back to article Musk's first year as Twitter's Dear Leader is nigh

Next month will see the first anniversary of Elon Musk's purchase of Twitter. The rest of the media will be full of analyses on what's gone right and wrong, and what it means for Musk and our perception of his business acumen. But with competitors making quiet progress, it seems rude to wait that month before running the …

  1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    I must say , out of that long laundry list of controversial moves , throwing the brand away and calling it X seems like the weirdest ,

    Although seeing "twitter" in a url or an article just made me scroll hurriedly on . Maybe of part of some "swamp cleaning" plan.

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      " throwing the brand away and calling it X seems like the weirdest "

      It's been in the pipeline from the beginning.

      https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1504311459924398083?s=20&t=FTNY-fVH7UIseBs7DgVvYQ

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        True, but being in Musk's Egoplan (tm) doesn't stop it being weird. And stupid.

    2. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Elmo's been fixed on "X" for years - since the earliest days of Paypal.

      1. aerogems Silver badge
        Boffin

        What would eventually become PayPal you mean.

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          No, PayPal the product already existed under the PayPal name. The company wasn't called that yet, but it wasn't called x.com either. Musk brought in the x.com name along with some cash because he threatened to overwhelm PayPal the product by spending a ton of money to get users away from it. When they got rid of him, they made the company name PayPal to match the product they offered already. Somewhat like Twitter, Musk found someone else's idea and slapped his pointless name on it.

          1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

            If Musk is such a genius where is his github repo ?

        2. MachDiamond Silver badge

          "What would eventually become PayPal you mean."

          Not even that.

          Common Sense Skeptic did a well presented job of tracking where Paypal came from and how Elon wasn't really a part of it in their series "Debunking Elon Musk" on YT. Elon did have stock in Paypal that made him a pile of money, but it wasn't him that led the company to that payday.

      2. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        It's his cross to bear ..

    3. Herring`

      The other suggestion was $8chan

      1. MyffyW Silver badge

        Come for the tech news, stay for the shitposting, welcome to my life as an El Reg commentard. And I don't even need to give an X...

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > throwing the brand away and calling it X seems like the weirdest ...

      You just have to think bigger, think of the subdomains he can now create for special interest tweeters, like: x.x.x.com or s.e.x.com. :)

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        I'm pretty surprised x.com was available for him : )

      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

        "> throwing the brand away and calling it X seems like the weirdest ..."

        A saner operator would have kept Twitter as a component of X. X being the overall container for all of the things Elon wants to get away with.

  2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Not very well, maybe but better than expected. It's still there.

    1. cyberdemon Silver badge
      Trollface

      If there's one thing I can thank Musk for

      It's Schadenfreude.

      He's up there with SBF in creating wonderful point-and-laugh moments

      But yes it is a shame that it hasn't imploded completely yet. It's boom-and-bust for purveyors of popcorn. But we have the US elections coming up, so that should be a decent source of mirth

    2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Yep, it's impressive that Twitter is still going despite Musk running it.

      1. bazza Silver badge

        Not really. He is sinking his own money into it, and he has a large supply of that. And he's also not paying his bills, another way of trimming costs. He can probably sustain Twitter for a very long time, though at some point the courts and creditors will get their way and it'll start costing him more than at present.

        So, impressive only in the sense that it's the most costly demonstration ever of the maxim "a fool and his money will soon be parted". A wiser person would have cut their loses and binned the company entirely by now. A wise person would never have made such a rash offer in the first place.

        1. Dave Schofield

          >Not really. He is sinking his own money into it, and he has a large supply of that. And he's also not paying his bills, another way of trimming costs. He can probably sustain Twitter for a very long time, though at some point the courts and creditors will get their way and it'll start costing him more than at present.

          Much of the backing (for the purchase) was from Saudi Arabia - where anyone who posts anything remotely critical of the regime has been finding the police at the door and (in a least one case) a resulting death sentence. Helping authoritarian regimes and most likely attempting to help Trump back into power are probably good long term strategies for the Musk companies.

          1. MyffyW Silver badge

            If the Saudis eventually tire of Musk, he might be well advised to steer clear of the ambassadors reception. My mate Jamal got a lot more than a Ferrero Rocher for his troubles.

        2. MachDiamond Silver badge

          " And he's also not paying his bills, another way of trimming costs. "

          One of the creditors he isn't paying is King Charles. It turns out the Royal empire is the landlord for some of "Twitter's" offices in England. Yeah, it won't go as it might have in years past, but the King is still a king and has ways of handling things that might not be pleasant for the handlee.

    3. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge

      Twitter survived going under because everyone kept using it when Trumplethinskin got elected.... then they kept using it because for some it had become a habit. Now a much smaller number they keep using it because they want to see what the giant man baby will do next.

      They sit there thinking... go on... say something stupid for us to laugh at. So he does... he just doesn't realise he dumb. The old saying applies. When you die, you don't know that you're dead... it's only painful for those around you, who knew you... It's the same when you're stupid.

      Musk remains oblivious to all of this because any attention is still attention and it's what he craves... it gives him validity, it gives his life meaning. The fact that he's a low rent a 10th rate bond villain more suited to a spy kids movie than anything with any substance completely eludes him. He doesn't care he's a laughing stock to the rest of the world. He's still a narcissistic, fascist leaning, russian asset who bought a platform simply for access to the data on activists for his backers in certain parts of the world.

      His obsession with the letter x has been ongoing for decades.

      His stupidity though... costs lives. His interference in Ukraine simply either by spouting russian propaganda or turning off starlink... will cost lives.

      I can't say what I truly think of him or what I think should happen to him... el reg wouldn't publish it. But I think it all the same and that the world would be a much better place without him.

      Good times cause bad people to rise... creating bad times... which should then cause good people to rise to bring about better times again. We desperately need those good people. We do not and have never needed multi millionaires or billionaires.

    4. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      It's still there.

      So is MySpace. So is Something Awful, which though less well-known played a larger role in Internet cultural history than MySpace; it hasn't had any new front-page content in three years (essentially since Kyanka sold it) but the site is still there. It can take a long time to completely wipe out an Internet site with a community.

      And, as another commentator pointed out, many of the users seem to be unable to kick the habit. I ignore Twitter myself, but I read a lot of technical articles that refer to things (announcements of papers in pre-print, arguments over theoretical questions, etc) posted there.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Won't be missed

    Twitter et al just make me think of that phrase "opinions are like a**holes" ... add in speed to express the opinion and you've got a cesspool.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Won't be missed

      Rhetoricians were observing this effect long before Twitter existed. I touched on it in a piece I wrote on Usenet for Works and Days twenty years ago. Nearly the speed of conversation, plus the perceived authority and reduced information content1 of print. It's a tricky combination.

      1No tone of voice, prosody, body language; often much less knowledge about interlocutors and situational context – basically a loss of social-linguistic factors such as footing and framing, plus all the paralinguistic signals.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Social media is overrated

    So is being sociable.

    Right? You know I’m right!

    [nerd icon]

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Social media is overrated

      Musk has turned Twatter into a home for Right Wing Despots, Conspiracy Theorists and White Nationalists.

      By calling it 'X', he has made it irrelevant for a lot of former users.

      I never found Twitter particularly useful. All my followers have abandoned ship and moved to Mastadon. I've just stopped using (anti-)Social Media in its slimy entirety.

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: Social media is overrated

        "Musk has turned Twatter into a home for Right Wing Despots, Conspiracy Theorists and White Nationalists."

        If that's what you believe then Mastadon probably offers you a safer place to be amongst like minded people.

        1. LionelB Silver badge

          Re: Social media is overrated

          I suspect that "Not a Right Wing Despot, Conspiracy Theorist or White Nationalist" constitutes a pretty dilute version of "like minded". At least I'd like to think so.

          (My own personal safe space comprises mostly people who don't want to actually kill me.)

      2. Randy Hudson

        Re: Social media is overrated

        > All my followers have abandoned ship and moved to Mastadon

        The mass exodus has begun...

        1. Lon24

          Re: Social media is overrated

          Nice article - just that I missed the bit about the announcement of social.theregister.co.uk or even (fingers positioned in a formerly known as Twitter formation) social.theregister.com instance.

          Given that these columns do reveal a peculiarly non-Twitter demographic currently denied El Vulture's more pithy tweets.

      3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: I've just stopped using (anti-)Social Media in its slimy entirety

        I'm sorry, didn't you just mention "followers" and Mastodon ?

        Or are you saying that you've let your followers go to Mastodon and you haven't set up shop there ?

        Because if you're on Mastodon with your followers, you haven't abandoned social media in its entirety, slimy or not.

        1. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge

          Re: I've just stopped using (anti-)Social Media in its slimy entirety

          There is an el reg masto bot posting articles. @theregister@geeknews.chat but it's not an official one.

      4. aerogems Silver badge

        Re: Social media is overrated

        I never really understood the point period. I remember when Twitter was still barely more than a website few had ever heard of, and I looked at it and it's like, "So... it's like SMS, but on the web? Am I missing something here?" At the time it seemed to be populated largely by people who thought the world needed a play-by-play narration of their life, down to the mundane details of things like getting something from the fridge or using the toilet. Which, in hindsight, seems to be both far preferable to what it is now, and more than a little prescient. Whose life is so devoid of meaning they need to "follow" me and my random musings in an attempt to provide that meaning?

        1. Khaptain Silver badge

          Re: Social media is overrated

          The problem came about when the media, Newspapers, TV etc decided that Twitter was a viable source for everything and anything. Probably due to graduates that grew up with Social Media, for them it truly is a viable source of news, since that's where they learn about the world, they then left college and got jobs within the media companies.

          Those in power realised that this was the case, so they started "nudging" what was being Tweeted, this in turn help to further skew what was being reported by the Media.

          Elon Musk knew this too and realised that it had gone too far, it had become to powerful, so he threw a spanner in the works..

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Social media is overrated

            Up until the last sentence - or have I tripped over Poe's law there?

          2. aerogems Silver badge

            Re: Social media is overrated

            Yeah, no. Not trying to dump all over everything you said, but ascribing any kind of forethought to Twitler's decision to buy Twitter is just absolutely not supported by the evidence. Literally everything, including the recent biography of Twitler, points to him getting high and deciding it was a great idea to buy Twitter so he could be Queen Bitch of his own little mean girls platform, or maybe he started believing his own bullshit story about being a great businessman. Either way, when he ran out of drugs and sobered up, he realized what he did, tried to get out of it, but drug-fueled-Musk wouldn't take yes for an answer and signed an airtight contract. Meaning the only way he had to get out of buying Twitter was to claim he was taking illegal substances at the time, and so wasn't of sound mind. Of course that would have had implications for his other businesses, particularly SpaceX where he already got into trouble for smoking weed on camera. If he got busted again, the other owners of SpaceX probably wouldn't have a choice but to force him out, unless they wanted to wind up operations or give up all government contracts. The one thing Twitler is good at, is blowing smoke up the ass of rich people in order to get money to fund things like SpaceX.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Social media is overrated

              Agreed, Musk didn’t buy Twitter to destroy it, he was forced to buy it because he made a stupid mistake in public.

              He didn’t really pay for Twitter, though, he saddled it with debt and he found people like the Saudis to pay for a lot of the acquisition. And the Saudis definitely wanted Twitter shut down. You can’t have people voice their opinions on fossil fuels. Or women having any opinion.

              So the reason Musk’s friend Bone Saw hasn’t killed him yet is because he’s doing what they want, destroy a public discussion platform.

              1. aerogems Silver badge

                Re: Social media is overrated

                I think the Saudi's are rather indifferent at this point. As long as Twitter is still up and running, by owning a good sized stake in it they have leverage to get info on any dissidents in the country using it to say things the government doesn't like. And if Twitter folds, it's basically pocket change to them, and it means one fewer platform for dissidents to spread their message via. Plus, it's not like MBS can't afford a couple more bone saws if Twitler starts going rogue.

                1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                  Re: Social media is overrated

                  "I think the Saudi's are rather indifferent at this point. As long as Twitter is still up and running, by owning a good sized stake in it they have leverage to get info on any dissidents in the country using it to say things the government doesn't like."

                  There's still the banks that got suckered into the deal thinking they could turn around and flog the debt off at a profit. The trouble was after Elon's attempts to worm out of the deal, the market changed and the perception of Twitter changed and the banks were upside down on the deal. I'm not saying that those banks will send in specialist negotiators to have an up close and personal "chat" with Elon, but they can take it out on him in other ways since Elon also runs several other businesses that need banking. Lines of Credit can become more difficult to get with more stringent security requirements. Loans could be accelerated. We've all seen with Nigel Farage's banking woes and the others that have had the same treatment that banks can swing a big hammer in these days.

          3. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge

            Re: Social media is overrated

            You've lost the plot with that last statement.

            What really happened was that certain media outlets started pushing twitter as more important than it really was... mainly in the USA and that then spread. As if it was the voice of the majority, rather than a rancid cesspit of bullshit and vapid thinking.... which lets face it, was the actual majority of it (only a tiny fraction of it posted relevant and interesting things)... people started acting as if jumping on a hashtag trend was important, had value and meaning... and some brands started listening to it, giving it importance, bowing down to that minority as if they had actual power.

            There are closing in on 8 billion people on the planet... at it's peak, there were around 400million using twitter, over 2 billion using facebook/insta/snap and so forth... I've not seen any accurate numbers for twitter recently. But advertisers have left, millions of users have left and probably been replaced by bots and right wing, christofascist consipiracy fuckwits.

            Masto has seen a huge rise in numbers, millions of new accounts joined in the last 12 months.. thousands joining every day.

            You still get those crying out that mastodon isn't worth it, there's no engagement and crap like that... that's because those people are idiots or lazy who shitpost links for likes and expect everyone else to do their work for them... they think because of places like facebook/twitter/insta and so forth... that all they need to do is shitpost some garbage and millions of people will see it and hundreds/thousands will share it for them.

            That's not how actual social media works... it requires effort, it requires interaction and engagement with others... the lazy and the stupid will ignore it because they can't be bothered to make that effort... and that's great for the rest of us... because we won't see their garbage pushed into our feeds by some algorithm and people won't respond to (and will soon stop) those who fail to interact and engage with everyone else.

      5. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge

        Re: Social media is overrated

        I tried twitter about 12yrs ago, mainly to keep in touch with an ex flame I still had a soft spot (one that got away kind of thing because I was young and stupid).

        But even the prospect of keeping her in my life wasn't enough to make me like the place, and I soon left for many years. Started using it again for the exact same reason... because I refuse to use facebook or any other of their companies (but do use whatsapp for family chat).

        I lasted a few months before leaving again.

        The last time I used my old account was in 2018 and I then deleted it entirely.

        I started using Mastodon instead, and found a friendly, inclusive place free from the bullshit... full of like minded people across the world. Made new friends, even met some one special... and without trying amassed 500 times the number of followers that I had on the place formerly known as twitter.

        Masto is what social media can and should be like... free from the ads, the tracking and the manipulation. I even pay for it; a few times a year I donate to the people running the instance I'm on.... I'd actually be willing to pay £5 a month to keep it running and free from ads, tracking and algorithms.

        When the place formerly known as twitter dies... I shall laugh and go about my business as usual without giving it another thought.

  5. ComputerSays_noAbsolutelyNo Silver badge

    ... but he can't build the Berlin Wall of social media.

    What if Twittler collects all the personal information of all the Twitter/X users, bundles it and puts it up for auction?

    So, either you leave the glorious paradise of absolute free speech for everyone who pays for it, or you say good bye to all your data?

    This way, X will enter the "insurance" industry, and it's always a good business decision to diversity one's business.

    Well, I have never used Twitter, so my understanding of what is on Twitter and what isn't is conjectural.

    1. aerogems Silver badge

      Re: ... but he can't build the Berlin Wall of social media.

      You're assuming he hasn't done that already. It'd be illegal in a lot of countries, but like silly things such as following the law have ever stopped Twitler. He can always just run to Saudi Arabia if things get real bad. The Saudi Government owns a good chunk of Twitter after all, and no doubt the whole reason they invested was so they could compel Twitler to hand over info about dissidents posting things critical of the government from within the country.

  6. abend0c4

    Mastodon remains the most exciting alternative

    I suspect that a platform of the reach that Twitter once had is only really sustainable if it's attractive to advertisers (the converse also being true: without the scale the advertisers won't really be interested). Few people are going to pay for the service. I think that's the fly in the ointment as far as Mastodon is concerned - I don't see how the individual operators can make it viable in the long term. Twitter had almost reached a state of equilibrium in terms of sustainability when Musk came along and put his thumb very firmly on the wrong side of the balance. It's even now still the best positioned to have a future, though the likelihood diminishes daily.

    1. Andy Non Silver badge

      Re: Mastodon remains the most exciting alternative

      I joined Mastodon a few months ago. On the plus side it doesn't spam your feed with unwanted crap but on the downside it hasn't reached a critical mass of people I'd like to "follow" e.g. various scientists who I find interesting. At least NASA is on Mastodon with regular posts on what they are doing or the latest JWST photos. As an end user of Mastodon I do find it a bit confusing that you have to select a particular server to join with, I guess that is due to the federated nature of Mastodon, but does that affect what people, organisations and content are visible to me? That isn't so obvious.

      1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

        Re: Mastodon remains the most exciting alternative

        but does that affect what people, organisations and content are visible to me

        Yes it does as your server administrator can block federation with specific servers.

        1. that one in the corner Silver badge

          Re: Mastodon remains the most exciting alternative

          > Yes it does as your server administrator can block federation with specific servers.

          And will, AFAIK, often do that by pulling in a list of instances to block/allow Sounds reasonable enough - saves an admin for a small server having to spend a lot of time checking content of *all* the new instances.

          But the list is (lists are) not managed purely on a content basis but on "feels" - the way the Raspberry Pi server was treated demonstrates this - making it harder to find out whether any particular server is one to join or not. Are you suddenly going to find an otherwise useful techie feed cut off entirely because of a spat (followed by the usual Social Media "everyone has to take a side" magnification effect)?

          This added (apparent) volatility just adds to the confusion.

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: Mastodon remains the most exciting alternative

            Are you suddenly going to find an otherwise useful techie feed cut off entirely because of a spat (followed by the usual Social Media "everyone has to take a side" magnification effect)?

            Probably. But techies of a certain age will be used to this because it kinda happened when the Internet was still UUCP. Back then, it was the threat of UDP (Usenet Death Penalty) that could cut off feeds, and 'full newsgroup feeds' where something some ISP's marketed themselves as carrying. Even though sometimes that was a lie. Or just bored sysadmins deleting part 37/42* from an alt.binaries post. Oh, such fun. I'm also somewhat convinced that this was the reason for some lawful intercept and data retention regulations, ie ensuring that GCHQ and customers could actually get a full newsfeed.

            So Mastodon may be 'de-centralised', but is just reinventing the wheel. The advantage XTwitter had was it was a one-stop-shop for simpletons to sup from the firehouse of garbage, give or take the stuff that was deemed politically incorrect.

            *I wonder how many parts something like BG3 would take, if that were dropped into Usenet, MIME encoded..

        2. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge

          Re: Mastodon remains the most exciting alternative

          The only instances that I've seen blocked, are those that have been openly hostile and bigoted... new servers popping up that allow hate and prejudice to flow freely and that simply became a place for those who couldn't attack those that had left the place formerly know as twitter.

          So yeah... block those fuckers.

          You can join any server you want, it's also very easy to switch to another and take all of your followers/follow lists with you.

          There's a UK masto instance that I'm on, and I donate a few times a year to it. I'd happily pay £5 a month for the service, instead I donate £10-20 a few times a year when I remember.

          I follow people on many other servers, people who have found some of my shared posts or I've found theirs. People I've interacted with at random... shared interests and so forth.

          After 20yrs of trying various forms of social media and hating all of them except for G+ with hangouts... I've found a place I enjoy being.

      2. katrinab Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: Mastodon remains the most exciting alternative

        I guess choosing a Mastodon server is a bit like choosing an email server.

        How do people choose an email server these days? I suppose there's basically two choices, Microsoft or Google, and there are actually differences between them, whereas with Mastodon, there generally isn't, they mostly all use the same software.

        1. vekkq

          Re: Mastodon remains the most exciting alternative

          Mastodon servers differ in rules, ui coloring, emotes and blocks. it might interest you, whether you can repost nsfw stuff or memes of darker humor on a server.

        2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

          Re: I suppose there's basically two choices, Microsoft or Google

          That is just plain wrong.

          1. katrinab Silver badge
            Unhappy

            Re: I suppose there's basically two choices, Microsoft or Google

            I'm talking about the decision process of normal people, not El Reg readers.

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Mastodon remains the most exciting alternative

        "As an end user of Mastodon I do find it a bit confusing that you have to select a particular server to join with"

        I suppose the answer would be one well publicised server for onboarding new users until they find their way around. Call it omething like JoinMastadonHere.

        1. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge

          Re: Mastodon remains the most exciting alternative

          it's called mastodonsocial

      4. grizzly

        Re: Mastodon remains the most exciting alternative

        Mastodon diverged from Twitter's core competency: micro-blogging. Mastodon's 500 chars is more like blogging vs Twitter's 280. People get to the point faster on Twitter. Grammar and vocab are flabbier on Mastodon because people needn't care about wasting words, using tautologies, etc. Micro-blogging is the name of the game. I want to quit Twitter, and I would if a critical mass went elsewhere, but Mastodon hasn't helped itself.

      5. Len
        Happy

        Re: Mastodon remains the most exciting alternative

        Have you checked this list? It’s a giant list of lists of scientific disciplines and academic communities on Mastodon. Well worth a check for accounts to follow.

        Academics on Mastodon

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Mastodon remains the most exciting alternative

          I'm glad Mastodon works for some people, but I have to say that I browsed recent posts on a couple of servers that people had recommended, and while there was content relevant to some of my interests, I just couldn't warm to it. Maybe I'm just no longer temperamentally suited to that sort of thing. I was very active on Usenet for several years, but that was a long time ago. These days I find most social media just irritating.

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Mastodon remains the most exciting alternative

        If you have specific interests and are already following a bunch of people in that area but are looking to find more, I can recommend the Followgraph tool. It looks at who you already follow and who they follow, and then uses it to recommend you others to follow.

        All you need to do is tell it your Masto handle: https://followgraph.vercel.app/

        But perhaps first follow @grb090423@mastodon.social and @esa@squeet.me to prime it a bit more for space related stuff.

      7. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Mastodon remains the most exciting alternative

        "At least NASA is on Mastodon with regular posts on what they are doing or the latest JWST photos."

        I get that delivered to my email so no need to join any social media sites. I'm enough of a space nut that if a really awesome photo is release from JWST, I'll have several people emailing me to ask if I've seen it. RSS on steroids.

    2. sabroni Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: The fly in the ointment...

      ..is that mastadon isn't advertiser friendly so will never become something that a rich cunt can buy and fuck up.

      And that's a negative to you? You don't think that social media without adverts might be better?

      1. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge

        Re: The fly in the ointment...

        No... it's because mastodon doesn't have a central server or database for everyone... it's hundreds or thousands of individually run 'instances' that talk to each other.

        Facebook tried to setup an instance and there was massive discussion amongst instance admins over a pre-emptive blocking of it due to their track record of 'infiltrating' networks like this, making changes to the open source code that favours their plans, attempt to become the largest userbase on the network, and make it difficult for other instances to operate/access the network if they don't play by their rules... eventually destroying the network in their favour. It's happened before and it's a long term goal/plan of theirs.

      2. abend0c4

        Re: The fly in the ointment...

        You don't think that social media without adverts might be better?

        I think it's pretty clear from what I actually wrote that "the fly in the ointment" is that few people are going to pay for the service. It's not a question of whether a different source of funding would be better or worse, it's a question of whether it's possible in the world that exists.

  7. Bebu Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    A special hell.

    "Musk ... obviously still has an oar in with many processes."

    Oar? More likely a part of his anatomy.

    Like to think one day he will be wandering the wheat belt with his oar over his shoulder and *no one* ever asking him about his odd winnowing fan.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Elon Musk owns xTwitter

    > Musk can play dictator all he wants, but he can't build the Berlin Wall of social media.

    Elon Musk owns xTwitter

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Elon Musk owns xTwitter

      I think we know that.

      Your point ?

  9. Pomgolian
    Coffee/keyboard

    Snotty!

    "warning signs a mole rat could see from Mars"

    Gotta chortle at that one.

  10. Barry Rueger

    Bluesky

    Just dumped out of Twitter and moved to Bluesky.

    It's a good fit, and growing past a million users.

    One user explained it nicely:

    Bluesky has no algorithm. Who you follow and what they post is your feed.

    Don't argue with chuds or quote-reskeet dunk on them, just block (and maybe report)

    Starve the assholes out and don't give them the attention they crave

    1. Andy Non Silver badge

      Re: Bluesky

      Sounds worth a punt, so I've just joined the waiting list.

    2. GioCiampa

      Re: Bluesky

      "Bluesky has no algorithm" is very much a plus point - it might just be worth the effort to having to start following accounts from scratch (once the waitlist does its thing...)

    3. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge

      Re: Bluesky

      bluesky is just twitter from almost 20yrs ago... it'll go exactly the same way.

  11. graeme leggett Silver badge

    Going downhill fast, and so is Twitter

    Elon's recent tweets appear to be

    1) posting a straightout antivax meme

    2) Anti-Ukraine

    3) promotion of anti-immigrant narrative

    4) promotion of the right-wing AfD party in Germany

    1. vekkq

      Re: Going downhill fast, and so is Twitter

      so its basically what the recommendation algorithms would give you.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Going downhill fast, and so is Twitter

        i'd rather not have an account on nazi central

    2. Michael Strorm Silver badge

      Re: Going downhill fast, and so is Twitter

      "Elon Musk went from being the Henry Ford of our generation (admired carmaker, brilliant salesman) to being the Henry Ford of our generation (conspiracy theorist, Nazi-enabler)" (*)

      Interestingly, searching for that quote, I came across this article drawing parallels between Musk's actions and behaviour today, and Henry Ford's in the 1920s.

      Spoiler; it disrupted and distracted enough from Ford's sales that it allowed the rise of the rival General Motors which then overtook Ford.

      (*) Nice irony that this is on (eX-)Twitter.

      1. Spanners Silver badge
        Terminator

        Re: Going downhill fast, and so is Twitter

        "General Motors which then overtook Ford"

        Maybe in boardrooms but outside the USA nobody knows of any cars openly made by GM.

        I have seen a few Chryslers, but, they are not regarded well by petrolheads I know. They tend to have a worse opinion of US engineering than me.

        1. that one in the corner Silver badge

          Re: Going downhill fast, and so is Twitter

          > Maybe in boardrooms but outside the USA nobody knows of any cars openly made by GM.

          Can't speak for anyone else outside the US, but I just had to do a websearch to check, as I couldn't think of any GM brands. Apparently, they are Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC.

          I have heard of them, but they really are not names one comes across every day. unlike Ford, where I can even name a couple of models (Cortina owner, no-one meaner, and Escort, of course)!

          Thinking of other US car brands, can also name Oldsmobile, but only because I happen to know that the new Oldsmobiles are are in early this year!!

          1. that one in the corner Silver badge

            Re: Going downhill fast, and so is Twitter

            PS

            Can not believe that I forgot about the Prefect!

            That will mean a point on on my nerd licence.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Going downhill fast, and so is Twitter

            > I just had to do a websearch to check, as I couldn't think of any GM brands

            A quick check suggests that you're based in the UK. Have you heard of an obscure brand called "Vauxhall"? (Spoiler- yes, of course they have :-) (*) )

            Cut a long story short, GM owned them for 90 years (i.e. the entirety of their lifespan as a mass-market business) until they left the European market in 2017 and sold off Vauxhall/Opel to PSA.

            (*) Side-note for those unfamiliar with the UK car market: Vauxhall has been one of the best-known vehicle brands there for the better part of a century, and for several decades has been essentially the UK version of the Opel brand elsewhere in Europe.

            1. Spanners Silver badge
              Facepalm

              Re: Going downhill fast, and so is Twitter

              Have you heard of an obscure brand called "Vauxhall"?

              I said openly. This was a boardroom/financier led thing. The Vauxhalls we got were not made in the USA or even to US engineering "standards".

              1. mgb2

                Re: Going downhill fast, and so is Twitter

                The Fords you got were not made in the USA either, and had nothing in common with them. Some attempts were made to make global cars, but those were mostly taking Ford's European offerings and selling them in the US.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Going downhill fast, and so is Twitter

                That reply wasn't aimed at you directly- I'd already done that elsewhere- but to the comment by "that one in the corner"'. But since we're here...

                Yes, I'm well aware that Vauxhall and Opel models were always mostly European creations not based on the US models. In pretty much the same way that (as mgb2 already noted elsewhere) most of Ford of Europe's cars were designed and built mostly separately from their US models too, so your point was...?!

                If I understand correctly, you seem to be looking for an excuse to make a point about GM's supposedly crappy US engineering? (*)

                True or not, I've no idea what relevance you think it has in the first place to the original observation that a hundred years ago (FFS)- before Ford, and certainly GM even had much to do with the European market which barely existed at the time- Henry Ford took his eye off the ball and let his rival overtake him.

                (*) Whatever GM's reputation in the US, I've heard similarly negative attitudes towards Ford cars and their problems over there. Neither reputation really carries over to Europe for the same reason- Ford of Europe's cars are mostly just as separate from the US ones as Vauxhall/Opel's were from GM's.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Going downhill fast, and so is Twitter

            Re: “the new Oldsmobiles are in early this year!!“

            + 1

          4. SonofRojBlake

            Re: Going downhill fast, and so is Twitter

            Accidentally filled the Escort with diesel.... She died.

            (c) Gary Delaney.

        2. CountCadaver Silver badge

          Re: Going downhill fast, and so is Twitter

          Let's see up till recebtly Vauxhall/Opel (since sold to PSA/Stellantis), Holden, Daewoo, Isuzu (iirc)

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Going downhill fast, and so is Twitter

          > nobody knows of any cars openly made by GM

          Well... so what?

          That's only because GM doesn't sell as many cars under its own name as Ford, and- as far as I'm aware- not at all in Europe. (In contrast with Ford who- I'd guess- sell the majority of their European cars under their own name).

          Ever heard of Vauxhall and Opel, huge players in the UK and the rest of Europe respectively? You do know that GM owned both from the late 1920s (i.e. close to the start of the mass market era in Europe) until just a few years back when they withdrew from the European market (and sold them to Peugeot Citroen)?

          > I have seen a few Chryslers

          Er... good for you- but what does that have to do with the price of eggs? Are you under the misapprension that Chrysler are- or ever were- owned by GM?

          You do know that they were once one of the three major US manufacturers in their own right, the other two being Ford and, er... GM?

          The reason you haven't seen more Chryslers is that they never really cracked Europe in the way the other two did.

          (They made a huge push to do so in the late 1960s withdrew after a decade, dipped their toe in the water again with the Chrysler Neon in the 90s- to an utterly lukewarm response- and even after the merger with Fiat, the attempt to sell the Fiat/Lancia-designed "Ypsilon" as a Chrysler in the UK and Ireland in the 2010s still bombed).

          All of which is, to be honest, completely irrelevant as Chrysler has never had anything to do with GM!

          (Closest you can get is that several years *after* they sold Vauxhall and Opel, Peugeot Citroen in turn merged with Fiat Chrysler to form Stellantis, bringing them under the same roof... but not one owned by GM).

          1. Spanners Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Going downhill fast, and so is Twitter

            Chrysler has never had anything to do with GM

            I never said they did. Although openly US made vehicles are uncommon, we have a few Chryslers and, more recently, Tesla's. We have certainly heard how they as well made as other US engineering products...

        4. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Going downhill fast, and so is Twitter

          outside the USA nobody knows of any cars openly made by GM

          Checked with everyone, have you?

          I suppose if you're going to parade your ignorance, you might as well tell the band to play loudly.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Going downhill fast, and so is Twitter

      That's because he is cozying up to Putin and Trump( and other despots).

      His next step will be to deny Ukraine any use of Starlink just to keep Putin and MAGA/Trump happy.

      His politics stink.

      1. Blank Reg

        Re: Going downhill fast, and so is Twitter

        if he tries that then it could be deemed a threat to national security and will soon find that he is no longer in control of the company

        1. bazza Silver badge

          Re: Going downhill fast, and so is Twitter

          It could happen. I expect DoD would be itching to get some control over Starlink and SpaceX. They may choose their moment...

          Operating under a US licence, SpaceX is ultimately under the control of the US gov. Generally the laws around such things set out how a commercial operator has to operate for the government to be confident of meeting treaty obligations on how space is shared and managed internationally. Ultimately it's the government that carries the can, so the laws are generally structured so that government can step in and take control. Any hint that SpaceX are operating in a way that results in the US not meeting treaty obligations, the government is pretty much obliged to step in.

  12. Morten Bjoernsvik

    Twitter^h^h^h^h^h^h^hX

    The new name is what irritates me most. The X is way to ambiguous. When someone refers to it they always say "X formerly known as Twitter" or "X/Twitter". Nobody other than the Musk himself will ever associate X with a centralized social micro message platform popular in the early 2000s.

    1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Twitter^h^h^h^h^h^h^hX

      I have taken to using TwiX, which seems to be instantly recognised by everyone I've said it to so far.

      GJC

      1. vekkq

        Re: Twitter^h^h^h^h^h^h^hX

        Just Twitter is fine. Everyone understands that name. Thank you. Have Musk change names all he wants - it won't stick.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Twitter^h^h^h^h^h^h^hX

          The contents do.

      2. Michael Strorm Silver badge

        Re: Twitter^h^h^h^h^h^h^hX

        Because by doing so you're showing Musk two fingers?

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: Because by doing so you're showing Musk two fingers?

          No, because by doing so you're going to be understood by more people. If you use words the way other people do then you communicate better.

          1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: Because by doing so you're showing Musk two fingers?

            I nearly wrote something very similar, but fortunately I realised the joke in time and stopped :-)

            GJC

      3. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

        Re: Twitter^h^h^h^h^h^h^hX

        Keep calling it Twitter, or "the (e)X social media platform"

        1. willyslick

          Re: Twitter^h^h^h^h^h^h^hX

          Xitter

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Twitter^h^h^h^h^h^h^hX

            > Xitter

            That would use the Chinese pronunciation of X?

            1. that one in the corner Silver badge

              Re: Twitter^h^h^h^h^h^h^hX

              > That would use the Chinese pronunciation of X?

              Many ways to pronounce it that X: as per "ch" or "z" or "ex", although you have to be careful not to confuse the last with a Devonian city. Cue Hermione: "ex-IT-ter" not "EX-aah-ter".

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Twitter^h^h^h^h^h^h^hX

              Obligatory (and mildly NSFW) reference to the original "Twitter Xitter" (as it were).

      4. Alistair
        Windows

        Re: Twitter^h^h^h^h^h^h^hX

        I have taken to using TwiX, which seems to be instantly

        Please don't do that around me Geoff, I've always rather liked Twix. Preferably Left Twix, but both are quite tasty.

        1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Twitter^h^h^h^h^h^h^hX

          I ran a CoSy instance called TWIX for a while. Sadly these days I am forbidden the sweet treat on account of being old and decaying.

          GJC

  13. Howard Sway Silver badge

    How's he done?

    He would no doubt award himself a "well done" rating, but in reality he's burnt his own reputation to a crisp over a barbecue of his own awfulness and stupidity.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How's he done?

      he was always awful and stupid, he just lied a lot to hide it

  14. Metrognome

    If only...

    Twitter may become a total hellscape and it wouldn't matter.

    Why? Because apart from politics Twitter (which is indeed beyond dangerous), there are gazillions other niche/sport/hobby Twitters that don't care for the dumpsterfire around them.

    As for organisations and brands, it's all the analytics and ads and promotional tweets that makes them be there. Otherwise they wouldn't even bother having a presence.

    If you take all journos, politics, current affairs and the like, Twitter may look half sane. And that's the crux. A very chunky majority doesn't care or see what the politics side looks like.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If only...

      With regards to brands. I'm in the tail end of an advertising campaign on Twitter. The client had withdrawn plans to advertise on Twitter it late last year when it all seemed to have gone downhill. This spring they decided to want to give it a shot anyway, to test the waters.

      The campaigns are about to end and I don't think they'll go for another series on Twitter. The advertising interface is much buggier than I ever remembered it to be, probably because everyone who worked on it fled the company or was fired. The return on investment is very poor because the Twitter demographic has gotten smaller and more toxic. On all the metrics we can publicly see (from traffic to app downloads, from posts per month to other advertisers) the data shows a decline and Musk appears to have accidentally revealed that the site has lost about 50 million monthly active uses since he stuck his oar in.

      The result is that many people you'd like to reach are simply not on Twitter any more while the people that are still there are not interesting for advertisers because they are violent, or deranged, or vile. We have someone who goes through the feed three times a day to remove the worst shit from the worst people underneath posts and ads. Why would you pay for that? I don't see how advertising on Twitter can ever recover as long as Musk's name is attached to it.

      My client does still have a Twitter account, though it has fallen behind Facebook and Mastodon (Mastodon engagement per 1000 followers is surprisingly high) when it comes to engagement. We post most things there that we also post on Facebook and Mastodon but it's become a bit of an afterthought. I suspect that at least 60% of their "followers" on Twitter have left Twitter but never closed their account. They count towards follower count but their disappearance would explain the collapse in engagement in the last two years.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: If only...

        We have someone who goes through the feed three times a day to remove the worst shit from the worst people underneath posts and ads. Why would you pay for that?

        Because advertisers don't understand how online advertising works, or the intense dislike many people on the Internet have for online advertising. Like, comment, and subscribe! Don't forget to feed the algorithm. And of course people do by trolling advertisers by shitposting so both the ad and the comment get promoted. Make the ads interesting, entertaining and relevant and that happens less often.

  15. apdxb

    Maybe Elon Muskovite was believing...

    That acquiring and transforming Twitter was a nice opportunity to show off his skills at... Blue sky thinking.

  16. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Brilliant article

    A savory list of failure in chronological order that demonstrates without a doubt that having money does gift you with intelligence or sanity.

    Thank you for this resumé of a train wreck.

  17. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    much as a dictator renames their capital city

    At least Space Karen hasn't got to the level of Saparmurat Niyazov, the dictator of Turkmenistan from 1991 to 2006, who renamed a couple of months after himself and his mother.

    [Fully expecting a "yet" reply.]

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: much as a dictator renames their capital city

      So what's the name of Musko's son he had with Grimes?

    2. BartyFartsLast

      Re: much as a dictator renames their capital city

      Have an up vote for "space Karen "

  18. aerogems Silver badge
    FAIL

    I Have To Eat My Words

    I predicted that Twitter would be dead by now, but it's still somehow managing to limp along. So, in that regard I have to hand it to Twitler. In every other sense it's been a dumpster fire to end all dumpster fires. Even Trump's Truth Social site is run better. If Kanye had actually bought Parler, it probably would have been run better as well.

    1. Blank Reg

      Re: I Have To Eat My Words

      Take some random person off the street and put them in charge and it would be run better. It takes an incredible amount of stupidity to run it as badly as he has

    2. DS999 Silver badge

      What's your definition of "dead"

      It will never die, if the critical mass of normies leave it might turn into another Gab or Truth Social but it won't die.

      The only thing saving it from dying is that the alternatives aren't there yet. Despite the article writer's love for it, Mastadon will never become a real alternative. Bluesky and Threads are still being developed, once they reach a certain maturity then it is just a wait for Musk to do something more stupid than is usual even for him, and first slowly then suddenly the critical mass will shift off Twitter to a new home.

      There are a lot of people who would leave Twitter, they just don't want to go until they know where everyone else will be going. No one wants to be the idiot on Google+ trying to get their friends to join, eventually forced to go back to daily usage of Facebook after finding little but tumbleweeds and dust bunnies on Google+. Meta announced Threads too soon, it wasn't ready for prime time. If it had been, we might have seen half of Twitter gone already. But it wasn't ready for prime time, they tried to take advantage of a Twitter outage when they should have bided their time. There will always be another Twitter outage, another Twitter outrage so they should have been more patient.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: What's your definition of "dead"

        Mastadon

        I've seen so many people spell it this way that I had to check to make sure the developers of the software hadn't deliberately used an unconventional spelling. But it appears they have not.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I Have To Eat My Words

      I expected it to fall over, yet it is still staggering along. It has had a few wobbles, but the remaining techies must be giving up their lives to spend all day keeping it up.

  19. xeroks

    Jack Dorsey's next move

    Should be to buy the twitter.com url and tradmark back - after all, Musk isn't using them and the company could do with the cash.

    Then "simply" rebuild twitter from scratch.

  20. bofh1961

    Where's Bond?

    Musk is pure SPECTRE, he has every attribute a Bond villain needs. We'll get Bond to deal with Musk while Q fixes X...

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Where's Bond?

      Including a hollowed out volcano?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Where's Bond?

        I'd prefer putting him in an active volcano

      2. that one in the corner Silver badge

        Re: Where's Bond?

        > Including a hollowed out volcano?

        Well, he tried, but his tunnel digging machines turn out to be rather slow and the Teslas can't keep their balance on the monorail.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Where's Bond?

      That's nonsense, bond villains are evil masterminds, Musk is an idiot. Musk is so stupid, he thinks wealth is a sign of intelligence.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Human's are so stupid, we think wealth is a sign of intelligence.

        FTFY

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Where's Bond?

        If the "Global War on Terror" and the government's frequent labeling of "masterminds" has taught us anything, it should be that masterminds are idiots.

    3. Michael Strorm Silver badge

      Passes a wet afternoon if you happen to catch the repeat on ITV4

      Musk is pure SPECTRE, he has every attribute a Bond villain needs

      Yeah, but... you kind of *know* that the one he was in would be generally accepted as being one of the weaker entries.

      Not quite "Die Another Day" bottom-of-the-pile awfulness, more a mediocre late-era so-so Roger Moore entry or one of Pierce Brosnan's that wasn't the aforementioned or "Goldeneye".

      I mean, "Die When I'm Dead" wasn't Bond's finest hour, and it doesn't help that the would-be-"interesting" baddie- in this case, a narcissistic megalomaniac manchild called "Elon Musk"- fall flat and he's mostly forgettable.

      I mean, Musk just isn't up there with Blofeld or Goldfinger, y'know?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sharks with fricking lasers

      Musk is more Dr Evil than Blofeld.

      1. Doctor Evil

        Re: Sharks with fricking lasers

        Oy!

  21. 9Rune5

    Musk then slashed Twitter's headcount by 80 percent, from 7,800 down to 1,500

    Don't mention that Google, MS, Amazon and Facebook also announced layoffs shortly thereafter. There were stories published where employees said they had been hired to do nothing.

    I am reminded of a previous opinion piece around these parts. https://www.theregister.com/2023/03/10/elon_musks_twitter_opensource_foulup/ "Musk said Twitter would open source its algorithm – then fired the people who could". Apparently it takes thousands of developers to open source a piece of source code. A month later or so the code was published on github.

    We also had an amusing inside peek (the twitter files) when Elon invited outsiders to have a look at how twitter operated pre-takeover.

    I dare say the platform has evolved into a stronger platform for free speech. It used to be stuff got dropped into a black hole. At least now there are often clues left behind if e.g. some government entity has demanded censorship. (I believe turkish tweets turn into a notification informing why the tweet was censored -- but truth be told I have not checked that it actually happens that way)

    1. sabroni Silver badge
      Boffin

      re: We also had an amusing inside peek (the twitter files)

      The twitter files showed precisely fuck all.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: re: We also had an amusing inside peek (the twitter files)

        But the files were used to present a narrative that the previous owners were [insert conspiracy here]

      2. 9Rune5

        Re: re: We also had an amusing inside peek (the twitter files)

        It demonstrated just how close tabs the government kept on who got to say what. I was not aware of that close interaction and a few others seemed surprised as well.

    2. Mike Friedman

      Clearly YOU haven't been the target of nasty anti-Semitic vitriol.

      Get your head out of Muskrat's ass. You should try using your brain for a change.

      1. 9Rune5

        Those are usually shadow banned and so... No, I haven't seen any of those.

  22. tiggity Silver badge

    The name change seemed vary bizarre, given the brand recognition was a big part of Twitter, especially to X - which could potentially be a pr0n site / app.

    Don't do social media much (most likely to visit twitter by following a link from a news story that's referencing some tweet(s) as a "source") so not noticed any obvious changes as a casual visitor to the web page (and obviously not exposed to any algorithm effects when just clicking on a link to a tweet, as that's all I look at, unlike a "regular" user) - so it still does its job for me of letting me look at "sources" relating to a news story.. but if Twitter goes belly up then I might be struggling with checking "secondary" new sources if people use FB links for those as I don't visit FB at all (whole swathe of FB URIs blocked on home system DNS) so Twitter is useful in that although its dismal, it is not as privacy shafting as FB, so is lesser of 2 evils as a social media news "source".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Musk is actually running a secret organization that is battling alien invaders. SpaceX is secretly producing the interceptors for X.COM. Flying astronauts to the ISS is cover.

  23. quartzz

    it's telling that meta is run by such a child, he can't even utilise the chaos at twitter to promote threads. but that's social media (well, meta and twitter). run by children

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Manchild, will you ever win?

      Manchild, look at the state you're in

  24. Terry2000

    Marxist Totalitarians are back at the helm

    Sadly Elon didn’t fire enough of the Marxist ban team. And once he put the Demon-ette as CEO it got MUCH worse.

    So the new Twitter is no different from the old.

    It was a good try. But ultimately he wasn’t able to save the company from the Nazis.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Marxist Totalitarians are back at the helm

      Make up your mind. Marxists (far left) or Nazis (extreme right). Which is it?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Make up your mind. Marxists (far left) or Nazis (extreme right). Which is it?

        No one tell Terry what to post. But I notice he keeps the racist stuff off of el reg. Almost like he's following the site rules. Which are set by Marxists! HA!!!

    2. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Marxist Totalitarians are back at the helm

      You might want to ease back on that moonshine there, son, you're starting with the crazy talk...

    3. BartyFartsLast

      Re: Marxist Totalitarians are back at the helm

      Instead he encouraged them and is now surrounded

    4. Michael Strorm Silver badge

      Re: Marxist Totalitarians are back at the helm

      Poe's law in full effect.

  25. enorl762

    Funny how Musk was everybody's darling child when starting up Tesla, and now he can do no right.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      He didn't start up Tesla. He bought into it 8 months after it was founded by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Nor was he everybody's darling.

  26. Omnipresent Bronze badge

    GET OFF THE WEBZ

    Google was in league with the devil. Facebook sold you to the highest bidder. X is a russian and north korean website. Mastodon was built on the same russian protocol, and already taken over by doom scrollers. TickyTocky is a chinese spy app, and the rest are run by millennials dependent on AI. The internet is a useless cluster. It is wholly evil. Get a clue already, and get off "Virtual" reality, and back to "Reality" to save yourselves.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: GET OFF THE WEBZ

      This story really brought out the kooks.

  27. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

    Its gone great, its a matter of perspective.

    Its a shame all th eother social media companies arent bought and ruined by Musk.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Twitter had what no company could buy, with Forbes estimating the brand name's worth at $4bn."

    If the brand alone is worth $4bn and the underlying tech has no impact on that value, why does it matter if Musk decides to use the brand or not?

    He still owns it as an asset, it can still be sold...it still presumably has value.

    Or...as I suspect is the case...the brand becomes worth a lot less without the accompanying tech...in which case the brand is over valued and probably worth a lot less than people think it is.

    From a business perspective, you have to look at the value of the "free" publicity and media exposure being generated by various dumb moves vs the "loss" of dumping a brand...in the long run, I suspect it will probably be cheaper to dump the brand and harvest all the free exposure / publicity than it would be to keep the brand.

    According to Google, Twitter used to spend around $1.17bn a year on sales and marketing.

    If Musk has decided to halt that massive spending and instead has decided to harvest the free exposure, then dumping the brand could pay for itself in less than 4 years.

    There are two ways to look at it:

    1) Holy shit, $4bn, that's a metric shit ton of money...if I, as a pleb, had that, I'd keep/sell it.

    2) Huh, $4bn....we spend that over 4 years on marketing...why don't we rebrand, make it divisive, keep the $4bn we would have spent in our pockets...make the business more profitable...and reach a much wider audience than we ever could with conventional marketing because we'll grab headlines...peasants don't understand business, they will think we're just throwing $4bn away and not just moving the value elsewhere...it'll be great! A billion dollar troll!

    I am no Musk apologist, I don't particularly like the guy, I don't irrationally hate him either, but he is interesting...but it occurs to me that he is possibly the worlds biggest and richest troll, he knows it, and he uses it.

    What he does, is what would happen if you gave a troll a billion dollar budget and a business to run.

    Also, it's worth pointing out, that a lot of people that outright hate him are the same people you'd hear at the pub that would start off solving a problem with the line "Well, if I owned the place I would..."...i.e. the same people that would fix problems using radical, but not very well thought out solutions...which is essentially what Musk is doing, right?

    He is that bloke at the pub, but he also happens to have billions and the ability to act on his weird irrational instincts.

    1. graeme leggett Silver badge

      Re: "Twitter had what no company could buy, with Forbes estimating the brand name's worth at $4bn."

      Let me see, if I have this right...

      He paid 44 billion to save 1 billion a year?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Twitter had what no company could buy, with Forbes estimating the brand name's worth at $4bn."

        Quite possibly. For people in his position, it's not about the money, it's about the prestige and accolades. He gets to say he made Twitter more profitable...which was one of his goals.

        The people that own Man City don't own it because they thought they could cut some corners, save money and line their pockets. They bought it because they wanted the prestige of owning a top flight football club and winning tournaments...it's billionaire Pay to Win.

        1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

          Re: "Twitter had what no company could buy, with Forbes estimating the brand name's worth at $4bn."

          aka Sportswashing.

      2. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

        Re: "Twitter had what no company could buy, with Forbes estimating the brand name's worth at $4bn."

        and if Twitter rules for a 1000 years he would have saved $1T.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Twitter had what no company could buy, with Forbes estimating the brand name's worth at $4bn."

        If you think about it, the post makes more sense than this...

        "Twitter had what no company could buy".

        Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Elon actually buy it?

  29. graeme leggett Silver badge

    IF the brand alone WAS worth $4bn

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For a guy who’s full of &$#@

    He doesn’t half crap on and on, hey?

  31. IceC0ld

    X

    serious question ?

    no, really :o)

    but if the Musky one has done away with Twitter, would that make it available to use by A.N.Other ?

    just curious

  32. Mike Friedman

    It's been a complete and utter disaster. I'm routinely getting anti-Semitic stuff pushed at me and when reported, there's never a violation of TOS. In addition to "groomer" this and that because I'm openly gay.

    It's completely absurd. Muskrat has also descended into being the nasty racist, anti-Semitic (replete with Soros memes) piece of trash that we always knew he could be.

    It's only a matter of time before the whole thing goes titsup because advertisers don't want to be next to LITERAL Nazis.

  33. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

    Ruins

    I'm just wondering if he'll completely ruin the company and the Twitter brand. In that sense Musk is an all or nothing kind of guy who'll either turn the company around and grow it tenfold or sends it into the abyss.

    His strategy of remodeling Twitter into a WeChat-kind of application MIGHT work, but more likely it will not.

    Even he loses the full $45 billion he spent on this crazy adventure he might still survive due to his assets in SpaceX and Tesla. And of course a successful launch of StarShip will earn him eternal fame with the nerds on this planet.

  34. jlturriff

    "– not very well" has to be the kindest description anyone has ever made about Musk's behavour.

  35. MachDiamond Silver badge

    "Net Worth", don't forget the "Net" part

    Elon doesn't have a 1/2 trillion dollars. He may not even be able to lay hands on a few hundred million. Most of the magazines and news agencies dedicated to tracking rich people and finance reporting have estimated that a large chunk of Tesla stock held by Elon is pledged as security against loans and lines of credit. What's left he may need to keep in reserve in case Tesla stock price undergoes a correction and the creditors insist on more stock to keep balance.

    If I still had a mortgage, my net worth would include my home minus what I still owed on it. A more comprehensive analysis would include the interest on that loan and estimate my worth over a specified period of time.

    There's having lots of money, being wealthy and seeming to have lots of money but actually being flat broke. A bouncy castle with a rip can be kept inflated if enough new air is being pumped in, but if the pump stops, the whole thing comes crashing down, possibly smothering people in the process. Ideally, somebody going for real wealth wants a perfectly sealed bouncy castle with super tough fabric that doesn't take any pumping to keep inflated. Or, at least, very little that one can earn flipping burgers (a well paying job now in California).

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