Musk Makes Changes at Twitter
October 26, 2022
“The bird is freed,” tweeted Tesla billionaire Elon Musk as the $44 billion Twitter deal became finalized. Musk’s first move as the new owner of Twitter was to fire Twitter executive, Vijaya Gadde, who was responsible for banning President Trump’s Twitter account. Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal and finance chief Ned Segal have also stepped down from their positions. Musk also fired 3,700 employees at the social media company. After a wave of employee resignations, Twitter is reportedly staffed by around 2,000 employees as of November 18 reports Kate Duffy of Yahoo Finance.
Musk stated that he bought Twitter because, “I did it to try to help humanity, whom I love.”
Since Musk became the new owner prominent businesses like United Airlines, General Motors, and General Mills have paused advertising on Twitter reports CBS Bay Area. Musk aims to revive Twitter user engagement as Twitter (238 million regular users) trails behind TikTok (660M users) and Facebook (2 billion users).
On November 5 Twitter launched a new version of its iOS app that offers a monthly subscription of $7.99 to receive a blue checkmark. The Twitter Blue subscription was quickly suspended after numerous problems appeared, including users impersonating brands and celebrities. Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly was a victim of a fake account that was verified by Twitter Blue. The fake account tweeted, “we are excited to announce insulin is free now.” Hours later the real Eli Lilly account responded, “We apologize to those who have been served a misleading message from a fake Lilly account.” Eli Lilly’s stock price dropped 4.5% as a result of this incident.
On January 8, 2021 Twitter executives suspended President Trump’s user account “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.” Since then Trump has been active on his own platform, Truth Social, where he hinted that he plans to announce his 2024 presidential campaign shortly. “I will very, very probably do it again … Get ready,” stated Trump. Musk said that Trump should not have been banned from Twitter adding, “I think it was a morally bad decision and foolish in the extreme,” reports Kari Paul in The Guardian.
In June 2022 Musk stated that he voted for a Republican for the first time, by supporting Texas congressional candidate Mayra Flores. “I supported Andrew Yang last time, but [Republican] Gov. Ron DeSantis has a better chance of winning,” said Musk in The Wall Street Journal.