back to article X reverses course on headlines in article links, kinda

Links to web articles and pages made some sense again on X as headlines and titles returned to the preview cards shown in tweets. Those still brave enough to wade through the mire that is X spotted the change on Tuesday: headline text unceremoniously returning to link thumbnails only a few months after owner Elon Musk did …

  1. aerogems Silver badge
    Boffin

    Is It Even Worth That Much?

    I mean, at this point what advertisers are there left? Even assuming a change in management could convince advertisers to come back, all you have are a bunch of MAGA cultists. You know, Nazis, white nationalists, and deplorables of various other miscellaneous stripes. Even if you could convince all the previous users to come back to help balance things out a little, you still have all the lawsuits, financial liabilities, and regulatory headaches.

    So, is Xitter even worth $6m? If you took all the assets it actually owns, even ignoring all the debts both known and likely to be imposed, do they add up to $6m? Maybe if Xitler hadn't gone and destroyed the Twitter brand there might be something to salvage by reverting back to the original name, but as things are now... I think expecting $6m at liquidation would be an extremely rosy prediction. Once you factor in the hundreds of millions, maybe billions, Xitter owes in terms of obligations to former employees, and then things like back rent on some of the offices, then add to that all the financing and principal on the debt for the acquisition... My back of the napkin math would have Xitter at least $40bn in the red.

    I hope that all the employees who are still waiting on back pay, severance, and other promised monies, I can only hope they request, and are granted, the piercing of the corporate veil so they can go after Xitler's personal assets to recoup what they're owed. It's a pretty high legal burden to clear on this side of the Atlantic, but if there were any case where it seems like a judge might well be inclined to grant such a motion, this seems a prime candidate. Everyone who decided it would be a good idea to get into bed with Xitler on this takeover bid can, to borrow a phrase from Xitler himself, go fuck themselves. They got greedy, and they got burned. They want to go after Xitler's personal assets as well, I have no problem with that, just as long as they're in line BEHIND the employees.

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Is It Even Worth That Much?

      There's still a lot of the traditional users there, waiting on a better alternative like Bluesky or Threads to gain enough traction to become the new 'default' place. Once that starts, there will be a rush to the exits.

      A lot of companies still maintain pages there, though many have greatly reduced their updates. I saw an interesting article about that recently comparing the content posted by pages representing most of the Fortune 100 two years ago and today. I suspect a lot of them leave their pages up even though they no longer post anything because they don't want risk angering their MAGA customers by deleting the page and calling attention to themselves. So much like my MySpace page, their pages will languish ignored and unloved for years while the site hosting it falls into disrepair and obsolescence.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Is It Even Worth That Much?

        "I suspect a lot of them leave their pages up even though they no longer post anything because they don't want risk angering their MAGA customers by deleting the page and calling attention to themselves"

        Or they're maintaining a presence so that nobody can come along and impersonate them to their disadvantage.

      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Is It Even Worth That Much?

        "So much like my MySpace page, their pages will languish ignored and unloved for years while the site hosting it falls into disrepair and obsolescence."

        Wasn't it Elon that pulled the API's that allowed companies to use programs to manage all of their social media?

        One of the things that might happen when Elon makes un-thought out changes that requires advertisers to re-evaluate their ROI on advertising is that they may find there isn't any ROI and needs to be a change in budgets. If nothing had changed, there would have been no close look at the money that was spent. This is why companies love automatic renewals for subscriptions. For somebody to cancel means they have to put effort into it. The more difficult it is to find the "cancel" button, the less likely people will stop service before the contractually mandated date for it to take effect.

    2. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: Is It Even Worth That Much?

      I mean, at this point what advertisers are there left?

      I still lurk on Twatter as companies haven't moved their presence to other platforms (yet). But I'm starting to see ads of a dubious sexual nature in my feed. I'm also seeing more adverts in my feed too.

      1. Frank Bitterlich
        Mushroom

        Re: Is It Even Worth That Much?

        These days, all the advertising that I get is for dubious crypto currencies, a few Chinese drop-shipping "retailers", and fake advertising for inferior mobile games. Oh, and of course a lot of likes and follows from Kayla8462453, joined two months ago, zero posts, and a link to their OnlyFans page in the bio.

        Makes me totally look forward to the privilege of paying for supplying my content to that dumpster fire of a social platform in the future. Maybe that will get them enough money to hire back a few developers to fix this year-old stupid UI bug in their iOS app.

    3. Crypto Monad Silver badge

      Re: Is It Even Worth That Much?

      > So, is Xitter even worth $6m?

      Just for clarity: the $5.6m figure quoted in the article is only for *Fidelity's* holdings in X, which is a tiny minority shareholding.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Is It Even Worth That Much?

        I assume Fidelity haven't got any takers to allow them to get out completely.

      2. aerogems Silver badge

        Re: Is It Even Worth That Much?

        I know, but I'm speculating on whether Xitter is even worth that much. As in, if Xitter were handed over to a liquidator today, what would they get for it? My guess is if you add up all the assets they have, if you get even $6m for it, you made out like a fucking bandit.

      3. JoeCool Bronze badge

        Re: Is It Even Worth That Much?

        Yep. My inference from the article is that the $44B takeover price is now a $15B valuation.

    4. flayman Bronze badge

      Re: Is It Even Worth That Much?

      You're wrong about the valuation, but they'll never get at his personal assets. That simply doesn't happen. I can't even think of a motion that you're alluding to for the owner(s) or directors of a corporation to be personally financially liable for its failure outside of malfeasance. They can be held criminally liable.

      1. aerogems Silver badge

        Re: Is It Even Worth That Much?

        There is no distinction between Xitler's whims and the actions of Xitter. So, if the employees were to argue that Xitler made a premeditated move to stiff them on severance, bonuses, health care, all that stuff, he would have a much harder time hiding behind the various shell companies he's set up. Everyone knows exactly who the primary owner of the company is. Fidelity and anyone else who is an investor in this conflagration of dumpster fires will likely have a harder time, but I wouldn't be surprised if they try anyway. It costs them what, a couple grand to have their lawyers add it to the inevitable complaint, and the potential payout is worth a lot more than that.

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: Is It Even Worth That Much?

          "Fidelity and anyone else who is an investor in this conflagration of dumpster fires will likely have a harder time, but I wouldn't be surprised if they try anyway."

          I'd love to see all of the paperwork on the deals. It's not unusual for a creditor to insist on a board seat for a big transaction. Perhaps none of the banks has a stake large enough where they would have insisted on that. Even with the lower amount, they knew/know Elon isn't all that stable and doesn't have any business qualifications.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Is It Even Worth That Much?

            "the banks...they knew/know Elon isn't all that stable and doesn't have any business qualifications"

            I don't think that matters to them. They just look at past performance. Just look at the sub-prime debacle and many, many other instances of banks getting it badly wrong financially, usually at huge cost and inconvenience to the rest of us poor plebs.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Is It Even Worth That Much?

        what personal assets, pretty much all of his tesla stock is tied up guaranteeing all the loans he took out for this pile of shit

        1. aerogems Silver badge

          Re: Is It Even Worth That Much?

          Fair point. Something like 80% of his assets are tied up as collateral for other loans, so he's leveraged up to his eyeballs, but a judge doesn't really give a shit about any of that. If they order the liquidation of $100bn in assets to be disbursed to the former employees, and that means Xitler can't meet a margin call, causing his net worth to be wiped out in a cascade of failures, that's not their concern. Xitler should have thought about this before deciding he was going to screw these people over the way he did.

          The sort of funny thing is, this might be the thing that finally brings Tesla's valuation back to earth. It is ridiculously overvalued. Actually, simply calling it ridiculously overvalued is ridiculously understating things.

      3. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Is It Even Worth That Much?

        "You're wrong about the valuation, but they'll never get at his personal assets."

        Sure they can and it's called "piercing the corporate veil". I don't think that it would be all that hard to show the company is being operated as Elon's personal little toy and not as a proper corporation with generally accepted by-laws and a senior staff running the company in good order. Elon is supposed to be the CTO and Linda the CEO, but Linda doesn't seem to be able to perform her role and is kept out of the camera's lens such as the time when she was in the room while Elon, on stage, told the customers to go and get rooted. She should have got up and made some calls to officially part from the company immediately after that.

        If Elon isn't dotting all of the I's and crossing the T's with the running of the company, he could wind up being held personally liable for cratering the firm.

        1. aerogems Silver badge

          Re: Is It Even Worth That Much?

          Honestly, any CEO who is actually in charge, would have immediately fired any underling who went on camera and told the advertisers they depend on for the bulk of their operating revenue to go fuck themselves. Then probably spent the rest of the week making personal calls to the CEOs of every one of their advertisers, apologizing profusely and saying that the idiot who made those comments had been sacked immediately after that event.

          That is how it would have gone at pretty much literally any other company. Even Tesla's board, made up of literal Xitler family members and other sycophants, probably would have been forced to fire him if he had made a comment like that about Tesla customers or some of their major suppliers.

        2. flayman Bronze badge

          Re: Is It Even Worth That Much?

          I just don't see it. You don't get to be the world's richest man (off and on) by being stupid with your business arrangements. Piercing the corporate veil is very difficult with publicly traded companies. In any case, there needs to be a demonstration of egregious actions taken by a shareholder or shareholders, usually an actual fraud. He'll just take the company into bankruptcy, escaping personal liability, and the former employees to whom he owes three months severance would have to join the queue. It wouldn't at all surprise me if all of this past year was just a deliberate plot to ruin Twitter because of some personal vendetta, but it would be really hard to prove.

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: Is It Even Worth That Much?

            You don't get to be the world's richest man (off and on) by being stupid with your business arrangements.

            Counterexample: Elon Musk.

            Musk's riches are largely down to chance, with his ability to bamboozle investors in second place. The entire Twitter debacle, from Musk's initial statements about buying it until now, shows that he is, indeed, very stupid with at least some of his "business arrangements".

            1. flayman Bronze badge

              Re: Is It Even Worth That Much?

              He has certainly of late made some bad business decisions, but the business arrangements I'm sure are in order. There has never been a recorded instance of a court piercing the corporate veil of a publicly traded company, but if it's going to happen anywhere I suppose it will probably happen in California.

          2. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: Is It Even Worth That Much?

            "Piercing the corporate veil is very difficult with publicly traded companies."

            Xitter isn't publicly traded. It's a private corporation with Elon as the majority stockholder.

    5. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Is It Even Worth That Much?

      "all you have are a bunch of MAGA cultists."

      You'd make a much better argument by leaving out the political hate speech.

      1. aerogems Silver badge

        Re: Is It Even Worth That Much?

        What hate speech? MAGA cultists

        1) Tried to seize control of the government in a violent coup attempt on Jan 6, 2021

        2) Increasingly use threats of violence against anyone who disagrees with them

        3) Are completely divorced from reality, by choice

        This isn't a case of disagreeing over the best policy to address taxation. This is literally a cult of personality like Jonestown or Branch Davidian. If anything, calling them cultists is probably being generous.

      2. JoeCool Bronze badge

        POLITICAL hate speach ?

        you mean like

        "Walk down to the Capitol ... You will never take back our country with weakness.”

        "When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. ... They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people"

    6. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Is It Even Worth That Much?

      "They want to go after Xitler's personal assets as well,"

      The little Xit may not have much in the way of personal assets, by design.

    7. ravenviz Silver badge

      Re: Is It Even Worth That Much?

      Any evaluation of an organisation is not just assets, it also includes a judgment on future earnings for the lifetime of the organisation. As such any potential purchasers are buying an improved future performance they are in control of, but also at their own risk.

  2. Bebu Silver badge
    Flame

    Not quite clear....

    I thought that the Emperor of Mongo bought Twitter in toto, the whole kit and kaboodle up to and including the kitchen sink.

    I also thought he took the company private (delisted?) and renamed it X something.

    What I don't quite understand how Fidelity owns USD5.6m of what was twitter. Did they buy USD19.2m unlisted shares in one of Musk's investment vehicles after the acquisition?

    Anyway Fidelity is only pissing on a fire in a waste paper bin. Musk is pissing on a shipload of burning lithium batteries.

    1. aerogems Silver badge

      Re: Not quite clear....

      He only put up about $20bn of his own money, and then borrowed the rest. Part of why he tried so desperately to get out of buying Twitter was because interest rates on loans started going up, which meant he'd be paying a lot more. Three quarters of a percent may not seem like a lot, but when you spread it across tens of billions of dollars, it adds up, and there've been multiple rate hikes since then. The Saudi government is one of the major investors, and strangely enough, the ability for the Saudi government to identify and crack down on dissidents in their country posting on Xitter seems to have increased since Xitter went private. Surely that's just a coincidence.

      1. General Turdgeson

        Re: Not quite clear....

        The tweet that resulted in a death sentence - only in Saudi Arabia.

      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Not quite clear....

        "Part of why he tried so desperately to get out of buying Twitter was because interest rates on loans started going up, which meant he'd be paying a lot more."

        I get the feeling that somebody he might listen to whispered in his ear that he was being stupid and was going to wind up in business text books as an example of what not to do when it comes to buying companies. Unfortunately, the good advice arrived AFTER the contracts had been signed. There still could have been hope if he didn't trash-talk the company immediately after (in violation of one of the contract terms).

        1. aerogems Silver badge

          Re: Not quite clear....

          Well, obviously the main reason is he ran out of drugs and sobered up to find he talked himself into one hell of a coyote ugly deal, but if interest rates had stayed near zero he might well have just gone ahead anyway. If you go back and read the accounts that came out during the lawsuit, he wouldn't take yes for an answer, and just kept offering more generous terms.

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Not quite clear....

        "He only put up about $20bn of his own money, and then borrowed the rest."

        Just for clarification though, he boroowed the money to buy the shares in his name. These other investors invested in Musk, not Twitter. They didn't buy shares in Twitter for themselves, at least mostly not. IIRC, Musk owns a shade under 80% of the company.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's no mention of Twitter in the linked-to report

    “According to the latest Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund report [PDF] .. X/Twitter .. is worth just $5.6m – a drop of 71 percent. ”

    1. AVR

      Re: There's no mention of Twitter in the linked-to report

      Read more carefully.

      X Holdings Corp. $5,599,168 0.011% XHLDA.PP

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: There's no mention of Twitter in the linked-to report

        Thanks for the response and the eight thumbs down from the rest of you.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: There's no mention of Twitter in the linked-to report

          Thanks for the response, the one down vote on here and the ten down votes from the rest of you /s

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: There's no mention of Twitter in the linked-to report

            Perhaps we just enjoy watching you whinge about downvotes?

            (JFTR, I didn't downvote any of your posts. Seemed a bit low by this point.)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Things Twitter/X is equivalent to in value

    - clothes dryer lint (bunch)

    - bottle top collection (post war)

    - 1954 Desoto trunk liner (some wear)

    - 8 track of Wayne Newton sings Led Zeppelin (no cover art)

    1. Lurko

      Re: Things Twitter/X is equivalent to in value

      Perhaps. On the other hand, they probably still have around quarter of a billion active daily users, they're one of the top three news communication services globally, perhaps the single most important source for mainstream media to acquire near real time news stories. Even if we chose to characterise remaining users as KKK loonies, they've still got spending power, somebody will see the money to be made.

      I'd imagine if Twitter were IPO'd today, its value would probably be a touch short of the circa $35bn average market cap in the two years prior to Musk's foolhardy purchase. Remove His Muskiness' sweaty hands from the wheel, and it's fairly easy to see what needs to be done to get things back on an even keel - and better still, Musk's bonfire of the staff means the new owner only needs to add back the costs they need without being burdened with the old corporate excesses of the listed Twitter. It would be cheap enough to rebrand as Twitter to make the point that Musk is gone - with the platform untainted by Musk and more active moderation, the big advertisers who struggle to spend their vast online marketing budgets would come flooding back.

      1. Lon24

        Re: Things Twitter/X is equivalent to in value

        I run a couple of local news services. Twitter was, as you say, the major source. But in the last few months it has cratered. Some major contributors have simply stopped without explanation - letting their profiles to rot. Others have dramatically reduced their postings. What has replaced them on my standard searches is white supremacists, misogynists and other assorted hatemongers. Same with my 'for you' and recommended followers. Does their algorithm really think those are a fit for me? OK I don't post so I guess that's the default (plus Elon's words of wisdom of course).

        Problem is other new sources also relied on Twitter so they are drying up as well. Bottom line is local news is dying and Elon has to take responsibility for it. But obviously it's of no interest so why should he care? With the demise of the traditional local forums eclipsed by Twitter et al we are now left with little reliable community news.

        If only we could get local organisations to post more on their website news section we could pick up the rss feeds and aggregate a decent service again.

        1. Lurko

          Re: Things Twitter/X is equivalent to in value

          "Bottom line is local news is dying and Elon has to take responsibility for it"

          I think the man's a plonker of the first order, but I don't think he has any sort of responsibility to the world to maintain Twitter as a primary channel for news acquisition and dissemination.

          The responsibility for the death of local news lies with almost all of us who won't pay for news, so it has become reliant upon citizen journalism and free to use services. The fact that Twitter became central to that operating model was always a prospective single point of failure, but aggregators and republishers were not going to put money into pluralising online news acquisition channels. Twitter was a free lunch for the media, in that people put content and pics on there and then Twitter's algorithms served up what was catching people's attention, so that journalists didn't even need to either search for stories, or take a guess at what people wanted to read about.

          All the value in "online" has been hoovered up by the big ad-slingers, leaving little for content creators or journalists. Hardly Twitter or Elon's fault, surely?

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: Things Twitter/X is equivalent to in value

            The responsibility for the death of local news lies with almost all of us who won't pay for news

            It does seem hard to argue with that. Of course, at this point it may be difficult to find local news sources that you can support.

            My wife and I buy a copy of our local weekly newspaper1,2 each week. We pay for some online news services. We listen to local radio stations, which run advertisements (not a great many, and pretty much all for local businesses and services, and PSAs). But we can't, for example, watch advertising-supported broadcast television; we briefly tried to pick up some stations with an external antenna at Mountain Fastness 1.0, and basically couldn't get anything. There's no daily paper around these parts and no way to get one delivered — or even to buy one in local stores, as far as I recall.

            On the other hand, I haven't looked at Twitter in many years, never posted anything on it, and never used it for news (just followed a few amusing accounts). I see no value in it whatsoever.

            1For those unfamiliar with the term, it's a bit like a lot of old-fashioned static websites, printed out onto relatively large sheets of paper. Sets of these sheets are folded and then sold to prospective readers.

            2Our weekly is often both informative and entertaining, and regularly wins awards, but I'm not sure the competition is very fierce, to be honest. And I admit to a secondary motive: newsprint makes good tinder for the wood stove.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Things Twitter/X is equivalent to in value

        "Musk's bonfire of the staff means the new owner only needs to add back the costs they need without being burdened with the old corporate excesses of the listed Twitter."

        It would be burdened by the law suits for all the old unsettled bills - or has he been paying them off in the interim?

      3. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Things Twitter/X is equivalent to in value

        " they're one of the top three news communication services globally, perhaps the single most important source for mainstream media to acquire near real time news stories."

        The difference in what CNN reports and what the Three-Letter agencies report to government is the veracity of the sources. The same applies to Xitter, except CNN used to be diligent about not reporting rumor and opinion as straight news. Xitter is nothing but rumor and opinion so very dangerous to quote when accuracy is important.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Things Twitter/X is equivalent to in value

          @MachDiamond: ." .CNN used to be diligent about not reporting rumor and opinion as straight news .."

          Haaar!

    2. The Bobster

      Re: Things Twitter/X is equivalent to in value

      Best boss I ever had!

  5. Headley_Grange Silver badge

    Move Fast and Break Things

    And then try to put them back together but some bits fell on the floor and maybe the missus swept them up cos you can't find them and also one of the screws needs a special tool that you haven't got and..............

    1. Craig 2
      Joke

      Re: Move Fast and Break Things

      Oh I think X has the special tool...

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

        Re: Move Fast and Break Things

        Oh I think X has the special tool...

        Well, he thinks he's special.

  6. Dinanziame Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Help! We are prisoners in a headline factory!

    Nice headline on this article

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Worth less than a third. All going to plan. The whole idea of buying it was to destroy it. I said that from the start. It's always lacked the controls of other platforms that our lizard overlords* have enjoyed for years. You can't have people saying what they want and having an audience to say it.

    *Rulers, governments, corporations, people with power, billionaires

    1. Dinanziame Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      If that's Elon Musk's plan, he is the most fantastic actor alive. Especially since he complained about and claimed to "expose" the controls exerted by the lizard overlords on Twitter before he bought it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "If that's Elon Musk's plan, he is the most fantastic actor alive."

        Didn't you see his performance in Iron Man? And Chaplin?

    2. aerogems Silver badge

      He doesn't have that kind of foresight. He wanted to be queen bitch of his own little mean girls platform. That's about as far as his thinking process has ever gone. He's a narcissist who's absolutely addicted to Xitter. There was a good anecdote on Last Week Tonight about how Xitler was staying with someone at a hotel. Xitler is constantly on his phone posting on Xitter, like a junky looking for their next fix. The "friend" convinces Xitler to have his phone be put in the hotel safe just for one night. About 3am, Xitler is down at the front desk demanding his phone so he can go back to shitposting on Xitter. He just is an absolutely shitty businessman. Tesla and SpaceX have a whole team of minders to keep him as far away from the actual business as possible. At Xitter though, there's no one to stop him from acting on every little impulse he has, and we see the results. He just doesn't understand what Xitter is as a company at a fundamental level and is unwilling and/or unable to learn.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Sure, I can also imagine this whiney little who stamps his little billionaire feet to get what he wants and spits his dummy out when he doesn't but I doubt he doesn't consult and plan what he's doing. Every single thing he's done with twitter has been designed to kill it and he's doing a great job with an estimated 71% reduction in value. Thing is we are talking 44 billion which even he can't afford so the next questions you ask are where did he get the money? why aren't the people who put this money in complaining? That's 33 billion down with no plan to get it back. Doesn't add up until you realise it's what was planned. It's always been a place for idiots to shout at the moon it's just that they will literally be the only ones left.

        1. Dinanziame Silver badge

          The bankers who lent the money are definitely not happy. Maybe the associates he managed to pony up think that his friendship is worth that many billions?

        2. MachDiamond Silver badge

          "why aren't the people who put this money in complaining? "

          When Elon tried to get out of the deal, he started trash talking the company and making accusations about it being nothing but bots and lizard overlords. All of that reduced the perception of the company and was a horrible move. The banks and other lenders aren't going to do the same thing as they might wind up having to step in to preserve their investment once the lawyers are deployed and cases filed. They'll want there to be some worth to be getting on with at that point so there's hope of a recovery.

    3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      You can't have people saying what they want and having an audience to say it.

      Yes, something that was impossible before Twitter existed, and will be impossible after Twitter is gone.

      Or perhaps this is just as stupid as the rest of your conspiracy theory?

    4. MachDiamond Silver badge

      "Worth less than a third. All going to plan. The whole idea of buying it was to destroy it."

      If that's the plan, bringing in a Middle Eastern investment company may have been a poor idea. They might take a kinetic approach when they ask why it looks like all of their money has gone done down the waste pipe.

  8. Andy 73 Silver badge

    But... but.. but... the MISSION

    The amusing bit is reading fanatical Tweets (they're still Tweets) from fans who still insist this was the plan all along, and that the MISSION of FREE SPEECH is worth every penny. They can no longer pretend Musk is transforming the site into a massively profitable, efficient outfit (forgetting they cheered the sweeping layoffs and massive engineering promises that never materialised). So instead, the whole plan was apparently always to 'banish' every poster, company and advertiser that might smell slightly of witches.. sorry, wokeness.

    Similarly, the fact that BYD has now overtaken Tesla in the last quarter for delivery of EVs (and also sells as many hybrid cars again, doubling their overall market), is all part of the plan (Musk was always going to save the planet by forcing other people to make EVs, obvs.). It's not that he's completely dropped the ball on the next generation of cars, or that the hoped for step changes in battery cost and efficiency haven't emerged after all. And it's DEFINITELY not that FSD is a complete bust, remaining stuck firmly in 'driver assist' land and increasingly being held responsible for a higher rate of crashes amongst Teslas than any equivalent cars.

    It's actually very difficult to get people who've bought into an abstract lofty goal to admit the guy behind it is a snake oil salesman. Especially when he has actually achieved a few genuine breakthroughs, in both EVs and Space. Even snake oil salesmen are capable of investing in real products. The question is how long they have to fail to follow through, or drive the existing successes into the ground before people can admit that smoking weed and chasing adulation are not really recipes for effective management.

    Let's hope 2024 sees a shift in perception..

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: But... but.. but... the MISSION

      "Especially when he has actually achieved a few genuine breakthroughs, in both EVs and Space. "

      You'll need to provide a list. I've worked in aerospace on rockets and I have a keen interest in EV's and I'm not seeing anything. All that's come out is ruffles and gingerbread rather than leaps in technology.

      1. Andy 73 Silver badge

        Re: But... but.. but... the MISSION

        Credit where it's due - Musk may not have invented anything new, but he managed to convince enough of the right people to put money into making stuff that everyone else thought was too expensive or risky to attempt. Managing to build Tesla up from nothing to being able to sell the Model 3/Y is a genuine achievement, even if it was largely funded on people buying a false vision of robotaxis and saving the planet one luxury car at a time. Similarly, SpaceX has been able to transform the private space.. um space thanks to Musk's ability to lock in huge government funding and commitment to going bigger and faster than anyone else dared.

        When no-one else was willing to take the risk, Musk chose to go big or die trying. That's not just paid off once, but twice in entirely different companies. That should be recognised, and his skills shouldn't be ignored.

        That said, the circumstances under which those gambles paid off have since changed, with the global economy transformed by the pandemic. And having launched the companies skyward, the question is whether he has genuine direction for them when the mirage of planet changing visions fades. SpaceX isn't going to Mars any time soon, and Telsa's lack of follow up to the Model 3/Y suggest that he's much better at grand gestures than actual strategic planning. On top of that, his disastrous time at Twitter is exposing many deep flaws in his ability to manage a company. I wouldn't bet against him pulling something from the bag - people still want grand visions, and he has a lot of admirers - but he's has done very little to show he deserves to be wasting other people's money in 2024 on self-aggrandisement and vanity projects.

  9. Alistair
    Windows

    Linking articles in social media

    I suppose the original (not doing it no more) was a knee jerk reaction to the Australian and Canadian legal decisions about supporting traditional new sources (i.e. if you're gonna clone the damn thing, pay for it you lousy $417s)

    The flip back may be just from the perspective of generating the clickthrough revenue. He is kinda short income this week apparently.........

  10. Tron Silver badge

    Fidelity's PR dept might be getting a call from the top floor for advertising this.

    - Blue Chip Growth Fund.

    - a drop of 71 percent.

    1. JoeCool Bronze badge

      Re: Fidelity's PR dept might be getting a call from the top floor for advertising this.

      Probably not. EDGAR filings speak louder than news releases.

  11. aerogems Silver badge
    FAIL

    In Other News

    The NLRB has formally charged SpaceX with illegally firing the employees who signed the letter calling Xitler a distraction. It does not seem as if 2024 is starting off well for Xitler.

    https://www.reuters.com/technology/space/spacex-illegally-fired-workers-critical-elon-musk-us-labor-agency-says-2024-01-03/

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