Elon Musk: Tweet, Twit, Twat

The Twitter Fail Whale

Both of the big morning emails lead with the news that Elon Mush has reversed course and is one again buying The Bird for $54.20 Ameros per share (weed joke included), and notes ominously that he could be in charge of the platform as early as this weekend. (All emphasis is theirs.)

Axios: inexplicably concludes that Musk’s goal is to Make Twitter Cool Again:

The world’s richest man soon will own one of the world’s most consequential public squares, Axios Pro Rata author Dan Primack writes:

  • Elon Musk told Twitter via letter that he again is willing to buy the company at $54.20 per share. That’s the same price Musk agreed to pay back in April, before he sued to renege.
  • If Twitter accepts and Delaware Chancery Court stays the case, neither of which has yet happened, it would preempt a trial that had been set to begin on Oct. 17.

Between the lines: Musk had become increasingly pessimistic about his chances of prevailing in court. Sources say he’s been talking to people about Twitter’s future as if he expected to eventually own it.

  • It’s unclear why Musk chose to reverse course now. One possibility is that he wanted to avoid a deposition that was set to begin on Thursday.

🔎 The intrigue: Musk is about to buy a company where many employees view him negatively — and where many with significant stock holdings have been itching with senioritis.

[snip out the chart of share price]

🔮 What’s next: Musk’s primary mission will be to grow Twitter by significantly upgrading its products.

  • He hinted at that in text messages disclosed last week, in which he emphasized hiring good engineers over good managers.
  • That could include copying features of rivals Instagram and TikTok + developing new features that attract a younger demographic.

The bottom line: Musk wants to make Twitter cool again.

Good luck with that, Elon. Twitter was never cool, it was always nerdy.

Tiger Beat on the Potomac (thanks Charlie!):

IT’S ELON’S WORLD, WE JUST TWEET IN IT — It looks as though ELON MUSK will go ahead with the $44 billion purchase of Twitter that he first proposed in April. Recall that Musk tried to abandon the deal weeks later and soon found himself in messy litigation with the company. The judge in the case has ruled against Musk at nearly every turn and, with a deposition and trial looming, Musk appears to have reversed course yet again.

Twitter is enormously consequential to American politics and media,and the takeover by Musk will have major implications. He’s such a micromanager that when Tesla was having production issues he famously camped out on a factory floor to help solve assembly problems.

Despite all his tweets, we don’t know the full picture of what Musk plans for the platform. But he has made a few things clear:

— He wants Donald Trump back. In May, he called Twitter’s decision to ban Trump after January 6 “a morally bad decision” and “foolish in the extreme.” He added, “It alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice.”

— He’s not inclined to tinker around the edges. Bloomberg, which broke the news Tuesday, noted that “Musk has said he wants Twitter to be more like TikTok and WeChat, with many more highly engaged users.”

— He has repeatedly criticized Twitter’s content moderation decisions,making vague calls to transform it into an “inclusive arena for free speech.” He has consulted widely about executing that vision, including — full disclosure — with MATHIAS DÖPFNER, CEO of POLITICO parent company Axel Springer.

We interrupt to note that Döpfner is wildly conservative and his motives are always suspect. The leaked texts show Döpfner offered to run Twitter for Musk. Not a disinterested third party, he!

— His takeover plans have been intensely polarizing. Both in public and in private text exchanges that surfaced in court, Musk has been egged on by prominent right-leaning media figures while curating an increasingly conservative feed — culminating in this week’s widely attacked Russia-friendly proposal to end the Ukraine conflict. Meanwhile, the left is intensely wary of the political ramifications of a Musk takeover, and there are signs that the deal’s consummation could spark an exodus of liberal Twitter employees. More from Politico and WaPo

Musk offered no further clarity on his plans Tuesday, offering only this cryptic tweet: “Buying Twitter is an accelerant to creating X, the everything app.”

But signs point to a radically different Twitter, where Trump is back — he has said he won’t return but who believes that? — where content moderation is drastically dialed back, where the site, fairly or not, is seen as right-leaning and hostile to progressives, and where addictive TikTok-style content, which is not especially interesting to the media and politics-junkies who made the site essential, becomes more important.

A lot of this could be wrong. Trump might stick with his flailing Truth Social. Musk might solve the extraordinarily difficult issues around free speech and moderation. He might attract ideologically diverse users. And he might backtrack on his TikTok comments. But get ready for a lot of change, and very soon: He could control the platform as soon as this weekend.

To the extent that Twitter is the digital town square, all of this is bad news. The more conservatives take over social media, the worse it gets. As mean as Twitter’s Town Square approach can be, it’s not the back alley like Gab, but likely soon will be.

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10 Responses to Elon Musk: Tweet, Twit, Twat

  1. osirisopto says:

    Now I understand why he said stupid shit the other day. He was hoping to distract attention from his utter failure to weasel out of his earlier attention-attracting noise that cost him several fortunes.

    I read the share price of twitter went up to $52 per share on news that his offer to buy every single fucking share @ $54.20 was going to be honored rather than have a judge tell him to eat shit and write a check.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. w3ski4me says:

    I don’t tweet and never have so this affects me very little. On the other hand, anytime a wrong winger (so not right) buys an icon like Twitter, it goes downhill fast. He wants to let Donny back on? That alone should show how it’s going to go. In that case, a quick death for the company is preferable.
    We have to get Donny off the airwaves.
    w3ski

    Like

  3. Musk has said he wants Twitter to be more like TikTok and WeChat

    So, controlled and censored by the Chinese Government, then. Gotcha.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Martin Pollard says:

    There could be one tiny silver lining in all this: if people abandon Twitter in droves if it becomes a dystopian, nightmarish hellscape, we might end up seeing fewer blog posts consisting of a few sentences followed by a dozen tweets. Those lazy bloggers might actually have to go back to writing their own content, rather than let Twitter fill their posts for them. (Present company excluded, of course. 😉)

    Liked by 2 people

  5. MDavis says:

    Twitter’s decision to ban Trump “… and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice.”

    I thought the point of kicking tfg off twitter was that it was the only way to finally stop him violating the terms of service. And that the only reason it took so long was that he was in a political position that made it in the public interest to keep his twittering available to the populace. And the various other media, including news and other social media, persist in giving him a “voice” even now so the Twitter ban is just not a blackout thing at all. It’s Starburst, the red ones, his favorite. He can just go spread his bs on the blue Starbursts, like Facebook or (his current favorite) Pravda, er, Truth Social.
    I’ll allege that this statement is propaganda, devised to imply that Twitter impairing tfg’s free speech rights. Never mind that they are not a government organization, propaganda doesn’t work that way.
    ALSO, and, … X, the everything app? Why doesn’t he just go ahead and call it Big Brother App so it’s clear what he is trying for.
    I hope that Twitter turns him down flat. I wish the employees would purchase enough stock to run it as an employee owned platform, like that could possibly happen.
    Sorry – this went long.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. roket says:

    I look forward to TFG inadvertantly confessing to more crimes on Twitter. It can also be used to reveal the state of his head.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Stony Pillow says:

    “Buying Twitter is an accelerant to creating X, the everything app.”

    X is code for Meta.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I am so here/there for Donnie Doucheshoes to be back on the Shitter, I’m even brushing up on my expletives, insults and name-calling as we speak.

    Liked by 1 person

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