back to article Elon Musk issues ultimatum to Twitter staff: Go hardcore or go home

Following a public engineering spat and multiple firings, Twitter CEO Elon Musk has issued an ultimatum to his employees: get hardcore or get out of my way. It turns out he was not talking about punk rock, or road construction, but the vision of a new Twitter, the 2.0 iteration of the pioneering social media platform he was …

  1. Scotthva5

    Easy choice Elon

    In essence you're asking your few remaining employees to work 3 times longer for the same pay or be fired. That's an easy choice to make, for me at least.

    1. Snake Silver badge

      Re: Easy choice Elon

      Darn straight. Musk's 'ultimatum' is essentially:

      "Work harder, for free with no additional pay, so as to enable & justify *my* costs and the necessity *for me* to recoup my costs to the point that I eventually grow richer thanks to this acquisition.

      You? You'll sacrifice for my benefit or leave."

      Therefore, the answer from anyone with a pulse should be:

      "Thank you, I'll leave now with your severance. Good luck, you'll be needing it."

      1. keithpeter Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: Easy choice Elon

        I understand and sympathise with the spirit of these posts.

        Edit: others have spoken about the visa situation for some staff so I have deleted the bulk of this comment.

        I have to say the dialogue quoted in the original article with Mr Booch was hilarious

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Easy choice Elon

          That's one way to get a staff profile with a higher percentage of H1Bs than is normally allowed. Is that allowed?

          1. spuck

            Re: Easy choice Elon

            Another thought on the H1B visa issue, assuming that they really do have a large number of H1B holders (of which I have no idea): To sponsor these visas, an employer must "justify the exclusive need for this foreign worker/visa holder and prove that the task cannot be accomplished by a local citizen who may either be unavailable or not qualified, either academically or professionally."

            If I were wanting to raise a fuss I would point at a massive layoff of qualified staff as being amble proof that such a need doesn't exist at Twitter.

      2. Benegesserict Cumbersomberbatch

        Re: Easy choice Elon

        Musk bought Twitter.

        Musk fired half of Twitter's employees.

        Musk delivered an ultimatum to the remaining half to sign up to indefinite servitude, quit if you don't like it.

        Attrition from exhaustion / disgust / insanity digests Musk's version from the inside.

        Fired employees start their own Twitter-equivalent, taking on those who reject the Musk-flavoured alternate reality.

        This is Theseus' Ship, isn't it?

        1. Annihilator

          Re: Easy choice Elon

          I'm pretty sure that he's just trying to (temporarily and without any thought as to how sustainable it is) reduce operating costs, increase profits, and ultimately take it public again (this time saddled with the debt he used to buy it) and hype it to make more than he bought it for. It's basically the world's biggest flip project, and he'll probably destroy Twitter on the way.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: and he'll probably destroy Twitter on the way

            Oh no!

            1. Jesthar

              Re: and he'll probably destroy Twitter on the way

              Am I the only one to have heard that original Lemmings style?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: and he'll probably destroy Twitter on the way

                I heard it in the voice of the gay guy from family guy.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: and he'll probably destroy Twitter on the way

              I know!

          2. Stork Silver badge

            Re: Easy choice Elon

            Sounds like urinating in your trousers to keep warm.

            1. Annihilator

              Re: Easy choice Elon

              Ha, yep spot on, but with the intent of timing it right and selling your trousers while they're still warm to an unsuspecting chump who have fallen for the trending increase in warmth and predict it will only get warmer.

          3. Red Ted
            FAIL

            Re: Easy choice Elon

            take it public again (this time saddled with the debt he used to buy it)

            This is the common issue with taking a company private. The sequence seems to go something like this:

            1. Buy the company with a large loan to finance it.

            2. Remove non-revenue parts of the business (typically the new product/feature development)

            3. For a while the company has less costs but the same income so makes a greater profit

            4. Float the company again with the "new improved" profits.

            5. The public company is saddled with the repayment of the debt raised to take it private

            6. The lack of new products/features (because new product/feature development stopped some time ago) means the income declines over time until the company can't afford to repay loan, and declares bankruptcy.

    2. AndrueC Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Easy choice Elon

      Dilbert.

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Easy choice Elon

      Not an easy choice for those on H1B visas.

      And let's see what outragous conditions those who leave have to sign up to and if he actually pays them without going to court first.

      Also, Musk is still a dick.

      1. nintendoeats Silver badge

        Re: Easy choice Elon

        The guy on the left looks like he is already regretting his life decision.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Easy choice Elon

          Maybe he's playing 4D chess and is going to leave again tomorrow with another three months pay.

    4. Steve Button Silver badge

      Re: Easy choice Elon

      I've given up defending the guy. I used to be hopeful that he would allow free speech on the platform and not suppress voices which go against "the narrative", even though he's a bit of knob. (a lot actually).

      Now it seems he deserves to fail, as he expects everyone to work as hard as he does (but without getting the monies).

      I really hope the next person is hot on free speech (that doesn't mean consequence free / hate speech) and we can be allowed to have an open and honest debate about certain things (mostly things since 2020) on a large enough platform.

      I won't be holding my breath though, and I suppose many will simply move to Parler / Gettr / Mastodon / Rumble, and will end up in their own smaller filter bubbles, which will make discussions a much more pointless exercise.

      Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

      1. HereIAmJH

        Re: Easy choice Elon

        as he expects everyone to work as hard as he does

        Some things to keep in mind; the hours he spends at the office are HIS choice. He can plan ahead for it. He has complete control over expectations. He has assistants to get his meals, bring him clean clothes. If he needs to shower the company will get him a nearby hotel room and an executive car to drive him there and back.

        When he spends the afternoon on Twitter trolling people, or playing Kerbal Space Program, he is 'working'.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Easy choice Elon

        "not suppress voices which go against "the narrative",

        You're seriously saying that with a serious face on, aren't you?

        A incorrect analysis from the facts is not 'against the narrative', it's just incorrect. Whether that's on evolution, UFOs, deep state conspiracies, effectiveness of vaccines....

        1. Tom Paine

          Re: Easy choice Elon

          Correct, but those aren't the people getting kicked off. Instead, out-and-out Nazis are being welcomed back.

        2. Boork!

          Re: Easy choice Elon

          That does not follow. If there is indeed a 'narrative,' or official version of reality, then the mere that a belief that contradicts this narrative is untrue does not exclude it from being 'against the narrative.' Added to this, there have been plenty of cases where the 'narrative' was false and the 'fringe' belief was actually true. The only way to eliminate error is through rational discussion. That requires a stance of fallibilism in regard to your own belief system. You can't just say "my belief is reality, and anyone who disagrees must be silenced because they are insane or evil!'

          This is essentially the justification for free speech argued by John Stuart Mill, who warned about the dangers of groupthink and mob prejudice.

        3. Steve Button Silver badge

          Re: Easy choice Elon

          "The narrative" I'm talking about are :-

          That lockdowns were a wholly good thing,

          The virus came from a wet market and not a lab leak.

          The non Covid excess deaths we're seeing right now are caused by climate change, and not by the hangover from lockdown combined with vaccine damage.

          If you disagreed with the first two in 2020 you would get your account suspended on many platforms, or just get your post taken down. The last one seems to be what is being peddled right now.

          I would just like to be allowed to discuss these things openly.

          1. Mooseman Silver badge

            Re: Easy choice Elon

            "That lockdowns were a wholly good thing,

            The virus came from a wet market and not a lab leak.

            The non Covid excess deaths we're seeing right now are caused by climate change, and not by the hangover from lockdown combined with vaccine damage."

            OK I see the basic issue you have with "the narrative" - you believe that the worlds' scientists all colluded on a fake virus to keep us all locked down because.....?

            Lockdowns were there to limit the spread of a highly contagious and relatively dangerous virus FOR WHICH THERE WAS NO CURE. No doubt you said the same rubbish about masks. What "vaccine damage"? A tiny number of people have had a serious reaction to the various vaccines. Millions died of covid. But vaccine damage....right

            Oh and climate change denial? Cool. What about 5g? Come on there's a whole raft of crackpot conspiracy theories you haven't mentioned yet.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Easy choice Elon

              It was all part of a plan to take down the orange man and to make themselves richer. Just look at how the dems behaved early on in 2020. Blocking people from China was racist, come to chinatown as it is perfectly safe, go to mardi gras as it is safe. Once the virus was well established they changed tune to 'wahhh... this is Trumps fault'.

              1. Blank Reg Silver badge

                Re: Easy choice Elon

                The orange man needs no help to take himself down. He can do that just fine with his colossal stupidity and ignorance

            2. Steve Button Silver badge

              Re: Easy choice Elon

              Wow you are making some pretty amazing mental leaps with what you think is going on in my mind.

              I don't think the world's scientists all colluded. Many thousands of them put forward the idea that we should use focused protection, and the damage caused by lockdowns is going to be at least as bad as the harm reduction. This is proving to be true, surely you can see that now? Those scientists were shouted down and smeared. You do realise the "cost of living" crisis is largely "cost of lockdown", or perhaps you think China's zero covid approach is the way to go, because that's really not working out so well. The problem with lockdowns is they cause lots of smaller problems, compared to a disease which is one big problem so it's had to compare them.

              No I don't believe masks do very much to stop an airbourne virus, and if they did Scotland would have had a much better time of it when they carried on enforcing them when England stopped (and most people pretty quickly stopped wearing them). I do believe that Covid was a dangerous disease for some, although with Omicron not so much. However for most people under a certain age it was never really that dangerous.

              "Lockdowns were there to limit the spread"... but they really didn't make that much difference. You know which country has the lowest excess mortality in the West in the last couple of years? It's Sweden. Let that sink in.

              Who said anything about climate change denying? I'm simply saying it's not likely as an explanation for the current excess deaths we're seeing right now. More people die from being cold than from heat.

              I don't have a problem with 5G, or with the earth being spherical.

              Regarding vaccine damage, I was told it was "safe and effective", and so I took two shots. Since then the AZ one I took has been withdrawn quietly because of the risk of blood clots. You don't think it's been withdrawn? Try getting an AZ shot now, you can't. So, it's not "safe". It's also not very effective, as it seems to wear off after a few months. I feel like I've been mis sold. I also know several people who suffered pretty nasty side effects in my immediate close family (wife, father-in-law) and friends, so it does feel like the effects are being down played. Why would they do that though? Because money. Lots and lots of money.

              You seem to trust the government and the media, but you realise they lied to us in the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s? If you don't realise this, you really have not been paying attention to history. If you think they aren't lying to us now, you are pretty naive.

              1. ChrisC Silver badge

                Re: Easy choice Elon

                "This is proving to be true, surely you can see that now?"

                With the benefit of hindsight and time to mull over the historical evidence, anyone with a functioning brain can see what ought to have been done. To formulate a national Covid response, to pick last weeks lottery numbers, to decide to say yes when that girl you like asks you in for a coffee and you say no because you're young and naive enough to think they actually are just asking you in for a coffee and you aren't particularly thirsty...

                Not *quite* so easy to get it right when you're staring down the barrel in realtime wondering WTF to do next, and definitely not at all easy to know at the time which experts had managed to predict the least worst course of action to take, so I don't think it's particularly fair or reasonable to castigate governments who opted for different courses of action, at least not in those early days.

                Anyone who *continues* to adopt a policy which is clearly at odds with reality (yes, China, we're all looking at you right now) is entirely fair game for criticism, however...

                "Regarding vaccine damage, I was told it was "safe and effective", and so I took two shots. Since then the AZ one I took has been withdrawn quietly because of the risk of blood clots. You don't think it's been withdrawn? Try getting an AZ shot now, you can't. So, it's not "safe". It's also not very effective, as it seems to wear off after a few months. I feel like I've been mis sold. I also know several people who suffered pretty nasty side effects in my immediate close family (wife, father-in-law) and friends, so it does feel like the effects are being down played. Why would they do that though? Because money. Lots and lots of money."

                In contrast, no-one I know, including myself, suffered anything more than the expected side effects from our AZ shots, so it does feel like the effects are being reported entirely reasonably to me. And according to the NHS website, it remains approved for use in the UK, so how certain are you that it's actually been *withdrawn* (a quite specific action with certain negative connotations) as opposed to merely being no longer offered due to the availability of more effective alternatives that've come along since?

                As for "safe and effective" in general when applied to drugs - when was the last time you read the patient information leaflet for *any* medicine you've taken? If you think the more damaging side-effects of the AZ vaccine (particularly given the rate at which they occurred) means that calling it "safe and effective" is misleading, then which drugs currently on the market *would* you apply that description to?

                1. 43300 Bronze badge

                  Re: Easy choice Elon

                  "Not *quite* so easy to get it right when you're staring down the barrel in realtime wondering WTF to do next, and definitely not at all easy to know at the time which experts had managed to predict the least worst course of action to take, so I don't think it's particularly fair or reasonable to castigate governments who opted for different courses of action, at least not in those early days."

                  Governments pretty much all had pandemic plans, written with the benefit of many years' experience. In March 2020 most of them did the opposite to what those plans stipulated - for example, face nappies and lockdowns were not recommended in most plans as they were known to be ineffective and cause massive damage. Two and a half years on, the startistics show that they were ineffective and the massive damage (economic issues being a major one) are becoming increasingly obvious.

                  1. Mooseman Silver badge

                    Re: Easy choice Elon

                    "Governments pretty much all had pandemic plans, written with the benefit of many years' experience. In March 2020 most of them did the opposite to what those plans stipulated - for example, face nappies and lockdowns were not recommended in most plans as they were known to be ineffective and cause massive damage. Two and a half years on, the startistics show that they were ineffective and the massive damage (economic issues being a major one) are becoming increasingly obvious."

                    Er, no. The UK government had no such plans - Exercise Cygnus in 2016 highlighted the need for planning (in the case of Cygnus against a flu epidemic, covid was unknown), which the government happily ignored.

                    Face nappies? Is that really the level of your intellect? Masks were not designed to keep you personally safe, as the virus can happily enter via your eyes as easily as your mouth and nose, but to limit the spread of the virus by you. If everyone wore the, the spread was limited.

                    What massive damage did masks cause? Lockdowns were damaging, yes - at the peak of covid the mortality rate was around 2%, without lockdowns we would have been looking at more than a million deaths in the UK alone. Still, that's ok as long as you're fine, eh?

                    Masks were not recommended in the early stages by WHO because (and you can look this up for yourself if you like) they were not likely to be used correctly and create a false sense safety, meaning people would forget basic things like hand washing etc, not because they were "damaging".

                    I'm still astonished by the levels of utter idiocy displayed here.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Easy choice Elon

                      "without lockdowns we would have been looking at more than a million deaths in the UK alone"

                      Speculation based on what SAGE have since admitted to be deliberately and incredibly pessimistic models as the govt wanted the results to show lockdowns were needed.

                      "What massive damage did masks cause?"

                      Children's development especially in speech and general language seriously impacted? Children now mortally scared of people without masks after being told for 2 years that the sky is falling and that they will kill granny if they don't wear their face nappy and now suffering from even more depression and anxiety than their social media centred lives already cause?

                      Adults are able (mostly) to understand risk. Is it safe to cross the road at this place and time? Is this ladder safe to climb up? Kids have to learn it from us. And we have taught them that we are irrationally afraid of something because the TV says so.

                      1. Mooseman Silver badge

                        Re: Easy choice Elon

                        "Children's development especially in speech and general language seriously impacted? Children now mortally scared of people without masks after being told for 2 years that the sky is falling and that they will kill granny if they don't wear their face nappy and now suffering from even more depression and anxiety than their social media centred lives already cause?"

                        And you have citations for this drivel I assume? No? Colour me shocked....

                        I work in schools. No children are terrified of people without masks. Sorry, "face nappy". I assume you have no idea what the point of masks is, and like all the rest of the half educated you just pick up the most ridiculous conspiracy nonsense and run with it.

                        1. Anonymous Coward
                          Anonymous Coward

                          Re: Easy choice Elon

                          https://www.bbc.com/news/education-63373804

                          https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/17/well/family/teenage-student-mask-anxiety.html

                          https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/study-shows-how-masks-are-harming-children/

                          https://nypost.com/2020/10/07/teen-arrested-after-not-wearing-mask-while-having-panic-attack-report/

                          https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/feb/27/doctors-fear-new-child-mental-health-crisis-in-uk-made-worse-by-covid

                          https://www.rush.edu/news/managing-no-mask-anxiety

                      2. Mooseman Silver badge

                        Re: Easy choice Elon

                        "Speculation based on what SAGE have since admitted to be deliberately and incredibly pessimistic "

                        Nope. Nice try though. This figure was based on the number of people with covid actually dying from it at the time.

                        Your evidence for them admitting it was deliberately false is.....?

                    2. 43300 Bronze badge

                      Re: Easy choice Elon

                      "I'm still astonished by the levels of utter idiocy displayed here."

                      This is the trouble debating with Covidians - they just resort to petty abuse.

                      As regards pandemic plans - see here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/213717/dh_131040.pdf

                      Yes, it's for influenza but in terms of practical responses this is little different to a virus which is similar in its impacts and outcomes.

                      The word 'Lockdown' does not appear anywhere in the document, and it also includes this: "Although there is a perception that the wearing of facemasks by the public in the community and household setting may be beneficial, there is in fact very little evidence of widespread benefit from their use in this setting."

                      Operation Cygnus may have identified some changes which could be made (so far as I am aware its full outcome has never been made public, only some summaries) but it did not recommend a complete reversal of existing pandemic plans.

                      Parliament is of course now trying to re-write history to cover up having done the reverse of existing plans, e.g.:

                      https://committees.parliament.uk/work/1664/government-preparedness-for-the-covid19-pandemic-lessons-for-government-on-risk/

                      If you read this is doesn't actually say that the government was completely unprepared to implement the existing pandemic plan - it says that they weren't prepared for the responses which they actually took in 2020, e.g.

                      "For example, Government lacked detailed plans on shielding, employment support schemes and managing the disruption to schooling."

                      Well, why would they have prepared for this given that these measures were only ever envsaged as being small-scale, if at all. There had never been any question of applying them across all or a large part of the population so naturally they hadn't prepared for them - why would they?

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: Easy choice Elon

                        "This is the trouble debating with Covidians - they just resort to petty abuse."

                        It is a common defence mechanism from certain ideological groups. They have no factual basis for their worldview so cannot successfully debate their point, it is all done on 'the feels'.

                        We've had SARS1, Swine flu and numerous other large scale cases of highly transmissible respiratory infections over the last 2-3 decades so you'd hope that they would learn a bit each time. Bojo was under immense pressure to 'do something' while SAGE people went on the TV repeat the same old 'the sky is falling' lines. Everyone except Sweden was locking down so it was the easier decision to make. Follow the herd or commit political suicide, especially as his best mate had locked down the US.

                        We will never know the true impact on direct covid related deaths. Ignoring the 'died within 30 days of a +ve test' count. The average age of death was pretty much on par with the life expectancy in this country. The Nightingale hospitals were an utter waste of time, money and effort as was track and trace.

                2. Steve Button Silver badge

                  Re: Easy choice Elon

                  Many of us were saying what a terrible idea these lockdowns were after the first few weeks, because it was pretty obvious what the collateral damage would be. Only Sweden seemed to stick with what I would call a sensible policy (focused protection and encourage people to stay apart) without shutting down everything. I can see that this would have been a very difficult sell, but I think that was largely due to the fact that anyone who argued against it was pretty much suppressed. This was a deliberate move by the likes of Fauci, who wanted to quash the idea of the Great Barrington Declaration. He was asking social media companies why certain people are still allowed on there. This is the whole thing against free speech.

                  OECD data including Sweden.

                  https://stats.oecd.org/index.aspx?queryid=104676

                  Perhaps it would have been more obvious to more people, if it was allowed to be discussed openly. Big tech companies were deliberately suppressing it. If you searched for "great barrington declaration" on Google you would first be offered several sites critical of the idea before the actual site. This is deliberate manipulation of search results. Perhaps if more voices were allowed to question "the narrative", then the BBC and The Guardian would not have been such proponents of lockdown, as public opinion would probably have shifted.

                  Perhaps we could have avoided the 2nd and 3rd lockdowns at that point, when it was really really obvious to some that it was such a monumentously bad idea.

                  And don't forget The Guardian and the BBC were calling for a 4th lockdown last Christmas, and Boris (remember him?) resisted and we were pretty much fine (or the wave was probably no worse than it would have otherwise been). However some prominent scientists were screaming for another lockdown, and saying how irresponsible we were being, and things like "blood on your hands".

                  I think some (America?) are STILL clinging to this narrative, and are masking children and insisting that foreign visitors have to be vaccinated. This is patently crazy. Perhaps they don't realise that much of the West have moved on.

                  Regarding vaccine damage, I'm not just going by my personal knowledge, but the number of VAERS and Yellow Card reports (which is widely recognised as being historically hugely underreported by 10x - 100x). Perhaps the excess deaths we're seeing right now are something else? It's worth investigating. Could be cancer / suicide / alcohol / who knows?. It's probably not climate change.

                  It does appear they are trying to cover it up though...

                  https://rtmag.co.il/english/breaking-the-israeli-ministry-of-health-has-been-warned-it-might-open-itself-to-lawsuits-for-encouraging-the-public-to-get-vaccinated-while-claiming-that-the-covid-19-vaccine-is-safe,-and-that-side-effects-are-mild-and-transient

                  which is hardly surprising to me, given Pfizer's history. But seems surprising to many. And YES this is a conspiracy theory (and sometimes - often even - there are real conspiracies. But you don't usually get to hear about them for a couple of decades)

                  Anyway, my point was just about free speech. We should be allowed to discuss these things. But we weren't. And any voices loud enough to matter were suppressed, particularly on Twitter.

                  1. AndrueC Silver badge
                    Stop

                    Re: Easy choice Elon

                    Anyway, my point was just about free speech. We should be allowed to discuss these things. But we weren't. And any voices loud enough to matter were suppressed, particularly on Twitter.

                    I don't think you understand what free speech is. It's a contract between citizens and the government. As a privately owned and operated organisation Twitter is not required to adhere to the principle. When you participate on Twitter you are doing so under their terms and conditions. You either accept them or take your business elsewhere.

                    Posting a message on Twitter is like saying something when you're in my house. If I don't like what you're saying I have every right to make you leave. Free speech stops at my front door. It also stops at the point when you arrive on a Twitter page.

              2. Internal-combustion-jon

                Re: Easy choice Elon

                I have a problem with 5G .

                It is too close to the ground radar frequencies used by aircraft . The greedy evil telecoms reply to this was that the aircraft people could just put better filters on their devices . Check out

                https://youtu.be/s8J2j2PJi1o

                And

                https://youtu.be/aHIFs4EkA0k

                By a very interesting commercial pilot - Juan Brown I think

                Also it will cause problems with satellites which obtain data on water vapor in the atmosphere .

                There are some health concerns just as there are with the normal frequencies of pre 5G cell phones (see the NIH national institute of toxicology cell phone study )

                If something doesn't kill you overnight in the US you may have a hard time getting Congress to properly regulate it .

                I'm not saying that many people have overblown possible health effects of 5G and possibly pre 5G cell phones but it appears to me that those over the top claims are then used to discount ANY discussion of health or safety problems .

                1. Mooseman Silver badge

                  Re: Easy choice Elon

                  5g of course is using a lot of the frequencies made available by the closure of tv broadcast channels. Funny that nobody claimed they were being microwaved by the tv channels....

              3. Internal-combustion-jon

                Re: Easy choice Elon

                And the federal state and local governments in the US have lied to the public each time there was a meltdown or dangerous radiation leak .

                How effective are masks at preventing the spread of COVID ? It greatly depends on how good the mask is and how well it fits . If a man has a beard the mask will be less effective . If it's a thin cloth mask or one of the loosely fitting surgical masks it will be less effective .

                This doesn't mean that all masks are no good and we should just not bother with them . They can help prevent the spread of COVID .

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Easy choice Elon

                  The BBC told us to make masks from old t-shirts to be 'safe'. They were utterly useless.

                  N95 is a long way from an old t-shirt.

                  1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                    Re: Easy choice Elon

                    "N95 is a long way from an old t-shirt."

                    N95 is a long way from filtering something the size of a virus.

                    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

                      Re: Easy choice Elon

                      It's the droplets that carry the virus that get filtered. not the virus itself

                      You don't need to be a rocket scientist to understand that. (Or a biological scientist ftm).

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: Easy choice Elon

                        Covid can transmit via aerosol which is a lot smaller. The funky static effects of N95 filters does filter out some aerosols.

                        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                          Re: Easy choice Elon

                          "The funky static effects of N95 filters does filter out some aerosols."

                          And the person will then touch a contaminated surface and immediately reach up to reposition their mask from the front.

                          A mask is good to limit the radius at which a cough or sneeze will project, but it has extremely limited protection for the wearer.

                          1. Mooseman Silver badge

                            Re: Easy choice Elon

                            "A mask is good to limit the radius at which a cough or sneeze will project, but it has extremely limited protection for the wearer."

                            Which is not the point of masks. Why dont people get this? They are not designed to protect the wearer. They are designed to limit the spread of your virus laden breath so that other people are less likely to get the sodding thing. I know the concept of other people's health is a difficult one for some of you.

                            The tendency for mask users to touch their faces, touch contaminated surfaces etc is why at the initial stages of covid WHO did not recommend their use - people would assume they were "protected", although with the rapid development of the virus this was changed.

            3. MachDiamond Silver badge

              Re: Easy choice Elon

              "OK I see the basic issue you have with "the narrative" - you believe that the worlds' scientists all colluded on a fake virus to keep us all locked down because.....?"

              Moose, The statements were not commentary on lockdowns, etc, but to show that if you didn't hold those views for whatever reason, even very good ones, posting that view on any media was instant banishment. You go along with the group-think or they tie a pole to your neck and make sure you are on the maze side of the doors at nightfall to play with the grievers. It's an extreme form of political correctness that's enforced by silencing those that don't go along.

              1. Mooseman Silver badge

                Re: Easy choice Elon

                " It's an extreme form of political correctness that's enforced by silencing those that don't go along."

                In the case of Twitter, it's a private company - they set their own rules. It's not political correctness or censorship. There are plenty more social media platforms where you can spout nonsense about covid.

                In the case of the commenter, I was replying to, it's quite clear that he has some frankly deranged views all about "big money" which he happily espouses without ever thinking that his "research" is simply def to him but other media with a very obvious motive and political bias. And yet he is free to repeat well known lies and conspiracy theories here. It's almost like being prevented from talking rubbish on Twitter makes no difference....

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Easy choice Elon

                  "In the case of Twitter, it's a private company - they set their own rules"

                  Except it turns out the US govt had a hotline into Twitter and the likes and were calling the shots on some of the censorship. Which is a direct violation of the US constitution.

            4. David Hicklin Bronze badge

              Re: Easy choice Elon

              >> Lockdowns were there to limit

              My understanding is that it was to slow down the spread to prevent the healthcare systems being so overwhelmed that they broke down completely.

              1. that one in the corner Silver badge

                Re: Easy choice Elon

                Spot on.

                We're all probably going to get at some point, best not everyone at the same time.

          2. Not Yb
            Facepalm

            Re: Easy choice Elon

            You can, and just did, discuss these things openly.

            Doing so in 2020 was equally possible. Easy enough to get another burner account and say the same thing if you did happen to get banned.

            You're confusing "receiving consequences afterward" with "being able to discuss openly".

            I've seen any number of people attempting to make those points, they're very easy to find because many of them are way too committed to the argument, they're really persistent, some set up automated systems to post their narrative, and they've shown up everywhere there's a loose enough moderation policy (and enough possible targets to make it worth their time).

        4. 43300 Bronze badge

          Re: Easy choice Elon

          "A incorrect analysis from the facts is not 'against the narrative', it's just incorrect. Whether that's on evolution, UFOs, deep state conspiracies, effectiveness of vaccines...."

          This is the problem - people who see everything in black and white. OK, a few things are black and white but many simply aren't, especially when it comes to scientific interpretation. If you are sure of your point of view, the expectation should be that you argue it more convincingly than those with an opposing view, not that you get them censored.

        5. Internal-combustion-jon

          Re: Easy choice Elon

          I very much dislike Musk . Thre were people kicked off Twitter for saying things like a transwoman is not a woman or getting vaccinate against COVID will not prevent you from catching and spreading the disease . But there were other things which I think should be blocked on twitter . Who draws the line ? What is hate speech ?

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: Easy choice Elon

            Who draws the line ?

            Twitter. Their platform, their choice. Freedom of the press belongs to the press.

            If you don't like it, don't use Twitter. I don't. It's not mandatory.

      3. Mooseman Silver badge

        Re: Easy choice Elon

        "suppress voices which go against "the narrative","

        A dubious statement - Twitter is not about "discussion", it's a sewer, and Musk is enabling the pond life that lives in it. Free speech is fine as long as there are consequences - by readmitting those who broke previous Twitter rules all he is doing is saying "you can say what you like as long as it's pro Trump, racism and hate speech is fine"

        1. Dramoth

          Re: Easy choice Elon

          I'm not allowed back on Twitter... because I got kicked off for "abusing" a homophobic right wing nut job from a far right wing political party... and I have shots at far right wing dickheads all the time.

          They claim that I just create accounts to abuse people. Which isn't true. I created the extra accounts because their AI couldn't read the "" around a comment I made regarding a cartoon image. But being a pro-Russian trump chimp who wants to hang LGBTQ and POC and Jews from the nearest tree is fine according to their algorythms.

      4. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Easy choice Elon

        Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

        Fuming nitric acid is better.. and, as a bonus, you can't get re-infected!

        (Please don't try that at home kids..)

      5. juice

        Re: Easy choice Elon

        > Now it seems he deserves to fail, as he expects everyone to work as hard as he does (but without getting the monies).

        In the first instance, I'd question how hard Elon actually works, since he seems to spend most of his time trolling on Twitter.

        In the second instance, I'd question whether anyone can actually work hard enough to justify the amount of money he has. But then, that's arguably true for all billionaires.

        > I really hope the next person is hot on free speech (that doesn't mean consequence free / hate speech) and we can be allowed to have an open and honest debate about certain things (mostly things since 2020) on a large enough platform.

        Ah. There's the problem, y'see.

        An open and honest debate depends on all sides being open and honest. However, the various - and generally hard right-wing - people who have been bellowing loudest about the lack of free speech and cancel culture have generally been shown to be knowingly lying and/or have a significant conflict of interest - usually financial, but also political and legal.

        Boris and Trump are two obvious examples, but there's plenty more:

        https://arstechnica.com/science/2022/11/right-wing-doctor-group-led-by-anti-vaccine-insurrectionist-implodes-in-scandal/

        https://edition.cnn.com/2022/11/10/media/alex-jones-sandy-hook-damages/index.html

        And that's literally led to the deaths of thousands and even to the well-televised invasion of the US White House, as part of what may have been an attempt at insurrection.

        These people are not being honest, nor are they being open. And that's why their input into any debate needs to be monitored and (where necessary) restricted.

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: Easy choice Elon

          "the well-televised invasion of the US White House"

          The White House was not invaded.

          1. that one in the corner Silver badge

            Re: Easy choice Elon

            Ah, let him have one - they both have funny shaped things on the roof and, from this distance, they are both over in that direction and close together.

            You knew what he meant.

            1. MachDiamond Silver badge

              Re: Easy choice Elon

              "Ah, let him have one - they both have funny shaped things on the roof and, from this distance, they are both over in that direction and close together."

              Going in the other direction, it would be incorrect to confuse #10 Downing and the Houses of Parliament.

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Easy choice Elon

        "free speech (that doesn't mean consequence free / hate speech)"

        That right there is the problem.

        You either have free speech or you don't. There is no safe, curated middle ground.

        If you want free speech, you have to accept that will be hate speech and other shit to go along with it.

        You can't have serious conversations or debates without the risk of offending someone. It's impossible.

        Yes, people say hurrendous stuff. Yes, people are incredibly offensive and hate speech is abhorrent. I would never advocate for it, but I wouldn't advocate for rules to ban it either because that is a slippery slope.

        If dialling down the noise and filtering out bullshit were conducive to a successful conversation, nobody would meet their friends in a pub.

        1. Mooseman Silver badge

          Re: Easy choice Elon

          "hate speech is abhorrent. I would never advocate for it, but I wouldn't advocate for rules to ban it either because that is a slippery slope."

          Hmm - so you would advocate for Hitler (were he around) to post his views on Twitter without any consequences? Where do you draw the line?

          The problem with Twitter etc is that people use social media instead of actual factual sources - you can see the effects on this thread - and while someone shouting that all world leaders are shape changing lizard people is amusing and doesn't affect anyone else, someone claiming that masks were what killed a million americans or that jews run the world and suddenly they are influencing countless people. Look at Alex Jones - people STILL cling to his deluded nonsense.

          (Facebook is equally guilty of inept moderation - you can make outrageous claims or racist statements without any effect on your account but if you call the poster a moron you get a ban for "bullying")

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Easy choice Elon

            No. Read my post, I wouldn't advocate for it, nor would I seek to ban it. I would use my own free speech and be vocal in a public forum about it and highlight how fucking dumb it is though.

            Also, well done for invoking Godwin's law. If you want to bring Nazis in and be correct about it, remember that they actively burned literature and attempted to curb free speech. Banning people from Twitter with viewpoints contrary to their own is exactly what the Nazis would do.

            Banning free speech on one platform doesn't prevent cunts finding other platforms or building their own.

            Also, if you disagree with someone, no matter how insane the other person is, your opinion might be viewed as hate speech even though you think it isn't.

            1. Mooseman Silver badge

              Re: Easy choice Elon

              "Also, well done for invoking Godwin's law."

              It's simply an extension of your "all speech must be free" mantra - I chose an extreme example. If we're talking about banning books then that's what the GOP are actually doing. Still, i will repeat what has been said before - Twitter can do as they like, its not censorship.

    5. Boork!

      Re: Easy choice Elon

      Given that some twitter employees admitted to working for only four hours a week, that is not asking much. After all, it only adds up to about a day and a half's worth of work per week!

      https://www.youtube.com/shorts/sycQMQUV6kE

      1. peachy001

        Re: Easy choice Elon

        Yikes

    6. Woodnag

      ...work 3 times longer for the same pay

      Elon hasn't brought up the across the board pay reductions yet, has he?

  2. deadlockvictim Silver badge

    Hardcore Salary

    Will the salary be also hitting hardcore levels for those who choose to accept the offer?

    Although I don't work for Twitter, I'll consider myself nonetheless fired from Twitter for even mentioning it.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Hardcore Salary

      This is not the time to even considered soliciting promises of large pay cheques. The actual clauses you could be looking for are "payment in advance" and "severance pay held in escrow". The key phrase I would be looking for is "job satisfaction" and I wouldn't bother looking for it at Twitter.

    2. Doctor Evil
      Joke

      Re: Hardcore Salary

      Genius! Your immense talent will no doubt be of great use elsewhere.

  3. Qarumba

    Tonight's Headline

    The end of Twitter? Where on earth will the BBC et al get there news from now?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tonight's Headline

      telegram

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tonight's Headline

      Why? the BBC will just go on making it up and reporting "news" three days after every other media source.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Tonight's Headline

        Careful what you say about the beeb, they love it around here.

        Ignoring the fact that the beeb writers can't even get a name to be consistent in an article. Do they not have proof readings any more?

        1. Elongated Muskrat

          Re: Tonight's Headline

          It seems most outlets don't bother with proof readingers these days.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Tonight's Headline

            Proof readings being the process of proof reading, rather than the person doing the proof reading - do you work for the BBC, by chance?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Tonight's Headline

              Either way whatever you call it they don't have it :)

              I always thought the likes of huffypost were bad when it came to writing quality.

            2. Elongated Muskrat

              Re: Tonight's Headline

              There was I, thinking that "proofreading" was the act of reading proofs, a "proof reading" would imply some sort of act where everyone sits in a circle and reads proofs to each other, which sounds like the sort of thing any actual proofreaders would run a mile to avoid.

              As it happens, no, I don't work for the BBC, yes I do know people who do (and who do work on some of its flagship nature documentaries), and yes, I have done plenty of work in the past where part of my job involved all parts of the print process from laying out to proofreading. It’s shitty, poorly paid, and highly skilled work, and, incidentally, requires a firm grasp of the English language.

              Nobody reading proofs would ever utter a sentence such as "let's do some proof readings," except possibly ironically, in the voice of an animated advertising meerkat, because it's just not normal syntax.

              1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

                Re: Tonight's Headline

                For what it's worth - I worked for the BBC for over thirty years... initially in BBC TV news. And I recall newsreaders like Peter Woods, Kenneth Kendall, and Richard Baker all returning scripts to the newsroom to correct grammatical errors, sometimes at minutes before the broadcast.

                I suspect that this behavior these days would be frowned upon.

                1. Someone Else Silver badge

                  Re: Tonight's Headline

                  I suspect that this behavior these days would be frowned upon never occur.

                  There. FTFY.

                  Likely because the newsreaders these days wouldn't recognize the grammatical errors themselves?

                2. Plest Silver badge
                  Facepalm

                  Re: Tonight's Headline

                  Having witnessed Kaye Burley on screen I can safely say the glory days of intelligent reporters on TV are long gone back in the late 1970s. Just find the YouTube video of her interviewing RMT leader Mick Lynch, it's embarassing how much of an absolute tool he makes her look with her banal, mindless questions.

          2. Boork!

            Re: Tonight's Headline

            All 'fact checkers' and no proof reading. That's modern journalism!

        2. Boork!

          Re: Tonight's Headline

          Fortunately, for its journalists,'BBC' is easy to spell. Imagine how difficult life is for employees of The Grauniad, which before the advent of electronic publishing and spell-check, was famous for its misspellings.

          1. Elongated Muskrat

            Re: Tonight's Headline

            Whilst the Grauniad has made a fair few hilarious errors in its history, the narrative that it was somehow more prone to typos than any other publication was largely put about by the incumbents on Fleet Street, who didn't like the upstart over which they had little influence, and who were trying to draw an inference that because they had lots of money to employ proofreaders, that somehow made their journalism more trustworthy. That's fairly rich coming from the likes of the Daily Mail, which was pretty much founded as a rich-man's outlet for telling lies.

      2. Steve Button Silver badge

        Re: Tonight's Headline

        It was only last night that the BBC reported that a "russian missile" had hit Poland. Not sure where they got that "news" from, but to be fair pretty much all the newspapers also reported the same thing, before rapidly rowing back today. Last night was all talk of invoking article 4, but that seems to have gone quiet now that it looks like it was the "good guy" who fucked up. Why would the same rules not apply to a different non nato country attacking Poland?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Tonight's Headline

          Is this like the claim the russians were shelling a nuclear power plant they were occupying at the time?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Tonight's Headline

            I take it you saw the IAEA eye-rolling at the Russians trying to explain that the Grad missile embedded in the ground, with the tail pointing *towards Russian positions* couldn't have come from Russian positions, because (unguided) Grad missiles do a 180 immediately before impact, then..? ;)

        2. keithpeter Silver badge
          Windows

          Re: Tonight's Headline

          "pretty much all the newspapers also reported the same thing"

          In my (very limited) experience with journalists those reports can probably be traced back to a statement by a single 'spokesperson'.

          Taking a wider view I like to keep in mind the reason there are missiles and anti-missile missiles flying around at one or two mach in Europe. Namely the invasion of a small country by a much larger one despite existing agreements and treaties.

          1. Sudosu

            Re: Tonight's Headline

            Initial indications are always wrong.

            -Roméo Dallaire (I think)

        3. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: Tonight's Headline

          "Why would the same rules not apply to a different non nato country attacking Poland?"

          For two reasons. First, because it only matters whether the country being attacked wants to do something. The same reason that, if you punched me, I could decline to press charges and tell the police that it's fine and they would leave you alone. There is no requirement that anything that could be considered an attack gets an instant response.

          The second reason is that it appears accidental. Even when I heard the initial reports that it was a Russian missile, my initial thoughts were that this was not a deliberate attack on Poland but a missile intended to hit Ukraine that missed. Certainly something Poland would have complained a lot about, but not necessarily worth starting a world war about. Calling in NATO to discuss it would have been a way to indicate to Russia that a mistake like that was really not good and bad things could happen if they weren't careful. If the newer reports that suggest it could have been a Ukrainian missile trying to shoot something down prove correct, it is still an accident and not likely to start a war. As I'm not Poland, I cannot say what their government would have or will do under each case, but that's a pretty good reason why they would choose a different action, which contrary to your statement is entirely within the rules.

          1. Phil Kingston

            Re: Tonight's Headline

            I'm not sure you have that US right to "decline to press charges" in the UK. If CPS want to charge your aggressor, they will.

            1. FrankAlphaXII

              Re: Tonight's Headline

              Its the same in the US. If the State or US Attorney wants to prosecute, they will whether the victim wants to do so or not.

            2. doublelayer Silver badge

              Re: Tonight's Headline

              I think that's true in many countries, including the U.S. In practice, however, if the attackee declines to participate, most police forces won't decide they care unless it's a big crime (you couldn't use that to get out of a murder investigation, for instance). Also, if they need the attackee to testify and they don't agree to do so, they may have trouble actually proving a crime. It's not that they are forbidden from pursuing a case if you don't have someone who agrees to, but that if everyone agrees that they don't want to do anything, the police usually don't have a reason to ignore that and proceed anyway.

              Similarly with NATO, any NATO member is free to decide that Poland was attacked by whoever and they're going to fight a war over it, but if Poland doesn't make an official request, it's very unlikely that any will.

              1. KittenHuffer Silver badge
                Joke

                Re: Tonight's Headline

                Please show me an instance of a murderee declining to participate.

                Just asking.

            3. Elongated Muskrat

              Re: Tonight's Headline

              Cases brought forward with no evidence other than that from what is known as a "hostile witness" tend to fall apart pretty quickly, so whilst in theory the CPS can prosecute a case that they may think is in the public interest, if the only witness they have doesn't want to give evidence, they can clam up in court, or just not turn up at all. This can in turn result in them being summonsed, but this can do nothing about them being mysteriously not at home when the police go to collect them, and whilst it is a civic and legal duty to go to court to give evidence, it is very rarely in the public interest to prosecute people for not doing so, especially within a justice system that has been pared to the bone by systemic underinvestment, austerity and decade-long pay freezes at a time of record inflation.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Tonight's Headline

          Regardless of who fired it, it was a Russian built missile so the reporting was correct.

          If it was Ukrainian, the only reason it was fired was to try to intercept the Russian missiles being fired at them. If Russia wasn't firing at Ukraine, Ukraine would not have needed to launch anything.

          So either way, the cause of the hit on Poland was Russia attacking Ukraine.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Tonight's Headline

            Poland and Russia are on opposite sides of Ukraine. You'd have to miss VERY badly to hit Poland.

            A bit like accidentally shooting down a passenger jet.

            1. doublelayer Silver badge

              Re: Tonight's Headline

              Russia's missiles have been hitting all over Ukraine, including the Polish border. Ukrainian defensive missiles therefore need to intercept Russia's incoming missiles in all of those places, including the Polish border. It's not that difficult for a missile from either side to land on the other side of a border near which they're already firing. As Ukraine's missiles are being fired only when and because Russia's are being fired, the responsibility can be placed on Russia even if it was Ukraine's missile that went awry (though the person aiming it might get a remedial course depending on exactly why it went off course).

            2. georgezilla Silver badge

              Re: Tonight's Headline

              < shakes head >

              < heavy sigh >

              You don't actually have to shoot AT Russia to hit Russians. Russia has in fact attacked, and is occupying the Ukraine.

              FFS!

              1. Elongated Muskrat
                Joke

                Re: Tonight's Headline

                Just chuck a rock in any direction in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea...

            3. Tim_the_Unenchanter

              Re: Tonight's Headline

              you might want to look at a map, and see where Belarus is located...

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Tonight's Headline

              "Poland and Russia are on opposite sides of Ukraine. You'd have to miss VERY badly to hit Poland."

              Consider a Russian missile fired at Yavoriv from the sea or Belarus, with an air-defence site to the west of Yavoriv. The air-defence missile will be heading west-ish - if the "failed to intercept" self-destruct fails (not an uncommon thing with Soviet-era missiles), then it's going to be travelling roughly in the direction of Poland. ;)

              "A bit like accidentally shooting down a passenger jet."

              Igor Ghirkin stated he was responsible for downing the jet online (Telegram, I believe). The same as he stated he marched troops from Russia into Donbas to create the uprising in DNR/LNR.

              Try harder ;)

          2. Steve Button Silver badge

            Re: Tonight's Headline

            I really don't know why you got so many thumbs up for such a ridiculous statement. I also don't know why I'm bothering to engage with an Anonymous Coward, but I guess I'm just a masochist. Also, I must remember that half the people are below average intelligence, and they are the ones who have clicked thumbs up without engaging their brain cell.

            If you saw a headline "British missiles hit Yemen" it would be pretty misleading, as those missiles are fired by Saudi Arabia, but it would be still technically true as they are manufactured and sold by Britain, and this is happening all the time. Although strangely it doesn't get the coverage that Ukraine does.

            1. Mooseman Silver badge

              Re: Tonight's Headline

              "I must remember that half the people are below average intelligence, and they are the ones who have clicked thumbs up without engaging their brain cell."

              Oops. true colours revealed, eh? You disagree with me therefore you are a moron? You might want to take a look at yourself if you constantly get downvoted....

              1. balrog

                Re: Tonight's Headline

                Also 50% are only below average if you use the median, the more commonly used method, mean, has no such indication. I would suggest 90% of people are below average intelligence, one pointer being the inability to do basic maths

              2. Steve Button Silver badge

                Re: Tonight's Headline

                This statement "Regardless of who fired it, it was a Russian built missile so the reporting was correct." is pretty moronic, for the reasons I gave above. It's not because they disagree with me that they are a moron, it's because they gave a thumbs up to a moronic thing that was said.

                "In total, your 769 public posts have been upvoted 6678 times and downvoted 2955 times."

                I can live with that. Sometimes I say things which are a bit controversial, but I'm not constantly downvoted.

                1. ChrisC Silver badge

                  Re: Tonight's Headline

                  I must have missed the change to El Reg's T&Cs which now requires us to agree with absolutely every part of a comment before we give it a thumbs up...

                  The only part of the previous comment that you ought to have any gripe with is the opening sentence, so unless you know for certain (and you most assuredly don't) that everyone who upvoted was doing so in support of that sentence and not the rest of the comment, then a) describing the comment as a whole as ridiculous and b) suggesting anyone who upvoted it must therefore be a bit lacking in the intelligence department is pretty poor form IMO, and helps explain how you've managed to rack up so many downvotes for so few posts - when you're averaging 3.8 downvotes per post, and when a cursory glance over your recent post history shows precious few which haven't been downvoted at all, then yes you ARE being constantly downvoted whether you want to believe it or not.

                  1. Steve Button Silver badge

                    Re: Tonight's Headline

                    "In total, your 769 public posts have been upvoted 6678 times and downvoted 2955 times."

                    I'm wasting my life.

                2. Someone Else Silver badge

                  Re: Tonight's Headline

                  "In total, your 769 public posts have been upvoted 6678 times and downvoted 2955 times."

                  I can live with that. Sometimes I say things which are a bit controversial, but I'm not constantly downvoted.

                  OK, so you're not "constantly downvoted". Still a one-in-three downvote ratio is hardly brag-worthy, IMHO. YMMV of course, and if that is indeed the case, one could surmise that you may be verging on troll-ism.

          3. Boork!

            Re: Tonight's Headline

            It was apparently an S-300, a surface to air missile which is indeed Russian built, but sold worldwide. Ukraine was certainly using them.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Tonight's Headline

          If the missile was made in Russia but not fired from Russia, then technically it was a Russian missile but that statement would be a bit misleading. It would be like saying someone got run over in London by "a German car" because it was an Audi.

          On the other hand I'm not sure how an anti-missile missile would have got lost and headed West. But stranger software failures have happened.

          1. FlippingGerman

            Re: Tonight's Headline

            If you look at Przewodow on a map, it's plausible that a missile could alunch from within Ukraine, be on course to intercept a missile inbound from Russia (or more likely Belarus), miss, and fall into Poland. Last-minute terminal manoeuvring in particular could suddenly throw its course westward.

        6. Mooseman Silver badge

          Re: Tonight's Headline

          "Why would the same rules not apply to a different non nato country attacking Poland?"

          Because nobody is attacking Poland, not even Russia (yet). Had Russia been found to have attacked a NATO country then yes, Article 5 would have been invoked (Article 4 is not "lets attack Russia")

          I know it's difficult with your head firmly entrenched in wild conspiracy nonsense but do try to learn the difference between a deliberate attack and an accidental incident.

          The general consensus initially was that it was a Russian missile, based on Ukrainian claims, which is what the BBC and every other news outlet repeated - they have limited sources. Once the likelihood was that it was a Ukrainian defence missile, they changed the reporting (despite Ukraine still claiming it was Russia - they are slightly biased for some reason...)

        7. D.A.

          Re: Tonight's Headline

          That’s absolutely shocking if they forgot the capital “R”.

      3. RegGuy1 Silver badge

        Re: Tonight's Headline

        I thought the Brexit Broadcasting Corporation got is stories from the right-wing print media. You know, the ones they like to promote with their 'The Papers' slot that they show every evening.

    3. Snake Silver badge

      Re: Tonight's Headline

      Oh, the SHADE!

    4. Code For Broke

      Re: Tonight's Headline

      Over their.

  4. imanidiot Silver badge

    The universal answer to all things you're "forced" to sign.

    No. Go away.

    Very rarely is it something you'd want to sign or something that's going to turn out positive for you. And very often it's something the company can't actually do something about if you don't sign it. Hold out and force them to either forget about it or fire you, or keep the honor to yourself and quit. You're either going to have a bad time and quit, have a bad time and lose the job later anyway if you DO sign, or if enough people say no they're going to very quietly drop the issue.

    1. Woodnag

      fire you or quit

      When laid off, Twitty has to pay towards your unemployment benefit claim...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      THIS.

      Musk is running face first into a wall with this one. What he is asking for is illegal in the state. If he tries to fire someone for not signing an illegal agreement to work under prohibited conditions or be fired, he is asking for a pack of lawyers to start putting up pop up tents across the parking lot.

      He will likely be paying considerably more than three months salary, probably be barred from firing them at all, and and any acts of retaliation are likely to result in more fines, more injunctive interference, and more settlements with the employees. This could turn into one of the biggest wrongful termination and toxic work environment cases in state history. So for those that aren't so averse to conflict or short on cash, I hope they crumple up his paperwork, stuff it into an evidence bag, and lawyer up.

      Normally the state likes to gum employers instead of sinking their teeth into them, but Musk has been in court over labor practices at his companies for years now. He is already on their radar, and should know better if he hadn't gone full Howard Hughes at this point. One thing we know about the state regulators is that they like to put on a show once in a while, cane a big company publicly and puff their chests up. I'd say this looking like a tasty meal for them.

    3. EVP Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: The universal answer to all things you're "forced" to sign.

      Just think about it. He’s asking employees to sign a “pledge” to become his serfs. Ha-haa, the whole story is a funny joke. No?

      Stay clear, my head is about to explode.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The universal answer to all things you're "forced" to sign.

        Does this pledge apply to their UK employees too? I've not paid much attention to the "modern slavery" legislation but it'd be really funny if Musk fell foul of that. Well, funny for the onlookers, not for the employees.

  5. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

    Waste El-Reg Space

    Lets wait until February. Until then El-Reg should ignore all that Twitter stuff and concentrate more on actual IT than some new kings weird behaviour.

    1. DJO Silver badge

      Re: Waste El-Reg Space

      Don't be daft, Name another slow motion train crash with even a fraction of the highly entertaining schadenfreude this is generating - There is no way El Reg could leave this alone, it's almost their entire raison-d'etre.

      1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

        Re: Waste El-Reg Space

        Then El Reg should get their sarcasm level back to what it was before!

        1. Ol'Peculier

          Re: Waste El-Reg Space

          There's the problem. The Yanks don't get sarcasm.

          1. VoiceOfTruth Silver badge

            Re: Waste El-Reg Space

            Oh the irony of it. Ah, they don't get that either according to some.

            1. lglethal Silver badge
              Joke

              Re: Waste El-Reg Space

              Irony? That's like brassy and coppery, isnt it?

              1. Jim Mitchell
                Pint

                Re: Waste El-Reg Space

                Brassy and coppery are both shades of blonde, right? Irony isn't, so I'm confused.

                1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

                  Re: Waste El-Reg Space

                  Rusty irony is...

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Waste El-Reg Space

            We are to busy Yanking to notice probably, it's distracting you see. They told us we'd go blind and based on our political leadership they were right.

          3. drankinatty

            Re: Waste El-Reg Space

            Hey, we Yanks get sarcasm just fine, thank you.

            Like the idea of a middle-age, disgruntled, self-styled tycoon pacing alone on the top of a small hill careening from one horrible idea to the next, all the while lighting $100 bills on fire just to keep warm. (or light up whatever he is smoking that night)

            We get it 8)

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Waste El-Reg Space

              Hey, we Yanks get sarcasm just fine, thank you.

              There's also the uber-irony of someone posting that Yanks get sarcasm, and then giving an example that is irony but not sarcasm...

            2. Boork!

              Re: Waste El-Reg Space

              Alanis Morisette, is that you? Because that is not an example of irony. Which is ironic...

              1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                Re: Waste El-Reg Space

                Anyone who complains about Morisette's examples patently does not know what irony is. Perhaps you should learn about rhetoric before trying to correct others about it.

                Irony is the trope of the violation of expectations. It's one of the "master tropes" that subsume other tropes and figures. In fact, under its broadest definition, it includes all tropes, since communication consists precisely in what new information is produced in the recipient. That new information in turn consists precisely of what expectations were violated.

                Every communicative act is ironic.

      2. Franco Silver badge

        Re: Waste El-Reg Space

        Indeed, this has taken over from the long standing HP - Autonomy story. Got sick of popcorn after that one.

      3. vtcodger Silver badge

        Re: Waste El-Reg Space

        "Don't be daft, Name another slow motion train crash with even a fraction of the highly entertaining schadenfreude this is generating "

        Agreed, this debacle is vastly entertaining. But don't overlook the ongoing cryptocurrency implosion which looks to be getting more dire by the day, is more likely to impact thhee and I, and is not really getting all that much attention in the Reg. Sam Bankman-Fried may be more likable than Elon Musk (not a high bar) but he appears equally detached from reality. He also appears to be in a bit of trouble as it appears that the last financial statements for his company FTX might have been ... ahem ... perhaps a bit too creative. See https://fortune.com/crypto/2022/11/15/ftxs-balance-sheet-from-hell/

        1. EVP Silver badge

          Re: Waste El-Reg Space

          Indeed, we should not forget crypto. Pocorn retailers will be enjoying record sales soon.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Waste El-Reg Space

            Yeah, I used all my crypto to buy Butterkist shares :-)

            I'm gonna be rich...RICH I tell you!!!

          2. Triggerfish

            Re: Waste El-Reg Space

            OK so here's and idea, I create crypto popcorn, you can all get a share let's say coming to 1% of total popcorn. The actual value of the popcorn will be determined by how much money people put in the butter box..

            1. Mooseman Silver badge

              Re: Waste El-Reg Space

              "crypto popcorn"

              Even better - we sell them popcorn NFTs !

              1. Triggerfish

                Re: @Mooseman Waste El-Reg Space

                No I want them to be free and open, everyone should be able to put money in the butter box, and to use it to tag a meme and pump the value. To make it easier I'll make it all unregulated (but don't worry you can trust me it won't be a ponzi or anything that's boomer shit), hell I'll even put some of my money in the butter box so you can see how much its owrht. But you better jump in now before it takes off any higher.

      4. Sudosu
        Joke

        Re: Waste El-Reg Space

        The fall of western society?

    2. VoiceOfTruth Silver badge

      Re: Waste El-Reg Space

      I have never visited the Twitter web site. The only places I read about Twitter is on The Reg, and occasional facsimiles in print. I also like to read what other people in the biz have to say about Twitter.

      1. Boork!

        Re: Waste El-Reg Space

        Twitter is a head wrecking blizzard of vanity, irrelevance, petulant tantrums and celebrities (but I repeat myself.) The only thing that is suspiciously on point is the advertising, which is quite worrying.

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Waste El-Reg Space

      Have to agree: who really cares about Twitter? There have been (better) alternatives for years: the war in Ukraine is probably Telegram's opportunity to upstage the advertorial shit stream.

      1. A. Coatsworth
        Mushroom

        Re: Waste El-Reg Space

        You provided your own counter-example:

        " who really cares about Twitter?" After the missile strikes in Poland yesterday, the Polish goverment, Us President, UK Defence Minister, Zelensky... all of them jumped straight to Twitter to emit their first declarations.

        News sites lifted those declarations straight from Twitter, because it became the defacto channel for governments.

        If you think a bout it for more than 3 seconds, it is obviously terrible that Twitter became the official communication channel, but it is what it is and despite Musk's best efforts it will take a long time for these important figures(1) to move to somewhere else.

        (1) I am not talking about vapid celebrities who have trown their tantrums already, but people who hold real power.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @A. Coatsworth - Re: Waste El-Reg Space

          You forgot to mention the Russian government. Oh, sorry, I forgot they are not allowed on Twitter.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @A. Coatsworth - Waste El-Reg Space

            well, they already have Elon Musk, they don't need another spoke-person...

          2. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: @A. Coatsworth - Waste El-Reg Space

            I wonder who NAFO are shitposting then.

        2. Charlie Clark Silver badge
          Stop

          Re: Waste El-Reg Space

          If you look at lots of reports from the Ukraine and Russia you're more likely to see "source Telegram" than anything else. For anything official it's a piece of piss to broadcast to multiple media simultaneously, which is how it should be. It's the news sites that need to life their game. And they will, if they want to keep up, just as they did when Twitter became a thing.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Fair

          But is highlights the more important question:

          Why are we trying to replace Twitter with a new Twitter?

          The world had it's ups and downs before social media existed, but we didn't walk around in circles all day with a confused look on our face wondering what was missing in our lives.

          Social media as it exists is an exercise in circular reasoning. The only reason to put up with all the terrible parts are things we had and did better before social media networks took over the world. We don't need them, we never did, they were always a synthetic barrier to to real communication that exists to extract profit, exert influence, distract and annoy. It exists to self perpetuate.

          I say let Twitter burn. I say let them all burn, and spend the time you'd waste building another yoke for yourselves porting the few things you actually enjoy off of these platforms and onto something that just does that, without the vampire squid of ad networks and a firehose of rage-machine/fake-AI curated lies, brain rot, ads and scams injected into people brains.

          I fail to see the downside to human civilization by going back to life without the Huxley machines driving us all collectively mad. We have a lot to do over the next couple of decades, Twitter isn't helping, nether is Meta, or the rest. With them slowing us down, you may not make it. You probably won't miss them that much either.

          1. doublelayer Silver badge

            Re: Fair

            I don't use these services, and I wouldn't object if they simply ceased to exist. Other people do like them, and they want them, and people know they could make money by giving those people what they want. Whatever you may think of them, it's not us who get to decide if a replacement is made. If the original falls, there will be many attempts at replacing it and we will have to deal with that, whether we like it, hate it, or are indifferent.

          2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            Re: Fair

            Personally, I'm not trying to replace it. The last couple of years have illustrated that the once much vaunted idea of the "network effect" has reached its limits and users are more than happy to use multiple apps and jump between them.

            Much of the media has zeroed in on services like Twitter because they make reporting easier, and therefore, cheaper. Journalists are often in love with the idea of the voice of the people.

        4. Tom Paine

          Re: Waste El-Reg Space

          It's also where the precise model of missile was first publicly identified (and reliably attributed to Ukraine, as Russia apparently don't operate that specific variant) by 11pm, roughly 12h before that news broke 3lsewhere. (@UAweapons, if you're into that sort of bang-bang trainspotting.)

        5. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: I am not talking about vapid celebrities who have trown their tantrums already

          Au contraire, we are definitely talking about Musk and his tantrums are plentiful.

      2. HereIAmJH

        Re: Waste El-Reg Space

        Telegram has an image problem, since they are the preferred system for conspiracy theorists and YouTube scammers.

        And if they are about free speech, why do I need to download an app and sign up for an account if all I want to do is read what people are saying? They still get their page hits and ad views without putting everything in a walled garden, they just can't collect my personal info and link it to ads.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Waste El-Reg Space

          Telegram was popular in places with strict censorship long before it was discovered by the freaks. I think they were attracted primarily by the size of the groups and channels, which other services couldn't offer at the time, along with the robustness. Personally, I see receive almost no spam on it, and our local computer group has a low tech bot that keeps spam almost down to zero.

          I've yet to see an ad on Telegram, though I know they're now techically possible, but funding seems to be biased subscriptions from heavy users. I suspect I and many others would drop it as soon as ads appear.

          A bigger risk for any of these services, is how much data they actually store on their servers and who can get access to it. Telegram has been the source of much ire from governments for refusing to divulge any of this, though it has always agreed to act against certain types of communication. Protecting free speech inevitably means providing some room for the freaks so that others can still be heard.

    4. aerogems Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Waste El-Reg Space

      That's a pretty big assumption... that Twitter will even be around come Feb.

    5. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Waste El-Reg Space

      Sir, this is Arby's.

  6. aerogems Silver badge
    Mushroom

    I don't know

    I don't know what exactly Musk's personal problem(s) is/are, but the window to sort them out and maybe still salvage Twitter is almost closed and rapidly shutting. I don't know if he's got some kind of personality disorder like bipolar, if it's some kind of drug abuse, if it's his narcissism has reached a critical inflection point, if it's something else, if it's some combination of the above or if it's even all of the above. It doesn't really matter, if the guy doesn't get his shit together ASAP, Twitter is going to be dead by end of year, and then he's just going to turn his attention back to Tesla, SpaceX, and the rest and repeat this process over again.

    The only thing that MIGHT save Twitter at this point is if Musk personally walks away and appoints someone to run it in his place. Similar to Ms. Shotwell over at SpaceX, who may be guilty of indulging her boss' whims like propositioning flight attendants and firing employees who just want the hurricane of shit that follows Musk everywhere to go away so they can focus on their jobs, but she is a very talented administrator/executive the way SpaceX manages to function like a well-oiled machine IN SPITE of Musk's antics. If he can find someone like that to take over Twitter, there's a small chance it could be saved and turned around, but we're at the point where the hero of the movie has to get a running start and slide under the door, to only just barely make it before it closes.

    1. RockBurner

      Re: I don't know

      Save twitter? Didn't he buy it to destroy it?

      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Re: I don't know

        I expected his proposals for Twitter would destroy it unintentionally. Musk worked out that driving Twitter in his preferred direction would destroy its value both financially and as a platform for advertising pump and dump schemes - hence the desperate attempts to get out of the merger agreement.

        Musk fans have a technique for being right all the time just like I can hit gold every time at archery:

        1) fire an arrow at a barn

        2) paint a target where it hits

        The "Musk destroying Twitter intentionally" idea is just fans looking for possible places to paint a target. If it were actually true it would be Musk painting the target on his own back and the arrows would be fired by the investors and bankers who helped him buy Twitter.

        1. Mike 137 Silver badge

          Re: I don't know

          "1) fire an arrow at a barn

          Surely "shoot an arrow"

          The only reason we 'fire' guns is because in the early days fire had to be applied to the touch hole of a gun to set off the charge. The sole case where fire is relevant to an arrow is that of a fire arrow, when it's applied to the sharp end.

          1. MrDamage Silver badge
            Headmaster

            Re: I don't know

            "Loose, or release" an arrow.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: I don't know

              Or, in my case the first time I tried, lose an arrow :-)

          2. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: I don't know

            Needed pedant icon. But yes.

            1. Someone Else Silver badge
              Headmaster

              Re: I don't know

              Needed pedant icon.

              You mean, this one? - - - - >

        2. breakfast Silver badge
          Flame

          Re: I don't know

          I think it is quite posible that some of the investors expected that his purchase might destroy Twitter and decided if it did, they wouldn't mind- there are investment institutions from the Saudi and Chinese regimes on that list and a globally available platform at least somewhat dedicated to free speech is not convenient for either of those. If he made it profitable, they were quids in, if he destroyed it they would be rid of a thorn in their sides and the world's former richest man would owe them a truly incredible amount of money. If they can afford to be gamblers, this is not a bad bet.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I doubt that is what his other backers wanted.

          And I suspect that the arrows may come at some point, but loosing them now would only further degrade their investment, so I expect they will try to ride it out a bit longer. Remember that they get Zeroed out if the company goes bankrupt, so I expect that they want to stabilize the bleeding, then force Musk to sell them the remainder of corpse to stave of bankruptcy.

          If Musk fouls that up, I expect that you might literally find him with an arrow in his back.

          The long game for MBS and China here is to seize the Twitter name, access to it's user data, and merge it with something like TikTok to create the unholy mother of all evil social media empires. Bonus points to them if Musk succeeds in wiring Twitter up to the western financial markets like he did at Paypal. They don't need or probably want a viable Twitter, they just want to pick it's bones or take the name and wear it's skin like a suit.

          What this thing called Twitter is becoming, don't just let it die, kill it with fire before it hatches something worse.

      2. aerogems Silver badge

        Re: I don't know

        I don't think even he knows why he initially offered to buy it. We can reasonably infer that there's something so damning in one of the two US regulator investigations Musk is under that he was willing to torch $44bn to keep it under wraps for as long as possible. But as to what he was thinking when he made his initial offers... I don't think even Musk knows. Not sure if the guy is just abusing "brain building" drug cocktails popular with the tech bro scene, if his smoking weed has activated some kind of mental disorder that he was genetically disposed to, or if he's just on like the mother of all manic episodes with bipolar disorder, but the end result is that he has royally fucked up.

        The Tesla and SpaceX boards should be holding emergency meetings to discuss whether to force Musk to take some kind of temporary leave of absence before he gets bored with Twitter and turns his attention back to the other two. Force him to take a year away to go into rehab and/or get treatment for whatever the fuck is going on. If he can get his shit together he can be welcomed back, otherwise they can just fire him.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          That ship probably sailed

          They could have(and ethically should have) staged an intervention for Musk decades ago. Instead the took the other road, creating a bubble for him as they covered up the "incidents" and looked the other way. Like so many other grasping hands, willing to enable the downward spiral as long as they got something out of it.

          How many rockstars and atheletes and titans of industry has this killed over the years? how many monsters were made left to hunt and victimize the world? Jackson, Cuomo, Manson, Prince, Harvey, Musk, Depp, all lived in a bubble protected by a circle of grasping hands that were willing to look the other way.

          1. aerogems Silver badge
            Pirate

            Re: That ship probably sailed

            I agree, but at this point there's basically no covering things up anymore. It's all happening, in public, and being covered pretty extensively even by mainstream media, not just tech media. So, at this point they either cut bait or go down with the ship.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: I don't know

      I don't know what exactly Musk's personal problem(s) is/are, but the window to sort them out and maybe still salvage Twitter is almost closed and rapidly shutting. I don't know if he's got some kind of personality disorder like bipolar, if it's some kind of drug abuse, if it's his narcissism has reached a critical inflection point, if it's something else, if it's some combination of the above or if it's even all of the above.

      I'd say all the above. Numerous news articles have documented these. Is he a genius or just nuts? Both probably. He reminds me of certain politicians.

      Personally, I would have been out the door pretty quick. He doesn't listen to anyone. At a former company that worked for (several actually), the owners all said they wanted people working for them that were smarter than they were. Musk is opposite. He thinks he's smarter than everyone else.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: I don't know

        "Is he a genius or just nuts? Both probably. "

        So, that would an UNstable genius then? Sounds about right for anyone who brags about being a stable genius.

    3. bazza Silver badge

      Re: I don't know

      Musk is the problem and indeed Musk should remove himself from the company if he ever wants to see a dollar of that $44billion ever again.

      If I worked in other Musk companies I'd be worried about him wading back into SpaceX or Tesla with a vengeance. Twitter is doomed. He may react to that by taking back the reigns of, say, SpaceX. Would you want that, as an employee?

      SpaceX for all its success is on the edge of disaster, if Musk's infamous letter of last year's thanksgiving is to be taken literally. They are likely only a few key firings (of people) away from falling over that edge... He could so easily trash the whole thing with a single careless email.

    4. Plest Silver badge

      Re: I don't know

      Put simply, he has very rich parents ( they owned an emerald mine in SA! ) and he's still acting like the spoilt brat he's always been.

  7. Alistair
    Windows

    In other news

    Mastodon subscriptions are continuing to rise.

    Popcorn sales are through the roof!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In other news

      So long as they keep away from Gab then I'm happy. It is nice and peaceful there with lots of top notch memes, cats and discussing the best ways to cook steaks.

      1. Elongated Muskrat

        Re: In other news

        Quick, time for everyone to head back to b3ta.com, the original well-spring of tasty internet memes...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: In other news

          https://www2.b3ta.com/buffyswear/

          1. Elongated Muskrat

            Re: In other news

            I didn't even need to follow that link to know it's the Buffy swearing keyboard. That particular cultural reference dates not only that, but also me...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: In other news

              It doesn't get old!

    2. aerogems Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: In other news

      I'm still kicking myself for not dumping a bunch of money into popcorn futures when Musk decided he would buy Twitter. I could have retired on all this drama!

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: In other news

        It was the perfect time to use bitcoin to buy popcorn shares :-)

        Too bad you missed it.

        (Posted from the beach on my iPad in the Bahamas)

        PS, no not my coat. It's too warm for a coat. ------------>

    3. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: In other news

      Mastodon delivers some interesting articles- if you happen to stumble upon them or search with sufficient diligence. But it's a collection of silos- so articles within its fold are unlikely to gain general public traction. It's just a totally different thing.

  8. Roger Kynaston Silver badge

    Next installment?

    Everyone is fired and he tries to move operations, development and so on to Russia.

    1. chivo243 Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Next installment?

      Why oh why did I think of this...

      https://youtu.be/TEIqTBasNrQ

  9. BOFH in Training Bronze badge

    Just a thought

    Maybe a conspiracy theory, which came to mind :

    Whats the chance that some government which does not like Twitter but Musk wants to deal with (due to Tesla, SpaceX, or other companies) has a metaphorical gun to Musk's head, asking him to discredit / destroy Twitter for him to get whatever deal he wants?

    Frankly, am aware of only China having possible leverage over Musk due to Tesla's factory / sales in China, but am sure a few other governments are just as happy with how things are going at Twitter currently. Maybe even Russia, India, etc (but they don't have the leverage over Musk, as far as I know).

    1. fandom

      Re: Just a thought

      Twitter needed discrediting?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just a thought

      Saudis are the biggest investor in Twitter

      They now have access to all the data on everyone's tweets: US journalists that need to be disassembled, dissidents at home that need to be visited by the secret police to be dialogued with.

      They probably also noticed the role Twitter played in various arabic democracy movemnets

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just a thought

        The Saudis were also a major shareholder in the before times.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just a thought

        Have a downvote for this hideous verbing of a noun: need to be visited by the secret police to be dialogued with

        1. MiguelC Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Just a thought

          Verbing weirds language. So what?

          1. Bill Gray
          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Just a thought

            It's the weirding way!

      3. BOFH in Training Bronze badge

        Re: Just a thought

        Do they have anything on Musk to get him to destroy Twitter? And if they end up helping Musk destroy Twitter, their investment goes up in smoke as well.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          War-Profiteering

          The Saudi’s - and many others - are shitting money with their War-Profiteering*. The Twitter money is chump change to them right now.

          * also see BP, Exxon, Shell, Conoco Phillips, Aramco, Petronas, Total, Chevron, Gasprom, Rosneft, CNPC, PetroChina, Sinopec, Equinor, Qatargas, Kuwait Pereoleum …. Etc …and the nice people at OPEC+

    3. Plest Silver badge

      Re: Just a thought

      No, he's just a rich bellend with rich moronic parents who spoilt him as a kid and he's never grown up!

  10. Mishak Silver badge

    "tried to wriggle out of in a series of court cases"

    Did it ever get to court? I thought it was due to go (paperwork filed) if the purchase didn't go though?

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: "tried to wriggle out of in a series of court cases"

      It got part way through the court process. The 'arguing about discovery' part was approximately complete. The next event on the calendar would have been Twitter's lawyers deposing Musk. Musk capitulated completely at a break-neck pace rather than let that happen. Almost as if he has a lot to hide and can easily be baited into saying something really self damaging.

  11. Phil E Succour

    The Twitterverse will soon be silent

    When you add up the numbers of staff who have left, or will shortly, as a result of the CEO's flailing around, there can’t be many employees left, and those that are still around won’t necessarily have the right mix of skills to keep the ship afloat, never mind implementing whatever Musk comes up with next.

    I was going to say it’s like a soap opera, but if this was fictional it would have jumped the shark several episodes ago.

    1. Munchausen's proxy
      Pint

      Re: The Twitterverse will soon be silent

      When does their domain name expire? Because I bet the guy whose job it was to remember to renew it is gone.

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

        Re: The Twitterverse will soon be silent

        When does their domain name expire?

        Just over 2 months from now:

        Domain Name: TWITTER.COM

        Registry Domain ID: 18195971_DOMAIN_COM-VRSN

        Registrar WHOIS Server: whois.corporatedomains.com

        Registrar URL: http://cscdbs.com

        Updated Date: 2022-01-17T06:08:20Z

        Creation Date: 2000-01-21T16:28:17Z

        Registry Expiry Date: 2023-01-21T16:28:17Z

        [ElReg: stop sticking specious blank lines into your CSS!]

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: The Twitterverse will soon be silent

          I sometimes wonder why people leave things this late to renew domain names. After all, there's no chance they're not going to want it and if they did go bankrupt, it's still a more valuable domain name than in general. Renewing the thing for several years is so cheap there's no harm in doing it.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: The Twitterverse will soon be silent

            yeah, the twitter.com and associated domains are probably the most valuable asset if/when it all goes TITSUP

          2. Arthur the cat Silver badge

            Re: The Twitterverse will soon be silent

            I sometimes wonder why people leave things this late to renew domain names.

            When it looked like the 3 letter TLDs were going to end up with rip off prices I renewed mine for 10 years, but my registrar(*) has autorenew so all my other domains will get to ~1 month left before renewing for 1 or 2 more years.

            (*) The excellent Mythic Beasts.

            1. DoctorPaul

              Re: The Twitterverse will soon be silent

              Upvote for Mythic Beasts who I found thanks to the good commentards of this parish.

              I spent a good part of last month moving friends' web sites to them from tso.

    2. chivo243 Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: The Twitterverse will soon be silent

      Twitter's now ripe for an attack... I can't be the first one to think of that!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Someone should remind Musk that the 13th amendment to the US constitution was proclaimed 57676 days ago

    1. Red Or Zed

      The one that says "woohoo we freed all the slaves, we are the best country ever, USA USA" except for the part where someone quietly whispered "what about the money? we need slaves for making the money" and the bit about "except for those guys, they can still be slaves"* leading to the prisons for profit system and the most incarcerated nation on earth?

      *note for Septics without a sense of humour and other literalists: I was paraphrasing. Giving the gist of. Simplifying for effect.

      1. nintendoeats Silver badge

        I read the bit about "except as punishment for a crime", and this was my first thought also. "Slavery by the back door" as somebody once put it.

        1. KittenHuffer Silver badge
          Joke

          And those 'back doors' get used a lot in US prisons ..... allegedly!

          1. KittenHuffer Silver badge
            Joke

            [diety]!

            I was gonna say - Can't you guys take a joke?

            But I think I'll say - Can't you guys take .... it roughly, from behind?

            1. Plest Silver badge
              Facepalm

              Ha ha, undignified prison rape and horrendous sexual abuse is so fricking funny! ( Morons! )

      2. Kimo

        As a historian, i would say this is pretty accurate.

  13. prh99

    I would just go home.

    They should demand Musk show some competence as a CEO and manager first. Take the severance, it's probably better than anything Musk has in store.

    Apparently he's on the edge of losing his GDPR compliance. Twitters chief privacy officer resigned and only has the bare minimum of members on the review board in Ireland to keep Twitter's GDPR one stop in Ireland and not be subject to 27 regulators.

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: I would just go home.

      They should demand Musk show some competence as a CEO and manager first.

      Try a shorter version: get real or fuck off.

    2. Mike 137 Silver badge

      Re: I would just go home.

      "Apparently he's on the edge of losing his GDPR compliance. Twitters chief privacy officer resigned"

      I suspect that, strictly, it's no longer compliant as a result of that resignation if nothing else. Twitter's scale of processing and range of data retained is quite probably sufficient to make the role of Data Protection Officer mandatory.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: I would just go home.

        It is indeed mandatory, however there is likely a grace period after a resignation before a replacement must be in post.

        Which is most likely about to expire. Most of the GDPR timescales are one month.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I would just go home.

          I read the regulations as saying the DPO needs to be present/consultated on various important matters.

          Even of the regulations did not state how soon a replacement DPO should be in place, a risk-based approach would suggest the absence in such a large organisation for anything other than a short time would be cause of concern to the regulator.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: I would just go home.

            That presupposes that the Chief Privacy Officer is also the DPO. Does anyone know this for sure?

            1. prh99

              Re: I would just go home.

              The chief privacy officer was apparently serving as DPO.

              At least according to TechCrunch.

              [url]https://www.google.com/amp/s/techcrunch.com/2022/11/14/is-elon-musks-twitter-about-to-fall-out-of-the-gdprs-one-stop-shop/amp/[/url]

  14. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Cometh the Hour, Cometh the Men and a Man. Amen.

    All of those former PNAC acolytes must be feeling quite miffed now that Twitter can be a resounding voice for those worthy of leadership but previously disenabled by pwnd media mogul operations.

    Way to Go, Elon, Sticking It to the Old Men way Past their Prime Time and Biting the Hands that Feed Them IT.

    Ps .... And do your best to remember to not forget, behind every great man is a great woman to make what results from their interactions at least a formidable JOINT unit ..... and JOINT Operation Internetworking Novel Technologies. Such a simple pleasant thought prevents one descending quickly into the madness of the belief that one is actually heaven sent and almightily blessed and invincible.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Cometh the Hour, Cometh the Men and a Man. Amen.

      amanfromMars 1 is actually Elon - it all makes so much sense now..

      1. Phil E Succour

        Re: Cometh the Hour, Cometh the Men and a Man. Amen.

        Or if they’re not the same person, it seems likely that they get their spliffs from the same place…

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Cometh the Hour, Cometh the Men and a Man. Amen.

          They are obviously running the same software, perhaps amfM1 is the beta test ?

      2. Elongated Muskrat

        Re: Cometh the Hour, Cometh the Men and a Man. Amen.

        amfM shows more signs of intelligence than Musk to be honest, and I'm 99% certain that most of "his" posts are generated by a chatbot.

    2. Skiver

      Re: Cometh the Hour, Cometh the Men and a Man. Amen.

      I'm gonna need this post translated. :)

      1. My-Handle Silver badge

        Re: Cometh the Hour, Cometh the Men and a Man. Amen.

        It's been a while since I dusted off the old AMFM1 translator, but let's see what it makes of this....

        Hmm... people are miffed that people like Elon and Trump can (could) spout off on Twitter with little legal recourse... Elon needs a girlfriend / handler / someone competent to rein him in and have his back, might be a reference to Gwynne Shotwell at SpaceX.

        That's the best I got.

        1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

          Re: Cometh the Hour, Cometh the Men and a Man. Amen.

          Some people who really should know they are fundamentally no better than everyone else, My-Handle, are miffed that people like Elon and Trump can practically own their own virtual and global media platform with little legal recourse equipping them to censor and deliver their own preferred Main Stream Media Input/Output/BullShit/Brainwashing Propaganda.

          It is impossible to control any leading attractive narrative on either mini local or mega universally available platforms, and especially so whenever one doesn't own them in order to be able to exert pressure and leverage enabling skewed and corrupt dodgy scripts to be aired and viewed for remote practical virtual media program realisation ....... Daily 0Day Presentation.

          And such is that which is now currently NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTivated for A.N.Others in Novel Orbits of Absolute Command with Almighty Controls ‽ .

          The difficulty persistently present for humanity, and which causes them to suffer so much from the continuation of previous iterations now failing spectacularly to provide all with greater information, education and entertainment, is their obvious ignorance of the matter and dumb-founding disbelief in breaking news of its emergence in revelations to networks and channels communicating freely and clearly with others and other A.N.Others too .... but time heals and gets rid of that mock hurdle quicker than some might wish and have a’thunk afore.

          1. quxinot

            Re: Cometh the Hour, Cometh the Men and a Man. Amen.

            Oh god, there's more of it.

            Why hasn't anyone used this fancy ML/AI stuff to make an AMFM1 to English translator app available online yet?

          2. My-Handle Silver badge

            Re: Cometh the Hour, Cometh the Men and a Man. Amen.

            I wonder whether that was the initial reason why Elon tried to buy Twitter - he thought that he'd be able to control the narrative and say whatever he pleased. It might have worked, if he'd gone about it in a more subtle and strategic way.

            People and culture in general are still adapting to the sheer amount of information that is now available to them. Humanity has actually gone through a change like this before, shortly after the invention of movable type enabled the printing of newspapers. There were quite a few publications at the time that printed whatever they liked, with no recourse. Measures appeared over time, from journalistic standards, libel laws, and even general public awareness of what could be expected of trashy tabloids.

            Finally, as a sanity check to see whether we are dealing with a bot or a person, would you be able to answer this question AMFM1? Do you prefer crunchy or smooth peanut butter?

  15. trevorde Silver badge

    Deadwood

    All the decent engineers will have left and all that'll be left is the deadwood ie people who couldn't get a job anywhere else

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Deadwood

      Trouble is that although you need very few engineers to keep the lights on (assuming you don't add any new features) you need lots and lots of warm bodies to do ad-selling, to file regulatory paperwork in every country and to do customer support for valuable clients.

      You think having deadwood engineers is a problem, try having 4th rate legal and regulatory compliance people

      1. richardcox13

        Re: Deadwood

        > Trouble is that although you need very few engineers to keep the lights o

        You've not seen a large IT organisation which has never paid down its technical debt. Like Twitter has not. In those organisation you need a large team to keep the fires mostly under control.

      2. the Jim bloke Silver badge

        Re: Deadwood

        , try having 4th rate legal and regulatory compliance people

        I thought that was the best they actually reached?

        Anyone more competent is off running romance scams from Nigeria etc..

        1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

          Re: Deadwood

          Anyone more competent is off running romance scams from Nigeria etc..

          Hello,

          My name is May Kapakket, Lawyer and I have control of a deceased client's 1st rate legal and regulatory compliance team worth $15,000,00 million dollars that I am prepared to share with you …

          1. EVP Silver badge

            Re: Deadwood

            Hello May Kapakket, I've just inherited a small amount of money, around $50,000. I'm happy to inform you that I'm willing to invest all of it to pay expenses required to collect the money you mentioned. Meet me at Schiphol next Wednesday at 14:00, gate 14, to agree how to proceed...

  16. Howard Sway Silver badge

    Go hardcore or go home

    In other words you can either leave with 3 months pay, or stay, burn out, and then leave as a gibbering wreck a few months later (probably with no severance pay).

    When you think of it that way, it's a choice of being sane and rested in 3 months time, or screwed up and mentally and physically exhausted in 3 months time, both options paying the same.

    1. DJO Silver badge

      Re: Go hardcore or go home

      I should think most of the American staff will leave but there are a lot of foreign staff on permits which mean if they lose the job they lose the right to domicile in the USA so if they want to stay there they are well and truly fucked.

      1. nintendoeats Silver badge

        Re: Go hardcore or go home

        I bet they have a legal challenge they can make against Elon. Or maybe not, it's the US.

      2. Alumoi Silver badge

        Re: Go hardcore or go home

        So, slavery?

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: Go hardcore or go home

          Indentured servitude, technically.

          The two are indistinguishable in all the important details though.

  17. Kaltern

    TIKTOK...

    Twitter termination trending thanks to Tesla twat #ta-ta

  18. tomeh

    You do have to wonder if he's *trying* to piss away $44b, or if he genuinely believes his way is The Right Way. Bizarre stuff.

    1. fg_swe Bronze badge

      Remember how he inserted himself in the cave rescue affair?

      Its all about Being In The News. Keep investors buying TSLA etc.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Hey this guy just called a rescue diver a paedophile, is he the CEO of any public listed companies? I need to buy shares in them quick!

        1. Franco Silver badge

          That's the joys of what I like to call the OJ Amendment in the US (Famous generally means innocent), anyone else publicly accusing someone of being a "pedo guy" (Musk's exact words) because they "look like one" wouldn't have a leg to stand on legally.

          You can see why he likes Trump, it's definitely the "no publicity is bad publicity" school of thought. The cave incident, he offered use of a sub that everyone knew was no use, the caves were barely wide enough for divers in SCUBA gear to get through. He also challenged Putin to a fist fight when he invaded Ukraine, as if that was a likely outcome.

      2. Kimo

        Tesla is down about 30% since Musk announced he was buying Twitter.

        1. Code For Broke

          Tesla has also gone from Consumer Reports most reliable car maker for many years to nearly the most unreliable in about the past three years.

          I imagine that this is why Elon is so off the handle lately. Consumer Reports is really mean when they want to be.

    2. Roger Greenwood
      Happy

      Yup, "no such thing as bad news" has been used before and sometimes it works. Many predicted that no sane country would elect someone like DT but look what happened (and the UK did the same with BJ). Self publicists are very popular with a certain section of society, that drives attention which attracts the money. I'm not betting against an evil genius :-)

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        >no sane country would elect someone like DT

        And that statement still holds true

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "You do have to wonder if he's *trying* to piss away $44b, or if he genuinely believes his way is The Right Way. Bizarre stuff."

      Maybe he got advance warning of Bezos statement about giving all his money away before he dies and Musk is playing oneupmanship? "Hey Jeff! THIS is how to get rid of all your money!"

    4. Plest Silver badge

      Nope, he's a spoilt brat with rich parents who believes the BS he's fed from his legions of adoring fans on...oh yes Twitter!

  19. fg_swe Bronze badge

    Elon Genius

    He must be in the news to keep investors interested in the stock of his companies.

    So he abuses Twitter to stay in the news. Obviously he plans to burn the 40 billions of Twitter worthiness and at the same time pump TESLA to new highs.

    Not illiegal, but unconventional to say the least.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: interested in the stock of his companies

      Investors are interested - in how much they can short Tesla. Musk bought Twitter mostly using loans backed by Tesla stock. Tesla stock has fallen and at some point this could trigger a margin call: the banks getting their money back by selling the collateral. Last I heard the banks were trying to sell Twitter debt at 40% of its face value to reduce their exposure.

      1. DJO Silver badge

        Re: interested in the stock of his companies

        The vultures have been circling over Tesla stock for a while, the company is grossly overvalued being valued at more than the next eight auto-makers combined. Musk is just accelerating that collapse.

        While Tesla had the mid-luxury electric car segment to themselves they could rake it in but now with companies like BMW and Mercedes slowly introducing better and cheaper mid-luxury electric cars Tesla is in the weakest position it's ever been in, even more so as the "Auto-pilot" hasn't delivered. It's almost as if Musk thought the other car makers wouldn't compete in the segment.

        Shorting 101: (skip if you know what "Shorting" is)

        It works like this - You borrow some shares for a small fixed fee and sell them, then when the stock price drops you buy back the same number of shares at the lower price, return the shares to the lender and keep the difference (minus the "small fee"). If the share price does not drop you are just out by the fees, if the share price goes up you are screwed. -- End 101

        So judging exactly when the Tesla stock is going to collapse is a risky gamble but possibly incredibly profitable if they get it right.

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: interested in the stock of his companies

          Musk is actually putting people off Teslas now.

          If I had the money for an electric car, would be more likely to go Polestar or BMW route NOT Tesla.

        2. that one in the corner Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: interested in the stock of his companies

          > Shorting 101

          Musk: still trying to figure out how to make Tesla stock only available in NFTs as a safeguard against short selling.

        3. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: interested in the stock of his companies

          But add that shorting an investment can lead to the price dropping in the way that you want it to, if you are a big investor.

  20. Elongated Muskrat

    What a choice. Three months' pay, for no effort (and a fairly high chance that you'll be able to find another similarly paying job well within that timescale), or, over the next three months, earn the same amount by doing six months' worth of work for an arsehole megalomaniac, if the company you work for doesn't go bankrupt in that time, with your wages left unpaid.

    A bit of an obvious choice, no? The only ones who are left aren't exactly going to be the "hardcore".

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      What a choice. Three months' pay, for no effort (and a fairly high chance that you'll be able to find another similarly paying job well within that timescale), or, over the next three months, earn the same amount by doing six months' worth of work for an arsehole megalomaniac, if the company you work for doesn't go bankrupt in that time, with your wages left unpaid.

      I note that FB is now doing huge layoffs. Seems to be contagious.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Everybody went on a crazy hiring a spree during the pandemic.

        Partly it was the idea that with remote workers we can hire for cheap in a flyover state and dump these SF salaries later, also if everyone else is hiring you need to hire or you are going to lose talent and attractiveness for future talent

        FB headcount went up something like 40%, now it's going down 10%

      2. Elongated Muskrat

        That's because Zuck spaffed all his money into shit VR that nobody wants.

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          "That's because Zuck spaffed all his money into shit VR that nobody wants."

          The big problem is VR surged a few years ago and people tired of it. There isn't the "killer app" for VR so it's of limited use in the workplace and just another device whose built-in rechargeable batteries stop taking much of a charge and it's 2x the money to have a replacement battery fitted if they can be had.

          I don't see the issue with having a small team that keeps the embers from going out altogether, but Mark has to be rational about a big program that is trying to feel its way to being a product. I love books such as Snowcrash and Ready Player One where the hardware, software and user interest all align. Some SF writers might make a good concept team to flesh out some basic parameters that will need to be in place before a company tries a big push on VR again.

          1. Code For Broke

            I believe that the VR scheme didn't pan out because not every consumer is a 7-year-old boy trapped in the body of a 38-year-old man who looks like a 7-year-old boy. (Thats a dig at Zuckerberg, got it?)

        2. MJI Silver badge

          VR

          My sons have bought into it well. They have 3 between them, well two now, I have have been given one of them.

          How much does Zuckerturd make out of each Steam VR, HTC Vive, or PSVR sale?

  21. s. pam
    Big Brother

    Cue up music from Talking Heads and Brian Eno...

    "Burning Down the House" and "Burning Airlines Give You So Much More" keep replaying every time I see their bat shirt leader's latest orders.

    Why Hitler? I'm sure smart readers can understand why that choice!

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Cue up music from Talking Heads and Brian Eno...

      Erm you know that icon isn't the winner of the 1933 all-europe Chaplin look-alike contest, don't you ?

      1. nintendoeats Silver badge

        Re: Cue up music from Talking Heads and Brian Eno...

        Nor is it Hitler, who I think OP may have mistaken Mr. Brother for.

        1. Elongated Muskrat

          Re: Cue up music from Talking Heads and Brian Eno...

          Thanks for that, Johnny Joke-explainer. I'm pretty sure that's who the poster to whom you were replying to was insinuating...

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Cue up music from Talking Heads and Brian Eno...

            An extra upvote for "to whom you were replying to"

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Were I unfortunate enough to be working there, I could only answer one way:

    "Screw you, you psycho! I don't kill myself for billionaire's profits. See 'ya." *slam*

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      ""Screw you, you psycho! I don't kill myself for billionaire's profits. See 'ya." *slam*"

      First you want to identify the few hardcores that are going to stick around and make sure you are on good terms with them. That way you can use them on your resume as your "supervisors" for a potential new employer to query. With modern phone systems, there isn't the ability to ask a receptionist what somebody's job title is. You just punch in an extension or access the directory if you are calling the business line and not a personal phone. Your good friend can pretend they are a junior VP or something and, yes, you were one of their direct reports. Works a treat, that. For the price of a couple of pints, you get a rave review and a backup on the overinflated entry you thought up for your resume. This is very helpful if you did give the billionaire the bird and were sacked for your commentary on their personal habits with farm yard animals.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Musk is showing he's quite good at manipulating people.

    He obviously wanted to get the headcount at Twitter down to something sensible like say less than 3000, but there was no way anyone would let him do that - so he creates this nonsense idea of hardcode development to scare the Scheisse out of the remaining staff - and those who are more likely to complain about having to do a day's work, leave!

    In 3 months, the headcount will be back to 2013 levels, and everyone will be happy!

    1. Elongated Muskrat

      In 3 months time, it'll be back down to 2005 levels.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: everyone will be happy!

      And you're so confident of that you hid your handle?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, true genius, amirite?

      Really??

      One of my previous employers tried a similar stunt - announced and raised a huge bunch of redundancies, then sat on the letters for six months rather than sending them out, expecting all the (presumably unwanted) staff to leave on their own accord so they didn't have to pay the redundancies.

      Trouble is, all the good staff saw the writing on the wall and bailed (including our entire department), so they hit their headcount target within two months. Then they still had to go through with the announced redundancies on top of that because the bulk of the staff targeted for redundancy hadn't left, and it was illegal to quash a redundancy after it has been raised...

      Nope, this sounds more like standard incompetence and to me...

  24. BigAndos

    Two main things strike me as ridiculous about this:

    1. Twitter's fundamental problem right now (apart from the mad king) is that it doesn't make money. I'm not sure this is a software engineering problem - "write enough lines of code and we'll be raking it in everyone!!!". It is more a problem with the business model and the debt that said mad king saddled them with when he bought it out. I really don't understand how beasting all their technical staff is going to turn them profitable.

    2. Every single project I've ever worked on that has gone down the death march route and got people working at all hours has failed and been late and/or over budget and/or stopped completely anyway. Working long hours for a week or two before a big deadline is fine, but if you expect that all day, every day all you achieve is burning out your staff and a poor quality result.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      is that it doesn't make money

      It was before Musk bought it and saddled it with a $1bn/year interest bill..

      Not a huge profit but still a profit. Which they could have increased by judicious and measured cuts to staff and contractors and fixing their network costs..

      Instead, Musk the Pirate comes in, slashing and burning without a clue about what he's doing.

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      "I'm not sure this is a software engineering problem "

      I expect it's an SG&A (Selling, General and Administrative) spending issue. For the User base numbers, the headcount wasn't monstrously high. I'm sure it could have been trimmed here and there, but not by 50%. The problem is more about the cash burn for vanity stuff like downtown offices. A cafeteria is a nice thing to have, but if Elon was correct that people were not eating there or just dumping most of the meals uneaten, that's a big waste. Just eliminate wi-fi in the dining hall and only hungry people would go there. Limit the number of meals served per sitting so people better be there no earlier than 10 minutes prior to queue up or they might not get fed. HVAC in a large building can be murderously expensive so having people working long shifts costs bucketloads in heating/cooling. It might be better to shut off floors/departments "after hours". I expect that the building would get used 24/7 since it's a global business, but if it isn't, HVAC comfort can end and start at certain times. Somebody that's been at work for 12 hours is likely useless so they might as well go home earlier than that and save the company some money.

  25. Skiver

    Twitter employees should be going hardcore out the door.

    Musk paid way too much for twitter and now he's desperate.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: Musk paid way too much for twitter

      Perhaps it is the Saudi backers who are getting severe cold feet at what he is doing to Twatter?

      Either way, let the thing die and while you are at it, take Facebook with it into Chapter 7

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      "Musk paid way too much for twitter and now he's desperate."

      He also has no clue how to fix it and has likely sacked the very people that could have helped. While he has to be back in court once again on the opposite side of the country, he's only going to get sleep on his Gulfstream. He better be rested for court, the judges don't put up with much nonsense and people falling asleep.

      1. the Jim bloke Silver badge

        Judges are hardcore..

  26. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    In the near future....

    Business Schools will use this whole crapshoot as a case study of how not to take over a company and motivate the staff.

    Lord Almighty Musk is way out of his depth here and IMHO, the only way for Twitter is downhill... fast.

  27. Kimo

    The fact that Musk thinks Twitter is a software and server company is why he is shedding billions of dollars. Twitter software isn't all that innovative. It does take a lot of work to run a microblog site with the volume of Twitter, but it isn't like creating self-driving cars (which his other company is failing at).

    The value of Twitter is, or rapidly was, its community. He doesn't seem to grasp the social part of Social Media, and that's why he rolled out a subscription Blue Check program with disastrous results. The blue check was valuable because you couldn't buy it. Lots of people want to find Stephen King. Very few people want to find my account. Nobody wants to find Steven King (blue check mark). But if paying $8 a month prioritizes my posts and the fake King over Stephen King's, people will leave the platform.

    The coding part of allowing people to buy a blue check was simple. They pushed it out in under a week. The social part of letting people buy a blue check was a disaster that led to impersonation of accounts, hid content people wanted to find, and destroyed the trust that Twitter spent years building in the community of users that joined Twitter to find content from authors, entertainers, journalists, and brands.

    1. spuck

      Twitter doesn't care about validating identity with a blue checkmark. They care about establishing a billing relationship with a known person. Musk has repeatedly stated his goals of making Twitter into the payment platform he wished he had finished making with PayPal.

      1. Kimo

        The problem is Twitter users care. The blue check allowed them to follow the verified accounts of that they are interested in. It was exclusive, but that made it both more trustworthy and more valuable.

        People use Twitter because they want to share their thoughts and follow people they are interested in. People don't join Twitter to pay money. We have PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Venmo, and a host of other platforms that people use.

        Musk has blown up the niche Twitter occupied in order to enter a niche that is overcrowded already.

  28. martinusher Silver badge

    Its more a problem with tech culture

    Musk has collided with a problem that he thought he knew but actually doesn't quite know how to handle. Twitter has really exposed a gathering storm. The signs are everywhere -- we've all read about Twitter's layoffs, there's been mention of Amazon shedding staff and elsewhere on this site you'll see "Investor tells Google: Cut costs now and stop paying staff so much". They're all pointing to the same thing -- we've been paying far too many people far too much for too long to make a sustainable business. We have been living a fiction, the idea that 'eyeballs' will generate ever increasing ad revenue which, in turn, will sustain this type of business. It won't, and papering over the cracks with investor capital is just delaying the inevitable.

    The one thing that you can say about companies like Tesla and SpaceX is that they have positive net cash flow -- they're making a profit, in other words. They got there using sweat equity, the idea that you're trading labor for not just wages but options (and also seriously enhanced future opportunities). Musk might have mistaken Twitter for a startup. Its not, its like other mature, public, companies with a stable workforce that's grown comfortable with their lot. This might work for Apple or Microsoft, something with stable cash flow, but the lesson of IBM is that nowhere is invulnerable to "the numbers". If its not making those numbers then "headcount will be reduced and more productivity will be required of the remaining headcount". This is a natural business cycle in our world (and as a prole myself I hate it) but as I've seen and experienced several times before employment can switch from "anyone with a heartbeat" to "can't get a job anywhere" practically overnight. So I'd strongly advise all those Twitter employees that are behaving like bees that have their nest disturbed to get behind the program. This tech scene had a great run but the game is over (and if you're smart you'd have been saving like mad for this day....banking not just money but capabilities).

    Whether Muck will get away with this is anyone's guess. (I've been informed that I don't know what I'm talking about as well.)

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Its more a problem with tech culture

      "The one thing that you can say about companies like Tesla and SpaceX is that they have positive net cash flow "

      Tesla, yeah sort of. They have 2 models that ship in quantity. They have 2 very expensive luxury EV's. There's another year to go on their rendition of a pickup. The Semi is supposed to be shipping some units in a couple of weeks to Pepsi and they've had money on deposit for around 5 years now. The Roadster 2.0 has been teased and there has been three or four words about an affordable EV, but Elon pulled back on that a few days later as something far in the future when they get around to it. Whatever profits they might have should be going towards ramping up. VW can dedicate a dozen new factories to EV production from the real estate they already hold. The same goes for many other manufacturers.

      SpaceX, maybe not. SX is private and has been spending money like a drunken sailor. They are expected to deliver to NASA a working lunar lander ready to put astronauts down at the south pole of the moon in 2 years. What SX put forward is a variant of the Starship and those crash or explode the vast majority of the time thus far. 2 years for a project like a lunar lander is very tight. They will have to borrow technology from wherever they can to save time. If Elon thinks they are going to homebrew everything in-house from the ground up, he's going to be in lots of trouble. If the deposit money is being used to buy ads on Twitter, .... Guantanamo Bay.

      1. martinusher Silver badge

        Re: Its more a problem with tech culture

        Both Tesla and SpaceX have enormous reservoirs of intellectual property. SpaceX's reusable boosters have completely rewritten the economics of satellite launches, they charge about two thirds of the cheapest alternative. Tesla has a lot of licensable technology in reusable power generation, power management and storage as well as motors, motor control and overall EV design. (They also seem to be the only company that can make reliable high power EV chargers for public use.)

        Its the IP that creates the value.

        This is the fundamental flaw behind companies such as Twitter. At its core its merely a mail reflector that works on SMS messages. Its been extended far beyond this, of course, but its still a piece of easily replicable software. Its value is in its user base, not its technology -- in fact, like most other 'app' companies it relies on the complex IP of phones, the wireless and internet infrastructure to operate, creating little of value outside its own core business.

        BTW -- If you live somewhere where Teslas are commonplace you'd notice that there are lots of different variants. I don't follow these details much myself since I think the plug-in hybrid is by far a better option than a full electric. But Telsas are everywhere in So Cal and they must fulfill a need because they're not particularly cheap. Tesla owners I know love them.

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: Its more a problem with tech culture

          "But Telsas are everywhere in So Cal and they must fulfill a need because they're not particularly cheap."

          Yes, they do fulfill a need. Without one it's much harder to virtue signal while driving. I know people with several different EV's and they all like them as well as bitch about this and that too. The people I know also own their homes since I'm older and don't know that many people that are still renting. I bring this up as it's not a good use of money to buy an EV at a high price instead of a house.

          The thing that scares me the most about Tesla is you never cut the cord with Tesla. If you buy a Ford, once you're past warranty there is no need to go back to Ford for anything. Lots of third party parts and service shops and the Ford was likely a finished product when it was released so no need for Over-The-Air updates (this might be changing). If Tesla goes out of business or drops support on an older model/version, owning a Tesla would become a big challenge. Selling one would be a task as well other than to scrappers. One change I can recall is that if the infotainment system needed repairs on the Model S, they would swap the whole module (screen and electronics) and you would lose FM radio if your S was old enough to have it. I don't know if any of them had AM radio or not since the noise from the car might be a problem to screen out. What's next? Will updates to the SatNav be unavailable if you don't replace another $3,000 module? Will it just stop working, full stop or only not receive updates? Keep in mind that if your Tesla loses its blessing, it won't work with Superchargers any more.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Its more a problem with tech culture

            All the car makers are following in the footsteps of Tesla. BMW have/had a 'subscription' service to activate options like heated seats. Its been on here and Louis Rossmann has covered it on his youtube channel. They saw how Tesla owners seemed happy for this model and it is a good source of money.

            Everything is becoming 'x as a service'.

            One of the reasons I own cars from early 2000 or older.

    2. sabroni Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: I've been informed that I don't know what I'm talking about as well.

      Cool, save me the bother!

    3. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Its more a problem with tech culture

      "we've been paying far too many people far too much for too long to make a sustainable business."

      I've seen the fallacy of some execs that think if they can throw more people or money at something, it will get done or improve. As an engineer, I can see that any project has to have an optimum number of people and a sufficient budget to go as fast as it will go. There is also the execthink that they have to put their offices in a certain place because that's where the "talent" is or wants to be. I've always found that stupid since I've never wanted to live in any of those S-hole places with super high cost of living. While I enjoy the odd concert now and again, I can always travel to a city to see a favorite band. I much prefer to live outside of the city as I also enjoy the outdoors and being able to own my own home much more than attending the ballet or theatre (maybe twice a year).

      If the cost of living is high, salaries have to be high or there's no way staff can afford to live in the area or even commute to the office. Even traditionally low paying positions in the mail room or custodial staff have to be paid a premium or there'd be nobody that could afford to do the work. Combine too many people on staff and the premium costs and that puts a huge obstacle in the way of turning revenue into profit.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For Gods Sake ..... please stop !!!!

    I cannot take anymore useless reporting on Musk & Twitter !!!

    I don't care anymore please just let it curl up & die in the corner .... quietly !!!

    Just ignore Elon and Twitter and the loss of $44 Billion .... it is not important, Ukraine IS important, COVID is important, Climate Change IS important !!!

    Aarggh !!!!!

    :-(

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: For Gods Sake ..... please stop !!!!

      "it is not important, Ukraine IS important, COVID is important, Climate Change IS important !!!"

      Then stop reading a tech reporting site then!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: For Gods Sake ..... please stop !!!!

      "Ukraine IS important, COVID is important, Climate Change IS important !!!"

      Ah yes, a manufactured war, a manufactured pandemic and a manufactured global crisis for the purposes of shifting the remaining wealth from the people to the elite under the disguise of 'saving them'.

      1. Code For Broke

        Re: For Gods Sake ..... please stop !!!!

        You seem to also have a "manufactured" cause for every complex topic. How simple and convenient.

        I, too, wish that everything terrifying and bewildering about being alive right now had a clear and simple bottom-line answer.

        Tho' I don't think I would like it much if my answer to everything was some mildly paranoid script about "them."

        "When you figure out who 'they' are, the therapy is over."

        Best of luck to you.

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: "When you figure out who 'they' are, the therapy is over."

          The rich.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "When you figure out who 'they' are, the therapy is over."

            They = The Hierarchy Enslaving You.

            And yes, this is all manufactured to make the rich richer. If anyone was serious about climate change they would not be flying off in private jets several times a year eating highly carbon intensive food and generally living it up while telling the rest of the world we are doomed if we don't live in the dark and eat 'ze boogz'.

            It is very carefully crafted to keep the weak of mind in a state of constant anxiety (and blimey it is working) which keeps the people controllable.

    3. EVP Silver badge

      Re: For Gods Sake ..... please stop !!!!

      “ Ukraine IS important, COVID is important, Climate Change IS important”

      Important, yes. Entertaining, no.

      This epic Twatter saga in its turn is best-of-the-breed entertainment. Thanks E!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: For Gods Sake ..... please stop !!!!

        I still think that American Politics are the ultimate in low-brow entertainment, though. You couldn't pay people to stick their foot and appendage as far in their mouth as the body politic does on a regular basis.

        Our politicians here in Canada just bicker and point fingers.

        The Americans are an all out psycho cage wrestling match!

      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: For Gods Sake ..... please stop !!!!

        "This epic Twatter saga in its turn is best-of-the-breed entertainment. Thanks E!"

        It's also directly affecting people that work in Tech and IT.

  30. DS999 Silver badge
    Trollface

    Man would it be awesome

    If only a few hundred employees signed his 'pledge', and Twitter was forced to shut down because no one who knows how to keep it running was left.

    Please Santa, if I get this I promise I won't ask for anything else this Christmas!

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Man would it be awesome

      "and Twitter was forced to shut down because no one who knows how to keep it running was left."

      It would not end well for Elon. The Saudis are a minority investor and the big banks who are also holding some interest have all sorts of ways of applying pressure. Some are very visible and others might not be talked about in polite company, in writing or over a cell phone. The most obvious pressure points are Elon's other enterprises. Burn the big banks and getting corporate sized lines of credit and banking services can come to an end. The non-obvious paths are agents from the banks having private chats with board members about Elon continuing in an executive role.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Man would it be awesome

        I’d turn down any Saudi invites to a BBQ if I were Musk.

    2. DS999 Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Man would it be awesome

      From the reports I'm seeing on the news tonight, I may be getting my wish.

      Thanks, Santa!

  31. shah27

    What were people expecting?

    Firstly no one wanted Musk to buy Twitter. But when he tried to bali out of the deal he was threatened with a lawsuit which would have forced him to buy the company. He's now the boss of a "tech" company that never made a profit and the staff are complaining they are being laid off?

    I am curious to know exactly what value are these staff providing to Twitter a loss making company? Or is everyone just giving shit because their boss is someone they didn't like?

    Isn't it somewhat disengenious to complain about Elon when all of ths staff were sold out by the previous owners?

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: What were people expecting?

      "I am curious to know exactly what value are these staff providing to Twitter a loss making company?"

      A lot of them were doing the things needed to make any money, for example finding and working with advertisers, preventing the thing from being so horrible that advertisers ran away from it, or maintaining the infrastructure so it stayed operational. Probably there were many who weren't being useful. Only problem is that you can't figure out who is doing useful things and who isn't in a few days, which is all it took to start massive waves of firings. If you fire people at random, you could easily find that the loss-making company has started making losses much more quickly.

      "Isn't it somewhat disengenious to complain about Elon when all of ths staff were sold out by the previous owners?"

      How exactly were they sold out? By selling the company to him? They tried blocking him repeatedly. It didn't work. By the time they decided to make the sale, he had done enough damage and the owners wanted their payout so much that there wasn't much choice left, and few people had the power to prevent any of it. None of those people were the employees.

      1. Stork Silver badge

        Re: What were people expecting?

        Reminds me of:

        - How many people work here?

        - about half

      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: What were people expecting?

        "A lot of them were doing the things needed to make any money, for example finding and working with advertisers, preventing the thing from being so horrible that advertisers ran away from it, or maintaining the infrastructure so it stayed operational."

        Not making a profit was down to the reality of what advertisers will pay for ads on the service and what it costs to keep going. The only thing that is company controlled is their cost of doing business. Getting rid of staff is an obvious tactic, but it might also result in a loss of revenue. A big diet to slim down while keeping the people that do the actual work would have been a better aim point. Many companies get weighed down with management that cost too much and inhibit work getting done through meetings, reports and delayed decisions.

    2. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: What were people expecting?

      The previous staff wasn't told by their bosses they needed to "sign a pledge" to work "extremely hardcore ... long hours at high intensity". What company does something like that, that's crazy! Earlier this week Musk was talking about 80 hour weeks, is that his long hours at high intensity or he now saying they need to go above even that?

      I didn't see any mention of salary increases or guaranteed bonuses to compensate them for effectively working twice as much as they did before. It isn't their fault the company is losing money, if the management is always the one who collects untold millions in bonuses when things go well then they have to shoulder the blame when things go poorly. But Musk, like most clueless management, thinks he should get all the rewards when a business makes money (like his ridiculous compensation at Tesla that could pay him more than $50 billion) but is first to blame the workers when things go badly.

      Sorry that you aren't able to enjoy his well deserved downfall like the rest of us.

    3. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: when he tried to bali out of the deal he was threatened with a lawsuit

      That's not how "buying things" works. When the purchaser says "I don't need to see it, I'm not gonna check if it works, take my money" that's their decision. You can't refuse due diligence then complain about what you've bought.

    4. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: What were people expecting?

      Erm, Musk signed a contract to buy the company without a letter of intent and due diligence. He could only break contract by paying a large exit fee. And meanwhile he was shitposting about Twitter and interfering with its stock price and spooking advertisers. Hence a lawsuit to compel him one way or another to the terms of the contract. Plus usual legal discovery etc.

      And so he bought Twitter. Have to wonder what he was scared would come out through discovery to take that path.

      And before Musk, Twitter was on a relatively even keel. Some losses, but also signs of profitability. Maybe they would have had some layoffs but it would have been measured and not chaotic.

      After Musk, advertisers are abandoning the platform by their hundreds of millions of dollars and he has taken on huge debts to finance his buyout. The company is hemorrhaging money all thanks to Elon and at some point it will fail. It'll either go chapter 11, or he'll firesale it to someone else. I'm sure his apologists will pretend this is all him playing 4D chess rather than as his unfiltered stupidity finally catching up with him.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    5. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: What were people expecting?

      boss of a "tech" company that never made a profit

      Actually, pre-Musk it was making a profit.. only just, but still a profit.

  32. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Stop twittering

    Hey Elon - stop twittering and go fix AutoPilot -

    https://www.theregister.com/2022/11/16/tesla_nhtsa_report/

    P.S. You can't fire me as I don't work for you

  33. This post has been deleted by its author

  34. Terry 6 Silver badge
    Pint

    I closed my Twitter

    Done. Gone.

    I enjoyed the arguing with some of the nastier elements and so forth. I'm retired and it helped me keep the old brain cells sharper. And helped to make sure that some of the stupid/nastier ideas weren't left uncontested to grow and gain credibility by repetition.

    And it used to be a good way to get through to those big companies that had no customer service' postal address, had hidden their phone numbers and never answered emails if you could even find the link.

    But mostly they've found ways to dodge complaints on Twitter too, now.

    I'll be damned if I'm going to let Musk gain clicks for his advertising streams while he's treating his staff like that.

    (Pint for myself because I can).

    1. DS999 Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: I closed my Twitter

      Have another pint on me.

      I haven't closed my Twitter account but only because I joined in early 2008 when Myspace started crumbling but never sent a tweet and I think logged in only a handful of times since (but while following no one somehow have 6 followers...must be bots?) I figure it is more fitting to leave a never used 15 year old account laying around gathering cobwebs than whatever statement it would make deleting it.

      It can slowly rot along with Twitter's corpse like my MySpace account did. Or still does? Not sure if Myspace still exists, or if so whether old accounts are still there...

    2. GlockandRoll

      Re: I closed my Twitter

      I'm leaving Twitter is the new "I'm moving to Canada" lol.

      Good riddance. You won't be missed.

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        I can't figure out

        If you're a die hard Tesla investor who believes Musk is a god that none of us mere mortals should dare question, or a Q nut who is excited by all the nutjobs calling for political violence being allowed back on Twitter and is upset that won't matter if everyone else leaves and it becomes another wasteland like Gab or Dumb Social.

        Based on the "Glock" in your name I'm going to guess the latter. Sorry but your orange turd flinger blew the midterms when all his election deniers got creamed in swing states, so now everyone is jumping ship on him to the point where even Fox News barely covered his "big announcement". Even if he gets back on Twitter no one is going to care what he has to say anymore!

        1. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: I can't figure out

          And I forgot the best part - his security people blocked attendees from leaving early so there was a big stack of people facing away from him during the last part of his speech.

          Trump knew when he rambled on aimlessly about the same old grievances for an hour like usual that even his most ardent supporters would get bored and finishing his speech to a half empty ballroom would look even more pathetic than it already did.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Burned through $12 billions, losses of billions, and will never make a positive ROI..

    Twitter almost went Chapter 11 three or four years ago. There never was a viable business model, never will be. At least for a dot com company like Twitter. With their obscenely high overheads and pay.

    For what Twitter actual does they could have built out the same infrastructure for few hundred million. Max. And with less than 10% of their headcount.

    But it was always a dot com so unless they found a Bigger Fool with very deep pockets it was also going to end badly.

    But when it was shopped around not even the usual Bigger Fools would buy. End of story.

    So its a Chapter 11. Fire 90% of the staff. Cut pay 50%. And then they might have a nice little healthy positive cash flow earner with no debt.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Burned through $12 billions, losses of billions, and will never make a positive ROI..

      "And then they might have a nice little healthy positive cash flow earner with no debt."

      The first part may be possible. The second a lot less likely, at least for a decade or two if it survives that long. $1.4B per year in interest alone is a lot of profit to bring in just keep their head above water, never mind paying it down.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Burned through $12 billions, ..Chapter 11, problem solved..

        The debt issue can be easily solved by a hardball Chapter 11. There is basically no tangible asset value for debtors to grab so the Chapter 7 nuclear option will keep them in check. A 10c's on the $ sorta future repo type deal is how this is usually handled. If we start making cash positive, you might get payed back 10c on the $ some time in the future. In stock or bonds. The deal might get bulked up by another 20c or 30c / $ subsidiary deal, which will never get paid but gives the debtors a plausible story to tell their investors.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Burned through $12 billions, ..Chapter 11, problem solved..

          >The debt issue can be easily solved by a hardball Chapter 11

          I'm sure the people that fronted him the $40Bn didn't think of that and are happy to walk away from their money (especially those with their own army, secret police and bonesaws)

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Burned through $12 billions, losses of billions, and will never make a positive ROI..

      "With their obscenely high overheads and pay."

      The overhead must be killer. I'll have to pull up the historical SEC filings. I expect that the pay/salaries are boosted by the company being located in some of the most expensive places to do business on Earth. For what they've paid in rent, they could have had an ostentatious high rise in Nebraska that included indoor go-kart tracks that spanned several floors all paid off and a far smaller payroll for the same number of employees. Yes, it's Nebraska, but where would you rather raise kids? Nebraska or downtown San Francisco? The former would also be better if you like having a dog.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Burned through $12 billions..look at the top people...NE, no sale

        In dot coms the vastly inflated overheads tend to be in groups / divisions that are just personal fiefdoms of senior management and will never ever generate cashflow. Thats most of the waste. A good 90%. Actual salaries / perks although they get all the publicity are a relatively minor part of the problem. The cost per sq / foot in a office park in Redwood City or Sunnyvale is pretty much the same as SF

        As for SF v Nebraska. No sale. I've raised kids in SF. Its a fantastic place to raise kids. If you send them to private schools. If you cannot afford private schools you move to Marin or San Mateo county. Both great places to raise kids. As for Nebraska. I've known enough people who grew up in Nebraska (Omaha, Lincoln and on farms) to know why so many leave. Growing up there sounds just like so many rural / small cities environments I know very well in Europe / UK. Not a great place for kids. Despite what parents might think at the time. Especially when they hit the teens.

        Then there are those Great Plains Winters. And those summers...

        I think I'd chose the SF Bay Area any day. To live and to raise a family. With the Puget Sound area and the Central Coast of CA great alternatives. There is a very good reason why very nice places to live have high costs of living.

    3. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: Burned through $12 billions, losses of billions, and will never make a positive ROI..

      I found some stats. Twitter turned a profit in 2018 and 2019.

      So it was possibly to turn a profit managing the service conventionally. At least it was, till it got loaded up with debt. Now it's toast.

      But it will be bought out of bankruptcy because that userbase is too valuable.

      1. Stork Silver badge

        Re: Burned through $12 billions, losses of billions, and will never make a positive ROI..

        Do you think there is still a userbase when that happens?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Burned through $12 billions, losses of billions,..need to look at 10K's

        I'd take the numbers in that article with a railcar full of salt. You have to dig very carefully through the 10K's for those two years before you can say Twitter actually made a profit.

        Then there are the many many billions of accumulated losses. Plus that $12B..

      3. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Burned through $12 billions, losses of billions, and will never make a positive ROI..

        "But it will be bought out of bankruptcy because that userbase is too valuable."

        I'm not convinced of that. It might be far cheaper for somebody to build something very similar and not pay any premium for the Twitter brand.

        The stats showing $5bn in revenue for 2021 should indicate a company in good shape if they have under 10,000 employees (or $500k per employee). If they can operate with only 5,000 employees, that's $1,000,000 of revenue annually per employee. Dang good for a company that doesn't produce anything tangible and has no need to advertise. If an average salary is $100k with an average employee cost of twice that, it's $800,000 per employee. This is all just looking at staffing as a metric for evaluating a certain type of company. Bandwidth has to be figured in there along with hosting, but as far as office equipment, there isn't the need for anything that you wouldn't find in any typical office cubicle anywhere. No machinery, fluctuating prices of raw material, mine strikes, back up at shipping ports and all of that. War in a country won't hold up component shipments and close down production lines.

    4. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Burned through $12 billions, losses of billions, and will never make a positive ROI..

      "There never was a viable business model, never will be. At least for a dot com company like Twitter. With their obscenely high overheads and pay."

      Ahhh, all of the dot com dreamers that have a business degree but no business sense. At this point they should be able to figure how much money they can charge advertisers by multiplying the number of mDau times some figure keeping in mind how much any other media outlet is charging per view/click/eyeball/etc. Since mDAU can be adjusted, the revenue of the company through advertising can be bracketed. Now all they have to do is find a way to run the company in a way that brings in more revenue than they have costs. Two things come into play, how many advertisers can they bag and how cheaply can they run the company. Ads max out at some point to leave an acceptable amount of space on each page and ads have to be visible for a minimum amount of time. The going industry price for the ads is also fixed given the audience type. If you are Architectural Digest magazine, you can charge the moon since you are delivering a very specialist audience to the advertisers. I expect there is a calculation for social media advertising that isn't as generous since the audience is much more general.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Burned through $12 billions, losses of billions, ..online ads are part of the con

        First, dot com's only get those huge investment round numbers because that is a key part of the Dot Com 2.0 VC ponzi model. The VC's make their money from the 2% "management fees", not not any 20 upside. Because there almost never was a 20 after 2000. The VC's who made any 20 before 1997, before the Dot Com 1.0 VC pump and dump scam, are still pretty much the only VC's who make any 20 ROI in the last 25 years.

        So the Twitter VC's did well. They made at least $1.2 billion in "management fees" from those investments. Plus whatever mark-up the early round guys made from later round sell on's

        As for online advertising. The one thing that has not changed since I saw my first online ad in 1994 is the complete failure of the supposed "targeting" of these ads compared with traditional media. In fact every year or two I do see an online ad that might have a higher "targeting value". But thats blind luck numbers. Considering how much personal data these people have collected the total failure of the supposed targeting of online ads is another part of the whole scam. The audience targeting accuracy is rarely above a minor late cable TV channel ads in the 1980's. That bad.

        So we have lost a whole media ecosystem that was financed by traditional ads just so that the online ad intermediaries can make huge amounts of money delivering online ads that almost never rise about the level of - well you searched on Goggle for this recently so lets stick up some vaguely related items.

        One of the important parts of the traditional media ads was they actually made me aware of relevant products that I might be interested in. The ad's were often as much a part of the experience as the copy. and content. The media outlet advertising dept made sure of that. The reason why so many of us have ad-blockers is not that so mnay online ads are intrusive and annoying. Which so many are. But they bombards you with so many stupid and irrelevant ads. About a 99.9999% failure rate. Just like minor cable TV channels in the 1980's. So you switch off.

  36. Joe Cincotta
    Devil

    All praise the imbecile. He has money

    Buys the emotional sewer of humanity, makes it worse by removing any semblance of oversight or moderation, then rides whatever foolish engineers that stay into the ground under the premise of being 'hardcore'. What could possibly go wrong?

    I have metaphorically taken out my picnic chair and sat down with a beer to watch people run around the dumpster fire screaming. Fun times...

    It's idiots like this guy that show how bad the future could be in a country where workers don't have any rights whatsoever.

    1. GlockandRoll

      Re: All praise the imbecile. He has money

      I can think of a few things to call Elon, but imbecile is not one of them.

      Seek professional help.

      1. sabroni Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: I can think of a few things to call Elon, but imbecile is not one of them.

        Yeah, we know, he has lots of money so simply can't be a idiot....

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: I can think of a few things to call Elon, but imbecile is not one of them.

          How about a lucky idiot with some good ideas.

          Remember, the tech billionaires we see are possibly just the ones who 's idea didn't fail- it doesn't necessarily make them cleverer than the ones who's idea did fail.

      2. that one in the corner Silver badge

        Re: All praise the imbecile. He has money

        > I can think of a few things to call Elon, but imbecile is not one of them.

        > Seek professional help.

        Like Joe, I too used to suffer from "Musk is an imbecile" syndrome.

        I did as you advised and consulted a professional[1] and am happy to report that I shall no longer call Musk an "imbecile".

        Instead, I shall use one or more of: ninnyhammer, clodpole, cuddy, loggerhead, gander or mome.

        [1] lexicographer

  37. Aquatyger

    Ex Employee Hardships

    I am surprised the article did not mention the hardships that those who have lost their jobs will have to undergo:

    https://babylonbee.com/news/former-twitter-employee-cant-seem-to-find-meditation-room-at-new-taco-bell-job

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Ex Employee Hardships

      LOL --------------->

  38. johndrake7

    Divisive CEO becomes a prisoner of his own device

    Attribution where attribution is due. As the late James Douglas Morrison observed on Strange Days:

    Left all alone / Playing solitaire / Playing warden to your soul / You are locked in a prison / Of your own device

    Tear your web away / Saw through all your bars / Melt your cell today / You are caught in a prison / Of your own device

    Fly fast away / Don't miss your chance / To swim in mystery / You are dying in a prison / Of your own device

    Cheers.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Divisive CEO becomes a prisoner of his own device

      Relax said the night-man

      We are programmed to receive

      You can check out anytime you like

      But you can't never leave

  39. MachDiamond Silver badge

    Quality of life

    Many people found during lockdown that spending time with family, especially those with children, was important. Many had a crash course in how to work remotely and separate their personal and private life. People became used to having a life outside of work again.

    For Elon to insist and want signed agreements that people give up any hope of time away from work is going to mean another round of losing even more people that will decide that 80 hours a week for the same pay in a city where one must watch where they step is the stick that breaks the camel's back. I've never been one to suffer fools gladly and I'd hate to be somewhere with a boss that's trashing my work without knowing what they hell he's talking about only have been there all of 5 mins.

    Elon doesn't seem to get that the rank and file don't have the same upside nor the same dedication towards the company. Most people are just a cog on the gear and no matter how hard they shine, it just isn't going to mean all that much. I've been there a few times.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Quality of life

      Not to mention, outside of a few examples, there has never been a better time in America to find a better job in the last 50 years.

      Even better if you have serious skills.

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Quality of life

        "there has never been a better time in America to find a better job in the last 50 years."

        The last few years have made just a few of us look at what was so great about the old way of doing things. Is working in a big city for a big salary really that important? Some companies, the best ones, have found out that they can cleave off some functional groups from the main office and open a satellite office someplace that's affordable and much nicer all around. It's possible to find that better job in a better place. There's no great need to have Accounts Payable and the art department in the same downtown high rise. For that matter, having the accounting department in a downtown high rise isn't necessary either.

  40. Grunchy Bronze badge

    Already went hardcore back in 1984

    I guess I could give up being an employee and go turbo-mega hardcore?

    I’m afraid Tweeter wouldn’t survive!

    Sorry, Elon ;)

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Remaining Twitter people:Just tell Elon to take a flying f at a rolling donut

    He’s such a “genius” let him burn the whole rotten thing down by himself. No job is worth working for a dick.

  42. Christian Berger

    Why would anybody accept this?

    ...except for maybe those people who are to bad at what they do to not find a new job quickly?

    I mean, Twitter isn't infrastructure. If it vanishes tomorrow few people will even notice.

  43. Winkypop Silver badge
    Pirate

    Dear Elon

    Don’t go anywhere near the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

    Just in case.

  44. BRYN

    Elon Musk living up to Spitting image song

    Many years ago, at its peak the UK TV show Spitting image released a song

    I've travelled this old world of ours from Barnsley to Peru

    I've had sunstroke in the arctic and a swim in Timbuktu

    I've seen unicorns in Burma and a yeti in Nepal

    And I've danced with ten foot pygmies in a Montezuma hall

    I've met the king of China and the working Yorkshire miner

    But I've never met a nice South African

    [Chorus]

    No, he's never met a nice South African

    And that's not bloody surprising, man

    'Cause we're a bunch of arrogant bastards

    Who hate black people

    [Verse 2]

    I once got served in Woolies aften less than four week's wait

    I had lunch with Rowan Atkinson when he paid and wasn't late

    I know a public swimming bath where they don't piss in the pool

    I know a guy who got a job straight after leaving school

    I've met a normal merman, and a fairly modest German

    But I've never met a nice South African

    [Chorus]

    No, he's never met a nice South African

    And that's not bloody surprising, man

    'Cause we're a bunch of talentless murderers

    Who smell like baboons

    [Verse 3]

    I've had a close encounter of the 22nd kind

    That's when an alien spaceship (pop) disappears up your behind

    I got directory enquiries after less than forty rings

    I've even heard a decent song by Paul McCartney's Wings

    I've seen a flying pig in a quite convincing wig

    But I've never met a nice South African

    You might also like

    The Chicken Song

    Spitting Image

    Maroon

    Taylor Swift

    Anti-Hero

    Taylor Swift

    [Chorus]

    No, he's never met a nice South African

    And that's not bloody surprising, man

    'Cause we're a bunch of ignorant loudmouths

    With no sense of humour

    [Verse 4]

    I've met the Loch Ness monster and he looks like Fred Astaire

    At the BBC in London he's the chief commissionaire

    I know a place in Glasgow which is rife with daffodillies

    I met a man in Kathmandu who claimed to have two willies

    I've had a nice pot noodle, but I've never had a poodle

    And I've never met a nice South African

    [Chorus]

    No, he's never met a nice South African

    And that's not bloody surprising, man

    Because we've never met one either

    Except for Breyten Breytenbach, and he's emigrated to Paris

    Yes, he's quite a nice South African

    And he's hardly ever killed anyone

    And he's not smelly at all

    That's why we put him prison

    [Outro: P. W. Botha, Mr. Welldone]

    Frankly, Mr. Welldone, I'm fed up with people from Britain attacking my country for Apartheid

    We treat the blacks very well indeed!

    I actually employ several kaffirs here in my own home

    But Mr. Botha, I haven't seen a single black since I entered this mansion

    Haven't seen one? My God, man!

    What do you think you wiped your feet on when you came in?

    *Attackers storm in and stab P. W. Botha*

    You can't put a better bit of Botha on your knife, oi!

    It seems very apt right now..

  45. DrXym Silver badge

    This won't backfire at all

    All the talented employees with transferable in-demand skills will simple take the 3 months pay and leave. Free money. The people who stay are basically going to be the deadwood - the people who have nowhere else to go and will debase themselves for this dickhead regardless of what shit he throws at them.

    1. James Hughes 1

      Re: This won't backfire at all

      Given all the big places that pay well are all shedding employees, where will all those talented employees go?

      1. DJO Silver badge

        Re: This won't backfire at all

        I can see the opportunity for any number of start-ups formed by teams of engineers who have already worked together for a few years.

        Most will fail but a few could do great things. As long as they have someone who can run a company (engineers are not natural administrators) and they find a gap in the market they can fill.

      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: This won't backfire at all

        "Given all the big places that pay well are all shedding employees, where will all those talented employees go?"

        It would depend on how street smart they are. If they don't have a line on a new high paying job in an expensive city, they should plan to get out of town immediately and find an area with a low cost of living to maximize that severance pay. I've alway felt that it's not how much I make, but how much I have left at the end of each month. Taking a job that uses one's talent that pays less someplace where the money goes much further is a good trade. There must be something these people were doing that has an application in the real world. I'm not entirely sure of that last bit.

  46. taxon
    Alert

    Self Certifiable

    So, Musk now expects Twitter engineers to "self-certify" compliance with FTC rules and other privacy laws.

    Boeing had its engineers "self-certify" compliance with FAA rules. Result: the Boeing 737 Max -- which promptly killed hundreds of passengers.

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Self Certifiable

      "So, Musk now expects Twitter engineers to "self-certify" compliance with FTC rules and other privacy laws."

      And India, the EU, the UK, Ireland, all of the countries in South America, Canada, and on and on. Good luck with that.

  47. anonanonanonanonanon

    Headines are too kind

    Headline should be, "Elon Musk enacts company wide wage theft policy"

  48. flayman

    And the stupid just carries on

    As per title

    1. flayman

      Re: And the stupid just carries on

      Replying to myself just to say the following things. I left Twitter years ago because I saw it for what it had become. There's a lot of good to be seen there, but it's overbalanced by the weight of hate and misinformation. The worst of human nature to the foreground. I have no stake in Twitter. I'm long gone.

      Without a Twitter and a Facebook, Donald Trump could not have gained the necessary support to become elected President of the United States. I don't know what, if anything, can be done about this. The problem with social media is the social, not the media.

      I used to rate Elon Musk. If you're reading this, you arrogant prick, know that I will never be a part of any product you own or buy a damn thing you sell, ever. If I ever buy an electric vehicle it will not be Tesla, unless you first sell that company. This is the effect you have. I'm only one of billions, but I'm probably not alone.

      1. flayman

        Re: And the stupid just carries on

        Thanks for the down vote, Elon. Your sentiments have been redirected to /dev/null.

  49. call-me-mark
    Black Helicopters

    Elon never wanted to buy Twitter in the first place

    People are forgetting that Musk has form for stock manipulation via his social media accounts. He only made the original 4.4B "offer" to try to manipulate the price of twitter shares, so he could then sell the 9% of the company he already owned at a profit. Allegedly.

    Of course this plan backfired and he was forced into making the purchase anyway; now he's burning the thing to the ground rather than admit failure.

    1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

      Re: Elon never wanted to buy Twitter in the first place

      I doubt the SEC will enjoy the spectacular bankruptcy that I suspect is getting ever more probable by the day.

      It's like watching a car crash in slow motion. Like the tank hitting a Ford Pinto gag in "Top Secret"...

      We need a "popcorn" icon I think...

      1. Pirate Peter

        Re: Elon never wanted to buy Twitter in the first place

        I think the most appropriate icon is a foot with a shotgun pointing at it

        because musk has unloaded both barrels several times into his feet :)

  50. Daniel Gould

    How long will it run without maintenance??

    Wonder what will happen when he has no engineering team, no support team, no moderation team.... how long will it all keep running for until it eventually grinds to a halt??

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: How long will it run without maintenance??

      "Wonder what will happen when he has no engineering team, no support team, no moderation team.... how long will it all keep running for until it eventually grinds to a halt??"

      The biggies are the government communications and compliance people. When a president, prime minister or other leader wants their staff to get some answers, time will not be on Twitter's side. Any senior staff in-country will need to have an alternate egress plan ready to go or wind up spending some time in a back room answering questions and signing official documents.

  51. dave 81

    2 possibilities.. Both are great.

    Either Elon is going to make good on his goal to make twitter an open forum for debate and sharing of ideas, or its going to crash and burn and be destroyed.

    Both are fine outcomes.

  52. Someone Else Silver badge

    Grady

    The expression was then mercilessly mocked by Grady Booch, who has a track record of establishing monetizing others' concepts in software engineering.

    There. FTFY.

  53. This post has been deleted by its author

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Elon is correct

    He’s asking people to commit 40 hrs in the office and then add in some extra work from home. Normal for any well paying job. Any ambitious software engineer should already be working those kinds of hrs.

    Twitter was a money losing business who’s stock was sheltered by Elon’s bid to buy it at an exorbitant price. Had he not bid on it, that stock would have been worth less than 1/5th price by now. Just look at the stock price of other money losing software companies in todays market. That would have resulted in mass layoffs at twitter without Elon because without a high stock price, you can’t keep funding those kinds of losses.

    Anecdotal example: my wife’s friend is a very well paid family Dr in Canada who was boasting that her husband gets paid so well for his remote job at twitter that they don’t need her income. Think about that. A money losing business being funded by public shareholder money to pay such rich salaries. No doubt there is much fat to cut.

    Elon loves to remove all unnecessary components from his cars and manufacturing processes, and in this case features, people and infrastructure at twitter. Maintaining things that don’t add much value weighs you down. By minimizing twitter he’ll be able to iterate and innovate more quickly and I have no doubt we’ll see a far superior twitter within a year.

    1. spuck

      Re: Elon is correct

      >> He’s asking people to commit 40 hrs in the office and then add in some extra work from home. Normal for any well paying job. Any ambitious software engineer should already be working those kinds of hrs.

      If that is the position you're starting from, I guess there's a spot for you at Twitter. This attitude from the company will do a fine job of finding those willing to fling themselves onto the starting end of conveyor belt to fuel the machine. After they are used up, with nothing left to give (or turn 30) they may think differently.

    2. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Elon is correct

      No he was asking for 80 hours in the office earlier this week, and now he seems to be asking for even more.

      I'm guessing there will be a ton of openings at Twitter in a few hours when most employees refuse to sign his insane pledge, so you might want to start polishing your resume if you think a job polishing Musk's knob is a good one.

    3. nintendoeats Silver badge

      Re: Elon is correct

      There are 7 billion people on this planet. Why TF would I agree to a system where ANYBODY is obliged to work more than 40 hours a week? That's just crushing people neath the might of captialism for no real reason.

      As my dad likes to say "how can there be both an unemployment problem and a pothole in my street?" (or in this case, how can there be an unemployment problem and people working regular overtime?)

      1. taxon
        Childcatcher

        Re: Elon is correct

        > There are 7 billion people on this planet.

        Bulletin: The UN is declaring 15 November 2022 as the "Day of Eight Billion".

        https://www.un.org/en/dayof8billion

        1. nintendoeats Silver badge

          Re: Elon is correct

          Ok, so there are definitely 7 billion then :p

          Plus 1 billion<group of people you don't like>.

    4. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Elon is correct

      "Elon loves to remove all unnecessary components from his cars and manufacturing processes"

      Wait!, What? Elon is the king of changing and adding all sorts of things to a product ready to go into production. The first Tesla Roadster was delayed and delayed by Elon adding features. There was talk about the Cybertruck being rigged to float (at least for a little bit). The CT was promised a long time ago and still has another year before it's currently scheduled debut. How many more "features" will Elon add in the mean time? Elon admitted in an interview that the X had too many gadgets that massively delayed production and shipping. He was saying that he learned his lesson from that yet goes on to do the same thing over and over. Every Tesla that's been produced for some time has most of the hardware to implement FSD. I expect some of it will be incompatible or missing if the software is ever done. Why? it's added parts, weight and cost to every single vehicle. All of that gear could be deleted from the current crop of cars being made and if the software is ever done, people will have to get a new Tesla with everything on it. Given the past, people will queue up and trade in their barely year old Teslas to have the chance to vastly increase their auto loan balance.

  55. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

    "The expression was then mercilessly mocked by Grady Booch"

    Bootch claimed he didn't know what Musk meant by 'hardcore software engineering'. And was then himself completely rinsed in the comments, by people quite rightly saying if he didn't know what Musk meant, he couldn't be much of an engineer himself.

    Booch was being a dick. Would be nice if El Reg presented a balanced picture rather than taking the easy option of continually sniping at Musk.

  56. Pirate Peter
    Coat

    most seem to have taken 3months pay and headed for the exit

    looking at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-63672307 it seems less than a 1/3 of staff left and many critical areas have none at all

    the article suggests twitter has a short time before a critical system outage takes the platform offline with none one in the company to fix it

    need a "foot shooting" icon, or a "foot in mouth" icon :) both would appear to be highly appropriate for anything musk does

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