twitter that rely almost entirely on advertising to make money.

“Without significant subscription revenue, there is a good chance Twitter will not survive the upcoming economic downturn,” Musk said. “We need roughly half of our revenue to be subscription.”


At the staff meeting, Musk said some “exceptional” employees could seek an exemption from his return-to-office order but that others who didn’t like it could quit, according to an employee at the meeting who spoke on condition of anonymity out of a concern for job security.


The employee also said Musk appeared to downplay employee concerns about how a pared-back Twitter workforce was handling its obligations to maintain privacy and data security standards, saying as CEO of Tesla he knew how that worked.







From the Atlantic

Elon Musk’s Twitter Takeover, Explained in 19 Elon Musk Tweets


Though it feels reductionist to compare Elon Musk and Donald Trump, the Musk era at Twitter has some eerie parallels to the Trump White House. There’s a ton of confusion; lots of firings; people shredding documents; outlandish, impossible-to-execute ideas being floated; sycophantic advisers; nervous employees trying to appease a mercurial man; and tweets—so many tweets. It is an exhausting, enraging, and sometimes grimly hilarious spectacle that changes by the hour. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the extended universe, tearing your attention away can be hard.


Over the past few weeks, tech observers and Twitter obsessives like myself have been following every twist and turn that will ultimately decide the fate of the platform. Musk’s Twitter takeover is like so many things in American life in 2022: It is both dumb and consequential. Twitter, despite its relatively small size, has disproportionate importance in our politics and culture. It’s used by activists and dissidents, and what happens on Twitter does not stay contained to the internet. Moreover, Twitter’s fate is wrapped up in the identity of the world’s richest man, whose lack of expertise on how social platforms work could collapse the whole enterprise.


I hope, for your sake, that you lead a richer, more spiritually fulfilling life than I do and that the hour-by-hour machinations of Elon Musk’s Twitter account are merely a vague curiosity. But for those who want to catch up on this strange internet drama, here’s a tweet sheet to get up to speed.





Elon Musk Is Bad at This


The Musk era of Twitter has so far been defined by unhinged tweets, fleeing advertisers, and botched layoffs.


Elon Musk has spent the past 12 years tweeting whatever comes into his mind, often without major negative consequences. That was before he owned the place. Now, less than two weeks after his $44 billion purchase, the world’s richest man is finding that his actions—which recently included tweeting a baseless conspiracy theory to Hillary Clinton about the assault on Paul Pelosi—may actually have consequences. Advertisers are fleeing, the employees remaining after a round of mass layoffs are alienated, and onlookers are completely vexed by a freewheeling approach that has coincided with a rise in hate speech on the platform, among other problems.


Musk’s fans see the billionaire as a visionary, but it’s worth noting that many casual observers—people whose only real understanding of Musk is as the guy who put the fancy electric cars on their streets—have also internalized the heuristic that he is Good at Business and the type of man who spends his waking moments dreaming of how to save humanity from its existential problems. But what the past two weeks demonstrate is that Musk is, at best, a mediocre executive—and undoubtedly a terrible, distracted manager.


Musk is obviously wildly financially successful, and the companies he owns have a reputation for taking futuristic-sounding ideas and dragging them into the present. But what Musk is showing us in real time is the folly of equating financial success with intellect, managerial savvy, and good judgment. I reached out to some experts to see if I was possibly missing something about Musk’s performance so far. Given Musk’s current focus on advertisers leaving the platform, I called up Rick Webb, the COO of Timehop and a co-founder of the Barbarian Group, a major digital-ad agency. Webb also served as a marketing and sales consultant for Tumblr during its heyday. I asked him to assess Musk’s first few days on the job, and he did not mince words.


“The advertisers are gone because of his awful tweets,” Webb told me. “There’s no room for debate. He stated his intentions up front. He cared about advertisers and didn’t want them to leave and then he told us they’ve left.” Webb suggested to me that Musk’s now-deleted Paul Pelosi tweet was perhaps the most expensive tweet ever: It may have cost Twitter billions in advertising revenue. Companies including General Mills, Audi, and Pfizer are pulling their marketing from Twitter because they likely don’t want their brands to be associated with anything remotely scandalous. High-level executives—CMO types—are the ones ultimately deciding what these brands spend on Twitter, and “those people are, to a T, conflict-avoidant,” Webb said.




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From the Guardian


General Mills latest to halt Twitter ads as Musk takeover sparks brand exodus


Cheerios and Lucky Charms cereal company joins General Motors Co and Audi among others in pulling money from the platform


General Mills is the latest to join a growing group of companies halting advertising on Twitter after the social media platform was acquired by billionaire Elon Musk for $44bn.

The company, known for its Cheerios and Lucky Charms cereals, confirmed on Thursday it would pause advertising on the platform. “We will continue to monitor this new direction and evaluate our marketing spend,” said spokesperson Kelsey Roemhildt.


Last week, top US automaker General Motors Co temporarily paused paid advertising on Twitter amid chaos at the company. Volkswagen AG’s Audi also confirmed Thursday it would pause ads and “continue to evaluate the situation”, said spokesperson Whaewon Choi-Wiles.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that Pfizer had also suspended advertising spending at Twitter. The pharmaceutical company did not immediately respond to request for comment.


The growing exodus of advertisers comes amid concerns Musk will scale back misinformation and security protections on the platform. As civil rights groups call potential moderation issues into question, companies are considering whether staying on Twitter might tarnish their brands.



Australia’s eSafety commissioner cautions Elon Musk over Twitter legal concerns


Julie Inman Grant tells Senate estimates hearing she worries staff exodus and charging for blue tick could impact safety protections


The online safety regulator has written to Elon Musk, cautioning him his company must comply with Australian law and expressing concern about the cuts to the platform’s safety team and proposed changes to verification.


Julie Inman Grant, who worked for Twitter prior to becoming Australia’s eSafety commissioner in 2016, told a Senate estimates hearing on Tuesday she had written to Twitter’s new billionaire owner to seek assurances Twitter would comply with takedown and other government requests.


Australia’s online safety act gives the eSafety commissioner powers to issue requests to companies like Twitter to provide information to her about accounts or remove content such as bullying or image-based abuse targeted at Australians.


Since the takeover, Musk has faced pressure from advertisers to keep Twitter’s moderation policies in place, and despite initially indicating there might be a relaxation, the billionaire has since suggested there would be no immediate changes to policies.


But after Musk sacked up to half of the Twitter workforce last week, it was unclear whether staff who were tasked with enforcing those policies were still employed, including those who dealt with requests from Australia.


“This is a complex operational ecosystem, so we need to know that we have people that we can interface here and who are looking after Australians’ concerns and providing those back to HQ,” Inman Grant said.


“So [I am] asking for clarification that they will be recognising our laws, they will be responding expeditiously to our regulatory requests, whether they’re formal or informal, as we have in the past and clarifying what our escalation paths will be with the company so that we can remediate harm.”


Inman Grant indicated she was particularly concerned about the exodus of staff in the safety team.


“The challenge of culling half of Twitter’s workforce is they had challenges keeping up with the volume before, what are they going to do now?


“Either people are going to have to do two or three people’s jobs or things are going to inevitably fall between the cracks and that I think is a great concern.”


The commissioner also said Musk’s plan to allow people to pay $8 a month for a blue tick on Twitter, which was currently used to verify people with a public profile, would cause problems for the service.


“If you make it a pay for play type of proposition, it turns that whole justification for having such a system on its head, it’s simply paying for a subscription service and not only will not provide those protections, but I think can open the platform up to much more malfeasance, impersonation and fake accounts and possibly with state-sponsored information operations as well,” she said.




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From the BBC


Ten days of Twitter chaos


Elon Musk has a reputation for being an erratic, but brilliant business leader. In his first 10 days as Twitter boss, we have seen more of the former than the latter.


Twitter has long been thought of by Silicon Valley investors as poorly run - but with bags of potential.


Mr Musk enticed his rich friends to invest with an argument that Twitter - in the hands of someone who knew what they were doing - could be great. Free speech would abound and profits would follow.


But the first 10 days as boss has exposed Mr Musk's lack of experience at running a social media company.

It was all smiles when he took over, tweeting: "The Bird is Freed."

However, Mr Musk's initial set of policies seemed at odds with his utterances in the summer.


Whereas he had said he was a "free speech absolutist" and Donald Trump would be allowed on to the platform - he now argued that a "council" would be set up full of "diverse" voices to decide on controversial moderation decisions and permanent suspensions.


Mr Musk was announcing a policy that looked very similar to Facebook's - which has an "oversight board" for these issues.


He also said in the short term that moderation policy would not be altered.


But he did announce one big change - to Twitter's verification system.


The platform will charge users who want a blue tick verified account $8 (£7) a month, after initial reports of a $20 monthly fee were met with complaints by some celebrities, including author Stephen King.



Twitter users jump to Mastodon - but what is it?


In the wake of Elon Musk's takeover of Twitter, some users have been seeking alternative platforms. One of the biggest beneficiaries has been Mastodon. But what is it?

The social network says it now has over 655,000 users - with over 230,000 having joined in the last week.


On the surface Mastodon looks like Twitter - account users write posts (called "toots"), which can be replied to, liked and re-posted, and they can follow each other.

Under the bonnet, though, it works in a different way.


That's one of the reasons it is attracting fresh users, but it has caused some confusion to new people signing up.

The platform is six years old but its current activity is unprecedented and it is struggling under the weight of new joiners.


Here's a brief guide to finding your way around it.


What are all these servers?


The first thing you have to do when you sign up is choose a server. There are loads of them, They are themed - many by country, city or interest - like UK, social, technology, gaming and so on.


It doesn't hugely matter which one you are on because you will be able to follow users on all the others anyway, but it does give you a starting community who are more likely to post things you are interested in as well.

Some of the popular ones - such as social and UK - are currently running very slowly because of demand.


Ryan Wild, who is running the MastodonApp.UK server via his firm Superior Networks, said he had over 6,000 new joiners in 24 hours and had to pause registration.


"I wanted to see what the hype was about," he said.


"I stood the server up at 10pm Friday night, and I woke up next morning to 1,000 people I didn't know would rock up."


How do you find people?


The server you choose becomes part of your user name - so for example, I used my current Twitter handle, zsk, and chose the UK server, making my user name @zsk@mastodonapp.uk. And that's my address there - what you would look up to find me.


If you are on the same server, you can search just using the person's name, but if they are on a different server you will need their full address.


Unlike Twitter, Mastodon won't suggest followers you may be interested in.





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From NBC


Comedian Kathy Griffin suspended from Twitter after mocking CEO Elon Musk


It wasn't clear whether the suspension was a direct result of her ribbing the billionaire, but Musk warned that impersonator accounts without a "parody" label would be banned.


Comedian Kathy Griffin's Twitter account was suspended Sunday, the same day she changed her page's title to "Elon Musk" and mocked the new CEO.


It wasn't clear whether the suspension was permanent or a direct result of her mockery. It came as Musk announced that accounts that impersonate celebrities and other notables would be prohibited unless they're labeled "parody."


Twitter’s policy has always prohibited impersonation, but the immediate action is new.


Musk would appear to be the main beneficiary of his policy, which might seem to contradict his claim to be a "free speech absolutist." Examples of suspensions for impersonating other people without the "parody" label were few.


They include a user whose page impersonated right-wing provocateur Andy Ngo, who appealed to Musk personally to take action, and someone whose page impersonated actor Keanu Reeves to criticize Musk's "parody" policy.


In recent days, a wave of Twitter users changed their page titles to his and made statements intended to critique his libertarian outlook and tenure at the platform, which he controls after organizing a $44 billion purchase.


Griffin used her "Elon Musk" account Sunday to urge Americans to vote for Democrats in the midterm elections Tuesday to preserve abortion rights.


"I’ve decided that voting blue for their choice is only right," she wrote as Musk.



Shannon's Opinion


Well I have to applaud this policy because I don't like the deceitfulness of people messing with other people's brands. The fact that Kathy Griffin tweeted about voting Democrat using Elon's face is not OK in my opinion and this behaviour needs to stop.


If adults want to be treated like adults - they need to start behaving like responsible people.



Twitter sued over short-notice layoffs as Elon Musk's takeover rocks company


The class-action lawsuit was filed Thursday in federal court in San Francisco and alleges Twitter violated the WARN Act.


A lawsuit was filed against Twitter on Thursday alleging the social media company now headed by Elon Musk violated federal and state law that requires 60 days' notice of mass layoffs, according to a court document.


The suit filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco names five current or former workers as plaintiffs, one of whom was told he was terminated effective Tuesday, according to the lawsuit. It names Twitter as the defendant.


But Twitter told employees it will continue to provide pay and benefits, even though they are no longer working. An email from Twitter sent to laid off employees in New York and seen by NBC News said Friday was their last "working day" at the company but that they would be paid through their separation date in February. Another Twitter employee who received a severance email and asked to withold their name also said they were told they would be paid until early February with full benefits.


Three other staff members have been locked out of their Twitter accounts as of Thursday with no formal notice of a layoff, which they interpret to mean they will lose their jobs, according to the lawsuit.


"Twitter is now engaged in conducting mass layoffs without providing the required notice under the federal WARN Act," the lawsuit says, referring to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act that requires 60-day notice for certain plant closings or mass layoffs.

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Celebrities are starting to leave Twitter. Here's a running list.

TV powerhouse Shonda Rhimes, "Madam Secretary" actor Téa Leoni and others in the entertainment world say they're dropping the platform after Elon Musk's takeover.



Elon Musk's acquisition of Twitter has some in Hollywood heading for the exit.

"Grey's Anatomy" creator Shonda Rhimes and others in the entertainment industry say they plan to quit the platform now that it is owned by Musk, a self-proclaimed "free speech absolutist" who has vowed to make sweeping changes — including potentially reversing the ban on former President Donald Trump.


"Not hanging around for whatever Elon has planned. Bye," Rhimes tweeted to her nearly 2 million Twitter followers Saturday afternoon, two days after Musk closed his $44 billion deal to purchase the service.


Here's a running list of other folks from the overlapping worlds of television, movies, music and sports who say they plan to leave.


Sara Bareilles

The Grammy-winning singer/songwriter tweeted to her nearly 3 million followers Sunday: "Welp. It's been fun Twitter. I'm out. See you on the other platforms, peeps.

"Sorry, this one's just not for me," Bareilles added, capping her post with heart and prayer-hands emojis.


Toni Braxton

In a tweet to her nearly 2 million followers Friday, the Grammy-winning R&B star decried the content she said she had seen on Twitter since Musk's takeover, writing in part: "I'm shocked and appalled at some of the 'free speech' I've seen on this platform since its acquisition.

"Hate speech under the veil of 'free speech' is unacceptable; therefore I am choosing to stay off Twitter as it is no longer a safe space for myself, my sons and other POC," Braxton added, using an initialism for people of color.


Whoopi Goldberg

Goldberg, the Oscar- and Emmy-winning co-host of "The View," announced on the ABC talk show Monday that she is "done with Twitter" for the time being.


"I'm going to get out, and if it settles down and I feel more comfortable maybe I'll come back," Goldberg said on the show.


Goldberg's account appeared to be deactivated as of Monday afternoon. Goldberg’s publicist did not immediately respond to a request for comment.




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From CBC News


Federal government advised to pause Twitter ads after mass layoffs at company


Twitter laid off 50 per cent of its staff following Elon Musk takeover


A media and marketing agency that is responsible for buying and planning much of the government's advertising has advised federal departments to pause activity on Twitter, citing mass layoffs at the company.


Cossette, which is the government's "media agency of record," issued guidance Friday to "pause activity immediately and monitor the situation over the weekend" due to "unknown continuity plans for moderation" and a "heightened risk of brand safety," according to an internal document seen by CBC News.


Cossette helps with "media planning and strategizing, media buying, ad serving and trafficking, ad verification, reporting and reconciliation services, to support a variety of government initiatives." It works with numerous government agencies and departments.

Twitter recently laid off 50 per cent of its staff following a takeover by Elon Musk who, as the head of electric vehicle maker Tesla and rocket company SpaceX, has become the richest man in the world.


Twitter's head of safety and integrity, Yoel Roth, tweeted Friday that only 15 per cent of the team responsible for moderation and safety was affected and "our core moderation capabilities remain in place."


Musk similarly stated that "strong commitment to content moderation remains absolutely unchanged." Twitter has not responded to a request for comment from CBC News.


Cossette's guidance said the layoffs prompted increased concern about the effectiveness of Twitter's moderation and brand safety — which essentially means ensuring that advertising placed next to content does not negatively impact the reputation of the advertiser.


Cossette also noted that the U.S. midterm elections will be held Tuesday, resulting in "a lot of focus on the platform for abuse."


The federal government spent over $3 million on Twitter ads through Cossette from 2020 to 2021, according to its most recent annual report.




What's next for Twitter after Elon Musk's takeover? Social media experts weigh in


Musk will be bound to the regulations and the countries where Twitter operates, says journalism professor


SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has completed his acquisition of Twitter, dissolving its board of directors and floating ideas on how to change the platform — and now some social media experts are weighing in on what the Musk era will do for democracy and free speech through the platform.


Musk, who is now the sole member of the company's board, finalized the deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion US last Thursday, and almost immediately fired the company's CEO, CFO and head of legal.


In an open letter to Twitter advertisers, Musk said he bought the company because "it is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence."

But "Twitter obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said without consequences," he added.


"He has a lot of ideas around free speech and not a lot of them match up with what most of us in a valid democracy agree with," Jesse Miller, lecturer at the University of Victoria's faculty of education and founder of the social media education company Mediated Reality, told CBC's On The Coast host Gloria Macarenko.


As Musk's ideas for content moderation unfolds, according to Alfred Hermida, the billionaire will be bound to the regulations and the countries where Twitter operates.


"The European Union has made it very clear to Elon that they have strict rules on hate speech and other forms of speech like that and if you break those rules, you will be held liable," said Hermida, professor of journalism at the University of British Columbia's School of Journalism, Writing, and Media.


Both say Musk's changing narrative about Twitter's policies is part of the problem.


"What Elon Musk says one day is not the same thing as he says the next day because he's also tweeted out saying they're not going to make any changes to their content moderation policies," Hermida said.


On Tuesday, Musk tweeted a revamped verification process for Twitter users, where anyone can get verified with a blue tick beside their account name as long as they are willing to pay $8 a month, with the "price adjusted by country proportionate to purchasing power parity."


In exchange, verified users will be able to post longer messages and videos, receive fewer ads, and get prioritized in searches and mentions, which Musk believes is "essential to defeat spam/scam" that he says plagues the system.







From Global News



A “parody” Doug Ford account has been verified on Twitter, complete with a blue checkmark.


The Twitter account, with the handle @DougFord_ON, is one of the latest in a number of accounts that have received verification through purchase after billionaire Elon Musk took over the social media platform.

The platform’s blue check verification system has been in place since 2009 and was created to ensure high-profile and public-facing accounts are who they say they are.

Now, however, verification is available to be bought at a price of $8 per month after Musk changed the rules.


Experts have expressed concern that making the checkmark available to anyone for a fee could lead to impersonations and the spreading of misinformation and scams.


A look at the parody account aimed at the Ontario premier confirmed it received verification because it’s subscribed to the new “Twitter Blue” service.


On Thursday evening, Musk, who has called himself the “Chief Twit,” said that any parody account “must include ‘parody’ in their name, not just in bio.”


“To be more precise, accounts doing parody impersonations. Basically, tricking people is not ok,” he said.


But as of Friday morning, @DougFord_ON didn’t have “parody” in its name and remains active.


The bio, however, did say that it’s a parody account.


“This is a parody account. I don’t know what that word means but I do know that I am the Premier of Ontario,” it read.


“I work till midnight every night.”


The account is also complete with the same profile image that the premier uses on his real account, @fordnation






Musk’s Twitter takeover: Some Canadian professionals thinking of quitting platform. Why?


Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover has professionals considering fleeing the social media network, but some say abandoning the platform could give those who spread misinformation exactly want they want from credible voices: silence.


“I’ve already had many colleagues tell me that they’re wrestling with, ‘How do I respond to this takeover?”’ said Timothy Caulfield, Canada Research Chair in health law and policy at the University of Alberta, of his fellow public health professionals.


“I think the answer, at least for the foreseeable future, is don’t get off it because we need to have those science-informed voices on the platform and if we leave, it just becomes this massive echo chamber for bunk and that can be incredibly harmful.”


Caulfield, who has gained more than 83,000 followers on Twitter for calling out pseudo-science from people including actress Gwenyth Paltrow, is one of many professionals facing what he called “a weird, weird, very weird moment” after Musk _ the Tesla and SpaceX leader known for brash business moves _ purchased the platform last week.


Journalists, public health officials, academics and politicians have long relied on the platform to build networks, connect with the public and disseminate trustworthy information. Governments, police forces, school boards and even transit authorities lean on Twitter too to keep the public safe and informed.


“I think there are certain professions where it has basically been essential to be on Twitter,” said Heidi Tworek, Canada Research Chair and associate professor at the University of British Columbia.


Caulfield agreed.


“I feel like it’s part of my academic career to be following social media,” he said.

“Our mandate is to fight misinformation, so we can’t really abandon these platforms.”


But in the days since Musk’s purchase, some like Caulfield have seen the amount of hate and misinformation on Twitter increase and Tworek said Musk’s reputation for quick, controversial moves and reneging on plans is generating “a lot of trepidation and uncertainty.”


“For many people there is a contemplation of at what point does this become a professional risk rather than a professional benefit?” she said.


Musk has mused about defeating spam bots and making algorithms open source to increase trust, but has also talked about championing free speech. Many believe he could allow controversial figures back onto Twitter and reduce moderation efforts.


In anticipation, some have fled the platform or started promoting accounts on other platforms.

After Musk took over Twitter, ...




From Sydney Morning Herald


Dud deal: The real problem for Musk’s Twitter


Anointing yourself the guardian of free speech is one thing. Living up to it is something else altogether, as Elon Musk is quickly discovering.


It’s been just over a week since the Tesla tycoon took over Twitter and already it looks like the entire thing is in danger of coming apart at the seams.


Having fired the board – a hasty act, even for someone as impulsive as Musk – it is surely beginning to dawn on him that there will be no quick fixes in his effort to prevent the $US44 billion ($69 billion) buyout turning into one of the worst deals of all time.


Sacking the executives who had held Musk to a bid he tried to wriggle out of was the easy part. Everything else that has been floated as a magic solution to Twitter’s problems amounts to little more than throwing darts at the wall. He has even resorted to crowdsourcing business ideas, a pretty clear sign that he is short of his own.


Musk’s biggest problem is how he structured the deal. He wildly overpaid; the debt that financed it will be hugely expensive; and it was horribly timed, too, coming just as the world’s central banks slam the door shut on a decade of free and easy money. It has all the hallmarks of a classic private equity style leveraged mega-buyout, the sort that so often goes spectacularly wrong when billionaires believe their own hype, get far too excited and bite off more than they can chew.

Not for the first time for a man who once called a heroic cave diver “pedo [sic] guy”, Musk has allowed ego and bravado to get in the way of old-fashioned common sense.


There is a wealth of academic research showing that mergers and acquisitions rarely end well, often for neither acquirer nor acquired. But large-scale, heavily debt-fuelled, top-of-the-cycle deals have a tendency to blow up spectacularly. When Musk first pounced on Twitter back in April, his admirers marvelled at his audacity and the speed with which he moved.


In just 12 short days, Musk not only convinced Wall Street to furnish him with the financial wherewithal for the biggest take-private deal since the 2016 purchase of data storage giant EMC by Dell for $US67 billion, he managed to persuade an initially sceptical board to throw their weight behind