Elon Musk Is Tweeting Through a Tide of Criticism

Under pressure and facing a wave of criticism, Elon Musk has increasingly turned to his favorite release valve: Twitter.

Since Saturday, Mr. Musk, the world’s richest man and The new owner of TwitterHe’s off to such a strong tweeting start that he’s on pace to post more than 750 tweets this month, or more than 25 times a day, according to an analysis by digital investigation company Memetica. That would be up from about 13 times a day in April, when Mr. Musk First agreed to buy Twitter..

His recent tweets have covered a wide range of topics. Over the past four days, Mr. Musk, 51, has courted comedian Kathy Griffin and beefed with Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey on the platform. He made masturbation jokes The opponent’s goal – and much smaller – social media platforms. He posted a tweet with a white nationalist quote, then deleted it. And he defended his ownership on Twitter, including why he had it. 50% of the company’s staff were laid off. And why shouldn’t people impersonate others on the service?

In all, Mr. Musk, who described himself in his Twitter profile as “Chief Tweet” and later changed the description to “Twitter Complaint Hotline Operator,” more than 105 times since Friday. Have tweeted, specifically about Twitter, according to a number. By Memetica.

“Birds haven’t been real since 1986,” Mr. Musk Tweeted In a discussion thread about Twitter on Sunday, including a meme. A ridiculous conspiracy theory Which proves that birds are actually robot spies. He did not respond to a request for comment.

Mr. Musk is drawing intense scrutiny 11 days after completing his $44 billion deal for Twitter, the largest leveraged buyout of a technology company in history. On Friday, he cut about 3,700 of the company’s 7,500 employees, saying he had no choice because Twitter was losing money. 4 million dollars per day. At the same time, he has found himself Confused in discussions of the same content. That has troubled other social media companies, including how to give people a way to speak without spreading misinformation and toxic speech.

Already Mr. Musk has had to. Delay the rollout. A subscription product that would give people checkmarks on their Twitter profiles. Advertisers have. Stopped spending on Twitter. over fears that Mr. Musk would loosen content rules on the platform. And the midterm elections will be a test of how well a slimmed-down Twitter will fare in catching inflammatory posts and misinformation about voting and election results.

I A report In a report published on Monday, researchers at Tufts University’s Fletcher School said early signs from Mr. Musk’s Twitter “show that the platform is headed in the wrong direction under his leadership — particularly for American democracy.” In painful times.”

The researchers said they tracked allegations of civil war, election fraud, citizen policing for voting, and pedophilia and grooming on Twitter from July to October. “Since Musk’s takeover, the quality of discourse has declined” as more extremists and disinformation purveyors have tested the platform’s limits, the researchers wrote.

Amidst the hubbub, Mr. Musk’s behavior on Twitter suggests he intends to just post it through. And while he’s always been a great tweeter, he’s stepped it up a notch in recent times.

On Friday, Mr. Musk, who has more than 114 million followers on Twitter, offered a proposal.Thermonuclear Name and ShameCampaigns against brands that had stopped advertising on the platform. He said he did everything he could to appease advertisers, but activists worked against him to keep brands from spending on Twitter.

At the same time, the billionaire became embroiled in a fight over his plan to charge Twitter users $8 a month for a subscription service, Twitter Blue, which Give a check mark to whoever has paid.. Checkmark was free for notable people whose identities were verified by the company, including celebrities, politicians and journalists, to protect against impersonation.

Critics were unhappy with Mr. Musk’s plan to monetize Checkmark, saying it could spread misinformation and fraud on the platform. In protest, some Twitter accounts that had Checkmarks changed their display names and images to match Mr. Musk’s account over the weekend, a move intended to make it clear that if someone buys a Checkmark If it can, why would it be confusing?

On Sunday, Mr. Musk announced that he would. Permanently suspended Any account “indulging in impersonation without simply specifying ‘parody’.” The billionaire, who first Criticized Twitter when it permanently banned. Customers, then blocked Ms. Griffin, who had impersonated them on the service.

Mr. Musk, who described himself as “Free speech absolute“Popular social networks are learning to have a basic expectation of content moderation,” said Daphne Keller, director of the Platform Regulation Program at Stanford’s Cyber ​​Policy Center.

“His views have been conflicting for some time,” he said.

Sunday night Mr. Musk Reply to a tweet Presenting an excerpt from A white nationalist, before deleting the post and feuding with Mr. Dorsey on Birdwatch, a feature that lets community members add context to tweets they think are misleading. Mr. Musk, who previously praised the feature, suggested changing the name of the feature to “Community Notes.”

“Community Notes is the most boring Facebook name ever,” Mr. Dorsey replied. Who owns $1 billion worth of shares. In Mr. Musk’s Twitter.

Then on Monday, Mr. Musk suggested he might go after civil society groups and activists who have been pushing for a Twitter advertiser boycott, when he responded to a right-wing commentator that “we doThere are grounds for legal action. Legal experts said boycotts for social and political purposes are protected under the First Amendment.

Mr. Musk also tweeted that people should vote Republican in Tuesday’s midterm elections. “Joint power prevents the worst abuses of both parties, so I recommend voting for a Republican Congress, provided the presidency is Democratic,” he tweeted. He later posted that he was an independent with a “completely Democrat voting history until this year.”

He soon moved on. Mr. Musk turned his attention to Twitter competitor Mastodon, which has gained traction in the past 10 days. Going by the name Mastodon, he made several crude jokes about masturbation — then deleted the posts an hour later.

Tiffany Hsu Cooperation reporting.

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