Recently Musk has filled the headlines of every publication with his various attempts to make his “public town square” that he calls Twitter profitable.
He’s tried creating a subscription service that gives you a blue check, which failed miserably, cleared out the entire executive board of Twitter, cut 7,500 jobs, and told the people that are staying that they have to be “hard core” if they want to stay.
At this point it just seems like Musk is throwing every monetization strategy possible at the wall and seeing if it sticks. It seems only natural for him to do so, though, after making what seems to be an impulse buy and trying to back out of it, and being forced to purchase it by law.
Although he reluctantly bought it, having to sell $4 Billion of Tesla stock to do so, he still has carried out his objectives: removing all moderation from the app to make a “public town square,” although with the obvious restrictions (nudity, inciting violence, some, but not all, misinformation etc.).
But the problem with this, coupled with his blue check subscription, is with this promise he allows the spreading of misinformation and relative echo chambers, especially with one of their comment features, which allows accounts to set replies to only be sent by people they follow.
Twitter was already a sinking ship though, did he make it any worse? Yes, through virtually no content moderation countless advertisers have pulled out, reasoning that they don’t want their company to be seen next to a tweet by Kanye featuring a Swastika inside a Star of David, which is why Musk has stepped back on his promise, banning him from the platform.
Although this was not that big of a step back as although Musk promised prior to completely eliminating content moderation and said when he bought it that those rules have been enforced, Twitter themselves never said they were changing their policy and their content moderation rules never changed on their help page.
But that in itself is a major problem, people don’t even know what the rules are because you have the CEO saying one thing and the actual company saying another.
This is a big dilemma because, like I said prior, Twitter needs money, and ads are one of the main ways to do that, but when you don’t promise brand safety, and, on the contrary, have an extremely unhinged CEO that randomly tweets things, of course you are not going to get any advertisement money.
You can’t have both Elon, either save the sinking ship by actually enforcing content moderation or die trying to make your personal utopia. Actually moderating would also likely increase its user base, if you aren’t constantly ridiculed for the most minor opinion you have and you are able to have an actual conversation with someone then of course your user base would increase.
The thing is, though, we are in the middle of a company that’s been running for a decade being transferred to a person who has never dealt with content moderation, and a man who is also trying to take the company out of the debt that he put them in from the purchase. There have been A LOT of bumps in the road but Twitter will likely bounce back, to be fair its user base is at an all time high right now.
If Musk can learn how to moderate it enough to make it friendly for advertisers while also maintaining some free speech, and find new ways to monetize it enough to not make that much of a loss, then it will likely still be around for it. Then Musk might be able to focus on his actually profitable company, Tesla, whose stock has fallen drastically since the purchase of Twitter due to Musk’s recent disinvolvement in Tesla.
Only time will tell though.