Dwell weblog: Twitter chaos – Elon Musk reinstates Trump and Ye returns


(Picture credit score: Getty Photographs)

Welcome again?

Over the weekend, Twitter proprietor Elon Musk ran a poll (opens in new tab) of his followers asking if he ought to reinstate former President Donald Trump whose account was suspended following the Jan sixth riots.

A day later, Musk reinstate the account with all of its tweets intact. To date, Trump has mentioned he isn’t coming again. He does have his personal platform, Fact Social, in any case.

Whereas Trump took a wait-and-see strategy, rapper Kayne West formally rejoined the platform on Sunday. His account was suspended after anti-Semitic tweets, and reinstated shortly earlier than Musk took over, however this was the primary time he’d tweeted. Naturally, Musk welcomed him back (opens in new tab) to the platform.

On the similar time that Musk was inviting again Ye and the previous president (and posting memes (opens in new tab) about whether or not or not Trump would return), he was busy selling The World Cup, promising better coverage (opens in new tab) of the Qatar-based, world soccer occasion than wherever else.

From the look of issues, Musk is all however dwelling at Twitter HQ as he assesses the affect of his personal modifications and pulls in engineers (people who stay) for all-nighters. Musk shared images on Saturday (opens in new tab) from a late-night code overview together with his engineers. Whereas we have been fascinated by the whiteboard, some took word of the whole lack of feminine illustration, at the very least within the images.

Seems like we’re in for an additional attention-grabbing week in Twitterville.

Elon Musk

(Picture credit score: Getty Photographs / Carina Johansen)

Reversals and large choices

Like nearly each different little bit of technique Twitter proprietor Elon Musk has launched to the beleaguered social media platform, all of them – even the largest ones – play out on Twitter.

After booting comic Kathy Griffin and different parody and humor accounts, Musk said he was reinstating (opens in new tab) Griffin, Jorden Peterson, and the satirical on-line newspaper, The Babylon Bee.

Musk additionally made it clear that he’s contemplating bringing Former President Donald Trump again, although the “decision has not yet been made.

Perhaps the even bigger news is the unveiling of a new Twitter policy, which Musk initially teased with a tweet that said “Freedom Fridays…” (opens in new tab)

The new policy quickly followed in another tweet.

“New Twitter coverage is freedom of speech, however not freedom of attain.
Detrimental/hate tweets shall be max deboosted & demonetized, so no adverts or different income to Twitter. You gained’t discover the tweet until you particularly search it out, which isn’t any completely different from remainder of Web.”

Part of this appears to be allowing “hate” speech on the platform but hiding it. That still means people could see it (though maybe only if they conduct a Twitter or Google search). While this move will surely concern some and freak out advertisers, Musk’s plan is to not monetize any of these tweets.

A larger question remains. How will Musk and his team identify “Detrimental/hate tweets”? These particulars weren’t included. Nor did Musk clarify how and when a tweet could be so incendiary that it will be, say, too hateful and be faraway from the platform, or get its writer banned.

The flurry of tweets got here shortly after reports that Musk had reversed his decision (opens in new tab) to lock Twitter’s doors on Friday and, apparently, ordered some people back to work.
-Lance Ulanoff

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Memes apart, nonetheless, Elon Musk isn’t as seemingly blasé concerning the scenario in non-public. There are stories that Twitter has as soon as once more suspended workers’s badge entry and that its workplaces are quickly closed. Twitter’s workers have been informed that workplaces will reopen on Monday, November 21, although they haven’t been informed why entry is at present restricted.

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The present concept is that Elon Musk and senior workers at Twitter are frightened that staff who haven’t dedicated to Twitter 2.0 will sabotage the platform on their manner out. On high of that, it appears like they’re additionally making an attempt to work out who’s leaving (and desires their workplace entry revoked) and who’s staying. 

In accordance with a Twitter post (opens in new tab) made at 9:42pm ET on November 17 (02:43am GMT / 12:43pm AEST on November 18) by Zoë Schiffer (opens in new tab) – the managing editor of Platformer – as a result of solely the names of people that mentioned “Yes” to Twitter 2.0 have been collected it’s not instantly clear who has really left.

We think about Elon Musk and his cronies can even be making an attempt to persuade workers leaving important groups to remain – particularly the groups that will then have zero members with out them. If discussions are ongoing this might doubtless add much more confusion to the scenario as Musk wouldn’t wish to revoke entry for Twitter workers who find yourself staying with the corporate. 

Properly, it seems many individuals at Twitter weren’t enthusiastic concerning the prospect of working even more durable than they’re now on Musk’s “Twitter 2.0”. Reportedly a whole bunch of workers have been posting farewell messages on Twitter’s inner Slack channels after the 5pm ET deadline handed.

In accordance with nameless sources who spoke to The Verge (opens in new tab) this new batch of resignations signifies that a number of “critical” groups at Twitter have misplaced all or almost all of their members. This apparently consists of Twitter’s site visitors and frontend groups that guarantee engineering requests are despatched to the proper backend companies, in addition to everything of Twitter’s core system libraries group – with one worker admitting concerning the latter that “you cannot run Twitter without [them].”

However primarily based on his Twitter timeline, Elon Musk is seemingly fairly relaxed about the entire scenario. In a tweet following this new employee exodus (opens in new tab), he mentioned that “The best people are staying, so I’m not super worried.”

He later adopted up with a number of memes, together with one displaying Twitter posing in entrance of its personal grave.

Morning people, we’re again with the newest Twitter information, and boy have fairly a couple of issues occurred.

Following the mass layoffs that occurred at Twitter two weeks in the past – when Elon Musk fired an estimated half of the platform’s workforce – he issued a requirement to those who remained on Wednesday (November 16): decide to the brand new “extremely hardcore” work tradition or depart.

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Twitter workers have been requested to substantiate they’re dedicated to working longer hours and settle for that “only exceptional performance will constitute a passing grade” by 5pm ET on November 17 (10pm GMT, November 17  / 8am AEST, November 18), or get three months severance and depart the corporate. 

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An attention-grabbing apart to Musk’s look at a trial earlier at present, the place he’s discussing (opens in new tab) a $56 billion pay package deal involving Tesla.

Musk has revealed that when the ‘restructuring’ is full at Twitter, he’ll be handing it off to a brand new CEO.

As our Managing Editor for Leisure, Matt Bolton quipped earlier: “He’s going to salt the earth, then ask why the next person didn’t grow anything.”

Elon Musk

(Picture credit score: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Free speech = Agree with Musk speech

Elon Musk is a “champion” of free speech and sometimes tweets about how he desires Twitter to be a digital public sq. the place individuals can brazenly specific their views.

Nevertheless, Musk has proven little endurance for comedy and, it appears virtually zero tolerance for Twitter staff who disagree with him on the platform and even inside Twitter, the place Twitter has its personal firm chat board.

In accordance with a brand new report in The New York Times (opens in new tab), Musk fired a Twitter developer, Eric Frohnhoefer, who disagreed with him on Twitter (opens in new tab) about Android app efficiency. Musk additionally, the report claims, requested his group to scan the group chat board for “insubordinate staff” after which fired them, a few of whom have been commiserating about Frohnhoefer’s firing.

As a substitute of denying the report, Musk sarcastically tweeted, “I would like to apologize for firing these geniuses. Their immense talent will no doubt be of great use elsewhere.”

We’re fairly certain nobody would imagine any of this if it weren’t all occurring earlier than our eyes and on some of the standard social media platforms on the planet.

Lance Ulanoff

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Should you missed out on Twitter Blue and its verification ‘characteristic’, Musk confirmed earlier that it is coming again on Tuesday, November 29, across the time when Black Friday weekend is winding down.

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In an odd transfer by Musk, this was posted the place two actors, beforehand making out that they’d been fired final month, have been pictured to be with them, displaying that they’d been ‘rehired’.

The place’s the humorous right here?

Elon Musk

(Picture credit score: Getty Photographs / Taylor Hill )

In accordance with the Washington Post (opens in new tab), Musk has despatched one other e mail to all Twitter staff, asking them to decide to a ‘Twitter 2.0’ with a ‘hardcore’ work ethic.

The message additionally mentioned that those that didn’t signal the pledge by 5PM Japanese time Thursday, or 10PM UK time, have been informed that they’d obtain three months of severance pay.

It is one more demand from its workers after a turbulent 5 weeks, and there is nonetheless an opportunity that this could possibly be reversed by the point we head into Christmas.

Elon Musk at 2022 Met Gala

(Picture credit score: Getty Photographs)

Unhealthy information, not-necessarily dangerous information

It most likely comes as no shock to most of you who’ve been monitoring the Elon Musk Twitter saga for a while that Musk is not a lot of a listener.

In accordance with a brand new Casey Newton Platformer newsletter (opens in new tab), Musk was warned in a prolonged memo earlier than the November 9 rollout of the paid verification plan that there could be bother.

The doc, which Platform obtained, reads extra like a historic doc than a “what if.” It spells out how the plan would result in the “Impersonation of world leaders, advertisers, brand partners, election officials, and other high-profile individuals.”

That’s precisely what occurred earlier than Musk hit the brakes and now seems to haven’t any follow-up plan for Twitter Blue and paid Blue Test verifications. 

Additionally they warned how the brand new plan would drive away present verified customers. Some have left as a result of they’re now not shielded from impersonation.

Nevertheless, now we have some excellent news. In accordance with Newton, Twitter at present has no simple manner of eradicating verified checks from those that select to not pay. In different phrases, when you’ve got a verified account proper now (the one you bought earlier than the cost system was carried out), you might need it for some time longer, particularly as a result of Musk laid off most of the individuals who may assist program such a change.

Included among the many Twitter departed is Sachee MacCaw, a Twitter Software program engineer who ruthlessly trolled Musk on Twitter, particularly after he criticized how the system works on Android until he fired her (opens in new tab). —Lance Ulanoff

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Due to Twitter consumer @Christapeterso (opens in new tab), a timeline of Elon Musk proudly owning Twitter up till the current day is right here for all to see, and it is solely once you learn via this thread, that you just notice a lot has occurred in such a brief house of time.

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We have began to identify some tweets of two-factor authentication not working. Should you’ve put an e mail or a cell quantity in to assist confirm your account once you check in, it appears to be like prefer it’s not working appropriately.

The code wanted that can assist you check in is not being despatched, but it surely appears to be like as if it really works for e mail for some, and never a cellphone quantity.

In any case, it is regarding {that a} characteristic to assist safe your account is beginning to present bugs and refuse to work for some customers.

Should you’re frightened, it might be greatest to verify that e mail verification is switched on to your account as quickly as you’ll be able to.

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After a mildly-quiet Friday, Musk has been replying to a bunch of customers at present, with affirmation that the ‘Despatched from iPhone’ message goes away.

Should you’re unaware, as you’d ship a tweet from an iPhone or an Android system, the tweet would state this. It is resulted in some embarrassing moments for manufacturers, the place it will ship a tweet promoting an Android system, however it will be despatched from an iPhone.

So this removing could possibly be to do with commercials but once more, not simply because Musk and his group is not certain why that characteristic has been round for years.

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Ex-Twitter staff are subtweeting Musk with corrections to his tweets, however this time, Musk replied to Tracy Hawkins right here, arguing that this tweet is allegedly false.

Anticipate to see extra of those tweets within the close to future – we’re in a interval the place staff are feeling uncertain concerning the firm’s roadmap, and their very own future at Twitter.

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Should you’ve been experiencing some points when utilizing Twitter as some on the TechRadar group have, you are not alone.

It additionally appears to be like as if you will be struggling with these points for a bit longer, as a ‘change freeze’ has been put in force. This primarily signifies that any modifications to the code of Twitter, from the way it works to any options in growth, have been paused.

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As each day passes there appears to be one thing that causes an eyebrow to be raised. Elon Musk’s different firm, SpaceX, has seemingly purchased an advert marketing campaign to run on Twitter for the foreseeable.

As Lora Kolodny tweets above, these often value within the area of $250,000 a day, but it surely would not be a far cry to suspect that SpaceX has acquired a little bit of a reduction in comparison with different corporations’ advert takeovers prior to now.

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Elon Musk tweeted his ideas about Twitter engagement late final night time, and it has been a debatable submit to say the least.

A subtweet from Raheel Khursheed caught our eye, as he explains how the social platform barely made a footprint when it got here to linking to different websites.

Elon Musk and Twitter

(Picture credit score: Getty Photographs)

Twitter Blues

Whereas Twitter Blue signups are at present on pause, we would lastly have some perception into how properly (or not) the brand new program is continuing.

According to a report in Mashable (opens in new tab), which acquired some Twitter Blue signup numbers from app-tracking agency Sensor Tower (opens in new tab), Twitter Blue signups generated $488,000, which is, at $8 a pop, 61,000 subscribers. 

Let’s simply say that is not fairly a blue wave. It is not horrible, however Twitter has a whole bunch of tens of millions of each day lively customers and solely a fraction of them are legacy verified. We must always have seen tens of millions of individuals signing up for Twitter Blue, proper?

If 91% of Twitter’s income is generated from adverts (roughly $5 billion in 2021), Twitter Blue has an extremely lengthy option to go earlier than it will probably help 50% of Twitter’s total income.

As of this second, although, there isn’t any Twitter Blue signup, and there most likely will not be till Musk and Twitter can determine the way to get individuals to enroll with out inflicting vital verification and identification points.

This technique is a joke

Over at The Washington Post, tech journalist Geoffrey Fowler (opens in new tab), with the permission of a sitting Senator and a comic, created two pretend “verified” Blue Test Twitter accounts in minutes.

Massachusetts Senator Edward J. Markey and comic Blaire Erskine each conform to let Fowler create the pretend accounts of their names.

As Fowler writes:

“Twitter has said accounts that impersonate people are not allowed and face suspension when they’re discovered. It booted comedian Kathy Griffin after she changed her Twitter screen name to Elon Musk. But there’s very little about Twitter’s new paid service that stops you from verifying a fake account. As of the time I published this column, its systems hadn’t detected these were not authentic accounts and they remained online.”

What does this show? That there isn’t any verification on this “verification.” Elon Musk has created a damaged system (one since hidden) and that has already been gamed by others to extra devastating impact. 

Somebody created a pretend Ely Lilly And Co “verified” Twitter account after which tweeted that insulin was now free (opens in new tab). Whereas it might have been coincidental. the real drug company’s stock did take a dive.

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Regardless of the controversy surrounding the brand new Blue Test course of and the power to grow to be a Twitter Blue member out of the blue disappearing from the platform, many individuals have already opted to pay $8 for their very own Blue Test.

If, nonetheless, you are not glad, you’ll be able to, in response to Twitter consumer @Sprint, get a fast refund in your $8 subscription cost via Apple.

This is not shocking since it is simple to unsubscribe to virtually any service you’ve got paid for via Apple’s App Retailer.

What @Sprint claims, although, is that after your refund, you continue to get to maintain the “tick” (Blue Test) for 30 days. Which will or might not be so, although. Whereas it would take a while for Apple to course of the cancellation and hand it off to Twitter, it appears unlikely that the Blue Test would dangle round for lengthy.

If there’s anybody on the market who did have Blue Test purchaser’s regret, canceled, and nonetheless has the tick, tell us.

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What’s a journalist?

Lance Ulanoff hopping in right here:

For Chief Twit Elon Musk, a lot of the Blue Test verification mess boils right down to Citizen Journalism. 

Musk desires everybody on Twitter to ship the information (nothing has stopped them to this point). Nevertheless, the unlevel enjoying area of Blue Test haves and have-nots has created, as Musk sees it, an imbalance. With the that means and worth of Blue checks diminished to the value of an costly cup of espresso (one per 30 days), it means anybody will be verified and, in the event that they report information on Twitter, have the identical visibility.

Musk Tweeted Friday afternoon, “As Twitter pursues the goal of elevating citizen journalism, media elite will try everything to stop that from happening.”

In Musk’s eyes, skilled journalists are the “media elite” and we’re blocking his everyone seems to be a journalist dream.

As this tech reporter informed Musk on Twitter, although, the problem is just not citizen journalists, it is that your entire Blue Test system is now not tied to identification, high quality, or any semblance of fact. With out that, nobody, together with his citizen journalists, will be trusted.

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This is a reply from Musk an hour in the past, the place he is enthusiastic of how Twitter Blue goes up to now.

Which makes us marvel – has he gotten the memo?

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I used to be pondering again to after I first used Twitter on my iPhone, and it was certainly Tweetie, which was purchased by the corporate, after which became the app you employ at present.

The pull-to-refresh gesture is now a typical on many apps, akin to Apple’s Safari and Mail apps.

Simply so as to add to the chaos, Musk has now tweeted this from the Twitter HQ. Whereas we do not ever recommend studying an excessive amount of into tweets, particularly from somebody as mercurial as Musk, it does maybe give us a glimpse into the present mindset of the remaining Twitter staff…

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By tweeting and highlighting this, it appears that evidently Musk is conscious, although what he thinks of it’s a thriller, as all the time.

Mastodon apps on iOS and Android

(Picture credit score: TechRadar)

Should you’ve heard of Mastodon this week, you are not alone. Fortunately, I have been making an attempt it out currently and it is an important various. There are a few apps you should utilize proper now on iOS and Android when you’ve already signed as much as Mastodon as properly.

Lance Ulanoff materializes

(Picture credit score: Future)

Our US Editor-In-Chief Lance Ulanoff despatched us this which reads as if he is saying farewell to Twitter:

“I’ve met some of the coolest people on Twitter. I’ve interacted with my idols and icons and made true friends. Twitter has always worked the way my brain works – in bite-sized pieces. Honestly not sure how I’ll maintain certain friendships and connections or where I’ll post random thoughts that make me happy without it. Please, Microsoft, buy Twitter.”

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Zoë Schiffer (opens in new tab), author at Platformer, tweeted the above {that a} message was posted within the Twitter Slack, that confirmed the tip of Twitter Blue and paid blue ticks with a purpose to cease the impersonations, however any present subscriptions to the service will keep it up as normal.

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One other one which was despatched to me from Muskaan, this tweet exhibits how damaged the verification system underneath Twitter Blue was. One is the real Apple TV Plus account, one other is a pretend one.

Hopefully we’ll see a reversal of this, because it’s already complicated to inform which one is actual or pretend for a lot of customers.

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Our (implausible) Computing author Muskaan Saxena despatched me this tweet, and it is an important analogy for a way customers are feeling on Twitter.

A mad iceberg within the form of the Twitter chicken is sort of the picture.

So the place can we stand up to now?

Musk has but to react to any growth to Twitter at present, which is shocking. The above is, on the time of posting this, his newest tweet.

Nevertheless, we have observed a small change with the ticks, the place it is also blue once you’re in darkish mode on the location.

The top image shows what an Actually Verified account looks like, while the bottom shows you what a Paid for Verification account looks like

(Picture credit score: Wseagar / Eight-{Dollars})

An attention-grabbing learn by Hamish Hector right here – there is a Chrome extension the place it can let you know if a consumer has been verified with a blue tick, or in the event that they’ve gained one by signing as much as Twitter Blue when it was stay.

Worrying about Twitter

(Picture credit score: Shutterstock)

Let’s be clear – there’s not going to be a substitute for Twitter. Nothing actually will be, however there are potential options.

With this in thoughts, we have got three so that you can contemplate.

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This is our US Editor-in-Chief Lance Ulanoff displaying his very first tweet again in 2007.

Because it features a bagel, it is already an important tweet in my e book. The subsequent query for me is, may his closing tweet embrace a bagel to spherical it off?

Elon Musk at 2022 Met Gala

(Picture credit score: Getty Photographs)

Let’s recap:

On October 30, Elon Musk, CEO and Founding father of Area X, CEO of Tesla, lastly took cost of Twitter after a long-winded buyout of the platform.

In underneath a month, we have seen the verification course of grow to be irrelevant and complicated because of the subscription service, Twitter Blue having the ability to grant any consumer a blue tick, and there is additionally been an enormous firing of workers.

On November 11, Twitter Blue was eliminated totally, and there is been silence from Musk since.

So, virtually inevitably, it appears the Blue Tick verification course of has been canned.

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Because the tweet above states, the chaos continues – therefore why we have began this stay weblog. What is happening?

This is an instance of how arduous a few of these pretend accounts are to identify:

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Musk himself fell sufferer to this, with numerous pretend accounts popping up claiming to be him – and with a Blue Tick to show it. This gave the impression to be the ultimate straw, as Musk then backtracked on a few of the extra lax components of the brand new verification course of.

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Nevertheless, as individuals predicted, verified accounts began popping up on Twitter, and whereas a lot of them have been clearly parodies, as a result of they’d the ‘Blue Tick’, it grew to become troublesome to inform, particularly with the extra refined accounts.

Unsurprisingly, the people and firms that have been being parodied weren’t too glad about this. 

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Worryingly for Twitter, many manufacturers began to announce that they’d now not promote on the platform.

Regardless of the issues and complaints, Musk was initially dismissive.

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By posting memes about individuals’s complaints, it left many individuals feeling that he wasn’t precisely taking the problem severely.

Maybe essentially the most controversial factor to return from Musk’s Twitter takeover has been the modifications to how accounts are verified. 

Beforehand, if the verified account of a media outlet (akin to TechRadar (opens in new tab)) or different group revealed one thing, you’d at the very least know that it got here from an official supply. The Blue Test additionally enabled Twitter customers to inform the distinction between the numerous celebrities on Twitter and customers who have been imitating them.

Nevertheless, Musk carried out a change that will permit anybody to get verified for $8 a month.

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This led to some individuals worrying that customers may fake to be official accounts and get simply verified, making it arduous for individuals to inform which accounts have been actual – and which weren’t. And that is precisely what occurred.

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