Elon Musk is unbelievable in both main senses of the word. He’s out of the ordinary: he helped make Tesla the world’s biggest electric car company, and he led SpaceX to advance massively in reusable rocket technology. On the other hand, the billionaire broke promises so many times – especially after the acquisition of Twitter – that we should think at least twice before believing what he says.
This Wednesday (14), Musk showed once again that he is unreliable. The @ElonJet profile, which accompanied the travels of the private jet of the entrepreneurhas been permanently suspended from Twitter.
Its creator, Jack Sweeney, confirmed this on his own official account – which was also suspended shortly afterwards. The university student continues to publicize the private flights of Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and others across platforms like Instagram, Discord and Telegram. It uses air traffic data collected by OpenSky Network and ADS-B Exchangeprojects touched by aviation enthusiasts.
The ban goes against what Musk tweeted in November: “my commitment to freedom of expression even extends to not banning the account that monitors my plane, even if doing so is a direct risk to personal safety.”
now the twitter invented a new policy to “prohibit sharing someone else’s live location in most cases”. With that, even the bot that accompanied flights of oligarchs from Russia it was overthrown.
THE Musk’s justification is that a stalker climbed into a car in Los Angeles thinking he was inside. Who would be being transported is X Æ A-12, his son with singer Grimes.
“Any account to doxxing real-time location tracking will be suspended as it is a violation of physical security,” says Elon. (Doxxing is the act of posting other people’s private information without permission.)
In addition, the businessman promises to sue Jack Sweeney “and organizations that helped to harm my family”.
But… how exactly would the @ElonJet account help a stalker discover the position of a car in a huge city like Los Angeles? It is also worth noting that the flight landed at LAX, the 5th airport busiest of the world🇧🇷 And why would Musk even ban accounts that track NASA flights, which definitely don’t doxxing?
Here, we can see how the “Chief Twit” can radically change its mind over the course of a month. And that’s just one of the most recent examples.
Twitter vs. apple
On November 28, Musk reported that Apple had practically stopped all your ads on twitter. He questioned whether the company “hates free speech in America,” and tagged CEO Tim Cook @ for explanation.
On the same day, Musk claimed that Apple threatened pull Twitter from the App Store, without saying why; and opened a poll asking whether the company should “publish all consummate censorship actions that affect its customers”.
Then, on November 30th, Musk was invited to Apple Park to talk with Tim Cook🇧🇷 “We’ve resolved the misunderstanding about Twitter’s possible removal from the App Store,” he explained. “Tim made it clear that Apple never thought of doing this.”
That is, after putting Apple in the sights of millions of its fans – including politicians -, Musk turned around and said that actually… it was nothing.
Apple backtracked on the threat, or never existed a threat? It is worth noting that there was an incentive to lie, since Musk wanted to circumvent the App Store’s 30% fee by selling Twitter Blue – one way to do that would be to make the iPhone maker the enemy.
There’s a third possibility: did the owner of Twitter misunderstand some standard notice received from the App Store? as details Nilay Patel, editor-in-chief of The Verge🇧🇷
Twitter is a major company with a hugely important app on the Apple platform – it’s a absolutely sure that the two companies had a relationship prior to Elon’s arrival. I know this because I asked Twitter’s former head of product about it on the Decoder podcast, and he told me that the company doesn’t play around by Apple’s rules.
Whatever statement Elon claims Apple sent over Twitter on the App Store was probably part of the regular stream… but he fired everyone who knows about it. Oops.
One way or another, it’s just another case of not believing what Musk says.
Twitter becomes ‘hell place’ for advertisers
Companies that advertise on Twitter have also learned not to trust Musk too much.
One day before making the purchase of Twitter official, Musk published an open letter to advertisers saying that the social network “obviously cannot become a hellish, free-for-all place where anything can be said without consequences.”
The entrepreneur assured that “Twitter fundamentally aspires to be the most respected advertising platform in the world, which strengthens your brand and makes your company grow”.
So when he took over the company, he went out of his way to drive away advertisers.
Musk quickly fired top executives, including the CEO, prompting Sarah Personette, head of the advertising and brand partnerships division, to step down.
Also, the division of trust and safety – which moderates tweets – was impacted by cuts🇧🇷 Accordingly with a studythe volume of posts that offend minorities – including black, trans, gay, Jewish and Hispanic people – skyrocketed after Musk took over Twitter.
Concerned with the new direction of the social network, some companies ads paused, including General Mills, in the food sector; plus automakers General Motors and Audi. In addition, IPG Mediabrands – a giant in the advertising market – sent a letter to clients such as American Express, Coca-Cola and Levi’s advising them to suspend their advertising.
Instead of fixing the situation, Musk claimed that Twitter “had a huge drop in revenue due to activist groups putting pressure on advertisers.” He did not explain who these activists were, but he accused them of trying to “destroy free speech in America”. The billionaire too Prometheus a “thermonuclear” campaign in which he would name advertisers to be boycotted.
The launch of the new Twitter Blue only made things worse. Several users have paid to pretend to be companies like Nintendo, with Mario showing the middle finger; pharmacist Eli Lilly, who had to debunk the rumor that her insulin would be free in the US; and Lockheed Martin, which was supposed to “suspend all arms sales to Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United States.”
The day after the turmoil, Trust and Safety Director Yoel Roth stepped down. Robin Wheeler, Twitter’s head of ad sales, tried to leave but was persuaded by Musk to remain. She was fired a week later.
Speaking of layoffs…
Before finalizing the purchase of Twitter, Musk told potential investors that planned to lay off 75% of the workforce🇧🇷 On a visit to Twitter headquarters, he admitted to employees that there would be cutsbut it would not reach that level.
What ended up happening: Musk first fired 50% of Twitter🇧🇷 Soon after, he ended the home office policy, demanding that everyone return to their offices. Investor Jason Calacanis, close to the businessman, had said in text messages that the end of remote work would serve as a stimulus for more people to leave the company: “two days a week mandatory presence = 20% of voluntary dismissals”.
Furthermore, Musk gave an ultimatum for those who remained: they had to adopt a “hardcore” level of commitment or they would be dismissed, receiving up to three months salary (to comply with labor legislation). hundreds of people agreed to leave🇧🇷 The result: According to Gergely Orosz, a former software engineer at Uber and Microsoft, Twitter’s engineering team has been reduced by 90%relative to the number before Musk joined.
That is, the original plan to remove 75% of employees ended up happening – in fact, it was until worst🇧🇷 Did Musk lie, or change plans because of advertiser flight?
Where is the moderation advice?
Remember when Musk guaranteed that Twitter would form a content moderation board “with widely differing points of view,” and that no major decisions would be made before then?
He went back and restored several accounts banned for violating Twitter rules, including former US President Donald Trump – who promised to continue posting only on his own network, Truth Social.
THE justification from Musk does not convince:
A grand coalition of political/social activist groups have agreed not to try to kill Twitter by depriving us of ad revenue if I agree to this condition [de criar um conselho de moderação de conteúdo]🇧🇷 They broke the deal.
Again: what activists are these?!
Furthermore, this was not the concern of the companies. The Omnicom Media Group – which represents brands such as Apple (look at her again), McDonald’s and Pepsi – suggested pause ads on twitter because of the fake verified accounts that subscribed to Twitter Blue; and due to massive layoffs, which affected the moderation team.
More promises set aside
Back to the layoffs: Musk promised on Nov. 21 that layoffs were over, and that Twitter was hiring again. On the 24th, shortly before the Thanksgiving holiday, dozens of employees were turned off🇧🇷
Also in November, Musk sold $4 billion worth of Tesla stock, most likely to invest in Twitter. Now in December, over US$ 3.5 billion🇧🇷
He had promised in August – when it disposed of nearly $7 billion in TSLA – that it would not do so again. The businessman sent the same message in April: he converted US$ 8.4 billion in shares into cash, and guaranteed that there were “no further TSLA sales planned after today”. Did Musk lie, or did plans change because of the turbulent Twitter buyout?
Oh yes, and let’s not even get into the imbroglio that was this acquisition. Musk would have spent about $100 million with lawyers not to buy Twitter for $44 billion – a price that himself stipulated.
And before the purchase proposal, the businessman publicly considered creating a social network, all while I bought shares of Twitter every day🇧🇷 It’s hard to trust a person like that.
For Musk, the transition from unbelievable (= extraordinary) to unbelievable (= impossible to believe) has been going on for several years – but that is for another post.