Elon Musk, grasp businessman, can’t make up his thoughts

Elon Musk walking into Twitter headquarters carrying a bathroom sink.
Thus far, Musk appears higher at breaking Twitter than fixing it. | Twitter account of Elon Musk/AFP through Getty Pictures

All of the instances Twitter’s Chief Flip-Flopper has gone again on his phrase.

Since Elon Musk first supplied to purchase Twitter this spring, it seems that the billionaire has had a really exhausting time deciding simply what to do with it. It appears as if each time he makes a grand pronouncement concerning the social media platform, he finally ends up strolling it again. He’s modified his thoughts on every little thing from shopping for Twitter within the first place to what shade its signature verify marks ought to be, and he’s achieved so in a spectacularly public method. Employees on the social media platform — those that are left after huge 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 monitor. Right here’s a operating listing. 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. Nonetheless, immediately, Musk started hemming and hawing concerning 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.

Mini flip-flop: When Musk turned its largest shareholder, Twitter requested him to hitch its board of administrators, a proposal he accepted then declined a number of days later.

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 thought 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 particular person is who they are saying they’re. This upset a whole lot of already blue-checked individuals, together with creator Stephen King of all individuals, who Musk publicly tried to barter with over worth — happening from $20 to $Eight a month. These new verify marks, not like the free ones that notable figures had pre-Musk, don’t confirm identification, simply that somebody has $Eight to spare every month, which suggests anybody paying might faux to be another person.

The corporate rolled verify marks into the upgraded Twitter Blue function on iOS on Wednesday, November 9. As many anticipated, chaos ensued. Faux however verified accounts popped up in all places, from pharmaceutical large Ely Lilly (which falsely claimed insulin was free), to Florida governor Ron DeSantis (which known as Trump a “little bitch”) to Jesus, who may be very humorous and isn’t really a parody danger. 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 handle impersonation points.”

It’s additionally not clear but if really 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 apprehensive that it could be tough to tell apart 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 grey checks disappeared. Musk, in Musk style, tweeted the information as a response to somebody questioning the place their grey verify had gone, saying, “I simply killed it.”

At some point later, the grey checks have been again, this time just for advertisers.

Flip-flop: Firing Twitter staff
How lengthy earlier than he modified his thoughts: Two days (from firing to calling some again)
What occurred: Musk started huge 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 staff have been requested to return. Apparently the layoffs have been so huge and haphazard, individuals had been laid off by mistake.

Flip-flop: Parody accounts
How lengthy earlier than he modified his thoughts: A couple of week (from “comedy!” to “it’s not humorous whenever you make enjoyable of me”)
What occurred: When Musk bought Twitter, he tweeted “comedy is now authorized on Twitter.” Apparently, he doesn’t contemplate parody to be comedy. After quite a lot of accounts spoofed Musk by altering their show names to “Elon Musk” and utilizing his profile image, Musk acknowledged 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 Wealthy Sommer from Mad Males.

When Twitter rolled out Blue and parody accounts might now be verified, Musk made the parody pointers stronger, asking parody accounts to listing 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 individuals like Doja Cat caught with “christmas.” As The Verge identified, this made it very exhausting 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: Just some days after Musk took over Twitter and reassured advertisers he wouldn’t flip Twitter right into a “free-for-all hellscape,” he determined it could be a superb time to begin 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” perspective, wrote that “there’s a tiny chance there could 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 instant widespread backlash by everybody from Jimmy Kimmel to the VP of the Anti-Defamation League, Musk deleted the tweet in just some hours.

Musk’s fixed flip-flopping is undermining the virtually legendary aura surrounding the billionaire, typically thought of a visionary innovator and businessman. Twitter isn’t the identical as launching rockets into area 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.

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