Musk pretends that he cares about free speech but this is catnip for right-wingers. He doesn’t understand the importance of moderation or that most people don’t want to see hateful comments. Several rightwing accounts celebrated after Musk bought the platform because they see this as an opportunity.
He believes that Twitter is a de facto town square where people voice their opinions and share news. This is valid but his lack of moderation remains controversial and is driving many users away. They don’t want to engage with the negative and pernicious accounts that constantly broke the rules (via Time).
A serious issue for Musk is that Europe’s freedom of speech rules are very different from the U.S. The latter allows people to say what they want without legal consequences. However, most EU countries don’t tolerate hate speech and demand online moderation against it (via NPR).
“There is a European rulebook, and you should live by it,” said the EU Vice-President. “Otherwise, we have the penalties. We have the fines. We have all the assessments and all the decisions that will come to haunt you.” Musk didn’t respond to this because he didn’t want to rock the boat even further.
We already mentioned that Musk isn’t a people person but this is ruining Twitter. He fired a ludicrous number of workers without considering the remaining staff. This was a serious issue because many more quit because they didn’t like the new direction of the company.
Many people joked that they weren’t hardcore enough to work for the social network after Musk’s new demands. They noted that a workplace is only as good as the culture around it. This is something that Musk didn’t take into account as he purged his new plaything (via The Verge).
Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey enjoyed one massive benefit that Musk doesn’t have. Most people didn’t know his name never mind what he looks like. Meanwhile, Dorsey separated his personality from the social network and allowed Twitter to stand alone. But it’s proving impossible for Musk to do the same since his takeover.
Love him or loathe him, there’s no denying that Musk is a polarizing figure. Some people celebrated when he bought the site because they think he will improve it. Others instantly quit and searched for alternatives because they think he is an idiot. Dorsey’s bland persona was perfect because it didn’t contaminate his brand (via Insider).
The Federal Trade Commission expressed alarm over recent developments at Twitter. The U.S. government watchdog threatened Twitter with big fines if they don’t ensure consumer safety. That’s because several key executives quit the company including major security officers.
This means that it is an increasingly dangerous online environment. The FTC statement was another blow for Musk after his takeover because it revealed the extent of the unrest. This also unsettled investors and lenders because they fear the social network will eventually implode (via MSNBC).
Musk chose a bad time to buy Twitter because the social network is receiving a spike in activity. This may seem like a good thing because they are enjoying more business. The FIFA World Cup is taking place in Qatar and this is driving up the amount of online traffic. However, this also creates more challenges for the understaffed company.
Twitter is experiencing more outages because of this factor and this is negatively influencing users. There’s nothing more frustrating than being unable to access an online account. It’s ruining Twitter for some people and they are turning to other social media networks (via Economic Times).
There’s one thing about Twitter’s model that Musk hates more than anything else. We’re talking about the company’s dependence on advertising as its main source of revenue. This frustrates Musk because he wants to change it to a subscription-based model. Users will pay for different services under the new regime in a stark change.
But it’s impossible to change that culture overnight and Musk is still dependent on advertisers. However, he is becoming a pariah as many of them are turning away from the platform. One pharmaceutical corporation even suffered stock damage after a fake account advertised free insulin (via The Guardian).
We’ve already discussed Musk’s inability to receive criticism pragmatically. But he allows his emotions to guide him and he is firing people who don’t agree with him. The best leaders will listen to their advisor’s dissenting opinions even if they don’t change their minds (via Fortune).
Some Twitter staffers criticized him online and Musk immediately fired them. Remember, Musk proclaims to be a defender of free speech but this is only when it suits him. It’s difficult to respect a man who doesn’t show the same respect to others. That’s why many people think he’s ruining Twitter and the site’s atmosphere.
One obsession drove Musk through his recent stream of cuts and firings. He believes that Twitter requires better engineering but he failed to realize a crucial detail. Ultimately, Twitter is a media company that depends on advertising and sharing information. But he fired the people who are responsible for these aspects of the brand.
After he finished these layoffs he hired more engineers in India because he wants to decentralize the platform. It’s the latest in a series of risks that he is taking with the platform. One bizarre moment saw Musk request anybody who writes software to report to floor 12 in the Twitter headquarters (via Ars Technica).
As soon as Musk changed the authentication system, a stream of fake profiles appeared on Twitter. These saw people impersonate real businesses and famous figures. This also led to an increased stream of fake news that damaged the integrity of the platform.
The most ridiculous aspect of this is that everybody saw this coming. We knew that it would happen as soon as he made it easy for people to verify their accounts. He corrupted the nature of the site with his moronic decision because he wanted to make a quick buck (via Gizmodo).
There is more hate speech on Twitter than ever before in the history of the platform. According to The Guardian, Twitter failed to act on 99% of reported racist tweets before the World Cup. Free speech defenders say that this is unfortunate but it is part of the greater good. Most people agree that this is nonsense and that more moderation is necessary.
The problem for Musk is that more celebrities and famous athletes will leave Twitter if they receive a ton of abuse on it. They don’t want to spend their days receiving hate from faceless profiles. Instead, they’ll engage with their followers on Instagram and other social media sites.
Another unforeseen consequence of Musk’s firing spree saw the number of women within the company plummet. A before and after photo of the Twitter HQ staff revealed the shocking aftermath. There was a dramatic decline in women amongst Twitter’s key operations team (via NDTV).
This isn’t the first time that Musk has had a problem with women on his payroll. Several female Tesla employees reported that they experienced sexism and unwanted attention from their supervisors. It should be noted that they didn’t blame Musk himself but it points to a questionable culture.
Even Musk admits that Twitter may go bankrupt because the company is dysfunctional. Some conspiracy theorists believe that he is driving it toward the brink because he didn’t want to buy it. But the risk remains that Twitter will go bust and cost thousands of people their jobs in the process.
This will also affect the livelihoods of workers in other industries. Many freelance journalists depend on the platform to share news and make connections. Furthermore, it’s a popular advertising platform for many businesses. It’s also an important way for creators to engage with their followers (via NPR).
The only thing that’s bigger than Musk’s bank balance is his ego. He famously gave Ukraine access to his Starlink internet system. But then he retracted it after they criticized his perspective on Russia’s invasion of the nation. In short, Musk doesn’t like it when people mock or analyze his viewpoints (via Insider).
This is a fatal flaw in many of the world’s most notorious leaders because they can’t accept that they’re wrong. Musk is ruining Twitter with his damaged ego. That’s because he won’t accept that he is trying to fix something that wasn’t broken. All he had to was leave it alone and let the experts do their job.
Musk’s lack of self-awareness is a serious issue that is damaging his image in front of the world. He had an exchange with the author Stephen King on the platform but failed to realize the latter’s contempt for him. Meanwhile, he continues to insult and trade jibes with others regularly (via Futurism).
He once tweeted that he didn’t want to boast but that he’s the best at humility. It’s safe to say that this was a tongue-in-cheek joke but it says a lot about him. Like many billionaires, Musk believes that he is infallible and incapable of making mistakes. But that’s one of the main reasons why he is ruining Twitter.
It’s safe to say that most billionaires don’t care about other people. Their dominant interest is making as much money as possible and building legacies. Meanwhile, many of them don’t suffer if a company goes bust because they have stakes in other businesses (via WGBH).
That’s one of the main reasons why Musk doesn’t worry about ruining Twitter. It doesn’t matter that it had a vast workforce or that many people from other professions depend on the platform. Musk has several other major companies and will stay rich if it fails. It’s disgusting that one man can cause so much damage without any consequences.