Elon Musk Is Tweeting Through a Tide of Criticism

The latest proprietor of Twitter has launched right into a tweeting spree to beat once more, spar and justify his actions.



Credit scoreCredit score…Illustration By The Current York Occasions; Document By Adrees Latif/reuters

Ryan Mac

By Ryan Mac

Ryan Mac, who depends in Los Angeles, writes about accountability throughout the know-how alternate.

Beneath stress and going by a wave of criticism, Elon Musk has additional and additional turned to his favorite launch valve: Twitter.

Since Saturday, Mr. Musk, the sphere’s richest man and the latest proprietor of Twitter, has launched right into a tweeting spree so voluminous that he is on a slither to place up higher than 750 situations this month, or higher than 25 situations a day, in holding with an evaluation from the digital investigations firm Memetica. That might perchance presumably be up from about 13 situations a day in April, when Mr. Musk first agreed to purchase Twitter.

His latest tweets possess lined an additional and additional sizable fluctuate of matters. During the last 4 days, Mr. Musk, 51, needled the comedian Kathy Griffin and beefed with the Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey on the platform. He made masturbation jokes geared towards a rival — and hundreds additional and hundreds smaller — social media platform. He posted, then deleted, a tweet engaging with a quote from a white nationalist. And he defended his possession of Twitter, together with why he had laid off 50 p.c of the company’s crew and why of us may perchance presumably possess to serene now not impersonate others on the service.

All in all, Mr. Musk, who described himself in his Twitter profile as “Chief Twit” before later altering the outline to “Twitter Criticism Hotline Operator,” has tweeted higher than 105 situations since Friday, primarily about Twitter, in holding with a tally by Memetica.

“Birds haven’t been regular since 1986,” Mr. Musk tweeted on Sunday in a dialogue thread about Twitter, together with a meme from an absurdist conspiracy concept that posits that birds are certainly robotic spies. He did now not reply to a request for remark.

Mr. Musk is beneath substantial scrutiny 11 days after winding up his $44 billion deal for Twitter, which was the enough leveraged buyout of a know-how firm in historical past. On Friday, he scale back roughly 3,700 of the company’s 7,500 staff, asserting he had no choice as a result of Twitter was shedding $4 million a day. On the the identical time, he has came upon himself embroiled throughout the the identical reveal debates that possess plagued totally different social media corporations, together with give of us a technique to speak out with out spreading misinformation and poisonous speech.

Already Mr. Musk has wanted to increase the rollout of a subscription product that will possess given of us take a look at marks on their Twitter profiles. Advertisers possess paused their spending on Twitter over fears that Mr. Musk will loosen reveal tips on the platform. And the midterm elections are scenario to be a check out of how a slimmed-down Twitter will obtain in catching inflammatory posts and misinformation about voting and election outcomes.

In a memoir that was printed on Monday, researchers on the Fletcher College at Tufts College stated the early indicators of Mr. Musk’s Twitter “impact the platform is heading throughout the execrable course beneath his management — at a particularly inconvenient time for American democracy.”

The researchers stated they’d tracked narratives about civil battle, election fraud, citizen policing of voting, and allegations of pedophilia and grooming on Twitter from July by October. “Put up-Musk takeover, the on a regular basis of the dialog has decayed” as additional extremists and misinformation peddlers possess examined the platform’s boundaries, the researchers wrote.

Amid the hubbub, Mr. Musk’s habits on Twitter means that he intends to merely put up by it. And whereas he has regularly been a prolific tweeter, he has raised the stage in latest days.

On Friday, Mr. Musk, who has higher than 114 million followers on Twitter, proposed a “thermonuclear title & disgrace” promoting and advertising and advertising marketing campaign in opposition to producers that had stopped selling on the platform. He stated that he had executed each little factor he may perchance presumably to assuage advertisers nonetheless that activists had labored in opposition to him to scenario off producers to drop out of spending on Twitter.

On the the identical time, the billionaire was embroiled in a battle over his understanding to impact Twitter prospects $8 a month for a subscription service, Twitter Blue, which might give a take a look at imprint to any individual who paid. The take a look at imprint had been free for distinguished of us whose identities had been verified by the company, together with celebrities, politicians and journalists, as a technique to current safety to in opposition to impersonation.

Critics have been unhappy about Mr. Musk’s plans to monetize the take a look at imprint, asserting it will possibly perchance presumably additionally result in the unfold of misinformation and fraud on the platform. In mumble, some Twitter accounts that had take a look at marks modified their jabber names and pictures to confirm Mr. Musk’s account over the weekend, a switch supposed for instance why it’s a good distance additionally superior if any individual may perchance presumably purchase a take a look at imprint.

On Sunday, Mr. Musk offered that he would utterly droop any account “engaging in impersonation with out clearly specifying ‘parody.’” The billionaire, who had beforehand criticized Twitter when it utterly barred prospects, then barred Ms. Griffin, who had posed as him on the service.

Mr. Musk, who has often known as himself a “free speech absolutist,” is learning the fundamental expectation of reveal moderation for in development social networks, stated Daphne Keller, director of the Program on Platform Laws at Stanford’s Cyber Safety Middle.

“His concepts have been incoherent for a whereas,” she stated.

On Sunday night, Mr. Musk answered to a tweet that selections a quote from a white nationalist, before deleting the put up and transferring on to squabble with Mr. Dorsey over Birdwatch, a attribute that lets neighborhood contributors add context to tweets that they think about are misleading. Mr. Musk, who beforehand lauded the attribute, proposed altering the attribute’s title to “Group Notes.”

“Group notes is presumably probably the most dumb Fb title ever,” answered Mr. Dorsey, who owns a $1 billion stake in Mr. Musk’s Twitter.

Then on Monday, Mr. Musk recommended he may perchance presumably pursue civil society groups and activists who have been pushing for Twitter advertiser boycotts, when he answered to an steady-flee commentator that “we fabricate” possess grounds for proper circulation. Factual consultants stated the holding of boycotts for social and political targets is trusty beneath the First Modification.

Mr. Musk additionally tweeted that folks may perchance presumably possess to serene vote Republican in Tuesday’s midterm elections. “Shared power curbs the worst excesses of each occasions, as a result of this truth I counsel voting for a Republican Congress, provided that the Presidency is Democratic,” he tweeted. He later posted that he was an simply with a “voting historical past of absolutely Democrat until this yr.”

He quickly moved on. Mr. Musk’s consideration grow to be mounted on Mastodon, a Twitter competitor that has gained traction over the past 10 days. Collaborating in off Mastodon’s title, he made quite a lot of low jokes about masturbation — then deleted these posts an hour later.

Tiffany Hsu contributed reporting.