Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Twitter’s landscape undergoes changes

By Rocco Golden

Recently, Twitter has been in a transition period. The social media giant has officially been bought out by Elon Musk. Under the new leadership, there have already been a slew of new changes brought about, with many more on the way. Users are outraged by these new changes, while others are breathing sighs of relief and happiness.

One of the biggest arguments against Musk’s recent decisions is that he is ruining the company by firing employees. The counter argument is that Musk is trying to make Twitter more profitable, and in the process, he has to make some tough decisions. Contrary to what many may think, Twitter employees worked in a more lax and lavish environment, as compared to a typical workplace. 

According to a recent article by The New York Post, hundreds of Twitter employees have decided to leave or resign after Musk told workers they needed to commit to a hardcore work environment and long hours at high intensity. This is certainly a drastic change compared to the old Twitter. With regards to fairness of these conditions, it is unfair, but definitely worth it if Twitter is to survive and stay relevant. Longer hours and high intensity work right now will be good for the long run. 

Musk paid $44 billion for Twitter, and obviously he has to make back that money somehow. The way to make money back becomes making Twitter into a more profitable company. If there are employees that are practically useless, and they’re not doing anything good for the company, it’s a given to get rid of them. A sizable number of Twitter’s employees have either resigned or have been fired, and it’s unclear how many more will go. What is known is that the company is reshaping itself, and whether this reshaping will turn out successful is up in the air.

Another big argument against Musk’s vision for Twitter is that less regulation of speech on the platform is bad. Twitter back in the day always stood for free speech. It’s highly debatable whether this is true, as more evidence has come out over the past few years showing that Twitter and their employees were biased. 

According to an article by The Hill, an American newspaper and digital media company, former CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey said during an interview in 2018 that Twitter employees share a largely left-leaning bias. In the years leading up to the acquisition by Musk, this sentiment stayed the same. It is clear that the old Twitter had, to a degree, partisanship. When the platform permanently suspended the former U.S. President Donald Trump, many were convinced that free speech was not evident. If Twitter was always pro-free speech as it claims to have been, then there really should not be a problem with the new deregulation and leadership.

It is also said that now, under Musk’s decisions and leadership, Twitter could be on a road to collapse soon. While many say that Twitter will go down as time goes on, it could really go in either direction. Musk tweeted, “The best people are staying, so I’m not super worried.” Even though Musk is not worried about the potential collapse of Twitter, that does not guarantee a good future. It is possible that the mass resignations of employees in tie with many users and advertisers leaving the platform could spell a disaster that is too large to recover from. 

Bankruptcy is definitely a hot topic amongst the public. Many think that it is going to be inevitable. With that being said, bankruptcy is not the end-all be-all of Twitter’s fate. According to an article by National Public Radio, bankruptcy of Twitter could help Musk restructure some of the immense debt that was accrued after the acquisition. Debt is always a problem, so being able to take care of that problem is essential.

Twitter has always been a weird social media platform. It’s always been a place to have conversations and connect with other people, but in the modern day it seems it’s just a place for argument. Regardless of who is in charge of decision making, Twitter’s environment will most likely continue to stay the same as time goes on. 

The foundation of social media platforms are the users. Without users then a platform is pointless. Similar to a building, there’s so much that can be changed without trying to build new foundations. Twitter has always had a base of users, and will continue to, even if the platform stagnates or succeeds. While many other rules and policies for Twitter may change, the foundation will stay. 

For other social media platforms, Twitter’s future could be good or bad. On one hand, the company could continue on the road it is on now: trying to make a profit, hiring new and better employees, and becoming an even larger giant in the social media sector. This would mean other social media platforms would have a harder time garnering users for their time. On the other hand, Twitter could become more stagnant and less relevant as time goes on, which would mean other platforms will get the users they would want.

With many of the better, more productive employees staying at Twitter, there is not a big chance the company will go under anytime soon. Twitter has also been seeing a surge in active users and signups, and now Twitter is now also trying to make more of a profit through new services such as Twitter Blue, as revenue from advertisers is undoubtedly going to decrease. It seems unlikely that anything detrimental will happen in the near future, but then again, anything is possible.

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