Twitter-Musk Timeline: Musk Desires Extra Video; Contractors Apparently Terminated

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Twitter’s new proprietor and CEO, Elon Musk, wasted little time placing his stamp on the influential microblogging social community. Instantly after Musk purchased Twitter on Oct. 27, the billionaire started making important adjustments that embody firing prime executives and shedding half the workers. 

Twitter’s saga with Musk was chaotic even earlier than he took management. He signed a deal in April to amass the corporate however then tried to again out of it, main Twitter to sue him. After months of pretrial skirmishes, Musk closed the acquisition proper earlier than a court-ordered deadline. Here is the newest information about Musk’s takeover of Twitter:

Nov. 14: Musk needs larger Twitter video assist

Talking by way of video hyperlink, Musk instructed enterprise leaders throughout the G20 summit in Bali that he needs to see Twitter assist extra longer-form video to herald extra content material creators. He additionally famous that he is been working “on the absolute most quantity…from morning til night time, seven days every week” for the reason that acquisition.

Nov. 13: SpaceX reportedly buys main Twitter advert package deal

SpaceX, Musk’s aerospace firm, ordered a Twitter “takeover” promoting package deal for its satellite tv for pc web service Starlink, CNBC reported. This may seemingly promote the service on individuals’s Twitter timelines in Spain and Australia and may price greater than $250,000. It comes after some advertisers paused campaigns because of the upheaval at Twitter. 

SpaceX did not instantly reply to a request for remark.

Nov. 12: 1000’s of contract staff seemingly terminated

Twitter lower hundreds of contract staff, in keeping with Platformer’s Casey Newton, Axios and CNBC, with Newton reporting that round 4,400 of Twitter’s roughly 5,500 contractors have been affected. Most did not get any discover and came upon as a result of they misplaced entry to the corporate’s electronic mail and inner communications methods, Newton reported.

The corporate did not instantly reply to a request for remark.

Nov. 11: Twitter Blue subscription possibility vanishes

The choice to join the $8 a month subscription service Twitter Blue is not out there on Twitter’s iOS app, as earlier reported by The Verge. The shift comes days after the service launched for Apple units and previous to its Android launch. Making an attempt to subscribe on desktop directs you to the iOS app.

CNET can verify that this manifests in two distinct methods: the choice to subscribe has vanished from the sidebar, and tapping the hyperlink offers you an error message. 

A Twitter Blue error against a blue and black background on an iOS version of the app

Attempting to subscribe to Twitter Blue on the iOS app resulted on this message on Nov. 11.


Twitter/Screenshot by CNET

“Thanks to your curiosity!” it reads. “Twitter Blue might be out there in your nation sooner or later. Please test again later.”

It is unclear why the corporate paused signups for the service, however a lot of customers reportedly purchased verification to impersonate manufacturers and celebrities. An inner notice posted on its Slack stated it stopped individuals from subscribing “to assist tackle impersonation points,” in keeping with tech outlet Platformer’s Zoë Schiffer.

Twitter did not instantly reply to CNET’s request for remark.

Nov. 10: Musk bans distant work and warns of chapter, legal professional says he is risking billions in FTC fines

Musk despatched his first emails to staff on Nov. 9, warning that “the financial image forward is dire.” He banned distant work except he personally accepted it, in keeping with Bloomberg, whereas The New York Occasions reported that he instructed staff “absolutely the prime precedence is discovering and suspending any verified bots/trolls/spam.”

An legal professional on Twitter’s privateness group posted a message within the firm’s Slack warning that Musk’s deal with monetizing its customers is making him take harmful steps, The Verge reported. It is apparently at specific threat of incurring billions in fines from the Federal Commerce Fee within the wake of a Might settlement relating to the usage of private data to focus on adverts.

Twitter’s chief privateness officer, Damien Kieran; Chief Info Safety Officer Lea Kissner; and Chief Compliance Officer Marianne Fogarty all resigned, The Verge famous. Kissner’s departure confirmed her departure in a tweet.

Musk additionally reportedly instructed staff chapter was a chance, Bloomberg reported, citing an individual conversant in the matter. Two extra Twitter executives — Yoel Roth, the corporate’s head of belief and security, and Robin Wheeler, who led advertising and gross sales at Twitter — additionally resigned, in keeping with the report. Wheeler then determined to remain on the firm after Musk persuaded her to take action, Bloomberg reported. Roth, Wheeler and Musk’s lawyer Alex Spiro did not reply to a request for remark. 

Nov. 9: Musk tries to reassure advertisers amid confusion about test marks

Twitter’s rollout of a new verification system is messy. Twitter began including grey test marks and an “official” label to high-profile Twitter accounts however then scrapped a number of the adjustments hours later.

In an hour-long reside audio chat on Twitter later within the day, Musk stated the brand new labels are an “aesthetic nightmare when wanting on the Twitter feed” and “one other method of making a two-class system.” 

Esther Crawford, who oversees early-stage merchandise at Twitter, tweeted that the corporate would nonetheless be rolling out the “official” label however to authorities and business entities first. Twitter additionally began permitting individuals so as to add blue test marks to their profiles in the event that they pay $8 a month for a Twitter Blue subscription. Scammers are already utilizing the brand new system to create pretend accounts. Twitter stated it could droop accounts engaged in misleading ways and impersonation.

Within the audio chat, Musk mentioned Twitter’s plans for a content material moderation council and selections by firms to quickly pause their promoting campaigns on Twitter.

“I do not suppose having hate speech subsequent to an advert is nice. Clearly,” he stated. Musk additionally stated he thinks it would take Twitter a few months to create a content material moderation council. 

He signaled, although, that he is not planning to decelerate on the subject of altering Twitter. 

“The speed of evolution of Twitter might be an immense step change in comparison with what it has been prior to now,” he stated. “, if nothing else, I’m a technologist and I could make know-how go quick.”

Nov. 6: Paid test marks could also be pushed again, Musk cracks down on impersonation

Paid verification reportedly delayed till after election

Twitter is suspending the rollout of verification badges linked to an $8 month-to-month subscription service till after the midterm elections, in keeping with The New York Occasions.

Impersonators get the boot

Musk warned that any Twitter account participating in impersonation with out clearly specifying that it is parody would get hit with a everlasting ban. In response, some customers modified their names to “Elon Musk,” which led to their suspension.

Nov. 5: Paying for test marks, listening to from Dorsey

Pay-for-verification plan exhibits up in iOS replace

Model notes for the most recent iteration of Twitter’s app for the Apple iPhone confirmed up within the App Retailer, with a What’s New part that pointed to the verification function. The notes inform customers that “beginning immediately” when you “enroll now” for an $8-a-month Twitter Blue subscription, “your account will get a blue checkmark, similar to the celebrities, firms, and politicians you already observe.” It seems, although, that this system hasn’t truly kicked in but. Learn extra right here.

Dorsey weighs in

With information stories saying Twitter had laid off about half its workers, co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey took to the service to supply phrases of encouragement and to position blame on himself.

“I personal the duty for why everyone seems to be on this state of affairs: I grew the corporate measurement too rapidly. I apologize for that,” Dorsey tweeted. He additionally known as Twitter staffers previous and current “resilient” and stated, “I’m grateful for, and love, everybody who has ever labored on Twitter. I do not anticipate that to be mutual on this second.”

In April, Dorsey expressed his assist of Musk taking up the corporate, however he additionally stated that in precept, he thought nobody ought to personal or run Twitter and that it ought to as an alternative be “a public good.”

Nov. 4: Musk says Twitter has had ‘huge drop’ in income

Since Musk’s takeover, a number of main advertisers, comparable to Tesla rival Normal Motors, meals firm Normal Mills and pharmaceutical company Pfizer, have quickly paused their advert campaigns on Twitter. Musk tweeted that Twitter has had a “huge drop” in income, which he blamed on activist teams pressuring advertisers. Musk did not say in his tweet how a lot Twitter’s income has fallen, nor did he determine the activists. Within the tweet, Musk additionally stated Twitter hasn’t modified its content material moderation insurance policies. 

Musk additionally made an look on the Baron Funding Convention, the place he famous that Twitter grappled with income challenges earlier than the acquisition and that he tried to get out of the deal.

His remarks got here after Twitter began shedding staff. Musk later tweeted that there was “no alternative when the corporate is shedding over $4M/day.” With out specifying how many individuals have been laid off or what proportion of the workforce, Musk added they have been “provided 3 months of severance.” Reportedly, about half of Twitter’s 7,500-person work pressure was laid off.

Civil rights teams that met with Musk spoke out concerning the layoffs.

“For starters, there isn’t any approach to hold election integrity in place if you’re chopping capability to do the monitoring in #TwitterLayoffs,” tweeted Rashad Robinson, president of racial justice group Coloration of Change. The group is a part of #StopToxicTwitter, a coalition of greater than 60 organizations which can be urging main advertisers to pause spending and spend money on content material moderation. Companions listed on the coalition’s web site embody the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, Public Citizen, and the Union of Involved Scientists.

The Volkswagen Group and others reportedly paused advert spending due to issues that adverts may seem alongside problematic content material on the platform.

Nov. 3: Musk seems to be for tactics to chop prices, lawsuit filed

Musk needs to chop prices and make Twitter much less depending on promoting. 

Reuters, citing two sources conversant in the matter and an inner Slack message, reported that Musk directed Twitter’s group to seek out greater than $1 billion in infrastructure price financial savings.

The corporate is taking a look at different methods to earn a living outdoors of promoting, together with “paywalled” movies and paid direct messages, The New York Occasions reported, citing two individuals with data of the matter and inner paperwork.

Musk is already making adjustments to Twitter’s work tradition. Bloomberg reported that Musk has eliminated “days of relaxation” from Twitter’s worker calendars and plans to cancel the corporate’s distant work coverage. Twitter did not instantly reply to a request for remark.

Twitter reportedly instructed staff in an electronic mail that layoffs would occur. A lawsuit in search of class motion standing, accused Twitter of violating the federal Employee Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, which requires giant firms to present least 60 days of advance discover earlier than mass layoffs, as beforehand reported by Bloomberg.

Nov. 2: Musk reportedly plans to chop half of Twitter’s workforce

Musk plans to chop about 3,700 jobs at Twitter, or half of the social media firm’s workforce, Bloomberg reported. Affected staffers are to be told of their destiny by Nov. 4, sources instructed the information outlet.

Musk additionally plans to reverse the corporate’s present work-from-anywhere coverage, requiring remaining staff to report back to an workplace, the unidentified sources stated.

In a single state of affairs for lowering Twitter’s workforce being thought of, laid off staff might be provided 60 days’ value of severance pay. Twitter customers have been bracing for layoffs since Musk introduced his bid for Twitter in April. One report indicated that Musk deliberate to chop 75% of jobs at Twitter.

Nov. 1: Musk suggests charging for verification

In a collection of tweets, Musk floated the concept Twitter cost $8 per 30 days for a verified blue test mark as a part of its subscription plan. The corporate’s subscription service, referred to as Twitter Blue, presently prices $5 per 30 days however does not embody verification as a perk.

Twitter presently does not cost to confirm accounts with a blue test mark, and the badge is meant to be given out to accounts that the corporate determines are “notable, genuine and lively.” The blue test mark is supposed to assist customers decide if an account of a celeb, journalist or different public determine is pretend or not.

Musk tweeted that the worth could be adjusted by nation and that the subscription would come with “precedence in replies, mentions & search, which is important to defeat spam/rip-off,” in addition to the “potential to submit lengthy video & audio.” He additionally stated customers would see “half as many adverts.” 

Earlier within the day, The Wall Avenue Journal reported that Twitter Blue subscribers will lose entry to ad-free articles from publishers like Vox, the Los Angeles Occasions and Insider. There have been numerous stories of various costs for a Twitter Blue subscription, with the corporate additionally reportedly having thought of growing the subscription value to $20 a month.

It is unclear from Musk’s tweets if verified customers must pay for a subscription or lose their blue test mark. Musk tweeted there could be “a secondary tag” for public figures, just like the one now used for politicians.

The corporate’s chief buyer officer, Sarah Personette, additionally revealed in a tweet that she resigned.

In the meantime, Twitter stated it has eliminated 1,500 accounts since Oct. 29 for posting hateful content material.

Oct. 31: Official CEO, board dissolved, layoff plans, no Trump choice but, content material moderation restricted

Days after naming himself “Chief Twit” on his Twitter profile, Musk confirmed he is the corporate’s CEO via a securities submitting. Different adjustments to Twitter’s management are additionally underway. A associated securities submitting exhibits Twitter’s board of administrators was dissolved the day Musk took over and recognized Musk because the “sole director” of the corporate. 

He additionally reportedly plans to put off 25% of Twitter’s workforce, The Washington Submit reported, citing nameless sources. 

Musk, who has beforehand stated he would reverse former US President Donald Trump’s everlasting ban from Twitter, remains to be getting questions on whether or not he’ll observe via on that. Twitter booted Trump from its platform in 2021 following the lethal US Capitol Hill riot due to issues that his remarks may incite extra violence. 

“If I had a greenback for each time somebody requested me if Trump is coming again on this platform, Twitter could be minting cash!” Musk tweeted

Twitter additionally restricted some Belief and Security worker entry to inner instruments, Bloomberg reported, curbing their potential to reasonable content material and tackle misinformation forward of subsequent week’s US elections. They will apparently nonetheless edit or take away posts that would lead to real-world hurt.

“That is precisely what we (or any firm) must be doing within the midst of a company transition to scale back alternatives for insider threat. We’re nonetheless implementing our guidelines at scale,” Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of security and integrity, tweeted in response to Bloomberg’s story.

Oct. 30: Musk toys with checkmark adjustments and Vine revival, tweets misinformation

Musk has been busy suggesting adjustments to Twitter. He tweeted a ballot about whether or not Twitter ought to carry again Vine, a short-form video app that Twitter shut down in 2017. 

Twitter additionally reportedly plans to cost $20 per 30 days for its Twitter Blue subscription service, and verified customers would lose their blue checkmark if they do not achieve this in 90 days, The Verge reported, citing nameless sources. Platformer’s Casey Newton reported that Twitter is considering charging $5 a month to verified customers in the event that they need to hold their blue checkmarks.

Musk additionally tweeted after which deleted a hyperlink to an article with a baseless conspiracy principle about final week’s assault on Paul Pelosi, the husband of US Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in San Francisco. The article got here from a web site known as the Santa Monica Observer. Truth-checking web site Media Bias/Truth Examine famous the outlet publishes right-wing misinformation. 

Oct. 29: Twitter battles a surge in racist slurs

Twitter is attempting to fight nameless accounts that began to tweet racist slurs hours after Musk took over Twitter. 

Twitter head of security and integrity Yoel Roth tweeted that the corporate has “seen a small variety of accounts submit a ton of tweets that embody slurs and different derogatory phrases.” He added that “greater than 50,000 tweets repeatedly utilizing a specific slur got here from simply 300 accounts.”

“Backside line up entrance: Twitter’s insurance policies have not modified. Hateful conduct has no place right here. And we’re taking steps to place a cease to an organized effort to make individuals suppose we’ve,” he tweeted.

Oct. 28: Twitter to type content material moderation council

Advocacy teams have raised issues that Musk’s management over Twitter would enable extra hate speech and misinformation to floor on the platform. Musk has vowed publicly he does not need Twitter to turn out to be a “free-for-all hellscape” however has additionally stated that he is “towards censorship that goes far past the legislation.”

Musk stated the corporate would type a content material moderation council with “broadly numerous viewpoints.” The corporate will not make any main content material selections or account reinstatements earlier than the council convenes, he tweeted.

A securities submitting on Oct. 28 additionally famous that Twitter’s inventory is being delisted on the New York Inventory Alternate. Twitter, a publicly traded firm, turned a non-public one. 

Oct. 27: Musk takes over Twitter, fires executives

Musk turned Twitter’s new proprietor and reportedly fired key executives on the firm, together with Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal and Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s head of authorized coverage, belief and security.

Earlier within the day, Musk tweeted a letter to advertisers. The billionaire, who as soon as tweeted that he hated promoting, now posted that “promoting, when accomplished proper, can delight, entertain and inform you.” 

Musk met with staff all through the week, carried a sink into Twitter’s headquarters as a photograph op and altered his profile to “Chief Twit” earlier than information broke that the deal had been accomplished.

CNET workers contributed to this report.



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