After the mass layoff earlier this month, and the latest ultimatum surrounding Elon Musk’s terms for staying with the company, Twitter employees and users alike have shown a tremendous amount of outrage in the future of the social media giant.
Almost a third of users believed that Elon Musk will destroy Twitter (30%).
A mass exodus of Twitter employees was underway on Thursday afternoon, responding to Elon Musk’s ultimatum that ended at 5 p.m. EST with a ‘Salut’ emoji in the company’s internal Slack channel. This all stemming from a business mandate where musk outlined a future that would require Twitter’s culture to dramatically shift to align with new hardcore and extreme standards.
Two weeks ago (well before the mass departures) Savanta asked 750 Americans to describe their feelings towards the idea of Elon Musk taking over the app and how it might change the platform. Even before knowing what was soon to follow, there was already much uncertainty about the situation. Nearly half of Americans agreed that Elon Musk will prioritize profit over protecting Twitter users (42%), and almost a third of users believed that Elon Musk will destroy Twitter (30%).
Americans were increasingly concerned about the way other users will use the platform if it becomes truly decentralized. Elon Musk tweeted today “New Twitter policy is freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach. Negative/hate tweets will be max deboosted & demoetized, so no ads or other revenue to Twitter. You won’t find the tweet unless you specially seek it out, which is no different from the rest of the internet.”
35% of Americans fear Twitter will become a platform for hate speech, 45% of African Americans are fearful of extended hate speech.
More concern came after Twitter redefined the verified Twitter-blue check mark, allowing anyone who paid $7.99 to deem themselves as “verified”. The motion, however, was soon halted after fake accounts and impersonators were defining themselves as verified brands and famous individuals.
With this initiative suspended, users are looking to those that are abusing the platform, now and prior to all the changes. Americans feel divided on previous users, with 30% agreeing that users that were banned from Twitter should be reinstated, and 32% disagree. This has been a very relevant topic around very controversial figures recently banned from the platform such as Donald Trump and Kanye West. It will be interesting to see if Elon will adjust his stance or hold true by letting them back on.
Perhaps the best way to describe the drama and uncertainty of Twitter is with Elon Musk’s own tweet, “Twitter is the worst! But also the best.”