We explain the Twitter / Elon Musk affair in 90 seconds

SOCIAL NETWORKS – The bird loses the north. Leak of advertisers, massive layoffs, cascading resignations, cacophony around new features… since its takeover, the social network Twitter has been revolutionizing at the heart of the Elon Musk storm. We explain everything to you in 90 seconds in the video at the top of this article.

On October 27, 2022, Elon Musk announced the acquisition of Twitter for 44 billion dollars, after a saga of more than six months. “The bird is free”he tweets in reference to the logo of the platform, a blue bird. “Twitter is now in good hands”greets former US President Donald Trump, banned from the platform since the assault on the Capitol in early 2021 and seems to be in a hurry to be reinstated there.

Content moderation advice »

Associations are worried that Elon Musk, with his libertarian vision of absolute promotion of freedom of expression, is opening the floodgates to disinformation and hate speech. The European Union also warns on the 28th that Twitter will have to respect its new digital regulations which force the major platforms to moderate their content.

Elon Musk tries to reassure by announcing the upcoming formation of a “content moderation advice”. The day after the takeover, the automaker General Motors temporarily stopped paying for ads on Twitter, becoming the first major advertiser to question its presence on the social network, 90% of whose revenue comes from advertising.

Other companies follow, such as the American agribusiness giants General Mills (Cheerios and Häagen-Dazs) and Mondelez international (Oreo cookies), or even Volkswagen and Audi.

$8 to certify your account

On November 1, Elon Musk announced in a tweet the upcoming launch of an $8 per month subscription for users wishing to have their account certified as authentic and be less exposed to advertising. Account certification was previously free and accessible only to certain profiles, such as governments, companies, the media, political, cultural or sports personalities, etc.

On the 4th, Twitter begins a wave of layoffs, which affects around 50% of its 7,500 employees worldwide. “Unfortunately there is no other choice when the company is losing more than 4 million dollars a day”, justifies Elon Musk. On the 9th, a great cacophony surrounds the launch on the iPhone of the new Twitter Blue, the paid subscription to have your account authenticated.

For 48 hours, many accounts pretend to be those of celebrities or big companies, from basketball player LeBron James to Nintendo. These impersonations will cause Twitter to suspend Twitter Blue as of November 11.

Warning from US authorities

On the 10th, the American competition agency (FTC) issued a rare warning against the platform: “We are following recent developments at Twitter with great concern. No CEO or company is above the law. »

The FTC points out that Twitter risks substantial fines if it does not comply with data security and privacy rules. However, many employees aware of these regulations are no longer at Twitter.

On the 16th, Elon Musk announced the postponement to November 29 of the relaunch of Twitter Blue, after its false start the previous week. The same day, the billionaire issued an ultimatum to his employees who had survived the first wave of layoffs. They must commit before the next day to “working long hours at high intensity”otherwise they will be fired. According to several American media, hundreds of employees are choosing to leave. And that might just be the beginning of the story…

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