Bonum Certa Men Certa

Twitter is Rotting Away in Less Than a Week

Video download link | md5sum 7214b19128e440dd514564eb3809c67b Twitter Looks Like a Failed Project Heading to the Grave Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: 6 days have passed and Twitter is up in flames; Twitter temporarily enjoys being the "talk of the town", but for all the wrong (and unwanted) reasons

THE earliest media reports said that Twitter's sale and handover had become a done deal last Thursday at night, so technically 6 days ago. What has happened since then is quite a lot! We posted many clippings in IRC and in Daily Links, but the short story is, management is leaving, technical staff is leaving (no, not just the ones fired), users leave in droves, and advertisers basically boycott the new Twitter. All this happened in a matter of days.

They say that advanced forms of incompetence are indistinguishable from sabotage. Whatever happens in Twitter right now, it is an existential crisis for the company and the platform. Bringing in some edgy Musk-loving fans to run something they don't understand would be "LeeNode" all over again. It's chaotic. To quote Stephen King (the author): "$20 a month to keep my blue check? Fuck that, they should pay me. If that gets instituted, I’m gone like Enron." (October 31, 2022; we talked about it in IRC the other night)

"They say that advanced forms of incompetence are indistinguishable from sabotage. Whatever happens in Twitter right now, it is an existential crisis for the company and the platform."Well, Mr. King never belonged in Twitter in the first place. His solid track record in literature should be enough to attract fans to his own site. Twitter is like a 'poor man's RSS feed'. It's always a bad idea, in effect managing one's 'audience' through a centralised, hostile or at best dubious third party, e.g. Google/YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. Techrights doesn't have those issues. Questionable interests change over time, resulting in censorship or downtime (going offline permanently is only a matter of time, for purely commercial reasons).

Aside from that, there's the aspect of self-censorship (like inability criticise a sponsor or use blunt language, even when it is truly deserved and warranted). "Brand safety" is code for censorship on behalf of brands.

We'll continue to monitor the situation, but we already see an exodus of users and advertisers, i.e. the financial lifeblood of the company. No users means no advertisers. And no advertisers means more and more debt for the owners to bear. The writings are on the wall already. The New York Times said: "They are essentially going to take all the financial resources of the company and just pour it into servicing the debt..."

"Don't expect a turnaround. It's too late already."There's massive backlash and people are actually leaving, not just threatening to leave. Earlier today I checked "Analytics" on some inactive accounts and they show not much. The theory that Twitter will be taken over by bigots overlooks the fact that they already have other platforms for their kinds. Even more edgy types must recognise the fact that bringing back Donald Trump, for instance (still under investigation for insurrection), would immediately lose the platform millions of users, some of whom very high-profile users. This would deepen the debt. "Mr. Musk faces financial challenges in owning Twitter," says the summary from the above piece. "The site [sic] frequently loses money and took on $13 billion in debt for the blockbuster deal."

Don't expect a turnaround. It's too late already.

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