On the firings. Even if you think a company needs to reduce its headcount substantially firing so many people at short notice with no handover period seems like an organizational nightmare. You lose a lot of institutional knowledge and are left with a bunch of legacy code and systems nobody can use. And don't have time to really identify who is actually necessary or not.

On the blue checkmark. Something that confuses me about the whole thing is that, to the extent that a checkmark is currently a status symbol, its only one because you can't just pay for it. It loses its value as a credible signal when it's just from payment. It's like if I bought myself a trophy or medal online, it would have no value, as opposed to winning one. So it seems like there would be a brief initial period where it's still worth something because of past association, then it becomes diluted and loses its value, so people cease paying for it. (Analogy with other forms of credentialing/certification left as exercise to reader).

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"I have known about this phenomenon for a long time because my father once worked for such a person, who would never pay their bills because what are you going to do, sue me? Worst case you force me to pay the bill. I have since encountered others. It is unfortunate that such systems often succeed in business. It is clear that they often do."

This resonated with me. Some of the most dedicated Trump supporters I know are the same people who, 20 years ago, used to tell me stories about how legendary he was in stiffing suppliers in their industry. Which speaks to the awe-inspiring (and terrifying) force of personality this small subset of people have.

I say this as someone who is rooting for Elon to succeed despite his many flaws. Twitter is pretty critical to "The Discourse", and more broadly I think we're at a pivotal moment at which we're figuring out if the Internet is going to remain almost entirely supported by ads, with the damaging and distortive impacts that has, or if there might be a healthier business model that makes us the consumers again. I'm happy to pay some small amount if it gets me a reduced ad Twitter with better ability to filter, fewer insane insta-replies to anything political, etc.

Of course I also use (and love) TweetDeck like you do, without ads at all. I don't really understand how that remains a free tool with no sponsored ads and just a straightforward chronological presentation of tweets. I hope that doesn't change.

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edit: I misread you and didn't catch you saying this didn't happen. Leaving up because I think it's still interesting that the severance end date is next vest + 1.

I think you may have fallen prey to misinformation on Twitter. As far as I can tell the layoffs do not affect stock vesting. There are two good pieces of evidence for this.

First, this article: https://www.cnbc.com/2022/11/01/twitter-reassures-employees-vested-shares-will-be-paid-out-this-month.html

The article cites managers saying vests aren't impacted, and Musk saying the same. It also states that the vesting date is Nov 1, and the layoffs were on Nov 4. It appears this claim gained traction in the form of "if they layoff before Nov 1, they could block stock vests."

Second is this tweet from Musk: https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1588671155766194176. He says that employees get 90 days of severance, 50% more than was apparently required. That doesn't jibe with "ruthless tyrant trying to deny compensation to workers."

Maybe they're not planning to pay the following vest while workers on severance, but that's not the claim that's being made.

Twitter vests quarterly so the next date is probably Feb 1, a day before Nov 4 + 90 days. It's possible that the real story is actually the complete opposite of what's being spread and the severance was extended for the purpose of letting laid off employees hit their next vest.

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Josh Barro suggests that the longer videos on twitter is mostly about porn, which strikes me as plausible.

"But Twitter poses fewer terms-of-service issues for pornography than platforms like Facebook and Instagram do. Porn isn’t just allowed on Twitter, it’s huge — about 13% of all the content on Twitter is adult content. And some of the revenue ideas Musk is considering seem optimized for adult content:"

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A lot of this 'new guy in charge lays down the law' thing going on with Elon taking over twitter reminds me of when I was in the army. Whenever a new commander or NCOIC would come in they'd be harsh for a little while just to let everyone know who was in charge and 'we do things my way now'. It almost always ended up that things just mostly ran they way they used to once the new guy got tired of swinging his dick around. There's got to be some of that going on.

I've honestly been trying to figure out what twitter uses so many engineers/developers for. I can't think of any new features added to twitter in a long time. (they've been annoying me with a link to the 'new tweetdeck preview' for ages). I understand having a large IT staff to keep the servers and the website running. Maybe it's all for machine learning for directed ads or something? If I bought twitter (especially for $44B) I'd definitely deploy teams of Bobs to ask "What would you say...you do here?"

There are two things I'd be willing to pay for when it comes to twitter. 1) Tweetdeck (don't tell Elon). I'm seriously afraid they're going to kill this feature because it makes them no money. 2) Some way to not get posts from people who post things that I don't follow them for. If I followed someone because they're a great limited magic player, I really don't want to hear about their politics. I've deployed a ton of filtering to try and stop this but this crap still gets through. I really miss the old busy bodies from web forums or the usenet who would always post "wrong forum".

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I thought it was a lot of storm and fury until I ran across this Elon Tweet which makes choosing to advertise on Twitter at the very least *feel* like a risky business decision. I was absolutely convinced it was a fake Musk account when I first saw his reply.


>Dear @elonmusk

>You have nearly 114,000,000 Twitter followers.

>Name and shame the advertisers who are succumbing to the advertiser boycotts.

>So we can counter-boycott them.


>Thank you.

>A thermonuclear name & shame is exactly what will happen if this continues.

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It's interesting seeing my own reaction to your opinion up top about laws and norms. It's straightforwardly true, but every instinct goes 'no, you're wrong and dumb'. I think I had up to this point successfully believed 'breaking norms is bad' and 'the norms on twitter and adjacent spaces are awful and should be broken' simultaneously.

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"They also insist that none of the moderation or safety rules have changed. I doubt they would lie about that."

I'm pretty sure moderation rules have changed. Here's my experience, which has convinced me there has been a change in the handling of individual "bad words": curses, insulting words, and racist terms.

I post on "medical twitter," where people I follow are all civil, but of course many replies are not. At least a dozen times in the past couple months I've drafted a tweet with "shit" or "fuck" in it, used for angry emphasis, and when I hit POST got a screen from Twitter saying "People on Twitter rarely use that word in their tweets. Are you sure you want to tweet that?" A few times got the same messages for tweets that have an insulting word like "morons" in it. I have always deleted the offending word after getting Twitter's prim little warning, because I don't want to get banned, and 2 years ago I was permanently banned for using a very very rude swear. Seems pretty clear that Twitter had a list of rude words -- insults and swears -- that automatically triggered the warning I saw. There were NO EXCEPTIONS. I got the warning from Twitter every single time I put "fuck" or "shit" in a tweet draft & tried to post it. I can't recall seeing either of those words in other tweets either, though I am so desensitized to those words that it's possible I didn't notice.

OK, so on the day when Musk took over, and there was a flood of racist and antisemitic tweets, I did twitter searches for "nigger" & "kike," & read a few of the Tweets. This was not good for my head, and I impulsively replied to one of them with them with an exceptionally rude swear -- in fact I used the word that had gotten me banned a couple years ago. Twitter give me it's usual warning, and I hit "POST" anyhow. Got a notice that I was now banned for 12 hrs, but the ban didn't work. Twitter continued to function as usual for me that day.

In the days since I have thrown a few casual swears into my tweets, and gotten neither a warning nor a ban. Today as an experiment, I posted the following tweet: "moron retard creep fuck shit cunt cocksucker tits asshole motherfucker nigger kike towelhead." Twitter did not give me a warning when I hit POST, and allowed the tweet to go through. I waited about 60 secs -- no reaction from Twitter. I then deleted the post.

Something's changed with moderation at the level of individual bad words.

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I recommend dropping the infantile and overly informal language. You have the brain of a man - write like one.

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...the famous Twitter folks with lots of followers, the ones we most want to have blue checks, are the platform's content though. If we want to run this as a traditional "money for services" thing, Hank Green and AOC and Steven King *are* the service you're paying for. You should pay to follow them, not for the privilege of creating content for Twitter to sell.

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