Hate Speech Rises on Twitter After Musk Takeover, Researchers Say


Twitter has all the time been a bit chaotic, however new proprietor and CEO Elon Musk is taking it to a complete new stage. He is been making dramatic adjustments since he purchased the corporate for $44 billion on Oct. 27, together with shedding half the workers whereas altering moderation insurance policies and unbanning extremist accounts whereas attempting to determine who will probably be verified.

This is the latest information about Musk’s takeover of Twitter:

Dec 2: Researchers say hate speech surged on Twitter after Musk takeover

Researchers are pushing again in opposition to Musk’s declare that hate speech has declined on the platform since he bought the corporate.

Tweets containing hateful slurs rose after Musk took over the social media platform on Oct. 27, in response to analysis from the nonprofit Middle for Countering Digital Hate

Researchers in contrast the common each day tweets from the week earlier than Musk’s takeover (Sept. 27 to Oct. 26) to the week as much as Musk’s declare about hate speech falling (Nov. 18 to Nov. 24). A slur used in opposition to Black folks was in 30,546 tweets, triple the speed earlier than Musk’s takeover, the analysis confirmed. Tweets with slurs in opposition to homosexual males, transgender folks, Jewish folks and Latinos additionally elevated throughout that point interval.

Researchers used information from Brandwatch, a social media analytics firm, and the numbers included unique tweets, quote tweets and retweets. The tweets the group analyzed got here from numerous locations the world over however included solely these within the English language. 

Musk disputed the declare on Twitter, posting a chart masking Oct. 17 to Nov. 30. He mentioned information confirmed the variety of hate speech “impressions,” which he outlined because the variety of instances a tweet was considered, has declined. The chart reveals hate speech impressions at barely greater than 2.5 million on the finish of November. Musk did not present particulars about how Twitter outlined hate speech or the way it measured these impressions. 

Nov. 30: Musk tweets he met with Apple CEO, tries to reassure manufacturers

Musk tweeted that he met with Apple CEO Tim Cook dinner and toured the iPhone maker’s headquarters. Musk has been criticizing Apple this week, alleging with out providing proof that the corporate censors voices, has a “secret 30% tax” on App Retailer purchases and threatened to withhold Twitter from the App retailer. Apple did not reply to a request for remark about Musk’s tweet. 

“Good dialog,” Musk mentioned in a separate tweet. “Amongst different issues, we resolved the misunderstanding about Twitter doubtlessly being faraway from the App Retailer. Tim was clear that Apple by no means thought of doing so.”

Musk seems to be attempting to reassure manufacturers that is likely to be cautious about promoting on Twitter. Musk additionally retweeted a Twitter weblog put up that states model security continues to be one of many firm’s prime priorities and none of Twitter’s insurance policies has modified. However the firm has stopped implementing its guidelines in opposition to deceptive COVID-19 data, and Musk has mentioned he would grant “amnesty” to suspended accounts, permitting them to return to the location if “they haven’t damaged the regulation or engaged in egregious spam.”

EU warns Musk that Twitter faces potential ban

Thierry Breton, the European Union’s commissioner for the interior market, instructed Musk that might Twitter be banned within the area or hit with a positive of as much as 6% of its international turnover if the corporate does not persist with the EU’s guidelines on content material moderation, in response to the Monetary Occasions.

Twitter should adhere to the Digital Providers Act, mentioned Breton, who apparently instructed Musk he should finish his “arbitrary” method to reinstating banned customers, should pursue disinformation “aggressively” and should comply with an “in depth unbiased audit” of Twitter by subsequent 12 months. Twitter did not reply to a request for remark.

Breton instructed Musk that Twitter had “enormous work forward” to adjust to European laws, in response to a readout of video name between the 2 supplied by Breton’s workplace. The Fee is predicted to conduct a “stress check” at Twitter’s headquarters in 2023 “to focus on compliance even forward of authorized deadlines, and to organize for an intensive unbiased audit.”

Twitter restores Irish exec to job after court docket intervenes

Sinead McSweeney has been reinstated to her position as Twitter’s international vice chairman for public coverage, the Journal.ie reported.  She bought a brief injunction from Eire’s Excessive Court docket stopping the corporate from firing her.

McSweeney reasoned that she by no means resigned, however Twitter acted like she was now not an worker on the firm after she did not reply to Musk’s Nov. 16 e mail. The e-mail reportedly demanded that every one staff click on “sure” to verify their continued employment on the firm. Twitter did not reply to a request for remark.

Nov. 29: COVID-19 misinformation coverage dropped

Like different social media platforms, Twitter spent the previous few years battling deceptive details about COVID-19, whether or not it was about pretend cures or about harmful conspiracy theories concerning vaccines. However Twitter is now not implementing its coverage in opposition to deceptive COVID-19 data as of Nov. 23. 

The corporate did so quietly, and the coverage replace wasn’t noticed for a number of days till CNN, Twitter customers and some different publications seen it. Twitter did not reply to a request for remark and elaboration on the coverage change. 

Twitter Blue rollout reportedly delayed

The launch of tweaked subscription service Twitter Blue has been pushed again, in response to The Verge and Platformer, in an try and keep away from Apple’s 30% lower of App Retailer purchases. This adopted Musk tweeting criticism of Apple. Twitter did not reply to a request for remark.

Former exec condemns Musk administration fashion

Yoel Roth, Twitter’s former head of belief and security, mentioned he left the corporate as a result of he knew Musk’s edict-focused management would finally enable a “catastrophe” like Twitter Blue verification to roll out regardless of his crew’s recommendation. Roth warned that the corporate will not be secure with Musk at its helm. Roth’s new feedback observe his Nov. 18 New York Occasions op-ed criticizing Musk’s method.

Nov. 28: One worker left on baby security crew

After widespread layoffs and resignations, a crew tasked with figuring out and eradicating baby sexual abuse content material from the location now has just one staffer, in response to Wired. It wasn’t instantly clear how many individuals had been on the crew beforehand, however Wired mentioned it had recognized 4 Singapore-based baby security specialists who mentioned they left the corporate in November.

The crew, based mostly at Twitter’s Asian headquarters in Singapore, is chargeable for implementing the corporate’s ban on baby sexual abuse materials — an ongoing and irritating battle for the social community. Twitter, which makes most of its cash from promoting promoting, mentioned in September it was investigating how advertisements from main manufacturers appeared on profiles that had been soliciting or promoting baby sexual abuse content material.

Twitter representatives did not instantly reply to a request for remark.

Congressional Republicans noticed uptick in followers

Within the first few weeks of Musk’s possession of Twitter, a number of high-profile Republican members of Congress noticed their person profiles achieve followers, whereas a few of their Democratic counterparts skilled a decline, in response to an evaluation by The Washington Publish. 

Republican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Jim Jordan gained greater than 300,000 every, whereas Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Democratic Rep. Adam B. Schiff and unbiased Sen. Bernie Sanders all misplaced about 100,000 Twitter followers, the Publish reported. The newspaper mentioned it could not establish what triggered the change however identified it is in keeping with a pattern that began when Musk introduced in April his intention to purchase Twitter.

Nov. 27: Twitter flooded with spam that obscured Chinese language COVID-19 protest tweets

Twitter is grappling with spam tweets after protests about COVID-19 restrictions erupted in China.

The Washington Publish and TechCrunch reported that tweets from Chinese language-language Twitter accounts that had been inactive for months began tweeting hyperlinks to escort, porn and playing companies together with names of main Chinese language cities. That meant that when a Twitter person tried to seek for a metropolis in China, their search outcomes had been stuffed with spam and so they had a more durable time discovering tweets in regards to the protests. The difficulty comes as Twitter has a smaller crew to deal with this drawback. The Washington Publish reported that staff estimate that the corporate’s workforce has been slashed from 7,500 to 2,000 folks.

Researchers have been holding an in depth eye on the Chinese language spam. Stanford Web Observatory Director Alex Stamos tweeted that his crew is engaged on their very own evaluation. 

Nov. 26: Musk notes “We’re recruiting”

Should tweeted a group of slides late Saturday, the primary of which famous “we’re recruiting” — after weeks of layoffs, resignations and different defections on the firm. Musk once more claimed engagement is surging on Twitter, sharing slides that claimed new signups and energetic minutes have not too long ago hit document highs. (The figures could not be independently verified.)  He additionally reiterated his ambitions to make Twitter into an “every thing app,” sharing mockups of options like encrypted direct messages, longform tweets and funds.

Musk additionally has personally known as the CEOs of main manufacturers that halted promoting on Twitter, in response to the Monetary Occasions, which cited an unnamed supply. Different manufacturers diminished their spending to a minimal reasonably than reducing it off solely with a view to keep away from confrontation with Musk, the FT reported. 

Nov. 25: Colour-coded ‘verified’ test marks coming Dec. 2

Simply after midnight Friday, Musk tweeted his latest idea for verification, which is about to go reside on Dec. 2. Examine mark badges will are available in three colours: gold for corporations, grey for governments and blue for people “movie star or not.” Musk is lumping each famous people and Twitter Blue subscribers collectively within the blue test bucket, although people may have a smaller secondary brand displaying “they belong to an org if verified as such by that org,” Musk defined in a follow-up tweet.

Musk has been fidgeting with verified test marks since he took over. He first tried an $8-per-month Twitter Blue subscription that blurred the road between authenticated people and paid accounts, resulting in a slew of individuals impersonating celebrities and companies that triggered mayhem. Then Twitter added grey test marks for “official” accounts of governments, media shops, enterprise companions and “some public figures,” however then eliminated the checks as the corporate dithered on who would get the “official” label. 

The brand new three-color scheme appears designed to scale back impersonations whereas preserving subscriber income. 

Musk additionally famous that “all verified accounts will probably be manually authenticated earlier than test prompts,” although it is unclear whether or not this will probably be accomplished solely by Twitter or if customers will probably be concerned in authenticating their identification. Twitter didn’t reply to a request for remark. Musk famous {that a} longer clarification will probably be coming subsequent week.

Later within the day Musk, floated the potential for creating his personal smartphone if Apple and Google resolve as well Twitter from their respective platforms. “I definitely hope it doesn’t come to that, however, sure, if there isn’t any different selection, I’ll make another cellphone,” he tweeted in a response to a query in regards to the state of affairs. 

Musk supplied few different particulars, however the creation of not only a smartphone, however a rival cell platform that will get across the Apple App Retailer and Google Play Retailer is extremely tough, requiring a mix of customized {hardware} and software program. 

Contemplating how stitched Elon is between Twitter, SpaceX and Tesla, moving into the cellphone enterprise won’t be one of the best thought. 

Nov. 24: Musk broadcasts ‘amnesty,’ additionally fires engineers earlier than Thanksgiving

After tweeting a non-scientific ballot a day earlier, Musk introduced the outcomes on Thursday. Greater than 72% of three.16 million respondents voted “sure” to the query: “Ought to Twitter supply a common amnesty to suspended accounts, supplied that they haven’t damaged the regulation or engaged in egregious spam?”

“The folks have spoken. Amnesty begins subsequent week. Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” he tweeted Thursday, referencing a Latin phrase that interprets as “voice of the folks, voice of God.”

Individually, Musk could also be within the operating for this 12 months’s Ebenezer Scrooge award after reportedly firing roughly 50 engineers proper earlier than Thanksgiving, in response to tech publication Platformer. The publication was corroborating a report from The Verge that some Twitter engineers acquired emails on Wednesday saying they’d been fired as a result of their “code will not be passable.” Twitter engineers had earlier been instructed to ship code samples to Musk. His “hardcore” method to work is broadly recognized inside Silicon Valley, together with at his different corporations the place he is demanded “minimal” 40-hour workweeks from workers.

In the meantime, the Monetary Occasions reported that Twitter disbanded its workplace in Brussels, Belgium, after leaders there exited the corporate. The FT mentioned two of the executives had led Twitter’s efforts to adjust to the EU’s Digital Providers Act, which units guidelines round content material moderation, amongst different issues. Others reportedly managed the corporate’s relationship with European regulators.

Twitter did not instantly reply to requests for remark.

Nov. 23: Musk might reinstate extra suspended accounts

Musk floated the concept of providing “a common amnesty to suspended accounts” so long as they have not damaged the regulation or engaged in “egregious spam.”

In a tweet, Musk polled customers in regards to the thought. It is unclear what number of accounts this potential change would cowl, however some customers have raised issues that doing so would end in extra hate speech and different dangerous content material spreading on the platform. 

Musk has been bringing again accounts that Twitter suspended for violating its guidelines in opposition to hateful conduct, COVID misinformation and glorification of violence. He reinstated former US President Donald Trump’s account after polling customers in regards to the thought. Twitter suspended Trump after the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riots as a result of the platform feared his tweets might incite extra violence.  

Nov. 22: Musk faucets iPhone hacker for assist

George Hotz, a hacker recognized for being the primary individual to jailbreak an iPhone in 2007 and founding autonomous driving startup Comma.ai, accepted a 12-week “internship” at Twitter to assist enhance the social media community’s search capabilities. Hotz and Musk have had a sophisticated relationship. Hotz has claimed he turned down a job to work at Tesla, whereas Musk has dismissed the notion that Hotz and Comma.ai might create a greater autonomous driving system than Tesla’s Autopilot. 

In the meantime, Twitter is present process a cost-cutting marketing campaign that The New York Occasions stories consists of refusing to pay distributors for excellent payments. The fee cuts are concentrating on infrastructure, journey bills, software program companies and actual estates, the Occasions stories, citing a number of unnamed sources. 

On the identical time, The Washington Publish and business watchers Pathmatics and Media Issues For America reported that as many as half of Twitter’s prime 100 advertisers have both introduced or seemingly stopped spending on the platform

Nov. 21: Much more account bans raise, Musk holds off on paid verification relaunch 

Nonetheless extra once-suspended accounts continued to have their bans lifted. On Nov. 21, US Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s private Twitter account was unlocked, 10 months after being completely suspended for violating Twitter’s COVID misinformation coverage. However amid the parade of restored accounts, Musk claimed one ban will stay in place: Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. 

Later within the day, Musk tweeted that Twitter is “holding off” the relaunch of paid verification via its Twitter Blue subscription service till “there may be excessive confidence of stopping impersonation.” Twitter paused the brand new verification system earlier in November after customers who bought the verified blue test marks posed as main manufacturers, politicians, athletes and different celebrities. Twitter was anticipated to relaunch paid verification on Nov. 29. Musk tweeted that the corporate will in all probability use a unique colour test mark for organizations versus people. 

Nov. 20: Extra suspended accounts revived, World Cup begins

After Musk reversed former US President Donald Trump’s everlasting ban, extra suspended accounts got here again on-line, together with that of Kanye West. Generally known as Ye after altering his title final 12 months, West tweeted to his 32 million followers for the primary time in two weeks, after he had been locked out for an antisemitic menace. 

Mission Veritas, a conservative activist group recognized for hidden-camera movies, was additionally reinstated, after being suspended final 12 months for disclosing folks’s private data, a cost it denied. 

Individually, the FIFA World Cup kicked off. The occasion sometimes spurs spikes in Twitter utilization, as folks all over the world converge to experience real-time updates and posts associated to its matches. Within the flood of utilization, worries endured that Twitter is likely to be tripped up by outages and disruptions because it copes with working with a fraction of its ordinary workers. However the first day of the match appeared to proceed with out Twitter experiencing any main incidents.

Nov. 19: Musk lets Trump again on Twitter

Elon Musk’s long-expected reversal of Trump’s everlasting ban from Twitter got here true, opening the door for the controversial politician to regain his social media megaphone.

Musk had polled customers on Twitter about whether or not Trump must be allowed again onto the platform. The ultimate outcomes of that ballot confirmed 51.8% in favor of reinstating Trump and 48.2% in opposition to.

“The folks have spoken,” Musk tweeted. “Trump will probably be reinstated.” An account with the acquainted title @realDonaldTrump confirmed up on the location. Twitter, like different social networks, had booted Trump after the lethal Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riots.

Individually, Bloomberg reported that Musk is contemplating firing extra staff on the gross sales and partnership aspect. He reportedly requested leaders, together with Robin Wheeler, the top of gross sales and advertising and marketing, to fireplace extra staff. Wheeler refused and misplaced her job (she lists herself as an ex-Twitter gross sales exec on her profile). 

Twitter, which has laid off its communications division, did not reply to a query despatched to its its press e mail.

Nov. 18: Musk asks engineers to return to the workplace. Beforehand banned accounts get reinstated

Twitter staff had been locked out of the corporate’s headquarters, however Musk reportedly despatched an e mail asking for some software program engineers to go again into the workplace, in response to Bloomberg. Musk requested the coders to satisfy with him and supply examples of their coding work with a view to assist him higher perceive the software program. 

Musk tweeted in regards to the firm’s coverage on speech saying sure tweets is not going to have “freedom of attain.”

“Unfavourable/hate tweets will probably be max deboosted & demonetized, so no advertisements or different income to Twitter,” he mentioned. “You will not discover the tweet until you particularly search it out, which is not any totally different from remainder of web.”


Screenshot by CNET

Musk adopted that tweet with one other saying conservative media persona Jordan Peterson, right-wing satire web site The Babylon Bee and comic Kathy Griffin can have their banned accounts reinstated. Twitter booted Peterson and The Babylon Bee from the platform earlier within the 12 months over anti-trans tweets whereas Griffin had her account suspended final week for altering it right into a Musk parody account

Musk additionally tweeted that Twitter hasn’t decided concerning former President Donald Trump’s account, however Yoel Roth, the previous head of belief and security at Twitter, mentioned in a New York Occasions opinion piece printed Nov. 18 that the ex-president’s reinstatement was “close to certainty.” Twitter banned Trump from its platform in 2021 due to issues his remarks might spark extra violence after the lethal Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riot. 

Roth, who resigned from the corporate, wrote how Musk known as for extra censoring of tweets after a surge of hate speech confirmed up on the platform following his takeover. He additionally went on to clarify the necessity for content material moderation was not solely essential to maintain advertisers blissful, but it surely additionally was wanted to appease app retailer homeowners and authorities entities, such because the European Union, which have legal guidelines in opposition to hate speech. 

In a 24-hour ballot on Twitter, Musk requested customers if Trump’s account must be reinstated.

Twitter customers are nonetheless frightened in regards to the platform’s potential loss of life, particularly forward of high-traffic occasions such because the FIFA World Cup that kicks off on Nov. 20. The New York Occasions, citing three folks near the corporate, reported that some estimates confirmed that at the least 1,200 staff resigned on Nov. 17 after Musk gave them a selection to remain or depart. 

Person security is one other massive concern on Twitter. CNN reporter Oliver Darcy tweeted that the White Home is asking Twitter to clarify the way it’s safeguarding “the security of People’ on-line information.” The White Home did not instantly reply to a request for remark.

Nov. 17: Twitter customers concern finish is close to. Musk locks workplace doorways. Many staff take severance. Senators need investigation

Twitter customers began tweeting farewell remarks as #RIPTwitter trended on the platform within the US and different elements of the world. 

Fears a few potential collapse of the location got here after tons of of staff determined to go away the corporate earlier within the day. One former Twitter worker instructed The Washington Publish that there is no longer a “skeleton crew manning the system.” 

Twitter “will proceed to coast till it runs into one thing, after which it’s going to cease,” the worker mentioned. 

Musk tweeted a meme with Twitter’s brand on a headstone. 

The remaining 3,500 or so staff who had been left at Twitter after 1000’s had been laid off had a option to make on the finish of the day on Nov. 17: Stay below Musk’s plan for an intense “Twitter 2.0” or depart with three months of severance pay.

As much as 75% of remaining staff selected the exit, in response to Fortune and Bloomberg, creating confusion about what number of remaining folks would have entry to the places of work. The Verge reported that those that left included some “legendary” engineers and coders.

Across the identical time, the corporate apparently locked the doorways to its San Francisco headquarters till Nov. 21, in response to tech publication Platformer

Twitter, which can now not have a public relations division, did not reply to a request for remark.

All of this occurred after Musk softened his stance on how he needed to run the brand new Twitter, at the least considerably. An e mail despatched to Twitter staff on Nov. 9 mentioned distant work can be banned, however an e mail to staff on Nov. 17 acknowledged that distant work is feasible if accepted, in response to a report from Bloomberg

“All that’s required for approval is that your supervisor takes accountability for making certain that you’re making a superb contribution,” Musk mentioned within the e mail. He additionally needs staff to have in-person crew conferences at the least as soon as a month. 

Twitter can be going through extra scrutiny from US lawmakers.  A gaggle of Democratic senators despatched a letter to Lina Khan, the chairwoman of the US Federal Commerce Fee. Outlined within the letter are what the legislators described as “alarming steps” taken by Musk together with new options which were utilized by scammers, a rise in hate speech and the elimination of cybersecurity executives inside the firm, doubtlessly placing customers’ private information in danger. 

The senators level out that these actions might place the corporate in violation of the FTC’s consent decree to guard this information as a part of a settlement with the fee in 2011

“We urge the Fee to vigorously oversee its consent decree with Twitter and to convey enforcement actions in opposition to any breaches or enterprise practices which are unfair or misleading, together with bringing civil penalties and imposing legal responsibility on particular person Twitter executives the place acceptable,” the senators mentioned. 

Among the many seven senators who signed the letter are Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Cory Booker of New Jersey. 

Twitter violated the consent decree in Might when the FTC discovered the corporate used safety information like cellphone numbers and e mail addresses to focus on promoting at customers. This led to a $150 million settlement paid by Twitter.

Musk appeared to finish the day poking enjoyable at his earlier warning that Twitter could go bankrupt.

Twitter has not responded to a number of requests for remark.

Nov. 16: Musk calls for ‘hardcore’ work tradition. Dorsey’s ‘nope’

Musk emailed all workers to define his imaginative and prescient for “Twitter 2.0,” which would require an “extraordinarily hardcore” tradition, with lengthy hours and excessive depth, in response to Pragmatic Engineer author (and former Uber engineer) Gergely Orosz. Workers should comply with this on Thursday or depart with three months of severance pay. 

Throughout testimony Wednesday over a Tesla shareholder case alleging that his wage as CEO is extreme, Musk additionally reportedly instructed the court docket that he doesn’t wish to be CEO of Tesla, and that his chief government management of Twitter is a brief association.

“I count on to scale back my time at Twitter and discover someone else to run Twitter over time,” he mentioned, in response to CNBC.

Twitter did not reply to a request for remark.

When a follower requested Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey if he’d take into account returning as CEO, Dorsey responded with a agency “nope.” There is no indication that he bought a proposal to return — the follower’s question got here after Dorsey engaged in dialog about Twitter’s future and expressed confidence that the location would survive. His earlier tenure as CEO resulted in Might 2021, and he left its board of administrators in Might 2022. 

Nov. 15: Staff fired for talking about Musk on Slack

Workers who criticized Elon Musk in Twitter’s Slack channels had been fired in a single day by way of e mail, Platformer’s Casey Newton mentioned in a tweet. They had been apparently instructed their “current habits has violated firm coverage.” It is unclear how many individuals had been affected.

Twitter did not reply to a request for remark.

Nov. 14: Musk needs larger Twitter video help

Talking by way of video hyperlink, Musk instructed enterprise leaders throughout the G20 summit in Bali that he needs to see Twitter help extra longer-form video to usher in extra content material creators. He additionally famous that he is been working “on the absolute most quantity … from morning til night time, seven days per week” for the reason that acquisition.

Nov. 13: SpaceX reportedly buys main Twitter advert package deal

SpaceX, Musk’s aerospace firm, ordered a Twitter “takeover” promoting package deal for its satellite tv for pc web service Starlink, CNBC reported. This can seemingly promote the service on folks’s Twitter timelines in Spain and Australia and might price greater than $250,000. It comes after some advertisers paused campaigns because of the upheaval at Twitter. 

SpaceX did not reply to a request for remark.

Nov. 12: Hundreds of contract staff seemingly terminated

Twitter lower 1000’s of contract staff, in response to Platformer’s Casey Newton, Axios and CNBC, with Newton reporting that round 4,400 of Twitter’s roughly 5,500 contractors had been affected. Most did not get any discover and discovered as a result of they misplaced entry to the corporate’s e mail and inside communications programs, Newton reported.

The corporate did not reply to a request for remark.

Nov. 11: Twitter Blue subscription choice vanishes

The choice to join the $8 a month subscription service Twitter Blue is now not obtainable on Twitter’s iOS app, as earlier reported by The Verge. The shift comes days after the service launched for Apple units and previous to its Android launch. Trying to subscribe on desktop directs you to the iOS app.

CNET can verify that this manifests in two distinct methods: the choice to subscribe has vanished from the sidebar, and tapping the hyperlink provides you an error message. 

A Twitter Blue error against a blue and black background on an iOS version of the app

Attempting to subscribe to Twitter Blue on the iOS app resulted on this message on Nov. 11.

Twitter/Screenshot by CNET

“Thanks on your curiosity!” it reads. “Twitter Blue will probably be obtainable in your nation sooner or later. Please test again later.”

It is unclear why the corporate paused signups for the service, however numerous customers reportedly purchased verification to impersonate manufacturers and celebrities. An inside word posted on Slack mentioned it stopped folks from subscribing “to assist tackle impersonation points,” in response to tech outlet Platformer’s Zoë Schiffer.

Twitter did not reply to CNET’s request for remark.

Nov. 10: Musk bans distant work and warns of chapter, lawyer says he is risking billions in FTC fines

Musk despatched his first emails to staff on Nov. 9, warning that “the financial image forward is dire.” He banned distant work until he personally accepted it, in response to Bloomberg, whereas The New York Occasions reported that he instructed staff “absolutely the prime precedence is discovering and suspending any verified bots/trolls/spam.”

An lawyer on Twitter’s privateness crew posted a message within the firm’s Slack warning that Musk’s deal with monetizing its customers is making him take harmful steps, The Verge reported. It is apparently at explicit danger of incurring billions in fines from the Federal Commerce Fee within the wake of a Might settlement concerning using private information to focus on advertisements.

Twitter’s chief privateness officer, Damien Kieran; Chief Data Safety Officer Lea Kissner; and Chief Compliance Officer Marianne Fogarty all resigned, The Verge famous. Kissner’s departure confirmed her departure in a tweet.

Musk additionally reportedly instructed staff chapter was a chance, Bloomberg reported, citing an individual aware of the matter. Two extra Twitter executives — Yoel Roth, the corporate’s head of belief and security, and Robin Wheeler, who led advertising and marketing and gross sales at Twitter — additionally resigned, in response to the report. Wheeler then determined to remain on the firm after Musk persuaded her to take action, Bloomberg reported. Roth, Wheeler and Musk’s lawyer Alex Spiro did not reply to a request for remark. 

Nov. 9: Musk tries to reassure advertisers amid confusion about test marks

Twitter’s rollout of a new verification system is messy. Twitter began including grey test marks and an “official” label to high-profile Twitter accounts however then scrapped among the adjustments hours later.

In an hour-long reside audio chat on Twitter later within the day, Musk mentioned the brand new labels are an “aesthetic nightmare when trying on the Twitter feed” and “one other manner of making a two-class system.” 

Esther Crawford, who oversees early-stage merchandise at Twitter, tweeted that the corporate would nonetheless be rolling out the “official” label however to authorities and business entities first. Twitter additionally began permitting folks so as to add blue test marks to their profiles in the event that they pay $8 a month for a Twitter Blue subscription. Scammers are already utilizing the brand new system to create pretend accounts. Twitter mentioned it might droop accounts engaged in misleading techniques and impersonation.

Within the audio chat, Musk mentioned Twitter’s plans for a content material moderation council and selections by corporations to briefly pause their promoting campaigns on Twitter.

“I do not suppose having hate speech subsequent to an advert is nice. Clearly,” he mentioned. Musk additionally mentioned he thinks it’s going to take Twitter a few months to create a content material moderation council. 

He signaled, although, that he is not planning to decelerate in terms of altering Twitter. 

“The speed of evolution of Twitter will probably be an immense step change in comparison with what it has been up to now,” he mentioned. “You recognize, if nothing else, I’m a technologist and I could make expertise go quick.”

Nov. 6: Paid test marks could also be pushed again, Musk cracks down on impersonation

Paid verification reportedly delayed till after election

Twitter is suspending the rollout of verification badges linked to an $8 month-to-month subscription service till after the midterm elections, in response to The New York Occasions.

Impersonators get the boot

Musk warned that any Twitter account participating in impersonation with out clearly specifying that it is parody would get hit with a everlasting ban. In response, some customers modified their names to “Elon Musk,” which led to their suspension.

Nov. 5: Paying for test marks, listening to from Dorsey

Pay-for-verification plan reveals up in iOS replace

Model notes for the most recent iteration of Twitter’s app for the Apple iPhone confirmed up within the App Retailer, with a What’s New part that pointed to the verification characteristic. The notes inform customers that “beginning at present” for those who “enroll now” for an $8-a-month Twitter Blue subscription, “your account will get a blue test mark, identical to the celebrities, corporations, and politicians you already observe.” It seems, although, that this system hasn’t really kicked in but. Learn extra right here.

Dorsey weighs in

With information stories saying Twitter had laid off about half its workers, co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey took to the service to supply phrases of encouragement and to position blame on himself.

“I personal the accountability for why everyone seems to be on this scenario: I grew the corporate measurement too shortly. I apologize for that,” Dorsey tweeted. He additionally known as Twitter staffers previous and current “resilient” and mentioned, “I’m grateful for, and love, everybody who has ever labored on Twitter. I do not count on that to be mutual on this second.”

In April, Dorsey expressed his help of Musk taking up the corporate, however he additionally mentioned that in precept, he thought nobody ought to personal or run Twitter and that it ought to as a substitute be “a public good.”

Nov. 4: Musk says Twitter has had ‘large drop’ in income

Since Musk’s takeover, a number of main advertisers, reminiscent of Tesla rival Common Motors, meals firm Common Mills and pharmaceutical company Pfizer, have briefly paused their advert campaigns on Twitter. Musk tweeted that Twitter has had a “large drop” in income, which he blamed on activist teams pressuring advertisers. Musk did not say in his tweet how a lot Twitter’s income has fallen, nor did he establish the activists. Within the tweet, Musk additionally mentioned Twitter hasn’t modified its content material moderation insurance policies. 

Musk additionally made an look on the Baron Funding Convention, the place he famous that Twitter grappled with income challenges earlier than the acquisition and that he tried to get out of the deal.

His remarks got here after Twitter began shedding staff. Musk later tweeted that there was “no selection when the corporate is dropping over $4M/day.” With out specifying how many individuals had been laid off or what share of the workforce, Musk added they had been “supplied 3 months of severance.” Reportedly, about half of Twitter’s 7,500-person work power was laid off.

Civil rights teams that met with Musk spoke out in regards to the layoffs.

“For starters, there is no method to preserve election integrity in place in case you are reducing capability to do the monitoring in #TwitterLayoffs,” tweeted Rashad Robinson, president of racial justice group Colour of Change. The group is a part of #StopToxicTwitter, a coalition of greater than 60 organizations which are urging main advertisers to pause spending and put money into content material moderation. Companions listed on the coalition’s web site embody the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, Public Citizen, and the Union of Involved Scientists.

The Volkswagen Group and others reportedly paused advert spending due to issues that advertisements might seem alongside problematic content material on the platform.

Nov. 3: Musk seems to be for tactics to chop prices, lawsuit filed

Musk needs to chop prices and make Twitter much less depending on promoting. 

Reuters, citing two sources aware of the matter and an inside Slack message, reported that Musk directed Twitter’s crew to search out greater than $1 billion in infrastructure price financial savings.

The corporate is different methods to earn a living outdoors of promoting, together with “paywalled” movies and paid direct messages, The New York Occasions reported, citing two folks with data of the matter and inside paperwork.

Musk is already making adjustments to Twitter’s work tradition. Bloomberg reported that Musk has eliminated “days of relaxation” from Twitter’s worker calendars and plans to cancel the corporate’s distant work coverage. Twitter did not reply to a request for remark.

Twitter reportedly instructed staff in an e mail that layoffs would occur. A lawsuit looking for class motion standing, accused Twitter of violating the federal Employee Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, which requires massive corporations to provide at the least 60 days of advance discover earlier than mass layoffs, as beforehand reported by Bloomberg.

Nov. 2: Musk reportedly plans to chop half of Twitter’s workforce

Musk plans to chop about 3,700 jobs at Twitter, or half of the social media firm’s workforce, Bloomberg reported. Affected staffers are to learn of their destiny by Nov. 4, sources instructed the information outlet.

Musk additionally plans to reverse the corporate’s current work-from-anywhere coverage, requiring remaining staff to report back to an workplace, the unidentified sources mentioned.

In a single state of affairs for decreasing Twitter’s workforce being thought of, laid off staff will probably be supplied 60 days’ value of severance pay. Twitter customers have been bracing for layoffs since Musk introduced his bid for Twitter in April. One report indicated that Musk deliberate to chop 75% of jobs at Twitter.

Nov. 1: Musk suggests charging for verification

In a collection of tweets, Musk floated the concept that Twitter cost $8 monthly for a verified blue test mark as a part of its subscription plan. The corporate’s subscription service, often called Twitter Blue, at the moment prices $5 monthly however does not embody verification as a perk.

Twitter at the moment does not cost to confirm accounts with a blue test mark, and the badge is meant to be given out to accounts that the corporate determines are “notable, genuine and energetic.” The blue test mark is supposed to assist customers decide if an account of a star, journalist or different public determine is pretend or not.

Musk tweeted that the value can be adjusted by nation and that the subscription would come with “precedence in replies, mentions & search, which is important to defeat spam/rip-off,” in addition to the “potential to put up lengthy video & audio.” He additionally mentioned customers would see “half as many advertisements.” 

Earlier within the day, The Wall Avenue Journal reported that Twitter Blue subscribers will lose entry to ad-free articles from publishers like Vox, the Los Angeles Occasions and Insider. There have been numerous stories of various costs for a Twitter Blue subscription, with the corporate additionally reportedly having thought of rising the subscription value to $20 a month.

It is unclear from Musk’s tweets if verified customers must pay for a subscription or lose their blue test mark. Musk tweeted there can be “a secondary tag” for public figures, just like the one now used for politicians.

The corporate’s chief buyer officer, Sarah Personette, additionally revealed in a tweet that she resigned.

In the meantime, Twitter mentioned it has eliminated 1,500 accounts since Oct. 29 for posting hateful content material.

Oct. 31: Official CEO, board dissolved, layoff plans, no Trump determination but, content material moderation restricted

Days after naming himself “Chief Twit” on his Twitter profile, Musk confirmed he is the corporate’s CEO via a securities submitting. Different adjustments to Twitter’s management are additionally underway. A associated securities submitting reveals Twitter’s board of administrators was dissolved the day Musk took over and recognized Musk because the “sole director” of the corporate. 

He additionally reportedly plans to put off 25% of Twitter’s workforce, The Washington Publish reported, citing nameless sources. 

Musk, who has beforehand mentioned he would reverse former US President Donald Trump’s everlasting ban from Twitter, continues to be getting questions on whether or not he’ll observe via on that. Twitter booted Trump from its platform in 2021 following the lethal US Capitol Hill riot due to issues that his remarks might incite extra violence. 

“If I had a greenback for each time somebody requested me if Trump is coming again on this platform, Twitter can be minting cash!” Musk tweeted

Twitter additionally restricted some Belief and Security worker entry to inside instruments, Bloomberg reported, curbing their potential to average content material and tackle misinformation forward of subsequent week’s US elections. They will apparently nonetheless edit or take away posts that might end in real-world hurt.

“That is precisely what we (or any firm) must be doing within the midst of a company transition to scale back alternatives for insider danger. We’re nonetheless implementing our guidelines at scale,” Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of security and integrity, tweeted in response to Bloomberg’s story.

Oct. 30: Musk toys with test mark adjustments and Vine revival, tweets misinformation

Musk has been busy suggesting adjustments to Twitter. He tweeted a ballot about whether or not Twitter ought to convey again Vine, a short-form video app that Twitter shut down in 2017. 

Twitter additionally reportedly plans to cost $20 monthly for its Twitter Blue subscription service, and verified customers would lose their blue test mark if they do not achieve this in 90 days, The Verge reported, citing nameless sources. Platformer’s Casey Newton reported that Twitter is considering charging $5 a month to verified customers in the event that they wish to preserve their blue test marks.

Musk additionally tweeted after which deleted a hyperlink to an article with a baseless conspiracy principle about final week’s assault on Paul Pelosi, the husband of US Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in San Francisco. The article got here from a web site known as the Santa Monica Observer. Truth-checking web site Media Bias/Truth Examine famous the outlet publishes right-wing misinformation. 

Oct. 29: Twitter battles a surge in racist slurs

Twitter is attempting to fight nameless accounts that began to tweet racist slurs hours after Musk took over Twitter. 

Twitter head of security and integrity Yoel Roth tweeted that the corporate has “seen a small variety of accounts put up a ton of tweets that embody slurs and different derogatory phrases.” He added that “greater than 50,000 tweets repeatedly utilizing a specific slur got here from simply 300 accounts.”

“Backside line up entrance: Twitter’s insurance policies have not modified. Hateful conduct has no place right here. And we’re taking steps to place a cease to an organized effort to make folks suppose we’ve got,” he tweeted.

Oct. 28: Twitter to type content material moderation council

Advocacy teams have raised issues that Musk’s management over Twitter would enable extra hate speech and misinformation to floor on the platform. Musk has vowed publicly he does not need Twitter to develop into a “free-for-all hellscape” however has additionally mentioned that he is “in opposition to censorship that goes far past the regulation.”

Musk mentioned the corporate would type a content material moderation council with “broadly numerous viewpoints.” The corporate will not make any main content material selections or account reinstatements earlier than the council convenes, he tweeted.

A securities submitting on Oct. 28 additionally famous that Twitter’s inventory is being delisted on the New York Inventory Change. Twitter, a publicly traded firm, turned a non-public one. 

Oct. 27: Musk takes over Twitter, fires executives

Musk turned Twitter’s new proprietor and reportedly fired key executives on the firm, together with Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal and Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s head of authorized coverage, belief and security.

Earlier within the day, Musk tweeted a letter to advertisers. The billionaire, who as soon as tweeted that he hated promoting, now posted that “promoting, when accomplished proper, can delight, entertain and inform you.” 

Musk met with staff all through the week, carried a sink into Twitter’s headquarters as a photograph op and adjusted his profile to “Chief Twit” earlier than information broke that the deal had been accomplished.

CNET workers contributed to this report.

Supply hyperlink