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 in regards to the social media platform, he finally ends up strolling it again. He’s modified his thoughts on every thing from shopping for Twitter within the first place to what shade its signature test marks must be, and he’s executed so in a spectacularly public approach. Some employees on the social media platform — these left after large 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 powerful to maintain monitor. Right here’s a operating checklist. Keep tuned for extra.
Flip-flop: Shopping for Twitter
How lengthy earlier than he modified his thoughts: Three months (from bid to formally attempting 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, straight away, 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 probably grueling trial, which might have uncovered a variety 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 grew to become its largest shareholder, Twitter requested him to affix its board of administrators, a proposal he accepted then declined just a few days later.
Flip-flop: Including test marks 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 on. His concept was to let anybody who needs one purchase a blue test 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 variety of already blue-checked folks, together with writer Stephen King of all folks, who Musk publicly tried to barter with over worth — taking place from $20 to $8 a month. These new test marks, not like the free ones that notable figures had pre-Musk, don’t confirm id, 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 test? 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 in some way! Twitter can not rely fully on advertisers. How about $8?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 1, 2022
The corporate rolled test 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 every single place, from pharmaceutical big Ely Lilly (which falsely claimed insulin was free), to Florida Gov. 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.” Musk has stated he needs to relaunch a “rock strong” model of Twitter Blue November 29, however the lead designers on the venture have since left.
Musk tweeted Nov. 15 that individuals verified underneath the previous guidelines would lose their test marks “in just a few months” in the event that they don’t pay.
Flip-flop: Grey test marks
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 test marks for sure celebrities and publishers. Folks had apprehensive that it could be tough to differentiate between those that had blue test marks as a result of they had been public figures and people who had been simply paying for the blue test, and the grey checks had been apparently the answer. Hours later, the grey checks disappeared. Musk, in Musk vogue, tweeted the information as a response to somebody questioning the place their grey test had gone, saying, “I simply killed it.”
Someday later, the grey checks had 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 night time 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 workers had been requested to return. Apparently the layoffs had been so monumental 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 quite a lot of accounts spoofed Musk by altering their show names to “Elon Musk” and utilizing his profile image, Musk said accounts can be suspended in the event that they parodied one other with out specifying they had 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 checklist that they’re parody of their account identify and their bio. For a time, these verified underneath Twitter’s legacy coverage had been unable to alter their show names, leaving folks 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 problem and Doja Cat’s show identify is at present “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 an excellent 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 risk there may be extra to this story” and linked to an article by an outlet identified for spreading pretend 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 just some hours.
Flip-flop: Distant work
How lengthy earlier than he modified his thoughts: One week
What occurred: In his first e-mail to his new workers November 10, Musk rescinded Twitter’s coverage of permitting workers to work remotely. Employees he stated must spend a minimal of 40 hours per week within the workplace. Every week later, a disabled engineering supervisor, fired for failing to return to the workplace, sued Twitter, saying the brand new insurance policies violated the federal Individuals with Disabilities Act, which requires employers to offer cheap lodging to workers like himself. That very same day, Musk, hoping to retain employees who had been leaving in droves, softened his stance on distant work. Musk stated employees might work remotely so long as managers attest they’re making an “glorious contribution.”
Flip-flop: Convening a content material moderation council earlier than reinstating Trump
How lengthy earlier than he modified his thoughts: Lower than a month
What occurred: On October 28, Musk tweeted that Twitter would kind a “content material moderation council” and that “No main content material selections or account reinstatements will occur earlier than that council convenes.” Presumably that meant tabling the choice to reinstate former president Donald Trump, who had been banned from the platform in January final yr, after utilizing it to assist incite violence. Three weeks later, nevertheless, Musk held an casual Twitter ballot on the matter and reinstating Trump bought the bulk, 52 to 48 p.c. A day later, Musk stated that Trump can be reinstated. To this point Trump has not tweeted.
Twitter will probably be forming a content material moderation council with extensively numerous viewpoints.
No main content material selections or account reinstatements will occur earlier than that council convenes.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 28, 2022
Musk’s fixed flip-flopping is undermining the virtually legendary aura surrounding the billionaire, usually thought-about a visionary innovator and businessman. Twitter isn’t the identical as launching rockets into area or creating an electrical automobile firm, however that doesn’t imply it’s not difficult. Watching his fumbling at Twitter play out on a worldwide stage exhibits that Musk was a lot better at trolling Twitter when he didn’t personal the place.
Replace, November 22, 10:10 am: This story was initially printed on November 12 and has been up to date a number of instances as Musk continues to flip-flop, most just lately to incorporate particulars about reinstating Donald Trump.