Bonum Certa Men Certa

The Rapid Collapse of Twitter and Facebook

Reprinted with permission from Ryan

The “mainstream” media is mentioning Mastodon as an alternative to Twitter.

CNN notes today that Mastodon gained 230,000 users since October 27, when Elon Musk officially took over Twitter. For a total of 655,000 active users. BBC also mentions it.

CNN failed to mention that while Twitter has more “users”, many millions of them are just spammers, bots, advertising accounts, and dormant accounts, some of which haven’t been logged into in years.

I also saw an account that monitors Mastodon activity which, as of around 1 AM last night was showing about 6 million total accounts, with approximately 6,000 new accounts being created per _hour_ in the past day, but now I’m having trouble locating that to link to.

At any rate, it’s impossible to deny that the Fediverse is growing and that Elon Musk is the reason why.

When Andrew Lee took over and ruined Freenode, he ultimately chased out 91% of the users, and dealt with the problem of people abandoning their channels and saying the new room was on OFTC or Libera.Chat by taking over and resetting channels.

So far, many Twitter users are saying their last post will be to advise people where to follow them on Mastodon. How long until Musk has someone detect this and ban the account for talking about leaving and where they’re going?

Musk has been furious at the pace at which Twitter’s largest advertisers have been bailing on him. He “threatened” a “Thermonuclear Name and Shame” if “it doesn’t stop”, so apparently “freedom of speech” means being extorted by Musk into propping up his company which loses “$5 million a day” and rising, “or else” he’ll put your company on a “boycott list” for his followers.

Musk is not a very smart man. Like most rich people, he was born into generational wealth.

Worse, the generational wealth in the Musk family was generated by slave labor in South African emerald mines.

When people are rich they can buy media coverage and cover up for the fact that they’re not smart, they just “have people” for everything.

TED Talks are a joke. When they have people like Musk, they don’t ask him hard questions. They ask softball questions, and he even has to flub his way through these.

Like saying that the biggest threat to humanity is “malignant AI”. Like, he almost recalls watching The Terminator or something. In reality, we have nothing close to “AI” at the present time.

We unfortunately have “voice assistants”, which are different. They “fake” AI by having a wide range of pre-programmed responses, and if it very nearly does sound like someone is sitting in your phone answering your questions, it’s because of this and the fact that a voice actor sat down for hours on end recording speech samples so that “Siri” could have a voice.

But it’s not AI. Not even close. It’s unfortunate that they can fake it well enough to have lonely and depressed people form emotional attachments to a phone, but it’s not AI.

“Siri” is a product of marketing scum and psychiatrists knowing how you’re wired and creating a product to exploit you.

(These voice assistants are “always on” spyware that can be a wiretap.)

Elon Musk is a clown. He gets away with faking “intelligence” because nobody ever forces him into a corner and asks him anything hard. He’s just really rich and he’s an attention whore with personality traits that are very much not unlike Donald Trump.

When Musk wants attention, he shows up in a bad cowboy costume smoking dope and saying “something something Mars” and people listen to him.

Back to Musk’s empty threats….Boycott lists almost never work. They just don’t.

People might say they’re mad at Coca-Cola and GM, but they all keep buying Coke and Chevy trucks, so what difference does it make?

Fox News is portraying this as-if Musk has the upper hand by making these absurd threats, and he doesn’t.

There’s better deals for advertisers out there. Even FM radio, because people still listen in their cars.

He’s also busy pissing off people with millions of followers who made Twitter popular as an advertising platform by claiming he’s going to get them to pay him $20 or maybe $8, depending on what mood he’s in, for a blue check-mark.

Stephen King said he’d leave if he had to pay Musk anything for a blue check-mark, and King has a lot of money. He’s offended by the idea he should pay Musk to make Musk’s platform more popular for advertisers.

What’s driving away all of the advertisers and users is Musk’s increasingly erratic behavior.

Literally the second day he owned the company, he tweeted a bizarre anti-LGBT conspiracy theory about the attack on House Speaker Pelosi’s husband, and then deleted it.

Then he’s allowed hate speech to swell by over 500% without doing any sort of content moderation. Why would brands want to be associated with this? Twitter is becoming the official platform of right-wing cranks and Klansmen.

He defended laying off 3,750 people, in the middle of the night in some cases, by claiming the company is losing too much money to let them remain employed, without mentioning that his bid of $54.20 per share, a weed joke, was probably an over-payment of at least $4.20 per share, and would have allowed him to spare everyone who got laid off.

Not that he wanted to spare the people he let go. His first targets were the ethics team and the people who police misinformation, voting scams, and hate speech.

Put it all together, and not only is Twitter basically finished, but Musk has put on full display that he’s so incompetent that it didn’t even take him half a month to make it unsalvageable.

Proprietary “social media” with advertising, Russian (and other) troll farms, and government back doors are finally on the way out.

On top of Musk ruining Twitter (such that it was anywhere close to acceptable before) and leaving people scrambling to adopt Mastodon, Facebook has been losing advertising revenue while burning all of its cash on “Metaverse”, which is turning into a bigger joke every day, with investors more or less powerless to oust Mark Zuckerberg or stop him from burning cash.

(He controls 90% of the B Shares, which have 10 votes for each publicly traded A share.)

“Meta” (Facebook) stock is currently worth about a fifth of what it was just last year, and most analysts see a Long Term Negative outlook.

I notice whenever I do look at who is using Facebook these days, that it’s old people. People like my dad and Aunt (dad’s sister) who re-share their own posts because they don’t know how posts work, or make 8-9 accounts because they keep getting taken over by spammers.

Facebook hasn’t had anyone interesting on it for years, but the “mainstream” media says it’s “growing”.

It has every reason to want to be in denial. Billionaires and the governments (not just “your” government) have put a lot of money into these platforms.

They have back doors set up. If they fail, then the government is less effective at spying on you. They also let these companies into the major stock markets using fake valuations.

Facebook being in the S&P 500 in the first place was like the stock market version of allowing Greece into the European Union and Eurozone, and now the price tag is beginning to become known.

The losses won’t stop piling up at _only_ ~80% of what the company was said to be worth last year.

The people holding Twitter stock were lucky that a billionaire idiot came along to rescue them, because it wasn’t worth 10% of what he paid.

Had Twitter actually been worth anything like what he had paid on its own, there’s no way that the people running it would have sued him to force him to buy it, knowing they would all be fired. They got a good deal for their investors and themselves (as their shares vested upon being fired at the price Musk paid for them), and got out quickly.

Now Musk is furious because he’s such a narcissist that he thought he’d come in and fix everything because he knows everything, of course, and it’s just another failing Musk cash furnace. Already losing money, and now losing their advertisers and the people who would have been seeing the ads had the advertisers stayed.

Musk thinks he’ll charge people $7.99 a month for Twitter in the middle of the worst recession in global history.

If they don’t pay it, I think they’ll see “fewer” ads anyway until it’s down to the point the company is disbanded.

Now, Musk apparently thinks that he can _also_ turn Twitter into a YouTube competitor.

I can only speak for myself, but I don’t even use YouTube that much anymore. The drive to monetize everything has led to a lot of non-genuine content that you can only sort of roll your eyes at.

When Linus Sebastian of Linus Tech Tips deliberately broke Pop_OS! to get “likes” and “views”, he knew what he was doing. No actual user is stupid enough that, when presented with a warning from a package manager that something’s not right and proceeding will most likely break the operating system, there’s no way they would type “Yes, do as I say.” and hit ENTER. But it generated a lot of attention, and attention (for advertisers) is all most people uploading YouTube videos are after.

So Musk says he’ll make Twitter an even more fake/synthetic form of “social” network than it is now, to drive “engagement”.

But Facebook is finding out that you can’t engage like this, even with “algorithms” except to a very stupid part of the population, and they’ve lost 4/5ths of their stock price to get to where they are today.

Similarly, YouTube (Google), responded to negative reactions to fake/synthetic “content” by neutering the Dislike button so you couldn’t look at it and see what real people thought.

It’s a way of gaslighting. You can still see “Likes”, but are they even people that are “Liking” the video? Who is clicking on this crap? Bots?

I don’t think there’s a future in the fake Social Network business.

Was it all just a meme that went on for a couple decades only to crash because they got too greedy and started squeezing too hard? It certainly appears that way to me.

I believe, and hope, that we’re witnessing the people swiftly rejecting this madness and forming actual communities, using open standards.

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