After months of threatening to do just that, instead of trying to solve the climate crisis or world hunger, Elon Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion (€45 billion) and immediately made the move to improve it, but in fact, it destroyed it.
In the early days of his ownership, the billionaire declared “comedy is now legal” on the website, hinting that he would reverse a lifetime ban on former users and suggest verification – tick blue that news organizations and celebrities have – will cost $20 a month, a figure he reverted to $8 when Stephen King threatened to leave.
The verification problem is a disaster waiting to happen. Think of the amount of misinformation spreading on social media. Now remove the blue tick that makes you trust, such as The New York Times and Rihanna, and allow any person whose owners spare time to discredit themselves and falsely report that someone is dead or to post racist comments.
Musk claims his new era will do away with the current “lord and peasant verification system,” as if a blue tick denotes some kind of class system. In my experience (having one person working in a newsroom) all it gives you is increased visibility between people who want to abuse you and some followers from soap stars. 90s rooms and quirky WWE wrestlers.
But this move has another side effect. It will push people away from Twitter – specifically the people who make using the site worthwhile. Which user will pay $8 a month to entertain us when they are sure to get paid for their content? Who will pay for the privilege of tweeting directly Love Island?
This is a tragedy. Twitter, I admit, is a full stop. People spend all day arguing about whether it’s a privilege to know how to boil an egg. Misinformation abounds. Transgender people are targeted for people who simply exist, and women on the site can get death threats in their DMs every few weeks.
I had to lock my account when famous scammers pinned my details to the top of their feed and called me a scammer. But for all its faults, I love this place.
For those of us who aren’t hot enough on Instagram, Twitter is home – where tweeting about someone at Diceys pouring their beer into a glass of lemons (“My limes!”) can get you through the times. darkest period; a place where an article about David Cameron and a pig’s head can unite us all; a place where you can find your tribe. I’ve found a lot of people on Twitter that I consider friends in real life.
If you live abroad, Twitter can be a lifesaver, with Twitter Irish content making you feel right at home.
The reality is that I would never have had a freelance writing career if it weren’t for making connections or making wild claims on Twitter and I would have missed it.
Nothing lasts forever – check out Vine, Tumblr, can afford a house in Ireland. But even if Elon Musk can destroy our online sanctuary, he can never kill the spirit of Twitter Ireland.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/spirit-of-irish-twitter-will-prevail-despite-elon-musk-42117850.html The spirit of Irish Twitter will prevail, despite Elon Musk