Elon Musk advances his pawns at full speed despite criticism

Elon Musk advances his pawns at full speed despite criticism

In the aftermath of massive layoffs, Twitter was preparing on Saturday to launch a controversial new subscription but urgently demanded by the new owner and boss, Elon Musk, also pressed by the UN to uphold human rights on the social network.

The boss of Tesla took control of Twitter only a week ago, but reactions are raining down on his radical decisions, promises of all kinds and provocations.

His absolute view of freedom of expression is causing such concern that, on Saturday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk intervened, urging him to ensure that these rights are respected on the influential social network.

Jack Dorsey, the charismatic co-founder of Twitter, spoke to him to praise the “resilience” of the employees of the platform, while half of the approximately 7,500 employees of the San Francisco group were fired on Friday.

“I realize a lot of you are mad at me. I take responsibility for everyone in this situation: I grew the business too fast. I apologize for that,” said the one who ceded control of the company a year ago.

Remaining employees are witnessing a shift in their company culture.

As of last Friday, Elon Musk launched his first flagship project, the redesign of the Twitter Blue subscription, making certain teams work tirelessly, putting their jobs in the balance, with the objective of a potential activation as early as Monday.

– “Power to the people” –

The mobile application of Twitter already offers, since Saturday, an update which should soon allow to subscribe to the new formula, for users wishing a certified account and practical advantages.

“Get Twitter Blue for $7.99 a month if you sign up now,” the app says, currently only on iPhones.

“New Blue not yet activated – sprint to launch continues but some people may see updates as we are testing the changes in real time,” tweeted Esther Crawford, Chief Product Officer. developing California business.

“The Twitter team is legendary. The New Blue is coming soon!” she added. On Wednesday, she reposted a photo of herself sleeping on the floor at the office in a sleeping bag.

Currently, this $5 subscription packs premium features, like a more comfortable reading mode.

Elon Musk wants to add account certification, so far free but reserved for certain accounts (governments, personalities, etc.). It thus served as a guarantee of authenticity.

“The current system of lords and peasants, with those who have the blue tick and those who don’t, is bullshit. Power to the people! Blue for $8 a month,” said the Tesla boss. and SpaceX on Tuesday.

“Blue Badge: Power to the People: Your account will receive a blue tick, just like the celebrities, businesses and politicians you already follow,” the app now promises.

Subscribers’ tweets will be displayed in priority and they will be able to post longer videos and audio messages.

“As you support Twitter in its fight against automated accounts, we will reward you with half the ads, twice as relevant”, further specifies the app.

The Californian company needs to diversify its revenues, which come 90% from advertising, and while several advertisers have suspended their spending on the platform since its takeover.

– “Responsibility” –

Many associations and authorities are concerned that the platform will be, even more than currently, flooded with misinformation and hate speech if Elon Musk radically relaxes content moderation.

“Twitter has a responsibility to avoid amplifying content that infringes people’s rights,” Türk said in his open letter.

In this sense, the information that the entire Twitter team that was dedicated to human rights has been sacked is “not, from my point of view, an encouraging start”, regretted the High Commissioner.

All week, Elon Musk assured that content moderation was a priority, that the rules had not changed, and that he was going to create a council dedicated to this task.

But he also lashed out at NGOs that “try to destroy free speech in America.”

The social network is losing more than $4 million a day, he claimed on Friday, to justify the layoffs.

He promised on Saturday that Twitter would evolve, with more convenient sharing and search tools, and ways to monetize content for creators.