back to article X confuses the masses by removing all details from links

Elon Musk has made good on threats to strip links in Xitter posts of anything but a domain name and image. Gone are any context clues to suggest links are anything more than images - titles, subheads - everything but the domain name of the linked site are gone on the X mobile app for iOS and on X.com for this reporter and …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meh !!!

    Musk 'stirs the pot', again, and maintains never ending reportage of company previously known as Twitter !!!

    Quelle Surprise ..... not !!!

    :)

    1. msknight

      Re: Meh !!!

      He can stir the pot as much as he likes. ""Our algorithm tries to optimize time spent on X" ... I did have one browser tab permanently on twitter. I closed it yesterday and now I'm spending no time on twitter. Congratulations Musk.

      The only reason that my time spent on X was increasing, was scrolling through posts trying to find anything that was interesting. The increasing amount of time finding nothing of interest equals... no time spent on the platform at all.

  2. DS999 Silver badge

    Making Twitter less useful every day

    Our algorithm tries to optimize time spent on X, so links don't get as much attention, because there is less time spent if people click away

    If you don't want people posting links why not ban that practice altogether? Force people to have copy/paste the URL into a browser window by rendering it as text rather than a link? I mean, so long as you're well on your way towards burning down Twitter and turning into an "everything app" no wants or will ever use, why not pour gasoline on that fire?

    1. tfewster
      Headmaster

      "optimize" [sic] - I don't think that word means what Elon thinks it means

      "Maximise" time spent on X, sure. "Minimise" staff and rent costs, sure.

    2. Felonmarmer

      Re: Making Twitter less useful every day

      He needs the image as a link, as that gives him free content.

      People like pretty pictures (especially cats).

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: Making Twitter less useful every day

        It doesn't have to be a clickable to show the picture.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Making Twitter less useful every day

      "Force people to have copy/paste the URL into a browser"

      If I highlight some text with my mouse in firefox and right-click it, I get a context menu which has on option to search the highlighted test on the default (DDG) search engine or, if it's enough like to a URI or FQDN, to open it in a new tab. No need to copy and paste. It's barely more complex than clicking a live link :-)

  3. b0llchit Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Cats and Vultures

    Be glad we write such great captions or you'd have no idea what's going on here

    The banks are also cats and have computers. They are sometimes nice, independent and will claw you for no good reason if they feel like it. In the Xcreetion case, the milk is sour, mice have abandoned ship, rats have spread to feed on the abundance of leftovers and vultures are circling their next great meal.

    So the Cats will soon claw and the Vultures report?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Cats and Vultures

      What on Earth were the banks thinking of to lend him money in the first place? He'd bid so much that he tried to get out of it almost immediately.

      1. Lurko

        Re: Cats and Vultures

        "What on Earth were the banks thinking of to lend him money in the first place?"

        Easy.

        1) It's not our money....

        2) If we get repaid with interest we'll pay ourselves huge bonuses for our Einsteinian business skills!

        3) If we don't, it's just an acceptable business risk, and...

        4) If we don't and it's part of a wider souring of the economy we'll all get bailed out by the taxpayer as per usual.

      2. Geoff Campbell Silver badge
        Pirate

        Re: Cats and Vultures

        Musk's companies have a long history of borrowing money and paying it back early. Banks like that.

        GJC

        1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Cats and Vultures

          This may well be the exception.

          1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge
            Pirate

            Re: Cats and Vultures

            Maybe. My crystal ball is broken, may I borrow yours?

            GJC

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Cats and Vultures

          Banks don't like you paying money back early, they like you to keep owing them money, as you then have to keep paying them the interest. They like people that can make their repayments on their loans on time, thus are low risk.

          1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: Cats and Vultures

            I'm not sure that's true of commercial loans, but either way, what banks like is customers who borrow money, then pay the loan back reliably. Musk's companies have a long history of doing so.

            GJC

        3. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: Cats and Vultures

          "Musk's companies have a long history of borrowing money and paying it back early. Banks like that."

          Once, not a long history. It was a wizard move too as people still remember that government agency loan being paid off early. I might be wrong, but it could have been a condition of receiving other government money.

      3. Xalran

        Re: Cats and Vultures

        "What on Earth were the banks thinking of to lend him money in the first place?"

        Easy : Banks only lend to people with money... And Musk has a lot of money ( even if it's held under the form of company shares, so it varies, but even at it's lowest that _a lot of money_ )

      4. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Cats and Vultures

        "What on Earth were the banks thinking of to lend him money in the first place? He'd bid so much that he tried to get out of it almost immediately."

        At the beginning the banks figured they would loan Elon the money and then flog the notes off to others (greater fool theory) or package them up in "derivative products". With all of this in mind, they guaranteed Elon the loans to buy Twitter at the inflated price. Then Elon started himming and hawing trying to back out while trashing the company and current management (in contradiction of the no disparagement clause in the contract he signed). By the time Elon understood he had little chance of getting out of the deal, the banks had nobody willing to purchase the loans and were left holding the bag. I doubt they'll ever do anything like this again with Mr. E. Musk.

    2. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: Cats and Vultures

      Just imagine those first few years after the extiniction-level event that killed the Dinosaurs ... all that rotting dino-meat lying around for the proto-mice and rats and cats to eat.

      Now really picture that putrefying, scurrying melee and you pretty much have ex-Twitter / Xitter of today.

  4. that one in the corner Silver badge

    You can never away

    > "Our algorithm tries to optimize time spent on X, so links don't get as much attention, because there is less time spent if people click away," the billionaire said.

    Ah ha! That finally explains the logic behind chasing away the advertisers!

    If you see an interesting ad, you may be tempted to click on it and leave the Muskverse.

    Ooh, look at that: "Hot programmers in my area in need of debugging". If you'll excuse me...

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: You can never away

      The "plan" was that clicking on a Twitter advert would take you to a Twitter page where you could buy things by transfering money from your Twitter bank account to the vendor's Twitter account.

      The web browser would remain talking to Twitter. As the money never leaves Twitter, Musk could spend it and no-one would notice - just like a cryptocon exchange.

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: You can never away

      "If you see an interesting ad, you may be tempted to click on it and leave the Muskverse."

      That's easy enough to account for. Just make the new page load under the current page or in a new tab. When people close the new page/tab, they'll be right back on TwitX where they started.

  5. wolfetone Silver badge
    Pint

    I set up a website (non tech related) and part of the work I did was to post a link to Twitter to the site with a new news article on it. I've been looking at the analytics and it's tiny numbers of course for something so new and with no promotion, but clicks from Twitter were steadily going up until a day or two ago where they've just nose dived. I don't use Twitter myself anymore so I'd not noticed anything (my fault) so it's good to know why the clicks have dropped off.

    Thanks Elon! Here's a lager top for you, made with salmonella laced lemonade. Enjoy!

  6. Howard Sway Silver badge

    "She has to get Musk out," an unnamed banker from one of X's lenders said

    Hilarious. These banks insist on all manner of strict credit and background checks before they'll lend any normal person a single groat, yet they let themselves be so dazzled by the "Musk genius" bullshit without noticing any of the vast available evidence of him being a complete asshole that they desperately chucked billions at him in order to be part of this fiasco.

    See also the cryptokid currently on trial for another similar example of this sort of stupidity.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "She has to get Musk out," an unnamed banker from one of X's lenders said

      Chucked money at him AFTER he tried to back out of the deal and had to be dragged kicking & screaming back into it.

      1. jonfr

        Re: "She has to get Musk out," an unnamed banker from one of X's lenders said

        Elon Musk could have paid the penalty of 1 billion USD to get out of the deal. As a loser, his ego did not allow him to do this. Because he has to win at every turn, in every case, always with no exceptions.This illusion that he has created along with the fake reality he has created around him is one day going to go crashing down, like all of his stocks and he is going to end up $200 billion USD in debt with shares worth total of $0 USD. This is not a matter if this is going to happen, this is a matter of time. Government contracts are going to dry up in the next 10 years for Elon Musk, those are his only and biggest cash inflow and have allowed him to be richest man* on Earth. *This is only stock market value, its all fake-money that can be gone in a day or two if the market allows for it to happen.

        Elon Musk has proved that he's all show and no talent. That can only end with big debts and a lot of lost money when the whole lie collapses. Whenever that is going to happen.

        Don't buy Tesla cars, one day, they might just stop working for no reason as the Tesla company goes out of business.

        1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

          Re: $1B escape

          This keeps coming up, so yet again: Musk never had the option to cancel for $1B. He would have jumped on such a cheap opportunity and tried to reach it by round about means.

          There was a way out for $1B if Musk was unable (not unwilling) to complete the deal. Acceptable examples would be the US government blocking the merger or the bank loan falling through.

          The bank loan was signed and sealed deal when Musk bought Twitter - well before he realised he was massively over paying. The banks could not back out any more than Musk could but there was a time limit.

          If Musk's legal delaying tactics had succeeded he could have run out the time limit on the loan agreement then legitimately claimed he could not afford Twitter and escape for a measely billion.

          The banks agreed to the loan because they believed they could sell the debt on to greater fools. The loan was more than enough to buy Twitter and left cash in Twitter's account to cover the first few interest payments. The banks might have gotten away with it too if some meddling kid had not trash talked Twitter's value. Tesla trades well above any sane valuation so the same could have been true for Twitter. On top off the trash talk, the world in general and fools in particular had a shortage of money at the time. Since then, Musk has worked hard to earn a reputation for not paying debts. There is still a shortage of fools with money and no-one is dumb enough to lend Musk money now.

          Musk's "don't pay any bills" strategy is getting to the point where courts are enforcing payment. The banks' greater fool strategy is clearly busted and they are now looking for a different way to get paid.

          1. Lurko

            Re: $1B escape

            "Musk's "don't pay any bills" strategy is getting to the point where courts are enforcing payment. "

            Not to mention that the SEC are now taking him to court for failure to testify in relation to the Twitter acquisistion, legal action from disgruntled shareholders of Twitter, and former partner Grimes is hauling him throught the courts over parental rights. Then there's Tesla being sued by the equality regulator, by employees over a data breach and indeed a list of others. .

            I know that suing everybody for everything all of the time is the American Way, but the bloke must do nothing these days but sit in meetings with lawyers. That seems a fitting punishment - so much for playing at being Iron Man.

        2. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: "She has to get Musk out," an unnamed banker from one of X's lenders said

          "Elon Musk could have paid the penalty of 1 billion USD to get out of the deal. "

          Initially, yes. There was also an anti-disparagement clause the Elon started violating the day after he signed at the bottom of the contract. $1bn would have been the starting point, but the company was also injured by Elon's statements regarding bots, mismanagement, etc. Add another B note to the figure and he would have been getting off lucky and should have known to stop talking and start filling out the check.

      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: "She has to get Musk out," an unnamed banker from one of X's lenders said

        "Chucked money at him AFTER he tried to back out of the deal and had to be dragged kicking & screaming back into it."

        They loans had already been guaranteed by the banks before Elon tried to back out or the banks would have pulled out since the investing climate and interest rates had changed in the wrong direction in the mean time.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: "She has to get Musk out," an unnamed banker from one of X's lenders said

      that they desperately chucked billions at him

      You owe the bank £500 - it's your problem.

      You owe the bank £500 million, it's their problem..

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: "She has to get Musk out," an unnamed banker from one of X's lenders said

        That's only true if you don't have £500 million in other assets.

        The banks are not fools. They will get their money.

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: "She has to get Musk out," an unnamed banker from one of X's lenders said

          "The banks are not fools. They will get their money."

          I'd love to see the documents. Are the loans guaranteed by Twitter assets (if any) or Elon's Tesla shares? If it's the former, the banks are screwed. That doesn't mean Elon isn't also screwed. All of the other companies he has a finger in need those banks. If BofA told the Tesla BoD that lines of credit would be cut and loans accelerated if Elon wasn't ousted, that could put Elon in the role of nothing more than stockholder if other banks stood in solidarity with Bank of America. The same could go for The Boring Company (not the original one in Las Vegas, but Elon's) and SpaceX and Neuralink......... What the Saudis might do I'll leave up to the imagination of the reader.

    3. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: "She has to get Musk out," an unnamed banker from one of X's lenders said

      "These banks insist on all manner of strict credit and background checks before they'll lend any normal person a single groat,"

      A large con can be easier to pull off. Elon is know, Twitter is known and while buying it at an inflated price was insane, it wasn't a total scam like somebody selling a hole in the ground as a gold mine for $10,000.

  7. Roger Kynaston
    Facepalm

    Now they want him out

    If the banks think he is a band thing why the hell did they lend the money for him to buy it in the first place? His lack of judgement was always plain to see. There are other words to describe him but I'll stick with that for now. How long til the banks call in the loans I wonder?

    1. Rikki Tikki Bronze badge
      Trollface

      Re: Now they want him out

      "why the hell did they lend the money for him to buy it in the first place?"

      Don't forget these are the financial geniuses that brought you the GFC in 2007-8. Giving out dodgy loans seems to be par for the course.

  8. LateAgain

    It's a silly name change

    I tell you three times

  9. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

    Was there ever anything engaging about Twatter

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This will end badly

    (Popcorn)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This will end badly

      for a far-right definition of "badly"

      1. Lurko

        Re: This will end badly

        "for a far-right definition of "badly""

        Don't bank on it. The polls show a knife edge between the unpopularity between Care Home Joe and the Orange Loon. It's rather depressing, although little different from UK or European poilitics. At least China know that Pooh will be the president as long as he lives, likewise Putler in Russia.

  11. TheMaskedMan Silver badge

    So, no headline or description, just an image. Unless it's a really interesting image, no headline means no clicks. No clicks means no traffic. No traffic means no point in posting links on Twitter. No links on Twitter means less interesting content (insofar as there ever was any to start with). Less content means less reason to stay on Twitter, or even visit at all. Foot, meet bullet.

    If you really wanted to destroy a company (no loss in the case of Twitter) you'd be pretty hard pressed to do it more effectively than his Muskiness is doing with Twitter. Maybe that's the plan.

    1. sabroni Silver badge
      Unhappy

      re: Maybe that's the plan.

      The plan is the rise of fascism.

      It's not difficult to compare the rhetoric and see what's happening.

      It's too much trouble for most, but not difficult.

      1. probgoblin

        Re: re: Maybe that's the plan.

        Even if that is the plan, he's doing a bad job of it.

        If your goal is to indoctrinate people, you need to make the indoctrination process fun and engaging. If your cult keeps getting worse, with the meeting times getting harder and harder to make it to, the buffet down to just veggie trays, shorter and worse orgies, etc., you are likely to move on and find something better to do with your Tuesday afternoons.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: re: Maybe that's the plan.

          If there's good orgies, then I'm available to support just about any political cause.

          1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

            Re: re: Maybe that's the plan.

            Be careful what you wish for. The RolyPolies would like a word with you

  12. TangoDelta72
    Coat

    Crazy 1980s movie plot alert!

    Brewster's Billions? The caption at the top says it all.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Crazy 1980s movie plot alert!

      Oh, the most recent re-make. I thought you meant the original 1914 film :-)

      1914, 1921, 1935, 1945. 1985, all the same Brewster name and premise with varying amounts and periods to blow the smaller amount to get the larger amount, generally an amount sounding outrageous to the audience of the time and growing larger with each new remake. But yeah, another re-make would almost certainly be the first to make the leap from millions to billions :-)

  13. probgoblin
    Facepalm

    So they've given up on advertisers ?

    So they already had an issue with brand safety, what with the Nazis and all, but now they've gotten rid of one of the fundamental principles of online advertising?

    The whole point of advertising online is to funnel your prospective customers into a place you can control their experience. They click the add and oh look, a slick website explaining how your goods and/or servici will make their lives worth living and heal their spirit. And, what's this? A way to purchase said goods/servici right there, in the browser? The future is (upon purchase) bright. And, -yeah we do Discover- my friend, the future is now!

    Except on X. On X you just get an image that isn't clearly defined as a link to an external site and also someone below it is proudly proclaiming your brand of breakfast cereal is "the official corn flakes of the race war".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So they've given up on advertisers ?

      What about the "official brand apparel of the race war"?

      Not inferring anything about any brands in particular, natch.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: So they've given up on advertisers ?

        What about the "official brand apparel of the race war"?

        That would probably be your nations $largest_Supplier of white bedsheets?

  14. Bebu Silver badge
    Windows

    Lovely picture of a blue burmese [cat]

    Leaving aside all the usual X/Twitter/Musk nonsense I enjoyed the picture of the cat lying in a fairly typical pose, against the side of the keyboard.

    The burmese [cat] is very attractive breed - a bit like the siamese with less of the attitude. :)

  15. Groo The Wanderer Bronze badge

    Ah smell bankruptcy and loan call-ins. :)

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