back to article More X subscription tiers could spell doom for free access as biz bleeds cash

X is launching two tiers of premium subscriptions, according to owner and CTO Elon Musk, but details are still scant. Musk's $44 billion takeover turned Twitter upside down, negating the verified user system to grant anyone who paid $8 a month a once-coveted blue tick. The alleged benefits of the system include prioritized …

  1. msknight

    Goodbye Twatter

    It was nice tweeting you.

    I called it Twatter as a joke for many years. Now the joke has become reality. Who knew.

    1. Matthew "The Worst Writer on the Internet" Saroff

      With the Name Change, I Now Call it Ecch

      It's an homage to William Gaines and Mad Magazine.

      Potrzebie!!!!!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Personally, I don't pay for ads.

    If I pay for access to a service, then I expect it to be ad free. I know where the pirates live if any platform disagrees with me.

    Quite happy to be bombarded with ads on a free platform. I get it. Like it used to be with ITV etc.

    In centuries to come. historians will marvel at how quickly the public bought into this nonsense.

    1. NewModelArmy
      Happy

      Re: Personally, I don't pay for ads.

      It amazes me that people pay for Sky TV and they also get ads despite the high price paid.

      What also amazes me is that people pay for Windows and still get ads.

      Yet Linux is free, and no ads.

      There are so many suckers on the planet.

      1. Blackjack Silver badge

        Re: Personally, I don't pay for ads.

        Most of Windows 10 and 11 installs came as "free" upgrades.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Personally, I don't pay for ads.

          Windows is MS's "loss leader" - their cash cow is Office (Now Office 365) and they use the "old dope peddler" sales method to get that foot in the door (Take it away Tom Lehrer)

          He gives the kids free samples

          Because he knows full well

          That today's young innocent faces

          Will be tomorrow's clientele

          1. Blackjack Silver badge

            Re: Personally, I don't pay for ads.

            The main moneymaker of Microsoft is business and government. They basically copied Winrar business model only with 1000% more ads and spyware.

      2. Paul Crawford Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Personally, I don't pay for ads.

        It amazes me that people pay for Sky TV and they also get ads despite the high price paid.

        Oh it is even worse, they pay for the Sky sports channels get adverts and then have to pay again for "premier" events!

      3. iron

        Re: Personally, I don't pay for ads.

        I've been using Windows since the 80s and have never paid for it. Every install has been legit and not pirated.

        I've also never had Windows show me an advert for anything other than a Windows upgrade or maybe Skype. I've seen similar adverts on the various Linux distros I've used since the 90s.

        1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

          Re: Legit Windows for free

          Bundled does not mean free.

        2. nightflier

          Re: Personally, I don't pay for ads.

          My new computer with W11 came with Microsoft 365, Outlook, Kindle, Spotify, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Xbox, Movies & TV, and Skype. Then the Bing bar appeared on the desktop, and later Bing search forced itself onto the taskbar. The notification area keeps showing me "recommendations". I find the widget panel distracting and annoying, and then there is the ever-changing, in your face Edge browser.

          1. imanidiot Silver badge

            Re: Personally, I don't pay for ads.

            All of that can (and should) be disabled. Still more or less content working on Win10 with all the crud disabled, the tracking knobbled and anything microsoft ad or tracking related pointed to null in the hosts file. So far it seems to work just fine that way.

        3. Random person

          Re: Personally, I don't pay for ads.

          Coverage of ads in Windows from this very site.

          "In March 2022 it began testing ads in File Explorer, and there were reports eight months later that they could begin showing up in the Windows 11 sign-out menu. In April this year, there was talk from Microsoft of more ads coming to the Start Menu.

          In addition, Microsoft in April updated its Weather app to show ads – as well as the MSN news feed – but removed most of that a month later after users revolted."

          https://www.theregister.com/2023/06/02/microsoft_cortana_ads/

          https://www.theregister.com/2023/04/17/microsoft_windows_start_ads/

          From Microsoft

          "We’re excited to announce that starting today, we’ll begin a pilot to allow advertising by delegated or authorized providers of certain government services with review and pre-approval.

          This advertising will be limited to the Microsoft Advertising Search Network and Microsoft Audience Network in the United States. Other markets aren’t available at this time."

          https://about.ads.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/post/march-2023/third-party-government-services-advertising-pilot

          From a Microsoft Advertising page, note the mention of "Microsoft Start".

          "And Microsoft's audience intelligence is so much more than just search intent. It’s a collection of permissioned first-party data points, combined across multiple properties, that help you reach your ideal customers. This includes search and web activity from Bing and our browser Microsoft Edge, content interests from Microsoft Start, demographics, and more."

          https://about.ads.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/post/september-2023/announcing-video-ctv-ads-on-microsoft-advertising

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Here's a list of examples across the board

          * Windows 98 shipped with sponsored links (incl. AOL, Disney) on a Channel Bar;

          * With Windows XP and Vista, msn.com homepage in Internet Explorer would show ads;

          * Windows 7 introduced Software Notifications which would advertise other Microsoft apps;

          * Windows 8 introduced News and other apps which contained advertising as part of them;

          * Windows 10 replaced Classic Solitaire and shipped with Candy Crush, TikTok and other adware;

          Windows had ads ever since it first got proper out-of-the-box IE integration. But then again, so does macOS these days with News, Stocks etc. It's not like Linux is ad-free either, with exception to old versions of Debian, most Linux distros ship with unmodified stock Firefox that's chock full of sponsored links (aka. advertising) by default.

          At the end of the day, all mainstream systems include their fair share of crap across the board.

      4. JulieM Silver badge

        Re: Personally, I don't pay for ads.

        Can't you just pause the show at the beginning, and wait long enough before you start watching so as to be able to fast-forward through all the advert breaks without catching up with the live broadcast?

        1. AndrueC Silver badge

          Re: Personally, I don't pay for ads.

          Indeed you can. As long as you don't watch live TV there is no reason to see anything more than a fraction of a second of adverts on Sky's platform. The latest Q boxes even provide skip 30 seconds functionality (they refused to implement it for years despite requests).

          Paying for TV to avoid adverts is a fine idea but you end up paying even more for the privilege. This is playing out in the Netflix arena right now. Sky appear to have decided to stick with their current model and so far history seems to suggest they've got it right because they are still around ;)

          One complexity with Sky is that most of the channels on the Sky platform are not actually owned or operated by Sky. If Discovery, Alibi et al want to include adverts in their programme content that's their choice.

          I subscribe to Sky but only a basic package that gives recording/HD and documentaries.

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Personally, I don't pay for ads.

            "If Discovery, Alibi et al want to include adverts in their programme content that's their choice."

            The easiest way is "product placement" - companies have been paying megabucks for this in movies and popular TV dramas for decades

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Product_placement

            Why do you think the Sweeney drove new Fords whilst the villains drove old Jags?

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Personally, I don't pay for ads.

              "Why do you think the Sweeney drove new Fords whilst the villains drove old Jags?"

              Wasn't that the other way 'round? ISTR Jack Regan drove a Jag.

              1. Lurko

                Re: Personally, I don't pay for ads.

                Can't speak for Regan's personal car, but the squad car was a Grannie in all the episodes I remember.

                Of course, if they'd kept the series going they'd not have been able to stick with Ford - you couldn't take anybody seriously if they arrived in the laughable 1985 jelly-mould Grannie. And that 1985 model was so crap it single handedly killed off Ford's hopes in that sector.

                1. werdsmith Silver badge

                  Re: Personally, I don't pay for ads.

                  The Sweeney TV cops drove new Fords because that’s what the real flying squad drove. Police didn’t maintain old 50s Jags in the 70s.

                  1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

                    Re: Personally, I don't pay for ads.

                    The Professionals used Triumphs in the first series but ditched them as soon as possible because they were totally unsuitable and, quite frankly, dangerous.

                2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                  Re: Personally, I don't pay for ads.

                  "Can't speak for Regan's personal car, but the squad car was a Grannie in all the episodes I remember."

                  Maybe I was getting The Sweeny and Morse confused. I've not seen either in years :-)

                  Or maybe I'm betting confused with something even older. I could've sworn they had blue lights and bells (not sirens) behind the radiator grill. I'm getting vague memories of something old possibly call The Flying Squad, maybe even in black & white :-)

      5. aerogems Silver badge

        Re: Personally, I don't pay for ads.

        Linux has plenty of ads. Maybe not the kernel, if you want to be an RMS-level pedant, but most of the major distros will insert all kinds of ads. People don't do a chicken little routine every time one comes up, like they do with Windows, so you probably haven't taken notice of them. Like you wouldn't have with Windows without world+dog in the tech press reporting on every little stupid change they can find in each new canary branch build because they're desperate for ideas on things to write about.

        1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

          Re: Personally, I don't pay for ads.

          Linux has plenty of ads.

          Citation required? Occasional stupid turns, but nothing like windows 11.

          Unless you mean Android and google's tentacles?

          1. aerogems Silver badge

            Re: Personally, I don't pay for ads.

            Android is kind of a beast unto itself.

            But, things like asking for donations, product placement deals, upselling you on services. Those exist in desktop versions of Linux. If we lump Android in, then there's a whole lot more.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Personally, I don't pay for ads.

              "But, things like asking for donations, product placement deals, upselling you on services. Those exist in desktop versions of Linux."

              I've never seen any of those. Care to point at some actual examples and distros which do or have done that? I'd be interested to see who tried it and what the results were.

              1. doublelayer Silver badge

                Re: Personally, I don't pay for ads.

                I don't much object to them. I can't provide you a complete list, but as a simple example, Ubuntu tends to recommend its commercial support package every time I log in. For example, on one box I have, it prints this to my terminal:

                Get cloud support with Ubuntu Advantage Cloud Guest:

                http://www.ubuntu.com/business/services/cloud

                It also recommends extended support, a commercial product*, but that's because this is an old 18.04 VM that I haven't deleted yet. This is not the only one they have, nor the only phrasing of the message, just the one that I saw when I logged in today. It's also a server edition, not a desktop one. History has the example of the Amazon affiliate link in Ubuntu desktop. I'm focusing on Ubuntu because most of my personal boxes are Debian or derivatives, and as far as I know, plain Debian doesn't have any of these.

                If I objected to this, I could do something about it. I really don't care that it's there. Nor do I much care about some of the similar things in Windows. If you want to consider the examples, though, there is a small starting point.

                * Well, it would be free if I chose to enable it because this is a personal use VM and I don't have another one, but it's mostly of use to people using it in business and for them it is not free.

                1. Joe W Silver badge

                  Re: Personally, I don't pay for ads.

                  ah, there's the problem....

                  ... I don't use Ubuntu anymore, not since it turned out to be "brown windows" (as a friend pointed out, both ease of installing and pushing you to other stuff...)

                  meh, I don't particularly dislike it, I am good with them having a commercial offering - good luck to them. But please don't push amazon ads (and... I won't start any of the discussions regarding the pulseaudio guy's stuff)

                2. Erik Beall

                  Re: Personally, I don't pay for ads.

                  Well hold on now, those are comparatively ridiculously easy to ignore. I'm not saying it's not an advert, but it's not like most ads where significant effort goes into making them non ignorable. If I open a terminal and an advert across by, there's zero delay in getting to the prompt (for now, would be sad to see that change for users who don't want to modify their login environment). I'm just saying I've not seen anything in the same ballpark of attention stealing the Linux world that I do elsewhere.

                  1. doublelayer Silver badge

                    Re: Personally, I don't pay for ads.

                    As I said, I don't mind their presence and ignore them. Similarly, I find most of the stuff that Windows has these days easily ignored or removed, so I don't care that much about that either. So they preinstall Spotify, but it's not like they start it, so if I do nothing, I don't see it. Instead, I uninstall it once and it goes away. They make Edge default, so I use it to download Firefox, make that default, and the only time I see Edge again is if something really is refusing to work in Firefox and I need a Chromium-based browser for something because I haven't bothered installing another one. Or if I press any help buttons in Windows settings, but those help buttons rarely go anywhere useful, so I don't press them. Windows does various things that annoy me, but the various ones termed advertisements haven't been part of the list. Maybe there are worse ones that I either don't get or have not noticed yet.

                3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                  Re: Personally, I don't pay for ads.

                  "Ubuntu tends to recommend its commercial support package every time I log in."

                  Ah, thanks, I've not seen that yet. I do run 386 XUbuntu on an old netbook and it does whinge that ere are no new updates unless I do a full reinstall and I have been considering doing that for a while. Thanks for the heads up so I can give that a miss and use something else instead :-)

      6. Max Pyat

        Re: Personally, I don't pay for ads.

        I agree, but it's not such an uncommon model or novel model.

        You pay lots of money for a cinema ticket, but then get a whole bunch of advertisements (including recruitment ads for army, navy and RAF last time I was there)

        Same with newspapers and magazine. This only jumped out to me after I was complaining that the v expensive FT online offering still has embedded advertisements. Print has always been so!

        1. JimmyPage Silver badge

          Re: Personally, I don't pay for ads.

          Cinema is a tad different. Some ads are pretty good (= entertaining) in a cinema setting.

          Also the trailers are useful and can tickle you to think "that looks good" in cinema terms.

          (and for those of you old enough, in a Bcardi ad voice)

          "IF ..... it's 1989"

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: Personally, I don't pay for ads.

            Cinema is different because if they advertise a film starts showing at 7PM everybody knows to turn up at 7:25PM to avoid the preamble.

        2. JulieM Silver badge

          Re: Personally, I don't pay for ads.

          In a printed newspaper or magazine, the advertisements invariably stand still; you can fold them out of the way if you have to, and you can quickly turn over pages with nothing but adverts.

          Also, everybody else who is reading the same paper will see the same advertisements; this means the publisher has little control over who they are ultimately shown to, and there is a kind of social filtering in place, insofar as racism, sexism, misogyny, ableism and plain old-fashioned dishonesty are likely to be called out.

        3. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Personally, I don't pay for ads.

          for print news media, the cover price has traditionally only covered the cost of paper and ink whilst adverts paid the salaries and overheads (experiments over a century ago found that people value a newspaper more if they pay something for it, vs it being free)

          The problem with online adverts isn't their existence as such, but the fact that the receiver is paying bandwidth to have them delivered (cost shifting) and the sheer obnoxiousness of some fo them (popups, malware, etc.

          the fact that it's fairly easy to block adverts on a browser means that advertisers killed the Goose which laid the Golden Egg, but meanwhile publishers have found there's _very_ strong resistance to paywalls unless the content is truely high quality

          Faceache and Twatter's ever escalating wars with ad/tracking blockers underscores that the model isn't sustainable. The question is what breaks and when

    2. aerogems Silver badge

      Re: Personally, I don't pay for ads.

      I've been getting pissed at HBO lately. I pay for the "ad free" tier of their streaming service Max, but lately they've been including promo videos for some of their other shows before playing what I wanted. It doesn't matter that there's a skip button, I paid a premium for an ad FREE experience, not a "you can skip the ads" experience.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Personally, I don't pay for ads.

        here in the UK, Channel 4's latest incarnation of the "catch-up/streaming" service, at least on VM boxes, has disabled FF and Skip on the intro/trailers/adverts but they do still allow to to skip over the show to get to the next unskippable ad break!

        1. Mike007 Bronze badge

          Re: Personally, I don't pay for ads.

          I normally watch channel 4 on a browser with ublock installed. What are these adverts you speak of? :)

    3. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Personally, I don't pay for ads.

      I read a historical issue of Punch (1905) which pointed out that adverts were plastering the walls of just about everything in sight at the time, many of them were noxious and it'd been like that for a very long time (in 1905)

      Things change, but they don't change.

  3. Little Mouse
    Coat

    We all knew it would end in tiers...

    ...the tiers of a clown.

    1. AndrueC Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: We all knew it would end in tiers...

      Everytime I hear that song I think of our last family holiday to Canada in the 80s. The plane across the Atlantic had a very limited collection of music on the pop channel and that was one of them. For some reason after hearing that about fifteen times it stuck in my head.

    2. Philo T Farnsworth Bronze badge

      Re: We all knew it would end in tiers...

      Dang. . . I knew I should've read all the postings before posting my "clever" comment.

      Sorry for unintentionally plagiarizing your comment.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: We all knew it would end in tiers...

      ... "The tiers of a clown, when there's no one around, oh, yeah,"

    4. Sceptic Tank Silver badge

      Re: We all knew it would end in tiers...

      Definitely not Tiers in Heaven by the sound of this stuff.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There is yet one more option. You could just... not bother...

    .....Not everyone feels the need to shout about themselves on the internet after all. Right?

    Seems quite a popular activity amongst us in this forum.

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: There is yet one more option. You could just... not bother...

      I'll respond to your post, just after I've posted a picture of my dinner tonight.

    2. Plest Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: There is yet one more option. You could just... not bother...

      How did humanity cope, pre-2005, without the need to tell the other 8bn people on the planet what our opinions were on every subject under the sun every 5 mins?!

      1. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: There is yet one more option. You could just... not bother...

        Obnoxious people would have told the people they met in real life until it bored them to tears or annoyed them enough for them to punch you and tell you to shut up.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: There is yet one more option. You could just... not bother...

          Obnoxious people would have told the people they met in real life until it bored them to tears

          Ah - the full "holiday snaps" experiemnce.

          Extra points for having them made into slides and oraginsed a slide-projector party. With sossag-onna-stick-wiv-pineapple.

  5. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Z

    Pay for X get Z

    I mean, there are people who would pay to get smacked in a side street and get a nice kick out of it

    But why most people would pay to read Russian propaganda, conspiracy theorists and other unhinged types advertising to the world what they think (which is usually pure garbage)?

  6. Sir Sham Cad

    Money for nothing

    So, a "service" that is, essentially, just enabling access to content created by its subscribers wants to charge those same contributors for access to their self-generated content?

    That ain't working (with apologies to Mark Knopfler)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Money for nothing

      In other news, El Reg management announce a "pay per comment" policy.

      1. Sceptic Tank Silver badge

        Re: Money for nothing

        How much will they pay?

  7. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Musk is fiddling

    while Twatter burns.

    Much like 'Truth Social' really.

    The sooner both go TITSUP the better IMHO.

  8. TaabuTheCat

    I don't think you understand the point of "fediverses"

    "...its distributed nature and "fediverses" appear to represent a needless barrier " - Needless barrier? Hardly. Yes, it's not as simple as just logging into Twatter, but the whole point of Mastodon and the fediverse is to make sure another Twitter shitfest can never happen again. It's the very distributed nature of the fediverse that prevents any single person or entity from owning the platform, and ultimately hitting the enshitification phase that we're seeing now with all these monolithic, psycho-owned platforms. So maybe an additional barrier, but desperately needed.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: I don't think you understand the point of "fediverses"

      It's hardly even a barrier, if people can get their heads round @gmail.com and @outlook.com being different things then Mastodon shouldn't be too difficult to understand.

    2. Andy 73 Silver badge

      Re: I don't think you understand the point of "fediverses"

      Mastodon doesn't have any intrinsic barrier to enshittification. The moment any platform provides an essentially free means to 'broadcast' to an arbitrarily large audience, then people who could benefit from access to a large audience will work out how to abuse that facility.

      It's notable that BlueSky went through a phase of also believing it was immune to the "Twitter effect" - but it turns out that once the network begins to scale that the usual blowhards, fraudsters and self-promoters begin to make themselves known. Anecdotal evidence is that BlueSky is now providing a larger community than Mastodon.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't think you understand the point of "fediverses"

      Mastodon and twitter are just opposite cheeks of the same arse, both filled with extremists, some of whom can reach round just a little further and shake hands with the other.

    4. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: I don't think you understand the point of "fediverses"

      I found Mastodon a bit awkward in its structure.

  9. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Philippines and New Zealand seem odd choice to experiment with charging for subscriptions to stop bots, are they particular hot spots of bot activity?

    I'm sure any spammers who want to sign up to Twixer to create bots from these regions can quite easily just use a VPN or proxy to mask their IP and create an account in another country to avoid the restrictions though, so I don't really see how this is really going to help reduce spam/bots.

    And putting a charge on users of the Philippines - which is not a rich country - even if its is a nominal amount its probably a big deal to them and will put off legitimate users from even bothering to make an account.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      An article a few days ago explains some of this. The theory is that New Zealand is being used as a small test market for developed countries, with the Philippines serving as the test market for less developed countries. One contributor to that was that the Philippines has recently passed a law to track the owners of phones which might make user identification and extra tracking easier, although that is speculation. If Twitter likes the results, that will come to more countries.

    2. GBE

      Philippines and New Zealand seem odd choice to experiment with charging for subscriptions to stop bots, are they particular hot spots of bot activity?

      I've heard people complain about all the sheep on Twitter, but I thought it was a metaphor...

  10. chivo243 Silver badge
    WTF?

    Yeah! Uh Huh!

    Sure, sign me up for a paid subscription to watch ads!

    /s

  11. Howard Sway Silver badge

    revenue dropping by more than 50 percent

    I think one of the investors involved in the takeover must have "had a little word" and insisted on this rapid introduction of new charges as they are seeing their money evaporate with every foolish move Musk makes. But there are so many different new things you have to buy now : green ticks, not a bot fee, premium tiers.. users are going to notice the plethora of new ways they're going to be milked for cash, and flee in even greater numbers.

    By the end of next week I expect he'll be offering personalised video messages for $100 each.

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: revenue dropping by more than 50 percent

      How about:

      - $100 one off - to post a message as someone else.

      - $500 one off - access to someone elses PM box.

      - $10 a month. Get all your post/page views/subscriber counts etc. inflated 10X

      - $10 a month - ban anyone you like for 24 hours.

      - $100 a month - Edit someone elses post invisibly

      - $50 a month - Delete invisibly someone elses post.

      etc.. I could go on... Elon! A missed opportunity!

  12. DS999 Silver badge

    I hope he charges even to read it

    Then everyone will be forced to stop linking to Twitter because no one will be able to read it, and before long everyone forgets it ever existed.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: I hope he charges even to read it

      I've already complained to a number of companies and gov orgs who push X/Twitters as the prime means of communicating with them and "hide" other means behind two or more clicks. None of them give a shit. Although if X/Twitter goes so far as "pay to read", that might change, at least with gov. orgs.

  13. aerogems Silver badge
    FAIL

    And Nothing Of Value Was Lost

    Maybe, once upon a time, Twitter had some minor value in specific use cases, but that seems to be well and truly over now. I seem to have completely missed it too. When I first checked out Twitter it was just a bunch of people narrating their life, down to getting shit out of the fridge or taking a shit. Now, it's just a bunch of white supremacists, nazis, and other assorted assholes circle jerking one another.

    So, nothing, at all, of any value, will be lost with Twitler proving one more time, in case someone out there wasn't paying attention the bajillion other times he's fucked things up, that he fundamentally misunderstands what Twitter is as a company and product.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And Nothing Of Value Was Lost

      "When I first checked out Twitter it was just a bunch of people narrating their life, down to getting shit out of the fridge or taking a shit"

      Well, both are pretty fundamental aspects of human existence. Strangely under-represented in art and literature, along with the reproductive arts, flatulence and having a w**k. I blame authors, artists, and the Olympic Committee for not celebrating these things.

      1. aerogems Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: And Nothing Of Value Was Lost

        So the secret gay cabal? They want you to think it's the Jews running everything, but really it's the secret gay cabal who's looking to turn all your male kids into effeminate, pink doily using, apron wearing, cream puffs, and your female kids into butch lesbians who wear nothing but plaid, have short spiky hair, and refuse to wear dresses and skirts.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: And Nothing Of Value Was Lost

          "but really it's the secret gay caba"

          Obligatory <TINC> for those who still use, or at least remember, Usenet :-)

    2. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: And Nothing Of Value Was Lost

      When you go searching for it there IS some useful stuff on Twitter (journalism/reporting on current events happens a lot via Xwitter) but there's no reason any of it has to happen via Twitter. It just became the defacto platform because when it grew it was the most convenient.

  14. Philo T Farnsworth Bronze badge

    Reminds me of an old Motown tune. . .

    Tiers of a Clown.

    (With apologies to Smokey Robinson and the Miracles)

  15. BartyFartsLast Bronze badge

    Free speech.

    For anyone who can afford it.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Free speech.

      Yes, that was the thing that struck me from almost the very first paragraph. This from a self-confessed "free speech absolutist". Now he's selling "free speech" to those who can afford it.

      1. Joe W Silver badge

        Re: Free speech.

        "Free speech"...

        look up what that means, and who is not allowed to censor what you say.

        He is totally allowed to do that!

        (not that I actually find anything of this great, reasonable, or satisfying) - f' em.

        1. nintendoeats Silver badge

          Re: Free speech.

          I think "Free Speech Absolutist" here refers to the philosophical concept of free speech, whereas you are referring to the right to free speech as it is codified in the US constitution.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    “You could just... not bother.”

    Social media is just like bugs on a windscreen.

    Annoying, unavoidable but easy wiped away.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: “You could just... not bother.”

      Sadly some bugs take a bit of scraping to get off.

  17. Alan Brown Silver badge

    There are other options

    When Twitter showed up there were a bunch of bigger/more influential social media sites and Twitter picked up most of its users when the dominant players started introducing charges or obnoxious levels of advertising

    Today there are a bunch of minor players and Twitter is introducing charges PLUS obnoxious advertising

    One day Twitter is likely to end up here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_defunct_social_networking_services

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As a pond dries up

    The water gets more and more toxic.

  19. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Much Ego

    Pay for one's own rankings in conversations? Musk would, but normal people would rather have more control of their incoming content.

  20. Omnipresent Bronze badge

    Pretty Obvious

    He is trying to eliminate anyone who is not a "BRO". He only wants russian influencers on that site. How many time does it need to be said, there are NO safe social spaces left on the webz, or in media in general, anymore. It's all tightly wound up influencer spheres that exist to convince you to join as a selling point.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's almost as if someone stuck a copper nail in the trunk of the company and the poisoning is continuing its inexorable course.

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