back to article Elon Musk to abused Twitter users: Your tormentors are coming back

Twitter CEO Elon Musk has decided to allow suspended accounts back onto the micro-blogging service. Musk used the same process for this decision as he did when restoring access to a Florida Man who once held high elected office in the US – an utterly unscientific and easy to manipulate poll of Twitter users. The people have …

  1. chuckufarley Silver badge

    And to think that 30 years ago...

    ...I had a hard time imaging people worse than Gates, Balmer, and Bush in control of information.

    1. chuckufarley Silver badge

      Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

      A down vote and no reply? The Twitter bots are invading El Reg! Stop allowing anonymous down votes! If some one can't be bothered to type out why they disagree then it doesn't do you, our them, or me any good to down vote.

      @ El Reg: I am serious about this. I don't give rat's ass about your marketing metrics. You have readers that are world leaders in IT. If you won't show them a better way then who will?

      1. gotes

        Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

        I downvoted your second post for complaining about downvotes.

        1. chuckufarley Silver badge

          Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

          I am not complaining a down votes in general, I am arguing against down voters that do not leave a reply. The whole point of having a public forum is to encourage discussion. The "drive by" down votes kill off discussion because the arrow is too easy to click. If you have to say something before you can click the arrow then it will matter much, much more.

          And no, I won't down vote you for making me state the obvious, because maybe you just woke up and the only thing obvious to you is that you need to get ready for work.

          1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

            Re: I am arguing against down voters that do not leave a reply

            Upvoted.

            1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

              Re: 15 thumbs up & 44 thumbs down

              Let me remind downvoters that their efforts carry somewhat more weight if they were incensed enough to leave a reply.

              Not only are they voicing their own valuable opinion (what the Comments section is all about, surely?), but by referencing the objectionable post, they are documenting the existence of that original post. This will make it just that little bit more difficult/embarrassing for the original poster to subsequently Withdraw the post and deny making the comment in the first place.

              Presumably the majority of the 44 here did it just for laughs. I say presumably, only they themselves are in on the joke, so we will never know. Their efforts were in vain, as it is only social media junkies that get upset by downvotes. Please feel free to continue...

              Edit: Oooh, just gone up to 45. Are we heading for a record?

              1. Dacarlo

                Re: 15 thumbs up & 44 thumbs down

                Freedom of expression includes the freedom to keep ones gob shut.

                1. chuckufarley Silver badge

                  Re: 15 thumbs up & 44 thumbs down

                  Then why did you bother to reply, or down vote, or both? You can't argue that not expressing anything is a form of expression without expressing something. Even a down vote is the bare minimum of expression.

                  The problem with expressing the bare minimum by clicking the the down arrow is that no one other than you will know what you disagreed with. If you want to be vague and still be in vogue can just print stickers with buzzwords on them you don't like with a down arrow and put them inside public transportation vehicles.

                  If your want the down vote to really mean something then leave your reply stating why you down voted. If you don't present the facts needed to change someone's mind then it most likely will not change. They will just keep on living in their bubble. Better yet, instead of just telling them that they are wrong ask them a question about how they are behaving and then present a logical argument showing that it is illogical behavior.

                2. Michael Habel

                  Re: 15 thumbs up & 44 thumbs down

                  Then why not lead by example?

          2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

            Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

            My response to blatant trolls is to down vote and move on without wasting time my time engaging or wasting other people's time by rehashing the same argument. I looked at the down votes on your original post and formed an opinion of where they came from similar to yours.

            There was a time when JB was the highest honour in the common wealth (Jailed by the British). Please take the down votes from people not explaining why as a similar mark of respect for your irrefutable arguments.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

              If they're that blatant, wouldn't even bother down voting them!

          3. Christopher Reeve's Horse

            Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

            One of the things about these forums I find is when I'm just about to make a profound, well formed and intelligent contribution [obviously], is that someone else has already said it! This is where the voting buttons are really useful.

            1. Jonathon Green

              Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

              I guess the trick here is that if you disagree with something but either lack the time or can’t come up with a new counterpoint of your own you upvote the rebuttals rather than downvoting the original post.

              Personally I generally do both just to be on the safe side though… :-)

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

              I'm glad you found my upvotes profound!

              No, wait..

              :)

            3. Version 1.0 Silver badge
              Thumb Up

              Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

              Downvotes? Christopher Reeve was ready to walk away if he could have, he would never have down voted his horse after he fell down.

              I see up votes and down votes as educational, a lot more for El Reg (icon) than the voters - this is not a complaint, up votes and down votes are just like social media snorting cocaine these days (fun, until you do it too much).

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

                " Christopher Reeve was ready to walk away if he could have, he would never have down voted his horse after he fell down."

                Too soon, man, too soon.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

            for the sake of meaningless amusement: though laudable, you greatly overestimate the purpose of a public forum. Wink or no wink, this is the question.

          5. herberts ghost

            Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

            Why should anyone want to debate you. You seem to be in your own echochamber. YWhy bother.

          6. steviebuk Silver badge

            Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

            Problem is various factors. I've accidently clicked on the down vote before, then couldn't be bothered to quickly reply that fact. You have others with social issues that do it for no reason than they can. And normally when I post criticising the CCP all the wumaos come along and downvote. They'll never admit they are wumaos, they just do it.

          7. EricB123 Silver badge

            Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

            This entire discussion is so stupid!

          8. BitEagle

            Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

            My vote, my rules...

          9. Geoffrey W

            Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

            RE: The "drive by" down votes kill off discussion

            It didn't kill off this discussion. Have another downvote!

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

          Should we start replying when we upvote too?

          1. ThatOne Silver badge

            Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

            > Should we start replying when we upvote too?

            No. Upvote means that you agree and/or like the statement, which doesn't really need any explanation, does it.

            Downvoting on the other hand requires specifying what it is you found offending: Was it the statement? Which part of it, and why exactly do you think it's wrong? These are things the OP might like to know.

            I know I do, if I say something stupid I prefer to be explained what it was, rather than just seeing some inarticulate sign that somebody somewhere disagreed.

            1. Tom 38

              Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

              Downvoting on the other hand requires specifying what it is you found offending: Was it the statement? Which part of it, and why exactly do you think it's wrong? These are things the OP might like to know.

              If I don't reply after down-voting, you can be assured that I don't give a fuck what the OP might like to know.

              1. Martin-73 Silver badge

                Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

                ^^^THIS... or, more commonly, the OP knows exactly what part is being downvoted, but is too bullheaded to acknowledge the incalculably tiny possibility they might be incorrect

          2. Sp1z

            Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

            Yes

          3. Captain Scarlet
            Mushroom

            Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

            Yes absolutly, because i have no idea why people upvote me and I always know the 1 downvote is because my Reg nemesis (that every Regitor has).

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

              Thanks for the best laugh of the day!

              (As predicted -- 1 downvote, NOT from me.)

            2. Michael Strorm Silver badge

              Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

              > my Reg nemesis

              Captain Black?

              1. captain veg Silver badge

                Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

                I assure that it's not me.

                -A.

                1. Captain Scarlet

                  Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

                  Veg isn't even a colour!

                  1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
                    Coat

                    Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

                    .....but usually identified as green.

          4. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

            Oh please God no. Some of these threads get far too long anyway.

      2. Lil Endian Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

        What if someone else has already submitted a post that covers my opinion. Should I restate the same?

        What about drive by upvotes?

        Have one on me -->

        1. captain veg Silver badge

          Re: What about drive by upvotes?

          I would say that, based on recent experience, drive by downvotes is a more plausible and sustainable power source.

          -A.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

        Downvoted for whinging about downvotes.

        This reply so you can't moan about no reply for the downvote.

        Anonymously posted for shits and giggles! ;)

        1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

          Re: This reply so you can't moan about no reply for the downvote.

          That is a perfectly acceptable response as it is documented as your reason. (Downvote not mine btw!).

          The problem with downvotes where there is no attempt to engage with the seemingly offending post is that no reason is given for the downvote. The original poster is thus oblivious of the nature of the disagreement, and that the "other side" of whatever point is being made is not properly represented in the comments.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: This reply so you can't moan about no reply for the downvote.

            methinks a sudden flow of downvotes should (?) flag to the poster there's something wrong with their original proposal and consider all (and then some) the usual suspects.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: This reply so you can't moan about no reply for the downvote.

            The problem with downvotes where there is no attempt to engage with the seemingly offending post is that no reason is given for the downvote. The original poster is thus oblivious of the nature of the disagreement, and that the "other side" of whatever point is being made is not properly represented in the comments.

            OK, but complaining about downvotes is a futile exercise in that that will inevitably trigger that other wonderful part of English culture (one of the arguments of not going too American if possible): the willingness to take the living p*ss out of anyone given half a chance. In other words, complaining WILL get you downvotes, and plenty of it, because the people with a sense of humour recognise roadkill when they see it :).

            1. Martin-73 Silver badge

              Re: This reply so you can't moan about no reply for the downvote.

              That's how I usually interpret them, and if I make a post that's wildly unpopular, I generally KNEW it would be before I made it. On a few occasions it's taken me by surprise (a large number of people don't believe the privatised uk utilities are stolen property for example)

            2. Ghostman
              Windows

              Re: This reply so you can't moan about no reply for the downvote.

              Roadkill, one of my favorite TV shows on MotorTrend, along with Engine Masters.

          3. gotes

            Re: This reply so you can't moan about no reply for the downvote.

            Why should anyone have to engage? I see the votes as an indication of reader sentiment, it doesn't need explaining.

            1. herberts ghost

              Re: This reply so you can't moan about no reply for the downvote.

              Most posts are single topic, it should be obvious that down vote indicates that people who down vote you don't agree with your assessment. Forums are not like an literature class where we all try to read between the lines and try to imagine what the author did not say. We do not need to provide you with a free public education. At the (low)risk of committing an inductive fallacy, I will ignore everything else you say..

            2. Sherrie Ludwig

              Re: This reply so you can't moan about no reply for the downvote.

              Why should anyone have to engage? I see the votes as an indication of reader sentiment, it doesn't need explaining.

              Voting in the real world does not require an explanation. "That candidate is of my party", or "she has nice teeth" or "they hate the same people I do" or any of the sound or specious reasons people vote. Why would it be required in an online forum? Do as most sane politicians do, take the loss (downvote) as an indication that you might want to re-examine either what you said or how you said it.

              1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

                Re: Voting in the real world does not require an explanation

                Hmm, maybe that is what is wrong with the real world.

                "She has nice teeth" adds weight to the necessity for people to vocalise their opinions, which might (but don't hold your breath) make them think again that perhaps their views aren't particularly sensible. I've noticed that the beeb website often likes to interview people about their views on voting, particularly when responses are likely to be entertaining, but infuriating.

                I'm not suggesting that downvoters should be "corrected" (the downvoter may well be right), but the concept of "a forum" is an exchange of ideas, rather than merely shooting a target down without defence being possible because we do not know the nature of the dispute. We are unlikely to know whether a particular commentard has nice teeth (I can say mine are atrocious), but a downvote is often given for apostrophe positioning, grammar, use of American spelling irritates some people (use of British spelling irritates others), excessive use of capital letters, and probably even their usage of the Oxford comma, and therefore nothing to do with the meaning conveyed by the comment.

          4. imanidiot Silver badge

            Re: This reply so you can't moan about no reply for the downvote.

            "The problem with downvotes where there is no attempt to engage with the seemingly offending post is that no reason is given for the downvote. "

            Indeed there isn't any attempt to engage because often IF I place a downvote I find it is a post utterly unworthy of engaging in. Thus a downvote to me is an unequivocal: "I disagree with your statements and I think you're being an idiot". No further "engagement" is required beyond that. Engaging with posts worthy of downvoting is usually a pointless exercise anyway because pointing why or how someone is wrong to someone who won't bother trying to understand why or how they are wrong is pointless.

        2. chuckufarley Silver badge

          Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

          I thinks it was more for gits and shiggles.

        3. vtcodger Silver badge

          Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

          Downvoted for petulance. Come on man! The guy just wants people to explain why they downvote. In what way is that an unreasonable request?

          1. heyrick Silver badge

            Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

            Because some people are, sadly, unreasonable, and hammering that little icon to increment a number of "this post annoyed me" is about the only power they flex. But they dare not actually reply and say why the post made their blood boil, in case somebody gets agitated at their post and whacks the downvote icon. Oh, the shame.

            1. Martin-73 Silver badge
              Pint

              Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

              No sir, they wield more than enough power but can't be bothered to reply to obvious ad hominem attacks (no downvote or upvote, because it's Friday... have a beer and relax)

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

              I'd prefer to down vote rather than get banned for calling people stupid cunts

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

            downvoted for asking a silly question. And for missing the point. And for failing to notice you're mising the point. And because it's Friday. And because it's the register. And for a bunch of other crimes I can't be bothered to list cause this post is already 100% too long.

          3. Kobus Botes
            Facepalm

            Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

            @ vtcodger (and all others who tried to get some meaningful discussion re downvote(r)s going)

            The downvoters are out in force today, seemingly.

            This is a prime example of cancel culture; I do not like what you said, so I will not engage with you and therefore do like the three monkeys: close my eyes and ears and make believe that the nasty people who hurt my feelings will go somewhere else and leave me alone.

            It is a waste of time trying to engage with them; all you will receive is more of the same ISN'T!!! messages.

            Which is a pity. Where once El Reg was a fount of information and intelligent commenters, it seems that lately the intolerant cancellers are taking over.

            Where previously one could disagree with another commenter, and healty debate could (and did) ensue, now you must duck (or take it on the chin). Where one could learn from such disagreements (which also used to be fairly civilised and meaningful), now you must keep your mouth shut and weep, as this new culture of intolerance (and this does not apply the The Register only) refuse to engage in meaningful discussion.

            It might be that the end of The Register, as we knew it and loved it, has arrived.

            Where has the Tombstone icon gone?

            1. Ace2 Silver badge

              Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

              Oh barf. Cancel culture? You poor baby. Your post was so canceled, I could barely even read it!

              Or maybe that was because it’s pure tripe.

              1. Kobus Botes

                Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

                @Ace2

                Thank you (and all the silent downvoters) for so eloquently proving my point.

                I should actually have upvoted you for at least answering (although you completely missed the point), but unfortunately I already downvoted you.

                O well...

                1. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

                  Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

                  A commentless downvote can be interpreted as "Yer fulla shit" with no need to go into details. Sometimes it's because someone disagreed with you once and remembers your handle so they're gonna disagree with your posts until the end of time even if they agree, other times it's because yer fulla shit and I'm not interested in going into the details. I'm of the latter camp, and have both upvoted and downvoted the same handle if I think they said something stupid on one post and something intelligent on the next.

                  Mind you, I didn't vote either way on the post I'm responding to. Not that it matters anyway, it's not like if you get X number of downvotes you're kicked off the site or anything.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

                    it's not like if you get X number of downvotes you're kicked off the site or anything.

                    Correct. I'm about at 11776 and counting. Mind you, I'm close to hitting the 80k on the upvote side so I need more downvotes. Just for balance :).

                    1. WolfFan

                      Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

                      Time to bring balance to the Force.

                2. Mooseman Silver badge

                  Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

                  "Thank you (and all the silent downvoters) for so eloquently proving my point."

                  No, your point was some vague waffle about cancel culture, which is pure bollocks. The only people whining about cancel culture are those who somehow feel their brand of old fashioned racism/misogyny/bigotry is somehow relevant or acceptable. Or that chucking a statue that nobody wanted in a river for a few days is "deleting our history".

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

                    The far left seem pretty upset about some of their people getting removed from twitter right now.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

              Which is a pity. Where once El Reg was a fount of information and intelligent commenters, it seems that lately the intolerant cancellers are taking over.

              They sold to US, didn't you know?

            3. Martin-73 Silver badge

              Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

              I dislike the term cancel culture, it's usually used by those who have none to cancel. The healthy debates do still occur, but not over conceited tripe like 'you shouldn't be allowed to downvote me, waaaaaaa'

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

              Often when I troll post anonymously, I end up getting loads more upvotes than downvotes!

              That's mildly annoying.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

                Yes, and the upvotes for an AC post supposedly don't count towards getting/maintaining the silver commentard badge.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

                Bugger! You guys did it to me again!

                Well played, El Reggies, well played.

            5. sabroni Silver badge
              Boffin

              Re: This is a prime example of cancel culture

              No, it's a prime example of complaining about MORE speech.

              Each downvote is someone's speech.

              Whining about cancel culture while trying to oppress speech is exactly how this "game" is played.

              1. Kobus Botes

                Re: This is a prime example of cancel culture

                @sabroni

                "Whining about cancel culture while trying to oppress speech.."

                There are a number of commentards here that seem to deliberately misread posts, including you.

                I also struggle to understand the large number of downvotes for chuckufarley's post; do the downvoters reckon Elon Musk can be trusted being in a position to control information? He has already displayed a worrying trend of flip-flopping in the whole Twitter saga: saying something and then stating the exact opposite shortly afterwards.

                chuckufarley's sin seems to have been asking downvoters to at least state the reason for downvoting, not about being downvoted. There is a difference between the two. He was not trolling, it was a reasonable request - in fact, he quite clearly stated exactly that two posts later - for which he got hit with a massive number of downvotes again.

                And the same fate was meted out to other commenters pointing it out. The downvoters are not interested in engaging meaningfully, and certainly take umbrage at those calling them out on it. Hence my using the term "cancel culture".

                Then Martin-73 and yourself decided that I am/was complaining about downvotes.

                I'd appreciate it if you could point out my exact words where I complained about it, or propagated against "MORE speech" (your words).

                You are welcome to go through my comment history, look at posts that received downvotes and enumerate the number of objections I raised against being downvoted. There may have been one or two instances where I asked a downvoter to at least state the reason for the downvotes, but that is about it.

                I have downvoted some posts myself - mostly obvious trolls, where I did not bother to explain myself, for obvious reasons - and as far as I can remember I usually (if not always) either explained the reason for the downvote in a reply, without having been asked for one, or stating it in reply when queried, where I did not state the reason for my downvote, for whatever reason.

                But thank you for at least making the effort to reply (I have to assume here that you were one of the downvoters), even if you got the wrong end of the stick.

                Just for the record: an anonymous/silent downvote cannot be deemed speech; not when the original post was not a flame/trolling/or just being otherwise/obstreperous.

                Regards

            6. imanidiot Silver badge

              Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

              It's usually those who cry "booh hooh cancel culture" the loudest who deserve an uncommented downvote to say "you're an idiot and I don't want to engage with you further". If you find all your posts only get downvoted with no engagement, you might want to start looking at the common denominator (Hint, it's you and the way you write your posts).

          4. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

            To be fair, I can see his gripe. But this is part of the El Reg culture and has been for a long time. It's kind of a tradition. Reflecting, I guess our awareness of how little this all means. It doesn't matter how reasonable and logical my or your argument is. No matter how outrageous the behaviour we relate, it's gonna have bugger all effect outside. I'd love to think, for example, that my recounting the appalling behaviour of Scoot Air would prevent anyone ever using them and bring them crashing to the ground ( not literally - I'm not that vindictive). But I know full well it won't.

            1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

              Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

              Imagine if the Monty Python argument sketch was written today:

              "An argument is a connected series of statement intended to establish a proposition."

              Downvoted.

              "Argument is an intellectual process. Contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of anything the other person says."

              Downvoted.

              [etc]

      4. chivo243 Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

        @Chuckufarley

        I was joking when I said there were downvote bots here on Reg.com... I get one downvote on a comment lots of times and I can't figure out why... and I made a joke because it was a story about bots...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I get one downvote on a comment lots of times and I can't figure out why...

          Click user name, go down list of posts clicking downvote on each one.

          You're welcome!

          1. Kane
            Trollface

            Re: I get one downvote on a comment lots of times and I can't figure out why...

            "Click user name, go down list of posts clicking downvote on each one.

            You're welcome!"

            Noice!

        2. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

          Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

          Since I changed my handle, the systemic single downvote on every single post I make mysteriously stopped. Now, I'm not saying I found myself a personal troll, but I'm not going to mention his handle, or he'll twig...

          1. heyrick Silver badge

            Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

            Just think, somebody actually chose to waste some of their short lifespan on such a pointless activity.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

              Is it better or worse to choose to waste time writing a script to pointlessly downvote?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

            you deserve a downvote merely for this downvoting-bait, so careful there...

            1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

              Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

              Go right ahead, unlike my namesake, I don't have such a fragile ego that it hurts me.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

            Sorry, I couldn't help it - that was just begging for a downvote :)

            It was stronger than me (which, tbh, is one of those pointless statements that ought to be taken out and shot, but that's off topic)..

            1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

              Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

              I refer you to my comment on the reply above this one.

              My post wants downvotes. In fact, it positively gets off on them. Phwoarr, more please nurse! etc. etc.

          4. Martin-73 Silver badge

            Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

            Upvote for the name

          5. Jamie Jones Silver badge

            Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

            I know I have/had soneone who just downvoted all my posts. When I was sure it was happening, I went to a really old article, and posted a reply to a comment that was over 2 years old.

            Sure enough, downvoted within a day!

            I felt so proud!

        3. arachnoid2

          I was joking when I said there were downvote bots here on Reg.com

          Bots have feelings too.

      5. Captain Scarlet
        Coat

        Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

        Although I would like this on some occassions, its simply because they don't agrees with my opinion or I am being a complete knob.

        I prefer not to have someone call me a complete knob.

        1. heyrick Silver badge

          Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

          As a possibly autist, I much prefer to be called a complete knob when I'm being a complete knob. Thankfully it doesn't happen often. I mean, I'm not Elon, who's surely the standard by which all others are measured?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

            Wait, do we now have a standard for knobbiness? One Elon Musk?

            :)

            1. Richard 12 Silver badge

              Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

              The nano-Musk, which is defined as 1/44th of an imploded Twitter.

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

        - Downvotes are a part of forum life. Live with it.

        - Complaining about downvotes is futile (as is, apparently, resistance, but I digress)

        - Collect them. I do. But not by cheating - I think a post should be considerate, preferrably humourous and utterly take the mick out of idiots. No, wait, the last one is just my defective personality on its Friday day out, ignore that.

        1. captain veg Silver badge

          Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

          Thank you anonymous coward. I shall weight your opinion accordingly.

          -A.

      7. Pirate Dave Silver badge

        Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

        Are you a complete moron, or just a recent recipient of a lobotomy?

        Proudly Signed,

        Pirate Dave

      8. Not Yb Bronze badge

        Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

        There are NO anonymous downvotes. Someone wants to downvote here, they have to log in first. Every single one is someone saying "you're being wrong/stupid/mean/whatever", and you're taking that to mean they want to be forced to debate you first before they can click a button.

        Your opinion is not some sort of special snowflake opinion that requires discussion before disagreement.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

      Yep. They were merely incompetent at times.

      I'm convinced Musk is actually so detached from normal emotions that he is evil in his greed. :(

    3. BitEagle

      Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

      It seems more than a little sad that your aversion to unelected billionaires and barely-elected demagogues determining both who may indulge in free speech and what they may say comes to the fore only when the comfortable consensus among the powerful is disrupted.

      Do you ever consider that perhaps the consensus was manufactured to advance the specific interests of those wealthy individuals who control the "consensus"?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And to think that 30 years ago...

        The consensus is very much manufactured to keep certain special interest groups at the front. Climate and covid being the most notable due to the HUGE amount of money flowing into both.

  2. IGotOut Silver badge

    Translation.

    I'm a rich white dude, so fuck you you dumb women and non-whites. Oh I won't let Infowars back becuase I lost a kid, so yeah, y'know, we're like bro's.

    1. PBuon

      Re: Translation.

      What’s race got to do with it?

      1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

        Re: Translation.

        What does race have to do with someone whose parents owned an apartheid emerald mine? No idea...

        1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

          Re: Translation.

          I thought Zambia (where the emerald mine was) gave strong support for anti-apartheid movements.

          There are plenty of legitimate sticks to beat Elon with so please pick one of the many real ones. The Musk family mentioned the mine in several interviews that have disappeared from the internet. It looks like someone is trying to retcon Elon's origin to make it look like he built everything from nothing. By all means be angry about that if you like but spreading fake news makes you look as gullible as a conspiracy theorist Twitter owner.

        2. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

          Re: Translation.

          Apartheid era emerald mine perhaps, unless you're suggesting that light-green emeralds consider themselves superior to dark-green emeralds.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Translation.

            Has anyone asked them?

            :)

      2. IGotOut Silver badge

        Re: Translation.

        "What’s race got to do with it?"

        Ooo I don't kniw, who is most likely to get racial slurs sent to them.

        Hint: Not middle aged white men with money.

      3. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

        Re: Translation.

        Tina Turner's lesser well-known hit...

        (sorry, couldn't help myself)

        1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

          Re: Translation.

          If I only had more upvotes..

          Love it :)

  3. Phil E Succour

    “ Machiavelli thought the voice of the people tends towards insanity.”

    Makes me wonder what Machiavelli would have thought of the voice of His Muskiness…

    1. redpawn

      Re: “ Machiavelli thought the voice of the people tends towards insanity.”

      "The Little Prince needs guidance to become a King". "I have just the book for that."

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: “ Machiavelli thought the voice of the people tends towards insanity.”

        aka 'have an amazon discount voucher'. I'm sure Mr Bezos would be delighted to help.

    2. EVP

      Re: “ Machiavelli thought the voice of the people tends towards insanity.”

      Machiavelli would probably have been quite amused by the show. He would also have watched closely what happens and learned. Machiavelli’s ideas about power and control are sophisticated ones, and still relevant in today’s world.

    3. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

      Re: “ Machiavelli thought the voice of the people tends towards insanity.”

      If Musk lived in the world that Machiavelli did, he'd be at the bottom of a canal by now.

      1. Lil Endian Silver badge

        Re: “ Machiavelli thought the voice of the people tends towards insanity.”

        I'm not sure if I'm inferring incorrectly, but Machiavelli was a Florentine, not a Venetian. Apols if it wasn't your intention to point to Venice!

        Regardless, have an upvote, coz geography doesn't make the water any more shallow!

        1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

          Re: “ Machiavelli thought the voice of the people tends towards insanity.”

          My apologies if my recall of Italian history of the period is a little incorrect. It turns out that whole lot were indeed Florentine, and not Venetian. In this case, the esteemed Mr Musk would probably have had an "accident" involving a sword blow or two to the head during mass, a la Giuliano de' Medici, or some-such misfortune, given his attitudes towards his courtiers.

          1. Lil Endian Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: “ Machiavelli thought the voice of the people tends towards insanity.”

            No apologies, more my thanks, I learned something! I'd no idea he was from Florence until your post prompted me to check :)

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: “ Machiavelli thought the voice of the people tends towards insanity.”

        "If Musk lived in the world that Machiavelli did, he'd be at the bottom of a canal by now."

        .. or be The Pope :-)

        1. ecofeco Silver badge

          Re: “ Machiavelli thought the voice of the people tends towards insanity.”

          One of the Medici Popes at that.

          Not the same ones.

  4. man_iii

    Morality lessons

    The beatings will continue until morale improves!

    Tormenting victims by boosting abusers back on the platform and allowing existing convicted abusers exploit the platform even after repeat violations and perma-bans is a very Jerry Springer style of management.

    Wonder who taught Elongated Muskrat these abuse techniques...

    Nononono I'm sorry come back allisforgiven

    Punch you in the mouth calls you an old fart

    Falsely accuses others of the crime they themselves are actively committing

    I believe the above is how sociopaths and psychopaths usually behave. No blame lies with them and always others.

    1. Plest Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Morality lessons

      "The beatings will continue until morale improves!"

      Haven't seen that one in yonks, classic!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Morality lessons

        Only if one yonk is about a microsecond long ..

    2. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

      Re: Morality lessons

      Wouldn't they be willing victims, in that being on twitter is not a requirement for anything? I mean, I've never been on twitter, even once, yet the sun keeps rising in the east for me every day.

  5. MajorDoubt
    FAIL

    twitters dead

    Just walk away. And for news try https://www.world-newspapers.com/, to see what the rest of the world thinks, corporate owned American news is useless

    1. Steve Button Silver badge

      Re: twitters dead

      It's an interesting site, but I don't have time to read all of them. How do I know which ones are the good ones?

      It would be nice if there was a balanced UK centric news site, but they seem to be getting more polarised instead.

      That's the problem with clicks and clickbait. The more shocking your news, the more clicks you are gonna get. And that's why you get The Guardian harping on about "Global Heating emergency" and the Daily Mail harping on about "Immigrant emergency". Where is the middle ground?

      1. Hndrxx

        Re: twitters dead

        This is the real problem. Increasing polarisation of politics and news.

        There is a website that ranks articles and news by the bias of the source and which way it swings, but unfortunately I can’t find the link - it’s something I stumbled across a while ago.

        If anyone knows what I’m on about a link would be useful.

        1. Ididntbringacoat

          Media bias ratings

          "If anyone knows what I’m on about a link would be useful."

          one is (?):

          https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/

          1. Hndrxx

            Re: Media bias ratings

            This is the one I was thinking of, managed to dig it up.

            Shows alternate views for everything and ranks the bias of each source.

            https://www.thefactual.com/news

        2. captain veg Silver badge

          Re: twitters dead

          There used to be an online newspaper that took the piss out of everything, and so was reasonably unbiased on average. It was supposed to be focused on IT-related subjects, but often ventured out beyond.

          It was call The Register.

          R.I.P.

          -A.

        3. Jamie Jones Silver badge

          Re: twitters dead

          If you want an unbiased view of domestic politics, go the the website of a foreign neutral country.

          European websites generally are far better for UK political news.

      2. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

        Re: twitters dead

        If you want to equate established peer-reviewed climate science with hysterical rhetoric from racists, you go right ahead. "You do you" as the kids say. Don't get upset if others point out the false equivalence there though.

        For what it's worth, one of those two publications is generally recognised as being much more reliable than the other, by any objective metric (for example, the number of corrections they are forced to publish, or whether they are regarded as an unreliable source by fact-checkers).

        From an editorial stance, yes the Grauniad is a bit lefty-lefty, and some of the editorial is a bit unbalanced in that direction, but on the whole, the content is much more factually correct than that in the Heil.

        If you can't establish this for yourself, then you need to go and take some classes on critical thinking.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: twitters dead

          @Elongated Muskrat

          "If you want to equate established peer-reviewed climate science with hysterical rhetoric from racists, you go right ahead."

          Think you just proved their point on a lack of middle ground. Hysterics over climate and hysterics over immigration being hysterics regardless of your bias.

          1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

            Re: twitters dead

            I think you just proved my point about false equivalence, because climate change is a demonstrable fact, and the UK has always been a country of immigrants. One of these two things is a real threat to, if not the existence of the human race, at least our way of life, and the other is an irrelevance used to hype up hate from people who don't like to see people with other skin-tones or who speak the same language as them.

            If you identify with people who espouse the second point of view, you're probably one of those English people who occasionally embarrasses themselves by loudly telling Welsh people to speak English, when in Wales.

            I'm not arguing that the Grauniad's half-page banner abut climate change that pops up over articles isn't mildly annoying, but you can also press the little 'X' in the corner to make it goes away if it offends your sensibilities that much. If you're about to try to claim that climate change either is not real, or is not a big problem, or is a matter of opinion, then you are sorely lacking the skills to critically evaluate information.

            1. codejunky Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: twitters dead

              @Elongated Muskrat

              "I think you just proved my point about false equivalence"

              I think you proved my point about bias. I said hysterics over climate change. I didnt say anything about the science.

              1. DryBones

                Re: twitters dead

                Know what'd be better than and stop the hysterics?

                Action. Actual, effective, decisive, action.

                Still waiting.

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: twitters dead

                  @DryBones

                  "Know what'd be better than and stop the hysterics?

                  Action. Actual, effective, decisive, action."

                  On what?

                  1. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

                    Re: twitters dead

                    The climate hysteria is the microsubject here. I, for example, might start believing there's a problem when the UN stops saying that global warming is more about wealth transfer than the climate. Or, when those who are pushing it are telecommuting to conventions instead of flying private jets, one jet per convention goer. Or, if those pushing for it aren't buying oceanside villas. I mean, if I believed global warming was going to melt the ice caps (which in 2000 the claim was no ice caps by 2020) I wouldn't be living on the beach. I would be living on a mountaintop somewhere. And, I'm a big believer in paying attention to people's actions more than their words.

                    Where I do live is somewhere that gets hot in the summer and cold in the winter. And, aside from my military time I've lived in the same area over 50 years. This is half of the time the global warming alarmists claim that they've been tracking global warming, and it's no friggin different out there now than it was 40 years ago. We still get about 2 weeks of sustained 100+ degree days in the summer, and we still get winter a few days at a time. By that, I mean it goes below freezing for a few days, then climbs back up itto the 60s for a few days.

                    I expect a lot of downvotes from the green weenies, FOR I AM AN HERETIC!

                    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

                      Re: twitters dead

                      If you look at the actual statistics, you'll see that the climate around where you live has changed quite significantly over those 50 years.

                      Memory alone is of little use, because you just remember "It were freezing sometimes, hot sometimes and rained every time I wanted to play outside".

                      You won't remember how often, human memory is rubbish at detecting long-term trends.

                      Look up the statistics.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: twitters dead

                        Are you suggesting that the climate was perfect 50 years and that it should never change at all hence forth ?

                        As you say, look up the statistics - the climate has and always will change.

                    2. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: twitters dead

                      There are lots of hypocrites in the movement. There are people in ALL movements who are there for the grift.

                      It doesn't make the science any less correct.

                      You know that, you're just trying to fool yourself.

                      DON'T LOOK UP!

                      Actually, reading your second paragraph, it appears maybe you don't know that. What a bunch of easily disproved bollocks.

                      Global mean sea level has risen 101 millimeters (3.98 inches) since 1992, and it continues to do so at 3.9 mm (0.15 inches) per year.

                      The warning signs are increasingly hard to ignore. Sea-level rise is real, displacing thousands of people, destroying millions of acres of land and generating billions of dollars in losses.

                      Unlimited Sand and Money Still Won’t Save the Hamptons

                      This month, the Federal Emergency Management Agency detailed a new program, worth an initial $500 million, with billions more to come, designed to pay for large-scale relocation nationwide. The Department of Housing and Urban Development has started a similar $16 billion program. That followed a decision by the Army Corps of Engineers to start telling local officials that they must agree to force people out of their homes or forfeit federal money for flood-protection projects.

                      Individual states are acting, too. New Jersey has bought and torn down some 700 flood-prone homes around the state and made offers on hundreds more. On the other side of the country, California has told local governments to begin planning for relocation of homes away from the coast.

                      The fact that you don't believe in sea level rise is irrelevant. To then say that you live on a beach means climate change isn't happening is a logical fallacy.

                      Coastal home buyers are ignoring rising flood risks, despite clear warnings and rising insurance premiums

                      Misplaced optimism: Why do we keep buying beach houses at risk of coastal erosion?

                      And "climate is not weather" - I never thought I'd have to make that statement on this site.

                      Green weenie? Ok, boomer.

                      1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

                        Re: twitters dead

                        Unfortunately the usual decriers of this refuse to look anything up and just spout the same spiel over and over again in the hope that it changes anything. These are typically the same folk that claim that brexit is a great thing yet get incredibly defensive when asked to list the actual benefits for anyone other than the 0.005% of the population and immediately turn to insults and denial and word twisting.

                        There are also quite a few people that see climate change, as in local warming, as not a bad thing as they have such a localised short term view that they just don't see impacts elsewhere or impacts on the livelihoods of anyone living after them.

                    3. Mooseman Silver badge

                      Re: twitters dead

                      " expect a lot of downvotes from the green weenies"

                      So apart from a willingness to put your fingers in your ears and go la la la, you end on a puerile insult? Nice. However, a cursory glance at average temperatures across the world will show you that they are indeed rising. More heat = more energy in the atmosphere, more extreme weather (40 C + in the UK is not "summer" for example)

                      So far we have seen huge loss of ice in glaciers and sea ice sheets, which dont contribute to sea level rise; loss of the greenland ice sheet or antarctica will definitely make your living room carpet quite wet.

                      Early predictions of climate change were inaccurate, yes. And? Science evolves as information is received.

                      Cue down votes from trogodytes?

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: twitters dead

                        "Early predictions of climate change were inaccurate, yes. And? Science evolves as information is received."

                        And will continue to evolve in the same way that most of what was claimed in the early days about covid is now turning out to be incorrect. Or should the 'an ice age is coming' scientists have claimed 'the science is settled' and forbidden all discussion?

                      2. codejunky Silver badge

                        Re: twitters dead

                        @Mooseman

                        "more extreme weather (40 C + in the UK is not "summer" for example)"

                        UK records starting in 1914. Little over 100 years of data to make an extreme claim. For example grapes were commonly grown in the south of England when the Romans used it for wine making.

                        1. graeme leggett Silver badge

                          Re: twitters dead

                          UK wide records start in late 19th Century.

                          But some locations in UK have records back to 1659.

                          The most reliable countrywide records are from 1910.

                          So you're not very accurate yourself.

                          1. codejunky Silver badge
                            FAIL

                            Re: twitters dead

                            @graeme leggett

                            "So you're not very accurate yourself."

                            Erm, piecemeal records stitched together but not standardised nor necessarily nationwide. But go on with your not very accurate data...

                            1. graeme leggett Silver badge

                              Re: twitters dead

                              Incomplete temperature records are better than no records.

                              Such as those not left by Romans, and since grapes were grown in UK in 19th century too that's a bit of a dent in the "it was OK in the past, so it'll be OK in the future" fallacy part of your statement.

                              1. codejunky Silver badge

                                Re: twitters dead

                                @graeme leggett

                                "Incomplete temperature records are better than no records."

                                Did I say it wasnt? Trying to tell me what normal is based on an insignificant data set doesnt fly with me (which is the point I made to Mooseman before you stepped in).

                                "Such as those not left by Romans"

                                Damn so again the dataset is very limited. Thanks for reiterating my point.

                                "and since grapes were grown in UK in 19th century too that's a bit of a dent in the "it was OK in the past, so it'll be OK in the future" fallacy part of your statement."

                                Erm, derp. That I poked holes in the poor quality of data and you are poking holes in the low quality of data.... cmon you can get there!

                                1. Mooseman Silver badge

                                  Re: twitters dead

                                  "Damn so again the dataset is very limited. Thanks for reiterating my point."

                                  No, stop doing your usual self-congratulatory guff. The point about the climate data is that we are seeing very rapid increases in temperature across the globe, not just in one country. Yes it's been warmer in the UK in the past, and colder, however sea levels in Roman times were pretty much the same as they are now, which implies a different reason for localised climate differences. To simply deny that things are happening by repeating the same tautological phrases is childish.

                                  1. codejunky Silver badge

                                    Re: twitters dead

                                    @Mooseman

                                    "No, stop doing your usual self-congratulatory guff."..."Yes it's been warmer in the UK in the past, and colder"

                                    Dont have a strop, you were wrong thats all. It happens.

                                    "To simply deny that things are happening by repeating the same tautological phrases is childish."

                                    Who is denying things are happening? You made a statement not backed by relevant evidence and I called it out. Thats all. For it to upset you so much is unnecessary.

              2. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

                Re: twitters dead

                My point was quite simple. Describing legitimate concern over climate change as "hysterics" is pretty fucking heavily biased.

                Describing over-hyped and heavily biased hard-right rhetoric about immigration, such as that by our own home secretary using the word "invasion" as hysterical is objectively accurate.The language used is as important as the message it carries.

                By simply using the word "hysterics" to describe concerns about climate change, you are betraying your own, pretty obvious, attitude towards the science. Trying to weasel out with "I never said that" arguments doesn't fool anyone.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: twitters dead

                  >>>Describing legitimate concern over climate change as "hysterics" is pretty fucking heavily biased.<<<

                  It's the wording from Tufton St. Cannot be seen to go off script...

                  Lord Frost - who was until recently in the Cabinet - accused climate protesters of being “hysterical” and said there is no “climate emergency”. - The Mirror

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: twitters dead

          The editorials ("our view") are generally thoughtful. Quite a few of the opinion pieces ("opinion") are IMO button pushing and shallow.

        3. Lil Endian Silver badge
          Joke

          ...much more reliable...

          The Guardian? Daily Mail?

          They're both 100% reliable. I can make a hat or a brooch or a pterodactyl...

          1. that one in the corner Silver badge

            Re: ...much more reliable...

            Looks like I picked the wrong day to give up reading Register comments.

      3. Zolko Silver badge

        Re: twitters dead

        How do I know which ones are the good ones ?

        easy: none. I mostly read the readers comments sections, because statistically you will get all possible opinions. And often useful links. On the other side, mainstream media and alternative sites will publish only biased articles, so if there are no comments you'll only get propaganda.

      4. bazza Silver badge

        Re: twitters dead

        Always thought Channel 4 TV news was about the best...

    2. MacroRodent
      Happy

      Re: twitters dead

      And for news try https://www.world-newspapers.com/,

      That actually is an interesting suggestion. Wonder how well that site is curated, because there are these days English-language disinformation sites posing as legitimate newspapers. But at least the ones listed for my country (Finland) seemed to be a sane selection.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: twitters dead

        I generally look up reuters.com, to see whether WW3 has broken out yet. If there's no site, and no connection, then I kn

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Twitter “poll”

    Riiiiight

    1. chuckufarley Silver badge

      Re: Twitter “poll”

      What kind of poll? In this case "Poll" is a euphemism.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Twitter “poll”

        "Poll" is a euphemism

        Or the old English usage - to trim short

        (Survived in the term 'pollarded' - used in tree surgery to describe trees with all the limbs cut off and most of the crown taken out)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Twitter “poll”

          Actually, no. In this case "poll" is from an old word meaning "head", and polling was once literally counting heads. (https://blog.collinsdictionary.com/language-lovers/we-take-a-look-at-the-etymology-behind-the-word-poll/)

          (Although it would not surprise me if poll the verb and pollarding shared the same root)

          1. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: Pollard

            I assume it derived from taking the top off a tree.

        2. Lil Endian Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: Twitter “poll”

          COCM & AC both correct :)

          https://www.etymonline.com/word/poll?ref=etymonline_crossreference#etymonline_v_17580

          You were a head of me! *cough*

    2. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: Twitter “poll”

      It's a 101% unbiased poll.

      It's like asking members of the labour party if there should be a general election. Or asking board members / MPs asking themselves if they should have a huge payrise.

      1. keithpeter Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: Twitter “poll”

        Also roughly a 1% turnout.

        Making the usual assumptions about bot elimination and based on published user figures.

        1. captain veg Silver badge

          Re: Twitter “poll”

          The sampling rate is pretty immaterial, so long as it's not skewed; that's the problem, not the number of respondents. Unless, of course, Mush selected them all personally. Would've been easier just to make them up.

          Oh, I see the problem.

          -A.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Twitter “poll”

      I fail to see the issue with asking the users of Twitter, what should be done on Twitter.

      It’s not like anyone is holding general elections or anything else important on these things.

      It’s just a glorified internet forum asking its users how it should be moderated.

      1. Little Mouse
        Big Brother

        Re: Twitter “poll”

        " internet forum asking its users how it should be moderated"

        A bit of moderation transparency would be welcome on at least one <cough!> site I can think of...

      2. Tom 38

        Re: Twitter “poll”

        I fail to see the issue with asking the users of Twitter, what should be done on Twitter.

        He didn't ask the users of Twitter, he asked the English speaking followers of Elon Musk.

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: Twitter “poll”

          And within the Twitter client group his question will largely have gained the attention of those who had a strong vested interest in the outcome- rather than the significant majority who won't have voted at all, who may well have a preference, even a strong preference, but only go to Twitter to show each other cat pictures or swap recipes etc..

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Twitter “poll”

          You don’t need to follow someone to vote on a poll.

          It got enough retweets and attention in both social and mainstream media that the reach went far beyond “English speakers following Elon Musk.”

          Twitter also has a translate function built in for non-English speakers, to address that first part.

      3. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

        Re: Twitter “poll”

        If you controlled an army of bots on Twitter, I'm sure you'd see no issue with how easily you can rig a poll either.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Twitter “poll”

          Source for Elon controlling a bot army?

          Or just a conspiracy theory?

          1. Dinanziame Silver badge
            Angel

            Re: Twitter “poll”

            Surely Elon doesn't need an army of bots to rig a poll on his own website

          2. Richard 12 Silver badge

            Re: Twitter “poll”

            That's a bit of a leap.

            It does seem quite likely that the set of people banned for abuse and wanting their accounts back has a significant overlap with the set of people willing to fire up a bot army to stuff a poll.

            1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

              Re: Twitter “poll”

              When it comes to the orange criminal, there are so many rabid followers in his cult that they'd hardly need bot accounts. As for whether the capabilities of most of his cult followers extend beyond being mindless bots, that's a different question but there was a lot of recorded evidence showing that a huge number of the interactions with his account were bots.

          3. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

            Re: Twitter “poll”

            Did I say Elon controlled the bots? My implication was that whoever does control them may have a vested interest in rigging opinion polls.

  7. DS999 Silver badge

    Good luck getting the advertisers back now

    A general amnesty for everyone, no matter how terrible of stuff they were posting, yeah that'll go over well with Fortune 500 companies he needs to lure back. The only exceptions are for something that's "illegal" (and he can define that however he wants! Is "Hang Mike Pence" illegal or just free speech? Or is it legal until you are arrested and convicted for saying it, i.e. that the courts have to speak before he is willing to consider something illegal?

    As for the out for "spam" that's pretty nice because he can claim "spam" for anything he doesn't like. Someone tweets something about a Tesla crashing, that's spam. Someone tweets something totally made up about a house member's spouse to distract from the political views of his attacker, that's free speech!

    Stick a fork in it, without the ad revenue from big companies and with a lot of people leaving once the toxic stew from this move starts to really boil over Twitter is dead. The pillow guy's ads aren't going to make up the difference.

    I wonder how much the tarnishing of his reputation will affect Tesla's sales in the future. If he gets half or even 2/3 of the country angry with him, that can't be good for Tesla's ability to sell cars in the future especially as there will be more and more competition in that market.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: advertisers... and suppliers

      Tesla and Starlink sales involve a waiting list. People are already cancelling orders.

      Musk has started a "don't pay suppliers" push. He wants to re-negotiate contracts while brandishing a stick marked "my other companies will not buy from you". This hits from multiple directions. Pissing off a large number of little guys is a very short term win but they can hit back by not buying products from any Musk companies and only supplying on a "payment in advance" basis. The conversation between Twitter and Amazon Web Services would be entertaining if it ever becomes public. I have no idea what will happen with Oracle as Larry invested $1B in Musk's Twitter purchase.

      Musk's credit rating was on fire before this new initiative and this is just adding a Starship load of propellants on top. Tesla investors are a diverse bunch. I am sure the sane ones are thinking of ways to separate Tesla's image from Elon. I have noticed changes among formerly ardent supporters too. Johnna Crider is a major contributor to Teslarati. She used to end her articles with:

      Disclosure: Johnna is a $TSLA shareholder and believes in Tesla’s mission.

      That has gone and now we get: "Teslarati is now on TikTok."

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: advertisers... and suppliers

        Musk has started a "don't pay suppliers" push. He wants to re-negotiate contracts while brandishing a stick

        Ah - a lesson from the Trump playbook.

        1. Hire an independent contractor to do some work (ie replacing all the gold taps at Trump-Florida with ones painted gold cos he needs some money)

        2. Contractor does the job, submits invoice.

        3. Trump says "I'm not paying because you did a terrible job (ignoring the 'customer is happy' signoff that the contractor got)"

        4. Contractor threatens court, Trump replies "I'm much richer than you and I'll crush you in court"

        5. Small contractor swears to never do business with Trump again and tells all their friends/local newspapers/Facebook that it's too risky.

        Over time, costs rise because Trump/Musk has to find new suppliers from further and further away.

        1. nintendoeats Silver badge

          Re: advertisers... and suppliers

          Or the Jack Tramiel playbook:

          1. Buy huge amounts of components from a supplier.

          2. Don't pay invoice.

          3. Supplier goes out of business because the bill wasn't paid.

          4. Buy the bankrupt company for peanuts.

          5. Forgive your own debt.

          1. Helcat

            Re: advertisers... and suppliers

            That's also the Walmart approach.

            Although they also did:

            1: Order lots of items.

            2: Keep them in the store room as they can't be bothered selling them

            3: Send them back to the supplier when they're out of date and demand a full refund. (abusing some US law in the process in relation to suppliers - may have been fixed since)

            That one crashed TSR back in the day. Most companies now know to have an extra layer in the supply chain so they can sacrifice that if a customer starts abusing easily abused laws like that. Then refuse to sell to that (former) customer.

        2. Barking mad

          Re: advertisers... and suppliers

          "costs rise because Trump/Musk has to find new suppliers from further and further away."

          Like China?

      2. Michael Strorm Silver badge

        Re: advertisers... and suppliers

        > Musk has started a "don't pay suppliers" push.

        Heard about him refusing to pay invoices for travel expenses agreed upon under the previous administration. He might get away with that because (as intended) the cost of fighting it in a US court against someone with that much money to spend against them would be prohibitive.

        But it should be a blindingly obvious red flag for any company with half a brain not to do business with Twitter, Musk or any company he owns ever again.

        Unless Musk is planning on moving right into (as CrazyOldCatMan also noted) Trump-style grifting/manipulation/hype/bullying territory at the expense of "proper" business, he's just shot himself in the foot. And if he is, let's remember that Trump- who inherited most of his money, and would probably be as rich if not richer than he is now if he'd simply invested it and sat on his backside- is nowhere near as rich as Musk (nor, I suspect, as he'd like others to believe).

        To riff off an old joke, it looks like Elon Musk has just figured out how to be as rich as Donald Trump.

        1. imanidiot Silver badge

          Re: advertisers... and suppliers

          If Musks behaviour crashes the value of his major companies, then he's probably nowhere near as rich as the world currently thinks he is either. His purchase of Twitter put a serious dent in his holdings, and if he crashes the value of for instance Tesla over these shenanigans he'll have to start selling even more assets.

      3. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: advertisers... and suppliers

        I have no idea what will happen with Oracle as Larry invested $1B in Musk's Twitter purchase

        Having to use Oracle is punishment enough.

    2. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Good luck getting the advertisers back now

      "go over well with Fortune 500 companies he needs to lure back"

      At this point, I can't help but think he's actually trying to kill Twitter. I mean, his style of management actually makes Truss look competent.

      1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: Good luck getting the advertisers back now

        All the other stupid stuff aside, I was staggered that he paid* so much for a business and within days was stating how it was so close to bankruptcy... that's not a great investment and not something that a typical backer would tend to go for. This leaves the two main options of a predatory purchase or a long term investment. Pissing off all suppliers and staff and reinstating vile individuals is not a long term strategy; this leaves the option of a predatory purchase. However, why, just to be petulant and extract revenge, would there be a predatory purchase? One could understand if the likes of Microsoft, Facebook, Google or Apple bought Twitter as they'd borg the product into their other options and rebrand it before too long, but Musk? Just not an option.

        * I suspect that when it comes to paying this means something different as in more pretend to pay or take a loan to pay based on some other nonsense and then saddle the victim company with the debt type of payment.

        1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

          Re: Good luck getting the advertisers back now

          " ...he paid so much for a business and within days was stating how it was so close to bankruptcy."

          I've wondered how displeased the lenders are, now that they see their very large piles of loan money so close to the raging fire. I'd have to think some of them have at least considered fitting Musk for a new pair of cement shoes. Folks have suffered worse for losing less...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good luck getting the advertisers back now

      Perhaps Musk is thinking that as long as Twitter as masses of users addicted to engagement - which so far is actually increasing do to heightened confrontation - there will be a way to monetize that. People will certainly reject any but freemium service, so a mandatory subscription is out.

      Perhaps he can improve the click through rate, currently Twitter has a very low click-through rate (getting people to buy things on impulse).

      However, I think the next frontier in PI may not be more consumer data, but PI as means to monitor social-political networks, and mine that. The payoff is not as direct as consumer data, but in the long run social monitoring and control should have a larger payoff. And Twitter's engagement pattern are an excellent source of data for finding the most politically active people and their networks.

      That twitter data in conjunction with Palantir's facial recognition data, available in real time - some would pay for that wouldn't they? At the very least, it would curry favor at high levels, offering new related business opportunities.

      What would throw a spanner in the works would be if those whose PI data were most likely to be mined simply left Twitter and made the effort to join more organic and truly freer networks - setting up Mastadon servers or whatever - but that would lower their daily diet of viral confrontation and so perhaps engagement. Musk is betting that they won't leave Twitter. I think he is probably correct but would be happy to be proven wrong.

      In the last few days Sen Scott Weiner (D CA) posted about the Colorado Q club killings and was "attacked" by the newly reinstated Marjorie Green - instead of simply banning her from his personal feed he counter attacked, generating more viral shock waves and increasing Twitter engagement. I understand the impulse to reply - but in the long run?

      1. Sherrie Ludwig

        Re: Good luck getting the advertisers back now

        Perhaps Musk is thinking that as long as Twitter as masses of users addicted to engagement - which so far is actually increasing do to heightened confrontation - there will be a way to monetize that. People will certainly reject any but freemium service, so a mandatory subscription is out.

        I just had an idea for Elon to make Twitter solvent: Anyone can post anything free, but to view or respond to your upvotes, downvotes or retweets requires a subscription. Elon, I want a 1% cut of that.....

  8. Filippo Silver badge

    This is a very interesting experiment, of the kind that should be observed from a safety distance. I'm glad I'm in a position where, if Twitter collapses, I won't be meaningfully impacted.

    1. Alumoi Silver badge

      Just asking, how could someone be 'meaningfully' impacted if twatter,failbook and their ilk would collapse?

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        If, for example, you're a person who makes their money by having a bunch of people engaged in something, you might use Twitter to attract customers or to generate fans. This is more likely the case for people who make their money by making music, art, or other media where the profit is determined by the number of people who view it. Not so much for those here who mostly make our money from making computers do stuff for people who have money they're willing to give us, so it seems unlikely, but there are more people in the former group than it would seem. I imagine some of them will suffer from this and end up relying more on other social media companies, although it's a thing they can and should be planning for since it doesn't look like things are going to stop.

      2. Spoobistle
        Joke

        > Just asking, how could someone be 'meaningfully' impacted if twatter,failbook and their ilk would collapse?

        You might fall off your chair laughing, and crack your head on something. Or you might become distressed at the sight of all those media regurgitators (looking at you BBC) scratching around for flingable crap.

      3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Well, those are publicly-traded companies with shareholders. And their market capitalization is large enough to cause collateral damage, which many investors – including all those ordinary middle-class US folks who are exposed through 401(k) mutual funds and the like – could be exposed to.

        It's not something I worry about; our retirement portfolios are broadly diversified, and our withdrawal horizon is far enough away that we have time for our accounts to recover from normal downturns. But some people could be hurt.

  9. deadlockvictim

    Autocracy

    This is what it looks like.

    1. chuckufarley Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Autocracy

      I that that was a music app. Oh wait, that's Audacity.

    2. SundogUK Silver badge

      Re: Autocracy

      Twitter isn't a government.

      1. Duke of Source

        Re: Autocracy

        It's not but it can be regarded as a preview of a Muskian Martian government. If only he and his fanbois were already gone to the red hellhole...

      2. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

        Re: Autocracy

        Exactly, and it can fall without the consequences you'd get when a government falls.

        If you've made your livelihood on the back of tweeting, and have no back-up plan / alternative platform, then I'm finding it hard to have a great deal of sympathy. I have to do actual work for a living.

    3. Hndrxx

      Re: Autocracy

      1. It’s a silly website

      2. Asking the users to vote on policy is the opposite of autocracy

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Autocracy

        You cannot allow just anyone to decide these matters you need a diverse council of socially minded enlightened individuals

        The ADL would be ideal to choose these people and have even offered to do it

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Autocracy

          So you think allowing a “council” without transparency or oversight is somehow less autocratic than direct democracy?

          1. Richard 12 Silver badge

            Re: Autocracy

            Polls alone are not democracy. Even if we are very generous and assume all respondents were unique and genuine individuals.

            How many Twitter users even knew that poll existed?

            If you are vaguely careful about which subset of people you ask, and the way the question is phrased, you can get any result you desire.

      2. Alumoi Silver badge

        Re: Autocracy

        When you controll the voting software, IT IS an autocracy.

      3. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Autocracy

        Asking only the people that follow him on twitter, ie, mostly his fanboys, to vote, is a pretty long way from democracy.

        More like a monarch asking his court to vote.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Autocracy

          You don’t need to follow someone to vote on their poll.

          This poll got plenty of attention outside of Elon followers. Was retweeted, embedded in news articles, the works.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Was retweeted, embedded in news articles, the works.

            That doesn't make it a representative sample of Twitter users.

            You think this is democracy because you want your ban lifted.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Was retweeted, embedded in news articles, the works.

              Is this like 'defending' or 'fortifying' democracy so your preferred person wins?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So does this mean he will actually be allowing the piece of human detritus Alex Jones back on?

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      No, because he had a child die as well.

      Yes, he did actually state that as a valud reason.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        But he stated that before 'the people' voted for the general amnesty. Not that I think he should be allowed back on, just wondering about musks consistency of applying the rules he has set.

        1. imanidiot Silver badge

          Alex Jones has actually been convicted of being a walking shitbag though, so there might be SOME consistency in there (if only paper thin)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Wasn't it a civil case rather than a criminal case so he wasn't 'convicted' of anything.

  11. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    The Musk cult members are out in force again today

    The man is showing his true colours (no stupid US Spellings here).

    He wants Trump to return to Twitter. Trump can't because of a signed contract that promises him $200M when the company does its IPO. Truth Social may file for Chapter 7 well before that. Then Trumpo can return to the fold but the GQP is getting behind DeSantis for 2024.

    Personally, I hope Twitter dies and Musk flies off to Mars never and comes back.

    Downvote me all you like cultists. Elon is not the new messiah. The sooner you accept that the better.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: The Musk cult members are out in force again today

      IQ45's agreement with Truth means nothing to him and he would break it without hesitation if he felt like it. There are two reasons he is currently staying away: he does not want to be associated with Twitter's imminent failure and Musk endorsed DeSantis.

    2. lglethal Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: The Musk cult members are out in force again today

      "He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy..."

    3. SundogUK Silver badge

      Re: The Musk cult members are out in force again today

      "Elon is not the new messiah."

      We know that but he pisses off all the right people nevertheless.

      1. GruntyMcPugh

        Re: The Musk cult members are out in force again today

        "he pisses off all the right people" if Twitter goes bankrupt, some of Musk's fellow investors will probably push Musk off a yacht in open water. These aren't 'the right people' to peeve.

        1. imanidiot Silver badge

          Re: The Musk cult members are out in force again today

          No need for them to get that traceable with it. They'll set a few US regulatory agencies loose on him again (I think the FTC is still building a few new cases against him) and take him down that way.

      2. captain veg Silver badge

        Re: pisses off all the right people

        That's easy. Just piss off [sic, for our new American overlords] everyone. God will know his own.

        -A.

        1. DoctorPaul

          Re: pisses off all the right people

          Upvote for the reference to the massacre in Beziers by the Catholic Church during the Albigensian Crusade - "Kill them all, God will know his own".

          Any other Cathars out there in commentard land?

  12. Lil Endian Silver badge

    ...bankruptcy is a real possibility...

    Don't tease me! Please, please happen!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And so, Twitter died

    1 - advertisers will not walk but run from this dumpster fire

    2 - they're now in violation of US rules imposes earlier which will have consequences in the US

    3 - the EU has hate speech rules which will apply

    4 - my bet is on Apple being the first to ban the app from their app stores, with Google coming in a close second.

    5 - freedom of speech? While banning every satirist and people making fun of you? Pull the other one. But we knew that from the start.

    In any case, it is now clear that whatever prompted Must to eventually buy Twitter, it was not for a return on investment.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: whatever prompted Must to eventually buy Twitter

      Personal guess: Twitter creates person echo chambers for its users. Musk started to believe his echo chamber was representative of the whole world. In the real world Musk fired anyone who disagreed with him so he got surrounded by a similar echo chamber of yes-men. He actually believed that bringing back the banished would result in resounding support.

      When that support walked away, withdrew their advertising budget, posted satirical comments to get themselves banned or took the 3 month's redundancy money he and his yes-men needed a targets for a blamethrower. Hence the QAnon level conspiracy theories.

    2. trindflo Silver badge

      Re: And so, Twitter died

      Personal guess: Musk never wanted twitter and was only trying to troll. When he was forced to either buy the company or give twitter a significant influx of cash in the form of a penalty, he opted to destroy the company even if it was going to cost him to do it. He's throwing his toys out of the pram.

      1. ThatOne Silver badge

        Re: And so, Twitter died

        > He's throwing his toys out of the pram.

        That's what I think too. He might not be too bright, but he can't be that level of stupid either! Day after day he's progressively checking all the boxes of what one shouldn't do, not missing a single one. That can't be accidental, he clearly wants to scuttle Twitter, and do it fast.

        Without maintenance and ad revenue Twitter is just an empty shell which only still stands because of inertia.

        1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

          Re: And so, Twitter died

          If he wanted to do that, he could just liquidate the company. He owns it, he doesn't have to make it expensively and publicly fail.

          The longer it goes on, the more he loses in operating costs, and moves like letting the hate-speechers back on just expose him to legal liability in multiple jurisdictions. That doesn't sound cost-effective to me.

          1. Dave K

            Re: And so, Twitter died

            It's probably so that he can find someone else to blame when it all implodes. "I believe in free speech, yet Apple/Google banned the app because of this", "The EU is against free speech and their (inevitable) legal action killed Twitter", etc. etc.

            He's already stated doing that by blaming all the "activists" that are (according to him) responsible for the drop in advertising revenue. Of course the fact that he publicly advocated unbanning controversial accounts and laying off most of the content moderators had nothing to do with it...

        2. GruntyMcPugh

          Re: And so, Twitter died

          If Musk wanted to shut Twitter down, he'd have just done that. What we're seeing here is that Musk made his money by just being in the right place, at the right time, a few times too often, but he's just a jerk.

      2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Re: Never - go back a little further in time

        Musk's buyer's remorse kicked in at about the time he found out how much interest he would be paying on the loans he took out to buy Twitter. Before that he was desperately keen to sign an airtight purchase agreement for an over-the-top price. Go back further in time and he was buying Twitter as fast as he could without the required SEC filings to stop the price from going up (= more securities fraud).

        When the determined effort to escape his purchase agreement failed I can easily believe the result was an epic scale tantrum with a 'burn it to the ground, salt the earth and poison the well' policy. I agree that Musk's actions since taking over are the most effective way to gut and bury Twitter. I think that if that were the intention he would be crowing about his success right now. Instead he will be retconning deliberate destruction after the event.

      3. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: And so, Twitter died

        I wonder how much debt SpaceX and Tesla have? Kinda wondering if there isn't a way that debt from these two companies could be transferred to Twitter. If there is, then this could make sense especially with his handing control to both companies over to other people. He takes Twitter private, rolls all his other debt into it, relists it on the stock market with someone else as CEO (and it's announced that he will have no say) and he makes a mint on all three companies by selling his Twitter stock to buy more Tesla/SpaceX, which are now debt-free. If he does it all fast enough, he might be able to add another zero to the right side of his bank account by getting the stock back before Tesla and SpaceX announce their quarterly numbers.

        1. imanidiot Silver badge

          Re: And so, Twitter died

          " If he does it all fast enough, he might be able to add another zero to the right side of his bank account by getting the stock back before Tesla and SpaceX announce their quarterly numbers."

          If he does it that fast (and without full disclosure to future Twitter stock buyers when going public again) he's going to get a very unfriendly visit from the FTC, a pair of shiny bracelets and a car ride to the nearest police station for processing. And given he's a massive flight risk he'd either not get bail at all or get bail with provisions like wearing an ankle bracelet and regular check-ins Because that's straight up fraud (Not the loading Twitter with debt, he's a allowed to do that afaik, but the getting rich off of not disclosing those actions and profiting of them before the market can do so)

    3. chivo243 Silver badge
      Go

      Re: And so, Twitter died

      In any case, it is now clear that whatever prompted Must to eventually buy Twitter, it was not for a return on investment.

      Waaay tooo high! It was a pipe dream!!

    4. DS999 Silver badge

      Apple banning Twitter

      Read earlier today that Musk said if Apple bans Twitter he would build his own phone.

      Not sure if he's dumb enough to think a Twitter or Tesla branded Android phone would win over any iPhone owners, or he's even dumber and thinks he can make a phone from scratch without adding the 1001st entry to the crowded Android market.

      And I'm sure Tesla stockholders would be ever so happy to hear he had another project to distract him for months.

  14. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Also in the news: "Musk to abused H1B visa holders: I am your tormentor"

    A new round of layoffs just happened at the end of this week, as opposed to those that happened at the beginning of this week. The excuse was the kangaroo court code review and they got just 4 weeks pay off after opting into Musk's circle of hell.

    He kept a lid on how his companies were run up until now, but who would buy a Tesla after seeing shitshow?

    1. My-Handle

      Re: Also in the news: "Musk to abused H1B visa holders: I am your tormentor"

      Wow. Just think about that for a second. These are people who:

      - Survived the first round of layoffs

      - Had full WFH privileges removed and had to start working from the office full time

      - Decided to forego 3 months severance and agree to "hardcore" hours at high intensity

      Only to have a nitwit who doesn't understand your code glance over 10 screenshots of it and tell you you're fired anyway. And that 3 months severance you could have gotten is now only 4 weeks.

      W. T. A. F.

      1. keithpeter Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Also in the news: "Musk to abused H1B visa holders: I am your tormentor"

        I gather that Twitter is recruiting.

        Icon: no joke.

      2. arctic_haze

        Re: Also in the news: "Musk to abused H1B visa holders: I am your tormentor"

        How did pushing the "hardcore" button waive the employee legal protection? In California they still should get 60 day pay. Unless they signed a small-print text moving them to Texas or Afghanistan.

  15. DenTheMan

    Best thing for it.

    Bankruptcy would be a bonus with the current itinerant.

  16. Oglethorpe
    Pint

    Keep some perspective

    At the end of the day, it's just a single, privately owned website. I'm not sure it's best for the mental health of abused people to view this as some sea change; the abusers were always still there, being banned from Twitter didn't make them stop existing.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Keep some perspective

      Banning them reduced their ability to spread abuse. People leaving Twitter are doing the same.

      1. Oglethorpe

        Re: People leaving Twitter are doing the same.

        I think people sometimes forget that they have this power.

        1. that one in the corner Silver badge

          Re: People leaving Twitter are doing the same.

          Because leaving something - anything - due to abuse is not "power" to those being abused, whatever it may look like to those who are lucky enough to not have been in that situation. No matter that "you are better off out of there", they have still had something taken away from them by bullies. The depth of reaction to that will vary, but it isn't going to feel positive.

        2. Aurelia

          Re: People leaving Twitter are doing the same.

          Telling abused users (who are almost always part of identifiable groups who get attacked, eg. women), that they have to leave, instead of the offender—- after some of us get public rape and death threats?

          It is just turning the web into another Afghanistan, or Saudi Arabia where women can’t appear uncovered or walk down a sidewalk or speak in public without getting beaten.

          These harassers don’t just show up on twitter or Instagram. when they get mad enough they find us IRL at home, or work. I know women who had bomb threats sent to their kids schools, businesses and clients tracked down, worst, I know kids who get targeted by Sextortion schemes. (Google RCMP Sextortion investigations)

          So many of the people Musk is letting back on have done terrible crimes, and not “just” hate speech, Death threats are crimes. And then there is slander, libel, conspiracy to commit sedition….

          Interestingly…Twitter has been far more helpful in the last few years with police investigations, it used to take them so long to respond. I guess that will be a problem again. Snapchat OTOH responds instantly, and is really helpful.

          And yes receiving subpoenas and tracking all the information police need to convict these offenders takes time, and human beings to do it.

          But just like I have the right to walk through a private mall, I also have the same right as men or anyone else to walk where I want without risking assault.

          And Elon has ruined that corner of the net.

          1. Oglethorpe

            Re: People leaving Twitter are doing the same.

            Speaking as a victim of assault, please don't directly equate hateful words with physical abuse. If a crime is being committed, it's the responsibility of law enforcement to deal with it, with the cooperation of website operators, as would be the case of cooperation being required in physical crimes.

            In the context of your private mall analogy, you don't have the right to demand that the owners remove offensive posters that fall within the realm of free speech. If you find them counter to your beliefs, it's probably not a good idea to meet with friends in said hypothetical mall, as this will increase their exposure to others. Unlike the mall itself, which may change owners, removing yourself and your associates from that space will always have an impact; it's just more stochastic and relies upon more individual decisions to have an effect.

            I realise this isn't particularly satisfying and I don't relish it being the case but the reality is that there's very little you or I can do to change what is on Twitter without being able to purchase it. What you and I do have power over, and will always have power over, is how much we promote it with our presence. In your words, we can all of us together determine how important that corner of the net is.

    2. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: being banned from Twitter didn't make them stop existing.

      But knowing there are people who want to abuse you isn't the same as being sent their abuse at random points throughout the day.

      What point are you making? Minorities should fuck off of social media?

      1. Oglethorpe

        Re: being banned from Twitter didn't make them stop existing.

        Wouldn't blocking them solve that issue? I'm fairly sure that people can even share block lists (though this feature may have been discontinued).

        The point I was making, and apologies for not making it well, is that relying on the whims of a private company to feel secure from the unpleasant but law abiding (in the sense that the courts won't help you) probably isn't a great long term strategy. It seems healthier to focus on steps that can be personally taken than whether other people can see a 280 character snippet from the mind of a nasty person.

        1. sabroni Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: The point I was making

          in a long winded way, was that minorities should fuck off social media.

          1. Oglethorpe

            Re: The point I was making

            Do you perceive 'minorities' (I don't wish to specify on your behalf what you believe this entails) as somehow less capable of taking personal steps to safeguard their mental health than non-'minorities'?

            1. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

              Re: The point I was making

              There are bigots everywhere. Sometimes it's the bigotry of low expectations.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The point I was making

            Only minorities get abused?

            Are minorities the only people who get abused?

            Is everyone with a suspended Twitter account an abuser targeting only minorities?

            Trying to work out what your point is meant to be.

          3. imanidiot Silver badge

            Re: The point I was making

            I think his point is that EVERYONE (including minorities) should fuck off from "social" media.

        2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: being banned from Twitter didn't make them stop existing.

          "Wouldn't blocking them solve that issue?"

          It's pretty easy to create an account purely for the purpose of hurling abuse at someone. You'd need an allow-list feature to actually get real protection.

  17. jumblist

    Genuine question as I don’t understand it, but could his behaviour be an autism or aspergers thing? Does he just not have the capacity to understand people?

    I don’t see how a purported genius could get things so badly wrong. You can argue the political merits of allowing Trump back on there, but people banned for harassment? Who’s cheerleading that??

    It’s as if his idea of a town square is actually the centre of Blackpool at midnight on a Friday night

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Autism/Aspergers: No. People can have those conditions without being arseholes. Arseholes try to use such conditions has a shield for the consequences of their behaviour. He has some capacity to understand people. The 'bring back an arsehole' polls have prooved effective ways to drive engagement.

      Musk is a genius at a few very specific things: right at the top is taking credit for other people's hard work.

      Paypal took off after he was fired. SpaceX took off because the competition was abysmal, the US military and NASA were desperate for an alternative (both still fund space startups) and the early staff recognised him for what he was and steered him into making the best decisions. Tesla has so far kept ahead of its problems: securities fraud such as "funding secured", charging a "Full self driving" price for level 2 driver assistance (requires constant supervision), non-existent after-sales support to avoid the consequences of lousy manufacturing and design choices that reduce immediate cost at the expense of life time and repairability.

      The Head Cheerleader against transgender is Elon Musk. His ex (Grimes) left him for Chelsea Manning.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        well, you forgot starlink. Perhaps not a bright success storry, but a brilliant idea, in general (if you ignore the minor issue of splash-splash-splash of underpaid astronomers jumping out of their windows).

        Hell, we're lucky he's only running twitter to the ground, think of the damage to humanity if he ran amazon :D

        1. Mr F&*king Grumpy

          Why is Starlink a "brilliant idea"? It's just an iteration on DirecPC and similar 1990s offerings from Eutelsat and Astra. And probably others.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            because starlink is up there, and it works, and is kinda useful and kinda affordable, while those 'similar 1990s offerings never took off. Can't say starlink, or similar systems are 'sustainable' in terms of profitable business, never mind the junk in space, but unlike all those ideas before starlink (or sat phone comms), it's 'for the masses', kind of a zx spectrum moment. Same with e-cars, musk was the most important driving force behind moving e-cars from sf novels to the streets, and now has the whole industry's following (and soon overtaking tesla, no doubt).

            can't believe I'm praising this wanker...

            1. DS999 Silver badge

              Sure Starlink is up there but mostly because of 25-30 years of advancement since the first wave of lower orbit satellite connectivity was built. Satellites are far more capable in a much smaller package, so instead of launching one or two at a time like they did back then they can launch 40 to 60 at a time.

              Everyone else has been scared to try it because of how badly investors in all those early efforts got burned. Musk is far from turning a profit on Starlink, we'll have to see if improved satellite technology and cheaper launches is enough to make it viable.

        2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

          Re: Starlink

          Starlink is not a separate company. It is a SpaceX product. The idea has been around for a long time but has recently become break-even because of cheap launch and Musk put a pile of money into mass producing satellites. It got off to a good start because the US has a large number of wealthy customers whose other choice is customer hostile. Add in paying for launch at cost instead of price then benefiting from economies of scale for the satellites as well has good word of mouth from carefully selected early adopters receiving a service shared with a small number of distant neighbours.

          The limits are showing: in places the subscriber density has become high enough to cause significantly reduced quality of service. To grow SpaceX needs to launch the next generation of satellites on Starship. The FAA issued a mitigated finding of no significant impact for Starship launches last June. SpaceX still has not completed the mitigations. Some of that could be because they are still at best a month away from launch. Some Starship delay is because developing next generation technology involves learning something new that causes a delay. Crushing the big oxygen pipe was tolerable the first time but doing it again demonstrates inability to learn from mistakes. Spin prime testing all the engines at the same time without activting the igniters had a very predictable consequence: time consuming repairs to the launch structure.

          If theinformation is correct about adult supervision at Boca Chica then Musk buying Twitter will achieve one positive thing.

    2. EVP

      I don’t see how a purported genius could get things so badly wrong.

      Could it possibly be that he isn’t?

      1. Lon24

        I've been thinking that. I ran a forum and, boy, does controversey boost the readership. Yes it's s**t and decent folks will complain loudly - as they should. But the figures do appear to confirm what I suspect. Maybe a million have moved away to other platforms. 200 million haven't. There is a lot of nose-holding.

        Choosing between using a tainted platform and losing thousands or even millions of followers, a significant part of your online brand is a hard choice. A few have done it. Most haven't.

        Plus the specialist groups who use Twitter for other professional purposes. Or just to engage with the family or friend circle. Moving to another platform loses 99% of that until others follow. Inertia is, perhaps, the most powerful force in the universe.

        As to ad revenue. This may depend on how smart Twitter can slice the market. I mean there is great opportunity for Smith & Weston to promote their product to folks who brazenly want to use them. Whilst Andrex ads will only be seen by cuddly people who post puppy pictures. This done advertisers will need a strong sense of ethics to not put their money where it will give the best return.

        I hope I'm wrong, but I worry I am not.

        1. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge
          Pint

          "This done advertisers will need a strong sense of ethics to not put their money where it will give the best return."

          That wins the internet today. Imagine, using "advertisers" and "strong sense of ethics" in the same line, and with a straight face no less! Have an upvote and an icon.

        2. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Advertisers may have no morals

          But they also aren't stupid.

          If they did that, Smith & Wesson management would be prosecuted for aiding and abetting.

          And Andrex aren't going to risk being shown next to tweeted abuse.

          "No such thing as bad publicity" has been long proven wrong.

    3. localgeek

      Don't Blame Autism

      I'm diagnosed on the spectrum, and can say definitively that Musk is an asshole because he enjoys being one. Autism / Asperger's is a social impairment, but his neurological differences don't fully account for his mistreatment of other people.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      He does have Asperger’s, he’s spoken openly about it numerous times. You can find an interview on YouTube.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Whether he has it or not has nil bearing on his behaviour. I know plenty of people on the spectrum who still care about others, have a social conscience and are not complete aholes.

        In addition, I'm not sure he IS on the spectrum. He may just pretend this to have his fans ignore his a*holery (with thanks to Mock the Week - we shall miss you dearly).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Not trying to sway anyone one way or another about Elon, just answering the question.

          I’m on the spectrum and it was obvious to me Elon also was long before he announced it. His mannerisms and the way he talks and acts in a way that clearly demonstrates he misses social cues and subtext… it’s obvious.

          Same for Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Wozniak, Richard Stallman, George Hotz to name a few.

          It’s very obvious to anyone on the spectrum that a lot of big figures in tech are too.

          But to state the obvious: yes, being autistic doesn’t mean you can’t be a knob. I personally hate Zuck a lot more than Musk, I think Facebook/Meta has put a lot more bad into the world, and like many here I value privacy.

          Still reckon he’s autistic though.

      2. GruntyMcPugh

        He's claimed to be an aspie, then also spoken about it in the past tense, meaning he doesn't really understand what it is.

        I'm on the Autistic spectrum and while I'm better socially than I was when I was younger, and very few people might realise these days, I still am what I am and have to check myself every now and again.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I still am what I am and have to check myself every now and again.

          I'd like to point out that the prevailing sense of humour in this part of the Net might result in that statement being taken somewhat different than intended, resulting in possible recommendations to do that at least out of sight.

          Just a heads up :)

      3. captain veg Silver badge

        You can find anything you like on Youtube. I dare say that you can find copious evidence that Musk is an arsehole*.

        -A.

        *Correct spelling.

      4. This post has been deleted by its author

    5. Plest Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Elon is simply a unpleasant person

      Have a look around you'll quickly found out more about Elon's childhood. Came from a very wealthy white family, raised during the final years of aprthied, his father was an up market wheeler-dealer type who mentally abused his childen, his father later shacked up with his step daughter after getting her pregannt. All round Elon comes from the very wealthy equivalent of a screwed up, inner city broken home. He's messed up 'cos he was brought up badly and thinks the whole world needs to worship him and validate his every action.

      As for tech genius, every company he's owned, he's not once started an y company, simply bought his way in and fired the founders. Telsa motors is prime example, Elon bought his way in then booted the founders out, set about rewriting the company history to make it look like Elon founded one of the worst car company's ever founded. Tesla factory's are less safe a pit of rusty knives, his cars have some of the worst faults going, even known to catch fire after being washed due to unsafe battery tech. Oh and the batteries, yep they require tons of materials dug out poor old Mother Earth, invalidating Tesla's claim to be making a safer, greener future.

      Elon is a spolit, rich kid with no real talent other being very much like Trump, just full of hot air and BS, constantly running around the planet shouting "Look at me! Look at me!" like some silly, spoilt little toddler who needs a timeout on the naughty step.

    6. GruntyMcPugh

      I'm on the spectrum, have an IQ of 147 ish, and can manage to not be an asshole, so no it's not down to Musk being autistic. Especially when many doubt his claims, and he's even referred to his condition in the past tense, and it's not something that just goes away.

      So, two thing to take away, he's not a genius and he's not autistic. He handwaves over detail and we tend to deep dive, he's so totally not autistic.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        He goes into deep detail when given the time and opportunity to do so. Most interviews have time limits so questions have to be rushed through. He goes into plenty of detail in his Joe Rogan interviews for instance.

        Not trying to argue you should like the bloke at all, but his autism is blatantly obvious. I’m on the spectrum myself and just assumed Elon was way before he announced it.

        Most big names in tech most likely are. As far as CEOs go I’m pretty confident Zuckerberg is on the spectrum too. I hate him personally. Still obviously autistic though. I’d bet my left bollock that most tech CEOs are.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) defines Antisocial Personality Disorder as a long-term pattern of disregarding the law, violating the rights of others and manipulating and exploiting others.

  18. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    He is not allowing Alex Jones back on

    I fully understand the reason.

    However, he chooses to ignore the wishes of a large number of people who feel equally strongly about others he is reinstating.

    When applying rules in this way it is important to be consistent. Otherwise, it is one rule for him, a different rule for everyone else.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: He is not allowing Alex Jones back on

      It is his company and he likes to let everyone know this.

      What would be good would be fewer stories about rich kids' toys. Or, Lester Haines reincarnating and dreaming up a suitablly irreverant experiment!

    2. Michael Habel
      FAIL

      Re: He is not allowing Alex Jones back on

      Alex Jones is the real litness test of Musks commitment to free speech, Not Former President Trump. After all what does he care for Twitter when he has Truth Social. Which is so much better than that cesspool of a platform known as twater? Much like FTX, the only thing it has going for it were the NPC bots. Now, nobody wants to touch it.

      1. captain veg Silver badge

        Re: He is not allowing Alex Jones back on

        I'm not familiar with this "litness test".

        I've heard of a litmus test.

        Given your evident omniscience, I suppose that wasn't what you intended.

        -A.

        1. that one in the corner Silver badge

          Re: He is not allowing Alex Jones back on

          > litness test

          Measures how much of the dumpster has been set on fire

          (or "lit on fire", shudder).

  19. Shades

    I, for one...

    ... am rather glad this is happening. Not because I think Musk is the second coming, or that Twitter should be a free-for-all, but because the moderation team was an absolute f**king joke.

    My gaming account got "suspended" after responding to a post, consisting of a screenshot of some awful racist shit some old fart had posted elsewhere on Twitter, with "I can't wait for these racist old bastards to die off". Yes, yes, I must have done other stuff before to get to the point where my my account got suspended but that consisted of telling racists and homophobes to "Go f*ck yourself" or "F*ck off"

    Pointing out that I had not contravened their stated rule - "You may not engage in the targeted harassment of someone, or incite other people to do so. This includes wishing or hoping that someone experiences physical harm" - completely fell on deaf ears. I hadn't targeted someone, I hadn't incited anyone, nor had I hoped or wished for anything, but apparently being impatient for nature to run its course is very bad.

    Then again, being forced into what is essentially "read only" mode has meant that when I peruse Twitter just to see whats going on I much more quickly realise the human race is utterly doomed and close it again sooner rather than getting dragged into pointless arguments with utter morons.

    1. sabroni Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: I, for one...

      Content moderation at scale is impossible. Twitter did a better job than most.

      You think this one decision is super important because it effects you. Grow up.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I, for one...

        "because it effects you"

        It's 'affects', not 'effects'.

      2. arctic_haze

        Re: I, for one...

        I've never had a Twitter account so it does not "effect" me. But I still think it is a bad idea.

    2. Persona

      Re: I, for one...

      "I can't wait for these racist old bastards to die off" is pretty clearly hoping that someone experiences physical harm, in this case by dying. Just because they are racist old bastards doesn't mean that that the "rules" protecting people shouldn't apply.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I, for one...

        On an intellectual level I'd agree with you. On an emotional level I must admit I sometimes wonder if helping them along would not be a service to humanity.

        The older I get, the more I am convinced that there are a lot of algea in the gene pool..

        1. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

          Re: I, for one...

          So you're saying the ends justify the means? Goebbels said just that when he was sawing people in half and sewing parts of one person onto another person, while still alive and without anaesthetic, just to see what would happen. Medical science advanced quite a bit because of Goebbels's experiments, but was it worth what those people had to go through? Nope, because the ends do NOT justify the means.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I, for one...

            I think you may need to bone up on the whole idea of dark humour.

            Relax. Breathe. It's OK. Nobody's after you but HMRC.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I, for one...

            And by the way Goebbels was just Hitler's spin doctor, he never ever practiced actual medicine (or anything related).

            You might be meaning Josef Mengele, the "Angel of Death" of Auschwitz.

    3. keithpeter Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: I, for one...

      @Shades and all

      "...I much more quickly realise the human race is utterly doomed"

      Well yes, human life on this planet will eventually die out. And the planet will be consumed when the Sun becomes a red giant at some point in the future. As a species we are not well adjusted to deep time perspectives.

      Most people are fairly normal really most of the time. I think we tend, as a species, to interface better in small groups with face to face communication. I imagine those coming up now will work this one out and soshial meeejia will fall out of favour to some extent or become more limited in its use.

      The whole Cal Newport thing really.

      Icon: I'm from before the Web times

    4. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: I, for one...

      I see some people who replied, need to familiarize themselves with The Paradox of Intolerance.

      1. ThatOne Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: I, for one...

        Only if you tolerate Popper...

        All right, this was a joke, but in this era of "my truth is as valid as any other truth" it has some bitter aftertaste, since reason and (most importantly) reasoning has become optional, if not downright socially suspect. The point being that nothing stands in the way of personal convictions anymore, no matter how wrong or stupid: They are all to be considered valid and "precious", and that includes intolerance (racism, sexism, and other -isms)...

      2. KittenHuffer Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: I, for one...

        Yeah, if there is one thing I really hate it's intolerance!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I, for one...

          One of the great south park episodes!

          People forget that tolerance and acceptance are two very different things.

          1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

            Re: I, for one...

            It's very much like "respect", it means different things to different people.

            To right-minded people, it means something very much like tolerance and acceptance, and acknowledgement that others might not be the same as you, but still have the same rights.

            To bullies and other kinds of arsehole, it's used as a demand, "respect me, respect my opinion, do what you're told, respect your parents, respect the Church, respect your betters, you have no respect for authority", etc.

            That's the problem with language, words aren't precise.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: I, for one...

              So anyone who demands that you respect their opinions, beliefs or life choices is a bully? OK, glad we are clear on that.

              What about people who push their opinions, beliefs or life choices on to others? Especially on to children or those who are emotionally vulnerable?

              1. Mooseman Silver badge

                Re: I, for one...

                "So anyone who demands that you respect their opinions, beliefs or life choices is a bully?"

                Wilful misuse of "respect" there, well done. You are of course referring to LGBT people who would like you to respect their rights to be whatever the hell they want. That's not demanding you give them respect in the way that the far right thugs do.

                "What about people who push their opinions, beliefs or life choices on to others?" Again, same thing. You're pushing an agenda. I assume you are including religion, specifically christian evangelical religion, in this group?

  20. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    "Funding secured" is back

    A large coalition of political/social activist groups agreed not to try to kill Twitter by starving us of advertising revenue if I agreed to this condition.

    They broke the deal.

    There was no coalition. There was no agreement. There was no deal to break. The whole quote is complete fiction. Musk has been working night and day to drive advertising revenue away and ensure it doesn't come back.

    1. sabroni Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: There was no coalition.

      It was AntiFa!

  21. nmcalba

    Very old proverb

    The “vox populi, vox dei” proverb is much older than Machiavelli, it can be traced back at least to the 8th century.

    The Archbishop of Canterbury used it in a sermon preaching against King Edward II, and the Jacobites used it in the 18th century.

    Over that time it has been used in both positive and negative contexts, and it’s probable that the negative spin that Machiavelli put on it, he actually copied from a Yorkshire clergyman 700 years earlier.

    1. EVP

      Re: Very old proverb

      BTW, if Twitter users are “populi” in this context, guess who is “dei”* then?

      * In his own mind, that is.

      1. lglethal Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Very old proverb

        For some reason this reminds me of the old Discworld quote:

        "Ankh-Morpork had dallied with many forms of government and had ended up with that form of democracy known as One Man, One Vote. The Patrician was the Man; he had the Vote."

        1. DishonestQuill

          Re: Very old proverb

          Vox populi, vox decorum, shepherded by a thoughtful price of course -Sir PTerry, Raising Steam.

          @El reg: Can we get a Discworld icon, please?

        2. EVP

          Re: Very old proverb

          Ah, a spot on quote. Musk wants to like the Patrician, but doesn't understand why people don't submit to his whims.

          1. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

            Re: Very old proverb

            Yea, but I think you'll find he's more of a Snapcase than a Vetinari.

        3. This post has been deleted by its author

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Elon conspiracy

    perhaps he decided that it's not as much fun playing twitter-god as he phantasized? As he won't admit he's fucked this up from start to finish, one way would be to 'force' various governments bring twitter to collapse. Which is likely to happen rather soon, when all the trumps of the world come back online, shit-guns blazing. Then, Elon can (he believes) turn it into some ultraliberal plot against his rightous stand for freedom of expression, etc. Only, where would he tweet about this? I'm sure netflix minions are already toiling to turn it into another big mac for the masses.

  23. Potemkine! Silver badge

    The roof is on fire

    Muskie is great at one thing: pissing people off. No surprise from a brat, but not a great behaviour from a business perspective. Plenty of brilliant people will never ever work for one of his company, because they won't accept working for such an arsehole.

    == Bring us Dabbsy back! ==

  24. Danny 5

    Please keep going!

    If that madman keeps this up, it won't take all that long before twitter gets blocked in the EU. musk thinks he's above the law, I hope he finds out very quickly that he's not. twitter will just get worse, advertisers will bail, legislation will hit twitter hard, here's hoping it'll all go to shit before summer 2023!

    Twitter needs WAY more moderation, but musk seems to think the opposite is true, this can only end in tears.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Please keep going!

      it won't take all that long before twitter gets blocked in the EU

      It won't get blocked - it'll just be charged huge fines for every day that it doesn't clean up its act (i.e. never).

      Which will hasten the end of Twitter - 3 million Euros/day isn't much in terms of Elons' wealth but it's a huge deal for Twitter.

      1. nintendoeats Silver badge

        Re: Please keep going!

        If he doesn't pay the fines, presumably it will be blocked eventually? I'm not sure what the legal recourse is in that case.

        1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

          Re: Please keep going!

          That is actually an interesting question. I have no idea what the EU can do if Musk simply tells them to f*ck off in the diplomatic manner he is known for - anyone?

          1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

            Re: Please keep going!

            Seize all the assets he has in their jurisdiction, and prevent him from doing business in the world's largest trading bloc, perhaps? And probably put out a warrant for him so that he can't ever visit any EU territory without getting arrested?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Please keep going!

              Ban Teslas?

              :)

          2. EVP

            Re: Please keep going!

            Tell him “We will, thank you very much, and so will you.”

    2. Michael Habel

      Re: Please keep going!

      Thank the clockmaker for VPNs then. Like some lame EU Block is going to kill off a nuance website. At most it would be an inconvenience.

      1. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: Please keep going!

        Twitter is a "nuance website"??? When has that ever happened?

  25. src

    Twitter's old moderation policy

    As actually applied Twitter's old moderation policy was to suspend anyone vaguely to the right of Karl Marx. Very happy to see those alt-left activists removed from the moderation team. If it results in globalist rags like The Guardian quitting Twitter then all the better.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      re: anyone vaguely to the right of Karl Marx

      Conservative: I have been censored for my conservative views

      Me: Holy shit! You were censored for wanting lower taxes?

      Con: LOL no...no not those views

      Me: So....deregulation?

      Con: Haha no not those views either

      Me: Which views, exactly?

      Con: Oh, you know the ones

      (https://twitter.com/gourmetspud/status/1588570438224908288)

      1. Michael Habel

        Re: re: anyone vaguely to the right of Karl Marx

        Whats wrong with holding traditional Anglo-prodastant values?

    2. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

      Re: Twitter's old moderation policy

      When you use the word "globalist", do you mean it in the sense of the opposite of insular-nationalist-protectionist (a la North Korea), or do you mean it in the anti-Semitic "Jews control the world" nutjob sense? Enquiring minds demand to know exactly which variety of idiot you are.

    3. captain veg Silver badge

      Re: Twitter's old moderation policy

      alt-left? What the F is that?

      -A.

      1. ThatOne Silver badge

        Re: Twitter's old moderation policy

        The left "ALT" key on your keyboard I guess...

        1. captain veg Silver badge

          Re: Twitter's old moderation policy

          Ah yes. As opposed to "Alt Grrrrr!" on the right.

          -A.

  26. Yorick Hunt Silver badge

    Snowflakes take heed!

    Ermahgerd! Ermahgerd!

    Seriously, just how much money is the establishment going to pour into inept wanna-be "journalists" to convince themselves of their own lies?

    For that matter, who really gives a rabid rodent's rectum about what happens on a pathetic bulletin board? Those who perceive their lives to be entirely dependent on the goings-on on such a forum should really be spending their time more constructively contemplating their timely removal from the gene pool.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Snowflakes take heed!

      44 billion dollar mistakes negatively affects a LOT of people.

      That's why.

  27. taqwacore

    Works both ways

    As an original twit from the very early days, I can say that this works both ways. My account was suspended permanently for responding to a bigoted racist troll in exactly the same words but flipping it around and no amount of whinging got it back. Looking forward to the restoration of my rightful account!

    1. captain veg Silver badge

      Re: Works both ways

      That's your problem right there. It's not a "Town Square" but a shopping mall. You play by their rules or not at all.

      -A.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Works both ways

        No, pre-Musky Twitter was acting like they wanted to be the town square, but only leftists had freedom of speech. I am not surprised someone was thrown off for hating on racists.

        1. imanidiot Silver badge

          Re: Works both ways

          While I will concede Twitter as a whole was left leaning, saying that only leftists had freedom of speech is utter twaddle. It was simply far more rare for leftists to be such egregious assholes that they needed to be banned, whereas those on the "right" have a tendency to be both arseholes and convinced of their own righteousness. Far too common for them to be completely incapable of even the slightest introspection.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm fine with this

    Account suspension is Twitter's ultimate sanction and is only used after other disciplinary actions.

    Operators of suspended accounts have therefore usually already been disciplined but continued to abuse other Twitter members.

    Yet, we know this to be false though, as many, many high profile examples have proved.

    Astronomer Mary McIntyre’s account was locked three months ago after she tweeted a video of a meteor passing through the night sky over her Oxfordshire home. She initially received a 12-hour ban after being told that the clip contained “intimate” content that had been shared without a participant’s consent.

    “It was not offensive or pornographic at all,” said McIntyre. “It was just a meteor.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/nov/17/twitter-user-gets-account-back-after-ban-for-intimate-image-of-meteor

    Personally, I've had a couple of accounts suspended simply for a period of inactivity. I didn't even send a tweet, offensive or otherwise!

    Twitter's ban hammer was obviously wielded far too liberally in the past, most probably because the majority of the 9,000 employees that used to work there had very little else to do but enforce the company's far left ideology.

    Everything that Elon has done so far, from thinning the herd to reversing anti-free speech policies, is A-OK with me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      ""far left ideology""

      [citation needed]

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ""far left ideology""

        [citation needed]

        Happy to provide one, although anyone that's ignorant of Twitter's political/social leanings really has been living under a rock for the past decade!

        Twitter is banning women who "speak out against the dangerous dogma of trans ideology", a feminist group has said.

        In a letter to Twitter director Martha Lane Fox, Fair Play for Women says the company is allowing "a concerted attack on women's free speech".

        But trans activist Ashleigh Talbot said the group's letter seeks to "whip up" hatred against trans people.

        Twitter said its rules are enforced equally for every user, regardless of the commentary they engage in.

        Fair Play for Women describes itself as a group of "ordinary women" who argue that "in the rush to reform transgender laws" women's voices will not be listened to.

        It says Twitter users have been banned for stating "basic, incontrovertible biological facts" such as saying men are not women.

        Transsexual writer Miranda Yardley said she was banned from Twitter for stating that Green Party LGBT spokesperson Aimee Challenor, a trans woman, is a man.

        Writing on her blog she said: "According to the rules of Twitter it is now hateful conduct to call someone who is a man, a man.

        "The implication of this is that the concept of proscribed speech, things we are now not allowed to say, now extends to the truth. This is fundamentally illiberal."

        https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-44288431

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: ""far left ideology""

          You just disproved your own argument there. Radical Feminists are largely, though not always, on the left. Trans activists are largely, though not always, on the Left. In this Left v Left Battle Twitter, among others, have simple gone with the group that has the trendiest support. But neither is more Left than the other, let alone actually on the Right.

      2. Michael Strorm Silver badge

        Re: ""far left ideology""

        Don't know if AC is American, but they smack of it. The so-called "Conservatives" on the right of US politics regularly refer to their Democratic rivals- a pro-business party that would be considered right-of-centre almost anywhere else- as "Marxists".

        Their rabid "sports team" partisanship is so detached from reality they wouldn't recognise actual "Marxists" or the "far left" if they took over the US, nationalised all their industry and ran it on communist principles then had them lined up against a wall and shot for being capitalist scum.

        No, wait... on second thoughts, I'm pretty sure they *would* notice the difference if that actually happened. ;-)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: ""far left ideology""

          Nobody mentioned anything about democrats or republicans - we're discussing Twitter here.

          The idea that someone could be sanctioned for stating biological reality would've been unthinkable even 10 years ago. The fact it has become normal on Twitter leads to the inescapable conclusion that the previous leadership supported an extreme left wing ideology.

          1. Michael Strorm Silver badge

            Re: ""far left ideology""

            No idea if you're the same as the original AC, but we were discussing your (or other AC's) belief that Twitter has a "far left" ideology (quoted in the title from the original post).

            If you genuinely believe that(!), it says more about you than them, and- hence- your ideas of what constitutes "far left" are somewhat akin to anyone who could call the US Democrats "Marxist" with a straight face.

            1. Terry 6 Silver badge

              Re: ""far left ideology""

              Yeah, there is a section of the American Right, and some of our own Tufton St crew, who think the Far Left is anyone who who doesn't think that the poor should be allowed to starve.

          2. Richard 12 Silver badge

            Re: ""far left ideology""

            I await your description of "biological reality" with interest.

            Here's a hint: Unless you've spent several decades deep in study, everything you think you know about sexual biology is wrong.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: ""far left ideology""

              Here's a hint: Unless you've spent several decades deep in study, everything you think you know about sexual biology is wrong.

              Are you seriously suggesting that to have any understanding of sexual biology you need to have studied it deeply for several decades?

              So basically there are literally only a handful of people on the planet that understand this supposedly mystical topic?

              Utter nonsense. Sexual biology has been well understood for decades.

      3. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

        Re: ""far left ideology""

        To the far right, even the middle ground is far off to the left...

    2. OhForF' Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: I'm fine with this

      So you are saying McIntyre's account was most probably locked because posting a video of a meteor is too far right ideology?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm fine with this

        So you are saying McIntyre's account was most probably locked because posting a video of a meteor is too far right ideology?

        No, I used that as a recent and high profile example of an account suspension that did not fit the criteria set out in this article.

        My point about Twitter having a left wing bias was a different but related one, since many of their moderation decisions reflect their political leanings.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I'm fine with this

          It may be worth pointing out that rejecting rampant idiocy from one side does not automatically imply a preference for the other side.

          It's exactly that binary thinking that is used by the people who should be censored to justify that they should not. Normal discourse has, to my knowledge, never been banned.

          With Musk involved it appears that is about to change.

  29. ComputerSays_noAbsolutelyNo Silver badge

    Twitter - Death by a couple billions of dollars

    ... it won't be missed

  30. Howard Sway Silver badge

    Vox Populi, Vox Dei

    Well, if that's now your company's philosophy, have another poll asking whether you should have to eat a bucket of elephant dung live on Twitter next week.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Vox Populi, Vox Dei

      That'll be hard, for there is no spoon.

      Ah no, sorry, carry on. Been reviewing Matrix movies :).

  31. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I had a twitter account suspended for not adding a phone number to 'verify' it when they claimed they had detected 'suspicious activity' which according to them browsing the site and following a few people is suspicious.

    There is a very good reason I refused to give my phone number and that is Twitter had already been fined by the FTC for using verification phone numbers to track users and sell ads when they claimed they were for security purpose only, so i don't trust them with it.

    I wonder if now 'pedo guy' is allowing suspended accounts back on whether my old account will start working or if ill STILL need to provide a phone number?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re phone numbers

      I have an old dormant account, I still receive emails in my spam email account. I can’t unsubscribe unless I provide my phone number first.

      Yeah right!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Re phone numbers

        Now you know why I greatly appreciate having the ability to create email aliases. I just had spam from Tile who abused my details to send me Black Friday spam, thus reminding me I still had that alias active: now zapped.

        It's one of the reasons I do like the whole Black Friday thing: the spam identifies who cannot be trusted with my details, so those aliases go..

  32. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    Responsibility

    Twitter and other social media platforms have a social responsibility, it can be argued. They need regulation and governance. Not seemingly random diktats from up on high.

    Musk can't be allowed to do what he wants. Yes, it's a private company, it can be argued. But its social importance goes far beyond what it did when it was created, and the Musk's antics really highlight now how much these sort of organisations need regulation.

    For fucks sake he is in control of information and disinformation and right now, he's doing everything he can to foment the latter. It's almost as if he's willing the platform to die.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Responsibility

      They need regulation and governance. Not seemingly random diktats from up on high

      Ironically, one of Muskalinos original complaints was that the CEO of Twitter would interfere with moderation decisions..

  33. karlkarl Silver badge

    As much as I believe most (all?) Twitter users are a massive waste of time. It is just a chat room. The solution is the same as back in the 90's; if you aren't having fun in the chat room; just leave and go and play Sonic the Hedgehog instead.

    In many ways banning scum from chatrooms and discussing it and parading it all over Sky News is glorifying a stupid online chatroom and making people think that these things can rule our lives.

    So I say fill Twitter up with scum; make it unbearable and really we should ridicule people for wasting so much of there time on there if they complain about the other scum on there.

    1. Hndrxx

      Using your analogy, chat rooms can be started by anyone who knows how to use an internet host and that person can indeed moderate it any way they see fit.

      Nothing has changed except the sums of money involved.

      And hey if enough people stick around on federated social media like Mastodon, we might head back to that old internet where running a chat room didn’t require the owner to be a billionaire.

      That would be nice.

      1. karlkarl Silver badge

        Indeed, Mastodon is interesting. In many ways you don't need to be a billionaire to create a chat room. I can set up one up right now. However if it expects to grow then yes, you need to either be rich or use a distributed architecture like Mastodon. The latter evens the playing field.

        However, I suppose I am of the opinion that chatrooms don't need to grow. And when they do they start to become fairly grim and attract some pretty manky low effort people. If Mastodon can cater for the smaller, focused communities then great. However if it allows for the creation of massive mobs and far reaching bullies, then it has only solved half the issue (a single rich guy) but still would be better off not existing.

        But I guess I still just like mailing lists. Mostly because they are too much effort for assh*les to use!

        1. Hndrxx

          I’m with you. I used to mod subreddits. It was chill running a fun little community and you don’t need to do much except tell people don’t be knobs and ban trolls.

          As they began to grow however, it turned into a nonstop full time job - a ridiculously stressful one.

          You had to make strict rules, work out who to trust when you need more mods, take flack from the community when you make unpopular decisions, and so on.

          So I agree. No single room needs to grow. And the great thing about the fediverse (which goes way beyond just Mastodon) is you can have multiple servers for various niches, even set up your own one for personal use and follow people from all sorts of other different instances (Soapbox lets you do this on a fiver a month VPS) and make your own rules and see only what you want.

          And even if your own server is for just yourself or maybe you and some mates, your local community can stay small but still federate with many others big and small, specialist and general.

          I’m short - it’s the best of both worlds.

    2. Mooseman Silver badge

      " It is just a chat room"

      By and large, yes. It's also the de facto channel for sending news out to millions of people very fast - see pretty much any report from Ukraine using on the spot footage or commentary, it's all via twitter.

  34. Michael Habel

    Musk is mad lad!

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Very dramatic indeed, oh my

    People are algorithmically suspended from Twitter for no discernible reason constantly. This has been an issue on all social media for years, YouTube is especially notorious for this. Most bans are handed out by algorithms which either spot keywords or are easily manipulated by armies of trolls engaged in mass reporting.

    To give you an idea of how daft Twitter can be with this, their algorithm once suspended my account because I tweeted about “dropping acid.” Took support months to finally bring it back.

    I know multiple people who never tweeted anything bad or even mildly offensive but had their accounts suspended randomly and can’t even get an answer as to why. All this was long before Musk came along.

    I’d bet most accounts are suspended for similarly trivial reasons by the algorithms, and most aren’t “evil abusers out to get their victims.”

    Finally, Twitter profiles are public by default and easy to find even if not - it’s not as if a stalker couldn’t make a new account under a VPN. This isn’t rocket surgery.

    P.S. I’m curious, and this is a genuine question not an accusation, but did the Register provide coverage of the fact that hashtags were used to post kiddie porn for the past decade or so, groups protesting this were ignored, and Twitter cleaned this content out and made it easier to report as top priority under Elon? This seems very significant if we’re following the story of how Twitter was and is being managed.

    1. Piro Silver badge

      Re: Very dramatic indeed, oh my

      There's a bias showing from El Reg, and it's ugly. I'm a little disappointed.

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: Very dramatic indeed, oh my

        Are you new around here?

    2. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

      Re: Very dramatic indeed, oh my

      I'm genuinely curious to know how you would go about using a "hashtag" to post anything other than that "hashtag" itself? It's literally just an indexer. Are you suggesting that Twitter was being used to host CP, or link to sites hosting it? Because that would obviously be a criminal matter, and I honestly don't believe the former owners would not have jumped on this hard. If Musk has chosen to use his now much diminished staff to focus on this specifically, it does raise a number of questions, such as, metaphorically speaking, "who's flying the plane?"

      So, I'm going to go ahead and call bullshit.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Very dramatic indeed, oh my

        Here’s an article:

        https://www.tesmanian.com/blogs/tesmanian-blog/elon-musk-started-tackling-child-exploitation-on-twitter-after-years-of-the-platforms-passivity-under-the-previous-management

        The main protestor in question is Eliza Bleu who has independently confirmed both that this issue has long been prevalent but fallen on deaf ears under the previous board, and that under Elon, Twitter cleared it up rapidly.

        As for hashtags I thought that was self-explanatory. The entire purpose of hashtags is to make posts easy to find for those who search out the tag.

        Certain ones were used as somewhat of a code to share CP. The accounts using them now been wiped out and presumably reported to law enforcement. Additionally, reporting CSAM on Twitter is now much easier if it pops up again.

        Regarding if it was uploaded to Twitter or linked, I’m unsure. I’d guess Twitter was used to share links rather than host but I don’t know for certain. I also don’t see why it matters. Sharing links is still allowing distribution of the content. And that’s still both immoral and illegal.

  36. chivo243 Silver badge
    Pint

    Just wait...

    Twitter will be a 'MySpace' joke, his Elongatedness will loose some cash, tarnish is already questionable reputation...

    Is this what they call a win<->win?

    Happy Friday!

  37. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

    Vox Populi?

    Or vox troglodytae?

  38. NXM Silver badge

    4twit

    I think he's reinvented 4chan, except with a memory. Good luck with that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 4twit

      But 4chan was always known for being hugely profitable.... oh, hang on, no it wasn't.

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: 4twit

      Underrated post.

  39. Zakspade

    Is he really that naive?

    RE the Trump vote...

    I used to Follow Musk (I'd rather see what he says rather than the 'filtered-by-the-media' version) - but after finally realising that he has 'lost it' like Kanye West (or whatever he is calling himself this week), I stopped.

    Mind you, before I stopped Following him, he announced the vote to allow Trump back. Despite Following Musk, I never saw any such vote or invite. I'm not saying there wasn't one (I'm not wearing a tinfoil hat - honest!), but the way it was run/organised is akin to going to bed on a Thursday night and waking to the radio on Friday telling you the results of a General Election and a government has been formed without you being made aware there was even a vote.

    Rather unscientific and a case of acting on the say-so of the few buddy-boys who make 99% of the noise while representing 1% of the Twitter membership.

    I don't think Musk is that naive or stupid. Instead, i think he is operating to the Goebbels Principle: tell them what you want them to hear and if you tell them with conviction in your voice, even the biggest lie becomes the truth.

    1. captain veg Silver badge

      Re: Is he really that naive?

      Why do you feel the need to "follow" anyone? Can't you think for yourself?

      -A.

  40. martinusher Silver badge

    It actually makes a sort of sense

    Rather than relying on an imperfect shield of account suspensions why not just act as a message reflector but -- and make this a very big BUT -- make sure that all posts are owned by their originator. The curse of the Internet as a whole is that its far too easy to invent or impersonate someone so from the earliest days of USENET the boards have been filed with crap. Where there has been tighter control of traffic sources, typically the old messaging application inside a proprietary dial up environment, the crap level was always low because it was difficult to impersonate a user without stealing their credentials.

    The current setup has all the properties -- and futility -- of Whack-a-Mole, the hammer descending on innocent and guilty alike. I'm all for totally open sourcing and let the legal chips fall where they may -- people have to get used to the idea that anything they post on the Internet is both potentially public and likely 'to be used in evidence against them'. There's a big difference between 'free and frank' discussion and harassment and slander.

    (What a lot of people are advocating with the status quo is is really Big Brother managing their speech for them. Provided everyone goes with the (directed) flow then all's cool but anyone says anything out of line -- regardless of how appropriate or inappropriate it is -- they get hammered. "The Community Has Spoken" with all those down votes so lets ban them. (Or worse.) Its actually a neat way of enforcing conformity while pretending to promote diversity.)

  41. Intractable Potsherd

    "Abusers"?

    I know many men and women who have been banned for simply stating that men can never become women, and that self-ID as "trans" is harmful to women, children, LGB and neurodiverse people. I also know many men who have not been banned even after paying death and rape threats. Twitter has had a serious misogyny and anti-safeguarding problem for years. Whilst I don't expect the new Twitter to do much about the second group, I do hope to see the first group being their accounts back.

  42. Mitoo Bobsworth

    It really doesn't matter

    The sooner Twitter goes under, the better - just reading this comment section is an indication of how unconsciously consumed people have become with the ephemeral world of digital media. And as far as Musk goes, his raging narcissism isn't just driven by emotional deficit - I'm willing to bet he's working some kind of tax dodge/debt relief angle in order to service the rest of his 'empire'. Spaffing $44 billion on a major platform only to intentionally run it into the ground just doesn't add up. I'm picking it's about the money - it usually is.

  43. Snow Hill Island

    Dude, really?

    What a chuffin awful way for twitterr to die. Surely there must be better than this?

  44. pimppetgaeghsr

    The platform had a militant left wing agenda and many employees were happy to censor whatever they liked to ensure the benefit of their favoured US President candidate.

    But all of a sudden a few trolls who can be blocked are back on, and it's headline international news?

    Glorious.

    1. captain veg Silver badge

      > The platform had a militant left wing agenda

      That's not how business works in Amerika.

      Have you had your medication today?

      -A.

    2. martinusher Silver badge

      Not 'left wing'. That's the propaganda that we've had to live with for years now. It seeps into our lives and colors our thoughts.

      The only involvement by the 'left wing' is to be tolerant which unfortunately allows them to tolerate the intolerant. Its a conundrum, the sort of thing that finds the ACLU defending Nazis, buut its a consequence of free speech, you get to listen to crap. These days we have a mob -- there's really no other way t describe it -- which regards itself as the arbiter of all that's pure and tasteful. History teaches us that this approach invariably doesn't end well -- someone figures out how to drive the mob and they start surging to order.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I hate to dawn this on you, but let's go to facts:

        - Twitter did have a very clear political agenda, what should be allowed is what the law allows, the rest is distorted falsehoods to justify imposing one opinion over others. Such as what you just defended.

        - Actually the ones who had your own discourse were the nazis who said that certain points of view would pollute the minds of others, ie. children were the ones most used as needing protection, exchange children with whatever group needs protection, ie. a soft skinnedIT proffesional such as yourself.

        If you wish to call anyone a nazi or simply invoke that term I suggest you study their tactics and discourse. You will find them eerily similar to what you write and probably let out at the local pub.

        - Yes, had you read on the brown shirts tactics you would have noticed that are using the same rhetoric. In short you have become that which you claim to fight.

        Nazis, fascists, communists, and all despotic 20th century tyrannies can only exist when people stop talking and listnening and start punishing hating and..in modern times voting negatives on what used to be a relative safe place as the late Vulture, (the Vulture as it was is quite dead).

        When the brain and dialect dies, and angry voices speaking out of hate arise we have once more the rise of evil...if you hate..you are part of it.

        Take a look at the mirror when you read this. You won't like your face.

    3. Mitoo Bobsworth

      The platform had a steady revenue stream, and its' owners/investors were motivated to protect that with corrective moderation as they saw fit. Now it's owned by a loose cannon billionaire who appears to have no rational plan, direction or operational ability beyond "what I say, goes." It's gone from an operational enterprise to an uber-rich narcissists plaything.

      BTW, nice troll, Troll.

  45. R.O.

    Will this be Elon's Waterloo?

    Musk is brilliant and super rich. Normally, it would be unwise to bet against him. But, nobody is perfect. His confused and contradictory leadership might not be the right mojo for Twitter. Not that I care.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Will this be Elon's Waterloo?

      We shall see.

      I would not like working for him, I believe he is a horrible manager, but he does have vision and tries to cut red tape. Only time will tell

      1. ThatOne Silver badge

        Re: Will this be Elon's Waterloo?

        > and tries to cut red tape

        Except that wasn't red tape, that was the carotid...

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Musk is blinded by his own bullshit

    The snake eats it’s own tail.

  47. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    "Your tormentors are coming back"

    It could be worse. You could be a Twitter employee.

  48. john.w

    Pre Musk Twitter had its rules

    Twitter used to enforce the rule 'An attempt to harass, intimidate, or silence someone else's voice; unless of course they believed that the 'someone else' needed to be silenced. The only way to be abused by twitter is to be on twitter.

  49. Pirate Dave Silver badge

    So

    If Twitter actually were so offensive to so many of such delicate sensibilities, and was preaching a sermon that they so vehemently opposed, common sense would seem to indicate that they would stop visiting and participating in the site. Eventually Twitter would go the route of Myspace, and those crowds of delicate flowers would find some new site at which to grow in the sunshine. So this problem, whatever it is, should be self-solving by the next equinox.

    And if it hasn't sorted itself out by then, well, perhaps it wasn't really as much of a problem as believed? Perhaps the remaining citizens of the Twitterverse actually enjoy the abuse? Why else would they voluntarily keep using its services?

    I don't know, I gave up on all "social" media a couple of years ago when I realized the views of their ownership and apparently the bulk of their users was completely orthogonal to my own views.

    1. clayusmcret

      Re: So

      I never joined twitter because of what I was seeing and we left facebook for the same reason. Sadly, too many chose to stay (on both) out of peer pressure, family reliance to share ongoing activities exclusively on those platforms, and of course, see see photos of the grandkids. I've received all sorts of hell because grandma can't see the grandkids pictures. My response...have them text the pictures. But in regard to the latest howlings of leftist grievances, Musk's response said it best: "As is obvious to all but the media, there is not one permanent ban on even the most far left account spouting utter lies". There was no balance allowed.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So

      I wonder what the overlap is between those who've gleefully told us in the past that 'X is under no obligation to host your speech' and those now complaining when they discover that Y is under no obligation to censor speech. I imagine there's also a significant overlap with the group that's too young or wasn't active enough on the Internet to remember a multitude of topic-specific independent forums being the default.

    3. Mooseman Silver badge

      Re: So

      "If Twitter actually were so offensive to so many of such delicate sensibilities, and was preaching a sermon that they so vehemently opposed, common sense would seem to indicate that they would stop visiting and participating in the site"

      So, what you are saying is "stick and stones" ?

      People dont have the right to participate in social media if they are going to have their "delicate sensibilities" offended by racism, hate speech, threats etc etc?

      You clearly agree that the moderation of twitter was bad because it actively removed the trolls, including those who repeated certain well-known lies regarding elections, viruses etc.

  50. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    "Vox Populi, Vox Dei"

    But that's the essence of democracy. That which is held dear to the soon-to-be tormented classes that populate(d) the Twit-verse.

    I guess the actual process involves the silencing of opposing ideas by deplatforming. And then submitting a sanitized ballot to the plebiscite with limited choices for a thumbs up/down. You can have Spam, bacon, eggs and Spam. That's not got much Spam in it.

    1. localzuk

      Re: "Vox Populi, Vox Dei"

      No, that would be "direct democracy". Most democracies end up being a collaborative effort. With the views of, and effects on, minorities taken into account.

      Tyranny of the majority is not something we want.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Vox Populi, Vox Dei"

        Better than the current tyranny of the minority.

        1. localzuk

          Re: "Vox Populi, Vox Dei"

          What tyranny of what minority is in place at the moment?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "Vox Populi, Vox Dei"

            The statue topplers and superglue lovers being two such groups.

            1. Mooseman Silver badge

              Re: "Vox Populi, Vox Dei"

              "statue topplers"

              Oh dear, some statues of old racists have fallen over. Let me guess, you think that is destroying history? And you actually think thats tyranny?

              It's funny that the biggest whiners are the far right who would literally do anything (banning and burning books sound familiar?) to suppress free speech (that doesnt agree with their concept of truth - alternative facts?) and demonise anyone who disagrees with their twisted outlook.

      2. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

        Re: "Vox Populi, Vox Dei"

        That's why we have a Constitution. With enumerated civil rights and clearly(?) defined limits on what the majority and/or government are permitted to do.

        Just because one group can obtain 51% of the vote doesn't mean they can overstep those limits and oppress the 49%.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Vox Populi, Vox Dei"

          Unless hat 51% vote to change things in a way you don't like.

          In the US it seems to flip between "why does this need a supermajority in the senate" to "how could they let this pass with only 51 votes"

  51. Ashto5

    Seriously ?

    Twitter

    It is not real

    It is a website and that is all

    If you feel offended then walk away

    If you feel comfortable then stay

    There are many platforms for different people

    On the running into the ground, I don’t buy that one. Musk is NOT an idiot I think he is clearing the decks of the expensive people and people he would end up in battles with

    Revenue drops but wages also drop and pretty soon the revenue will creep back up but salaries will not

    I believe he will bring it in to profit

    And I suspect his backers know this

    But remember Twitter is not for everyone

    Have a great day

    1. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

      Re: Seriously ?

      You don't have to use Twitter to be harmed by Q-Anon knuckle draggers carrying assault rifles. How are you missing the original cause for censorship on Twitter.

      1. Ashto5

        Re: Seriously ?

        I am NOT missing the original reason for censorship on Twitter.

        What I am am writing is that you don’t have to be on there and then complain you can walk away.

        Q-anon people existed before Twitter and assault rifles are prevalent in the USA as a Brit I wouldn’t presume to tell you about the craziness of that.

        The statistics show more people killed by hand guns in everyday situations and not coordinated armed militias.

        Hey have great day and maybe avoid the places where those nasties hang out ?

        1. localzuk

          Re: Seriously ?

          "If you don't like it, you can leave"... Yeah, we've all heard that refrain before.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bankruptcy is commerce’s version of antiseptic

    Drink deep Elmo!

  53. Trigun
    Facepalm

    Here we go again

    What I do find very, very fascinating is the media's undeniable relentlessly biased reporting on Elon Musk/Twitter and trying to get people riled up about it. There's little to no effort to be impartial.

    It's almost as if he's threatening something that they hold dear...

    Food for thought.

    1. arctic_haze

      Re: Here we go again

      What's wrong with criticizing someone who breaks the law?

      And if you will claim he is not, just wait for the result of the torrent of lawsuits that will follow his recent decisions.

      1. Trigun

        Re: Here we go again

        I can't see (so far) how Elon Musk has broken the law. Are you referring to the mass lay offs and the lack of notice? If so, I think all of those laid off will get paid into next year, which covers that. If not, then I don't know and it could be that if Elon Musk has broken the law then he'll face the consequences.

        With regards to criticsm: It's fair to criticse, but the articles I've seen (from varied sources) seem to lack balance and come across as hit peices. Also, the media have a vested interest. I.e. Twitter is where a lot of journalists communicate and so if the rules are being reshaped in a manner that they don't like then it might explain what I'm seeing.

    2. MrMerrymaker

      Re: Here we go again

      What is a neutral take on this then? Surely you have a concept of it if you think this article is the opposite.

      I don't expect a reply. As you sound a right wing coward.

      1. Trigun

        Re: Here we go again

        I'm neither left wing, nor right wing, nor a coward. I'm looking at the torrent of articles about Elon Mumsk from the press. Most appear to be a tad biased to me in a particular direction. How about see how things play out? But no, we must all go full on tribal it seems.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, I was wondering about the appearance of the spam DMs.

    Guess they are called "diverse viewpoints" now.

  55. Zakspade

    Isn't that known as "doing a Microsoft"?

  56. Phil Kingston

    I guess if the really toxic dicks get reinstated there it'll keep the alternative platforms a bit safer for a while.

    He's resurrecting an army of accounts so bad they were banned even from birdsite, emboldening them to be even worse than before. Wonder when the first cyber-bullying suicide lawsuit will hit.

  57. an.other_tech

    Well, this will be another nail in the 'stopping online bullying' coffin.

    Sure free speech needs to be protected, and everyone is entitled to their opinion, it now seems that you can buy more protection for those words that hurt and inflame others.

    Thanks for the education social media, 20+ years ago I didn't care what my friends had for lunch, as I was sitting with them.

    Now I don't sit with them, yet still know what they had, what their friends had, and for some reason, what the adjacent table had, what time and got a link to their feedback of what they thought !

    My internet ads always seem to be about 24 hours behind my last random conversation.

    So Tuesday will be combine harvester air conditioning day. I shall await the ads from Wednesday onwards....

  58. Fab M

    Crying because censorship is having a bad time while the guy only said he wants balanced free speech and reinstate accounts that have done nothing illegal?

    It's mostly a testimony of how far the reg and IT is infiltrated by the far left ideology which can't push its mad talking points for long if a counter-narrative is allowed.

    Once upon a time freedom was important for the computing community. You should not wish for anything else.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Your rights end where mine begin. I have the right to feel safe online and not endure exposure to hateful, offensive speech. People who want to spew hate can do so, to themselves, in the mirror. Free speech requires more nuance than a cart blanch for evil.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I do not believe there is any right under law to 'not be offended' by something that is not directed specifically at you.

        Unfortunately we live in a world where people think they deserve special protection from anything and everything because it might hurt their feelings.

        https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-63772864

        So now a museum is erasing actual history of how things actually were because it might offend in current year. The whole point of history is that we can look at it and analyse it and try and refrain from repeating the bad bits.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          There are laws, they're just not being properly applied. Discrimination is illegal and allowing offensive speech is discrimination because it pushes out the oppressed.

          The museum shouldn't be showing those items without the proper effort to contextualise them. BAME artists should be sought to craft an exhibit that properly informs about the horrors of colonialism because people seeing the exhibit as it was might come away with the conclusion that there were some benefits to the indigenous.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Discrimination and taking offence from something are two different things. The perpetually offended are not being discriminated against.

            And the museum should be showing those things and they were shown in the context of being 100+ years old. Someone living today can only give their interpretation of what was going on in Africa 100+ years ago so cannot put those exhibits into factual context. Only a perception of the context.

        2. Mooseman Silver badge

          "So now a museum is erasing actual history of how things actually were because it might offend in current year"

          If thats what you think is happening maybe you should read your own link. Or are you so far entrenched in the "white man good black man bad" mindset that anything that contradicts that is deemed far left tyranny?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "I have the right to feel safe online and not endure exposure to hateful, offensive speech. "

        Yeah, sure. Look, I realize this is your first day here on the Internet, so this may come as a shock but...you have no such "right". No one on the Internet has such a right.

        But you do have the "right" to fling it back as hard as you get it. Yeah, that's probably a "right" on the Internet.

        Oh, and get some fireproof underwear. They help tremendously.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Freedom of speech just means that the government can't stop you from saying something. It doesn't mean you have to be given a platform by private sites. Twitter must fight hate speech.

    2. Terry 6 Silver badge

      "Far Left ideology". Give us a break. If you think El Reg is "Far Left" you must be further to the right than than Franco.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        These 'people' think anything that stops them saying the N word or preaching wh*te supremacy and hatred against 2SLGBTQQIA+ is "far left".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Being critical of or questioning something is not the same as 'hatred'. We also think that most of the racism comes from the far left.

    3. Mooseman Silver badge

      "the guy only said he wants balanced free speech "

      Said. Thats the operative word here. The people that were banned from Twitter were for the most part banned for very good reasons. But it's ok to let them back on because free speech, right?

  59. BillyMunny

    FK Elon Musk.

    Twitter was once great, but now it is just another 4Chan-like environment. May it circle the drain and then disappear forever.

    1. Mockup1974 Bronze badge

      4chan would be an upgrade to the shitshow that Twitter used to be

  60. localzuk

    Bots

    So, Musk complains about Bots. Knows Twitter is rife with them. Hasn't done anything to solve the bot problem since taking over (how could he have, he sacked most of the staff?). Then uses an easily manipulated poll to bring back banned accounts. Wonder who is voting...

    Also, his grasp of what would be legal or not is limited at best. There is a constant stream of content appearing that would breach the law in various countries, but this doesn't seem to be getting moderated - and going by some posters highlighting it, is actively not being moderated.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bots

      No-one really seemed to care if the content was legal or not prior to the muskprat buying twitter. Now everyone is all bent out of shape.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Bots

        A lot of people cared. Whether they always cared, or only when it wasn't to their advantage is another question. As is, where it might or might not be legal.

      2. localzuk

        Re: Bots

        A lot of people cared. Which was why Twitter is under a consent decree, and Twitter had compliance staff for countries...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Bots

          That sounds more like a few people with legal authority cared. Which may or may not translate into "a lot of people" in the broader sense.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Bots

          Would that be for countries which do not share the western worlds more liberal ideologies? In terms of the US it appears the authorities took a very lax approach unless someone said something bad about some celeb and it cost them a load of $$$. I believe there were court cases trying to get photographs taken off sites like FB and twitter to which those companies responded that said photos didn't break the TOS.

  61. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

    I was arguing with someone on Twitter about climate protesters. When they said "Climate protesters have been wrongly treated by the police" I replied "Yes; they should have been shot."

    Twitter blocked my account within minutes.

    I don't think the content moderation team is as small as el Reg thinks it is.

    1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge
      Facepalm

      If you'd posted about how much you hate the Jews, your post would have remained there forever.

      Priorities.

      1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

        One thumb down from an antisemite who likes Twitter's policy of ignoring antisemitism complaints.

        1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

          Hasn't Jeremy Corbyn got better things to be doing than downvoting El Reg comments?

  62. Mooseman Silver badge

    ‘My Pronouns Are Prosecute/Fauci,’

    Well well well. So now he's given up pretending to be pro "free speech" completely. Any whiny comments, Musk fans?

    1. Mooseman Silver badge

      interesting, that got a thumbs down. Either the downvoter is unable to read the news and doesn't beleive me (presumably its fake news or alt facts), or they are so far up Musk's backside they can see daylight.

      Or do you still think he's not a far right conspiracy nutjob?

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        @Mooseman

        Not gonna shock you but I downvoted you for what I thought was an obvious reason-

        "‘My Pronouns Are Prosecute/Fauci,’

        Well well well. So now he's given up pretending to be pro "free speech" completely."

        He freely speaks and so was only pretending to be "free speech"? Now if he was blocking dissenting comments then yes, but as long as he allows varying opinions then it is free speech.

        "Or do you still think he's not a far right conspiracy nutjob?"

        I dont really think about the man to be honest.

        1. Mooseman Silver badge

          Re: @Mooseman

          The point is that many Musk fanbois are claiming that he is somehow bringing back "free speech" to Twitter. Free speech usually translates as "any old hateful right wing insanity we want", along with claiming any moderation is "leftist". And here we have Musk eagerly playing into the hands of the right wing (yes, sorry, its always right wing) conspiracists. Why is bringing back troll accounts who were banned quite correctly for violating Twitter rules a good thing? And why is advertising yourself as another of the same breed acceptable?

          Musk isn't interested in free speech, he's interested in pushing an agenda.

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: @Mooseman

            @Mooseman

            "The point is that many Musk fanbois are claiming that he is somehow bringing back "free speech" to Twitter."

            But that isnt what your comment said which is why I downvoted you. I dont know if he is or not.

            "And here we have Musk eagerly playing into the hands of the right wing"

            Well yes. Those who were being blocked and censored are the ones complaining, the ones allowed to get away with misbehaviour dont complain. The twitter files releases are quite a serious insight into this.

            "Musk isn't interested in free speech, he's interested in pushing an agenda."

            Possibly. But as someone else mentioned on another comment section, it is amusing to watch Musk go from the darling of the left to suddenly a right wing nut. All because he said he would bring back free speech.

            1. Mooseman Silver badge

              Re: @Mooseman

              Really? Banning people who are reporting on twitter is soo free speech isnt it? When was Musk the "darling of the left" ? He is and always has been an ego with cash, nothing more.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: @Mooseman

                @Mooseman

                "Banning people who are reporting on twitter is soo free speech isnt it?"

                You seem to have left your bad example in the dust. I never said he didnt ban people (I dont follow his actions and dont go out of my way to read about him or twitter). I did see something recently about banning a reporter for doxxing? Something about a stalker following his son because people were giving out his real time location? Dunno if thats the one you mean?

                "When was Musk the "darling of the left" ?"

                Electric cars. Save the world.

                "He is and always has been an ego with cash, nothing more."

                Pretty much my opinion too. He does seem to have done well for himself but beyond that I dont really have much of an opinion of him.

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