I’m snapshotting this so we can remember the weekend when one of the world’s most powerful CEOs peaked (hopefully) at mis-reading the planetary room while watching the World Cup final and alienated thousands upon thousands of users and key influencers on a social network he paid tens of billions for and is now hemorraging value.
This has been a rollercoaster of raving lunacy, and I am very glad I moved to Mastodon early on.
I decided to stay around on Twitter so I have a front row seat to its meltdown, and it has not disappointed so far–the layoffs and arbitrary “leadership” were just the start, and the tech industry has effectively disavowed Twitter as a company worth working for at a speed that makes the traditional dissing of Meta or Oracle look like a walk in the park.
As far as the general media are concerned, the visible damage has come from the “flip-flop” strategy for banning journalists and influencers for disagreeing with Musk. That has turned into an outrageous soap opera that (also hopefully) peaked with the announcement of a (quickly reversed, apparently) anti-competitive policy regarding linking to or promoting other social networks (like Mastodon) just yesterday.
But the fundamental damage has to do with trust. Trust from users, advertisers, and even governments. This past month is a blight Twitter may well never overcome unless Musk sells it again to an entity that can manage it properly in he public eye.
Furthermore, his plans for charging a subscription to a walled garden with a tiered system are a two-edged sword–it will drive away additional users in the long run, and make regulators perk up even more.
I would have loved to have seen the EU sue Elon. And I’m betting the FTC has been quietly taking notes, too.
Grisly entertainment, but such is the way of our times.