Facing a Tide of Criticism, Elon Musk Is Tweeting Through It

Under pressure and struggling with a wave of criticism, Elon Musk has significantly turned to his beloved release valve: Twitter.

Considering that Saturday, Mr. Musk, the world’s richest man and the new proprietor of Twitter, has embarked on a tweeting spree so voluminous that he is on a speed to article a lot more than 750 situations this month, or extra than 25 periods a day, according to an investigation from the electronic investigations corporation Memetica. That would be up from about 13 times a day in April, when Mr. Musk very first agreed to purchase Twitter.

His current tweets have coated an ever more wide variety of matters. More than the very last 4 days, Mr. Musk, 51, needled the comedian Kathy Griffin and beefed with the Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey on the system. He made masturbation jokes aimed at a rival — and a great deal smaller sized — social media platform. He posted, then deleted, a tweet participating with a estimate from a white nationalist. And he defended his possession of Twitter, like why he had laid off 50 p.c of the firm’s team and why people today ought to not impersonate some others on the company.

All in all, mr. Musk, who explained himself in his Twitter profile as “Chief Twit” ahead of afterwards switching the description to “Twitter Complaint Hotline Operator,” has tweeted far more than 105 occasions considering that Friday, primarily about Twitter, in accordance to a tally by Memetica.

“Birds have not been authentic due to the fact 1986,” Mr. Musk tweeted on Sunday in a dialogue thread about Twitter, which include a meme from an absurdist conspiracy concept that posits that birds are actually robotic spies. He did not respond to a ask for for remark.

mr. Musk is under huge scrutiny 11 days following finishing his $44 billion offer for Twitter, which was the most significant leveraged buyout of a know-how firm in background. On Friday, he slice around 3,700 of the firm’s 7,500 staff, expressing he experienced no preference mainly because Twitter was getting rid of $4 million a day. At the identical time, he has found himself embroiled in the exact written content debates that have plagued other social media organizations, which include how to give persons a way to discuss out devoid of spreading misinformation and toxic speech.

Currently Musk has experienced to delay the rollout of a membership solution that would have supplied people today examine marks on their Twitter profiles. Advertisers have paused their spending on Twitter about fears that Mr. Musk will loosen content policies on the platform. And the midterm elections are established to be a test of how asmarted-down Twitter will carry out in catching inflammatory posts and misinformation about voting and election final results.

In a report that was printed on Monday, scientists at the Fletcher School at Tufts University reported the early signs of Mr. Musk’s Twitter “show the system is heading in the completely wrong way below his leadership — at a significantly inconvenient time for American democracy.”

The scientists explained they experienced tracked narratives about civil war, election fraud, citizen policing of voting, and allegations of pedophilia and grooming on Twitter from July by October. “Post-Musk takeover, the high-quality of the conversation has decayed” as much more extremists and misinformation peddlers have examined the platform’s boundaries, the researchers wrote.

Amid the hubbub, mr. Musk’s conduct on Twitter implies that he intends to basically article as a result of it. And when he has constantly been a prolific tweeter, he has raised the amount in latest times.

On Friday, mr. Musk, who has extra than 114 million followers on Twitter, proposed a “thermonuclear identify & shamemarketing campaign from makes that experienced stopped promotion on the platform. He mentioned that he had done every little thing he could to appease advertisers but that activists experienced labored from him to cause brand names to fall out of shelling out on Twitter.

At the very same time, the billionaire was embroiled in a struggle around his program to charge Twitter users $8 a thirty day period for a subscription provider, Twitter Blue, which would give a look at mark to any individual who compensated. The check mark experienced been cost-free for notable individuals whose identities experienced been confirmed by the company, like celebs, politicians and journalists, as a way to guard towards impersonation.

Critics ended up sad about Mr. Musk’s plans to monetize the check out mark, saying it could direct to the unfold of misinformation and fraud on the system. In protest, some Twitter accounts that experienced examine marks changed their exhibit names and photos to match Mr. Musk’s account above the weekend, a shift supposed to illustrate why it would be perplexing if any one could buy a test mark.

On Sundays, mr. Musk announced that he would permanently suspend any account “engaging in impersonation with no obviously specifying ‘parody.’” The billionaire, who had previously criticized Twitter when it completely barred customers, then barred Ms. Griffin, who had posed as him on the services.

mr. Musk, who has termed himself a “free speech absolutist,” is studying the essential expectation of articles moderation for preferred social networks, mentioned Daphne Keller, director of the Application on Platform Regulation at Stanford’s Cyber ​​Policy Centre.

“His ideas have been incoherent for a although,” she claimed.

On Sunday night, mr. Musk responded to a tweet featuring a quotation from a white nationalist, before deleting the post and transferring on to squabble with Mr. Dorsey about Birdwatch, a feature that lets local community users incorporate context to tweets that they believe are deceptive. mr. Musk, who beforehand lauded the attribute, proposed transforming the feature’s title to “Community Notes.”

“Community notes is the most boring Fb identify ever,” replied Mr. Dorsey, who owns a $1 billion stake in Mr. Musk’s Twitter.

Then on Monday, Mr. Musk proposed he could go after civil modern society groups and activists who ended up pushing for Twitter advertiser boycotts, when he replied to a appropriate-wing commentator that “we dohave grounds for authorized motion. Lawful gurus said the keeping of boycotts for social and political aims is safeguarded under the Very first Amendment.

mr. Musk also tweeted that people today should really vote Republican in Tuesday’s midterm elections. “Shared power curbs the worst excesses of both equally functions, consequently I suggest voting for a Republican Congress, given that the Presidency is Democratic,” he tweeted. He later on posted that he was an impartial with a “voting historical past of completely Democrat right until this 12 months.”

He before long moved on. mr. Musk’s awareness turned set on Mastodon, a Twitter competitor that has obtained traction around the earlier 10 days. Taking part in off Mastodon’s title, he manufactured several crude jokes about masturbation — then deleted these posts an hour later.

Tiffany Hsu contributed reporting.

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