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April 25, 2022 7:50 AM   Subscribe

 
I hate this timeline.

What are the odds Trump is allowed to rejoin?
posted by rustybullrake at 7:52 AM on April 25 [47 favorites]


This ends well
posted by MengerSponge at 7:53 AM on April 25 [3 favorites]


So, what's a good alternative?

I've, in the past, poked around Ello, Mind, Mastodon, others I'm sure. (Facebook is vile turdville so that's out)

None of them really grabbed me, perhaps it was the interface or the way you discover things or whatever.
posted by Ayn Marx at 7:54 AM on April 25 [3 favorites]


Ello

Haha I remember that one! Was it ever anything more than a splash page?
posted by panama joe at 7:56 AM on April 25 [3 favorites]


So, what's a good alternative?

It would have to be Mastodon, wouldn't it, as that's the only alternative that you could personally curate and control. Everything else is just leaving your social in the hands of some other company that gets to decide what's allowed on it, and also could be bought up by the orders-of-magnitude-larger company.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 7:59 AM on April 25 [23 favorites]


The market doesn't seem convinced that this is going to happen with Twitter trading $4 below $54.20 currently.
posted by ssg at 8:01 AM on April 25 [2 favorites]


Hey, if he wants to waste his money on something so monumentally dumb (and overpriced) it's his funeral.
posted by Optamystic at 8:03 AM on April 25 [4 favorites]


well, it was bad while it lasted
posted by BungaDunga at 8:03 AM on April 25 [151 favorites]


So, what's a good alternative?

Mastodon is the closest thing structurally to twitter in terms of actual layout and posting structure and whatnot; I joined years ago and am still active over there; I split my time between that and twitter as far as active social media interaction goes, and lean towards twitter for reach/visibility but *like* Masto more.

But the problem of alternatives is always one of personal networks, not platforms. Going somewhere else being a viable option for any given person means some combination of (a) motivating the people they most want to be communicating with to also move and (b) being willing to find and foster a new set of folks to interact with at the new space. That's worked well for me on Masto, honestly; there's some core MeFi and misc. social overlap of other folks who have also joined Masto over the years who I like seeing around, and I actively started following interesting strangers (artists, math people, whatever) over there so there's a bunch of folks in my feed who are just...Masto people. Some of those have later showed up on other platforms too, a couple have even joined MeFi.

The answer to what the alternative is is basically personal rather than systemic, which is not a super satisfying rallying cry in the face of a systemic problem but it's a much more reasonable way to tackle your personal needs. There is no Twitter Killer, and there won't be until suddenly there is at which point it will probably be too big to be a significantly more ethical or sound platform than Twitter or Facebook are. There's just other places, different places, where you can do a little work to make a home for yourself.

Was it ever anything more than a splash page?

I semi-ironically joined Ello at launch just to camp a username, and then posted a little bit. I still get the rare zombie follow, email notifications tell me. I gather it actually had a nice sort of quiet second act as an art-focused social space after it failed to magically blow up at launch, but I have no idea if it's habitable at this point.
posted by cortex at 8:06 AM on April 25 [26 favorites]


Me, to Twitter many times over the years: "I wish I could quit you."

On the monkey paw, one finger slowly lowers.
posted by muddgirl at 8:06 AM on April 25 [53 favorites]


So, what's a good alternative?

something to do with taking all the time invested in that online social media dynamic that ultimately ends up feeding a particularly voracious beast (some just call it capitalism) ... and maybe taking a few deep breaths and investing instead in something not online and maybe beautiful.
posted by philip-random at 8:07 AM on April 25 [36 favorites]


something to do with taking all the time invested in that online social media dynamic that ultimately ends up feeding a particularly voracious beast (some just call it capitalism) ... and maybe taking a few deep breaths and investing instead in something not online and maybe beautiful.

It's the capitalist exploitation that's the problem, not the online bit per se. It's entirely possible to have meaningful and beautiful things in your life that involve computers and the internet. Doing things not-online too is a good plan, but don't mistake the extractive greed and moral lapses of megacorporate social media platforms for the soil itself being poisoned; the internet is still a miracle under it all and has been a source of a great deal of connection and beauty, and will continue to be no matter how many Musks shit in however many particular punchbowls.
posted by cortex at 8:12 AM on April 25 [63 favorites]


There's just other places, different places, where you can do a little work to make a home for yourself.

Don't mind me, I'll be sitting here trying to tempt everyone back to Dreamwidth..

But I think if the sale goes through (and it might not) mostly the exodus will be from people with bigger followings moving them to places like Substack and pay-for-content providers like Patreon and similar. I imagine I'm going to lose touch with a few more artists and writers I admire as they put their lives behind a paywall I can't afford. And in the meantime things will get a little crappier for people who don't want to deal with those emboldened by "free speech for everyone" rules.
posted by fight or flight at 8:16 AM on April 25 [11 favorites]


.
posted by littlerobothead at 8:17 AM on April 25 [1 favorite]




What are the odds Trump is allowed to rejoin?

Pretty much a given.
posted by acb at 8:18 AM on April 25 [12 favorites]


If someone could put together an app that would help people map their social networks across the platforms, that would give some significant lift to Mastodon. Right now, there are tons of folks posting "I'm over here on Mastodon", but I have no way of leveraging my Twitter follower list to get across the gap.
posted by scolbath at 8:22 AM on April 25 [3 favorites]


On the bright side, it will certainly sink Truth Social.
posted by mochapickle at 8:23 AM on April 25 [10 favorites]


Oh man, I hope he doesn't, like, ruin twitter or anything. I couldn't bear it if it became a toxic cesspool with essentially no redeeming features.
posted by atrazine at 8:23 AM on April 25 [76 favorites]


I will say that I've learned a lot from an extremely carefully curated Twitter feed, and selfishly I find the current status quo not terrible, at least how I currently use Twitter, which is to lurk, follow a very small number of prolific posters who are interested in the same things I am, and barely post. I'm sure in theory I could do the same on Mastodon, but I haven't found Mastodon rewarding lurking so much.

Letting Trump back on is probably the number one thing Musk could do to juice the value of his investment so it will probably happen.
posted by BungaDunga at 8:23 AM on April 25 [32 favorites]


Ugh. Twitter is a platform that has actively helped my career, and I'm very bummed about this.
posted by BlahLaLa at 8:24 AM on April 25 [31 favorites]


Musk historically doesn't have a lot of follow-through so I'll believe it when the money changes hands.

Musk and Twitter deserve each other.
posted by slimepuppy at 8:27 AM on April 25 [3 favorites]


If he acquires Twitter, I'm out (and it's the last large social platform I use, so I'll lose many work-related connections that are useful for finding interesting links, etc., but then a lot of those folks will probably leave, too, so ...)

Before I go, though, I will DM every journalist I follow and beg them to leave, too. They won't, but I hope they will at least stop amplifying Trump's tweets (he'll be back) and treating it as some useful barometer of American opinion.

I am not sure how it will affect politics and journalism outside the US, where the journalists I follow are mostly based, with some UK as well.
posted by zenzenobia at 8:28 AM on April 25 [2 favorites]


We'll miss Twitter, like we miss Usenet and LiveJournal.
posted by acb at 8:28 AM on April 25 [21 favorites]


Is there a Metafilter discord server?
posted by mecran01 at 8:29 AM on April 25 [12 favorites]


If you need twitter for professional reasons, there's not a lot else out there.

That said, I think a lot of people vastly overestimate how much they need twitter for professional reasons.
posted by phooky at 8:32 AM on April 25 [17 favorites]


I will say that I've learned a lot from an extremely carefully curated Twitter feed, and selfishly I find the current status quo not terrible, at least how I currently use Twitter, which is to lurk and follow a very small number of prolific posters who are interested in the same things I am and barely post.

That's how I use Twitter too - I'll find it hard to kick the habit. Of course I wouldn't follow Trump once he's allowed back, so I might not notice the degradation immediately. But I really feel somewhat duty-bound to look for alternatives now; we have to sink Elon's investment here, it's just the right thing to do. Trump, Putin --- don't want to see what they'll do with a free reign on Twitter this time around, really saw enough of that already.

Maybe _not_ replacing Twitter at all would be the best thing for my personal well-being. It's really the number one habit I'm trying to moderate. But yeah, monkey's paw and stuff. I would be sad too if there was suddenly no chocolate anymore; not having the best self-control around something is no reason to wish it away.
posted by sohalt at 8:35 AM on April 25 [7 favorites]


mecrano01: Is there a Metafilter discord server?

MetaTalk is where we’re served discord.
posted by Kattullus at 8:38 AM on April 25 [84 favorites]


I left Twitter years ago, but still look at a few folks’ updates from the outside sans account. But that’ll stop now.

Trump will be back. It wouldn’t surprise me if the remnants of Truth Social became a part of this for pennies on the dollar, and this became the official broadcast platform of the GOP. (I mean, how could it not?)

It’ll remain a little similar to what it is for a few months, but midterms are coming up, and it’s in Musk’s best interests to ensure these jokers have a platform. Soon he’ll have one.
posted by hijinx at 8:39 AM on April 25 [1 favorite]


For me, I use it like BungaDunga, and I don't know of any single place I can create my own community feed from a bunch of disciplines plus my own that I find interesting to learn from. RSS isn't what it was, and Medium is meh and newsletters aren't quite as easy to skim regularly. Metafilter is great for the mix, and seeing things I wasn't looking for is a plus, but it's a different mix, and it would be hard for this place to ingest all the people who actually post interesting stuff on Twitter, despite its reputation. Because being not toxic is expensive and hard and scaling up makes community harder.
posted by zenzenobia at 8:41 AM on April 25 [4 favorites]


Hey, if he wants to waste his money on something so monumentally dumb (and overpriced) it's his funeral.

Ding ding ding! This isn't a good business decision, Elon.

I stopped using twitter a couple years ago but left my account around in case I'd need to revive it again for professional reasons. I should really just delete it.
No younger people I know use or like twitter either, if we wanna talk about future prosperity of the platform. They all use pintrest like faux-tumblr and talk in the comments, and discord. They all have instagrams that they friend their parents (or in my case, teachers) on, and never use, and then private instas where they actually post stuff with their friends. To them twitter is a tacky boring hell where harassers will attack at any moment, full of corporate shills, bots, and the news and politicians. They aren't wrong either! Really helped me make the break and maintain it, ya know? From the mouths of babes, etc etc

So, what's a good alternative?

I have found focusing on specific forums again has been better for my mental health than just general Social Media (I also no longer use facebook and rarely use instagram but that's the hardest and least toxic for me so far). Of course the only real place to do that is reddit (and discord but that is harder and skews younger if you're just out looking for a server based on interest) with a few execeptions, but it at least has a few barriers for topics, and moderation (the quality of which depends on the sub), and you have to belong to specific subreddits. There isn't just that false sense of talking to a specific audience of Your Followers on twitter when actually you aren't speaking privately and have little to no recourse in the system when someone decides to just run up at you.
Of course there are Popular Posts and people can read anything on a sub unless it's private, but the barriers between subs cuts it down compared to twitter. If someone wanted to start some racial dogwhistle stuff on r/crochet they'd get downvoted into oblivion, but it doesn't really happen either. If someone comes onto the r/plantedtanks to sell scam seeds they get banned instead of being made into a verified user. It's easier to curate than twitter, at least, I'll say that. Will recommend that any fiber artists and crafters out there go to the subreddit for your craft because they are usually great communities. Crochet is having a big wave of popularity among the youth right now and there is a lot of intergenerational harmony and info sharing over here it is awesome, heartwarming, and gives me new ideas for projects. But that is about all I can recommend, because it is still reddit.
posted by wellifyouinsist at 8:41 AM on April 25 [4 favorites]


Not a fan of Musk, but aside from reinstating Trump, how much worse can twitter be under Elon?

But I admit I mostly lurk there because it's not worth engaging in anything controversial on the internet in those kind of communities. I consult twitter to see what people in my tech community of interest are posting tech-wise, with a side-dose of other interests.

But to be clear, if Trump is back in I'm out.
posted by WaterAndPixels at 8:43 AM on April 25 [3 favorites]


Is that a good price to re-platform one or more certain shitstains and buy an election?

I honestly can't tell. Or would it be cheaper to try and get Dominion to sell privately?

Well - perhaps this will overleverage Musk and end-up being the thing that takes him down? One can hope.
posted by rozcakj at 8:43 AM on April 25 [3 favorites]


I'm looking forward to learning about how Elon actually invented Twitter in 3-5 years.
posted by saladin at 8:44 AM on April 25 [47 favorites]


I'm just so desperately tired of how the worst human beings end up garnering the most attention, power, and money, and nobody else can ever manage to do anything at all about it.
posted by aramaic at 8:45 AM on April 25 [65 favorites]


Not a fan of Musk, but aside from reinstating Trump, how much worse can twitter be under Elon?


you have no. fucking. idea.

I report a LOT of disinfo. The accounts do get banned and the tweets deleted. Free speech absolutist? Goodbye to that!
posted by lalochezia at 8:45 AM on April 25 [80 favorites]


So then, where do/will the comedians and jokesters hang out? That's the only interest I have in Twitter.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:47 AM on April 25 [3 favorites]


something to do with taking all the time invested in that online social media dynamic that ultimately ends up feeding a particularly voracious beast (some just call it capitalism) ... and maybe taking a few deep breaths and investing instead in something not online and maybe beautiful.

OK but what I need is something to dick around with on the computer while I pretend to do work.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 8:55 AM on April 25 [12 favorites]


I report a LOT of disinfo. The accounts do get banned and the tweets deleted. Free speech absolutist? Goodbye to that!

Fair point..... ugh, will wait till its done, but yeah not looking good.
posted by WaterAndPixels at 8:56 AM on April 25 [2 favorites]


Not a fan of Musk, but aside from reinstating Trump, how much worse can twitter be under Elon?

Apparently, almost no private communication on Twitter is encrypted, so now Musk--an openly fascist bigot who smears the lightest criticism with threats and expresses interest in siding with anti-"woke" violence--will likely have access to the DMs of every user on the platform. He will be able to track every interaction any given user has had, including reports (often themselves used as a harassment tool). Presumably this would include metadata such as location information, IP addresses, and any tracking information Twitter has gathered from browsers and devices.

It's pretty easy to imagine that the moment Musk gets control over this treasure trove of data that can be used against marginalized people, he will realize how useful it is to the very dangerous people he considers his allies.
posted by Glegrinof the Pig-Man at 8:56 AM on April 25 [27 favorites]


I only use Twitter for my "side hustle" and in write-only mode. I guess I'll wait 'n' see if it turns into an edgelord hellhole or not before I pull the plug. And by "if", I of course mean "when".
posted by tommasz at 8:56 AM on April 25 [1 favorite]


Have we determined whether or not he's putting up Tesla stock to finance the 40+ bn pricetag?
posted by eclectist at 8:56 AM on April 25


What's a good alternative?

With apologies for briefly hijacking the thread, let me urge you to spend that time registering voters, and I say this because the result is imo better than anything you can find on social media (which I love, ngl) in a "touch grass" kind of way. I print forms, put them in envelopes, and carry them with me. I engage people in conversation: a few choice cues will tell you if that person is progressive. I then ask them what I call The Question: "Are you registered to vote?" If they aren't, I inquire if they lean progressive. If so, I then give them a form. If the progressive question is a no, I say "you should take care of that" and go on with my day. If they're already registered, I explain the math (short version: the numbers are on our side if we organize—even in "red" states!).

It's important to remember that we're the majority. People like us, who believe in access to education and healthcare, equality of opportunity, the right to clean water and air—people like us are the majority. There are more people cognizant of the stakes and what needs to be done than in the entire history of human civilization: this is our time. Don't let a rich clown buying twitter dot com convince you otherwise.

The fire is kindled with a single, tiny spark: you be the spark.
posted by ivanthenotsoterrible at 9:00 AM on April 25 [61 favorites]


Matt Levine summed up the offer like this:
A letter from his banks offering to lend $13 billion to Twitter, if he buys it, with $7 billion of that coming in the form of senior secured bank loans and $6 billion coming in the form of junk bonds.

A letter from his banks offering to lend him $12.5 billion personally, secured by $62.5 billion worth of his Tesla Inc. stock. At yesterday’s closing price, that comes to about 64 million shares, or about one-third of his Tesla stake.

An agreement with himself to put up the other $21 billion, give or take.
posted by BungaDunga at 9:02 AM on April 25 [4 favorites]


So, what's a good alternative?

The only way to win is not to play.
posted by djseafood at 9:02 AM on April 25 [15 favorites]


Apparently, almost no private communication on Twitter is encrypted, so now Musk--an openly fascist bigot who smears the lightest criticism with threats and expresses interest in siding with anti-"woke" violence--will likely have access to the DMs of every user on the platform.

I mean, if you think this is shocking, I have bad news for you about Google, WhatsApp, Facebook, Apple.. etc.

(Use Signal, everyone!)
posted by fight or flight at 9:05 AM on April 25 [12 favorites]


Scientists have come to rely on twitter heavily for networking and promotion of their work. I get it... and I know it's valuable... but I also kind of hate it. I hate it how it makes smart people sound like 2-bit hype men. I'm one of those weird holdouts who's yet to make a twitter account.

So I'm very selfishly cheering on the demise of twitter, so my reluctance to make an account becomes justified, and science can go back to being staid and awkward. Well, it's still awkward... but staid. Staid!!!
posted by Alex404 at 9:05 AM on April 25 [11 favorites]


I'd like to try Mastodon again, after bouncing off several times. But the vast majority of my audience on Twitter and elsewhere will not follow, and I'm depressed at the thought of starting a social network from scratch.
posted by doctornemo at 9:07 AM on April 25 [1 favorite]


Mastodon is probably the best alternative. It's not secure at all, but depending on the instance you choose, is moderated much more tightly -- or even more permissively than whateverchan. Choose wisely.

My primary is mastodon.art which is pretty good for artist networking, but I have a mastodon.social also. See profile.
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:08 AM on April 25 [3 favorites]


Re: Ello
Haha I remember that one! Was it ever anything more than a splash page?

It sort of morphed into a Tumblr-like thing, and it was OK for finding interesting arts stuff, but eventually I just lost interest. Don't know why.

Perhaps I'll root around for the myriad log-ins I have for different sites and see what's what.
posted by Ayn Marx at 9:08 AM on April 25


We'll miss Twitter, like we miss Usenet and LiveJournal.

Usenet still exists, people still use it. In fact, the post and data volume is still going up every year, and it has been since the 80s. Yes, a lot of that is file sharing and spam, but a good chunk of twitter is also basically spam.
posted by Dysk at 9:10 AM on April 25 [5 favorites]


Also, tumblr isn't the same as twitter, but is experiencing kind of a return to some kind of relevance. Staff have managed to tweak us in various hilarious ways, some of which actually make them money. I post my art there also.
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:11 AM on April 25 [5 favorites]


To them twitter is a tacky boring hell where harassers will attack at any moment, full of corporate shills, bots, and the news and politicians.

Oh sure, but as an old, I want some news, God help my soul. So I follow journalists on Twitter and read the articles they link to. Of course, most of those journalists have substacks and newsletters and I could also subscribe to those and I will do that. But it comes with a price tag and I'm on a budget, so that will limit my choices. Definitely looks like a loss to me.
posted by sohalt at 9:14 AM on April 25 [9 favorites]


but is experiencing kind of a return to some kind of relevance.

I deeply love tumblr and have been on there for years and one of the best things about it is the way that tumblr users have reacted to this with a sort of horrified disgust, like when you pick up a rock and the bugs underneath are frozen for a moment in mortal terror before running for somewhere else to hide. Nobody wants to be on tumblr, least of all tumblr users.
posted by fight or flight at 9:14 AM on April 25 [16 favorites]


For the people saying that this isn't a good business decision for Musk, you're missing the point.

He's so incredibly rich that he doesn't *NEED* it to be a good business decision. He's not doing it becuase he expects to make a profit on Twitter, he's doing it because he wants control of Twitter for his own ends.

And for the people talking about leaving and alternatives? I point to the continuing use of Facebook as strong evidence that people will grumble, a tiny tiny handful will actually leave, and the rest will stay.

Like Reddit, like Facebook, Twitter really only has any value to the average user if everyone else is already using it. As Google learned with their brief attempt to get into social media after Facebook dominated the field.

Twitter will become Musk's personal kingdom, and everyone will just shrug and stick with it. Our brains have entire subroutines devoted to retroactivelly changing our memories so that after a change we disagree with happens we remember the time before the change in a way that makes the change seem not so bad.

I predict that, like with Facebook, there'll be periodic outrage as Musk does X bad thing, but it'll be a single news cycle event and everyone will just use Twitter knowing it's vaguely bad in vague ways, but meh.
posted by sotonohito at 9:14 AM on April 25 [30 favorites]


Not a fan of Musk, but aside from reinstating Trump, how much worse can twitter be under Elon?

Much worse. Much much worse.

I think Musk's "free speech" absolutism will mean: moderation gets slashed; homophobia, transphobia, antisemitism, and right-wing disinformation run rampant, unchecked, and amplified; many of those that it targets finally leave; the place devolves into a cesspool of bigots egging each other on to worse and worse behavior.

Musk wants Twitter as a plaything but I'm convinced he has no idea how to actually run a social network; and that his leadership will be a matter of constant uninformed meddling from the top that will end up corkscrewing Twitter into the ground. I hope he loses a lot of money on this.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:16 AM on April 25 [43 favorites]




MetaFilter: So, what's a good alternative?
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 9:23 AM on April 25 [5 favorites]


Also, tumblr isn't the same as twitter, but is experiencing kind of a return to some kind of relevance.

I love tumbler, and I love how the people there tend to foil all commercial ambitions by being incorrigible trash racoons, but it doesn't scratch the same itch for me as twitter does. I follow people on tumbler for the vibes (and out of, occasionally even mutual, sympathy), I follow people on twitter for the expertise. I don't want tumbler to change, but I'm afraid a lot of the experts I appreciate on twitter might find it less useful because of the whole trash racoon ethos.
posted by sohalt at 9:29 AM on April 25


How much worse could Musk make Twitter?

Three words.

Real. Name. Policy.
posted by Faintdreams at 9:29 AM on April 25 [9 favorites]


I'm just so desperately tired of how the worst human beings end up garnering the most attention, power, and money, and nobody else can ever manage to do anything at all about it.

Yeah. The last bit is especially frustrating to me, because a general strike for twitter users is really not something that would require a ton of personal sacrifice or logistics. The "if Trump comes back I'll leave" comments are missing the point - the time to try to apply pressure is before the bad things happen, while there's still hope to stop them.

Also I agree with sotonohito - the guy's not doing this for money, or for lolz. He's doing it for power.
posted by trig at 9:32 AM on April 25 [10 favorites]


And for the people talking about leaving and alternatives? I point to the continuing use of Facebook as strong evidence that people will grumble, a tiny tiny handful will actually leave, and the rest will stay.

I think that's sadly likely, and I might become one of those and I will definitely lose a lot of respect for myself.
posted by sohalt at 9:32 AM on April 25 [1 favorite]


Peter Theil, Musk’s fellow PayPal mafioso and is also making a big play this election to add to his current stable of Senators who include the horrible Josh Hawley.
posted by interogative mood at 9:33 AM on April 25 [3 favorites]


Real. Name. Policy.

I almost kinda hope he'll do that, because that will certainly make even a spineless opportunist like me leave.
posted by sohalt at 9:34 AM on April 25 [5 favorites]


Also, if Musk does actually do this, I would encourage anyone who still has a functional account to use it to constantly spam anti-Musk memes and threats. See how long his absolutism lasts when he's the focus of it (you may have noticed he's really really fond of silencing anyone that disagrees with him); it won't make a difference, but every extra person that thinks he's a chump is one person better.
posted by aramaic at 9:35 AM on April 25 [10 favorites]


Aramic - I applaude the fighting spirit BUT asking normal users to shove themselves into the Eye of Sauron of a known vindictive Billionaire..?

That's a big ask..
posted by Faintdreams at 9:39 AM on April 25




Ding ding ding! This isn't a good business decision, Elon.

Undermining progressive politics using media ownership has always been a strategy of oligarchs and it has generally been massively successful everywhere it has been allowed to happen.
posted by srboisvert at 9:44 AM on April 25 [52 favorites]


That's a big ask

In some cases yes, in others no, and we won't know which is which until it actually happens.

It's always easier to just "go along to get along" but in that case folks may as well stop posturing and just admit they don't actually care all that much. Quit pretending. The ethical stance that requires no work or sacrifice is not actually an ethical stance, it's just a blandishment.
posted by aramaic at 9:45 AM on April 25 [1 favorite]


For me, Twitter is less a social platform and more a micro-dosing version of good ol' Google Reader.

I get a lot of local news, local politics, science news, hyper-specific pop culture news, sports news, etc from my Twitter feed.

Even if every single friend moved to something like Mastodon (and it's not like I have just one friend group, so multiple Mastodon instances) I would still have the need for a universal platform where people are narrowcasting out bite sized information.
posted by thecjm at 9:50 AM on April 25 [20 favorites]


the birdsite cannot hear the birder
posted by Going To Maine at 9:50 AM on April 25 [19 favorites]




Also, if Musk does actually do this, I would encourage anyone who still has a functional account to use it to constantly spam anti-Musk memes and threats.

Memail me your twitter handle and I will retweet every anti-Elon-meme you post. I do imagine a fair number of people will do this; there should be a bit of safety in numbers. But he'll has to know that's coming and he'll probably make a show of being totally unbothered. He already said he hopes all his worst critics stay, will be hard to walk that back without losing face.

Death threats, rape threats, threats to his children might be a different issue, but that's not what you're suggesting, is it? You can't fight fire with fire here. I believe it's truly soul-destroying to sink that low.

The memes though? He can laugh those off (or at least pretend to do that). I will gladly join the dunking anyway, because I know that it will absolutely bother him, and I'm petty enough to find that sufficient. But I have no hopes that it will accomplish anything productive.
posted by sohalt at 10:04 AM on April 25 [2 favorites]


Hey in case it hasn't been mentioned yet, there's an official Mastodon app now.
posted by abulafa at 10:05 AM on April 25 [6 favorites]


I'd love to be wrong on this, but the writing seems on the wall:

* Trump will be replatformed and this will materially push the 2022 and the 2024 elections in the GOP's favor
* Racism, transphobia, covid denialism, and various other forms of hate and disinformation will flourish and gain strength
* Various centrist and libertarian types will explain that all of the above is actually a good thing in the name of "civility" and "free speech" and fighting "wokeness", and will push for more
* The slide of this country and the world into fascism will be strengthened and energized
posted by splitpeasoup at 10:10 AM on April 25 [21 favorites]


Real. Name. Policy.

That would be me out then. Too bad, twitter is how I keep up with local events.
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 10:11 AM on April 25


I am very curious to see if Musk will bend the knee to the encroachment of legally encouraged adult content bans the process. My guess is yes, because I find libertarians only want to protect their own porn and fuck anyone else's perversion.

This must have been what watching aristocracy felt like.
posted by Phalene at 10:14 AM on April 25 [2 favorites]


That said, I think a lot of people vastly overestimate how much they need twitter for professional reasons.

It's pretty essential for journalists. It's where every story breaks first. I anticipate continuing to use it to track breaking stories, but stopping any and all original contributions (i.e. lurking).

I'm tired of corporate media taking people's excellent content for free and making millions from it. I'm desperate for a reason to leave Twitter, but the breaking news part is very important to my job...

OK but what I need is something to dick around with on the computer while I pretend to do work.

Are MP3 blogs still around? Or MP3 stream downloaders? That's how I killed most of my working years from 2005-2009.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:16 AM on April 25 [3 favorites]


Aw, man. I use Twitter for two things: up-to-date news, and baseball stuff. I can live without the baseball stuff but it would be very, very frustrating to rebuild my good balance of news. Right now I have a good balance of local/regional/national/international folks and a good balance of folks that report of topics of particular interest. I am not sure how to rebuild that.

I feel like it took me 15 years to figure out how to use Twitter, and now it's going to all change because of stupid stupid Elon Musk.
posted by Gray Duck at 10:42 AM on April 25 [7 favorites]


I disagree that staying in order to own the trolls would be a wise strategy. They love to sling shit back and forth. It's harder to do when there's nobody to throw it back at. Has any social medium that caters exclusively to the fascists who took over a major US party given them the pleasure that the marketplace of shitposting does? The only ones that seem to be really active are the closed ones planning insurrections and stuff, where they can develop their online personas, like at a FashCon.

That said, people will stay and the shit will fly and who knows what kind of whipsaw policies the thin-skinned Musk will adopt, but it won't be free speech.

On another note, curious what non-US Twitter users think about this. I tend to see it all too much through a US lens. (Though Twitter being owned by a US shitlord is surely not good anywhere.)
posted by zenzenobia at 10:44 AM on April 25 [2 favorites]


* Trump will be replatformed and this will materially push the 2022 and the 2024 elections in the GOP's favor
Or maybe Trump's tweets basically lost him the 2020 election, and him being kicked off twitter has been a clear positive for Republicans...
posted by kickingtheground at 10:44 AM on April 25 [3 favorites]


PS: This is all another reason journalists should leave (but probably won't). It will be as if the place to get news is run by Fox Extreme Strength and if it's still the "where the news happens" it won't be ... good news. It will be carefully wrought fascist messaging.
posted by zenzenobia at 10:46 AM on April 25 [1 favorite]


The real tragedy will be how much the normal media will just echo any stupid shit Trump posts. It’s his one thing, and those dumbfucks will just boost his signal.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 11:00 AM on April 25 [3 favorites]


Are MP3 blogs still around? Or MP3 stream downloaders? That's how I killed most of my working years from 2005-2009.

my dude i'm not even sure MP3s are still a thing, but then I haven't even attempted to download a music since 2006.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 11:01 AM on April 25 [3 favorites]


FWIW I've been muting more and more people over the past week, because that's how I left Facebook. It's easy enough to unmute if this turns out well, but otherwise I think my time is better spent looking elsewhere for daily content, whether that's RSS feeds (again) or better RES dashboards for Reddit or more newsletter subscriptions or whatever else.
posted by Wobbuffet at 11:03 AM on April 25 [2 favorites]


MetaFilter: it's vaguely bad in vague ways, but meh
posted by kirkaracha at 11:06 AM on April 25 [1 favorite]


Wellp, not that it's going to do a hell of a lot of good for the future of the platform, but this was the push I needed to deactivate my account, which may yet do a lot of good for the future of me.
posted by gee_the_riot at 11:07 AM on April 25 [5 favorites]


It wouldn’t surprise me if the remnants of Truth Social became a part of this for pennies on the dollar
Rumor there is they're going to be bought out by the Rumble video platform (which is either owned or heavily funded by Peter Thiel, IIRC).
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 11:08 AM on April 25



I’d love to be wrong on this, but the writing seems on the wall:
  • Trump will be replatformed and this will materially push the 2022 and the 2024 elections in the GOP's favor
  • Racism, transphobia, covid denialism, and various other forms of hate and disinformation will flourish and gain strength
  • Various centrist and libertarian types will explain that all of the above is actually a good thing in the name of “civility” and “free speech” and “wokeness”, and will push for more
  • The slide of this country and the world into fascism will be strengthened and energized

The first bullet seems directly tied to the Twitter acquisition.

The second seems likely regardless of the Twitter acquisition, but also pretty dependent on measurement. (Telegram is going strong and bigger than Twitter, Facebook is gigantic, Gab is still around, Donald Trump is going to probably be the nominee regardless of replatforming, CPAC is going to be Hungary, etc.)

The third is something various centrist and libertarian types do already.

The fourth is… maybe? Rightward trends have been happening for a while, this might accelerate them or might be another pebble in an avalanche. It’s hard to measure. (Trump being re-platformed would, I think, be an accelerant. That’s a pretty specific item, though.

So, I dunno. Things have been weird and dark for a while. This is a weird and dark time, and forecasting coming darkness is like predicting rain when the clouds have already rolled in.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:12 AM on April 25 [2 favorites]


I suspect this has less to do with Trump and the right-wing, and more to do with tweets of Teslas almost crashing while “driving themselves”.
posted by hwyengr at 11:14 AM on April 25


I don’t know how well the Facebook comparison applies to this situation. Yes, tons and tons of people still use Facebook, but there’s the sad fact that it’s become embedded. Take a look at how many local restaurants and other small businesses rely on FB. There’s all the groups (for example, the Tuesday Night bike ride here is pretty much all organized via Facebook) that you unfortunately have trouble finding elsewhere. I have been staying off FB, but I still go on a few times a week because we’re admins on a dog rescue page - I can’t emphasize enough how much of a lifeline the Facebook page is for the rescue. We get lots of contacts from people looking to surrender dogs or who are interested in one of the adoptable we’ve posted, and it’s a huge driver of donations. I know one person in my family who is on Twitter, but almost all of them are on FB. Facebook has burrowed too deeply into society for it to go away easily.

All of the above examples do not apply to Twitter. Local businesses don’t need Twitter to survive. Interest groups don’t work on Twitter. Most non-profits don’t get anything from Twitter. Some businesses need Twitter, but most don’t. If Kisk allows it to turn into the unmoderated cesspool the right wingers are hoping for, people will flee in droves.
posted by azpenguin at 11:19 AM on April 25 [6 favorites]


I'd love if someone could post some good alternatives for following news updates. Like others I pretty much only use it as an RSS replacement. I don't think I've ever actually posted (although I do comment on posts from time to time). And if Elon buys Twitter I'm out.
posted by downtohisturtles at 11:30 AM on April 25 [6 favorites]


if i quit twitter how will the occasional hashtag gamer who follows me learn they're not interested in my live-tweeting the show trial du jour or trucker convoycam or congressional committee hearings?

how will my grandmother become aware of the dankness of the memery where i swim?

how will i talk back to the tv and the radio and the news and the confidential clients?

seriously, though, is there a (simple) way i might download my corpus and delete it? it must be preserved so future generations may bask in its wisdom & wit.
posted by 20 year lurk at 11:31 AM on April 25 [2 favorites]


I'd love to be wrong on this, but the writing seems on the wall:
...
* The slide of this country and the world into fascism will be strengthened and energized


Which is why anyone who cares about not enabling a platform owned by one of the world's most visible power-hungry billionaire egomaniacs should not just stick around and post memes (oh no, memes!). This is the time to leave the place and turn it into another one of Trump's graveyards.

Even though Twitter has a lot of good uses, there are other places to go, and frankly journalists broke stories and scientists shared news and people organized in many effective ways before Twitter existed. That's not to say what it offers doesn't have value - but the short term inconvenience of doing things in other ways is worth it because the stakes actually are that high.

Seriously, there's convenience on one side and enabling a platform that's pretty clearly going to become even more of a tool for fascism than it currently is on the other. Who cares if there isn't a 100% perfect substitute? If it takes some time for people to converge on new information pathways? Start now.

I'd love if someone could post some good alternatives for following news updates

I think that realistically it's going to take time for the best alternatives to emerge, and I hope people give it time and frequently keep checking and looking for those new channels.
posted by trig at 11:40 AM on April 25 [7 favorites]


Sounds like in theory it’s done.
posted by skycrashesdown at 12:02 PM on April 25


This will increase political violence and decrease democracy in the US and abroad.
posted by ryanrs at 12:03 PM on April 25 [13 favorites]


Looks like the deal is struck. here's the NYTimes.
posted by fortitude25 at 12:12 PM on April 25


seriously, though, is there a (simple) way i might download my corpus and delete it? it must be preserved so future generations may bask in its wisdom & wit.

It's pretty easy. Go to settings, click "Your account" and then select "Download an archive of your data." I think Twitter will compile an archive that includes a browseable HTML file as well as a "Data" folder with the raw files.

(If this were Twitter, I would post a screenshot with arrows, lol. Are we ever gonna get images back on here? That was truly a glorious time.)
posted by mrgrimm at 12:12 PM on April 25 [3 favorites]




thanks mrgrimm. process begun.
posted by 20 year lurk at 12:15 PM on April 25


*Frantically trying to get a few years of doomscrolling in before I delete my account*
posted by gwint at 12:17 PM on April 25 [8 favorites]


oh hey guys what’s up
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:17 PM on April 25 [14 favorites]


I guess it's good on the one hand to know that the board voted solely for their own benefit and fuck the rest of us. Some things never change at least.
posted by cooker girl at 12:18 PM on April 25 [2 favorites]


Does anyone have a guess as to what happens to Twitter employee stock options when the company goes private? Twitter employees don't seem to know?
posted by gwint at 12:19 PM on April 25


I saw a Tweet that Jack Dorsey pockets $974 million if/when this closes.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 12:21 PM on April 25


Twitter CEO to address employees at 2pm pst. He will be accepting resignations at 2:15pst.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 12:22 PM on April 25 [3 favorites]




Does anybody know how nitter works, in terms of showing as engagement on the Twitter end? As in, if I read something on nitter, does that help Twitter in any way?
posted by nat at 12:24 PM on April 25


Twitter's board detailed its poison-pill defense against Elon Musk and 'unfair takeover tactics' (April 18, 2022, Business Insider) The "poison pill," or a shareholder rights plan, will be triggered if Musk, or any other investor, expands their stake in Twitter to 15% without the board's approval. Musk currently owns about 9% and is the firm's largest individual shareholder. Investment firm Vanguard has the largest overall stake in Twitter at 10.29%. SEC filing

Musk settled SEC fraud charges in 2018, over "misleading Tweets" about Tesla in 2018 (he's still sore about it - $40 million in penalties, and stepping down as Tesla chairman), and a Twitter-related shareholder lawsuit was filed a couple of weeks ago [Elon Musk accused of illegally delaying disclosure of Twitter shares (CBS, April 12)].

Elon Musk is no free speech messiah (Vox, April 12, 2022) "According to Musk, free speech costs about $3 billion."

I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means -- Elon Musk@ElonMusk, 9:12 AM, Apr 25, 2022 tweet

Apparently, almost no private communication on Twitter is encrypted, so now Musk--an openly fascist bigot who smears the lightest criticism with threats and expresses interest in siding with anti-"woke" violence--will likely have access to the DMs of every user on the platform. He will be able to track every interaction any given user has had...

when the celebrity/politician/company I have a vaguely positive attitude toward starts talking up Musk, I will now consider it's a matter of extortion
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:24 PM on April 25 [6 favorites]


Hey in case it hasn't been mentioned yet, there's an official Mastodon app now.

Waitaminute Mastodon has been around since 2016 and they only dropped an official mobile app this month?!?!

What kind of logic went into deciding "we'll be a Twitter competitor, only without an official mobile app for our first 6 years"
posted by thecjm at 12:27 PM on April 25 [2 favorites]


.
posted by lalochezia at 12:27 PM on April 25


Welp. I have my author-name account on Twitter, and was pretty active until after the election. Then I discovered that dramatically scaling back my use helped my mood & stress levels. Haven't used it much lately.

So the question is whether I should delete or just leave the account there & not use it anymore. I get the occasional troll nonsense, so I suppose it's smart to keep the name locked down, but I don't know if that makes any difference. (I have had similar thoughts about my old author page on Facebook, but so far they have literally ignored my delete commands.)
posted by scaryblackdeath at 12:32 PM on April 25 [2 favorites]


thecjm: Mastodon is open source, it’s not like they have an army of paid developers. I supported them on Patreon for a long time and I’m pretty sure a single (highly-paid) Twitter engineer out-earned the entire project.

Besides, they were a few third-party Mastodon apps out there that worked just fine for years.
posted by adrianhon at 12:34 PM on April 25 [9 favorites]


Once upon a time, I put in a pre-order for a Cybertruck. It looked weird, and seemed completely antithetical to the pickups driving all over with their various flags waving! Already have one Tesla in the family.

Now Musk has gone and ruined it. I hate picking out a new car, and I'm going to be due.
posted by Goofyy at 12:35 PM on April 25 [1 favorite]


Disgusting. 😠
posted by tiny frying pan at 12:35 PM on April 25


Going write-only on Twitter, just posting my art on schedule via script. See y'all on Mastodon.
posted by seanmpuckett at 12:36 PM on April 25 [3 favorites]


Mastodon already had excellent apps, a dozen-plus of them, straight from the jump. For good or for bad, Gargron's drive was for the server software. Mastodon development was largely kicked off in 2016, in his words, by the last time a billionaire talked about buying twitter. Since there were existing clients that could speak OStatus from GNUsocial, etc., the server side was what he felt was lacking. With the move of the fediverse to ActivityPub in late 2018, I think that choice has turned out to have been a solid one. Native apps have only become a priority in the last year and that seems to be more from a discoverability / onboarding approach.

(I still prefer Tusky to the native Mastodon-written apps. And, unlike third-party twitter clients, they don't run the risk of being deemed counter to the ToS and canned.)
posted by introp at 12:39 PM on April 25 [3 favorites]


Mastodon and Diaspora, FWIW.
posted by MollyRealized at 12:39 PM on April 25


Eh. I’m not super worried. It was already a publicly traded company.
posted by haptic_avenger at 12:47 PM on April 25 [1 favorite]


90% of my twitter use is as a curated news feed and Mastodon isn't going to replace that. I've never really used it much as a social network and mostly as an RSS replacement. I use the "latest tweets" feed option and turn off retweets as much as possible. Unless Dan Rather is going to start posting on Mastodon, it's not really much use to me.
posted by octothorpe at 12:49 PM on April 25 [4 favorites]


Going write-only on Twitter, just posting my art on schedule via script

Musk says he wants to get rid of the bots. So I'm assuming he means it.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 12:49 PM on April 25 [1 favorite]


The real tragedy will be how much the normal media will just echo any stupid shit Trump posts. It’s his one thing, and those dumbfucks will just boost his signal.

It was nice (relatively) while the news shows weren't devoting at least a third of their programs to whatever insanity 45 tweeted at 3:00 a.m. Some of them wouldn't even bother to refute the blatant lies, instead casting them as things he had a right to say even if they were inflammatory, inciting, beneath the dignity of the office, deliberate attempts to undermine the law, etc. When/if the efforts to take down democracy succeed in the US, Twitter will likely be complicit.
posted by fuse theorem at 12:50 PM on April 25 [7 favorites]


Eh. I’m not super worried. It was already a publicly traded company.


Musk's intention is to take it private.
posted by Rumple at 12:52 PM on April 25 [7 favorites]


I guess it's good on the one hand to know that the board voted solely for their own benefit and fuck the rest of us. Some things never change at least.

The board was over a barrel - with the offer price being over the trade price, refusing the deal would have likely led to a lawsuit by shareholders. This was further compounded by a legal threat by GOP legislators led by Jim Jordan.

Eh. I’m not super worried. It was already a publicly traded company.

The point of the offer was to bring Twitter private.
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:54 PM on April 25 [3 favorites]


Lets hope that Musk ends up losing a shit-ton of money on this deal.
posted by octothorpe at 12:57 PM on April 25 [4 favorites]


I don't think it's about making money on the front end.

TechCrunch, Feb. 24, 2022: Sources for The Wall Street Journal claim the SEC is investigating whether Musk and his brother Kimbal violated insider trading regulations with recent share sales. Officials are concerned Elon might have told Kimbal he planned to ask Twitter followers about selling Tesla stock, leading the brother to sell 88,500 shares just a day before the November 6th tweet. If so, the company chief might have broken rules barring employees from trading on undisclosed information. Kimbal Musk has frequently traded Tesla stock at regular intervals under a plan. He didn’t on November 5th, according to an SEC filing.

We’ve asked the SEC for comment. Tesla isn’t available for comment as it disbanded its communications team sometime in 2020.


The Verge, Feb. 14, 2022: Musk has been trading blows with the SEC over the agency’s order that his tweets be reviewed by a lawyer before being publicly posted. The order is based on Musk’s decision to send the now-notorious “funding secured” tweet on August 7th, 2018, in which he claimed to have the finances to take Tesla private at $420 a share. (Tesla has been a publicly traded company since 2010.)
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:02 PM on April 25


Musk did not buy Twitter to make money. He bought twitter to make power, for both him and his friends.
posted by ryanrs at 1:03 PM on April 25 [18 favorites]


I don't much care about twitter as social media, I use it to follow curated lists of journalists, politicians, organizations, scientists, academics, artists, etc across several countries and languages.

Let's please keep in mind that Twitter is worldwide and for many it is essential as a source of news. No one I know in my part of the world has ever even heard of Mastodon or Diaspora and I don't see all those journalists, media outlets, organizations, politicians, academics, writers etc across the world suddenly abandoning Twitter. It's not gonna happen.

There should have been laws to prevent this. It's already obscene that any single individual can hold so much wealth, and arguably there should be laws against that in the first place. But really that any single individual can buy the biggest global communication channel... And an individual with ridiculous ideas on how to manage it, too. Argh. I can only hope there will be controls in place to stop him from completely undoing all the work that Twitter's been doing in terms of moderation - far from perfect but a lot of work has been done (I also regularly report abusive tweets and the response from Twitter has become in my experience much better in recent years). Ugh
posted by bitteschoen at 1:05 PM on April 25 [11 favorites]


Friendly reminder that Elon Musk told the UN that if they gave him a budgeted breakdown of how $6Bil could end world hunger, he would do it. They gave him the budget and then he decided not to do it, and instead decided he would buy Twitter for $45Bil.
I remembered hearing about this and never heard the followup. I did some research on these claims:

1) When pressed for specifics, the price tag turned into $6.6 billion. Bumping your price up by 10% before you even start the project is, sadly, typical in the charity space.

2) $6.6B wasn't going to 'end' world hunger; it was to stave it off for a year. A cure is much different than a treatment.

3) The recipient is unknown, and it may have been at least partially a tax dodge, but a few weeks later, Elon Musk donated $5.7 billion in Tesla stock to charity.
posted by Hatashran at 1:13 PM on April 25 [6 favorites]


I tend to assume like some others here that if this is not a good business decision on the surface, Musk probably knows something non-public about his intent that would make it make more sense. My WAG is that it’s part of a plan to re-elect Trump, which I assume can make Musk a boatload in other ways. But that’s really a WAG. Musk only knows.

I suspect that the purported exodus will be, in the end, about as effective as one way masking: it will help the people who do it, in small ways, but it will not help anyone else, and the public goods that are most at risk will remain at risk.

I don’t think science will go back to what it was. Social media is just too effing useful. When you compare to everything being mediated through journal editorial staff?! Or email inboxes that are overstuffed with messages absolutely nobody cares about that are 0% fun?? No. Whether scientists have the patience to establish another, less toxic platform… we’ll see. Not the best at organizing or any kind of collective action, TBQH.
posted by eirias at 1:14 PM on April 25 [3 favorites]


Welcome to Elon's All-New 8chan!
posted by Marky at 1:23 PM on April 25 [6 favorites]


This will end up like Verizon buying AOL and Yahoo. Twitter has been on the decline for a while and there isn’t really a way to turn it around.
posted by interogative mood at 1:26 PM on April 25 [3 favorites]


hmm like I DO think spending 6.6 billion to keep people fed for a YEAR is an EXCELLENT use of 6.6 billion

A cure is much different than a treatment? WTF is THAT talking point? We're talking about starving people here.

He's a piece of shit.
posted by tiny frying pan at 1:27 PM on April 25 [31 favorites]


The main consequence of this that I foresee is just that jerks and bots and Russian trolls will have a platform now/again.

Some fraction of the good people will leave, but a lot of folks who use the site for business (e.g., small authors who need publicity by interacting with readers) will stay, but the bad actors will come roaring back.

Money ruins everything. Is there a Latin phrase about this?
posted by wenestvedt at 1:27 PM on April 25 [1 favorite]


Immediately nuked the account from orbit.
posted by Slackermagee at 1:28 PM on April 25 [2 favorites]




Ijeoma Oluo: Always be ready to leave any of these spaces the moment they don't serve you.

LOL @ that being a Facebook link. Speaking of spaces that don't serve quite a lot of people!
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 1:38 PM on April 25 [11 favorites]


I tightly control my facebook feed (to my detriment - it barely moves, but I don't see ads, or politics, or most updates to be completely honest.) I took twitter off my phone a while back - and every time I spend time on it on my computer I just get really upset and feel hopeless. Reading about this was the final straw and I deactivated. It's not like having Musk as owner is going to make things any *better* over there.
posted by 41swans at 1:51 PM on April 25 [2 favorites]




Is there a Latin phrase about this?

omni est cacas
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:53 PM on April 25 [18 favorites]


Twitter has sucked for a long time, but I’m tired of Musk, tired of these fucking billionaires, tired of the brutalization and banalization of everything.
posted by holborne at 1:57 PM on April 25 [25 favorites]


> LOL @ that being a Facebook link.

She's determined that Facebook serves her, and so she's on it for now. She has a large audience on there who maybe wouldn't see her on other sites.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:08 PM on April 25 [3 favorites]


"biggest global communication channel" Uh...what?
posted by davidmsc at 2:10 PM on April 25


Is there a Latin phrase about this?

As Chaucer has it: "Radix malorum est cupiditas."
posted by Pallas Athena at 2:11 PM on April 25 [3 favorites]


I joined twitter like 5 years ago. And it was just to ask a GOP Texas politician why they hated America, (I may have been drinking at the time, but their shit was so egregious).

It will not be good for Musk to take over Twitter, but, how much worse could Twitter be than it already is...?

(Other than allowing the Orange man and friends to get bcak on, which is certainly a thing)
posted by Windopaene at 2:15 PM on April 25 [1 favorite]


Seeing multiple comments about Twitter being their replacement for Google Reader/RSS and wondering what to do.

I don't actively post on social media and primarily consume content via RSS; that didn't die with Google Reader. I personally use inoreader.com with a variety of site feeds and Twitter user feeds. I have no reason to ever visit Twitter directly.

I don't understand how normal people use the internet. 😉
posted by hankscorpio83 at 2:29 PM on April 25 [14 favorites]


In other distractions, Trump told Fox News (that link's to The Verge though) he won't return to Twitter, even if invited back, and instead will be posting on the definitely-not-flailing Truth Social (Android version TBA).

Unrelatedly, today he was found in contempt of court over his refusal to provide documents to NY's AG, and will be fined $10,000/day (the Bloomberg).
posted by box at 2:39 PM on April 25 [8 favorites]


it would be really amazing if everyone who worked at twitter just quit. I know that will never happen but what a slap that would be.
posted by supermedusa at 2:47 PM on April 25 [2 favorites]


Will this actually change much? When the new Twitter CEO took over and implemented the new rules about posting photos and information of people it resulted in neo-Nazis getting anti-fascist accounts banned and suspended for outing them. People still get banned and suspended for meaningless stuff all the time. It’s been owned by a number of biklionaire groups such as BlackRock, Vanguard, a Saudi prince’s company, etc. So what will be different with Musk?
posted by gucci mane at 2:52 PM on April 25 [5 favorites]


In other distractions, Trump told Fox News (that link's to The Verge though) he won't return to Twitter, even if invited back,

Which, like everything he says, is utter horseshit, because his pathological narcissism will not let him stay away from the huge audience. First chance he gets, he'll rush right back and pretend he never said he wouldn't.
posted by dnash at 2:54 PM on April 25 [31 favorites]


Not that we don't already have lots on the site's collective plate over the next few months already, but this could be something to position Metafilter for.
"Come on back! We've got impending community steering! Fanfare! Free threads! More questions askable!"
posted by CrystalDave at 2:59 PM on April 25 [4 favorites]


Not that this will be a shock, but given the "not great case scenario" of Musk implementing a real-name policy mentioned upthread, it's right there in the press release from Twitter

"I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans.

So there's that.

Looking at the financing sources, can anyone tell me how this is different than, say, the leveraged buyouts that tend to ruin whatever company they are used to acquire? It seemed like a good chunk of the money is coming from loans, and if you look at what happened to the Tribune (now Tronc?) and even Toys R Us, the new owners just assigned all that debt to the companies, then immediately started slashing payroll to return to profitability, etc, etc. How is this going to be any different?

And, yes, Musk is an utter shitheel. The best, most useful insight I've read, tying into the "end world hunger for $6 billion" plan where he just decided not to do it, is that this is the end result of the massive concentration of wealth, that we are all reliant on the whims of billionaires. They have between them (in some cases, individually) transformative levels of wealth which could be used to improve the lives of hundreds of millions of people, if not outright billions. World hunger, homelessness, access to clean and safe drinking water, and any number of other projects are right there, yet no billionaire has stepped up and said, "I'm going to do something about this." Instead, we get brainmush ideas from Musk about an insanely stupid tunnel system (his assertion recently that tunnels never have to worry about weather conditions on the surface, and would be unaffected by a hurricane... jesus christ, how fucking dumb, etc), or that idiotic flamethrower. We get some honestly useful work from Gates, but only if it's tied to the rules his whim assigns to it. We get the dumbest possible edge of the atmosphere race from billionaire whim. We get Peter Thiel deciding to destroy a media outlet out of spite, getting a taste for it, and now he's buying senators.

I know I'm supposed to put up a brave face on all of this, and not give in to doomspeak, but damn, all of this feels like something that, at best, could have been prevented, but can no longer be stopped. It's not just that their wealth is reality warping, it's also proven to be legislation and regulation warping. There doesn't seem to be any feasible way to move away from this intense concentration of wealth, and this just feels like a next level escalation, where increasingly thin skinned billionaires decide it's time to stretch their wings and just start taking things. I mean, what's another billion to Musk or Zuckerberg or Bezos? Why not just buy something that can't be copied or replaced?

Luckily for us, Musk is a goddamn moron, and will more than likely run Twitter into the ground.
posted by Ghidorah at 3:01 PM on April 25 [32 favorites]


Let's please keep in mind that Twitter is worldwide and for many it is essential as a source of news. No one I know in my part of the world has ever even heard of Mastodon or Diaspora and I don't see all those journalists, media outlets, organizations, politicians, academics, writers etc across the world suddenly abandoning Twitter. It's not gonna happen.

I wonder how doable it would be to write a client to post on both Twitter and Mastodon, and maybe aggregate replies to things you post. (I remember something about Twitter blocking 3rd-party clients?) Journalists, media outlets, organizations, politicians, academics, writers etc across the world who don't want to abandon Twitter for unpopulated wilds could at least start posting their content to more than one place - it doesn't cost more money, it costs very small amounts of time, and it could be automated to one degree or another.

Also, I know a lot of news breaks on Twitter, and I know any given newspaper has flaws, but I don't feel like there's a ton I see linked to from Twitter that I don't also see sooner or later on the papers I read. For people saying "but I've got to get news" - does it truly have to be by tweet? (I know there are 'news deserts', and lack of local news coverage is a big issue, but for national and international news I've never felt like there's a lack of sources?)

Now that I'm thinking about it it's interesting that more news sites don't have their own infrastructure for their reporters to upload quick bites of not-yet-officially-verified content that you can subscribe to.


it would be really amazing if everyone who worked at twitter just quit. I know that will never happen but what a slap that would be.

Yeah. I'm sure they'd all have such a hard time finding new jobs, too.


So what will be different with Musk?
How many times do we have to learn not to underestimate the difference between "very bad" and "even worse"
posted by trig at 3:01 PM on April 25 [12 favorites]


Is there a good list of MeFites on Mastodon? Could it be okay to post your Mastodon account here? I'm @rodneylives@mastodon.cloud
posted by JHarris at 3:02 PM on April 25 [1 favorite]


Mastodon is one of the social media options on MeFi's profile pages. I've had mine filled out for some time.
posted by seanmpuckett at 3:11 PM on April 25 [1 favorite]


Yeah, but a list in one place instead of loading everyone's user pages individually on the fairly low chance that they will have a Mastodon name listed there seems like it might be valuable?
posted by JHarris at 3:23 PM on April 25 [1 favorite]


Mason.online/@subdee for me
posted by subdee at 3:30 PM on April 25


Trending on mastodon: introduction, twitter, 25aprile
posted by subdee at 3:31 PM on April 25 [1 favorite]


Trending on mastodon: introduction, twitter, 25aprile

“Aprile” is the Italian spelling of April, which seems interesting
posted by Going To Maine at 3:36 PM on April 25


IMO the photo the NYT has gone with has real madman energy.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:36 PM on April 25 [2 favorites]


If anyone feels like throwing up a "hey, what's everybody's Masto accounts?" MetaTalk thread that would be totally fine fwiw.
posted by cortex at 3:42 PM on April 25 [1 favorite]


I've been trying to figure out where the kind of people I like to follow on Twitter would be most likely to go in a Twitter exodus. It feels like trying to find the best prom after party.:) Where are the cool, fun kids going?

I just signed up for Mastodon today, with the handle @OrangeSwan@masthead.social, if anyone cares to seek me out on there.
posted by orange swan at 3:44 PM on April 25 [3 favorites]


a list in one place ... seems like it might be valuable?

MeFi has a Social Explorer feature that does this, e.g. for Mastodon.

Personally, I haven't logged in to Mastodon for a long time, and until I hear about a community I follow taking off or a special interest instance where the local feed has a lot that I'd like to read, I probably won't. That's nothing against Mastodon in particular. I went through the same with Twitter.
posted by Wobbuffet at 3:44 PM on April 25 [4 favorites]


For people saying "but I've got to get news" - does it truly have to be by tweet?

My mom's home was threatened by the Caldor Fire last year; she lived in a Red cross shelter for two months while the fire burned.

There's no way on earth that any singular news source would be able to keep up with the updates on the fire on Twitter- a large portion of them coming from @CAFireScanner who lives in New Zealand and is able to tweet through the wee hours when local reporters need to sleep. Keeping up with Twitter using the Caldor fire hashtag helped me follow the fire in minute detail and relay to my mom and her neighbors the the progress of the fire.

I can only imagine that all the people here saying there are replacements have never used Twitter for anything timely, or for anything hyper local that isn't covered by regular news sources.
posted by oneirodynia at 3:45 PM on April 25 [20 favorites]


I'm baffled by the comments along the lines of "I use Twitter as an RSS replacement" - RSS didn't die with Google Reader, and is actually alive and well.

There's quite a few readers out there; I switched to Feedly back when Google Reader died and I've been pretty happy with it, but there's quite a few others out there as well.

Spread the word!
posted by microscone at 3:46 PM on April 25 [9 favorites]


As someone who loves their NewsBlur RSS reader dearly, I think the issue with that isn't one of *reader* options, it's one of publishing sources. Assuming that at some point in all this Twitter-to-RSS becomes unreliable (whether it's the bridge itself or just people decamping to various Substacks, Patreons, Discords, & Mastodons), where do you go to figure out where the people you want to hear from are talking?
posted by CrystalDave at 3:53 PM on April 25 [4 favorites]


Well crap. I got a Mastodon account set up, logged out, and now I can't login again - it tells me "Invalid E-mail address or password". I reset the password and I KNOW I'm using the correct one. What's the format for the "E-mail address" field?? It's not my new user name, and it's not the email I used to set up the account. I feel like such a noob...
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:14 PM on April 25


The press release says Musk wants to "authenticate every human." Not loving that.
posted by snuffleupagus at 4:19 PM on April 25 [8 favorites]


Test case for Twitter is how long the @elonjet account lasts.
posted by bonehead at 4:24 PM on April 25 [12 favorites]


My guess is that and anything critical of Musk will just be wiped out the minute he's in actual full control.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 4:26 PM on April 25 [4 favorites]


I feel like such a noob...

I tried one more time with the actual email address (not some sort of Mastodon account name string) and this time it worked. I do not have a clue why it didn't before, even in multiple browsers.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:41 PM on April 25 [2 favorites]


As long as he leaves the bipedal talking animals alone, I'm fine.
posted by Kye at 4:52 PM on April 25 [2 favorites]


Let him go ahead and verify all user identities. That’s gonna cause a lot of people to decide “nope, not doing this.”
posted by azpenguin at 5:06 PM on April 25 [2 favorites]


A reasonable sounding explanation of what happened to the poison pill thing: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=31160874
posted by Kye at 5:14 PM on April 25


“Aprile” is the Italian spelling of April, which seems interesting

I don't pay-a the taxes!
posted by emjaybee at 5:16 PM on April 25 [7 favorites]


𝔴𝔥𝔞𝔫 𝔱𝔥𝔞𝔱 𝔄𝔭𝔯𝔦𝔩𝔩𝔢 𝔴𝔦𝔱𝔥 𝔥𝔦𝔰 𝔰𝔥𝔞𝔯𝔢𝔰 𝔰𝔢𝔠𝔲𝔯𝔢𝔥
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:28 PM on April 25 [9 favorites]


Has anyone ever really tried wt.social? It was started by Jimmy Wales (i.e. Wikipedia guy) with the explicit intent of being a noncommercial, less-or-ideally-non-problematic Facebook or Twitter replacement. I had long wished for some nonshitty public foundation to really start something like that, and I signed up for an account when it first opened.

I still check it every once in a while, but the problem I've had with it is along the lines of what cortex mentioned above: Facebook has a bunch of my actual friends; Twitter has a bunch of other sorts of users that I follow for various reasons (e.g. reporters, politicians, entertainers and other public people I like, fun jokey accounts, etc.).

No matter how crappy FB and Twitter are from a societal point of view, neither wt.social nor anything else I've tried in the past decade or so is frequently used by any significant number of my actual friends or other people that I follow for other reasons, and so it seems essentially useless to me.
posted by Flunkie at 5:30 PM on April 25 [4 favorites]


Katie Notopolous at Buzzfeed: “We Deserve This, Fellow Disgusting Worms”
If you are still on Twitter in April 2022, do not try to pretend you don’t love to eat shit all day. I get it, I’m just like you. We crave the bad tweets, the bad takes, the ratios, the pile-ons, the quote tweet dunks. To pretend otherwise is a farce.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:35 PM on April 25 [6 favorites]


honestly i wouldn't be that surprised if the only thing he does is make it so nobody can block or mute him specifically
posted by rifflesby at 5:38 PM on April 25 [4 favorites]


For too long, people have known where my jet is on one platform
posted by Going To Maine at 5:48 PM on April 25 [9 favorites]


Eat the rich, they're rich in calories too.
posted by Lyme Drop at 6:00 PM on April 25 [1 favorite]


MeFi has a Social Explorer feature that does this

I have never seen that page before in my life! How long has that been a thing?
posted by JHarris at 6:21 PM on April 25 [3 favorites]


A long, poorly advertised time.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:22 PM on April 25 [9 favorites]


wow just imagine what Twitter might be like with someone who fundamentally doesn't understand the platform placed in charge of it
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:29 PM on April 25 [6 favorites]


Warning, this message[ing platform] will self destruct.
posted by tiamat at 6:31 PM on April 25


I'm baffled by the comments along the lines of "I use Twitter as an RSS replacement" - RSS didn't die with Google Reader, and is actually alive and well.

Google Reader had a number of strong advantages: it had a great UI, it had the best social sharing feature any Google product has ever had, and it was free, which matters a lot to people like me who just don't have much spare cash to justify a recurring expense. And a lot of other people liked it too, not a huge number, but a substantial amount. Google shutting down Reader thus felt less like sunsetting a service and more like Google actively killing something beloved in order to push them towards... what was it again? Some thing they were hyping, were tying all their sites into? I remember it but can't place the name, it's on the tip of my tongue....
posted by JHarris at 6:37 PM on April 25 [11 favorites]


"To organize the world's information and discontinue it."

I think there was a Futurama episode about it.
posted by ryanrs at 7:02 PM on April 25 [7 favorites]


The academics, scientists and journalists were using Google reader to share articles with each other so when Google shut it down it set the level of discussion on the internet back 10 years. Like really. Especially when they tried to replace it with something designed to make you stay on the service all day in case you missed something, on purpose.
posted by subdee at 7:43 PM on April 25 [6 favorites]


If you are still on Twitter in April 2022, do not try to pretend you don’t love to eat shit all day. I get it, I’m just like you. We crave the bad tweets, the bad takes, the ratios, the pile-ons, the quote tweet dunks. To pretend otherwise is a farce.

Yet another entry in the genre of "I'll bet my experience of this social media site is pretty much the same as all 100 million other people who use it." Yeah. The 50? 100? 5000? people you follow on Twitter are a random sample that gives you a pretty good idea of what all 100 million people were talking about on Twitter today.
posted by straight at 7:48 PM on April 25 [11 favorites]


Inc.
posted by clavdivs at 7:57 PM on April 25 [1 favorite]


I have been toying with the idea of moving to micro.blog for a while now, but just haven't had the time or inspiration to do it. Maybe now is the time.
posted by johnxlibris at 8:17 PM on April 25 [2 favorites]


I read this after the market closed and scheduled buying one share of TWTR when the market opens on Tuesday. I'm watching what happens.
posted by bendy at 8:30 PM on April 25 [1 favorite]


I have been toying with the idea of moving to micro.blog for a while now

I like my current WP setup, but I'm intrigued about pairing my personal site with this, because I really do miss the social aspect.

As for non-USian twitter user perspective, count me in as another vote on how the platform has become something of a public commons for us, the same way FB is. Funnily enough the culture is different between the two, and quite noticeably, Twitter folks seem to have an outsized influence in policy agenda-setting here.
posted by cendawanita at 8:30 PM on April 25 [2 favorites]


Someone I follow on Twitter was handing out Pillow Fort invites. It's like Tumblr but less insane. Fair number of webcomic artists trying it out so I'm poking around in there a bit. It does allow NSFW but you have to opt in to see any.

I did try Mastodon way back when, but it was just a hassle. It might be be better now? Ello didn't have that problem but no one was there.

I liked Twitter quite a lot, except for the part where their abuse investigation was utter shit. That's never been good. People have harassed and doxxed. And their responses were always too late if they responded at all. It had so much potential and so much good stuff happened there, though.

But hell, it's just a platform. I'm not going to stay there and get brigaded by Musk fanboy Nazis. The one thing they crave is liberals to attack, which is why they don't like their conservative-only spaces. They can make Twitter into another one of those but they can't make me stay there and watch.
posted by emjaybee at 9:15 PM on April 25 [9 favorites]


This would be a great time for Twitter employees to unionize. Musk having absolute power over the site isn’t a forgone conclusion by any means.
posted by panic at 10:17 PM on April 25 [2 favorites]


Breaking down that link to the mefites with Mastodon that Wobbuffet provided (Thanks!) with some shitty bash script- It looks like the top 5 instances people belong to are as follows (number of mefites and instance name):
3 mastodon.xyz
4 mastodon.online
7 wandering.shop
20 octodon.social
50 mastodon.social

Feel free and correct me if my grep is weak, btw. It looks like the top two instances are mastadon/octodon.social. Octodon is saying it's closed and if you already know someone you can maybe get an invite, and the mastodon.social one just redirects to the main page where you can pick from the handful of other sites that don't have some kind of facebook private-group "tell us why you belong here" vibe (and fair enough, that's probably a good idea for the communities.)

The "Pick your community" thing has always been the major hump for me just getting an account. Like- on the one hand it's got a really cool early-days Geocities or BBS/IRC feel where you can pick a starting place on your journey to doing _whatever_ on a brand new corner of the connected world. OTOH it's- I'm 50, was there for all that the first time, and tired as hell. Can anyone recommend one for someone who's hobbies include music, woodworking, Unix, Alcoholism, diabetes, and shitposting?

(Not to derail from unhinged manbaby buying the worlds second shittiest social media platform and shooting for #1 with it, but since it's already happened the entire affair became a lot less interesting and where does everyone go from here?)

(on preview, I see we have a metatalk now about it so I guess I'll pin that one for tomorrow. :-)
posted by mcrandello at 10:21 PM on April 25 [3 favorites]


A thought: Musk's libertarianism is as hollow as the rest of him.

He just spent a hideous amount of money on Twitter (simplifying, I understand it's financed). He may not want to become the whipping boy for CDA 230 reform and have the ground shift under his feet, with a privately owned Twitter taking on liability for injurious user content that doesn't pass some statutory test. Is re-platforming Trump worth that? Plus I wouldn't be surprised if Musk is relishing the $DWAC crash, and would prefer to eclipse Trump. That's narcissism.

And all of his toxic divorced dad bullshit aside, that dude is driven by the bottom line. And the way he manages to seem smart is by employing smart people at great expense, and listening to them (privately).
posted by snuffleupagus at 10:26 PM on April 25 [1 favorite]


Musk is making the offer, but I think we can be sure this is another "funding secured" gambit.

And I think we can also be sure that the backers in the shadows are all mortally tired of Twitter airing their dirty laundry.

Which makes this a disaster of Global proportions
posted by jamjam at 10:32 PM on April 25 [5 favorites]


Mastodon is really the closest to a "Twitter 2.0". It fixes a whole bunch of very serious problems with Twitter, but it is a pretty big, breaking change. You're going to have to rebuild your followers, your lists, your social standing within the community, pretty much from zero. Sorry. But it's pretty clearly the best way forward, in the sense that it's one of the only social networks that's both usable right now, and also decentralized enough that it can't be bought by Facebook, Google, or Twitter if it becomes successful and starts to take off. (Which strikes me as a problem with most other would-be Twitters: as long as it's a centralized, commercial service, it's liable to be doomed by its own success.)

Mastodon still has some rough edges, but it actually takes on and goes a good distance towards solving some of Twitter's (or any centralized, Twitter-like service's) fundamental problems.

One of the main things Mastodon is missing right now, socially, is corporate/brand/professional participation, which is a bit of a thorny subject because some folks on Mastodon definitely do not appreciate that shit at all. But it is an important part of social media to some people, and I think it can coexist. Big organizations might want to consider setting up their own Mastodon server, so they aren't dependent on an instance operator.

Anyway, I'd suggest taking a look at Masto—it's not like you have to quit Twitter cold turkey to take a look at alternatives, anyway.

If you do decide to stick around on Twitter (and I'm not judging; I'm not going to delete my account, although I hope it helps increase participation elsewhere)... may I recommend a good adblocker that will zap Twitter "sponsored posts"? uBlock Origin works quite well. (Twitter ads are inlined so they can't be blocked as neatly as others can, where they don't even get requested or sent down the wire to waste your bandwidth, but they can be visually filtered out of the rendered page. It's hard to detect and nearly impossible to prevent.) Plus, you get the satisfaction of stealing something from a rich prick every time you hit 'Reload'.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:39 PM on April 25 [8 favorites]


Trending on mastodon: introduction, twitter, 25aprile

“Aprile” is the Italian spelling of April, which seems interesting


For the record, April 25 in Italy is the anniversary of the liberation from nazis, and a celebration of anti-fascist resistance...
posted by bitteschoen at 10:55 PM on April 25 [13 favorites]


If you are still on Twitter in April 2022, do not try to pretend you don’t love to eat shit all day. I get it, I’m just like you. We crave the bad tweets, the bad takes, the ratios, the pile-ons, the quote tweet dunks. To pretend otherwise is a farce.

This is almost entirely unlike my experience on Twitter, and also happens to be avoidable. I guess it helps to follow ecologists, Beatles enthusiasts, wild swimmers, bee scientists, photographers, local Oakland journalists, sled dog twitter, people into historical clothing, fire twitter, a small cadre of aging mods and punks, people who write about the Warriors, people who are advocating for the A's to build a new stadium in Oakland, and my friends.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:00 PM on April 25 [24 favorites]


"biggest global communication channel" Uh...what?

Eh sorry my English goes to crap when I'm emotional - I just meant to emphasize it's not just a social media at global level but used for news and communications at local level too, like some have already mentioned above. Another example, if I want to know if there's a train strike I don't Google or check the home page of the local papers - I search in Twitter first, the actual train company suggests that in the first place. It may not be the main or biggest source for news and communications but it's used as such worldwide by many entities.
posted by bitteschoen at 11:08 PM on April 25 [5 favorites]


Another example, if I want to know if there's a train strike I don't Google or check the home page of the local papers - I search in Twitter first, the actual train company suggests that in the first place.

I just noticed that it's interesting that larger organizations tend to use Twitter - like your train company. But smaller businesses like my local Vietnamese place, all tend to use Facebook - I'll check their Facebook to check opening hours around a public holiday for example, and they'll post if they're closing early due to running out of food.

And that I get my news primarily from Reddit nowadays, just subscribe to the city / country subreddits and a few interesting topics and that's pretty much all I want to know about.

Pretty scary that algorithms in 3 corporations control almost everything we think we know about the world.
posted by xdvesper at 12:15 AM on April 26 [2 favorites]


On the list of alternative hangouts, following the link from the FPP tilde.club is still active nearly 8 years on.
posted by Wordshore at 3:12 AM on April 26 [2 favorites]


Has anyone ever really tried wt.social?
I tried it soon after the launch, I got a tsunami of emails with 'updates on the project' and imploring me to login but every time I did it was just... *tumbleweed*
The only way I could find to stop the emails was to delete the account completely.
posted by Lanark at 3:44 AM on April 26 [2 favorites]


Is there a Metafilter discord server?

Not an official one but yeah there is.
posted by womb of things to be and tomb of things that were at 3:50 AM on April 26 [2 favorites]


Instead, we get brainmush ideas from Musk about an insanely stupid tunnel system (his assertion recently that tunnels never have to worry about weather conditions on the surface, and would be unaffected by a hurricane... jesus christ, how fucking dumb, etc)

Should anyone even be surprised that a billionaire invested heavily in auto manufacturing proposed a ridiculous snake oil flim-flam project that distracted politicians and wasted public dollars which could have been spent on actually feasible and practical public transit projects that would have reduced demand for private car ownership?

Thinking of Musk as someone who owns several independent companies with their own goals and agendas is a mistake. Elon Musk is about Elon Musk and his companies are tools used to that end. Some make money. Many do not. But they all serve their owner's purposes.
posted by srboisvert at 4:06 AM on April 26 [6 favorites]


Indeed. Something many people forget is that the "profit motive" is bullshit when individual people and privately-held companies are concerned. Profit a.k.a. money is a means to an end, and that end is power. There are many other means to achieve power, but few so easily disguised as business.
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:46 AM on April 26 [3 favorites]


https://twitter.com/jelenawoehr/status/1518431332304494592

Elon Musk will not have fun owning twitter.

"Can’t wait for the day he has a brief moment of clarity and realizes he could have just been fucking around dropping acid in space and instead he’s spent two years in meetings about issues like “how intelligent does a KGB botnet have to be before free speech applies to it”"
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 5:20 AM on April 26 [11 favorites]


I imagine his answer to that question, and any others, would be essentially “whatever gives the most lulz”.

I.e., is the botnet telling workers to unionise, or is it just pushing race war or something?
posted by acb at 5:32 AM on April 26


Jack Dorsey has weighed in, possibly while high (as noted above, he'll make about a billion dollars on this deal).
posted by box at 5:48 AM on April 26


Myself, I think the real reason Mastodon has not caught on yet (or others) can be summed-up by this XKCD comic on "Chat Systems"

I already have way too many chat apps on my phone - and in my life - and the problem is - you need to go where your people/friends/family/interests are - and if they aren't on that platform, it's going to be very quiet. That is why encumbent successful players are hard to beat... the "Network effect lock-in" is pretty real. I hate FB, but all 200 extended family members use it to stay in-touch...
posted by rozcakj at 6:45 AM on April 26 [4 favorites]


Myself, I think the real reason Mastodon has not caught on yet (or others) can be summed-up by this XKCD comic on "Chat Systems"

For non-tech folks, I think it's as simple as the unnecessary complication of "instances."
posted by Thorzdad at 7:06 AM on April 26 [9 favorites]


For non-tech folks, I think it's as simple as the unnecessary complication of "instances."

ding ding! I'm tech-adjacent and "instances" and "federation" are almost 100% meaningless to anyone who isn't setting up one, until being in the wrong instance causes a problem. It's like the old days of "Linux is ready for general users" where using the command line still came into play: it meant Linux wasn't ready for general users. Until Mastodon is just a thing you join and you don't need to know about instances at all, instances will be a barrier to general users, not an enhancement.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 7:15 AM on April 26 [9 favorites]


The only way that you'd get rid of instances is if one big instance does an embrace-and-extend and eats all the others, becoming synonymous with it. Unfortunately, it'd probably be owned by another Zuck or Musk or Bezos or someone even more reprehensible, and would make its profits through some sort of behavioural surveillance psy-ops.

Another way of looking at this is email. Wouldn't it be much neater and less confusing if Gmail became the only email provider and all those other redundant sites withered away?
posted by acb at 7:39 AM on April 26 [6 favorites]


I think it's as simple as the unnecessary complication of "instances."

In XKCD terms Mastodon isn't one bubble, it's a whole bunch of bubbles and worse, those bubbles don't always overlap either.

USENET and email are both federated systems---no one org runs THE usenet or email service---but they are both mostly transparent to that. Mastodon afaict needs to be as transparent as email.
posted by bonehead at 8:10 AM on April 26 [10 favorites]


Cool cool cool. Twitter has been my main social outlet since 2008, and I absolutely cannot rebuild 14 years of friendship infrastructure on another site. It might just be the screaming, panicked cry of catastrophizing, but I really hate hearing suggestions or advice to “just move somewhere else.” As if it’s that easy!

There is nothing that can replace what Twitter is to me and my various circles of friends who treat it like a community/chat room/newsroom/art gallery. Every time I see a mutual talk about moving to Mastodon (which also has open access to DMs for instance admins btw), I have a small moment of literal grief. I know if that friend makes the switch permanent, I won’t see them in my orbit anymore.

Discord, Mastodon, forums, etc., cannot do what Twitter does. Moving a whole curated community is not going to work. I’m staying on Twitter until the site is literally unusable, and can only hope that this is just another wave that will pass into less tumultuous seas.
posted by lesser weasel at 9:17 AM on April 26 [9 favorites]


@JeffBezos (commenting on links between China and Tesla): Interesting question. Did the Chinese government just gain a bit of leverage over the town square?

@shoe0nhead: can we skip to the part where you both get into your gundams and fight to the death in space
posted by Wordshore at 9:18 AM on April 26 [17 favorites]


No one I know in my part of the world has ever even heard of Mastodon

The main developer is based in Germany and if one checks the #mastodon hashtag on Twitter it is (currently) mostly in languages other than English.
posted by Hey, Zeus! at 9:34 AM on April 26


Another way of looking at this is email. Wouldn't it be much neater and less confusing if Gmail became the only email provider and all those other redundant sites withered away?

I get it, but we don't need analogies for why it's that way, we need a social network that lay people can just join like anything else. Mastodon ain't it.

Well, maybe not "need" as such, but as a replacement for Twitter Mastodon is about as good as OpenOffice was as a replacement for MS Office in 2005 (that is, not at all).
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 9:52 AM on April 26 [2 favorites]


Twitter was great if you were a member of the dominant social/cultural paradigm.

If you weren't, it was horrible.

That's the bug that Mastodon attempts to fix with its separate instances and "intersecting bubbles."

Thinking that Mastodon needs to be homogenous like Twitter is thinking that everyone's needs should be the same, is entitled check-your-privileged thinking.
posted by seanmpuckett at 10:09 AM on April 26 [5 favorites]


So does Elon get to read everyone's DMs now ?
posted by NoThisIsPatrick at 10:09 AM on April 26 [2 favorites]


entitled check-your-privileged thinking.

Saying what you like about a service, and then saying that you won’t use a different service because it doesn’t provide it, would seem to be as entitled as not buying a hamburger because you want a burrito.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:11 AM on April 26 [12 favorites]


If your old DMs don't disappear in the next couple weeks, then he can read those, too.
posted by ryanrs at 10:11 AM on April 26


Interesting follower changes, if true.

@BarryRubin: +/- Twitter followers since the Elon Twitter announcement:
@aoc - 27,641 followers
@maddow -18,648 followers
@StephenAtHome -21,460 followers
@mattgaetz +24,929 followers
@DineshDSouza +41,945 followers
@RepMTG +41,181 followers

posted by Going To Maine at 10:13 AM on April 26


I gotta say, if this goes down the way it's looking, they've won it.
posted by ryanrs at 10:15 AM on April 26


Thinking that Mastodon needs to be homogenous like Twitter is thinking that everyone's needs should be the same, is entitled check-your-privileged thinking.

Right, so you agree Mastodon doesn't work as a replacement for what Twitter provides, which is the beginning and end of my point. Privilege is 100% irrelevant here, though it is relevant to what Mastodon offers as a completely different type of social network from Twitter.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 10:16 AM on April 26 [3 favorites]


Mastodon is about as good as OpenOffice was as a replacement for MS Office in 2005 (that is, not at all).

That's an interesting way of putting it considering that most ordinary users never needed all the features of MS Office and those things that they did need (simple word processing, maybe a spreadsheet) were actually pretty good in OpenOffice. It wasn't a perfect replacement for MS Office, but as a long as Microsoft was insisting that everyone needed a document editor that supported multiple reader annotations and could link to an SQL database, there never was going to be a "good" replacement for MS Office.

We can't let Twitter define what a replacement for Twitter should look like.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 10:19 AM on April 26 [6 favorites]


Ah yes, the widespread (within subsets, of course) concern from marginalized people that their community support has relied on the wide reach Twitter has, & everything from jobs & projects to GoFundMes would be unsustainable in a Mastodon-style smaller-bubble scenario... Such "entitled check-your-priviledged thinking".

(I mean, there's people who don't even have that, granted, but still, we're talking about people already on the ropes worried that what lines of support they have are about to go away.)
posted by CrystalDave at 10:22 AM on April 26 [3 favorites]


That's an interesting way of putting it considering that most ordinary users never needed all the features of MS Office and those things that they did need (simple word processing, maybe a spreadsheet) were actually pretty good in OpenOffice.

This was not my experience, and OO's usage numbers at that time speak for themselves. But I'm turning this into a derail.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 10:23 AM on April 26


Personally, I use Discord to do the job (I think) Mastodon tries to do. For smaller communities, it offers a richer toolset and scales OK into the 10k user level space. It's a federated Facebook replacement for me, but that's not the same as Twitter. Metafilter, if done today, would possibly be a Discord community.
posted by bonehead at 10:43 AM on April 26


most ordinary users never needed all the features of MS Office

As with Twitter, the problem was not the lack of features in OpenOffice but the need to be using the same word processor with the same features as everybody else. I hate Google Docs, it doesn't have better features than Word, but I have to use it because everybody else does.
posted by straight at 11:16 AM on April 26 [5 favorites]


Cool cool cool. Twitter has been my main social outlet since 2008, and I absolutely cannot rebuild 14 years of friendship infrastructure on another site.

This is how I felt about livejournal, and why I didn't leave in 2008. It was four years and not 14 years, but I spent way too much time online in those four years, I didn't have the time to do that all again. What I found out eventually is that it wasn't up to me. Everyone else left, not all at once, but gradually over the next four years as everyone reached their own personal last straw or looked around and noticed that the userbase had hollowed out.

I'm not saying this will definitely happen with twitter, I think the userbase is older and so they may stick around longer. It's also not a given than Elon will run it into the ground. But people leaving is something that could happen if the service gets noticeably worse. Those of us who are talking about switching now (or at least squatting your username on another platform now / letting people know where you are going now) have crystal balls and can see ahead to that future.

It took really years to find those friends who left livejournal at different times, to different places. People leaving was a gradual process and there was no obvious substitute that everyone could agree on. These days some are using twitter, some dreamwidth, and some tumblr if they are still blogging (publicly) at all. I did find most of them on discord though, if you have a single close knit group of friends that's something to consider so at least you can all keep track of where everyone goes.
posted by subdee at 11:29 AM on April 26 [6 favorites]


Bad for Twitter but good for Metafilter. Those who enjoy healthy discourse can come here.
posted by larrybob at 12:22 PM on April 26 [1 favorite]


Those who enjoy healthy discourse can come here.

The MetaFilter user base remains constant
posted by Going To Maine at 12:59 PM on April 26 [2 favorites]


about as good as OpenOffice was as a replacement for MS Office in 2005 (that is, not at all).

To derail further, I laughed out loud at that analogy. I used OOo back then and use LibreOffice now. No problems whatsoever for creating, editing or sharing Word and Excel docs. I kinda agree on Mastodon, but the analogy isn't good. OOo let me work *with* people who had Word. Mastodon won't work with Twitter.

The MetaFilter user base remains constant

But activity does not. IME, there used to be much more activity on this site before Twitter exploded. Compare March 2005 to March 2022. I'm not gonna count them all, but looks like maybe 2x as many posts back then? I bet it was even higher at peak MeFi.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:52 PM on April 26 [3 favorites]


I did a browse-through today, and saw exactly what I expected to see. The usual gang of idiots crowing loudly that "Now that we have free speech, Joe Biden stole the 2020 election! Hillary kill list! Biden crime family! Hunter's laptop! Ivermectin!" ad nauseum.

...As they have done pretty much every day prior to today on that very site, while complaining about how conservative thought is HORRIBLY CENSORED on that very site, blissfully ignoring the irony there.

What they are hoping for, of course, is neither a forum featuring rigorous bouts of rhetorical debate monitored for content and fairness (a PBS news show in text form) nor a truly "free," lawless pit where absolutely anything can be posted without repercussions. They want the Conservative Mantra, as it has been repeated so many times: a world in which they are free to tweet what they want, protected by the law but not subject to it, but in which their critics are not free to criticize them as they do now (subject to the law but not protected by it.) Not free speech, but Freep Speech, for anyone who's ever dipped a toe into the Free Republic forums.

When Trump emerged as President, certain people took that as their cue to be able to say certain racial slurs again in public. Now, the same are assuming that they can tweet them again.

We'll find out if they're right.
posted by delfin at 2:17 PM on April 26 [7 favorites]


I guess Musk is still all-in on his "free speech" plans for Twitter: "By “free speech”, I simply mean that which matches the law. I am against censorship that goes far beyond the law. If people want less free speech, they will ask government to pass laws to that effect. Therefore, going beyond the law is contrary to the will of the people."

I'm sure I don't need to detail the levels of dumbshittery in this philosophy, but invoking "the will of the people" to justify platforming Nazis is, uh, not great.
posted by BungaDunga at 2:27 PM on April 26 [5 favorites]


but invoking "the will of the people" to justify platforming Nazis is, uh, not great.

It can be "the triumph of the will of the people".
posted by Slothrup at 2:51 PM on April 26 [9 favorites]


Ithayla on Twitter:
> elon financed his Twitter bid for 43bn (he hasn't officially bought it yet) with a loan leveraged against tesla stock.
> tesla dropped 11 percent today. 110bn market value lost.
> if it loses 40 percent he has to repay his loan.
> it would be funny except- no. wait. it is.

As I wrote this, it's down 12.18%.
posted by Pronoiac at 2:56 PM on April 26 [22 favorites]


CARNAC THE MAGNIFICENT:" I must have absolute silence..."
(holds envelope against his turban)

Answer: "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea"
(rips end of envelope, blows into it, removes card)

Question: "Where will Tesla stock be once Elon Musk takes possession of Twitter?"

CARNAC: "May a camel with a weak kidney condition find your hope chest."
posted by valkane at 3:59 PM on April 26 [5 favorites]


Answer: "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea"
(rips end of envelope, blows into it, removes card)

Question: "Where will Tesla stock be once Elon Musk takes possession of Twitter?"


Nah. As much as I loathe the man and the platform, Musk’s acquisition of Twitter will have squat effect on Tesla stock.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:08 PM on April 26


> it would be funny except- no. wait. it is.

Maybe the lulz brigade could make it happen!
posted by trig at 4:18 PM on April 26


Nah. As much as I loathe the man and the platform, Musk’s acquisition of Twitter will have squat effect on Tesla stock.

I dunno, man. We live in an age where a bunch of semi-organized idiots on Reddit turned Gamestop into a hot commodity, possibly without intending to. If the financial markets were subject to any regulation, then of course spite-selling Tesla shares wouldn't be a thing. But they're not, so what the hell, let's transform this dystopian hellscape from one written by Huxley to one written by Robert Anton Wilson.
posted by Mayor West at 5:06 PM on April 26 [4 favorites]


> tesla dropped 11 percent today. 110bn market value lost.

And consequently Musk lost, on paper, about half a Twitter.
posted by ssg at 5:25 PM on April 26 [3 favorites]


Try to pitch this far





🚀
posted by clavdivs at 7:41 PM on April 26


I have a twitter account. I only got it to tie up my name, and have a twitter account, if I ever thought of a reason to use it.
posted by Oyéah at 8:52 PM on April 26 [2 favorites]


Musk picked up a 30 some odd billion dollar bonus this week too. So the purchase was less than his bonus, in some odd way. I wish he had, instead, bought Great Salt Lake.
posted by Oyéah at 8:54 PM on April 26


is all of this something I'd need to have a twitter account to understand?
posted by philip-random at 9:51 PM on April 26


More on the twitter follower account spikes and drops for conservatives and liberals, with some tables. It seems very odd, but perhaps these are effectively marginal percentages of real users.

@TyCardon: Definitely something bizarre happening with the Twitter algorithm impacting follower counts over the past 24-48 hours. A few examples:
@TuckerCarlson +62,083 (today)
@JoeRogan +63,313 (48 hours)
@DonaldJTrumpJr +87,296 (today)
@tedcruz +51,405 (today)
By contrast…
@maddow -18,684 (today)
@andersoncooper -10,383 (today)
@AOC -27,641 (48 hours)
@KamalaHarris -22,453 (today)
@HillaryClinton -17,630 (today)

What's going on?
A few more interesting data points:

@TulsiGabbard +10,561 (today)
@RandPaul +33,588 (today)
@IlhanMN -10,097 (today)

posted by Going To Maine at 11:00 PM on April 26


Twitter's been invaluable for me for following the war in Ukraine. I ended up making my own list of journalists, OSINT folks, local newspapers, analysts, Russian dissidents, various government figures, and Ukrainians from a wide variety of backgrounds. Ranging from soldiers to artists to aid workers to an 18 yr old college student in Kyiv who likes to make rude jokes about the Russians.

That's where I probably spend 80% of my Twitter time these days. If you have a directed focus, it can be pretty amazing.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 11:22 PM on April 26 [7 favorites]


Yeah, Twitter is kind of like Reddit. If you go in with a narrowly defined interest and focus on that, you may find people there who have valuable insight and perspectives, simply because it's the biggest gathering point of its kind and people with similar needs/interests/experiences can find each other. If you try to take in everything, you're probably going to leave disappointed and possibly covered in noxious substances.
posted by delfin at 5:40 AM on April 27 [3 favorites]


I realized a while back that Musk (and probably Bezos) aren't really interested in building a colony on Mars because they're only spending their efforts on spaceship stuff and none on, say, figuring out how anyone can actually live on Mars, millions and millions of miles away from available oxygen and water (never mind stuff like nitrogen). The Twitter acquisition is yet more evidence in support of this hypothesis. Before this, a Musk defender could argue that he's got limited time and resources so he really can only focus on a few things at a time and spaceships are more important than terraforming or bio-domes right now. But, now that he's splashing out $44B to essentially go full-time into the bulletin board moderator game, that kind of "distraction from the main mission" argument doesn't really hold water.
posted by mhum at 12:59 PM on April 27 [4 favorites]


they're only spending their efforts on spaceship stuff

Every Tom, Dick, and Harry has a yacht now; they needed to find a new way to show off exclusively.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:52 PM on April 27


Musk wants Twitter as a plaything but I'm convinced he has no idea how to actually run a social network

And somewhat relatedly: all of his pronouncements about Stuff Twitter Should Do And Will When I'm In Charge have been user-focused, but Twitter's actual business is that it is an advertising platform; its actual customers are its advertisers*; user engagement matters to Twitter purely because it provides focused impressions on its customers' ads.

I'm fairly sure Musk does not know how to actually run an advertising platform either.

(* okay, yes, and its Twitter Blue subscribers, but in the Q4'21 financials that subscription revenue falls within the "data licensing and other" line and is dwarfed by advertising revenue.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 2:20 PM on April 27 [5 favorites]


From four hours ago, Reuters: Elon Musk probably won’t buy Twitter
> The electric-vehicle maker’s stock has fallen around a fifth since Musk first revealed his stake in Twitter, partly because Musk may sell shares to fund his new adventure
posted by Pronoiac at 4:33 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]


If Twitter gets a billion dollars after Elon backs out, I imagine that will be good for the stock price.
posted by Going To Maine at 4:42 PM on April 27


I went looking for info about shareholders - well, stockholders, but anyway - and found an ABC News article with details:
The deal is expected to close in 2022, subject to the approval of Twitter shareholders. Twitter hasn’t announced the timing of a shareholder vote, though the company’s annual meeting is set for May 25, which could offer a convenient time to poll shareholders.
A company can elect to hold a shareholder vote at any time, even before regulators have finished reviewing a proposed takeover.
It looks like Twitter has only one class of stock. So, I think: The board has endorsed it, but everyone holding stock gets their say. They could try to hold a vote earlier, but managing that in under a month seems unusual and difficult.

This might not be resolved for another month.

In my earlier comment I meant to include the Twitter link about the Tesla market cap, and the possibility of Musk having to repay the loan - it's dropped 15% though it rebounded ... 0.5%.
posted by Pronoiac at 5:40 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]


Got my downloaded Tweets today (took a few days after the request) in a Zip file. 2.28 GB/9000+ "items" of shitposts, memes, angst, occasional poetry, and political outrage from between 2008 and now.

My first Tweet did not go the classic route of "Test" but instead:

"staying up way late adding to my Flickr page."

Oh yeah I remember when I used to do that.

Nice thing about the download; it has all the images, video etc. you retweeted/tweeted in a media file! Some good stuff in there.
posted by emjaybee at 8:01 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]


If Twitter gets a billion dollars after Elon backs out, I imagine that will be good for the stock price.

If Elon backs out the price will definitely drop, probably significantly. One billion is not much per share, a little over a dollar, which is just not significant at all (the stock has a $20 range from low to high over the last two months alone).
posted by ssg at 9:56 PM on April 27


That "Reuters: Elon Musk probably won't buy Twitter" article doesn't really seem like much more than "C'mon, he's not gonna do it. Eh? C'mon. I mean, c'mon. Pfft. C'mon."
posted by Flunkie at 10:32 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]


Musk wants Twitter as a plaything but I'm convinced he has no idea how to actually run a social network

On the other hand, Twitter's financials might make one think that their existing management also doesn't know how to run either a social network or an advertising business.
posted by atrazine at 5:37 AM on April 28 [2 favorites]


The Reuters article is actually a pretty good digest of the situation.

There is a very large arb spread (discount to the deal price) for an acquisition that has very low risk of antitrust trouble, and the explanations that the columnists set forth are some of the major ones people worry about ... China, EU, Google and Apple each can punish Musk very heavily for Twitter free speech (in its present form China, and in Musk's promised future form for the EU, Google and Apple), and the breakup fee isn't high enough to keep Musk from walking if those threats start to bite.
posted by MattD at 5:40 AM on April 28


I kinda think Musk wants to buy Twitter because he's angry that his ex, Grimes, is now dating a trans woman (Chelsea Manning). If he buys Twitter, he can be as publicly transphobic as he wants!

It's all ego with this dude.
posted by LooseFilter at 7:24 AM on April 28 [4 favorites]


Maybe someone should tell him about Mumsnet.
posted by acb at 8:03 AM on April 28 [7 favorites]


I found this Guardian piece with a few experts' opinions interesting, especially the mention of the new legislation that will affect speech on social media:
Here’s a juxtaposition that many American observers may have missed in the hubbub over Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter: just last Friday the European Union provisionally agreed to the most far-reaching internet regulation in a generation. The Digital Services Act, or DSA, will force the largest online platforms to be transparent about their activities and assess and mitigate the harms their products may cause. And it’s just the start. Governments around the world have their sights set on regulating big tech...
posted by bitteschoen at 9:40 AM on April 28 [4 favorites]


Twitter was useful for me.

1) It was a place where I could watch silently and appreciatively lots of people going about their work none of which I knew nothing about but that I loved. Volcanologists, writers, musicians, husky racers.

2) A general hang-out with my friends.

The first isn't so much of a problem because I can aggregate their feeds using the RSS streams from https://nitter.net/, and just watch from a distance, and I'm working on some code to do that properly at the moment.

The latter is an issue because I MISS MY FRIENDS.

So now I'm trying to think up ways to mitigate that. Fortunately, before my account got suspended for calling GB News some choice English words about their appalling treatment of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, I managed to grab a list of the people I followed.

I see no reason to go back now if I can work that one out which means doing a bit of networking.

We lose so much much when we invest all our contacts in one place, and you don't realise that until it's gone, and they're gone.

Are we heading back to webrings I've been asking myself recently, and maybe that wouldn't such a bad idea. Go '90s!
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 10:15 AM on April 28


It's election year in Brazil. As a direct result of the Musk noise the right wing Bolsonazi twitter bots are signing up in their 10's of thousands.
posted by adamvasco at 5:07 PM on April 28 [6 favorites]


For anyone worried that Musk won't run the whole thing into the ground, good news!
Musk told the banks he also plans to develop features to grow business revenue, including new ways to make money out of tweets that contain important information or go viral, the sources said.

Ideas he brought up included charging a fee when a third-party website wants to quote or embed a tweet from verified individuals or organizations.
There's obviously nothing stopping any news sites or blogs from screenshotting the same tweets, or simply quoting them like any other source. All this would do is stop them from linking back to Twitter itself and prevent Twitter from getting analytics on this.
posted by quizzical at 5:09 AM on April 29 [7 favorites]


> new ways to make money out of tweets that contain important information

Well, that isn't horrific at all.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 5:27 AM on April 29 [2 favorites]


As someone who mostly enjoys Ed Zitron being mad, enjoy Ed Zitron being mad on his Substack: “Elon Musk Doesn't ‘Get’ Twitter (And Yes, He's Really That Bad)”
Here’s an idea, Ezra - have you considered that Elon Musk has 88 million followers? Have you considered that Twitter does not inherently reward people who act indecently but has rewarded Elon Musk for doing literally anything using such a big platform?
posted by Going To Maine at 1:23 PM on April 29 [3 favorites]


Also, I had no idea about elonmusk.today - something to retweet.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:41 PM on April 29 [3 favorites]




Coming at this late, but I’m wondering why we aren’t seeing a twitter replacement being advertised heavily in this moment. Something like “hashtagger” or “birder” or “live threader” that is much like twitter but with strong moderation making it unattractive to Musk types.

I agree with the comments above that the federated options are not the right replacement for the micro news-ness of twitter. Partly, and I see that with local Reddit groups, but not really for the digital commons part that has been mentioned.

Now’s a good time to collect up the people leaving twitter over the Musk threat. Maybe Google could start something, or some former twitter employees that are past non-compete?
posted by ec2y at 3:45 PM on April 29


Coming at this late, but I’m wondering why we aren’t seeing a twitter replacement being advertised heavily in this moment. Something like “hashtagger” or “birder” or “live threader” that is much like twitter but with strong moderation making it unattractive to Musk types.

P. Bump at The Washington Post had a sort of fun take on this, noting that at the moment Musk’s brand noise was effectively trying to make Twitter compete with Truth Social, a much smaller platform.

But functionally, I’d say that the sort of project you’d be talking about would be incredibly hard to spin up from nothing - you need moderators and you need an argument that people should go to your platform. The argument for getting off Twitter right now seems to loosely be “I’m going to get flamed by right-wingers” / “I hate Elon Musk”. But for plenty of people, getting flamed by right wingers isn’t a particularly normal experience. The driving ethos of MetaFilter for years has been “heavy moderation good”, but the general narrative in society is for whatever reason almost always completely negative. Blame the “free speech!” crowd I suppose, but “Join my platform: I will limit what you can say” is a hard feature to sell.

Google arguably went after Twitter with Wave, I’m pretty sure they don’t want to go back down that road. Truth Social is garbage, and my impression was that Parler and Gab are themselves pretty janky - building a good app is hard. And Twitter itself is much smaller than Facebook, a site that provides a lot of the same functionality. A substitute might arise, but it'll be aimed at the crowd who actually have a bad time on Twitter, and that’s going to be a small subset. To be a bit glib, what VC is going to be interested in making something with Twitter’s style that make MetaFilter dollars when big, polished, semi-alternatives exist?
posted by Going To Maine at 4:32 PM on April 29 [2 favorites]


There are teeth, if you will in the fact that Twitter’s brand appears to be being awful and suddenly people are trying to hold it up as great but ruined by Musk. Do you want to make the next tool that everyone calls awful?
posted by Going To Maine at 4:35 PM on April 29


Are you saying Twitter has tweeth?
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:41 PM on April 29 [1 favorite]


Musk is a really big complicated subject. Someone with financial power who has a vision of the future* that isnt just 'corporations make profit while oil continues to burn and the atmosphere boils'. A billionaire who actually has a recognisable (albeit flawed) personality rather than being a suit with a stick up their arse. I'm surprised at the lack of detailed takes here, its almost as if everyone is relieved to finally put his name under the 'bad guy' list so that they dont have to actually think about all the details anymore. Kinda like "either Musk is the saviour of the world or the worst guy ever, its too complicated otherwise"

As for twitter:
- transparency in the algorithms that control what gets put infront of peoples faces seems like a good idea
- twitter at the whim of shareholders was not necessarily great - the reason there are so many bots is because the shareholders wanted users going up and didnt care if they were bots
- he wants to get rid of the bots (I take this to mean good-faith bots that do automatic things will be ok, but bots pretending to be people will not be)
- if Trump comes back but without the army of bots, that might not be so bad
- he wants dms encrypted like Signal

* see here - throughout my life, activists have had ideas of how to solve climate change but no power, and the business/political class have had the power to do something but just ignored it or paid it lip service. Musk is actually the first instance I can think of of someone who has a feasible plan and actually has a chance of making it happen. Is it more capitalist than I'd like? Sure, but I'll take it. We're running out of options.
posted by memebake at 5:59 AM on April 30 [2 favorites]






a vision of the future*

Batteries. His vision of the future is batteries.

Absent a new way of getting lithium, it's... I'll be nice and say incomplete.
posted by box at 7:39 AM on April 30 [5 favorites]


either Musk is the saviour of the world or the worst guy ever, its too complicated otherwise"

Elon Musk has established himself, over and over and over again, as a whimmish overt asshole with basically no coherent ethical core. He doesn't have to be literally and unambiguously the worst person ever to be a recognizably very shitty person not worth trying to defend every time he does another overtly shitty thing and mugs about it, which is his whole like way of being.

Being a rich asshole on main isn't somehow better than being a rich asshole and keeping up appearances. Being a hyperwealthy shithead who needs constant attention isn't a noteworthy personality.
posted by cortex at 9:06 AM on April 30 [19 favorites]


I believe the correct descriptor for Musk, for better and for worse, is “dilettante”.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:10 AM on April 30 [3 favorites]


(One of his dilettante whims is being a free speech bro, something that is bad. He also helped push electric cars, something that is good. The benefit of being rich is you can dabble in your hobbies much more thoroughly than ordinary people can.)
posted by Going To Maine at 9:14 AM on April 30 [1 favorite]


transparency in the algorithms that control what gets put in front of peoples faces seems like a good idea

As others have noted, that sounds good but is squarely in opposition to his other statement of "stamping out spam"; a transparent algorithm is transparently gameable. There's a reason that Google's ranking algorithms are opaque and constantly changing.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 5:37 PM on April 30 [5 favorites]


In case you held the delusion that a Musk-led Twitter would be anything other than a haven for violent hate speech, a rightwing activist who used Twitter to fund raise an assassination attempt on a BLM activist is told he will hopefully get his Twitter account back.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:56 AM on May 1 [1 favorite]


It shouldn't be up to Twitter to ban him for shit like that, the penal system should be dealing with him. It's fucked up that Twitter policies have any real bearing on this guy's ability to publicly fundraise for an assault or assassination.
posted by Dysk at 11:51 AM on May 1 [3 favorites]


And now he's walking it back, not with a news release, filing, or the other things that a corporate acquisition might entail, but with a shitty tweet. What a flake.
posted by anthill at 10:52 AM on May 13 [2 favorites]


Well, he got me to delete my Twitter account, so some good did come of it.
posted by box at 11:14 AM on May 13


It looks like Tesla needs to maintain a stock price of $740 to secure the loan, and it's dipped below that the past couple of days; the stock market in general has hit a downturn.

Still, it got box to delete their Twitter account, so it's not all bad.
posted by Pronoiac at 11:31 AM on May 13 [3 favorites]


It shouldn't be up to Twitter to ban him for shit like that, the penal system should be dealing with him. It's fucked up that Twitter policies have any real bearing on this guy's ability to publicly fundraise for an assault or assassination.

As the meme goes, por que no los dos?

Yes, law enforcement should have dealt with Johnson a long time ago, and the reason they didn't is a story involving both law enforcement being too supportive of the harassment and assault of minorities, as well as a cultural attitude that "free speech" means not taking the bigot at his word.

That said, there is also the space for the communities we build (and what else is social media more about than building communities?) to set limits on who gets to be a part of them. One of the major problems with Musk's proposed takeover is that he wants to destroy those hard won limits in the name of "free speech", but really because he's a man who never learned to take no for an answer.
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:41 PM on May 13


Today's Money Stuff (paywalled copy of free email newsletter; archive link) is particularly fire-y:
What is going on here? My initial reaction was that Musk was joking, that this was just a way to troll people online. It is, after all, Friday the 13th. “Still committed to acquisition,” he tweeted two hours later. Obviously this would be a bad joke, insofar as it “sent Twitter stock tumbling as much as 25% in premarket trading.” You are not supposed to say things that aren’t true and that will affect the stock of a public company that you are trying to buy. That is what is usually called “securities fraud,” or what I sometimes like to call “lite securities fraud.” Musk has a long history of lite securities fraud: He used to make jokes about Tesla Inc. introducing new products or going bankrupt, and he notably settled a fraud lawsuit with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission because he tweeted that he had secured funding to take Tesla private but had not. If he just woke up feeling frisky and tweeted a joke about Twitter’s bot accounts, a joke that wiped billions of dollars off Twitter’s market capitalization, that would be totally unsurprising. Bad! Not really allowed! But very much in character.

[...]

On the other hand, what if he does it anyway? What if he just says “no, I’d rather not close”? What is Twitter going to do? Sue him? It is easy for me, sitting here and looking at the contract, to say that Twitter would win that lawsuit and a court would order Musk to pay the money and close the deal. I do think that! But actually making that happen requires filing a lawsuit and going to court and asking a judge to make him pay billions of dollars to buy a company he doesn’t want. It requires his banks to fund $13 billion of debt for a risky leveraged buyout whose whimsical buyer is no longer interested.

Contractually this is all pretty buttoned-up, and I think a Delaware court would have a ton of sympathy for Twitter and none at all for Musk, who is acting in the most transparent and smirking bad faith. But there is a lot that could still go wrong. Suing would take time, and would cause bad publicity, and would create uncertainty among employees and users and advertisers. Letting him walk, focusing on the business, and taking the $1 billion — or negotiating a slightly higher breakup fee to save face — might be a better, though terrible, outcome for Twitter.

[...]

Elon Musk has made it very clear that the rule of law simply does not apply to him, and this has worked well for him. If he wants to ignore the merger agreement that he signed, he will. If you take him to court, he will put up a brutal fight and make things as unpleasant as possible for you. This puts his counterparties, like Twitter, in a tough position. They have a contract. But so what?
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 1:07 PM on May 13 [6 favorites]


Eponysterical
posted by Going To Maine at 1:26 PM on May 13 [7 favorites]


Elon Musk let slip that Twitter’s data about the preference of bots in their platform was based on a sample size of 100. Twitter’s legal team has said he violated their NDA. This is very entertaining.
posted by interogative mood at 6:43 PM on May 14 [4 favorites]


That should be prevalence of spam bots in their platform. Not preference. Sigh.
posted by interogative mood at 8:58 PM on May 14


It's mostly infuriating for me because Musk will face no consequences and he will even be rewarded for it. Nothing matters for him, he can do literally anything he wants, and yet he's wasting his time with this BS.
posted by muddgirl at 9:02 PM on May 14 [6 favorites]


Elon Musk let slip that Twitter’s data about the preference of bots in their platform was based on a sample size of 100. Twitter’s legal team has said he violated their NDA. This is very entertaining

This defies belief. And yet he believes it. If there’s any truth to this whatsoever, they’re probably sampling 100 random accounts like…thousands of times per day.

This latest tirade also sure sounds like “disparaging the company” to me. He’s currently shitting all over how bad Twitter is.

As an aside, Bill Gates’s 500 million short on Tesla sure seems pretty damn smart now.
posted by Room 101 at 1:30 PM on May 15 [6 favorites]


This defies belief. And yet he believes it. If there’s any truth to this whatsoever, they’re probably sampling 100 random accounts like…thousands of times per day.

Not to mention his excuse that his analysis was based on Twitter's public numbers. It turns out that he declined due diligence of Twitter's books in favor of their public numbers. Literally the worst episode of your favorite corporate legal TV series.
posted by rhizome at 3:59 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]


It may have been linked, but I rather like Casey Newton’s take that Elon is extorting Twitter to give him a better price by dumping on the company and driving the share price down, and because the SEC has been so weak with him and the Twitter board isn’t good at anything he -likely rightly- doesn’t foresee any consequences.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:56 PM on May 15 [2 favorites]


I like this take that suggests this has all just been a ploy to let Elon dump more of his Tesla stock and that he really isn’t going to buy Twitter.
posted by interogative mood at 7:51 AM on May 16


I found Patrick Boyle's review of the deal and discussion on the concept of the deal being "on hold" very interesting. This one is only 7 minutes long, he posted an earlier, longer video on the concept of the purchase prior to it going forward.
posted by beowulf573 at 8:12 AM on May 16 [1 favorite]


Honestly, I think at this point he's a 3-year-old who just wants to stir shit and drama and who cares where the poop lands. Seconding muddgirl.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:48 AM on May 16 [2 favorites]


Tony Stark as a pseudo-libertarian divorced dad.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:12 AM on May 16 [5 favorites]


Via tech journalist Mike Isaac's twitter, we have the following drama in two acts:
  1. Twitter CEO Parag Agarwal puts out a 15-tweet thread (starting here) explaining/clarifying Twitter's spam & bot approach.
  2. Tesla CEO Elon Musk replies with a poop emoji.
To be fair, Elon also follows up with:
So how do advertisers know what they’re getting for their money? This is fundamental to the financial health of Twitter.
I mean, sure, whatever. But this is like day 1 orientation stuff for anyone in the media and/or advertising worlds. Whether or not this is genuine naivete, part of some kind of sketchy securities fraud scheme, just plain trolling, or something combination, Elon sure seems insistent on presenting himself like the most obtuse, dunderheaded asshole on the block.
posted by mhum at 8:39 PM on May 16 [3 favorites]


2. Tesla CEO Elon Musk replies with a poop emoji.

I just. I just want to set everything on fire. Can I do that?
posted by mochapickle at 8:48 PM on May 16 [2 favorites]




In case there was any remaining doubt on which side Elon's bread gets buttered, his latest tweet:

In the past I voted Democrat, because they were (mostly) the kindness party.

But they have become the party of division & hate, so I can no longer support them and will vote Republican.

Now, watch their dirty tricks campaign against me unfold [popcorn emoji]


So basically, cozy up to Republicans who are likely to be in power again and also likely to save his ass from an already-feckless SEC. Also, that he expects a dirty tricks campaign....is this a limited hangout? Is there more shit than his running afoul of the SEC constantly?
posted by Room 101 at 4:46 PM on May 18 [2 favorites]


I don't want to seem like I'm defending Musk, but is Twitter really claiming that only 5% of the accounts on their service are spam?

Because I've run online communities that let people create free accounts before, and the numbers are usually more like 75% spam 25% real users. Even with tons of effort to remove the spammers. And I don't think Twitter has the staff to manage the problem the way I did, by reading every single post that appeared.

I literally could have claimed that my tiny unpopular forum that had maybe 50 active users had 10,000 accounts if I didn't account for spam.

I seriously think they're doing an amazing job if less than 50% of the accounts are spammers.
posted by mmoncur at 9:13 PM on May 18 [1 favorite]


Twitter leadership has told employees that they intend to hold the line on the deal, and not allow renegotiation.
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:58 PM on May 19 [1 favorite]


On the one hand, I do not want Elon Musk to own Twitter. On the other, I want him to have less money and be held accountable for some of his rule breaking in a way that can’t simply be shrugged of by being unfathomably wealthy.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:06 PM on May 19 [5 favorites]


I think the most Twitter could actually hold Musk to is the $1b termination fee they both agreed to, if he's determined to quit the deal.
posted by BungaDunga at 1:37 PM on May 19


A billion dollars PLUS court and attorney fees, I'd bet, which is probably why Twitter lawyers are straining like hounds at the leash. Infinite billable hours!
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 2:15 PM on May 19 [1 favorite]




The $1B escape is only available in limited situations and there was a specific performance requirement for everything else. Twitter may not get all $44B, but it should be much more than $1B.

My impression is that Elon yeah-sure-whatever'ed the negotiations and has found himself in over his head.
posted by rhizome at 4:34 PM on May 19 [3 favorites]


After Insider contacted Musk for comment, he emailed to ask for more time to respond and said there is "a lot more to this story.... If I were inclined to engage in sexual harassment, this is unlikely to be the first time in my entire 30-year career that it comes to light," he wrote, calling the story a "politically motivated hit piece."

So yesterday, when he tweeted about "dirty tricks campaigns" by the Democrats, Insider had almost certainly already requested comment on this story. So this piece of shit responds to a sexual harassment allegation by immediately throwing himself at the mercy of MAGA.

Also, what a response. Just wow, chefs kiss. Anyone recall how long it took for Cosby's or Weinstein's sexual assaults to come to light?
posted by Room 101 at 4:55 PM on May 19 [3 favorites]


“There is more to the story” is just such an enticing tease.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:12 PM on May 19 [3 favorites]


> So yesterday, when he tweeted about "dirty tricks campaigns" by the Democrats, Insider had almost certainly already requested comment on this story.

Yup! On Eastern time, they reached out around 9am, and Musk's "Political attacks will escalate dramatically" tweet was at 9:22am.
posted by Pronoiac at 10:39 PM on May 19 [1 favorite]


Musk is meeting his fanboi Bolsonaro today.
It is also election year here in Brazil.
I sniff skullduggery in the air.
posted by adamvasco at 8:51 AM on May 20 [2 favorites]


I think part of the problem here is that even if we assum the absolute worst case scenario for Musk he still:

1) Will be a multi-billionaire who can buy dozens of elections without impacting his lifestyle in the slightest

and

2) Will own Twitter to lord over as his own personal domain answerable to no one.

The part where it might cost him a few billion more than he'd planned on? Why should he give a shit? Why should we? He's got so much money he can afford to be in over his head. He's got so much money he could make two or three more deals exactly this costly and stupid and **STILL** have a few billion left over to life out his life wallowing in luxury and interfering in politics on a massive scale.

Even a single billion is more than enough for one person to be a force in politics as strong as any five or ten Senators and also life in perfect comfort wanting for no luxury for the rest of their life.
posted by sotonohito at 8:59 AM on May 20


Certainly, there is the big economic picture where Elon Musk is able to do whatever he wants, billionaires are bad, etc. All true in a general way, but I think that frame leans into a certain kind of nihilism: Elon Musk suffering from the consequences of his actions to whatever extent is possible is good, and everyone knowing that Elon Musk, ostensible “genius” is just some dude on the make is bad for billionaires as a class and, therefore, also good.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:09 AM on May 20 [1 favorite]


Ah, some news from @elonmusk!
Tesla is building a hardcore litigation department where we directly initiate & execute lawsuits. The team will report directly to me.

Please send 3 to 5 bullet points describing evidence of exceptional ability.

justice@tesla.com

My commitment:
  • We will never seek victory in a just case against us, even if we will probably win.
  • We will never surrender/settle an unjust case against us, even if we will probably lose.
Please include links to cases you have tried

Looking for hardcore streetfighters, not white-shoe lawyers like Perkins or Cooley who thrive on corruption.

There will be blood.


Strong this-is-fine energy. I think I should stop paying attention to this noise, but it’s hard to look away.
posted by Going To Maine at 4:41 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


I feel sorry for the poor admin assistant who has to monitor that address.
posted by NoxAeternum at 5:40 PM on May 20 [6 favorites]


We’re gonna watch him have a breakdown in real-time, aren’t we?
posted by aramaic at 6:31 PM on May 20 [3 favorites]


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