on me Elon MuskFirst full day like Twitter ownerThe social media company immediately began to feel its mark.
Twitter CEOs have been fired Its board of directors was dissolved. company He said Its stock will stop trading on the New York Stock Exchange on November 8th. Mr. Musk announced that he plans to set up a board to deal with Twitter content questions and will not immediately reinstate banned users. He has enlisted help from those closest to him and set up a Twitter “war room” to review its products and policies.
On Twitter itself, some Republicans and conservative media figures celebrated the new monarchy. number of followers for Many right-wing Twitter accounts have risen dramatically. Former President Donald J. Trump, who was banned from Twitter last year, has used his own social platform to… declares himself “Very happy that Twitter is now in sane hands.”
The changes and reactions started a new era for the social media service called Global City Square, which is now under the control of the world’s richest man. Mr. Musk, 51, completed his massive $44 billion Twitter acquisition late Thursday and did not hesitate to reveal his existence. a A mercurial and unexpected creatorhe promised to transform the service through Relaxing content moderation rules, Incorporating new technology and making the algorithm more transparent.
But Mr. Musk faces myriad challenges at the helm of Twitter, which comes at the top of his responsibilities at Tesla, as well as at rocket maker SpaceX and several startup companies. Regulators in Europe They immediately said they would examine how it changed the service, while advertisers and misinformation researchers deplored the potential for an increase in toxic content and falsehoods on the platform.
Mr. Musk also now faces the challenge of actually running Twitter, a money-losing company with 7,500 employees and 240 million users, some of whom are very prominent and rowdy. He did not immediately appoint two CEOs to head the company on Friday, but he tried Attractive to advertisers, who provide the bulk of Twitter’s revenue. Mr. Musk, who took out about $13 billion in debt to fund the deal for Twitter, must pay lenders about $1 billion in interest payments annually.
On Friday, Mr. Musk indicated he was up for the challenge. “Let the good times roll” chirp. He and Twitter did not respond to requests for comment.
With the changes Twitter has made over the past 24 hours, Mr. Musk is “sending powerful signals to employees that the world is changing,” said Tami Madsen, professor of management at Santa Clara University’s Levy School of Business. But she cautioned, “We don’t know what direction it’s going.”
Mr. Musk previously told investors that he did Big plans for Twitter. This includes turning Twitter into a “super app” like the popular apps in Asia, with social media, payments and messaging all part of one service. Mr. Musk said he would call this “everything app” X.
Mr. Musk also said he will add subscription services to Twitter, bringing revenue directly from users rather than relying solely on advertisers. These services can include giving people the option to use Twitter without seeing ads if they pay a fee.
On Wednesday, Mr. Musk arrived at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters and Meet the Twitter staff During the rest of the week, five people familiar with the meetings said. Late Thursday, senior Twitter executives including Parag Agrawal, CEO, as well as Chief Financial Officer, Chief Legal and Policy Officer and General Counsel, They were kicked out.
Two people said those executives thought they had until Friday before the deal closed. But Mr. Musk’s money for the deal came earlier than expected, so he went ahead with closing the deal on Thursday and firing executives, they said.
Two people said Mr. Musk had set up a “war room” at the company to research his new purchase. Four people said Tesla employees and Mr Musk’s trusted aides also met with Twitter employees. Three people said one of them was Alex Spiro, Musk’s personal attorney, who discussed content management and legal issues with Twitter employees.
“He will pick and choose the best he has in his network to go in and address some of these issues,” said Patrick Hellman, chief strategy officer of crypto exchange Binance, which invested in Mr Musk’s acquisition on Twitter.
Two people said that other investors who provided funds for Mr Musk’s deal on Twitter – including venture capitalist David Sachs – held meetings at the company on Friday. Kayvon Beykpour, a former Twitter chief product who was also Launched by Mr. Agrawal in MayThree people said, he was seen in the building.
Amid fears of layoffs, some Twitter employees have been instructed to print copies of the code they recently wrote as possible proof of work, two people familiar with the situation said. Three employees said they had not received any communication from the company and were relying on news reports. Two people said Twitter also implemented a “code freeze” to prevent changes to the app.
Mr. Musk appears to have backed away from his plans for Twitter to be a haven for undiluted, unrestricted comments. For several months, misinformation researchers have warned against removing protective barriers from the service. Some advertisers also said they were apprehensive about Twitter allowing everything in terms of speech. General Motors, for example, said it would temporarily suspend ads on Twitter as it tries to “understand the direction of the platform under its new ownership.”
“If Twitter becomes the go-to platform for the Knucklehead Brigade, advertisers will run, not walk,” Bob Hoffman, the ad industry veteran behind the Ad Contrarian newsletter, said in an email.
Mr. Musk, who told advertisers this week that he aims to make Twitter “the world’s most respected advertising platform,” added to that sentiment on Friday. He has made clear that he will not immediately overturn Twitter’s content editing policies and will form a board to discuss speech questions. He said that until then he would not restore the accounts of users who violated the platform’s rules.
said in tweet. “No major decisions about content or recalculation will be made prior to that board meeting.”
Evan Greer, director of digital advocacy group Fight for the Future, said the board was a “good idea” but that Mr. Musk would ultimately have control over content decisions.
“He can make up the council, he can dissolve it,” Ms Greer said of Mr. Musk. “This is the problem of one individual owning a company that has such a profound impact on our politics, our culture and our society.”
Conservative Twitter users — including lawmakers, Fox News hosts and others who have accused mainstream tech platforms of censoring their opinions — were delighted with Mr. Musk’s ownership of Twitter.
“Elon Musk has indicated that he will oppose censorship of big tech companies and support free speech,” said Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee. in a tweet. “This is something every freedom-lover can leave behind.”
New activity on Twitter has also intensified. In the 24 hours before Mr. Musk closed his deal to the company, thousands of new accounts were created on the service, joining a larger wave of new followers of some of the platform’s most influential far-right accounts, according to research from Memetica, a digital investigative firm.
Meanwhile, researchers found that the Twitter accounts of progressive politicians and celebrities lost followers on Friday. Former President Barack Obama, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat of New York, and Rachel Maddow, MSNBC host, were among the Twitter accounts that lost the most followers since Thursday, according to data from Social BladeSocial media analytics company.
Several left-wing influencers have implored their Twitter followers to stay in service and Don’t delete their account.
Writer and patron John Pavlovitz wrote to his 410,000 followers: “If decent moderates and left-wing folks continue to abandon platforms, we allow the far right to own the narrative and give the truth no voice.”
Shera FrenkelStuart Thompson Tiffany HsuAnd the Mike Isaac And the David McCabe Contribute to the preparation of reports.
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