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Reasons Why Elon Musk Is Already Ruining Twitter

Darren RydingNovember 23, 2022

“Extremely Hardcore”

We’ve spoken about Musk’s lack of empathy already but this became obvious after one crazy incident. But he caused shockwaves within the company when he changed the company’s work structure. He told employees that going forward they’d have to be “extremely hardcore” and guarantee “exceptional performance.”

Today

But these motivational words didn’t have the effect that Musk intended because they ignited an exodus (via Al Jazeera). One of the main reasons why he’s ruining Twitter is that he can’t keep his staff happy. This is no surprise because he has the people skills of a jailer in a Siberian gulag (via Al Jazeera).

Mastodon’s Rise

Musk is ruining Twitter but he failed to take something crucial into account. This is the modern world and there are millions of tech entrepreneurs trying to create the next big social media craze. Users don’t have patience for billionaire egos and will leave. That’s why many of them are turning to Mastodon as an alternative to the bird app.

Toronto Star

Mastodon is different because it is an open-source platform that hosts many community servers. But it’s still attracting many new users who want an alternative if Twitter goes dark. Meanwhile, Tumblr is enjoying a comeback with the likes of Ryan Reynolds joining the network in recent weeks (via Buffer).

Massive Layoffs

One of the main issues that Musk had with the company was that it leaks money like a broken faucet. He wasn’t wrong about this but his attempt at stymying the flow is ruining Twitter. That’s because he fired over half of the workforce. After all, he wanted to reduce the bloated payroll and unnecessary roles.

Hindustan Times

However, he didn’t account for the demoralizing effect that this would have on the remaining staff. Another issue is that he underestimated the relevance of many of these people. Musk and his team lost face when they tried to bring back essential staff members after he fired them (via India Today).

Tesla Stock

A clear sign that Musk is ruining Twitter is that he desperately sold Tesla stock and poured the cash into Twitter. He said that this was to save the ailing social media brand as he tries to make it sustainable. Musk is making a massive gamble because Tesla’s stock value is currently plummeting.

Tesla

Furthermore, he brought many of his Tesla engineers to Twitter because he wants to stabilize the company. It remains to be seen if this is a smart move or if it will damage both of his brands. Musk dreamed of creating a space settlement on another planet but he may tank his businesses instead (via Fortune).

No Work From Home

The writing was on the wall for Twitter workers after Musk bought the company. In his first communication with his new staff, he informed them that they would no longer be able to work from home. He also advised them that he expected them to put at least 40 hours per week in the office (via Bloomberg).

India Telegraph

This prompted many people to quit because they feel he is ruining everything about Twitter. It’s also discouraging potential hires from applying to the social media company because of the new work culture. Twitter introduced employee rest days during the global health crisis and maintained them as the world normalized.

Public Polls

Musk made headlines again in November 2022 after he created a noteworthy public poll. This saw him ask Twitter users if he should reactivate Donald Trump’s account. The former U.S. President famously fell afoul of the company’s policies and they suspended him from the platform. However, Musk claims to respect free speech and put it to the site’s users.

Reuters

This didn’t take into account that the only thing that people need to create a Twitter account is an email address. There’s nothing to stop somebody from doing this and voting multiple times on the poll. Furthermore, we know there are many bots on Twitter so it’s ridiculous that he thought this was a great democratic idea (via The Guardian).

Damaged News Cycle

CBS News became the first major news company to leave Twitter after Musk’s takeover. This is a massive slap in the face for Musk despite his professed loathing of the contemporary media. The problem relates to verification and the inability to detect if a company or person is real (via National Review).

CBS News

Interestingly, CBS News returned after a few hours but it was a warning to Musk. It’s also a problem for regular users because many of them depend on the site to see updates from around the world. If Musk continues ruining Twitter it will increase the spread of fake and misleading news stories.

Firing Moderators

One of the most idiotic things that Musk did when he took over Twitter was to fire most of the site’s moderators. He did this in the name of free speech but didn’t realize that they had an important role to play. First, it impacted Twitter’s capacity to moderate fake news and general misinformation on the platform.

New York Times

But it also had an impact on the general day-to-day running of the microblogging site. Musk didn’t take this into account when he purged his latest investment’s workforce. He was like a bull in a china shop as he laid waste to the company’s outsourced workers (via The Guardian).

Rightwing Reinstatements

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey tried to make Twitter a forum of reasonable dialogue. He wasn’t always successful at this but there were consequences for people who broke the rules. Dorsey’s administration suspended the accounts of controversial figures like Jordan Peterson and Andrew Tate (via Forbes).

Forbes

Now, these right-wing personalities are back online after Musk reinstalled them. They also bantered with the Space X President as Musk proved that he has a conservative bias. Dorsey kept his politics away from the day-to-day running of the network because he was afraid of ruining Twitter. But Musk has no problem telling the world what he thinks.

Don’t Log Out

Musk didn’t think that firing a bunch of workers would impact Twitter’s day-to-day functions. But the problem is that everybody had a part to play and now there are many bugs in the system. These are ruining Twitter and the general experience for users because some can’t even access the site.

Search Engine Journal

There was a major issue with two-factor authentication when some users logged out of their accounts. Twitter warned people not to sign out because they wouldn’t be able to access their profiles. This was an embarrassing episode for the network because so many things are going wrong (via Slash Gear).

Yes Men

Musk is one of the most narcissistic people on the planet because he has ludicrous wealth and success. However, this doesn’t mean that he’s an infallible genius as Twitter users are discovering. One of his main flaws is his inability to receive criticism in a positive and self-reflective manner (via Vanity Fair).

Rolling Stone

He fires everybody who disagreed with him and only responds to fans like Joe Rogan or former Facebook President Sean Barker. Some potential investors refused to do business with him because of his attitude and the stupidity of his Twitter investment. Now his army of Yes Men is inadvertently ruining Twitter because they created a monster.

International Laws

Another issue that Musk has is a lack of common sense. It’s incredible how somebody with so much money and business experience is incapable of considering major details. One of these is that the rest of the world doesn’t function like the United States. For example, in Europe, it’s generally illegal to fire somebody without prior notice.

EU Law Analysis

Musk discovered this when he tried to cut his Irish-based workforce and faced potential lawsuits. He also didn’t consider European GDPR or those in India, one of Twitter’s biggest markets. His American-centric approach is ruining Twitter because it won’t work everywhere in the world (via RTE).

Executives Gone

Another serious issue for Musk and Twitter is that they can’t keep their senior executives. Many of the most important people in the company have departed since the Tesla king took over. This is a serious issue because the company is already going through a period of transition (via Times of Israel).

CNBC

There has been an insane turnover of people so it’s difficult to know who is responsible for different aspects of the network. The company’s head of trust and safety as well as the chief security officer quit their roles in November 2022. This was a massive blow to Musk because less experienced people aren’t as effective.

Going Private

Musk is taking another massive risk with Twitter because he is taking the company private. There are some pros and cons to this decision but if it fails it will break the network. The Tesla founder wants to make all of the key decisions without consulting with other investors. Meanwhile, it also means that Twitter doesn’t have to declare its accounts.

NPR

But they’ve already paid millions to fired executives and Musk owes a lot of money to banks. He borrowed billions to buy the company and some banks have concerns about his ability to repay. Furthermore, Twitter is hemorrhaging money like a burst artery and is in dire condition (via The Conversation).

Lack of Nuance

There’s no denying that Musk has some reasonable points. It’s true that the company is losing too much money and may have had a bloated workforce. But his solutions lack nuance or circumspection and this is ruining Twitter. Instead of carefully considering the best way forward, Musk is charging toward the brink without a parachute.

TED

It’s like he’s playing whack-a-mole to vanquish the fires that he inadvertently ignited. Many people feel like he wanted to put his stamp on the social network but he didn’t do it pragmatically. Instead, he tried to do everything at once, and this unsettled many users and advertisers (via Tech Dirt).

Shoestring Staff

Twitter fired over 5000 staff since Musk bought the company as part of his attempt to streamline the company. However, he didn’t understand that many of these people play crucial roles in keeping the system active. He complained about the bloated algorithms but didn’t realize that these helped the security of the network (via Business Today).

CNBC

Many more workers quit after Musk told them that he expected a more hardcore output from them. Furthermore, he suffered intense embarrassment after realizing that he needed to rehire some of the people he fired. There was more humiliation when he posed with people who pretended to be Twitter workers but were pranksters.

Back Payments

Musk took the drastic action of refusing to pay back payments after he bought the social network. Many of the company’s executives racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in travel invoices that Twitter agreed to cover. However, Musk claimed that these were the responsibility of the previous administration.

New York Times

He plans to default on these repayments as he cuts costs at the company. But this isn’t a wise business strategy because it reduces trust and good feelings between Musk and other businesses. Furthermore, Musk is blocking corporate credit cards as he pursues a ruthless course of action (via Reuters).

Bleeding Cash

According to Musk, Twitter is bleeding four million dollars per day and may face bankruptcy if the flood continues. Meanwhile, they owe $1.2 billion in annual interest repayments this year as Musk tries to plug the gaps. But this is like using a bare hand to pick up water because it’s proving to be impossible.

New Yorker

That’s why Musk has fired over half of the company’s workforce and is reducing other expenses. He is taking the business private too in a bid to have more control over their finances. Meanwhile, the remaining employees lost benefits like company credit cards and travel expenses (via BN Americas).

Blatant Hypocrisy

Musk is also ruining Twitter with his blatant hypocrisy because he is censoring people. He claimed to be a defender of free speech but that didn’t stop him from blocking users that criticized him online. Furthermore, he suspended people who created Musk parody accounts despite saying that he wouldn’t.

Fortune

The self-professed ‘Chief Twit’ wants everybody to like him but he’s like a child refusing to let people play with his ball. This is driving users away from the platform because they don’t want to deal with an extension of his personality. They knew that the writing was on the wall after he bought Twitter (via Daily Beast).

Celebrity Exodus

Many celebrities immediately deleted their Twitter accounts after Musk bought the social network. This is another way that he is ruining Twitter because the platform brought the famous closer to their fans. It was thrilling for them to receive replies and interact with their idols (via NBC News).

Glamour

A long list of A-Listers has departed including Whoopi Goldberg and Gigi Hadid quit Twitter. Some of them are virtue-signaling but others have a genuine issue with Musk’s alleged defense of free speech. It remains to be seen if things stabilize and these people return to the network.

Overvalued

The Musk effect hurt Twitter before he even completed his purchase. Investors traded shares for under $40 before he made his interest known in April. Analysts think that they would have fallen below $30 if Musk never got involved. But he did and they inflated to above $50 per share as he overpaid for the social network.

Vanity Fair

It was stupid of Musk to involve himself in this in the first place but he backed himself into a corner. After he withdrew a bid for the company he had a legal battle with the company. Then he changed his mind and agreed to buy it because he knew that he would lose the case. No wonder he doesn’t care about ruining it (via Fortune).

Political Bias

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.

Sky News

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).

Follow the Law

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).

AP

“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.

Resignations Galore

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.

Outlook India

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).

Polarizing Figure

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.

Ted

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).

Consumer Safety

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.

San Francisco Chronicle

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).

Increased Outages

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.

Mint

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).

Advertising Pariah

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.

Digital Menta

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).

Firing Critics

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).

L.A. Times

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.

Better Engineering

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.

VN Express

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).

Fake Profiles

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.

NPR

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).

More Hate Speech

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.

Washington Post

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.

Gender Balance

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).

Good Morning America

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.

Potential Bankruptcy

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.

BBC

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).

Damaged Ego

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).

CNN

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.

No Self-Awareness

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).

Bloomberg

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.

Musk Doesn’t Care

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).

Wired

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.

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