It was the 27th of October, 2022. The whole of social media went berserk with the news of Elonmusk; one of the most influential people on the globe right now, buying Twitter.
Twitter was founded in march of 2006, more than 16 years ago. Since then, the platform has never looked back. From the biggest personalities on the globe to the most random guy, everyone is on Twitter. Although Twitter has features like direct messaging and all, it is not a messaging app in its proper sense. We think ofit as more of a ‘Views sharing’ platform. What do we mean by that?
Twitter was created with the idea of a platform where people can openly share their views. Views about anything to everything, be it some major event or their thoughts. With time, Twitter also became the center of major political happenings. People started using Twitter as a medium to raise their discontent/agreement about new policies of the government. In short, Twitter became a mode of “online protest”too.
Since the start of 2022, many started accusing twitter’s management of free speech violations after it deactivated the account of many famous personalities including the former U.S. president “Donald Trump”. People started questioning whether twitter’s moderation policies were in contrast with the very idea of Democracy. That’s when Elon musk’s part stepped in. In one of his tweets, he posted a poll asking whether Twitter adheres to the policy of free speech in democracy or not, in which more than 70% of people voted no it doesn’t. He also stated that “The consequences of this poll will be important. Please vote carefully.”
Next, we knew, on April 4th, 2022, he was revealed as the biggest stakeholder of twitter. Post that, there came many instances where musk was approached by the company to join its board of directors but there were no developments. There was no clarity of what is exactly going on in the space. Finally, on 27th October, musk bought Twitter. People were very excited because why not? It’s Elon musk after all. Seeing the success of Tesla, SpaceX, and many more, everyone had a belief that Twitter will also witness something similar under Musk’s guidance. But what followed was something out of the blue.
As soon as musk took control, he fired the top 3 executives of the company; CEO- ParagAggarwal, CFO- Ned Segal, and Legal Affairs and PolicyChief- Vijaya Gadde. While everyone was still figuring out what just happened, one more horrid update came in. Almost 50% of Twitter’s workforce had been fired stating they were not fit for carrying out the future goals of the company. That’s nearly 4,000 employees. This included employees from many departments like content moderation, advertising cell, sales, etc. As per reports, he also fired employees who were criticizing him for his actions on private slack chats and also on social media.
The next round of backlash came in when musk put forward his plans to launch a premium subscription-based Twitter Blue. In this, the verified accounts with a bluetick along side their handle will now have to pay for that blue tick. He suggested that to decrease the number of ads one sees on the platform, one needs to generate revenue, and for that one will start charging a sum of $8 from the verified users. But seeing the backlash, the company has now put an indefinite halt on this plan.
The entrepreneur is popular for his restlessness and hectic work schedule. And that’s what he expects from his employees too. We have already seen that in the case of Tesla and SpaceX. He wants to carry out something similar on Twitter. During the third week of November, musk again came into the limelight after he reportedly gave the remaining employees a deadline to decide whether they are on the same page as him or not. As per Internal leaks, the owner sent an Email to the remaining employees with the tagline “A Fork in The Road”, in which he recited that only exceptional performing employees will have a place in the company. He attached a google form with the Email where the employees had the option to either agree or leave the company. After this incident, Twitter was flooded with hashtags like #TwitterMigration, #RIPTwitter, and #TwitterIsOverParty.
In response, Twitter confirmed that no more layoffs will be carried out for some time now. The company also shut down its offices abruptly. Internal slack messages revealed that it was done to “prevent physical sabotage while the company sorts out access revocations.” The offices will remain shut until the situation calms down.
Things are not looking very bright for Twitter since the buyout. Although there is a very mere chance of the platform breaking under these conditions, there is trouble for sure. The next few weeks will be very crucial for the company.
What are your thoughts about the current scenario? We’d love to hear your opinions too.