By Kate Nwachukwu
Elon Musk officially owns Twitter and as a Twitter user, or someone who is interested in the billionaires handling of the billion-dollar news platform and method of communication, I invite you to read all about Elon Musk’s exploits from before the takeover to his most recent exploits.
April 5th: Twitter announced that Elon Musk will be joining the board of Directors
April 11th: Elon Musk changed his mind and decided not to join the company after all.
April 14th: Elon Musk made an offer to buy Twitter at $54.20 per share, valuing the company at $43 billion.
April 15th: A “Poison Pill” policy is introduced into the company in an attempt to ‘dilute’ Elon Musk’s shares and stop the sale of the company, but negotiations between the board and Elon Musk commence.
April 25th: Twitters board of directors unanimously agreed to the private buyout of Elon Musk
May 14th: Elon Musk begins questioning the deal, and accuses the company of not accounting for spam accounts on the platform, while attempting to investigate the matter, he puts the deal ‘on hold’
July 8th: The deal between Twitter and Elon Musk falls apart, and Elon Musk sends a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission to halt the purchase of the platform, citing that Twitter was not forthcoming with the information about the spam accounts. His exact words are; there wasn’t enough information to “make an independent assessment of the prevalence of fake or spam accounts on Twitter’s platform”.
July 12th: Twitter refuted with legal action, to try and force Elon Musk to buy the company, citing that Elon Musk had attempted to get out of the deal due to the unfavorable stock market, which was consistently declining
July 19th: The lawsuit was taken up by the Delaware Chancery court, and they set up a date in the middle of October to hear the case
October 4th: With Elon Musk’s reconsideration and attempt to buy Twitter at a slightly discounted price, the judge moves the date of hearing to October 20th. All discounted prices are rejected by Twitter.
October 28th: He completes the deal to buy Twitter at the original proposed price at $54.20 a share. Then proceeds to fire the CEO, CFO, CLO and general counsel. He also enters the Twitter headquarters with a sink in his hand.
November 2nd: Twitter laid off 7,500 workers, with the email, “Today is your last working day at the company,” during this period, a lot of staff is fired and rehired again. Public criticisms of Elon Musk by Twitter employees begin, and Elon refutes by publicly firing said perpetrators.
November 9th: Twitter’s long awaited, dreaded Twitter Blue is released into the public. Twitter users can get their accounts verified with a monthly subscription payment of $8. Elon Musk clearly state that users who seek to impersonate others will be permanently suspended
November 10: Imposter accounts of well-known brands and names pop-up in the multitudes causing Elon Musk to add on a second layer of verifications. These were called the “grey verifications,” when clicked on they let one know if the account was verified by payment, or because the account user is a public figure.
November 11th: Twitter blue comes to an end. Twitters content moderation team lessened to 15, from 100s of employees, and hate speech seems triples on the platform. Laid-off employees begin filing multiple lawsuits against Musk for his breach of the labour law. This law states that employers should inform employees 60 days prior to laying them off. Advertisers began leaving the platform in droves due to Twitter blue’s subscription management.
November 14thTwitter ended the option to work remotely, further stimulating mass resignations. The infamous ultimatum was issued by Elon Musk to “commit to a hardcore work culture, or leave the company with three months” Severance pays.
November 17th: Hordes of Twitter employees quit their jobs, several engineers which performed vital services such as managing microservices resign, leaving entire departments which provide basic functions to Twitter empty. Democratic senators also issue an open letter to the FTC demanding an investigation into Twitter for violating consumer protection laws.
November 17th- 21st: Elon Musk shut down Twitter offices. More than half Twitter employees refuse his ultimatum. The Twitter offices shut down to “prevent physical sabotage while [the company] sort[s] out access revocations,” as shared on a slack message (a major communication network used by Twitter employees). Cost cutting campaign begins on Twitter.
#RipTwitter and #GoodbyeTwitter trend on Twitter. Twitter employees who ‘write software,’ were flown down to the HQ in San Francisco. Elon Musk demands Twitter employees send him weekly updates using email. Account bans are lifted from public figures such as Donald Trump who declined to come back to the social media platform. The relaunch of the paid verification service on Twitter is withheld, until further notice.
Nov 22nd: George Holtz, an iPhone hacker is asked for help, to improve Twitters’ search functions. A cost cutting campaign continues from November 17th. And up to half of Twitters’ advertisers stop advertising on the platform.
November 23rd: Elon Musk fired 50 engineers before thanksgiving, due to their code not being satisfactory enough. The offices of Twitter in Brussels and Belgium were disbanded (leaders left the company).
November 25th: A new concept of verification was announced. The check mark will have three colours; gold for companies, grey for governments, and blue for individuals. Elon Musk seemingly proposes the idea of creating a new mobile phone with the possibility of apple removing them from their service
November 26th: Elon Musk begins recruiting new workers
November 27th: Twitter is enveloped in a wave of spam Chinese covid-19 protest tweets, when they attempt to search for major cities in China.
November 29th: A team in Singapore, with the job of finding and removing child sexual abuse content is left with a single staffer. While Congressional Republicans noted a rise in followers, and democrats noticed a decrease in followers.
Regardless of the state of peril Twitter is currently enduring, as a twitter user myself, I am super enthusiastic about the future of the platform and where Elon plans to take it. It may not be ideal for many users, but as a CEO of one of the leading industries, hopefully it will make twitter more efficient, accessible, and entertaining for current and future users.