Has Elon Saved or Destroyed Twitter?

Has Elon Saved or Destroyed Twitter

Has Elon Saved or Destroyed Twitter?

Time will eventually tell if Elon saved or destroyed Twitter but, in the short term, it appears he is destroying it. 2022 was a challenging year for Elon Musk; Tesla’s stock dove and Elon got bumped down the list to the second richest person in the world.

Whether Elon ultimately saves or destroys Twitter, his genius reputation took a severe hit last year. While there is no certainty about Twitter’s future, Elon may be able to reverse the current wave of users jumping ship.

Has Elon Saved or Destroyed Twitter’s Platform Features?

Elon Musk’s employee-firing rampage left Twitter’s management quickly rehiring the same employees to help institute the changes Musk requires. Recent global Twitter outages (four in February) make users question Elon’s genius in firing many load-bearing engineers.

Content Moderation Leaving Twitter?

During the first twelve hours after Elon’s Twitter takeover, the use of racist and sexist slurs increased by 500%, according to an NCRI (Network Contagion Research Institute) report. Anonymous users aimed to test the limits of Elon’s “free speech absolutist” stance. The February 2022 report was released with CAM (Combat Antisemitism Movement).

It contends that antisemitism-related comments continue to rise under Elon’s Twitter leadership. It surmises that extremists took Musk’s reinstatement on neo-Nazi and white supremacist accounts as an opportunity to spew hatred. And that makes it seem to many users that Elon has destroyed Twitter.

has elon saved or destroyed twitter
ISD reports that analysts detected 325,739 English-language antisemitic tweets in the 9 months from June 2022 to February 2023.

©Koshiro K/Shutterstock.com

Furthermore, the report directly connects the nearly doubled monthly “Soros” and “Globalists” references to real-world antisemitic occurrences. It states that using the terms on Twitter forecasts antisemitism in the real world.

Extremists who joined Twitter en masse are related to Elon’s takeover and the anticipation of more lax enforcement standards. Data suggests that Twitter, as a “global public square,” becomes a staging ground for extremists to spread ideological grievances. Moreover, the data suggest new extremist norms carry over to the real world and other social media platforms.

Content Moderation Returning to Twitter?

Musk said that Twitter would form a content moderation council whose members have widely diverse viewpoints. And that significant content decisions or account reinstatements would only happen after they convened.

But, right away, Twitter started banning the accounts of users like Kathy Griffin, who impersonated Musk. Then, in December, Elon banned Jack Sweeney due to his posting the current locations of Musk’s private jet. The ban occurred even though Musk said the previous month his free speech commitment extended to the account following his jet.

Some content moderation makes sense. For example, after Sweeney’s ban, Twitter introduced a new rule excluding live location information. This rule is logical.

But Musk broke it the next day by posting a live video of the person he says followed his child (which is wrong on its own). More recently, there has been talk of Elon “shadow boosting” accounts he likes.

It is still unclear what parts of content moderation stay or go on Twitter. So, the jury is out on this front as to whether Elon saved or destroyed Twitter.

He has ousted most safeguards limiting racism, misinformation, hateful content, and antisemitism. So, some say the scales are swinging toward destruction. But those with conservative tendencies may say Elon saved Twitter.

Has Elon Saved or Destroyed Twitter’s Revenue Streams?

This year, Elon needs to focus on new products to increase user base engagement. 2022 saw the loss of many of Twitter’s largest advertisers.

What Advertisers Left Twitter?

CNN reported that 625 of Twitter’s top 1,000 advertisers left the platform between October 2022 and January 2023. Information from the digital marketing analysis firm Pathmatics shows these major advertisers leaving:

  • Wells Fargo
  • Coca-Cola
  • Merck
  • Unilever
  • Jeep

Other huge advertisers, like Apple, paused advertising on Twitter or scaled back significantly. For context, in Q1 2022, Apple spent $48 million, comprising 4% of Twitter’s ad revenue.

When the company paused spending in November 2022, Elon attacked it from his own platform, saying Apple hates free speech in the United States. From the standpoint of lost advertising revenue, it seems that Elon destroyed Twitter.

How Many Advertising Dollars Jumped Off the Twitter Ship?

Once a $4.5 billion advertising business, Twitter experienced a sharp decline. Twitter’s revenue from its top 1,000 advertisers plummeted from about $127 million to about $48 million in a matter of months. That’s more than a 60% drop in monthly revenue from October 2022 through January 25th, according to Pathmatics’ data.

Biggest Elon Musk Controversies
Business Today reported that advertising spending on Twitter dropped by 71% in December 2022.

©Sergei Elagin/Shutterstock.com

After Musk finalized his Twitter takeover in late October, advertisers started worrying about the platform’s stability. And by early November, Musk reported a “massive revenue drop.”

Elon’s widely publicized staff cuts and relaxed content moderation scared advertisers away. Employees flocked to TikTok, sharing details of “email firings,” while Elon’s own tweets caused confusion, anger, and discord.

So, Has Elon Saved or Destroyed Twitter’s Revenue Stream?

Since the company’s primary revenue stream comes from advertising, losing 60% of the top 1,000 advertisers made an enormous dent. Elon has openly discussed Twitter’s possibility of bankruptcy.

And yet, the company made its first interest payment on Elon’s $12.5 billion purchasing debt. That payment bolstered confidence in Musk’s ability to hang in there.

In February 2023, Musk tweeted that even though the last three months were “extremely difficult,” Twitter’s trend is moving towards a breakeven point. For a person whose tweets move Tesla’s stock up and down, he can only hope that tweeting good news brings it to fruition.

Has Elon Saved or Destroyed Twitter? FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Is Twitter losing users since Elon's takeover?

Some estimates have Twitter losing 32.7 million users within two years after Elon’s takeover. Insider Intelligence has been tracking the social media giant since 2008. They predict that for the first time, Twitter users worldwide will drop almost 4% in 2023 and 5% in 2024.

Is Twitter doing well financially?

Twitter made an approximately $300 million interest payment on its debt in January, keeping it from bankruptcy. And Musk says that the company is moving towards breaking even.

How many people have actually left Twitter?

Twitter had 368.4 million users worldwide in 2022; basically, flat growth for the year. However, experts predict monthly active user base will go down to 335.7 million by 2024.

Is Twitter losing popularity?

Twitter is losing popularity as users tire of hateful content and technical issues. The skeleton staff will grow increasingly insufficient to maintain Twitter’s infrastructure.

How much has Twitter lost?

Twitter has lost 40% of forecast ad revenue projections. Instead of revenue growth in the 16-25% range for 2023-24, experts now predict essentially flat growth at about 5%.

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