Twitter feels like I can now wake up every morning to find the entire site burned to the ground, with Elon Mush in the smoking rubble, in some yellowed Y-fronts, bathtub gin dripping through broken teeth, laughing at me.
— John Birmingham (@JohnBirmingham) October 31, 2022
It seems that not many people are excited to pay Elon Musk for the privilege of using Twitter.
Judging by the tweets of the billionaire who has been posting shit since paying $44 billion to buy the platform, this seems like a surprise and may even point to a potential flaw in his original business plan.
Quite an achievement, because if there was a business plan, it consisted entirely of paying $44 billion for an open sewer – and then adding Nazis.
Taking over Twitter appears to have become Elon Musk’s own special military operation in Ukraine. It seemed like a good idea at the time, especially among far-right online wingnuts, but his air force has been shot out of the sky, his flagship has sunk, and now strangers on the internet are tweeting mean things about him.
He’s an idiot, isn’t he? pic.twitter.com/ItEpbsfw72
— David Milner (@DaveMilbo) Nov 2, 2022
Someone is having a very normal day. https://t.co/UsVjlFA5lS
— Alan Baxter 💀📖👊🥃 (@AlanBaxter) Nov 2, 2022
Oddly enough, if he was willing to offer a service that wasn’t preloaded with Nazis, porn, and textual harassment, millions of people might well consider raising a few bucks a month to share their thoughts on sandwiches. and pictures of their dogs with people who need such things.
Tough day? This can help. pic.twitter.com/QUABK7s7lT
— John Birmingham (@JohnBirmingham) Nov 1, 2022
Sadly, Musk seems unable to separate his new role as sole owner of a forty-four billion dollar mistake from his favorite wank fantasy of being a superhero-edge lord.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) Nov 1, 2022
Things are moving fast online, but even in Twitter’s hyper-accelerated spacetime, it’s been damn fast from Musk’s promise to advertisers that he wouldn’t create a free hellscape, to the free hellscape he created by an insane, insane gay-lovers-tiff- conspiracy theory about the man who tried to kill Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer.
Advertisers who already had little reason to spend their marketing money on the bird site withdrew their ad purchases before Musk retracted his tweet. But of course, deleting the stupid tweet only angered all the insane conspiracy theorists and Nazi nosy incel types who returned to the site after Musk took over.
He needs those advertisers.
Interest on the company’s debt now rises to more than $1 billion a year, but Twitter billed just over half that amount last fiscal year. With Stephen King refusing to intervene, Musk can’t afford to scare advertisers away while he plays with the freedom fighter.
$20 a month to keep my blue check? Damn, they should pay me. If that’s implemented, I’ll be gone, as will Enron.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) October 31, 2022
Musk reminds me of Tom Sawyer, who is given the task of whitewashing a fence as punishment. Tom persuades his friends to do the job for him, and make them pay for the privilege. That’s what Musk wants to do with Twitter. No no no.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) Nov 3, 2022
It gets worse, of course, because everything works.
The more than billion in interest that Twitter can’t pay at all is just the beginning of Musk’s money problems. Even if he fires half the staff, as probably in the next twenty-four hours…
He still has to do the payroll for the rest, rent the offices and all the other costs involved in running a globally distributed communications platform.
Good luck with it, genius.
The hell is he can turn the company around. He could even ask users to manage their accounts. All users too, not just the Blue Check elite.
If he was willing to piss off his fanboys and aggressively moderate the site so that most people would feel safe and welcome there, knowing they wouldn’t be harassed or attacked by… well, to be honest, by f*ckwits like Musk, he could probably charge anyone five dollars a month.
If he was willing to suppress bots and trolls and misinformation, Twitter could become what it initially promised to be, a city square for the digital age.
But that’s not possible if you really want a free-for-all and a hellscape, because for whatever f*ck-up reason, that appeals to your edge lord sensibilities.