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Elon Musk Begins Purging Twitter of Up to 3500 Employees

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Elon Musk Begins Purging Twitter of Up to 3500 Employees

Billionaire Elon Musk began purging Twitter of its abundance of managers and woke employees on Friday. 

Elon Musk’s overhaul of Twitter has sparked condemnation from leftist progressives and Democrats who say they are worried over the platform’s ability to combat disinformation just days before the US midterm elections.

Musk’s purge of Twitter has led to legal action from the left. At least one lawsuit was filed in San Francisco on Thursday, saying that Twitter violated federal law by failing to provide needed notice to sacked employees.

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Musk informed employees through email that they would find out if they had been laid off on Friday. 

His email did not specify how many approximately 7,500 employees would be let go.

Musk did neither confirm nor correct investor Ron Baron, who asked how much money he would save if he “fired half of Twitter” at a conference in New York on Friday.

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Musk responded by discussing Twitter’s cost and income issues, blaming activists within Twitter who persuaded large corporations to stop advertising on the platform. 

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Musk hasn’t said anything about the Twitter layoffs.

Activist groups, including employees, have been successful in causing a decline in Twitter advertising revenue. We’ve done everything we can to please them, but nothing has worked,” Musk said. 

He went on to say that the decline in advertising was expected as many of the advertisers were aligned with EGS, Environmental, social, and corporate governance.

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When activist employees lost access to their work accounts hours earlier, they realized they would soon be fired. 

These employees and others took to the platform using the hashtag #OneTeam to send messages of solidarity. 

The memo to employees stated that job cuts were “essential to ensure the company’s success moving forward.”

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No other social media network comes close to Twitter in terms of keeping people informed by public agencies and other key service providers – electoral boards, police departments, utilities, schools, and news sources. 

Before Musk’s takeover of Twitter, conservatives accused the social media site of being biased against conservative viewpoints.  They were excited by the idea of fair moderation under Musk, who has previously criticized Twitter’s leftist moderation.

Republican, Senator Marsha Blackburn, stated on Friday, “I am hopeful that Elon Musk will assist in reining in Big Tech’s history of silencing users who have a different viewpoint than the left.”

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The purge of Spam Bots

Musk has stated that Twitter’s mechanism for ranking tweets should be made public, and he has highlighted user-friendly changes to the service, such as the addition of an edit button and the defeat of “spam bots” that send massive numbers of undesired tweets.

“Free expression is the foundation of a functional democracy,” he stated Monday. “I hope that even my harshest detractors remain on Twitter since that is what free expression entails,” he added.

However, many on the left fear Musk’s layoffs will devastate the social media platform and worry about the possible rise of abuse on the platform. Despite Musk’s saying Twitter would not become a “free-for-all hellscape” under his leadership.

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Several employees who tweeted about their job losses claimed that Twitter also eliminated their entire teams, including one devoted to human rights and global conflicts. 

Another group for testing Twitter’s algorithms for bias in how tweets are amplified and an engineering team dedicated to making the social platform more accessible to people with disabilities.

Eddie Perez, a former Twitter civic integrity team manager who resigned in September, expressed concern that the layoffs close to the midterm elections could allow disinformation to “spread like wildfire” during the post-election vote-counting phase in particular.

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“I have a hard time believing that doesn’t have a meaningful influence on their capacity to handle the quantity of disinformation out there,” he said, adding that there may not be enough personnel to combat it.

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Progressive Attack Musk and Twitter

According to Perez, a board member of the nonpartisan election integrity NGO OSET Institute, the post-election period is especially dangerous because “some candidates may refuse to concede and some may cite election anomalies, which is likely to start a fresh cycle of falsehoods.”

However, a Twitter insider says Perez’s concerns are somewhat overinflated, and his comments are stereotypical of the progressive activism that permeated the social media platform.

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Since Musk took over as CEO, Twitter staff have been anticipating layoffs. On his first day as owner, he sacked key executives, including CEO Parag Agrawal, and removed the company’s board of directors.

As the emails went out, many Twitter employees rushed to the site to voice their support for one another, typically just tweeting blue heart emojis to represent the company’s blue bird logo and salute emojis in answer to one another.

Meanwhile, a coalition of progressive civil rights organizations say the broad layoffs will threaten content moderation standards, and they have increased their requests for corporations to suspend advertising purchases on the site. 

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This claim has, however, been disputed by Musk supporters saying the progressive left is more worried about their voices being moderated as the platform is being purged of cancel culture activists.

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Cancel Culture Activism Surges

The cancel culture activists have said Musk’s layoffs are especially perilous in the run-up to the elections, as well as for transgender people and other groups facing violence spurred by hate speech that circulates online.

Free Press and Color of Change leaders claimed they spoke with Musk on Tuesday, and he committed to keeping and implementing existing election integrity procedures.  According to Jessica González, co-CEO of Free Press, the enormous layoffs suggest otherwise.

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González disputed Musk’s claim that content moderation procedures had not changed since his takeover, claiming that the organization was already “dangerously under-resourced.”

“When you purportedly lay off 50% of your workforce — including teams in charge of tracking, monitoring, and enforcing content moderation and guidelines — it essentially suggests that content moderation has changed,” González explained.

Media Bias Fact Check rates Free Press.Org as Far-Left biased based on editorial positions that align with the progressive left. 

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They also rate them mostly factual in reporting due to one-sided reporting that does not always offer a counter perspective.

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Employee Lawsuits and Income Losses

Meanwhile, a California’s Employment Development Department representative stated that Twitter had provided no public notice of the impending layoffs as of Friday. 

On Thursday, a complaint was filed in US federal court in San Francisco by one laid-off employee and 3 other employees who were locked out of their work accounts. 

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The cutbacks come at a difficult time for social media businesses, as advertisers cut back and newcomers — primarily TikTok — threaten established platforms like Instagram and Facebook.

Musk blamed cancel culture activists in a Friday post for a “huge loss in income” since taking over Twitter late last week.  He did not specify how much revenue had been lost.

Large corporations that have bought into ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance), such as General Motors, REI, General Mills, and Audi, have all paused advertising on Twitter owing to concerns about how it would run under Musk. 

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Volkswagen Group has advised its brands, Audi, Lamborghini, and Porsche, to halt sponsored operations until Twitter updates its brand safety standards.

Musk did tell advertisers last week that Twitter would not become a “free-for-all hellscape,” but many are anxious about whether content monitoring will remain strict and whether sticking to Twitter will degrade their brands.

Musk stated Friday that “nothing has changed with content control.”

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Degrading their brand means corporations fear reprisals from woke social media activists who will target their shareholders like they have targeted Musk and Twitter.

 

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Elon Musk Chastises Apple for 30% App Store Fees

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Elon Musk Chastises Apple for 30% App Store Fees

Elon Musk slammed Apple in a series of tweets o Twitter on Monday over its 30% App Store fees, providing Spotify and Epic Games with a powerful ally in their battle against the tech giant.

Elon Musk chastised Apple for charging software developers a fee for in-app purchases and posted a meme implying he was willing to “go to war” rather than pay the levy.

Musk also claimed that Apple had threatened to remove Twitter from its app store, though he did not elaborate.

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Spotify has filed antitrust complaints against Apple in Europe, and Epic Games planned to sue Apple in the United States in 2020.

Musk, who purchased Twitter last month, has announced plans to charge users $8 per month to become verified on the social media platform to increase profitability and avoid bankruptcy. A 30% reduction would be a significant blow to those plans.

After Spotify filed an antitrust case against Apple in 2019, the European Commission has been investigating whether Apple’s rules for app developers violate its rules.

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If found guilty of violating EU antitrust rules, Apple faces a fine of up to 10% of its global revenue.

Apple is “playing a dangerous game,” according to Luke Suddards, an analyst at investment insights firm Finimize, by threatening to remove Twitter from its App Store.

“If Twitter is suspended, another lawsuit could be filed. Elon Musk used the courts effectively during his Twitter acquisition, and it would not be surprising if he used the same strategy now.”

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Apple vs. Epic Games

Epic Games asked a three-judge U.S. federal appeals panel earlier this month to overturn portions of a lower court antitrust ruling that favored Apple and its App Store payment business.

Apple previously stated that the commissions it receives help it fund app reviews to ensure consumers are not exposed to fraudulent, pornographic, or privacy-invading apps.

“Apple continues to disadvantage competitors, with significant consequences for consumers, app developers, and, most recently, authors and publishers. Nothing will change unless policymakers take action. “Last month, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek posted on Twitter.

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Musk, who was in the process of purchasing Twitter at the time, responded to Ek’s post with “concerning.”

However, some analysts are concerned that going to war with Apple will drive more users away from Twitter.

“While Musk seeks to rekindle the ongoing feud between Apple and developers, all of this negativity will drive Twitter users away,” said Paolo Pescatore, an analyst with PP Foresight.

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“People are not going to abandon their iPhones… They are used to signing up for various social services but only use one phone at a time, “He stated.

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Apple threat to yank Twitter from App Store

In a series of tweets on Monday, Elon Musk accused Apple of threatening to block Twitter Inc from its app store without explaining why. He also claimed that the iPhone maker had stopped advertising on social media.

The billionaire CEO of Twitter and Tesla claimed that Apple was putting pressure on Twitter over content moderation requirements.

Apple has not confirmed the action, but it would not be unusual given that the company has routinely enforced its rules and previously removed apps such as Gab and Parler.

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Apple restored Parler, popular among US conservatives, in 2021 after the app updated its content and moderation practices, the companies said at the time.

“Apple has largely discontinued advertising on Twitter. Do Americans despise free speech? “Musk, who purchased Twitter for $44 billion last month, stated in a tweet.

In a subsequent tweet, he tagged Apple CEO Tim Cook’s Twitter account, asking, “what’s going on here?”

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Apple did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

“It wasn’t clear to me how far up the Apple food chain that idea went internally,” Randal Picker, a law professor at the University of Chicago, said.

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Apple was the top advertiser on Twitter.

According to ad measurement firm Pathmatics, the world’s most valuable company spent an estimated $131,600 on Twitter ads between Nov. 10 and Nov. 16, down from $220,800 between Oct. 16 and Oct. 22, the week before Musk closed the Twitter deal.

According to an internal Twitter document, Apple was the top advertiser on Twitter in the first quarter of 2022, spending $48 million and accounting for more than 4% of total revenue for the period.

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Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report from Reuters.

The up to 30% fee Apple charges software developers for in-app purchases was among Musk’s list of grievances, with Musk posting a meme suggesting he was willing to “go to war” with Apple rather than pay the commission.

The fee has drawn criticism and lawsuits from companies such as Epic Games, the creators of ‘Fortnite,’ as well as the attention of regulators worldwide.

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The commission may consider Musk’s efforts to increase subscription revenue at Twitter, partly to compensate for the exodus of advertisers due to content moderation concerns.

Since the acquisition, companies ranging from General Mills Inc (GIS.N) to luxury automaker Audi of America have stopped or paused advertising on Twitter, and Musk stated earlier this month that the company had seen a “massive” drop in revenue.

Ad sales generate roughly 90% of Twitter’s revenue.

The self-described free speech absolutist, whose company has reinstated several Twitter accounts, including that of former US President Donald Trump, in recent days, has blamed activist groups for putting pressure on advertisers.

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According to Ben Bajarin, the head of consumer technologies at research firm Creative Strategies, Musk may be reading too much into a routine process Apple uses for app review.

“App review from Apple is not perfect by any means, and it is a consistently frustrating process for developers,” he said. “However, from what I hear, it is a two-way conversation.”

Elon Musk to Grants Amnesty to Suspended Accounts

Twitter to Grant “Amnesty” to Suspended Accounts

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Twitter to Grant “Amnesty” to Suspended Accounts

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Twitter to Grant "Amnesty" to Suspended Accounts

Twitter CEO Elon Musk announced Thursday that he is granting “amnesty” to suspended accounts, which alleged experts predict will increase harassment, hate speech, and misinformation.

The billionaire announced after asking for votes on the reinstatement of accounts that have not “broken the law or engaged in egregious spam” in a poll posted to his timeline. The yes vote received 72% of the vote.

“The populace has spoken. The amnesty period begins next week. “Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Musk wrote on Twitter, referring to the Latin phrase that means “the voice of the people, the voice of God.”

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Musk used the same Latin phrase after posting a similar poll last weekend before reinstating former President Donald Trump’s account, which Twitter had banned for encouraging the Capitol insurgency on January 6, 2021. Trump has stated that he will no longer use Twitter but has not deleted his account.

Such online polls are far from scientific and are easily manipulated by bots.

Racist, anti-Semitic, and other toxic speech has been on the rise on the world’s de facto public square in the month since Musk took over Twitter, according to groups that monitor the platform. This has included increased racist abuse directed at World Cup soccer players, which Twitter allegedly fails to address.

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The increase in harmful content is largely due to the chaos after Musk decided to lay off half of the company’s 7,500-person workforce, fire top executives, and then issue a series of ultimatums that prompted hundreds more to resign.

A slew of contractors in charge of content moderation was also let go. Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of trust and safety, was among those who resigned due to a lack of trust in Musk’s willingness to keep Twitter from devolving into chaos of uncontrolled speech.

Some advertisers have also withdrawn from Twitter.

Musk tweeted on Oct. 28, the day after assuming control, that no suspended accounts would be reinstated until Twitter formed a “content moderation council” with diverse viewpoints to consider the cases.

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On Tuesday, he said he was breaking that promise because he agreed to it at the request of “a large coalition of political-social activist groups,” who later “broke the deal” by urging advertisers to at least temporarily stop doing business with Twitter.

A day earlier, Twitter reinstated far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s account, which was suspended in January for violating the platform’s COVID misinformation policies.

Meanwhile, Musk has become increasingly friendly with right-wing figures on Twitter. He urged “independent-minded” Americans to vote Republican ahead of this month’s midterm elections in the United States.

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According to a European Union report released Thursday, Twitter took longer to review hateful content this year and removed less of it than in 2021.

The report was based on data collected in the spring — prior to Musk’s acquisition of Twitter — as part of an annual assessment of online platforms’ adherence to the EU’s code of conduct on disinformation. It discovered that Twitter assessed just over half of the illegal hate speech notifications it received within 24 hours, down from 82% in 2021.

Source: AP, VOR News

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Stop Toxic Twitter Attacks Advertisers Over Trump

Stop Toxic Twitter Attacks Advertisers Over Trump

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Stop Toxic Twitter Attacks Advertisers Over Trump

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Stop Toxic Twitter Attacks Advertisers Over Trump Reinstated

On Monday, a coalition of woke activists urged Twitter’s advertisers to issue statements about pulling their ads after Elon Musk lifted the Twitter ban on former US President Donald Trump.

Trump’s account was reinstated over the weekend after Twitter’s woke CEO suspended it following the riot at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021. He allegedly cited that the ban was for the risk of further incitement of violence.

Twitter generates 90% of its revenue from the sale of digital advertisements.

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The Stop Toxic Twitter coalition, founded by disgruntled Twitter employees and woke activists, complained that Musk had promised advertisers that Twitter would take a cautious approach to reinstate banned accounts and convene a new content moderation council.

As of Monday, no such council had been formed.

“This was a real breach, according to Angelo Carusone, president of Media Matters, a coalition member with a far left-leaning woke media watchdog, said on Monday.

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Musk, he claimed, “lied from the start.”

“In less than three weeks, Musk had broken a promise he made to advertisers,” said Jessica Gonzalez, co-chief executive of Free Press, a woke democracy group also part of the Twitter coalition.

Twitter did not immediately respond to Reuters‘ request for comment.

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Musk sted earlier this month that pressure from woke activists had already resulted in a “massive drop in revenue.”

Late last week, Twitter began reinstating banned or suspended accounts, including comedian Kathy Griffin and Trump.

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On Monday, Twitter reactivated U.S. House Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene’s account.

According to Carusone, the Anti-Musk coalition is demanding brands that have not publicized their Twitter pause to make public statements to pressure the other 49 advertisers who have not taken action.

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“You must take a stand and draw a line,” Carusone advised. “It’s critical for big spenders to state that they’ve stopped.”

He added that if the companies have not issued a public statement about pausing ads, the coalition will consider naming them later this week.

Musk announced on Saturday that Twitter would restoreTrumps account after a Twitter poll on the subject.

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The names at the top of Twitter’s top advertisers had shifted since the week before Musk completed his company acquisition.

Carusone

Media Matters Founders Hypocrisy

Angelo Carusone, the president of Media Matters, faced scrutiny over a series of derogatory comments on his blog that resurfaced.

According to The Daily Caller, Angelo Carusone appeared to make derogatory comments about Jews, “transvestites” and Japanese people.

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Carusone has a track record of inflammatory statements. Carusone’s now-defunct blog included degrading references to “trannies,” “Jewry,” and Bangladeshis. Carusone posted a lengthy diatribe in November 2005 about a Bangladeshi man robbed by “a gang of transvestites,” as Carusone described it.

Carusone was offended that the gang was described as “attractive” in an article. “Did you notice the word attractive? What the f**k is that doing in there? Is the write[r] a tranny lover too? Or, perhaps he’s trying to justify how these trannies tricked this Bangladeshi in the first place?

Look, man, we don’t need to know whether or not they were attractive. The f**king guy was Bangladeshi,” Carusone wrote. “And while we’re out, what the hell was he doing with $7,300 worth of stuff?

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The guy’s Bangladeshi! [sic]” Carusone also chided police for not advising the public to “stay away from tranny bars, stay away from places [sic] where Eddie Murphy and Robert Downey Jr. have/are visiting, don’t f**king kiss a transvestite, don’t bring a group of transvestites back to your room, etc..”

That same year, Carusone also commented on a male basketball coach accused of sexually and physically abusing his female players.

Carusone dismissed the allegations against the coach in Japan using an ethnic slur.

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Carusone also appeared to praise former Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), a former member of the Ku Klux Klan, in one post. He separately wrote that his boyfriend was adorable “despite his Jewry.”

Of course, Media Matters did not respond to a request for comment.

The resurfaced posts came days after Media Matters published offensive comments previously made by Fox News host and Daily Caller founder Tucker Carlson.

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Carlson said that he wouldn’t apologize for his derogatory comments on the “Bubba the Love Sponge” radio program between 2006 and 2011.

Elon Musk Announces Twitter Will Ban Impersonators

Elon Musk Announces Twitter Will Ban Impersonators

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