How’s Twitter doing, one year after Muskification?

It has been a year since Elon Musk took over Twitter. Is that a long enough period to determine which side of the fine line between stupid and clever the acquisition fell on?

After half a year, Elon had cut the number of employees by 80 percent (CNN).

Here’s my 15 minutes of fame on Twitter:

The tweet in context, replying to a tweet from state-sponsored National Public Radio:

Correction: An earlier tweet incorrectly stated there is limited scientific evidence of physical advantage. Existing research shows that higher levels of testosterone do impact athletic performance. But there’s limited research involving elite trans athletes in competition.

The glorious like itself:

Note that Twitter’s software didn’t highlight this to me. Elon Musk was lumped in with “and N others” in the notifications. I probably wouldn’t have noticed my brief moment of Twitter fame if not for the separate notification of the ELON ALERTS tweet.

The financials sound bleak. Despite all of the payroll cuts, the company was losing money as of July 2023 (Reuters).

And, more importantly, how is our democracy doing after a year of being attacked with misinformation? Will the biggest beneficiaries of freedom of speech on Twitter turn out to be supporters of Hamas? In the pre-Musk days, Facebook and Twitter might have prevented the righteous from expressing their hatred of Israel, Jews in general, etc. On the other hand, Facebook doesn’t seem to be censoring anti-Israeli posts. Example:

It is not “misinformation” by Facebook standards to refer to what is happening as “Israel’s war on the people of Palestine” nor to assert that Israel bombed a hospital despite the fact that nobody at Facebook has seen a picture of a bomb crater.

19 thoughts on “How’s Twitter doing, one year after Muskification?

  1. Surprised the mighty Greenspun is paying for twitter after 30 years of Quite a change from the days of everyone running his own server to everyone feeding the grand old man.

    • lion: Even worse, I’m not getting what I thought I was paying for. I signed up because I was promised an Edit button. So far, however, Twitter has delivered an Edit button only for primary tweets and not for replies, which is what I usually post. I was also promised fewer ads, but I’m not sure how to evaluate whether that is being delivered.

  2. Clever post by Phil that Elon “liked”. It would be too bad if Elon is not able to continue Twitter since it is the best source out there for raw information and a great place to ridicule the world’s blowhards and windbags who never tire from giving opinions on things they don’t remotely understand. It is hard to get a clear picture of the market’s view on the likelihood that the debt will be repaid. Something in the WSJ a few days ago seemed to say that banks unloading existing debt would be forced to take a 15% haircut, which does not sound all that onerous given the rise in interest rates.

  3. I’m reluctant to ask “Was the acquisition smart?” because the outcome really depends on what was done with it.

    If I buy a car at a great price and then I drive it off a cliff, it doesn’t mean the car purchase was dumb.

    Alternatively, maybe you can say it was a dumb purchase because it, more than any other business, gave a direct view into Elon’s decision-making, and we see that he’s a non-stop source of bad decisions.

    In the case of Tesla, his engineers can do great work and Elon looks good. The same is true of Space X. The work of Elon and the team is mixed into one.

    But in the case of Twitter, we see Elon thinking out loud through tweets, then putting those moves into practice, and we see the results nearly right away. There’s nobody else to blame. Twitter is not being saved by competent people in the background doing the real work, and I suspect that’s why Twitter is a trainwreck and his other ventures are doing well.


    Is there any doubt this will be viewed as Homer’s car?×15-3orif6GF8vn62f8RrO

    • Looks like Musk’s acquisition of twitter can be treated as public service that also accidentally makes some cash. With all governmental interference revelations that came out after Musk acquisition.

  4. I’m picturing “Dr” Phil fast-clapping and squeeing like a 14 year old Taylor Swift fangirl at Elon Musk liking his post. You, sir, have finally reached the pinnacle of personal character achievement. What’s next, getting a “like” from Nick Adams and Andrew Tate? You need something to strive for.

    • Indeed, I had an image of the Like tattooed on my left arm, right in between the tattoos of the faces of Nick Adams and Andrew Tate. (Separately, who is Nick Adams? Andrew Tate is a British guy who was in the news for doing something with females?)

  5. Twitter seems to give priority to posts that generate a lot of responses, which is to say posts that enrage people. This means that it fails to deliver on the promise of a discovery tool for interesting and/or useful information. Even the New York Times is better because they do mix in human interest and science stories and aren’t all-rage all-the-time.

  6. Jury is out on Musk’s purchase of Twitter. Stock price was on down-slide when Musk bought it and it gained insignificantly in the past yer, almost flat, while Facebook nearly doubled in price. But in the past 3 month Twitter/X gained over 25% while Facebook is flat/slopping down. It is clear that Musk stopped the bleeding and did it with 20% of original workforce. I do not search for anti-Semitic content and so I can not judge its extent on X but do not see how Musk is worth then his predecessor on it. He began censure pro-Hamas content and condemn Iran rulers, for once.

  7. Among Icaza’s reading recommendations to improve your “understanding what is happening to Palestinians” I don’t see “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” Perhaps it is out-of-print?

  8. I think Icaza would get a much better “understanding” if he would have a loved one kidnapped by Hamas and held in a tunnel in Gaza.

Comments are closed.