I’m a bit Elon and Twittered out, but I want to capture a basic prediction about all the shenanigans.
As for my take on things, I will just say that Elon miscalculated a number of things in his handling of the transition. I think he thought his actions would be better received. But he fired a lot of people, all at once, so he should have anticipated the blowback.
And I think he’s seriously messing up by selling blue checkmarks without verification. They keep saying verification as if it applies to the new checkmark, but it doesn’t. He has somewhat fixed that with this tweet, but that’s just a band-aid on the larger problem.
Going forward, any Twitter handles engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying “parody” will be permanently suspended— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 6, 2022
Anyway, that’s not what I wanted to talk about. Here’s my overall prediction for the way things are about to go.
- Many people—especially Elon-haters—will continue to thrash regarding his takeover, with everything he does being attacked. This will last for around a month or two.
- As Musk settles in, he’s going to start actually shipping the features he has been promising, and people will be extremely happy that he’s improving the service they love so much.
- This will include employees, who will now be getting “you’re the best of the best” talk from Elon in addition to “this is an emergency” talk, and their pride will be higher than it’s been in a long time because they’re shipping features that people love
- In 4-6 months Twitter will be significantly better. Better fact-checking. Better features for creators. And a bunch of other features that the previous team had no chance of shipping.
- All the haters will become increasingly quiet, kind of pretending their outbursts never happened, even though people do have many solid reasons to complain right now.
In short, all this pushback will largely be eclipsed by Twitter’s new momentum, and the largely good will that comes from it.
There’s one caveat, however, which is not a small one. If he brings back Trump, Alex Jones, and those types, I—and many others—are going to lose our collective shit. I’d be ok if he gave them one last chance or something, and then had the ban hammer ready as soon as they incited hate or spread harmful information again. Which would take roughly a day or two.
But if he just brings them back, and lets them go on leading conspiracies and hate mobs, he will have caused great harm to the US and I’d argue the planet. He needs to find the way to thread the needle of promoting the communication of unpopular ideas without letting in the garbage. And I hope he learns sooner rather than later how hard that is.