Tag Archives: Twitter

Elon Musk To Launch New Blue, Gold, and Grey Twitter Check Marks



Elon Musk has said Twitter verification will return next week with color-coded categories for individuals, government accounts, and companies, The Guardian reported.

According to The Guardian, Musk said the platform would launch a new verification service on Friday next week, having pulled an earlier attempt at a revamp that gave blue ticks to accounts paying $7.99 (£6.60) a month after it triggered a flood of imposter accounts.

The Guardian also reported the Musk said verified accounts under the new system would carry a blue tick – or checkmark – for individuals, a grey tick for “government” and a gold tick for companies.

Elon Musk tweeted (responding to two other accounts): “Sorry for the delay, we’re tentatively launching Verified on Friday next week. Gold check for companies, grey check for governments, blue for individuals (celebrity or not) and all verified accounts will be manually authenticated before check activates. Painful, but necessary”

The Verge reported: As it turns out, offering so-called verified check marks for an $8 monthly subscription without actually verifying identities wasn’t a brilliant idea. After Musk ignored warnings from Twitter’s own trust and safety staff, the platform’s paid Twitter Blue subscriptions rolled out quickly and resulted in some ‘verified’ accounts impersonating notable public figures and brands, driving away advertisers from the “high-risk” platform. Musk has since said the company wouldn’t relaunch Twitter Blue until “we’re confident about significant impersonations not happening.”

CNBC reported that Elon Musk was forced to pause the $8 per month Twitter Blue service, which allowed anyone to pay the subscription for the blue verification tick, after users abused the system by impersonating brands and famous people.

According to CNBC, on Monday, Mr. Musk said that Twitter would delay the relaunch of its $8 per month Blue Verified service. At the time, Musk said Twitter will “probably use a different color check for organizations than individuals.”

CNBC reported that Musk had earlier said he planned to relaunch Twitter Blue on Nov. 29. Musk’s latest timeline puts the relaunch on Dec. 2. The subscription service is Musk’s attempt to find new revenue stream at Twitter as part of the billionaire’s controversial shakeup at the social media firm.

The Hill reported that Mr. Musk said that paid users will have the same blue check as those previously given to verified accounts, which were given to signify a “notable” account. Musk has previously said those verified users will eventually lose their checkmarks.

“All verified individual humans will have the same blue check, as boundary of what constitutes ‘notable’ is otherwise too subjective,” Musk tweeted: “Individuals can have secondary tiny logo showing they belong to an org if verified as such by that org. Longer explanation next week.”

It is unclear to me whether or not the blue checkmarks (and the other ones) will actually appear in the timeframe that Elon Musk appears to think it will. Hopefully, he’s learned something after those problems appeared. I think it would be good for Mr. Musk to be less impulsive when it comes to making decisions regarding Twitter.


Elon Musk Will Grant “Amnesty” To Banned Accounts Next Week



Elon Musk says Twitter will enact a general amnesty for suspended accounts next week, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The Hollywood Reporter wrote: The billionaire continued his ad hoc strategy of making policy by Twitter poll, asking users Wednesday, “Should Twitter offer a general amnesty to suspended accounts, provided that they have not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam?” He did not specify which laws.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, a majority (72 percent) of the 3.1 million users voted in favor of the amnesty for blocked accounts, a group that includes former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke, former Trump advisors Steve Bannon and Roger Stone, right wing writer Milo Yiannopoulos, singer Azalea Banks, Pharma bro Martin Shkreli and neo-fascist group the Proud Boys.

Reuters reported last week that Musk reinstated some previously suspended accounts, including U.S. President Donald Trump, satirical website Babylon Bee and comedian Kathy Griffin.

According to Reuters, in October, Musk said Twitter would form a content moderation council “with widely diverse viewpoints.” Musk said no major content decisions or account reinstatements would happen before the council convened.

The Verge reported that the Musk’s decision to reverse years of moderation work at Twitter effectively trashes Musk’s original promise: to create a diverse council that would adjudicate serious moderation decisions.

According to The Verge, the decision to reverse years of moderation work at Twitter effectively trashes Musk’s original promise: to create a diverse council that would help adjudicate serious moderation decisions. Musk backed away from that idea later by blaming “political/social activist groups” for breaking an alleged “deal” – claim that nobody has verified and that advertisers deny.

Reclaim The Net reported that Musk has reinstated a number of accounts, including Donald Trump, The Babylon Bee, Dr. Jordan B. Peterson, Kathy Griffin, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Kanye West. According to Reclaim The Net, the only account Musk has said will not be reinstated is Alex Jones.

The Hill reported the return of suspended accounts heightens concerns about content moderation on the platform, which had already been exacerbated by Musk’s mass layoffs at Twitter earlier this month.

It is unclear to me why Mr. Musk appears to prefer to make decisions based on how Twitter users vote on a poll that he posted. Every poll done through social media can be manipulated with by people who want to push the results one way or another. I think decision making on Twitter should be done by a group of content moderators before changes are made.


Twitter Purges Workers Tasked With Regulatory And Content Issues



Elon Musk’s move to purge Twitter Inc. employees who don’t embrace his vision has led to a wave departures among policy and safety-issue staffers around the globe, sparking questions from regulators in key jurisdictions about the site’s continued compliance efforts, The Wall Street Journal reported.

According to The Wall Street Journal, scrutiny has been particularly close in Europe, where officials have in recent years assumed a greater role in regulating big tech companies.

The Wall Street Journal also reported that staff departures in recent days include dozens of people spread across units such as governmental policy, legal affairs, and Twitter’s “trust and safety” division, which is responsible for functions like drafting content-moderation rules, according to current and former employees, postings on social media, and emails sent to work addresses of people who had worked at Twitter that recently bounced back. They have left from hubs including Dublin, Singapore and San Francisco.

The staff departures come as Twitter holds talks with the EU about the bloc’s new social-media law, dubbed the Digital Services Act, which will apply tougher rules on bigger platforms like Twitter by the middle of next year.

The Guardian reported that Twitter has disbanded its entire Brussels office, according to media reports, raising questions about the social media’s compliance with new EU laws to control big tech.

According to The Guardian, Julia Mozer and Dario La Nasa were in charge of Twitter’s digital policy in Europe left the company last week. The pair had survived an initial cut when Elon Musk laid off thousands of employees following his takeover last month. It is unclear whether Mozer and La Nasa were made redundant or chose to leave in response to Musk’s ultimatum to commit to working long “extremely hardcore” hours or quit.

Engadget also reported that Mozer and La Nasa oversaw public policy for Twitter in Europe. They were in charge of efforts to make sure Twitter complies with the EU’s disinformation code as well as the Digital Services Act. The DSA came into force last week and will apply to companies starting in February of 2024.

According to Engadget, the DSA gives EU governments more power over how platforms moderate content and when tech companies have to take down illegal content. Platforms will need to be transparent about the reasons for content moderation decisions. Affected users will have at the right to challenge moderation decisions if their content is removed or access to it is restricted.

Engadget also reported that if Twitter fails to comply with the DSA’s rules, it faces potentially heavy penalties. Regulators could fine Twitter up to six percent of its global turnover or even ban the platform. EU internal market commissioner Thierry Breton has warned Musk that Twitter needs to abide by the bloc’s content regulations.

To put things in perspective, since Elon Musk took over Twitter, he has reinstated controversial accounts that had been previously suspended, he appears to have chosen to ignore the EU’s DSA, and Twitter’s communications department no longer exists. It appears that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission might be looking into the situation. In general, it is unwise to make changes to your newly purchased social media company that quickly attract the attention of regulators.


Elon Musk Cuts Costs At Twitter



The New York Times reported that Mr. Musk has embarked on an enormous cost-cutting campaign since closing his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter. He initially slashed half of the company’s 7,500-person work force, fired workers, and continued with layoffs as recently as Monday. But he has also conducted a sweeping examination of all types of other costs at the company, instructing staff to review, renegotiate and in some cases not pay Twitter’s outside vendors at all, eight people with knowledge of the matter said.

According to The New York Times, Mr. Musk’s actions reflect the financial pressure that Twitter is under. The company took on $13 billion in loans for his buyout of the social network, The interest payments for that debt totals more than $1 billion annually. And Twitter has long faced financial difficulties, often losing money and struggling keep up with rivals like Facebook and Google that effectively monetized their advertising products. Some advertisers have paused spending on Twitter as they evaluate Mr. Musk’s ownership.

Mr. Musk has told Twitter employees that “the economic picture ahead is dire” and that bankruptcy might be in the cards for the company.

Business Insider reported that with Monday’s evening email, many changes speculated on by employees or briefly alluded to by Musk are being formalized. Twitter will no longer be covering several costs or paying for a number of perks made available to employees, some for many years, for example. And the maximum amount allotted for work-related trips has been limited, as those trips are also set to become rarer.

According to Business Insider, there were other changes detailed in the email. Twitter employees are expected to work in the office every day as of Monday, the day the email was sent. “Exceptions” will be allowed to allow people to remain working from home on a case by case basis, as Musk has said in previous emails. Musk previously softened his stance on working from home, which was offered to anyone working at Twitter under a decision made by previous CEO Jack Dorsey. Dorsey is now an investor in Musk’s new version of Twitter.

Business Insider also reported that perks, or “allowances” that are being “discontinued” per the memo include all costs associated with “wellness,” “productivity,” and “new hire productivity,” along with home internet or WiFi costs, training and development or “learning,” Camp Twitter, which was a company-wide group activity, and any smaller team activities which were previously expected to happen quarterly. A temporary allowance to cover daycare costs related to COVID is also discontinued.

In addition, the food and beverage situation at the company is also in the process of transition to a “partially paid” offering, according to the email. This means Twitter employees will now have to pay for much of the food the company will offer, where before everything was free.

To me, it sounds as though Mr. Musk has done his very best to encourage current workers to seek out a different company to work at. They might want to find one that provides the perks that are being discontinued at Twitter. This situation could also make people decide not to apply to work at Twitter.

Overall, I don’t see how Twitter can last as a company after so many workers were fired. I’ve seen a whole lot of the people that I follow on Twitter announcing that they have made an account at Hive.


CBS News Suspends Twitter Posting Due To “Uncertainty”



CBS News is halting its activity on Twitter over Elon Musk’s turbulent and potentially devastating moves following his takeover of the company, Variety reported.

“In light of the uncertainty around Twitter and out of an abundance of caution, CBS News is pausing its activity on the social media site as it continues to monitor the platform,” Johnathan Vigliotti, CBS News national correspondent, said in a report about the latest chaos at the company on “CBS Evening News” Friday.

A statement with nearly identical wording was shared Friday by the Twitter account of KPIX, the CBS-owned station in San Francisco.

@KPIXtv tweeted: In light of the uncertainty around Twitter and out of an abundance of caution, CBS News Bay Area is pausing its activity on the social media site as we continue to monitor the platform.

According to Variety, the most recent post on @CBSNews is a retweet of a segment shared at 3:38 p.m. ET about Attorney General Merrick Garland’s appointment of a special council to oversee investigations into Donald Trump. On @CBSEveningNews, the most recent tweet is a story about a dog that “turned itself in to police after getting lost during a walk,” which was posted at 5 p.m. ET. @CBSMornings last posted at 3:30 p.m. ET, linking to an article about users speculating about “whether Twitter will live or die”.

Rolling Stone reported that while CBS Los Angeles, CBS Chicago, CBS Dallas and CBS New York didn’t tweet the statement, none of those affiliates have tweeted anything over the past 20 hours. CBS’ main Twitter account also hasn’t posted anything since Thursday.

According to Rolling Stone, the Twitter accounts for shows like CBS Evening News, CBS Mornings, and CBS News itself also stopped tweeting since midday Friday, and many of their correspondents – including Vigliotti, Scott MacFarlane, and Vladimir Duthiers – have refrained from tweeting since the statement was put out.

The Hill reported that the statement that CBS News tweeted came after Twitter employees resigned en mass on Thursday night, in response to Musk’s ultimatum to either get on board with a “hardcore” work environment or leave.

This is the first time I’ve heard of a news organization choosing to stop posting information on Twitter due to “the uncertainty around Twitter and out of an abundance of caution”. It is unclear to me exactly why they made that decision, but it could potentially be due to the chaos that Elon Musk’s decision making has brought to Twitter.

I wonder if other news sites will also stop posting on Twitter? If so, that could potentially result in lack of news sources available on Twitter. We could be going back to seeking out the news websites instead of their Twitter accounts – like we did before Twitter existed.


Elon Musk Reinstates Trump’s Twitter Account



Elon Musk said he would reinstate Donald Trump’s account on Twitter Inc. after polling users on the platform, broadening the former president’s potential reach days after he declared another run for the White House, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The move also underscored how Mr. Musk has made himself the principal decider on all things Twitter after buying the platform for $44 billion late last month. Mr. Musk had previously said he would establish a content council to weigh in on account reinstatements.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the Twitter poll that Mr. Musk launched Friday recorded 51.8% of votes in favor of reinstating Mr. Trump’s account and 48.2% against. Minutes later, Mr. Trump’s Twitter account was restored, though he hadn’t tweeted. His most recent tweet was dated Jan. 8, 2021.

The Wall Street Journal also reported that hours before the poll closed, Mr. Trump, at an event, said he saw no reason to rejoin Twitter and would stay on the social-media platform he set up since. He posted there Saturday evening to encourage followers to vote in Mr. Musk’s poll “with positivity,” but said he planned to remain on his platform.

The New York Times reported that Mr. Trump, who did not immediately return a request for comment, had announced on Tuesday that he planned to seek the White House again in 2024.

According to The New York Times, Mr. Trump is obligated to make his posts available exclusively on Truth Social for six hours before sharing them on other sites, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. He can post to any site immediately if the messages pertain to political messaging, fund-raising, or get-out-the-vote initiatives. Truth Social did not return a request for comment.

Reuters reported that Trump’s Twitter account, which had over 88 million followers before he was banned on Jan. 8, 2021, began accumulating followers and had nearly 100,000 followers by 10pm ET Saturday. Some users initially reported being unable to follow the reinstated account on Saturday evening.

According to Reuters, Trump, who on Tuesday launched a bid to regain the White House in 2024, praised Musk and said he had always liked him. But Trump also said Twitter suffered from bots, fake accounts, and the problems that it faced were “incredible”.

Personally, I think Elon Musk is struggling to make Twitter work. He’s fired a lot of workers, and saw others opt-out of experiencing what Musk described as “extremely hardcore” Twitter. He closed Twitter’s offices recently. Mr. Musk reinstated Trump’s account and Trump declined to return to Twitter. Elon Musk has really made a mess of things.


Hundreds Of Employees Say No To Musk’s “Extremely Hardcore” Twitter



Hundreds of Twitter’s remaining employees have resigned ahead of Elon Musk’s “extremely hardcore” cultural reset of the company, according to internal Slack messages seen by The Verge and employee tweets.

The fresh purge of Twitter’s ranks comes after Musk recently fired dozens of employees who criticized or mocked him in tweets and internal messages. Musk then set a deadline of 5PM ET on Thursday for all employees to respond “yes” on a Google form if they want to stay for what he is calling “Twitter 2.0;” otherwise, November 17 would be their final day of work and they would receive a severance package.

According to The Verge, after the deadline hit, hundreds of employees quickly started posting farewell messages and salute emojis in Twitter’s Slack, announcing they had said no to Musk’s ultimatum.

Twitter had roughly 2,900 remaining employees before the deadline Thursday, thanks to Musk unceremoniously laying off about half of the 7,500-person workforce when he took over and the resignations that followed. Remaining and departing Twitter employees told The Verge that, given the scale of the resignations this week, they expect the platform to start breaking soon. One said that they’ve watched “legendary engineers” and others they look up to leave one by one.

On November 17, Elon Musk tweeted the following response to someone asking questions about Twitter’s potential shutdown. Elon Musk tweeted: “The best people are staying, so I’m not super worried.”

The Washington Post reported that hundreds of Twitter employees refused Thursday to sign a pledge to work longer hours, threatening the site’s ability to keep operating and prompting hurried debates among managers over who should be asked to return, current and former employees alike.

According to The Washington Post, the number of engineers tending to multiple critical systems had been reduced to two, one, or even zero, according to people familiar with the situation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation.

In an early sign that the number of those declining to sign was greater than anticipated, Musk eased off a return-to-office mandate he had issued a week ago, telling employees Thursday they would be allowed to work remotely if their managers assert they are making “an excellent contribution.”

The Washington Post also reported: Workers offered varying estimates of how many people remained employed at Twitter, ranging from 2,000 to 2,500, down from the 3,500 or so believed to have remained after an initial round of layoffs affecting roughly half the staff this month. Access cutoffs have been delayed, because they are not sure who is gone, because most of human resources left, according to one of the employees.

As I am typing this, it appears that Twitter is still up and running. The question becomes, how long do Twitter users have before it completely collapses? Personally, I’ve seen many tweets in which people attempt to let their friends know which other social media sites they can be found at.