Honestly, I don’t see how anybody could still have faith that Elon Musk has some grand plan for reviving Twitter, nor that he could possibly be the ‘singular solution’ to save the platform, as once proclaimed by former CEO Jack Dorsey.
Because while Elon is viewed by many to be a genius, and has played a key role in making significant advances in various cutting-edge technical fields, his time at Twitter has only highlighted the fact that he is compulsive, erratic, self-interested and self-serving, on the grandest scale, which can only reflect poorly on his overall leadership at all of his companies.
Take, for example, Twitter Blue, and his $8 verification checkmark program. Elon doesn’t care about evening the playing field and/or giving everyone a chance to confirm their identity, thus improving the integrity of the app. Elon hates some of the people that already have blue ticks, and he needs money, so he’s re-framed it as some sort of special deal to get back at those pesky elites who look down upon the common folk from their adorned kingdom.
Worth noting here that Elon is (or was) the richest person in the world, the elite of the elite, and he’s selling you this story to make even more money. It’s a cash grab, for almost literally nothing extra – except more income for him.
Or what about his decision to ban all accounts that share a live location after his young son was reportedly accosted by a stalker. That decision had nothing to do with improving the platform, or making it a more workable, equitable process. He was upset, he owns the platform, and he changed the rules, for no other reason than to make himself feel better.
Doesn’t that go against his free speech ethos that he repeatedly harps on about in his tweets? Yes, yes it does – but what Elon wants, Elon gets.
Then there are the reports this week that old E was upset when his Super Bowl tweets didn’t get as much attention as Joe Biden’s. So upset was Elon that he sparked an all-hands emergency to address the imbalance, and threatened engineers’ jobs if they couldn’t fix it.
The result? Elon’s tweets are now shown in every users’ ‘For You’ feed, which Elon himself seems quite happy with.
Why do you need this much attention? What past damages have caused you to require adoration and praise at this level? You have all the money in the world, you could do anything, yet you spend your time creating memes about yourself and forcing people to look at them.
For $44 billion. Billion, with a ‘b’.
While at the same time, Twitter continues to fracture under the strain of reduced oversight, including issues with tweet load times, problems with Twitter Blue edits, broken algorithms, ad account errors, etc. Twitter itself is increasingly being held together with the digital equivalent of packing tape – yet, Elon is sitting in his office, calling out ‘who’s the fairest of them all’ across the production floor.
I guess, if you have the money, it’s open season – but surely even Elon’s strongest supporters are starting to question his leadership, and the deity-like view they have of him, based on his past achievements.
That’s a broader concern with Musk’s Twitter leadership – it’s exposing him for what he is, and how he operates, which is clearly spooking Tesla investors.
But then again, according to Elon:
This is the highest Q1 Twitter usage ever and that is after most fake accounts have been suspended
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 13, 2023
Could that be true? We don’t know, because Twitter is no longer a public company, and therefore doesn’t have to list its performance figures. But Elon says it is. Maybe it is.
Either way, force-feeding all users with your own tweets can’t be a good thing, surely this won’t go the way Elon expects, and surely this is a red flag to anyone who still believes in his Twitter plan.
Maybe. Probably not.
Either way, the Elon Twitter show continues to astound and entertain.