What a Week - Twitter Again

The hits just keep on coming. It seems like Elon Musk is trying to pour liquid oxygen on the $44B he is burning on his purchase of Twitter.

What a Week - Twitter Again
Photo by Yaoqi on Unsplash

I have started and stopped writing this post many times over the last couple of weeks, mainly because the insanity keeps coming on.

Thursday afternoon after the “Hard-Core” ultimatum message, I couldn’t help but doomscroll as all the now terminated Twitter folks were posting their goodbyes, having selected to not opt in to the “extreme Twitter 2.0” plan, where Twitter would become *awesome*, engineering dominated, and people would have to commit to working long hours, early, late, and even weekends, sacrificing any semblance of work/life balance, all to feed the ego of a stunted man-child.

Not surprisingly, many - if not most - engineers in the infrastructure team and other core functions opted to say “no”, take the 90 days of severance and peace out. Can’t say I’d blame them. The prior 2 weeks had been pretty damn hardcore already, how much more could the stand to be asked/required to do?

Then the weekend following, Musk holds a very unscientific poll on whether to reinstate former president Trump’s account. After a bot fueled orgy of voting, he said the people have spoken (cough - bots - cough) and that he would reinstate Trump1. He also reinstated a handful of other suspended accounts, including - presumably as an olive branch - Kathy Griffin’s who promptly from her new account told Elon Musk to fuck right off with that reactivation.

Now, he has definitively said that he will reinstate all suspended accounts (although he did backtrack slightly in saying that if the original accounts had broken the law, they would remain suspected, whatever the hell that means) so I am eyeing putting my account in private mode as soon as the chaos gets too large

Meanwhile, there is increasing evidence of Twitter’s machine being on the brink of more unreliability. Right now, I have visibility to only about 3 days’ worth of notifications. It just halts the list after a half dozen items.

I am seeing the same tweets over and over again. Last week this was happening, but now it is an unmistakable occurrence that happens constantly.

There is a report that a hacker group breached the system and stole account information, including associated phone numbers.

I am seeing ads that are beginning to make me think that quality ad buyers are fleeing. I am seeing defense devise ads multiple times a day (the one I see most is a tactical baton that is likely not even legal to sell or own in California.) Pretty soon, I expect to see an influx of “Buy Gold”, Prepper central, and My Pillow ads as the serious MadMen money flees the site.

Oh, and after the “weak” self selected to separate with 3 month’s severance after the “hard core ultimatum”, it was reported that the day before the Thanksgiving holiday that about 50 software engineers were terminated after their code reviews failed to pass muster.

Christ on a crouton, people who stayed, you are now terminating them for their code? What the fuck sort of a manager is Elon Musk? - Ha, no need to answer, there are plenty of stories of horror and mistreatment, overt racism, blatant misogyny, and other workplace pitfalls at his other companies. Nobody should be surprised.

Meanwhile, this morning, I read that the Volkswagen Auto Group has paused all ads on Twitter, continuing the trend of the flight of good ad dollars from the platform. Dollars that will be very difficult to replace by wringing your users dry for it.

Where do I stand?

For what it’s worth, none of the replacements that I have dipped into have the same utility and value as Twitter. I am on mastodon, (search for @ ganders2112 @ mastodon.social to connect) but it just feels so different and less discovery friendly. Still, some good Product people are there, and I do spend some time there every day.

I am on Counter Social (same user id ganders2112) but that feels too busy for me.

I just got added to the beta at Post and it is early days, but it seems to be a coming player for my Twitter addiction, yet it is - by their own admission - a work in progress.

So, I will be staying at Twitter. It is how I reach my community, such that it is, and where most of my readers have found me. I will be honest though, that many of the accounts that Musk will be reactivating this coming week will unleash a torrent of hate on some communities that I am very close to, and if that is what I see, I may let my twitter account go dormant.

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  1. As of today, November 24, 2022, it doesn’t appear as if Trump has accessed his Twitter account or sent a tweet. Ah, poor piss-baby Elon Musk can’t entice Trump to actually engage and help him save his investment in Twitter. Boo hoo.