Science

Twitter 2.0 or chaos according to Elon Musk

Elon Musk has Nero. In 64, the Roman emperor admired the burning of Rome, the origin of which is attributed to him by legend, the recitation of verses. Today, the boss of Tesla and SpaceX is tweeting feverishly on the social network, which he owns for less than a month and which is undoubtedly the biggest crisis of its existence (the social network has been in existence since 2006). Risking seeing Twitter disappear? This Friday, November 18, 2022, users of the microblogging site set #RIPTwitter hashtag as the trend of the day, and the discussion of the chronicle of the announced death of the bluebird is going well.

“Revolutionary Twitter 2.0”

Everything has gone awry ever since Elon Musk decided to practice ultimate control. In an email published by the Washington Post and later shared with Reuters, the multi-billionaire asked his salary to choose between two options. Or work in a social network “many hours with high intensity”; or walk away with a severance pay equivalent to three months’ salary. And to choose, you had to click or not on the link “want to be part of the new Twitter”!

The goal, according to Musk, is to create a “revolutionary Twitter 2.0” and “succeed in an increasingly competitive world,” which he says will only work if it’s “extremely hardcore.” “That would mean long hours at high intensity. The only criteria for passing will be exceptional performance.” At the end of this ultimatum, hundreds of people have decided to resign, according to this Friday, November 18, 2022, the American press. But about half of the company’s 7,500 employees were already laid off by Musk last week. Is the bluebird at risk of becoming a headless duck? Stripped of its gray matter, can Twitter continue to function? The rebellious Musk wanted to address those concerns with this tweet: “And… we just reached a new peak in Twitter usage lol.”

“Best stay so I don’t worry too much”

Elon Musk seems to want to put Tesla engineers at the helm of Twitter. Called to testify in front of a Delaware court (to defend himself against accusations that his annual Tesla goals to justify a $56 billion reward were too easy to achieve), he also indicated he wanted to lend his social network a new leader, explaining, according to Reuters, “There has been a surge of activity since the (Twitter) acquisition to reorganize the group (…), but I expect to spend less time on Twitter.” But engineers are not interchangeable, Musk seems to have learned well the fact that Twitter has “key people” that the company can’t deprive itself of: The New York Times reports that meetings were held with these employees to convince them to stay with the company. In a message with all the subtlety of Musk, the new boss also explained that “it’s best to stay, so I don’t worry too much.”

Moral of the story? Will users move to Mastodon? It’s too early to say yet. One thing is for sure: the success of social media is based on the attention economy. In this respect, Musk’s acquisition of Twitter is a success, as we’ve never talked so much about the web. In addition, the main topic of conversation on Twitter is Twitter.

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