Elon Musk asked users on Twitter a few days ago if he should step down from managing the platform. He added that the poll results will be binding. It turned out that 57.5 percent. more than 17.5 million voters want him to step down.
Should I step down as head of Twitter? I will stick to the results of this survey.
— Elon Musk (URL) December 18, 2022
Musk after the end of the vote wrote that he would resign as soon as he found 'someone stupid enough to take the job'. The billionaire said that if that happens, he will take over management of the software and server teams himself.
This is not Musk's first unconventional, to put it mildly, behavior. Recently, the new owner of Twitter introduced a subscription offer for the service, then withdrew it, and shortly after announced its implementation again. The billionaire also announced it amnesty for blocked accountsit has been restored owned by former US President Donald Trump. Musk soon after taking over Twitter fired most of the employeesthen he expelled those who criticized him.
Previously one of the richest people in the world rose to fame m.in. the announcement that it would buy Manchester United football club. She later revealed that she was joking. He also exhibited strange behavior when he took over Twitter: At one point, the billionaire announced that he was abandoning the transaction (hence sued by the board of directors).
Currently, Musk is known for his tweets, although in the past there was more talk of his self-driving Tesla electric cars, projects related to artificial intelligence or plans to conquer Mars. What went wrong?
Thin line crossed
– I've been saying this for years, because for so long I've been criticizing and drawing attention to Musk's actions that Elon Musk's worst enemy is Elon Musk – says Artur Kurasiński, blogger, entrepreneur and market observer of new technologies. -An extreme libertarian with huge complexes, who has no respect for women, and even deliberately builds a 'macho' culture in his companies, as confirmed by the people who flee from there. A man whose state has allowed and financed the survival of his companies in critical moments – NASA has contacted SpaceX and Tesla has obtained grants and loans from different states – uses the situation to blackmail governments (as in the case of access to Starlink ) – has listings.
'A year or two ago, he was the darling of the internet, able to taunt anyone with his Twitter profile. Currently, when Musk lied to many people in terms of protecting free speech on a purchased social networking site, when replicates Russian narrative against Ukraine, supports people harmful to democracy (reverted Trump and neo-Nazi accounts), undermines science by attacking Anthony Fauci (chief medical adviser to US president) and vaccinations, became a laughing stock and example that being a billionaire doesn't entitle you to do anything – especially to run a business – Kurasiński believes.
According to the expert, Musk's image as a joker and mocker was 'destroyed at his own request.' -The decisions he makes (blocking journalists, preventing links to other social networking sites from being posted, etc.) show that a fine line has been crossed. I am waiting for a collision with European regulations and the need to adjust Twitter to EU regulations. I'm waiting for the reactions of the shareholders of Tesla – a publicly traded company that has fallen by 55 percent in the last year, also because Musk is playing with his new toy instead of producing cars – says Kurasiński. As if he runs the Zdzitex company
Sylwia Czubkowska, editor-in-chief of Spider's Web+, and former business and technology journalist for 'Gazeta Wyborcza', 'Dziennik Gazeta Prawna' and 'Przekrój', says the problem with Musk goes deeper. – Sure, you can be a billionaire investing in tech companies and come up with another investment that's fundamentally different than Tesla or SpaceX, because they're manufacturing companies, and Twitter is a digital platform that probably makes money from advertising profits. It's a different business model, it can be challenging even with extensive stock exchange experience. But with Musk, the entire investment in Twitter has been strongly marked by emotions and his vision of the world, not just technology emphasizes the reporter.
Czubkowska recalls that the recently released lyrics were about what drives the billionaire. – This is, among others, the concept of a sense of redemption, the belief that there is collateral damage, collateral damage, but in the long-term vision of humanity's future, taking care of its safety, will be a positive play of sum. It's a bit like his plan to conquer Mars-claims the journalist. And she adds that Musk is missing one thing.
– One is the vision and the other is the practice of implementation. And that's just bad. This is an example of a manager who is unable to manage the product he manages. What does he do on Twitter, other than whether his actions will have long-term positive effects for the company, knowing – but not wanting to assume – that he runs a company that has a very large impact on political and social life, or the safety of people. He doesn't follow the rules, he just treats it like a game. And this is going to do a survey, and this is going to introduce a twenty dollar blue stamp duty, but in a moment, Stephen King is going to negotiate a reduction to eight dollars, and this is going to prohibit linking to other sites, and we don't really know why. We see that he is tired of all this and this damages his image – of him and of Twitter – underlines Czubkowska.
According to the publisher of Spider's Web+, the only benefit of Musk's takeover of Twitter is 'showing how lame the content moderation mechanisms and accountability are.' – Is anyone surprised that Trump's photo and Twitter bans were manually controlled? It's also not surprising that similar things are happening under Musk, but he should have healed the platform by introducing the absolutism of free speech. The rules should have changed. And it's the same, only once the services insisted, and now everything depends on Musk's whim, Czubkowska believes.
– It is dangerous that Musk does not feel a greater responsibility, especially in a year of war in Ukraine, rampant disinformation, increasingly strong power of Xi Jinping in China. There are examples all the time: by blocking people advertising protests against the Zero Covid policy in China, the content and accounts of people targeted by Putin disappear. Moss alone tweets pro-Russian narratives, also complaining about how unprofitable the investment in Starlinek is. And SpaceX did not give these devices to Ukraine for free, they were donated by individual countries. Half of those that went to Ukraine were bought by Poland, Czubkowska points out. And she adds that although Musk's company has incurred expenses of $ 80 million, the Ukrainian side still pays for the use of Starlink, albeit at a lower rate. – Then there's the massive marketing campaign. It has been everywhere that Elon Musk has donated equipment. She hasn't donated anything, it's not an expense, it's an investment with a high rate of return,' she says.
The reporter directly says: – The things that Musk tweets are so thoughtless, as if he runs the company Zdzitex, employs several people like Janusz business. You need to be sensitive and observant in these times, and here we have a new Twitter owner pushing some weird content. As a result, it's hard to take it seriously. And respect that,' he adds.
A dangerous mix
Communication expert Urszula Podraza in a recent interview with Wirtualnemedia.pl admitted to witnessing the billionaire's 'progressive erosion of image'. – It is not easy to predict in which direction Elon Musk's public image will evolve. The reason is the billionaire's unpredictability, the problem of finding rational premises for his next steps. Not a week goes by without the Twitter community, and the media behind it, commenting on Musk's statements and decisions, whose constant feature is a lack of consistency, and the result is chaos in the companies he runs, Podraza believes.
– The head of Twitter, repeatedly declaring himself a supporter of free speech, bans accounts that use doxing [gromadzenie i wykorzystywanie zebranych w internecie danych dotyczących innych osób – red.]to suspend them after harsh criticisms. He submits to the judgment of users, asking if he should resign, and then ignores the opinion of millions of voters. He makes controversial plans to end the war in Ukraine and a few weeks later hands over another batch of Starlinks to the Kiev government's expert lists. – His irrational behavior affects not only the condition of Twitter (resignations of advertisers, outflow of users), but also Tesla, which has spectacular drops in the stock market, and people who are willing to buy cars of this brand cancel their orders – he notes Podraza.
– Musk's chaotic actions and controversial opinions (such as the attack on Dr. Anthony Fauci) are ruining his credibility and trust in the brands he endorses. However, his fortune, his role in business and contacts still provide him with an enormous influence on the economy, technologies and directions of public debate. A person with such a global standing cannot be underestimated. Her status combined with unpredictability create a dangerous mix, concludes Podraza.
In the second quarter of this year Twitter revenue down 1%. to $1.18 billion, despite a 16.6% increase in the number of platform users. to 237.8 million. The platform's costs rose 31% year over year, dropping its net income from a $66 million profit to a $270 million loss. There will be no further data because Elon Musk has delisted Twitter from the stock market.