Twitter is on the verge of death, a year after Elon Musk acquired it – Rolling Stone

On October 26, 2022, Elon Musk enjoyed his first and last day as head of Twitter (now X). After a $44 billion takeover, which he tried to scuttle but was legally forced to shut down, he attempted a bit of supporting comedy – entering the company headquarters with a porcelain sink while flashing a goofy grin. It was all a punned groan announcing his arrival: “Let that sink in!” He announced in the video caption of his entry. It was a master class in cringe.

Nearly a year later, you’d be hard-pressed to name a single improvement to the site under Musk’s direction. His biggest idea blew up in his face: an $8 monthly subscription fee for a blue check that verified users would then need to… Hide option To avoid ridicule. give up a Value brand name and logo in favor of the meaningless “X,” which sparked a trademark lawsuit and led to the installation of a garish metal “X”-shaped structure on Twitter’s desktop — which city inspectors removed just days later. Musk’s latest step is to… Titles stripped of article links, leaving only the image and media source, which seems to think it looks better and will keep users scrolling. But for those who follow news on the app, that makes the X useless.

Of course, these errors pale in comparison to the corrupt sentiments Musk has sown by bringing back right-wing extremists and peddlers of misinformation that had previously been banned from the platform, amplifying their conspiracy theories, and making sure their throwaway posts are placed in the “For You” feeds of Through Twitter algorithms. He buys white supremacist propaganda and promotes it Anti-LGBTQ hate accountsAs advertisers fled these intolerable conditions, they found a way to blame the catastrophic loss of revenue on a Jewish civil rights group that fights anti-Semitism.

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How long can the wreckage of a previously semi-functioning website stay afloat? Although he had shed Millions of daily active users Since Musk has been tinkering with it, the end game will likely end up being money. Seven banks led by Morgan Stanley have about $13 billion in debt after backing Musk’s massive deal last year, and the company itself is supposedly worth much less at this point — even according to estimates. His mathematics. If X can’t keep up with its $300 million quarterly interest payments, financial companies might do so Get it back In order to compensate for part of their losses.

These days, when you mention Musk’s countless blunders in running X, you get the standard response from his defenders. It doesn’t matter if you’re assessing his growing desperation (like when he begged Taylor Swift to release music on the platform), or a technical failure that reveals infrastructure coming apart at the seams (like the frozen live stream at the US-Mexico border, where he was wearing a shepherd’s hat cows to appear as an anti-immigration ideologue, a flaw that prompted him to send an email saying, “Please fix this” to all employees). The response is almost always the same: If Twitter is truly You’re dying, why are you still posting it?

It’s a fair question, even if it evades the issue of Musk’s incompetence. I suppose a combination of spite and morbid curiosity goes a long way toward keeping someone like me around. On the other hand, this isn’t the first time I’ve encountered an online community hollowed out by a hostile force, and there’s something to be said for making the most of the ending with your remaining friends — sharing gallows humor and a sense of the humanity of the situation. It continues to develop.

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One can almost marvel at the scale of the scene: Musk spends the GDP of a small country to buy a flashy toy, only to have it crash and burn like a Tesla. autopilot. There is a satisfying thrill in watching him announce an amendment that will never happen – the elimination of “roadblockFeature, for example – and then Get into a fight With @Catturd2 on it. that it Thousands laid offAnd he is not above firing the engineer personally Dare to correct itHowever, it is believed that it is still possible to convertEverything app“, integrating payment and shopping services. These things will likely be postponed indefinitely, just like SpaceX’s long-promised missions to Mars. Who could fail to enjoy such an epic of self-destruction?

Musk is not without his sales skills, which, along with the unwavering and exciting hype of supporters, has kept the idea of ​​his entrepreneurial and innovative genius alive. He and this audience expend more energy every day in outright denial of the depressing headlines and vague assertions that X is in fact “Prosperous” Like never before. Sooner or later, this magical thinking will reach the real-life shore, and until then, yes, the site will still be alive — but in a state of waking death, with the user base split between those who eat what’s left and the viewers. The astonished ones.

This cannot be confused with a healthy, habitable public forum, let alone an asset that could one day turn a profit. However, it presents the illusion of life in arguments, abuse, recriminations, and disgust. The irony of what used to be known as Twitter is that it now has little support other than mutual disdain for hardline militants fighting for an inch of territory. No one wants to give up the land.

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