As someone who does not and will not ever have either a twatter or a zuck imitation account
I will be standing back, with a bowl of popcorn, watching the fun.
May the two of them kill each other. And then may the survivor die,
Despite the best efforts of Elon Musk, the world's most compelling/irritating social media platform has been more or less assured as the go-to outlet for the political commentary, shitposting and cat pics. But that looks set to change. Two news items seem to turn the handle on the doom cycle which has captured Twitter. First …
Twitter is now basically crippled unless you are signed in.
There are two obvious ways around that:
1) Have a read-only sleeper account. Never post anything, don't actively participate with the platform, only use it to follow important events
2) Don't use Twitter at all.
Both options will displease Elon. He's already taking aim at Option 1 by having a daily limit on how much you can see.
"Twitter is now basically crippled unless you are signed in."
Is that why an embedded window of a Twitter feed now says
"Nothing to see here - yet
When they Tweet, their Tweets will show up here"
even though it's a real live feed with actual content and had been working for the last 2 years?
I CBA'd to try and fix it as I'm sloping shoulders on that site.
> only use it to follow important events
My standing policy is, if something is actually important enough to even begin to warrant my attention, it will appear outside the social Media Noise Machines on it's own merit.
Yeah no vitriol there, or anything. heh.
I once said the same kinda thing about 'social media' in general (other than news commentary like this). Then Musk bought Twitter.
Now I do not get 'canceled' just for going against "The Establishment"
It seems that Threads has been created to destroy Twitter, because it's the one big platform where you can say things that US and other Western governments don't like. Hence the continuous flow of stories about Threads sign ups, and nothing mentioned about how most are trying it a couple of times and then dropping all usage. If you want a platform like Facebook where true accounts of vaccine damage are taken down as misinformation, or when any Net Zero scepticism is silenced then stick with threads. Likewise with lockdown scepticism, or anti mask mandates, etc. etc. Basically more and more government control.
If you believe the Big Pharma companies have our best interests at heart, and would not do anything just to make more and more money (as they are run by literal psychopaths), then Threads is your home.
If you want to see some alternative views (some of which are a little wacky to say the least) then stick with Twitter. It's more radical / open / sceptical / questioning & sometimes downright conspiratorial. (oh, and occasionally right)
I wouldn't worry about censorship on Threads.
Since it is mostly text based - I have no real idea how it actually looks, but as a surrogate of Twatters 280 characters or less, I assume text - there is no danger of Meta censoring any nipples; unless you discuss lubrication schedules ...
SpaceX has been going great without him while competitors are moving backwards. Starlink is cash flow positive, launched the last of the V1 satellites (lots more V1.5 to go). Tesla's Texas factory built their first cyber truck.
I am very happy that Musk is busy with his AI startup and Twitter. The only way Twitter makes its next its next interest payment is if Musk sells more of his Tesla shares again. It would take far more than that to take control of Tesla away from him but I can dream.
So no actual criticism of what I said, just childish insults.
If you are interested in things like this ..
... And you really should be, then you should be happy that we have some free speech on Twitter (and Substack). Because if we can finally admit that it's likely that COVID came from a lab leak (even Fauci thought so, but only privately). And then we can possibly do something about it, to stop it happening again.
Perhaps we could ban funding gain-of-function research? Perhaps we could only do this kind of thing under BSL4 labs?
This is important. Next time could be worse. However you'd be banned from social media for saying that in 2020 / 21. Even under Twitter 1.0.
This is just one example of why censorship is really bad. The thing I really don't understand is why so-called educated people don't seem to get this.
A professional what? Doctor? Psychiatrist? Free speech expert? Writer?
The professionals, I've been listening to recently are Orwell, Huxley, Bradbury, ... Up until 2020 I thought it was an interesting, but distant concept. Perhaps it applied in North Korea, Russia and China where you could just disappear for saying the wrong things. Now it feels like a dystopian future is dangerously close, after what happened, or very very nearly happened, in Canada, Australia and Austria.
Modern digital censorship is the equivalent of book burning, and if you can't see that you are just part of the dumb crowd.
Having a few right wing voices on Twitter is a small price to pay. I really haven't seen much at all in the way of extreme right, so it feels like that's been blown out of proportion. I'm sure there's some of it on there, but I don't think it gets that much visibility. People are entitled to their opinions, even if you don't agree with them.
If all you've got is name calling, you've lost the argument.
I'm not forcing you to read this. When you saw "censorship" in the title, you could have simply scrolled on by if you aren't interested.
I personally don't feel it's "loonpants". I feel like it's really important, and when I see The Reg attacking Twitter I feel like I need to step in and defend it, as it's one of the only places left that is not being tightly controlled by government. If you don't realise this that's your problem. Stay lightweight, and keep watching cat videos on Facebook. It's been well documented how the US government have shut down many dissenting voices with daily calls into Twitter telling them which posts are "problematic". This is surely happening on the other platforms, right? This should be very concerning, and it really WOULD have ben very concerning to "the old guard" at The Reg who campaigned against ID cards because of government overreach.
On the other hand, perhaps I should "lighten up" and stop showing an interest in this stuff, as there's precious little I can do about it anyway, and no one seems to care. I'm genuinely trying to comment outside my own "echo chamber" in Substack and Twitter, to see if I can get some other views.
It is indeed very bizarre to see these newer-generations-of-Reg-writers (where did the rational, older folks go?) pick on a failing social media site as if it was tech-news-worthy, for no other reason than them disagreeing with personal opinions of the owner. The reg has gone to shit. Guess they gotta pay for hosting *somehow*.
I'll take this on once more.
>> Likewise with lockdown scepticism, or anti mask mandates, etc. etc. Basically more and more government control.
Skepticism is fine. Dangerous misinformation is not. The latter is what is being targeted. The problem with social media is that anybody can present an opinion, however wrong, as truth. Or indeed, present a lie intended to further an often unrelated agenda, as fact. I don't have an issue with people having different opinions from me but I do have an issue with anybody posting misinformation, deliberate or not. What you call censorship is a sensible and rational response in a world where nobody knows what the truth is any more. And yes, truth is absolute, there is only one truth.
"Control" is what governments are *supposed* to do. The alternative is anarchy and mob rule and, as many recent events show, the spread of disinformation is taking us in that direction.
Ads on Twitter that I've seen recently vary widely (browser on PC). Lots that I see are crypto or junk dropshippers. A few are main stream companies I recognize. Some look like individuals just trying to promote their twitter account. I don't think I've seen ads on Reddit or Youtube say "Hi, I'm Bob, follow me!". This implies that Twitter ads can be very cheap.
What is also unique to Twitter is that I can hit "block @xxxxx" on every ad. If this feature actually works, I have no idea why Elon would keep it in "Twitter 2.0". Imagine if this was on TV, "Fuck Ford, I never want to see a Ford ad again!".
I doubt Elon cares who, if anyone, advertising goes to. His only concern is whether he gets paid by his advertisers.
In fact, it sort of looks like ads that go to no one at all might be quite profitable.
"The cost of promoting a tweet is between $0.50 to $2.00 for every first action. On average it falls around $1.35 every time a Twitter user clicks, replies, or retweets your content. This makes Promoted Tweets a perfect match for brands that want to capitalize on high-performing tweets."
AdsTargets https://adstargets.com › Home › Online Advertising
Of course, I haven't a clue how Twitter or Twitter advertising works. I don't go near Twitter (or Facebook) or anything similar any more than I'd patronize a bar where customers are routinely ejected through the plate glass window.
> I doubt Elon cares who, if anyone, advertising goes to. His only concern is whether he gets paid by his advertisers.
I wonder about that. I mean, his actions at twitter seem to have more of a rwnj bent than would be explained only by shear capitalism and greed. Like there's some kind of (admittedly manic) agenda there, though it's hard to discern what it actually might be. Also allowing for the possibility that his financial backers are driving some of it.
OTOH maybe he just grossly misunderstood his audience (and ad-buyers). Does elom believe that crippling the engineering team, getting rid of the content moderation people (and algorithms?) and so on, thereby unleashing even more stuff people find offensive, would somehow increase viewership (and ad-buying)?
Whatever his motivations, if revenue really is down by half or thereabouts, he's apparently missed the mark.
Ads on Twitter that I've seen recently vary widely (browser on PC).
Use uBlock Origin. I don't see any ads via the browser interface, only via the app on my phone.
What is also unique to Twitter is that I can hit "block @xxxxx" on every ad. If this feature actually works, I have no idea why Elon would keep it in "Twitter 2.0".
It's exceedingly useful, so I'm sure Space Karen will get round to deleting it soon because it costs Twitter to maintain and process the block lists.
Imagine if this was on TV, "Fuck Ford, I never want to see a Ford ad again!".
Just give me uBlock Origin for TV. I don't want any ads.
Something's definitely changed in the adverts over the last few months. There used to be very few but they were almost all from major multinational organisations. Now every third message is 'promoted' but the relevance to my interests is atrocious. Someone needs to get sacked if your revenue halves despite increasing the number of ads on your platform 10-fold.
"I’d consider that a bonus.
I hate targeted ads.
Feels like I’m being stalked"
This is why I dump cookies every time my browser quits except for a very few sites.
I'm pretty well versed in the sorts of things I'm interested in. It's the ads for something new and clever that will get my attention. I used to sign up for trade magazines to see the ads. The articles were boring and often were puff pieces for some exec I've never heard of.
Musk wanted to switch to a subscription based income so Twitter could ignore demands from major advertisers. From that perspective it is clear why Musk focused on selling blue check marks instead of happy advertisers even if the business strategy competes with the underpants gnomes.
I don’t see ads.
I'm betting that they are currently working on a "you are running an adblocker, no twitter for you!" strategy.
Which they'll implement badly enough to block *everyone* because their adblocker detection code was written by an intern who has been in the office for 36 hours straight without any sleep and has drunk near-letal amounts of caffeine.
I hope this is the final nail in the coffin of the myth that billionaires are somehow smarter than the rest of us. Most of them won the birth lottery and that's really all there is to it. Where the rest of us would have to spend the majority of our money on silly things like rent and food, they had mommy and daddy to backstop them if some investment went titsup. They could then keep trying until they eventually hit on a successful idea.
As we've seen at Twitter, if Twitler had done literally nothing besides take the company private, he'd be in a significantly better financial position compared to now. Every single move he's made has only made things worse for the company. He clearly has no idea what he's doing, he's not intellectually curious enough to learn, and too proud to admit he's the one responsible since Twitter's woes went from bad to muuuuch worse almost instantly after he took over.
A scene from the show Archer that seems oddly relevant.
I would imagine that once the dust settles and the blood has been mopped up, Musk will come up with some clever quote similar to Warren Buffett's assertion that investors would have been saved billions of dollars if someone had shot the Wright Brother's plane down. Buffett in NOT a fan of the airline industry. I wouldn't overlook the possibility that almost all tech companies are enormously overvalued by the financial markets and that Elon is just one of the first to discover that the hard way.
A somewhat less frivolous Buffett quote on airlines from the 1990 Berkshire-Hathaway annual letter.
Since our purchase, the economics of the airline industry have deteriorated at an alarming pace, accelerated by the kamikaze pricing tactics of certain carriers. The trouble this pricing has produced for all carriers illustrates an important truth: In a business selling a commodity-type product, it's impossible to be a lot smarter than your dumbest competitor.
There's more in the following years newsletters. They're available at https://som.yale.edu/sites/default/files/2021-12/Module8-Readng.pdf if anyone is interested.
"A somewhat less frivolous Buffett quote on airlines from the 1990 Berkshire-Hathaway annual letter."
I get it that some people are not fans of Warren Buffet, but he's still made tremendous amounts of money for himself, his partners and BH stockholders. I expect that means that the vast majority of his evaluations have to be spot on since it would take very few bad calls to have a negative net worth and have earned him a reputation for being a hit and miss investment analyst. I happen to like him and his approach to investing and use some of that when our family trust is looking at stocks. Since we can't trade the level BH can, some of Warren's tactics can't be used or to the same extent.
I wouldn't overlook the possibility that almost all tech companies are enormously overvalued by the financial markets
It is more that many of the companies that are primarily valued on "alternative metrics" such as their number of users, versus actual record of profits being made, are enormously overvalued. Looking at the profits of Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon versus their stock price / market cap one could argue they are somewhat overvalued but certainly not "enormously" so.
It is when companies deserve a very low valuation by traditional metrics and Wall Street analysts touting it as a "buy" have to resort to alternatives like "number of users" or "dominating its segment" or "unlimited potential for future growth" that you see wildly overvalued stock prices.
Musk obviously didn't listen to anyone with financial sense or basic legal advice when he made his binding offer to buy Twitter without contingencies based off its then-current stock price. He just decided he wanted a new toy and didn't wanted to waste time listening to advice from people he wrongly considers himself to be smarter than.
That was a kill shot by itself. In order to buy he had to make an offer well in excess of value. He financed the deal by loading up Twitter with debt. The interest payments massively exceed Twitter's (pre-Musk) most profitable quarters.
The 'business plan' was to convince everyone to store their savings in the bank of Twitter by promising the highest interest rates. Where have we heard that before?
He's probably figuring if he can scam enough people to deposit money with Twitter that Twitter could do what any bank can do, and have access to money at the federal funds rate (i.e. far far lower than the junk bond rates any additional Twitter debt would be sold at) to keep it afloat.
I haven't heard anything about this for months so I assume once he found out how tightly banks are regulated he dropped that idea. One thing that would trip him up is all those unpaid bills. Twitter would never get a banking license when it isn't paying rent, vendor bills or promised severance to past employees. Plus a bank has maintain strict asset ratios, and Twitter having negative assets due to those loans is an even bigger problem. The idea that he even publicly suggested Twitter becoming a bank shows how totally clueless he is.
> I hope this is the final nail in the coffin of the myth that billionaires are somehow smarter than the rest of us.
Unfortunately, it won't be.
I would love to live in a world where people no longer fall for informal logical fallacies. However, that won't happen in the forseeable future. And so argumentum ad hominem/nauseam/populum/verecundiam/ignorantiam/antiquitatem will continue to work. As wil Petitio principi, post hoc ergo propter hoc and non sequitur.
And of course the alltime favorite: Argumentum ad crumenam.
The thing about the alt-right chuds that Elon is so desperate to be down with, and something he genuinely shares with them, is that they are extremely bad at posting.
They all imagined people were ignoring them because of sinister shadowbans stealing all the engagement they deserved, but they believed this on account of being the most pompous, entitled manbabies imaginable. People were actually ignoring them because their thick-as-porridge honking is boring, crass and stupid. Every time one of their dunderheaded posts gets promoted over the insightful, witty or genuinely funny tweets from a regular user it makes Twitter worse for everyone, including them.
It used to be a site where you could find what a wide selection of people had to say about something. Now you can predominantly find what people stupid enough to pay for Twitter have to say about it and the truth is that you neither want nor need to.
Every one of these clod-gargling bluetick dunces must devalue Twitter far more than the $8 they are paying. I expect that as they progressively drive away everyone with anything interesting to say, they're going to be increasingly disinclined to keep paying as it transpires that if you're a certain type of person you really don't want to join any club that would have you.
That's why Threads is probably going to succeed despite itself. Sure it reportedly has poor engagement so far, because it lacks a critical mass of posts for people to read and respond to. That mass will build over time as people inevitably build apps to allow people to write something once and have it posted on both sites. Each future Twitter outrage (or outage) will drive people there as they now have somewhere to go.
Threads is sitting there with 150 million people ready to become active users once there is enough there worth reading, or they feel there will be enough engagement for it to be worth dedicating their time to posting there exclusively.
It will build over time, then suddenly seemingly overnight there will be a mass defection from Twitter to Threads. That's basically how the migration from Myspace to Facebook happened, it was slow and then one day it seemed like everyone I knew stopped posting on Myspace so I quit bothering to login. Once that happens it will just be the alt-right chuds and the lost and forlorn who have large Twitter followings they are loathe to give up for Threads because they were never active on Instagram and didn't have those built-in followers ready.
there will be a mass defection from Twitter to Threads
that's a funny one. It will not happen for 2 reasons:
- the people who already changed are the woke snowflakes with their Instagram account, and those are narcissist that will follow the sheeple and will crawl back to where the users are. They are posers who thought they can cash-in on Musk-ophobia.
- the rest is fed-up with Facebook's (and GAFA's in general) monopoly and censorship, and don't give a rat's tail about Musk or Zuckerberg. If anything, most hold more negative views about Zuck who didn't do any single thing in his life apart from stealing an idea from hies friends, whereas Musk at least did some successful enterprises (even if not entirely his doing). Thinking that most people like Zuckerberg over Musk is delusional.
A really neat formulation I saw recently was "if a black person has to spend an hour a day blocking nazis to make your site usable while a nazi does not have to block anyone, then your site favours nazis."
Non-moderation is every bit as much of a choice as moderation. Who you choose to favour is very telling.
"So you prefer the Musk brand of censorship, where he lets all the nazis back in to run wild and gleefully attack people of color, LGBT etc. while shutting down those critical of him?"
Sort of goes with Elon's past of calling people pedophiles, commenting with a pile of excrement, making a left turn when a sign says "right turn only" and how the only way to contact him is publicly on Twitter and if you say anything critical, you're sacked. Points for being consistent?
"Threads is sitting there with 150 million people ready to become active users once there is enough there worth reading"
That's the big question. Lots of sign ups will be people making sure their handles for InstaPintaTwitFace will be the same on Threads so it's more like cyber-squatting than an excitement to use the service (gawd, there needs to be a better word to describe what they do). It's the same as the 1.5mn people that have loaned Tesla $100ea to have a place in the Cybertruck line. There's no guarantee on the conversion of those reservations to solid orders.
That said, Threads is the first competitor to Twitter for short forum posts and Zuck was handed a great gap to slide into. I'm guessing they've had Threads in development for some time. Many of the criticisms I've seen thus far are how it's not exactly like Twitter. I don't use any of that stuff myself so I'm commenting a bit out of school.
Given all the shit that's happened since he took over, I'd be surprised if revenues are only down 50%. That would sort of suggest he got things right: reduce operational expenditure by 80% but revenues only dip by 50%. The debt payments are irrelevant, the only thing that matters is that it's no longer his personal debt and now it's a problem for the accountants.
But none of this changes the fact that there are now more competitors out there providing a better service: Instagram, TikTok, Telegram, etc. are eating Twitter's, er, lunch.
At the end of the day, would the world end if it shut down tomorrow? No, thought not. Bring it on.
The Washington Post discovered interesting details about the debt financing. A bunch of bankers are on the hook for $12½B but Musk still has to make the interest payments which are large compared to Twitter Version 1 expenditure. Including the interest, Twitter 2 expenditure has gone up even if you count non-payment of bills and severance as a reduction rather than a delay. That delay comes at the expense of needing to hire lawyers - and they will not work for a promise of jam tomorrow.
That delay comes at the expense of needing to hire lawyers - and they will not work for a promise of jam tomorrow.
Oh, I don't know about that. Trump's had some success in getting lawyers, of a sort, to work for free. What's Sydney Powell doing these days? She hasn't been disbarred yet.
He's probably got some advertisers who sympathize with his Trump loving politics who have increased their spend to help support Twitter. That's why people say the mix has changed - the traditional companies have pulled back way more than 50% or out entirely, but new ones have replaced them.
When you replace automakers and consumer brands with gambling and cryptocurrency you aren't exactly trending in the right direction even if the nominal revenue is only down by half.
I have heard about adverts for Starlink. Tesla has changed its no advertising policy and started adverting... on Twitter
So basically he is funneling money from his other businesses into Twitter. I wonder how long before Twitter shareholders complain? Also a great way to further alienate potential Tesla buyers, who don't exactly match the demographic he's chasing with the new alt right friendly version of Twitter.
"I have heard about adverts for Starlink. Tesla has changed its no advertising policy and started adverting... on Twitter.
How many Twitter users need to buy a tunnel or a new brain?"
That's not the reason. Twitter is a private company and Elon can't just take money from Tesla and give it to Twitter. Perhaps he can from SpaceX, but there's other investors that might not like that and could stop propping the company up. TBC and Neuralink are both private and not making profits but could still have money that can be shifted to Twitter to preserve Elon's gross worth (Net worth is very different). Now, if those companies were buying advertising on Twitter, that's a normal expense that companies have and it allows funds to shift from an entity such as Tesla into Twitter with plausible deniability. Tesla is only shipping 4 models of cars. Two of them are very expensive and the other two are nearly the same. How much advertising do they really need to do?
Burn that bad idea right to the ground. Twitter burnt a mountain of VC money tricking people into thinking that Twitter was a viable or relevant platform, and paid a ton more to try to make social media FOMO a thing. The idea that Twitter was a platform that people should use to engage with governments and emergency services was always a farce.
Threads will fare no better, as the feature offers little but restrictions to the existing instametaface experience. Zuck stole a few million accounts of twitter, out of two user pools (Twitter and Zuck's own empire) that measure in the billions. Threads user stats, like Google's repeated attempts to break into this space, are a rounding error.
While it will further starve Twitter, Zuck can't really afford to choke them out completely, or the regulators will be up his backside again.
In the end, others here have made the correct suggestion. We don't need Twitter, we never did, and letting it die now will only make the world a better place. If we need a better universal communication platform, it shouldn't be the private domain of a wingnut at the helm of a desperate for-profit company that is only good at losing money.
What annoys me is the apparent addiction journalists have for it, mistaking for something like a newswire but apparently unable to conceive that other equally questionable services are also available. I can't wait for the day when I stop reading "said on Twitter" on articles.
"If we need a better universal communication platform, it shouldn't be the private domain of a wingnut at the helm of a desperate for-profit company that is only good at losing money."
I'm not sure that a government-run platform would be a good alternative. I'm all for a wingnut run platform that's desperately in danger of imploding just being finished off live on TV with a huge cast of stars and lots of special effects. The next day we can sweep up all of the bits of paper, hose off the scorch marks and get on with a real life.
"The idea that Twitter was a platform that people should use to engage with governments and emergency services was always a farce."
I'd rather open up the web site of the train company and find a prominent link to outages and advisories rather than needing to sign up for Twitter. My city has a stinkin' FB page, but the official web site has scads of busted links and isn't kept up to date. Why should any time be spent on FB when the web site is in such need? Geez, hire a couple of kids part time from the high school to work on it (with supervision). There's isn't much work now that proper businesses have gone away in exchange for pot farms that underage's can't work for.
"Yacc has fallen off the glass cliff"
The problem is that she should have been smart enough to have seen what will be her biggest problem (Elon) which demonstrates she isn't clever enough for the job. I guess you never know as Robyn Denholm has yet another board position when she's failed monstrously at keeping Elon in check and complying with his SEC agreements for so many years. I know, it's silly to think that one wouldn't be likely to get another high paying job after choking at the last one (she keeps both).
But I suspected that what he really wanted to promote a misunderstanding common anong some people in the USA.
Free speech is not the liberty to use the "N word". Neither is being allowed to celebrate famous US traitors like the confederacy or their immoral successors who tried to overturn the results of an election they didn't like.
You want to carry guns? Fair enough, just keep away from here. You want to keople with darker skins "in their place"? That will not end well for you or your successors.
I quite enjoy debating with people who don't think the same as me and Twitter used to be OK for that. There were rules and there were ways of reporting the humourless and overentitled who felt that not slavishly agreeing with them was an act of war.
I have given up with even trying to discuss things with them. I am still doing it with people outside the USA but they are getting fewer.
A large portion of revenue for Social Media companies is the sale of PII to anybody with the price. Hell, they sell subscriptions. While ad revenue is certainly down, I am wondering how big of a hit there has been to PII sales. People are still posting and giving away their personal information in the process. Even Elon won't have stopped collecting all of that.