Since Elon Musk first offered to buy Twitter this spring, it seems that the billionaire has had a really laborious time deciding simply what to do with it. It appears as if each time he makes a grand pronouncement in regards to the social media platform, he finally ends up strolling it again. He’s modified his thoughts on every part from shopping for Twitter within the first place to what coloration its signature verify marks must be, and he’s performed so in a spectacularly public approach. Staff on the social media platform — those that are left after massive layoffs — are reportedly pulling 20-hour days to comply with Musk’s ever-changing whims. He’s flip-flopped on so many issues, it’s robust to maintain observe. Right here’s a working checklist. Keep tuned for extra.
Flip-flop: Shopping for Twitter
How lengthy earlier than he modified his thoughts: Three months (from bid to formally making an attempt to get out of the bid)
What occurred: After months of shopping for up Twitter inventory, Musk put in an unsolicited bid to purchase Twitter in April for $43 billion or $54.20 a share, which the corporate accepted later that month. Nevertheless, immediately, Musk started hemming and hawing in regards to the deal. He formally tried to get out of it in July by saying the corporate misrepresented the variety of bots on the platform. However confronted with a doubtlessly grueling trial, which might have uncovered a whole lot of his private communication and which he wasn’t assured to win, Musk agreed to undergo with the deal in October, three months after he tried to rescind it and 6 months after he sought to purchase it within the first place.
Flip-flop: Including checkmarks to Twitter Blue
How lengthy earlier than he modified his thoughts: Two days (from launch to suspension)
What occurred: Musk had been speaking about upgrading Twitter Blue — a premium model of the app — since he purchased Twitter in October, making it his first product precedence after taking up. His concept was to let anybody who needs one purchase a blue verify mark, which is a badge on the Twitter profiles of public figures (like celebrities, journalists, and politicians) indicating that the individual is who they are saying they’re. This upset a whole lot of already blue-checked folks, together with creator Stephen King of all folks, who Musk publicly tried to barter with over value — taking place from $20 to $8 a month. These new verify marks, not like the free ones that notable figures had pre-Musk, don’t verify identity, simply that somebody has $8 to spare every month, which suggests anybody paying might fake to be another person.
$20 a month to maintain my blue verify? Fuck that, they need to pay me. If that will get instituted, I’m gone like Enron.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) October 31, 2022
We have to pay the payments by some means! Twitter can’t rely solely on advertisers. How about $8?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 1, 2022
The corporate rolled check marks into the upgraded Twitter Blue feature on iOS on Wednesday, November 9. As many anticipated, chaos ensued. Faux however verified accounts popped up all over the place, from pharmaceutical big Ely Lilly (which falsely claimed insulin was free), to Florida governor Ron DeSantis (which known as Trump a “little bitch”) to Jesus, who could be very humorous and isn’t truly a parody threat. A few of these offending posts stayed up for hours.
By Friday, November 11, the corporate has reportedly suspended the launch of Twitter Blue “to assist deal with impersonation points.”
It’s additionally not clear but if truly verified individuals who beforehand had checks will get to maintain these checks.
Flip-flop: Grey checkmarks
How lengthy earlier than he modified his thoughts: Lower than a day (from rollout to disappearing)
What occurred: On the morning of Wednesday, November 9, Twitter started rolling out grey verify marks for sure celebrities and publishers. Folks had fearful that it might be tough to differentiate between those that had blue verify marks as a result of they have been public figures and people who have been simply paying for the blue verify, and the grey checks have been apparently the answer. Hours later, the gray checks disappeared. Musk, in Musk trend, tweeted the information as a response to somebody questioning the place their grey verify had gone, saying, “I simply killed it.”
Sooner or later later, the grey checks have been again, this time just for advertisers.
Flip-flop: Firing Twitter workers
How lengthy earlier than he modified his thoughts: Two days (from firing to calling some again)
What occurred: Musk started large layoffs in the course of the evening on Thursday, November 3, and by Friday half the corporate — roughly 3,700 employees — had been fired. By Saturday, Platformer’s Casey Newton reported the corporate had begun asking a few of these employees to return again. Bloomberg later reported dozens of laid-off employees have been requested to return. Apparently the layoffs have been so huge and haphazard, folks had been laid off by mistake.
Flip-flop: Parody accounts
How lengthy earlier than he modified his thoughts: A few week (from “comedy!” to “it’s not humorous once you make enjoyable of me”)
What occurred: When Musk bought Twitter, he tweeted “comedy is now authorized on Twitter.” Apparently, he doesn’t think about parody to be comedy. After numerous accounts spoofed Musk by altering their show names to “Elon Musk” and utilizing his profile image, Musk stated accounts can be suspended in the event that they parodied one other with out specifying they have been a parody. That led to the suspension of quite a few accounts, together with that of celebrities like Kathy Griffin, Sarah Silverman, and Rich Sommer from Mad Males.
When Twitter rolled out Blue and parody accounts might now be verified, Musk made the parody tips stronger, asking parody accounts to checklist that they’re parody of their account title and their bio. For a time, these verified below Twitter’s legacy coverage have been unable to alter their show names, leaving folks like Doja Cat stuck with “christmas.” As The Verge pointed out, this made it very laborious to mark one’s account as a parody. (Musk has since fastened the difficulty and Doja Cat’s show title is at the moment “fart.”)
Flip-flop: Not turning Twitter right into a “free-for-all hellscape”
How lengthy earlier than he modified his thoughts: A couple of hours (from tweet to delete)
What occurred: Only a few days after Musk took over Twitter and reassured advertisers he wouldn’t flip Twitter right into a “free-for-all hellscape,” he determined it might be a very good time to start out spreading some misinformation firsthand.
Musk replied to a tweet by Hillary Clinton condemning Republicans for spreading conspiracy theories after a violent assault on Paul Pelosi, the husband of Democratic Speaker of the Home Nancy Pelosi. Musk, taking a “just-asking-questions” angle, wrote that “there’s a tiny chance there is likely to be extra to this story” and linked to an article by an outlet identified for spreading faux information. It claimed, with out proof, that Pelosi was drunk on the time of the assault and “in a dispute with a male prostitute.”
After going through fast widespread backlash by everybody from Jimmy Kimmel to the VP of the Anti-Defamation League, Musk deleted the tweet in only a few hours.
It’s unhappy to see @elonmusk expunge and drive away a lot expertise at @Twitter and push security apart. I proceed to suppose the beneath is a strong system for an strategy to the enterprise however he isn’t doing what I assumed he would. He’s completely flailing and inflicting far more ache. https://t.co/XN3R8NQfSS
— Jessica Lessin (@Jessicalessin) November 10, 2022
Musk’s fixed flip-flopping is undermining the just about legendary aura surrounding the billionaire, typically thought-about a visionary innovator and businessman. Twitter isn’t the identical as launching rockets into house or creating an electrical automotive firm, however that doesn’t imply it’s not difficult. Watching his fumbling at Twitter play out on a world stage exhibits that Musk was significantly better at trolling Twitter when he didn’t personal the place.