All the changes made to Twitter since the arrival of Elon Musk

Elon Musk

Since Elon Musk bought Twitter last October, the social media platform has made numerous changes to the user experience, including overhauling the verification process and emphasizing “free speech.” »

Since the highly publicized and controversial takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk in October 2022, the latter brought a series of updates to the platform, often announcing them live on Twitter.

Among the most notable changes is the overhaul of the verification process. Previously, blue badges denoted public figures that the platform had independently verified, but users can now purchase a badge by subscribing to Twitter Blue for eight dollars a month.

After having declared that Twitter’s new policy was that of “freedom of expression”, according to which negative or hateful tweets will be “deboosted”, but not prohibited, Elon Musk reinstated a number of accounts which had notably been suspended, including that of donald trump, of Jordan Peterson and of Kathy Griffin. Donald Trump’s account was reinstated after a survey conducted by Elon Musk on Twitter: 51.8% of the 15 million people questioned voted “yes” to the return of the account of the former American president.

Each tweet now publicly displays the number of views it has garnered, an update made by Elon Musk in order to show that “Twitter is much more alive than people think. »

Twitter now divides a user’s news feed into a TikTok-like “for you” page, a stream of tweets selected by an algorithm that it thinks the user will like, and a “follow” page. which consists only of tweets that the user follows.

Twitter has reversed a short-lived policy prohibiting users from sharing links to other social media platforms. After less than a day of backlash, the platform removed this policy from its website.

One of the biggest updates of the Musk era is the radical change to the verification process. Previously, blue verification badges confirmed that profiles of public figures, such as celebrities, journalists or government officials, were legitimate. These blue badges (which Twitter now calls “old” verified accounts) are still visible, but the platform has made them available to anyone as long as they subscribe to Twitter Blue, a service that allows users to have a overview of new features. There is no visual difference between the old and new blue badges, which has raised concerns about impersonating public figures (although hovering over or touching the blue badge indicates if the account is subscribed to Twitter Blue or if it is an old verified account). Hours after the new controls were launched, users purchased badges to impersonate people such as Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani and Kobe Bryant, reports CNN. A columnist from washington post had accounts pretending to be the comedian verified within minutes Blaire Erskine and the senator Ed Markey. Twitter has temporarily suspended the ability to buy a blue badge the next day, pledging to address issues with impersonation. Elon Musk has said he plans to get rid of old verification badges, saying the old verification process was “corrupt and absurd. In another change to the verification system, accounts belonging to businesses are marked with gold badges, while government entities and politicians are marked with gray badges.

Elon Musk’s changes to the platform have been criticized for a number of reasons, from being useless and boring to facilitating hate speech. The ability for anyone to buy verification has been condemned for making it easy to impersonate public figures and spread false information. In January, members of the Taliban bought verification badges, although they were later withdrawn after backlash. Elon Musk also faced criticism in December after Twitter suspended the accounts of several journalists who criticized his ownership of the company (the billionaire has tweeted that these accounts had “doxxed my exact location in real time”), although these accounts were later reinstated. Critics of the vetting process as well as mass layoffs within Twitter have prompted more than 500 advertisers to halt their spending on the platform, according to The Informationwhich resulted in a 40% drop in daily revenue. Some popular Twitter influencers have told NBC News that daily use of the platform has deteriorated under Elon Musk’s leadership, including an influx of hate speech in light of his new emphasis on free speech. , as well as an increase in technical issues due to the company’s halving of staff. These influencers, including matt nelsonwho directs ” We Rate Dogs », a cash account 9.3 million followers, told NBC News that the verified notifications feature, which displays notifications received by verified accounts, is no longer useful since anyone can pay to get a blue badge. The default “for you” feed has also angered some users who find this update unnecessary and are now seeing tweets they don’t care about. LGBTQ rights groups have also alleged that the platform’s “free speech” design worsens anti-transgender speech. Among the accounts reinstated under Elon Musk’s tenure are the Babylon Bee, a Christian satirical news site, and the author Jordan Petersonwho has previously posted transphobic tweets, reports Bloomberg.

Elon Musk talked about future updates that have yet to debut on the platform. It plans to increase the current limit of 280 characters per tweet to 4,000 in February, a spectacular character increase for the platform long known for its brevity. Additionally, users will soon be able to use formatting features like bold, underline and font size, a measure that Elon Musk hopes will inspire people to stay on Twitter instead of using Twitter. other websites to publish their work. The company also plans to sell usernames that have been dormant for years to free up the nicks and generate revenue.

After months of back and forth and the threat of a lawsuit, Elon Musk bought Twitter in October in a high-profile deal from $44 million. He quickly downsized the company, saying it was at risk of bankruptcy and needed to get “strong” to survive, and began implementing his “free speech” vision for the platform. Elon Musk had previously criticized former Twitter executives, saying they operated the platform with a “leftist bias.” »

Will the billionaire really leave his post as CEO of Twitter? Elon Musk has tweeted in December that he will step down when he finds someone “crazy enough” to succeed him and then lead the company’s software and server teams. He asked through a survey Twitter if he were to step down, saying he would “respect the results of this poll.” The “yes” won a clear victory, obtaining 57.5% of the vote out of the 17.5 million votes. Since the poll was created, Elon Musk has not provided any updates or timelines regarding the search for a successor.

According to the latest estimates of ForbesElon Musk’s net worth stands at $149.4 billionmaking him the second richest person in the world, behind the French fashion mogul Bernard Arnault. Elon Musk lost his spot as the richest person in the world in December.

Article translated from Forbes US – Author: Conor Murray

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