Elon Musk has been at the helm of Twitter for one year now – during this period, he altered the company’s name to X, replaced himself as the CEO, and embroiled the company in various scandals.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
The billionaire also terminated over 50% of the company’s workforce and introduced a new subscription model in an attempt to discover new sources of revenue as advertisers deserted the platform, resulting in numerous controversies.
Here’s a glimpse at some crucial moments from Mr. Musk’s tenure so far.
– October 27: Mr. Musk tweeted a video of himself carrying a sink into Twitter headquarters as he assumed control of the company after a lengthy and stressful acquisition process, with the caption “Let that sink in”. Then, in his first action as the boss, Mr. Musk dismissed several top executives.
– November 4: Twitter commences laying off over half of its global workforce by sending mass emails to employees in what the company claims are essential cost reductions – legal action is taken by employees worldwide after accusations of employment law transgressions.
– November 9: Twitter started adding gray “Official” badges to prominent accounts, after Mr. Musk pledged sweeping changes to verification on the platform, but these badges disappeared after a few hours.
– November 10: Twitter Blue, the upgraded subscription service that allows anyone to purchase a Blue Tick verified badge for their account, is being rolled out in select countries. It was halted a day later after multiple incidents of impersonation, where malicious actors pretend to be verified public figures and tweet offensive and inappropriate content. Mr. Musk later stated that it would be reinstated once improvements were made.
– November 16: In an email to the company’s remaining employees, the billionaire informed them that they would have to be more “passionate” and work longer and more intensively to create “Twitter 2.0”. Mr. Musk indicated that employees who did not agree to this ultimatum would be terminated.
– November 18: More Twitter employees departed the company as deadlines for “passionate” work passed, and the company temporarily closed its offices worldwide due to concerns about the platform’s ability to stay online amidst the exodus.
Former US President Donald Trump was suspended from Twitter (Brian Lawless/PA)
– November 20: The Twitter CEO reinstates the former US President Donald Trump’s account after asking Twitter users to vote on the matter. Mr. Trump was sanctioned following a pro-Trump mob’s attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, as Congress prepared to certify Joe Biden’s election victory.
– November 24: Mr. Musk announces that he is granting “amnesty” to previously suspended accounts after conducting a Twitter poll on the issue, allowing them to return to the platform, online security experts warn that this move would lead to new waves of abuse and harassment.
– November 29: It was revealed that Twitter had quietly discontinued the enforcement of its rules that prevented the spread of misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines.
– November 30: Amid mounting concerns over Twitter’s content moderation approach, EU officials caution Mr. Musk that Twitter must comply with its new online security regulations or face being banned.
– December 1: Mr. Musk claims to have “resolved” a “misunderstanding” with Apple after accusing the iPhone manufacturer of threatening to remove Twitter from its App Store. He also criticizes the company’s App Store fees and accuses them of detesting free speech.
– December 2: Kanye West, who was reinstated on Twitter as part of Mr. Musk’s apology, is suspended again for posting anti-Semitic material.
Kanye West was suspended for his posts and reinstated (Jonathan Brady/PA)
– December 9: Sir Elton John announces he is leaving Twitter due to concerns about allowing misinformation to thrive under Mr. Musk’s free speech policies.
– December 12: Twitter relaunches with a higher monthly price for Blue iPhone users as Mr. Musk aims to counter Apple’s App Store developer fees. The gray “Official” badges also make another appearance.
– December 13: Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council, an advisory group consisting of about 100 independent civil, human rights, and other organizations that assist the company in dealing with harmful content on the platform, is disbanded.
– December 16: Twitter suspends the accounts of several journalists who have written about Mr. Musk and bans an account that used publicly available information to track his private jet flights.
– December 18: The platform declares that it will no longer allow the posting of links to certain other social media platforms – including Facebook and Instagram, as well as potential rivals like Mastodon. However, tweets regarding this new policy and the linked webpage were later deleted, and Mr. Musk issued an apology.
– December 19: Mr. Musk states that he will conduct a new poll asking whether he should step down as the head of Twitter. He cautions users to be careful what they wish for. The poll reveals that 57.5% of people believe he should relinquish his role, with over 17.5 million votes cast.
I’m excited to welcome Linda Yaccarino as the new CEO of Twitter!
@LindaYacc will primarily focus on business operations, while I will concentrate on product design and new technology.
I look forward to collaborating with Linda to transform this platform into an X, Everything app. https://t.co/TiSJtTWuky
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 12 May 2023
– February 9: Twitter experiences a massive outage, informing users that they have reached the rate limit and are unable to view new posts or tweet. Two additional outages occurred on the platform in early March, leading some to suggest that staff reductions were impacting the company’s ability to keep the platform online.
– March 24: Twitter confirms that it will commence the removal of the “legacy checkmarks” awarded as part of the old verification system, as they are replaced by badges earned through Twitter Blue subscriptions. However, confusion persists for several weeks as the blue tick remains in place for some high-profile celebrities.
– May 11: Mr. Musk confirms that he has appointed a mystery woman to take his place as the CEO of Twitter. It was later revealed to be NBC Universal executive Linda Yaccarino.
– June 1: Data from financial services firm Fidelity indicates that Twitter’s value may have decreased by a third of the amount Mr. Musk paid for it in October 2022 due to Musk’s turbulent tenure thus far.
– June 22: As EU and Australian officials warn Twitter over its handling of online hate content, Mr. Musk challenges Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg to a cage fight after rumors circulate that Meta Threads is preparing to launch a Twitter rival. Mr. Zuckerberg later confirmed that he had moved on from the peculiar online feud.
– July 6: Meta launches Threads and garners 10 million users within hours of its launch. This comes just days after Twitter began limiting the number of posts users can see in a day, with Mr. Musk asserting that the decision is meant to combat “system manipulation and data scraping.” However, experts have condemned the move as an odd requirement for a social media platform. Active users.
If a great X logo is posted tonight, we will roll it out worldwide tomorrow
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 23 July 2023
July 24: Mr. Musk confirms that Twitter will undergo rebranding as X and unveils a new logo to replace the bird icon that had been in place since the platform’s inception. The Twitter sign has been removed from the company’s San Francisco headquarters, but work has temporarily halted due to permit issues. Additionally, the ‘X’ logo placed on the roof of the building has been promptly taken down due to similar permit issues.
July 30: Kanye West’s account is reinstated on the platform after an almost eight-month suspension for violating rules pertaining to incitement of violence. The rapper was initially suspended in December 2022 for various irregular posts, including an image depicting a swastika and a Jewish star. He was previously suspended in October 2022 over anti-Semitic posts.
September 5: Mr. Musk threatens to sue the campaign group Anti-Defamation League over the platform’s revenue decline, alleging that it and other groups have compelled advertisers to abandon the platform and undermine its sources of income.
September 19: Mr. Musk hints during a panel appearance that all users may be charged an annual fee of one US dollar for posting on the platform.
October 10: The EU’s digital chief warns Mr. Ax and Mr. Musk about the spread of misinformation on platforms concerning the Israel-Hamas conflict. The company subsequently launches an investigation into the issue, while X states that it has removed hundreds of Hamas-linked accounts in response to concerns.