Elon Musk wanted to fix Twitter but it isn’t going very well

Elon Musk
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When billionaire Elon Musk bought Twitter, he seemed intent on fixing it – and in doing so ensuring free speech would be protected on the online platform. Comedy, this self-appointed free speech warrior assured us, was now legal on Twitter:

As it turned out, he wasn’t wrong – just not in the way he meant. Just weeks into his leadership, Elon Musk has become the butt of an ongoing international joke on the biggest platform of all. The very platform he pledged to ‘fix’.

As the Canary reported here, Musk’s grand plans quickly fell apart. His $8-a-month blue tick scheme backfired almost immediately.

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And as our own Curtis Daly wrote at the time:

But the larger point isn’t about the fact that Elon Musk is simply an asshole, it’s the fact that one man can wield so much power. Giving one sole billionaire control of speech on a huge platform, to use it as a plaything when the website has been an important tool – not least for journalism – should never have been allowed to happen.

Firing engineers

Musk’s takeover almost immediately led him into embarrassing collisions with his own Twitter engineers, amid a wave of sackings. He even fired one on Twitter itself. Musk later deleted his own tweet:

Musk went on to make light of his decision:

The public firings came about as a result of simple criticism from engineers. As one commentator pointed out, Musk claimed to be keen on open debate until someone actually debated him:

#LOL

Twitter users have looked on in a mix of shock and amusement as Musk has continued to make clown out of himself on the app he paid an estimated $44bn for. This includes engineers who continue to slam Musk:

However, there was a degree of admiration for Musk’s completely unjustified levels of self-belief:

There was also disbelief that the erratic billionaire had actually chosen to spend his time getting laughed at on Twitter instead of behind closed doors as usual:

Clearly there is a lesson in here for Elon Musk – though nobody is quite sure what it is yet. One wonders if Musk will even have the faculties to see it when it arrives.

As for the rest of us, we get ringside seats for the bird app’s long-overdue apocalypse.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons/Ministério Das Comunicações, cropped to 770 x 403, licenced under CC BY 2.0.

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