April 1, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

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Elon Musk | The straw that broke the camel’s back

Elon Musk |  The straw that broke the camel's back

High-profile Twitter users were suspended without warning or explanation, then suddenly reinstated. A new policy was put in place to prevent users from sharing links and usernames from other social platforms, and then apparently scaled back.

And Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk sent a series of messages to his 122 million followers asking him to step down as head of the social media service, lamenting that no one else would. This post. (More than 17 million Twitter accounts responded, with many voting to let someone else do the job.)

It’s been another chaotic 48 hours for Twitter, which has been in turmoil since Mr. Musk completed a $44 billion takeover of the company in late October. His tenure was marked by mass layoffs, executive resignations and unpaid bills at the company. Advertisers balked, rival services sprung up, and many Twitter users feared the service would cease to function.

But over the weekend, a series of actions by Mr Musk on the platform, seemingly random and capricious, so unnerved Twitter users that anger grew – then turned to disgust. The backlash has become so severe that even Mr. Musk’s staunchest supporters seem to have distanced themselves from him.

Poor support

Critics include Silicon Valley technologists and entrepreneurs backed by Elon Musk, Paul Graham, founder of startup accelerator Y Combinator, and investor Balaji Srinivasan. Mr Graham tweeted on Sunday that Mr Musk’s latest actions on Twitter were “the straw that broke the camel’s back”.

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Resentment, even among Mr Musk’s Silicon Valley cohort, appeared to be a crisis of confidence for the 51-year-old billionaire, who was pictured the day before attending the World Cup final in Qatar with Jared Kushner.

Photo by Carl Resin, Reuters

Elon Musk (centre, drink in hand) in the boxes at the FIFA World Cup final.

“Should I opt out of running Twitter? Elon Musk tweeted on Sunday night after Twitter users continued to question his actions.

By early evening in San Francisco, nearly 6 million users had responded and the 24-hour poll was leaning toward “yes.”

Musk, who is often in the wings at big moments, said he would abide by the decision of Twitter users. He said that the heirs were not identified.

Since the middle of last week, Twitter users have become increasingly concerned about Mr Musk’s ownership.

Photo by Chris Delmas, Agence France-Presse

A poll conducted by Elon Musk on Twitter asked internet users whether he should maintain his position on the platform.

It all started on Wednesday when Twitter banned more than 25 accounts that tracked the whereabouts of private planes – including Mr Musk’s – using publicly available information. While Mr. Musk previously promised to allow the account, known as @ElonJet, to remain online, he said he thought the accounts, which also track oligarchs’ flights to government agencies and celebrities, posed a security risk.

Musk justified his move by explaining Twitter’s new policy of banning accounts if they share another person’s “live location.”

On Thursday, Musk used the policy to ban alternative social network Mastodon’s Twitter account after it used its account to announce the new presence of @ElonJet on its platform. He also suspended the accounts of journalists The New York Timesfrom The Washington PostAfter CNN and other outlets shared links or screenshots of a Mastodon tweet promoting @ElonJet (including Ryan Mack, a journalist’s account) Times and co-author of this article).

The suspensions were lifted on Friday after Mr Musk asked his followers if they should restore their accounts and 59% of respondents said yes. But at the same time, there were criticisms.

“If Twitter owner Elon Musk is serious about fostering a platform for free speech for all, it makes no sense to remove journalists from the platform,” Jody Ginsburg, chairwoman of the Committee to Protect Journalists, said in a statement at the time. .

Then, last Saturday, Twitter suspended the account of journalist Taylor Lorenz The Washington Post, after she posted a message asking Mr. Musk to comment on the upcoming story. Mr. Musk then called Mr.me Lorenz was suspended for “prior doxing,” meaning sharing non-public identifying information online. Mme Lorenz does not appear to have disclosed any personal information in his visible tweets.

Deletion of accounts from other social networks

On Sunday, Twitter took another step forward. The company suddenly announced the new policy, stating that it will no longer allow accounts created solely to promote other social platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Mastodon. Mr Musk said the change was being made “to prevent relentless advertising by free competitors, which is wildly absurd”.

The measure has proven extremely unpopular with users used to open social networks where posts and videos can be easily shared across platforms.

The new approach also underscores Mr. Trump’s commitment to an open web and greater transparency in corporate decisions. Musk’s statements appear to be contradicted.

Mr Graham, the founder of Y Combinator, which backed Mr Musk’s takeover, said new rules banning the promotion of other competing platforms had led him to ‘ditch’ him on Twitter and tell his followers to find him on Mastodon. Twitter later suspended Mr Graham’s account. (Elon Musk later said Paul Graham’s account would be reinstated.)

Other Silicon Valley technologists and venture capitalists say they’re done with Twitter and are starting to explore other services. Ben McKenzie, actor and notorious cryptocurrency skeptic, said he was taking a break from Twitter, saying, “The site isn’t as fun as it used to be. Other users accused Mr Musk of acting like a dictator.

Elon Musk is starting to back off. He revised the new policy so that only accounts whose primary purpose is promoting competitors will be suspended.

“Going forward, there will be a vote on major policy changes,” he tweeted. I apologize. It won’t happen again. »

After a while, Mr. Musk asked his followers on Twitter if he should step down from his leadership role. He promised to abide by their response, but later added, “Nobody wants this post that can actually keep Twitter alive. No heir. »

This article was originally published The New York Times.