Blue Tick : Elon Musk’s ownership of Twitter slid further into chaos on Thursday, when top security executives left, sparking a harsh warning from US regulators. The walkouts came a day after Tesla and SpaceX owner Musk’s $44 billion purchase of the renowned messaging app.
Musk notified employees on Thursday that the site was fast depleting funds, threatening insolvency if not addressed. I’ve made the difficult decision to quit Twitter, said Lea Kissner, chief security officer, who reportedly stepped down alongside other top privacy and security professionals.
Yoel Roth, the site’s head of trust and safety, resigned barely a day after vehemently defending Musk’s content filtering policies to advertisers (including Blue Tick verification), according to US media. The seizures occurred shortly after the launch of the site’s long-awaited Twitter Blue membership program, which allows users to pay $7.99 per month for a coveted blue tick, as well as a second gray “official” badge for some high-profile accounts.
The announcement, however, devolved into chaos on Wednesday when Musk withdrew the new gray label in place of blue tick almost immediately, overshadowing the launch of the payment service, which is now only available on the iPhone app and in the United States.
Following the debut, there was a surge in the number of bogus accounts, with people impersonating celebrities and politicians such as NBA star LeBron James and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Early media reports also stated that Robin Wheeler, who held a crucial job connecting Twitter with advertisers and was regarded as a key Musk ally within the firm, was departing, but she later tweeted, “I’m still here,” late Thursday.
The upheaval sparked an unusual warning from the Federal Trade Commission, the US consumer safety agency that had previously placed Twitter on the watch for previous security and privacy violations. We are closely monitoring recent developments at Twitter with great worry, said an FTC official in a statement.
No CEO or corporation is above the law, and companies must abide by our consent decrees, the representative noted, referring to Twitter’s previous pledges to comply with US privacy laws. Violations of FTC decisions may result in millions of dollars in fines for Twitter.
The 51-year-old entrepreneur laid off half of the company’s 7,500 employees a week ago, just 10 days after purchasing the site and becoming its sole owner. According to employee text exchanges reviewed by AFP, Musk addressed his remaining employees for the first time since the layoffs on Thursday and pushed them to help the site surpass one billion users.
Musk also cautioned that the company was losing money and expressed concern about the impact of the bad economy on his newly acquired company. You may have seen that I recently sold a large amount of Tesla shares.
Meanwhile, Wedbush analyst Dan Ives warned that the Twitter incident might have major consequences for electric car producer Tesla. Advertisers don’t use Twitter because of Musk’s goals.
The tycoon stated that he would be discontinuing Twitter’s work-from-home rules, which have been common at the San Francisco-based company. He informed employees that if they did not show up to work, their resignations would be accepted.
Suspends subscription-based blue tick
Elon Musk-led Twitter disabled the subscription-based blue tick verification labels on Friday, only days after launching it as part of a slew of reforms. The social media site planned to charge $8 for users who wanted the premium blue tick verification symbol, but as soon as the service went live, several phony “confirmed” accounts appeared on Twitter, causing the platform to reconsider its decision.
The payment for the blue tick badge was necessary because analysts believe Musk overpaid for the $44 billion contract, which he is now realizing. He has sold billions of dollars in shares from his other firm, Tesla, and has also raised funds from the markets. Several sponsors have paused their Twitter commercials as they learn about the new leadership’s policies, and the current mess of phony accounts has made them even warier.
Elon Musk has also warned Twitter staff that the company is on the verge of bankruptcy. The warning came as the company’s trust and safety head and other senior executives left, according to the US regulator.
According to three people who have seen the message, Musk cautioned in his first company-wide email that Twitter will not “survive the upcoming economic downturn” if it does not increase subscription revenue (including Blue tick subscription) to offset dwindling advertising revenue.
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