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Since Elon Musk bought Twitter at the end of October, it’s been a nonstop shitshow. He tweeted a conspiracy theory; he laid off half the company; he asked some of those people to come back; he rolled out the paid verification feature, unleashing parodies; he made a new gray “Official” check, took it away, then put it back in place; he banned parody accounts that made fun of him. Oh, and he fired people who criticized him, either on Twitter or in a company-only Slack channel.
It’s exhausting to keep up with the latest. But, for your convenience, we’re going to keep updating this post with the day-in, day-out news emerging from Twitter.
Musk says negative tweets will be hidden. “New Twitter policy is freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach,” Musk tweeted. He also allowed back onto Twitter three high-profile users who had previously been banned: Kathy Griffin (for impersonating Musk), Jordan Peterson, and the far-right satire site Babylon Bee. “Trump decision has not yet been made,” Musk tweeted.
Hundreds of Twitter employees resigned yesterday. Musk gave employees an ultimatum: agree to stay and work under a very different “hardcore” company culture, or resign with severance. The deadline was yesterday at 5 p.m. ET, and some 1,200 of the remaining 3,700 full-time employees took the buyout, according to the New York Times.
Zoë Schiffer of Platformer reported that this resulted in chaos: Twitter offices were locked for fear of employee sabotage, and there was confusion about who had clicked “yes” to stay on Musk’s email was still actually around or not. (Some people may be on parental leave, for example.)
People with jokey Twitter names are stuck with them. BuzzFeed News reports on how people who changed their display names to things like “Spicy Chicken Sandwich” and “GIANT PENIS (parody)” are now stuck with them due to Musk’s tweaks to the verification system.
The old version of Twitter Blue is finally going away. Subscribers to the older version of Twitter Blue, which launched last spring at $2.99/month, were notified that old subscriptions will be canceled at the end of this month, at which time they can sign up for the new option.
The New York Times reports on SpaceX workers experiencing something familiar: retribution for criticizing Musk. Nine workers were fired over the summer in connection with an open letter condemning Musk’s “harmful Twitter behavior” — specifically his making light of an Insider report that he had paid to settle a sexual harassment claim against him in 2018. On Wednesday, charges were filed with the National Labor Relations Board on behalf of eight of those workers.
Elon Musk issues an ultimatum to Twitter employees. In an email to the remaining staff, he said that people must be willing to work long hours and go “hardcore.” If not, they could choose to take severance pay and leave. In order to keep their job, employees had to click “yes” on a form that the email linked to.
Musk says he wants to find a CEO replacement soon. Musk was in Delaware Chancery Court on Wednesday for a hearing related to Tesla (a stockholder claimed his executive pay was “excessive.”) During his testimony, he said, “I expect to reduce my time at Twitter and find somebody else to run Twitter over time.”
Currently, Musk is CEO of three separate companies. As to whom he might appoint as head of Twitter, it’s pretty clear it won’t be former T-Mobile CEO John Legere:
Your weekday morning guide to breaking news, cultural analysis, and everything in between
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