back to article Big brands urged to pause Twitter ads until Elon's learned how this all works

As Elon Musk gets a rapid crash course in running and moderating a social network used by millions of angry people, major advertisers are reportedly advising their clients to pause ads on the tycoon's Twitter platform until brand safety can be assured. Reports bubbled yesterday that international ad giant Interpublic Group – …

  1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Good.

    We(or at least some us anyway) have to hope that this sounds like the start of the end for Twitter. Skum (an anagram of Musk) deserves to lose all that money.

    1. Loyal Commenter

      Re: Good.

      No need to call him scum. Just use his full name and title, Lord Patriarch Elongated Muskrat, Chief Twat.

      1. Snake Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Chief Twat

        That comment deserves a pint :)

    2. Steve Button Silver badge

      Re: Good.

      Why "Good"?

      Because you are just generally fed up with the cesspit that Twitter has become, or because that same cesspit is now owned by Musk? Nothing has really changed yet, it *might* actually end up better if he gets rid of the bots.

      And if you thumbs down my comment, I'll KNOW you are a bot. (What, you think The Reg doesn't have its share of fake accounts too?)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good.

        Twitter is indeed a cesspit. Musk should stick to running Tesla and SpaceX. Twitter is his pet vanity project just to get close to Trumper.

        I'm not a bot and gave you a downvote.

        Oh and I don't use Twitter or any other so-called social media platform. Never have and never will.

        1. Steve Button Silver badge

          Re: Good.

          Have an upvote AC, because I'm feeling generous. xx

        2. Snake Silver badge

          Re: cesspit

          It's what happens when you can hide your true identity, location and any form of repercussions behind an electronic screen - the scum and villainy of humanity comes crawling out of their cockroach nest.

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: cesspit

            It's what happens when you can hide your true identity, location and any form of repercussions behind an electronic screen

            Funnily enough, one of the most common types of ads on that other wretched hive of scum & villainy (YT) is for NordVPN. Or other flavors of VPN, all pretty much pitching the same message. Buy their VPN to hide your identity. Of course AlphaGoo laughs in their general direction because they can still track that stuff anyway.

            More sensible people know that anonymity on the Internet is illusory at best. If you really offend TPTB by doing something illegal, they can generally identify you very quickly. Having an illusion of anonymity may prevent nutjobs like Nicholas John Roske from finding you and trying to kill you. Or SWAT you, deliver random pizza, stalk, harrass and abuse you etc etc. Or perhaps in the case of Paypal, just 'fine' you $2,500 for maybe offending someone, somewhere.

            So it's all a bit of a toxic swamp, much as it's been since good'ol UUCP and the alt.* hierachy. Even then trolling was somewhat more civilised and had a different meaning to the way it's been distorted to today. In the past, trolling required a bit of careful bait selection, today, it just means mentioning Trump. Or pointing out that MAGA isn't such a bad idea. A.. certain section of the community has been conditioned with an almost Pavolian response to those words, after years of careful media manipulation. Today, the Whitehouse spox stated that voting is a serious threat to democracy. What she of course meant is not voting Democrat.

            Advertisers have been affected in much the same way. They seem to have little control over where their ads are actually placed by the 'advertising' giants. So we get bombarded by irrelevant ads forced into inappropriate content. Unsuprisingly, this annoys people, who turn to ad blockers. For actual advertisers, ie businesses with products to sell, they should want to get their products in front of people that may actually want to buy them. Which means following the audience, which did/does mean Twatter because of it's millions of eyeballs. But advertisers have been wondering if their ad spend on social media is actually worth it, mainly because of the actions of ad agencies and ad slingers. Denying the advertisers access to eyeballs might please the politics of the ad agencies, but won't necessarily boost the sales of whatever the businesses are trying to sell.

            That's perhaps one of the fears that middle-men.. I mean persons like Interpubic has. If Musk and Co can create a better, more relevant interface between businesses and eyeballs, the agencies will no longer be relevant.

            1. Snake Silver badge

              Re: not a bad idea

              "Or pointing out that MAGA isn't such a bad idea."

              I've got a reasonable question: since the creation of the neo-conservative agenda, with Reagan, we were always told how great America was. Always.

              Now it's "Make America Great Again".

              So, somewhere, by these people' recollection, America stopped being "great".

              Yet. They. NEVER. Previously. Admitted. It.

              Exactly when did this happen, and why wasn't the REST of us told about it??

              1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

                Re: not a bad idea

                If you're going to go back to Reagan, then you really should listen to B Movie by Gil Scott Heron who nailed it: politically, Reagan wasn't anything, he was just the front man for the military industrial complex. Nixon was the one who really moved the political agenda and fed the politics of envy. Under Reagan there was, erm, largely an intellectual hiatus. It wasn't until Gingrich started tapping into Chrisitian fundamentalism and Negroponte discovered a new enemy that things got moving again.

                Trump kind of got lucky that his undiluted bile came across as "authentic" in a large field of establishment also-rans and the subtext to MAGA is that "hate is good". It's a bit of a disservice to say he got lucky, because, despite his obvious limitations, he sticks very much to the script and follows the directions that make him so effective for a certain part of the population, at this time.

                1. Snake Silver badge

                  Re: Nixon

                  Oh, I agree, but what Reagan did was create the American neo-conservative that linked politics with religion - poisonous and somewhat treasonous, pleasantly ignoring the First Amendment...but only when it suits them.

                  Really, even Gil Scott Heron got it wrong: the president who REALLY moved the political agenda was LBJ, from enforcing desegregation in schools to enforcing equal rights, which infuriated the conservatives and Dixie Democrats of the Democratic party so much that they moved to the Republican party, who were far more mainstream prior, and shifted the Republicans to the right. We've been living in the shadow of that ever since, and then Reagan et al brought in the "fundamentalists", hypocrites only seeking power really, and broke everything.

                  If you haven't seen this, by the son of one of the major kingmakers of the movement, you are missing a LOT:

                  www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fy1G1qdvIAI

                2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                  Re: not a bad idea

                  Trump kind of got lucky that his undiluted bile came across as "authentic" in a large field of establishment also-rans and the subtext to MAGA is that "hate is good".

                  That's a harsh way to describe the Democrats. Better to leave that to the imminent elections, where those establisment also-rans may be judged on their performance.

                  What puzzles me is the undiluted bile poured on Trump, and the idea of 'Making America Great', or just greater. Since he left office, the US crime rate has increased, along with inflation, cost of living, a couple of trillion has been added to the US debt, education standards have fallen. But the Dems are still obsessed by Trump, and maintaining their autocracy. Lead by a person who in the last week said there were 54 states, the US economy was 'strong as hell' and his son was killed in Iraq. And Clinton was wheeled out to warn how the Republicans are planning to steal the mid-terms, and then 2024.

                  So it's all a little strange. It seems to demonstrate how completely out of touch the US elite is with the 'ordinary Americans'. It's also strange that the US seems to be struggling with basic election fundamentals. One of the 'evil' Republican suggestions is making sure only the people entitled to vote get to vote. Seems reasonable. But there also seem to be huge problems in the US with doing basic stuff like figuring that out, ie maintaining accurate electoral rolls. Not having much of a clue about the current population obviously also makes it harder to provide basic services for them as well.

                  1. Snake Silver badge

                    Re: hmmm...

                    "What puzzles me is the undiluted bile poured on Trump, and the idea of 'Making America Great', or just greater. Since he left office, the US crime rate has increased, along with inflation, cost of living, a couple of trillion has been added to the US debt, education standards have fallen.

                    Because inflation, cost of living, US debt and the crime rate has nothing to do with the world economy and general conditions, which was thrown to shit by a petty little man-boy wanna-be dictator, who happens to be LOVED by our ex-president BTW, invading a country, throwing the world's food supply *AND* oil / natural gas supplies in peril?

                    Oh, let's also not mention Brexit, caused by the very type of people who indeed listen to our ex-president's type of dogma, throwing a major European power's economy into shambles?

                    And the general stress all this crap brings to people, causing all sorts of ripple-effect chaos??

                    Nothing to do with, at all??

                    Wow.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: hmmm...

                      "which was thrown to shit by a petty little man-boy wanna-be dictator"

                      Dr Tedros?

                      Putin is not the root cause of the current economic issues but he gets the blame. Things were going to heck as a reaction to the lockdowns and massive spending that happened during covid. You shut entire economies down and pay people using made up money to not work and what do you expect? The proxy war is just dragging out the financial pain to the average people while those in power cement their position.

                    2. chivo243 Silver badge
                      Pint

                      Re: hmmm...

                      Fuel prices you say... My brother bleats on about how high the gas prices are in the US and the president is to blame, no ifs ands or buts. I silently do the math for the cost of fuel here in France, and I can only laugh to myself. I'm paying nearly €10 per gallon, I think it was €2.39 per liter at the las fill up. I think there are 3.96 liters per gallon... I'm way too lazy to look up the precise conversion. TLTLIU...

                      1. Snake Silver badge

                        Re: fuel prices

                        "My brother bleats on about how high the gas prices are in the US and the president is to blame, no ifs ands or buts. I silently do the math for the cost of fuel here in France, and I can only laugh to myself. I'm paying nearly €10 per gallon"

                        EXACTLY. So go on and confront your brother on questioning how an American president's policies affect FRENCH gas prices.

                        Seriously. Don't just stand there and let me think that he's right and he's "won", because every time a conservative brings up a discussion point and a progressive / moderate / liberal backs down, they get on thinking that. Ask him to prove his point if he is so knowledgeable and assured that Biden is to blame for high gas prices...everywhere.

                        1. Anonymous Coward
                          Anonymous Coward

                          Re: fuel prices

                          "EXACTLY. So go on and confront your brother on questioning how an American president's policies affect FRENCH gas prices."

                          Simples, the proxy war in Ukraine. Started under Obama, on hold during the cheeto years and back on with Biden.

                          1. Snake Silver badge

                            Re: proxy war

                            Using that analogy, pretty much EVERY major recent war could be considered a proxy, all due to someone else's fault / lack of action / too much action.

                            Why blame the obvious?? He didn't invade, we caused him to invade, because!

                            1. Anonymous Coward
                              Anonymous Coward

                              Re: proxy war

                              The US had boots on the ground in most major wars since WW2. Syria and anything involving Israel being some of the exceptions.

                              The blame is multi-sided but the US doing what the US does best and messing about in far away countries so they can make more money.

                              This is how much the US cares:

                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2XNN0Yt6D8

                      2. Cuddles Silver badge

                        Re: hmmm...

                        "I think there are 3.96 liters per gallon"

                        There are 4.55 litres per gallon, or 3.79 litres per US gallon, or 4.40 litres per US gallon. Yes, they don't just use a different size gallon, they use two different different size gallons. Fortunately, the confusion can be solved by appropriate rounding. According to the Reg standards converter, all three gallons are equal to 0 Olympic swimming pools, and can therefore be considered equivalent.

                    3. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                      Re: hmmm...

                      Because inflation, cost of living, US debt and the crime rate has nothing to do with the world economy and general conditions,

                      Yep. Americans elect Americans to manage that stuff. It elected Americans that don't seem to care about it. Biden spoke extensively last night at a homeless shelter. Except he didn't mention inflation, cost of living, debt, crime etc. Just 'extreme MAGA Republicans'. Again. Oh, and perhaps the most amusing example of fact checking I've seen in a long time-

                      https://www.zerohedge.com/political/thats-quite-spin-white-house-fact-checked-cnn-and-twitter-after-absurd-social-security

                      Seniors are getting the biggest increase in their Social Security checks in 10 years through President Biden's leadership

                      So that's 10% for the big guy. Works out to around $30,000 a year extra for Fauci given I think he retired on a $300k pension. Except of course it's due to a Nixon law indexing increases to CPI. So basically inflation leading to more inflation, which will lead to more US cities going bankrupt due to massively increasing and unfunded pension liabilities. Which will lead to budget reductions on police, fire, education etc.

                      which was thrown to shit by a petty little man-boy wanna-be dictator,

                      Well, yes, Zelensky is a bit of a Napoleon. Biden loves Ukraine though. It gave his son a very high paying job when he was struggling with addiction. China helped out there as well. So sure, there were massively inflationary policies imposed during lockdown, like all the 'stimulus' money. Then lockdowns were lifted. Theoretically, you'd expect activity to return to pre-lockdown levels, except they didn't. Instead, inflation started to climb rapidly. Then with Zelensky poised to invade Donbas and Crimea, the US and EU decided the 'smart' money was on sanctions. Russia's economy would be crushed in days. Except that didn't happen.

                      For some people, it's been great. The US gets to export more oil & gas, which makes money for traders. But take supply out of the domestic market, and prices increase. That of course was helped along by decisions to cancel KeystoneXL and deciding that fossil fuel is evil and must be banned. Unsuprisingly, that's meant the US hasn't invested in anything other than ethanol production, which is converting food into fuel. The US is now fast running out of diesel.

                      Oh dear.

                      It's true that much of this stuff has been a long time coming, mainly the idea of printing free money somehow not being inflationary, and that 'Green' policies are anything other than insane. Plus of course the other consequences of 'globalisation'. If the US (and EU) don't produce much, and instead rely on imports, there will inevitably be problems if there are snags with the supply chain. Fixing those problems takes time, money and political will. Something the loony left sadly lacks.

                      1. Snake Silver badge

                        Re: hmmm...

                        And I'd like to know through your replies, an answer to a question I asked TWO YEARS AGO on this very forum, is when did the right start kissing the ring, and the ass, of Putin as a friend? When did Russia's interest become more important to America than most other country's interests??

                        "So that's 10% for the big guy. Works out to around $30,000 a year extra for Fauci given I think he retired on a $300k pension. Except of course it's due to a Nixon law indexing increases to CPI."

                        And did this wonderment stop any OTHER president, Republican or Democrat, for taking responsibility for it?? Lovely strawman made up for now, but not for later, when politics in the White House changes hands.

                        "It's true that much of this stuff has been a long time coming, mainly the idea of printing free money somehow not being inflationary, and that 'Green' policies are anything other than insane."

                        Possibly. But come up with a better solution to Earth's constantly growing ecological problems, why don'tcha? Lots of WHINING about what [x] is doing, but never a better, workable solution from their own mouths. Also, never called out on that factoid.

                        "Fixing those problems takes time, money and political will. Something the loony left sadly lacks.

                        Oh boy is it true, the left sadly lacks political will. But one wonders if the authoritarianism of the right is really any better - history proves it is SO EASY to play tough guy, hard to actually get things working.

                        Loony?? Certainly, in some ways! But that's the right throwing stones at glass houses while they absolutely FAIL to get their own crazy house in order.

                        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                          Re: hmmm...

                          And I'd like to know through your replies, an answer to a question I asked TWO YEARS AGO on this very forum, is when did the right start kissing the ring, and the ass, of Putin as a friend? When did Russia's interest become more important to America than most other country's interests??

                          Who said they did? Ok, so Clinton blamed Putin for her losing the election. She lacks self-awareness and didn't realise her comments like 'basket of deplorables', or her generally condescending nature just rubbed voters the wrong way. And the Dems are still wheeling her out and propping her up on a stump. Despite countless 'investigations', there's still no real evidence of Russian interfererence in that election, or subsequently. There is plenty of evidence of the US and EU interfering in other country's elections. It's only really the Dems who seem fixated by felching. Most Republicans or conservatives probably see Putin as someone who should be treated with respect and some caution. He's not stupid, unlike some of our 'elites'-

                          https://www.politico.eu/article/vladimir-putin-inflation-crisis-christine-lagard-ecb/

                          "This energy crisis is causing massive inflation which we have to defeat," she said. "Anybody who is behaving in that way has to be driven by evil forces," said Lagarde of Putin, adding that the "sick" Russian president is a "terrifying person."

                          Discussing her previous meetings with the Russian leader, Lagarde described him as an "unbelievably super-briefed person" with “flashing, freezing eyes.”

                          Err.. Right. Ok, so Lagarde probably knows more about Adidas than she does economics, but.. aren't our leaders supposed to be well briefed? I think he possesses an intellect, which is something that terrifies a lot of our leaders. Especially if they've watched Putin doing one of his wide-ranging Q&A sessions without reading off an autocue. And Lagarde of course glosses over that boring little detail that the energy crisis is entirely self-inflicted due to the EU's insane 'Green' energy policy, and the sanctions it chose to impose against Russia.

                          Lagarde said the heightened inflation in Europe had "pretty much come about from nowhere."

                          No, it really did not. Plenty of economists and ordinary people warned it was an inevitable consequence of lunatics like Lagrande embracing this-

                          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_Monetary_Theory

                          Where if you read the lede, and have even the most basic grasp of economics or business, you'd spot the obvious problem with this theory, especially when combined with globalisation and other EU policy.

                          Lovely strawman made up for now, but not for later, when politics in the White House changes hands.

                          That'll be 2024. Maybe. But also one of the problems with politics. Kick the can down the road, hope someone else will come along and clean up the mess. But the Dems have been in power for 2 years now, and the problems have only got worse, and typically they look to blame someone else for their own incompetence.

                          Possibly. But come up with a better solution to Earth's constantly growing ecological problems, why don'tcha?

                          First, scope the problem. The world isn't melting as previously predicted. We know windmills are useless, if you want cheap, reliable power. Our ancestors learned that when we dumped 'renewables' the last time during the Industrial Revolution. There are however some immediate steps politicians could take, like a moratorium on any new subsidised 'renewables'. Then, apply a windfall tax because electricity generated by 'renewables' is unaffected by the cost of gas. Then licence fraccing in the UK, allow more oil/gas exploration and extraction and start building zero carbon nuclear just as fast as we can.

                          Loony?? Certainly, in some ways!

                          Many ways. One of the strangest was one of the trick questions that got asked at various confirmation hearings. Define a woman. Biologically, that's simple. Politically.. well, that's politics for you.

                  2. Charlie Clark Silver badge
                    Stop

                    Re: not a bad idea

                    Trump is a showman. One in a long line of showmen who've made it to high office in the US. Let's face it, in many countries a lot of people are more than willing to buy snake oil but only in a few countries does voting for it have a chance of winning the election.

                    The debt was growing under Trump (tax cuts and poor industrial policy). Biden's post-pandemic spending plan was excessive and has contributed directly both to the national debt and inflation. But at least some things are getting built that have been waiting for years.

                    America is a great country but decades of underinvestment, particularly in education, coupled with investment policy that favours capital (Silicon Valley and the rest) have led to skill shortages in industry and a lack of willingness to invest in it.

                    As for "ordinary" Americans, there are millions of them and they're all different.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: not a bad idea

                      "America is a great country but decades of underinvestment, particularly in education"

                      Isn't the US one of the highest spenders per child on education in the world? And some of the areas which spend the most per child are some of the worst?

                      There are situations where more money does not mean better results. And it may be worth looking at where the money is going if it isn't getting results.

                      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

                        Re: not a bad idea

                        More investment doesn't necessarily mean more money. It's often how you spend it that matters most. Like healthcare, the top 10% of the population have great chances but the same isn't true for the other 90%.

                        1. Anonymous Coward
                          Anonymous Coward

                          Re: not a bad idea

                          First place to stop spending it is on funding the teachers unions and the mega corps who supply the awful pre-made school meals. Them buy some red pens and tell teachers they can fail students again.

                          1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

                            Re: not a bad idea

                            Yeah, simple, stupid ideas are always great…

                            Unions in America are a mess, and the teachers' unions are possibly the worst, but that doesn't mean that the system isn't a mess as well. PISA scores in America are abysmal and literacy is below G7 average. Somehow, I don't think teaching creationism is going to help.

          2. chivo243 Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: cesspit

            Mos Eisley reference gets you a +1 and a virtual pint!

        3. Def Silver badge

          Re: Good.

          I'm not a bot...

          Said the anonymous coward.

          If you were a bot, of course, that's exactly what you would say.

      2. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
        Alien

        Re: Good.

        Based on the observed bot ratio here, it's more likely the bots who upvoted you.

        I'm rooting for the death of Twitter for multiple reasons:

        1. Twitter and its ilk have undermined public discourse in ways amply documented in El Reg and elsewhere.

        2. By removing billions of dollars of "wealth" from the economic system via Twitter's stock crashing, perhaps inflation will decrease.

        3. Schadenfreude.

        1. chivo243 Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Good.

          Ah yes! I must have a downvoting bot... every once in a while, I get a downvote and I can't fathom why. Now I know! Waiting for that downvote now!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Only problem is

      If Twitter goes, people will use Facebook instead, which is even worse

  2. Loyal Commenter

    ...Musk said he believed that "advertising, when done right, can delight, entertain and inform..."

    Well I guess I must never have seen any advertising done right then, because it rarely informs, unless you consider "brand awareness" as information, isn't often entertaining, instead sitting somewhere on the spectrum of irritating to intrusive, and if he thinks anyone is ever delighted to see an advert, I'd like some of those happy pills his doctor is prescribing him, please.

    1. Tim 11

      There's an implicit but very strong assumption in the article that what's good for advertisers is by definition good for society.

      1. Loyal Commenter

        ...which just goes to show that if you take enough coke, you can convince yourself that your extreme lack of self-awareness is normal and right, and nobody else matters.

        Meanwhile, the advertising industry is staring to look more and more like a ponzi scheme, where if you just throw enough money at more and more advertising in more and more forms, the economy will grow as a result, without there having to be any cause and effect.

    2. that one in the corner Silver badge

      anyone is ever delighted to see an advert

      Well, we don't skip over those old Meerkat-based ads when watching DVR recordings, because they were quite delightful.

      Or a Cadbury's Flake ad (maybe not the one with the gecko!).

      Simples.

  3. DS999 Silver badge

    No doubt

    Fox News will be quick to blame the left for "canceling" Musk and Twitter. They are all for capitalism except when capitalists vote with their feet and decide not be associated with the white nationalists and other lowlifes Trump welcomed into the republican party. Then it is all a bunch of sobbing over cancel culture and "woke ideology"!

    I hope Musk unbans everyone, and all the advertisers except for the pillow guy run for the hills. It will be funny if his $44 billion purchase ends up worth $44 million which is the ballpark of what Kanye was rumored to pay for Parler.

    1. Snake Silver badge

      Re: No doubt

      Did you really get a downvote, and does that downvoter actually believe that he has a foot to stand on??!!

      Look at Dave Ramsey: pre-Covid his advice was to think about your own career and do what you have to, including leaving for a new position, if that means actually making ends meet. It was all your fault for not being proactive enough in your life if your financial conditions are poor.

      Post-Covid? How DARE you not return back to your [previous] job, now that they expect you to!! Work from home?? SLACKER! EXCUSE-MAKER! Do what you're told!! Get back to the office as you are COMMANDED!

      "I'm for Christian values". "If you can't pay [my] market rates for rent, then you need to leave!"

      They have cornered the market on both hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance.

    2. Evil Scot
      Pint

      It is all for the greater good.

      Advertisers are likely to drive a hard bargain.

      Pint waiting at the pub outside a Quaker town.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No doubt

      Anyone who downvotes this without explaining why is clearly mentally ill.

  4. SimonL

    Respected?!?!

    "Twitter aspires to be the most respected advertising platform in the world that strengthens your brand and grows your enterprise"

    Methinks television and radio is a teeny weeny bit higher up the respected list......

    I don't use Twitter but have an account to see what the fuss is about. Last time I logged in, in the first 35 tweets or so, about 4 were from accounts I follow.

    Yeah, f****n' dreadful platform that force feeds you cr@p you didn't ask for and keeps you away from what you might actually want to see, like, for example, the accounts you follow!

    1. Loyal Commenter

      Re: Respected?!?!

      Yeah, Facebook does this as well, in favour of "sponsored posts". It used to be that ads were distinct and you could easily ignore them, now they make them look like legitimate posts. They know exactly how deceptive they can be before people walk away. I doubt Musk does though, and that will cost him.

      1. DiViDeD

        Re: Respected?!?!

        Are FB still doing their 'fake posts from people in your friends list' thing?

    2. Snake Silver badge

      Re: Television, respected?!?!

      For me, TV rates close to the toilet in terms of "respect" - both are filled with crap.

    3. Andy Non
      FAIL

      Re: Respected?!?!

      I got locked out of Twitter the other day around 30 minutes after creating an account with a full screen message that there was "unusual activity on my account" and it demanded my mobile number to unlock the account. Nope, you're not having it, I don't trust you. Out of curiosity I created another couple of Twitter accounts over the following days with a fresh IP address, email address and entirely different profile and interests. Didn't even tweet, just followed a few folks and read their posts. After around 30 minutes or so the same thing. Locked out of the account due to "unusual activity on my account". As my actions could not in any way be construed as unusual activity I can only assume they want to harvest my mobile phone number and use this message as a ploy to get that information. Won't be creating a fourth account. As others have commented, the timeline / feed was 90% spam anyway. If they treat all new users this way, Twitter is destined to become obsolete.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Respected?!?!

        a real person creating and account... that's 'unusual activity'!

      2. Def Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Respected?!?!

        The "unusual activity" was you didn't tweet a comparison between the colour of your post-breakfast shit and your favourite Teletubby that morning.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Elon's Twitter is going just great

    Elon's Twitter is going just great and this is definitely not schadenfreude about someone who paid $44B for a company worth half that because he understands far less about the world than he thinks he does.

  6. Len
    Unhappy

    Meanwhile Mastodon is suffering

    Mastodon server operators say they've never seen anything like this as they get more new users in a day than normally in a month due to the great #TwitterMigration.

    I have noticed that one of my Masto accounts is currently unbearably slow because the server operator can't get new servers provisioned quick enough. I've seen some of these spikes earlier but never as high as this and never as long, it's been madness non-stop since Friday. Elon's not only ruining Twitter, he's also ruining Masto.

    1. My-Handle Silver badge

      Re: Meanwhile Mastodon is suffering

      Sorry, you're saying an alternative and preferred service is being "ruined" by having a sudden influx of new customers?

      I mean, yes it's a high pressure situation. But I don't know many business owners who would complain at a situation like that.

      1. Len

        Re: Meanwhile Mastodon is suffering

        Mastodon is non-profit so the benefits of just a lot of extra traffic are not as clear cut. It massively increases costs (this server operator had to swap his 8-core database server for an 36-core one) but but not necessarily income to cover those costs, if they're lucky the lag in increased income following on from these increased costs is not too big.

        But yes, there are also positives to the extra attention of course. Especially if this broadens out the base of users beyond the usual suspects of early-adopters-with-a-tech-background.

  7. iron Silver badge

    > more than 50,000 Tweets repeatedly using a particular slur came from just 300 accounts

    Or at least 160 tweets per account on average, in 48 hours. You're not telling me anyone sent those manually so when will Musk get rid of the racist bots on Twitter?

    1. Loyal Commenter

      You spelt "boss" wrong...

  8. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    "No, Elon and Jack are not “competitors.” They’re collaborating."

    Interesting viewpoint here.

    While Musk buys Twitter to take it private and get rid of those pesky woke shareholders who demand certain standards are upheld, Dorsy works on Bluesky which will be a sort of federated Twitter where it'll be difficult to ban anyone. The reasons given for their wanting to do this are... interesting... and it's also why they're pally with Putin.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "No, Elon and Jack are not “competitors.” They’re collaborating."

      Jesus, that is a fascinating, and scary, read.

    2. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

      Re: "No, Elon and Jack are not “competitors.” They’re collaborating."

      If I’m honest that mostly sounds like nonsense. His conclusion is that Musk wants to “kill off the dollar and help Putin usher in a multipolar world”. I think Musk a tosspot, but that is a major leap. Don’t buy it.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: "No, Elon and Jack are not “competitors.” They’re collaborating."

        I don't buy that they're working together, but I do buy that they might want the same thing for different reasons.

  9. Howard Sway Silver badge

    international ad giant Interpublic Group advised an ad freeze

    Tomorrows headline : Musk announces $32 billion takeover bid for international ad giant Interpublic Group.

  10. Richard 12 Silver badge

    Cash reserves?

    How long can Twitter bleed money?

    It's apparently never made a profit, so now that it's private and can't just sell more shares to cover day to day expenses, and now has many billions more debt thanks to the way it was taken private...

    How much is in the kitty, and how many months can it lose money before insolvency?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    L’Oréal suspends advertising spending on Twitter

    Financial Times: "L’Oréal suspends advertising spending on Twitter. Some brands are ‘quiet quitting’ messaging platform after $44bn Elon Musk takeover"

    And so it begins, the journey to having as much advertising as Parler.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Because…

    …Twatter *was* in safe hands before, right?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Because…

      Up until now, Twitter had been owned by the regular group of investors who own much of silicon valley and only cared about getting their money back and then making a profit off it. Whatever got them there, fine, whether it was letting harassment run wild or banning figures when they become unpopular with consumers.

      For better or worse, at least now the issue of protecting *both* people and discourse while still making money, is on the table.

      Personally I never used Twitter and I don't intend to, but I haven't seen anything that would justify all the vitriol around this. As for Musk's pronouncements, I would suggest getting them from the horse's mouth. Here's not exactly a reserved person: there are dozens of recent interviews on YouTube or you can read his own Twitter posts via a proxy such as nitter.net/elonmusk. Obvious trolling aside ("let that sink in!) I haven't yet seen him say anything outrageous. Especially when compared to the current brand of politicians.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I haven't yet seen him say anything outrageous

        So suggesting Pelosi's husband's attacker was a rent boy wasn't outrageous?

        Calling that cave rescuer a "Pedo guy" wasn't outrageous.

        Suggesting Ukraine just give Russia some land wasn't outrageous.

        FFS

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I haven't yet seen him say anything outrageous

          Bit off topic as none of these relate to the Twitter takeover, but…

          > So suggesting Pelosi's husband's attacker was a rent boy wasn't outrageous?

          I assume you're referring to this? https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2022/10/30/elon-musk-tweets-unfounded-claims-about-paul-pelosi-attack/

          Honestly, it's the intentionality that you (and others) subjectively attribute. As reported, the comment just says not to jump to conclusions before facts are known, which is what any open minded person should do. I feel it's a bit insensitive, assuming it was known at the time that someone had been hurt, but I wouldn't attribute bad faith.

          Conversely, if the algorithms that decide which posts you get to see were more transparent (as he has proposed) and better at identifying content reliability, to the extent that that is possible, perhaps the quoted article would not have been noticed in the first place? (Not an excuse, mind)

          > Calling that cave rescuer a "Pedo guy" wasn't outrageous.

          Yes, that was, and he was rightly taken to task. That is indeed the sort of behaviour that I would like to see penalised online (and offline, obviously). But he was quite able to post that on the old Twatter, wasn't he? Why was that acceptable before? And will that continue to be acceptable? Those are the questions to be asking.

          > Suggesting Ukraine just give Russia some land wasn't outrageous.

          He didn't suggest that. He suggested to let the residents of the areas concerned decide in a free and fair referendum supervised by the UN, as has been done in the past, for instance in the Saarland and Timor Leste or proposed but never implemented (because US interests) in Western Sahara. What is outrageous is that we're not promoting peace, instead we've turned young Ukrainians into mercenaries in their own land (unlike you, I'm familiar with and have friends in Ukraine).

          Perhaps I'm much too tolerant but I don't see malice in those comments, even though I wouldn't have made the first two.

          Anyway, I thank you for sharing your disagreement and I respect it.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Because…

        Wasn't a Saudi prince a MAJOR twitter shareholder?

        https://finance.yahoo.com/news/saudi-prince-major-twitter-shareholder-171929382.html

        1. Freezus

          Re: Because…

          The Kingdom Holding Company / Prince Al Waleed Talal / the Saudi state maintained their holding and are still the second largest shareholders behind Musk

          https://nitter.net/Alwaleed_Talal/status/1585975226567110656#m

          1. Loyal Commenter

            Re: Because…

            Well at least there's a silver lining that the Saudi Royal Family are set to lose some money from Musk being a twat as well.

  13. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    The Emperor has no clothes

    The Twitter has no advertisers

    It couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy!

    1. Lon24 Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: The Emperor has no clothes

      This just might make it more usable!

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: The Emperor has no clothes

      While I appreciate the sentiment, I also don't doubt that there are plenty of companies happy to advertise on whichever medium they can reach their audience with. Fox News, the Daily Mail, etc. demonstrate that there's quite a market out there. I just wish the media would pay less attention to Twitter. They claim it's a way to gauge public opinion, but it was largely captured by a bunch of wankers years ago.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm committed to winning the lottery, Musk, but that doesn't mean it is going to happen. Saying you're "committed" is just making the air vibrate; so far your actions have been lacking, as expected.

  15. sabroni Silver badge

    speedrunning the content moderation curve

    techdirt have a recent post that is relevant: Hey Elon: Let Me Help You Speed Run The Content Moderation Learning Curve

  16. Mockup1974

    Sad to see that Elon has already backtracked from his promises of free speech on Twitter. Won't somebody think of the poor advertisers?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Big brands urged to pause Twitter ads"

    there was the old adage about wasting half of your advertising budget but not knowing which half... now you know which half!

  18. JpChen
    Mushroom

    Hopefully Musk will do for Twitter what Murdoch did for MySpace

    1. chivo243 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      I give you an upvote, but consider what myspaces' demise opened the door to? IG FB TT. WTF?? These social networks are like crime gangs... One goes down, two pop up...

  19. Jedit Silver badge
    FAIL

    "Havas Media Group – which has handled advertising for companies like Adidas, Puma, and Hugo Boss"

    Good grief. How bad do you have to be at social media engagement that you throw open the doors for the Nazis and even companies founded by fervent Nazis [1] say "Nah, we're not going to that cesspit"?

    [1] Hugo Boss designed and manufactured the Wehrmacht uniforms in World War 2 while Adi Daschler and his brother Rudolf, who founded Puma, joined the NSDAP in 1924, long before it became compulsory or even advisable.

  20. Slx

    Platforms rise and platforms fall. It’s very easy to think that yours is going to be the exception to that.

    Twitter has been on the slide for a long while as it just fills up with more and more extreme views.

    It’s a bit like a once edge bar that became popular and then started turning nasty and eventually it will just be two football hooligans shouting abuse at each other, while the clientele have all moved on to the next edgy venue.

    Twitter right now is on the cusp of becoming too toxic and too nasty for a growing number of people and you can already see them disengaging.

    It’s great for breaking and developing news stories, for now, but that could change too.

    All he’s doing seems be likely to amplify all the factors that are making the place unpleasant to interact with.

    My view is it is Twitter is past the point of no return. It’s a hellish mess and I can’t really see being cleaned up or made friendly again.

    Also, I don’t understand how Twitter would before the “X app” that does everything.

    1. It’s Twitter. It’s a bit niche as a user base and gets more media attention than its size, because it’s where journalists hang out. So its consumer relevance is vastly over estimated by many.

    2. Why would people want to bolt their lives onto a pretty edgy and vile social media app? It’s the last thing in the world I would want to use as the basis for anything other than tweeting.

    3. The comparisons with WeChat in China as a model for an X app are just ludicrous.

    The western world doesn’t have extreme regulation that’s corralling people towards single apps. Quite the opposite in fact - US, EU an others have powerful anti trust legislation and a culture that is about preventing monopolies from forming and aggressively pro competitive and pro consumer philosophies.

    There’s also a long established, perhaps not as technologically flashy, but very competent payment network that’s built around extending the functionality of utterly ubiquitous credit and debit cards that have been around many decades. China built from new much later, so payment apps are much more of a feature. There’s no way that some Twitter extension is going to suddenly become a serious payment platform.

    4. There are very competent competitors that are way more advanced, notably Google and Apple that have extensive and growing ecosystems.

    I just don’t get this Twitter purchase at all. It seems like a huge waste of billions, although I suppose in reality it’s just a load of credit anyway. It’s not real money.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Credit is where inflation comes from, as it creates money until the debt is repaid.

      So bad debts allow the money to stay in existence forever.

      Bugger.

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