Elon Musk’s Twitter Takeover

(Image via www.businesstoday.com)

Staff Writer: Rena Danho

Email: rdanho@umassd.edu

Twitter is a widely known social media app. It’s one of those platforms like Instagram and Facebook where it’s been around for so long that it’s gone through so many different stages throughout its life span. 

But recently, Twitter has taken a major u-turn and may take a massive fall.

For context, Twitter was founded in 2006 in San Francisco. Jack Dorsey, an undergraduate at New York University, came up with the idea to create a place where you could communicate with small groups. 

Twitter was initially going to be named Twttr, inspired by Flickr, which we’ve also seen influence other social media apps like Tumblr. 

By 2007, Twitter was gaining traction due to the South by Southwest Interactive conference and increased from 20,000 tweets a day to 60,000.

Jack Dorsey continued to be a co-founder and CEO for years until 2022. From 2007 to 2022, Twitter became a popular social media platform. It had many ups and downs, but it gave anyone and everyone a voice. 

However, in 2022, Jack Dorsey decided to sell the company to Elon Musk. This is where Twitter took a turn. 

Elon Musk is well known for owning Tesla, SpaceX, Neuralink, and The Boring Company. But, despite owning all that, he also wanted to be the owner of Twitter.

 He began the process on April 14th of 2022, and finally, on October 27th, 2022, Twitter was sold for $44 billion to the business mogul.

When news broke of the sale, the big question was what would change about Twitter and whether it would improve. 

But, in short, many people are unhappy with the changes so far. 

First, almost immediately after taking over, Musk laid off 50% of Twitter’s employees (beforehand comprised 7,500 people). He wanted everyone apart of the remaining TWiiter staff to commit to the vision he had for what the new Twitter should be like. 

Aside from the backlash Musk received from current and former employees of Twitter, the hate didn’t end there. 

The day Musk bought Twitter, 1.3 million users deleted their accounts, and many publicly shared their criticisms on the platform.

Another change Musk brought to Twitter was how verification worked with users. Accounts of celebrities and popular companies would typically get a blue check mark to show verification to show their authenticity. However, Musk changed it so you could pay $8 a month as a “premium service” to receive that same blue check of verification. 

As you can imagine, many people took advantage of this almost immediately and started creating fake accounts of actual companies and celebrities to tweet fake things.

An example of this was a fake Eli Lilly account. A fake account by the username of @EliLillyandCo posted, “We are excited to announce insulin is free now.” The day after this tweet, Eli Lilly’s stock share price dropped by 4.37%. 

(Image via a now-deleted Twitter post)

This is the most noticeable and widespread change Musk has made to Twitter, which might also be the last. 

On December 18th, Musk released a poll on his Twitter account asking the Twitter community whether or not he should “step down as head of Twitter?” The final results were 57.5% yes, and 42.5% no.

Then on December 20th, Musk released another tweet in response to the poll announcing, “I will resign as CEO as soon as I find someone foolish enough to take the job! After that, I will just run the software & servers teams.”

Many people see Musk as the downfall of Twitter, and many have considered leaving the social media app because of him. Time will only tell what Musk and his future successor have in store for Twitter, and all we can do in the meantime is wait and see if there will be any more drastic changes.

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