Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past nine months, you’ll know all about Elon Musk’s controversial takeover of Twitter last year. How could you not know about it?
The billionaire entrepreneur has made significant moves and changes on the popular social media platform since he bought it, as well as a plethora of oft-criticised, controversial choices about its future and its internal workings and machinations.
The business magnate has done little to shy his Twitter moving and shaking away from the news and proclaiming himself as a “free speech absolutist” it doesn’t look like he’ll slow down or shut up anytime soon.
If it’s all been a bit too much for you to follow (because let’s be honest, he’s done a lot), we’re going to lay out the most controversial and talked about moments from his reign over Twitter thus far in a neat little article, right here, right now, just for you.
Virtually straight after acquiring Twitter, Musk effectively laid-off half of the 7,500-strong Twitter workforce in a bid to heavily reduce the company’s costs. He then issued a company-wide ultimatum to the remaining staff to either commit to a more “hardcore” Twitter work environment or leave with severance pay.
The shocking move led to Musk calling on any remaining engineers to fill the huge holes that had been left by the departing staff members, as well as a largely-skeleton crew manning the Twitter ship.
Banned Accounts Reinstated
Another of Musk’s early actions as CEO of Twitter was to controversially reinstate some previously banned accounts like those of former American president Donald Trump and controversial Canadian author and psychologist Jordan Peterson.
He also announced a new freedom of speech policy, calling it “freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach”, meaning that any “negative or hate” tweets would be de-boosted and without any ads near them.
Advertisers Get Cold Feet
Following the tumultuous start to Elon Musk’s reign at Twitter, things took yet another strange turn as about a third of the social media network’s biggest advertisers paused their marketing on the platform due to Musk’s erratic leadership.
Rule Changes & Suspended Journalists
The billionaire continued to make headlines when he unexplainably suspended the accounts of several journalists, including those from such outlets as CNN and the New York Times, who had been tweeting about him or covering his actions. As you can probably imagine, this sparked major backlash from free press advocates and media organisations.
Musk also decided to suspend the @ElonJet account that follows his private jet’s movements and subsequently changed its policy on live location sharing by prohibiting it outright. He cited safety concerns as the reason.
The Blue Checks
Another headline-grabbing change that Musk introduced to Twitter was the rollout of a new feature that allows users to pay for a verification mark next to their profile. This feature was previously reserved for accounts that Twitter had determined to be helmed by real people.
The feature didn’t last a day as many fake celebrity accounts began popping up on the platform, turning the whole Twitter-verse upside down in the process. It was then re-launched again in December with some tweaks and changes.
Musk stated on the 20th of December that he would resign as Twitter’s CEO “as soon as I find someone foolish enough to take the job!” The business magnate’s announcement followed a poll on his personal Twitter account (the results of which he pledged to abide by) in which users voted decisively in favour of him stepping down.
Suffice it to say; it’s been quite a rollercoaster since Twitter changed hands. Now that we’re into 2023, who knows what developments will take place?