Live blog: Twitter chaos – Elon Musk reinstates Trump and Ye returns

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Elon Musk

(Picture credit score: Getty Photos)

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Over the weekend, Twitter proprietor Elon Musk ran a poll (opens in new tab) of his followers asking if he ought to reinstate former President Donald Trump whose account was suspended following the Jan sixth riots.

A day later, Musk reinstate the account with all of its tweets intact. To this point, Trump has stated he isn’t coming again. He does have his personal platform, Fact Social, in any case.

Whereas Trump took a wait-and-see strategy, rapper Kayne West formally rejoined the platform on Sunday. His account was suspended after anti-Semitic tweets, and reinstated shortly earlier than Musk took over, however this was the primary time he’d tweeted. Naturally, Musk welcomed him back (opens in new tab) to the platform.

On the similar time that Musk was inviting again Ye and the previous president (and posting memes (opens in new tab) about whether or not or not Trump would return), he was busy selling The World Cup, promising better coverage (opens in new tab) of the Qatar-based, world soccer occasion than anyplace else.

From the look of issues, Musk is all however dwelling at Twitter HQ as he assesses the impression of his personal modifications and pulls in engineers (people who stay) for all-nighters. Musk shared images on Saturday (opens in new tab) from a late-night code evaluate together with his engineers. Whereas we had been fascinated by the whiteboard, some took observe of the entire lack of feminine illustration, not less than within the images.

Seems like we’re in for an additional fascinating week in Twitterville.

Elon Musk

(Picture credit score: Getty Photos / Carina Johansen)

Reversals and massive selections

Like just about each different little bit of technique Twitter proprietor Elon Musk has launched to the beleaguered social media platform, all of them – even the most important ones – play out on Twitter.

After booting comic Kathy Griffin and different parody and humor accounts, Musk said he was reinstating (opens in new tab) Griffin, Jorden Peterson, and the satirical on-line newspaper, The Babylon Bee.

Musk additionally made it clear that he’s contemplating bringing Former President Donald Trump again, although the “determination has not but been made.

Maybe the even greater information is the revealing of a brand new Twitter coverage, which Musk initially teased with a tweet that stated “Freedom Fridays…” (opens in new tab)

The brand new coverage rapidly adopted in one other tweet.

“New Twitter coverage is freedom of speech, however not freedom of attain.
Damaging/hate tweets shall be max deboosted & demonetized, so no advertisements or different income to Twitter. You received’t discover the tweet except you particularly search it out, which isn’t any completely different from remainder of Web.”

A part of this seems to be permitting “hate” speech on the platform however hiding it. That also means individuals might see it (although perhaps provided that they conduct a Twitter or Google search). Whereas this transfer will certainly concern some and freak out advertisers, Musk’s plan is to not monetize any of those tweets.

A bigger query stays. How will Musk and his crew establish “Damaging/hate tweets”? These particulars weren’t included. Nor did Musk clarify how and when a tweet is likely to be so incendiary that it might be, say, too hateful and be faraway from the platform, or get its writer banned.

The flurry of tweets got here shortly after reports that Musk had reversed his decision (opens in new tab) to lock Twitter’s doorways on Friday and, apparently, ordered some individuals again to work.
-Lance Ulanoff

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Memes apart, nonetheless, Elon Musk isn’t as seemingly blasé concerning the state of affairs in personal. There are studies that Twitter has as soon as once more suspended workers’s badge entry and that its workplaces are briefly closed. Twitter’s workers have been informed that workplaces will reopen on Monday, November 21, although they haven’t been informed why entry is at present restricted.

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The present idea is that Elon Musk and senior workers at Twitter are nervous that staff who haven’t dedicated to Twitter 2.0 will sabotage the platform on their manner out. On high of that, it appears like they’re additionally attempting to work out who’s leaving (and desires their workplace entry revoked) and who’s staying. 

In keeping with a Twitter post (opens in new tab) made at 9:42pm ET on November 17 (02:43am GMT / 12:43pm AEST on November 18) by Zoë Schiffer (opens in new tab) – the managing editor of Platformer – as a result of solely the names of people that stated “Sure” to Twitter 2.0 have been collected it’s not instantly clear who has really left.

We think about Elon Musk and his cronies will even be attempting to persuade workers leaving crucial groups to remain – particularly the groups that might then have zero members with out them. If discussions are ongoing this is able to probably add much more confusion to the state of affairs as Musk wouldn’t need to revoke entry for Twitter workers who find yourself staying with the corporate. 

Properly, it seems many individuals at Twitter weren’t enthusiastic concerning the prospect of working even more durable than they’re now on Musk’s “Twitter 2.0”. Reportedly a whole lot of workers have been posting farewell messages on Twitter’s inner Slack channels after the 5pm ET deadline handed.

In keeping with nameless sources who spoke to The Verge (opens in new tab) this new batch of resignations implies that a number of “crucial” groups at Twitter have misplaced all or practically all of their members. This apparently consists of Twitter’s site visitors and frontend groups that guarantee engineering requests are despatched to the proper backend companies, in addition to everything of Twitter’s core system libraries crew – with one worker admitting concerning the latter that “you can not run Twitter with out [them].”

However based mostly on his Twitter timeline, Elon Musk is outwardly fairly relaxed about the entire state of affairs. In a tweet following this new employee exodus (opens in new tab), he stated that “The perfect persons are staying, so I’m not tremendous nervous.”

He later adopted up with a number of memes, together with one displaying Twitter posing in entrance of its personal grave.

Morning of us, we’re again with the newest Twitter information, and boy have fairly just a few issues occurred.

Following the mass layoffs that occurred at Twitter two weeks in the past – when Elon Musk fired an estimated half of the platform’s workforce – he issued a requirement to those who remained on Wednesday (November 16): decide to the brand new “extraordinarily hardcore” work tradition or depart.

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Twitter workers had been requested to substantiate they’re dedicated to working longer hours and settle for that “solely distinctive efficiency will represent a passing grade” by 5pm ET on November 17 (10pm GMT, November 17  / 8am AEST, November 18), or get three months severance and depart the corporate. 

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An fascinating apart to Musk’s look at a trial earlier in the present day, the place he’s discussing (opens in new tab) a $56 billion pay package deal involving Tesla.

Musk has revealed that after the ‘restructuring’ is full at Twitter, he’ll be handing it off to a brand new CEO.

As our Managing Editor for Entertainment, Matt Bolton quipped earlier: “He’s going to salt the earth, then ask why the subsequent individual didn’t develop something.”

Elon Musk

(Picture credit score: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Free speech = Agree with Musk speech

Elon Musk is a “champion” of free speech and sometimes tweets about how he desires Twitter to be a digital public sq. the place individuals can brazenly categorical their views.

Nonetheless, Musk has proven little persistence for comedy and, it appears nearly zero tolerance for Twitter staff who disagree with him on the platform and even inside Twitter, the place Twitter has its personal firm chat board.

In keeping with a brand new report in The New York Times (opens in new tab), Musk fired a Twitter developer, Eric Frohnhoefer, who disagreed with him on Twitter (opens in new tab) about Android app efficiency. Musk additionally, the report claims, requested his crew to scan the crew chat board for “insubordinate workers” after which fired them, a few of whom had been commiserating about Frohnhoefer’s firing.

As a substitute of denying the report, Musk sarcastically tweeted, “I wish to apologize for firing these geniuses. Their immense expertise will little question be of nice use elsewhere.”

We’re fairly positive nobody would imagine any of this if it weren’t all taking place earlier than our eyes and on one of the vital in style social media platforms on the planet.

Lance Ulanoff

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In case you missed out on Twitter Blue and its verification ‘feature’, Musk confirmed earlier that it is coming again on Tuesday, November 29, across the time when Black Friday weekend is winding down.

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In an odd transfer by Musk, this was posted the place two actors, beforehand making out that they’d been fired final month, had been pictured to be with them, displaying that they’d been ‘rehired’.

The place’s the humorous right here?

Elon Musk

(Picture credit score: Getty Photos / Taylor Hill )

In keeping with the Washington Post (opens in new tab), Musk has despatched one other electronic mail to all Twitter staff, asking them to decide to a ‘Twitter 2.0’ with a ‘hardcore’ work ethic.

The message additionally stated that those that didn’t signal the pledge by 5PM Japanese time Thursday, or 10PM UK time, had been informed that they might obtain three months of severance pay.

It is one more demand from its workers after a turbulent 5 weeks, and there is nonetheless an opportunity that this might be reversed by the point we head into Christmas.

Elon Musk at 2022 Met Gala

(Picture credit score: Getty Photos)

Unhealthy information, not-necessarily dangerous information

It in all probability comes as no shock to most of you who’ve been monitoring the Elon Musk Twitter saga for a while that Musk is not a lot of a listener.

In keeping with a brand new Casey Newton Platformer newsletter (opens in new tab), Musk was warned in a prolonged memo earlier than the November 9 rollout of the paid verification plan that there can be hassle.

The doc, which Platform obtained, reads extra like a historic doc than a “what if.” It spells out how the plan would result in the “Impersonation of world leaders, advertisers, model companions, election officers, and different high-profile people.”

That’s precisely what occurred earlier than Musk hit the brakes and now seems to don’t have any follow-up plan for Twitter Blue and paid Blue Examine verifications. 

In addition they warned how the brand new plan would drive away present verified customers. Some have left as a result of they’re now not protected against impersonation.

Nonetheless, now we have some excellent news. In keeping with Newton, Twitter at present has no straightforward manner of eradicating verified checks from those that select to not pay. In different phrases, you probably have a verified account proper now (the one you bought earlier than the fee system was carried out), you might need it for some time longer, particularly as a result of Musk laid off most of the individuals who would possibly assist program such a change.

Included among the many Twitter departed is Sachee MacCaw, a Twitter Software program engineer who ruthlessly trolled Musk on Twitter, particularly after he criticized how the system works on Android until he fired her (opens in new tab). —Lance Ulanoff

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Because of Twitter person @Christapeterso (opens in new tab), a timeline of Elon Musk proudly owning Twitter up till the current day is right here for all to see, and it is solely once you learn by means of this thread, that you simply notice a lot has occurred in such a brief area of time.

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We have began to identify some tweets of two-factor authentication not working. In case you’ve put an electronic mail or a cellular quantity in to assist confirm your account once you check in, it appears to be like prefer it’s not working accurately.

The code wanted that can assist you check in is not being despatched, however it appears to be like as if it really works for electronic mail for some, and never a telephone quantity.

In any case, it is regarding {that a} characteristic to assist safe your account is beginning to present bugs and refuse to work for some customers.

In case you’re nervous, it might be greatest to verify that electronic mail verification is switched on in your account as quickly as you may.

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After a mildly-quiet Friday, Musk has been replying to a bunch of customers in the present day, with affirmation that the ‘Despatched from iPhone’ message goes away.

In case you’re unaware, as you’d ship a tweet from an iPhone or an Android machine, the tweet would state this. It is resulted in some embarrassing moments for manufacturers, the place it might ship a tweet promoting an Android machine, however it might be despatched from an iPhone.

So this elimination might be to do with commercials but once more, not simply because Musk and his crew is not positive why that characteristic has been round for years.

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Ex-Twitter staff are subtweeting Musk with corrections to his tweets, however this time, Musk replied to Tracy Hawkins right here, arguing that this tweet is allegedly false.

Count on to see extra of those tweets within the close to future – we’re in a interval the place staff are feeling not sure concerning the firm’s roadmap, and their very own future at Twitter.

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In case you’ve been experiencing some points when utilizing Twitter as some on the TechRadar crew have, you are not alone.

It additionally appears to be like as if you will be struggling with these points for a bit longer, as a ‘change freeze’ has been enforce. This primarily implies that any modifications to the code of Twitter, from the way it works to any options in improvement, have been paused.

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As day-after-day passes there appears to be one thing that causes an eyebrow to be raised. Elon Musk’s different firm, SpaceX, has seemingly purchased an advert marketing campaign to run on Twitter for the foreseeable.

As Lora Kolodny tweets above, these normally value within the area of $250,000 a day, however it would not be a far cry to suspect that SpaceX has acquired a little bit of a reduction in comparison with different firms’ advert takeovers previously.

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Elon Musk tweeted his ideas about Twitter engagement late final night time, and it has been a debatable submit to say the least.

A subtweet from Raheel Khursheed caught our eye, as he explains how the social platform barely made a footprint when it got here to linking to different websites.

Elon Musk and Twitter

(Picture credit score: Getty Photos)

Twitter Blues

Whereas Twitter Blue signups are at present on pause, we’d lastly have some perception into how properly (or not) the brand new program is continuing.

According to a report in Mashable (opens in new tab), which received some Twitter Blue signup numbers from app-tracking agency Sensor Tower (opens in new tab), Twitter Blue signups generated $488,000, which is, at $8 a pop, 61,000 subscribers. 

Let’s simply say that is not fairly a blue wave. It isn’t horrible, however Twitter has a whole lot of thousands and thousands of day by day energetic customers and solely a fraction of them are legacy verified. We should always have seen thousands and thousands of individuals signing up for Twitter Blue, proper?

If 91% of Twitter’s income is generated from advertisements (roughly $5 billion in 2021), Twitter Blue has an extremely lengthy method to go earlier than it will possibly help 50% of Twitter’s total income.

As of this second, although, there isn’t a Twitter Blue signup, and there in all probability will not be till Musk and Twitter can determine get individuals to enroll with out inflicting important verification and id points.

This technique is a joke

Over at The Washington Post, tech journalist Geoffrey Fowler (opens in new tab), with the permission of a sitting Senator and a comic, created two faux “verified” Blue Examine Twitter accounts in minutes.

Massachusetts Senator Edward J. Markey and comic Blaire Erskine each conform to let Fowler create the faux accounts of their names.

As Fowler writes:

“Twitter has stated accounts that impersonate persons are not allowed and face suspension after they’re found. It booted comic Kathy Griffin after she modified her Twitter display title to Elon Musk. However there’s little or no about Twitter’s new paid service that stops you from verifying a faux account. As of the time I revealed this column, its techniques hadn’t detected these weren’t genuine accounts they usually remained on-line.”

What does this show? That there isn’t a verification on this “verification.” Elon Musk has created a damaged system (one since hidden) and that has already been gamed by others to extra devastating impact. 

Somebody created a faux Ely Lilly And Co “verified” Twitter account after which tweeted that insulin was now free (opens in new tab). Whereas it might have been coincidental. the real drug company’s stock did take a dive.

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Unchecking

Regardless of the controversy surrounding the brand new Blue Examine course of and the power to develop into a Twitter Blue member all of the sudden disappearing from the platform, many individuals have already opted to pay $8 for their very own Blue Examine.

If, nonetheless, you are not glad, you may, in accordance with Twitter person @Sprint, get a fast refund in your $8 subscription cost by means of Apple.

This is not stunning since it is easy to unsubscribe to nearly any service you’ve got paid for by means of Apple’s App Retailer.

What @Sprint claims, although, is that after your refund, you continue to get to maintain the “tick” (Blue Examine) for 30 days. That will or might not be so, although. Whereas it would take a while for Apple to course of the cancellation and hand it off to Twitter, it appears unlikely that the Blue Examine would cling round for lengthy.

If there’s anybody on the market who did have Blue Examine purchaser’s regret, canceled, and nonetheless has the tick, tell us.

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What’s a journalist?

Lance Ulanoff hopping in right here:

For Chief Twit Elon Musk, a lot of the Blue Examine verification mess boils all the way down to Citizen Journalism. 

Musk desires everybody on Twitter to ship the information (nothing has stopped them to this point). Nonetheless, the unlevel enjoying discipline of Blue Examine haves and have-nots has created, as Musk sees it, an imbalance. With the that means and worth of Blue checks lowered to the value of an costly cup of espresso (one monthly), it means anybody could be verified and, in the event that they report information on Twitter, have the identical visibility.

Musk Tweeted Friday afternoon, “As Twitter pursues the objective of elevating citizen journalism, media elite will attempt every thing to cease that from taking place.”

In Musk’s eyes, skilled journalists are the “media elite” and we’re blocking his everyone seems to be a journalist dream.

As this tech reporter informed Musk on Twitter, although, the problem shouldn’t be citizen journalists, it is that all the Blue Examine system is now not tied to id, high quality, or any semblance of fact. With out that, nobody, together with his citizen journalists, could be trusted.

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This is a reply from Musk an hour in the past, the place he is enthusiastic of how Twitter Blue goes to this point.

Which makes us marvel – has he gotten the memo?

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I used to be pondering again to after I first used Twitter on my iPhone, and it was certainly Tweetie, which was purchased by the corporate, after which become the app you utilize in the present day.

The pull-to-refresh gesture is now a regular on many apps, corresponding to Apple’s Safari and Mail apps.

Simply so as to add to the chaos, Musk has now tweeted this from the Twitter HQ. Whereas we do not ever counsel studying an excessive amount of into tweets, particularly from somebody as mercurial as Musk, it does maybe give us a glimpse into the present mindset of the remaining Twitter staff…

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By tweeting and highlighting this, evidently Musk is conscious, although what he thinks of it’s a thriller, as all the time.

Mastodon apps on iOS and Android

(Picture credit score: TechRadar)

In case you’ve heard of Mastodon this week, you are not alone. Fortunately, I have been attempting it out recently and it is an ideal various. There are a couple of apps you can use right now on iOS and Android when you’ve already signed as much as Mastodon as properly.

Lance Ulanoff materializes

(Picture credit score: Future)

Our US Editor-In-Chief Lance Ulanoff despatched us this which reads as if he is saying farewell to Twitter:

“I’ve met a number of the coolest individuals on Twitter. I’ve interacted with my idols and icons and made true buddies. Twitter has all the time labored the way in which my mind works – in bite-sized items. Actually undecided how I’ll preserve sure friendships and connections or the place I’ll submit random ideas that make me comfortable with out it. Please, Microsoft, purchase Twitter.”

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Zoë Schiffer (opens in new tab), author at Platformer, tweeted the above {that a} message was posted within the Twitter Slack, that confirmed the tip of Twitter Blue and paid blue ticks with a view to cease the impersonations, however any present subscriptions to the service will stick with it as ordinary.

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One other one which was despatched to me from Muskaan, this tweet reveals how damaged the verification system beneath Twitter Blue was. One is the real Apple TV Plus account, one other is a faux one.

Hopefully we’ll see a reversal of this, because it’s already complicated to inform which one is actual or faux for a lot of customers.

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Our (implausible) Computing writer Muskaan Saxena despatched me this tweet, and it is an ideal analogy for a way customers are feeling on Twitter.

A mad iceberg within the form of the Twitter hen is kind of the picture.

So the place will we stand to this point?

Musk has but to react to any improvement to Twitter in the present day, which is stunning. The above is, on the time of posting this, his newest tweet.

Nonetheless, we have seen a small change with the ticks, the place it is also blue once you’re in darkish mode on the location.

The top image shows what an Actually Verified account looks like, while the bottom shows you what a Paid for Verification account looks like

(Picture credit score: Wseagar / Eight-{Dollars})

An interesting read by Hamish Hector right here – there is a Chrome extension the place it’s going to inform you if a person has been verified with a blue tick, or in the event that they’ve gained one by signing as much as Twitter Blue when it was stay.

Worrying about Twitter

(Picture credit score: Shutterstock)

Let’s be clear – there’s not going to be a alternative for Twitter. Nothing actually could be, however there are potential options.

With this in thoughts, we’ve got three for you to think about.

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This is our US Editor-in-Chief Lance Ulanoff displaying his very first tweet again in 2007.

Because it features a bagel, it is already an ideal tweet in my e-book. The subsequent query for me is, might his remaining tweet embrace a bagel to spherical it off?

Elon Musk at 2022 Met Gala

(Picture credit score: Getty Photos)

Let’s recap:

On October 30, Elon Musk, CEO and Founding father of Area X, CEO of Tesla, lastly took cost of Twitter after a long-winded buyout of the platform.

In beneath a month, we have seen the verification course of develop into irrelevant and complicated because of the subscription service, Twitter Blue with the ability to grant any person a blue tick, and there is additionally been an enormous firing of workers.

On November 11, Twitter Blue was eliminated completely, and there is been silence from Musk since.

So, nearly inevitably, it appears the Blue Tick verification course of has been canned.

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Because the tweet above states, the chaos continues – therefore why we have began this stay weblog. What is happening?

This is an instance of how onerous a few of these faux accounts are to identify:

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Musk himself fell sufferer to this, with numerous faux accounts popping up claiming to be him – and with a Blue Tick to show it. This gave the impression to be the ultimate straw, as Musk then backtracked on a number of the extra lax parts of the brand new verification course of.

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Nonetheless, as individuals predicted, verified accounts began popping up on Twitter, and whereas a lot of them had been clearly parodies, as a result of they’d the ‘Blue Tick’, it grew to become troublesome to inform, particularly with the extra delicate accounts.

Unsurprisingly, the people and firms that had been being parodied weren’t too comfortable about this. 

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Worryingly for Twitter, many manufacturers began to announce that they might now not promote on the platform.

Regardless of the considerations and complaints, Musk was initially dismissive.

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By posting memes about individuals’s complaints, it left many individuals feeling that he wasn’t precisely taking the problem severely.

Maybe probably the most controversial factor to return from Musk’s Twitter takeover has been the modifications to how accounts are verified. 

Beforehand, if the verified account of a media outlet (corresponding to TechRadar (opens in new tab)) or different group revealed one thing, you’ll not less than know that it got here from an official supply. The Blue Examine additionally enabled Twitter customers to inform the distinction between the various celebrities on Twitter and customers who had been imitating them.

Nonetheless, Musk carried out a change that might enable anybody to get verified for $8 a month.

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This led to some individuals worrying that customers might fake to be official accounts and get simply verified, making it onerous for individuals to inform which accounts had been actual – and which weren’t. And that is precisely what occurred.

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