Musk proves to be the anti-hero of Corporate America
Changes started rolling in and taking effect immediately such as firing executives, changing content moderation, cost-cutting, and upping subscription measures.
Business moguls and entrepreneurs are painted as heroes of America - symbols of freedom. Elon Musk's takeover of Twitter however has proved otherwise, according to NBC News.
His treatment of the social media platform's employees is a testimony to that matter - after he took over the platform, changes started rolling in and taking effect immediately such as firing executives, changing content moderation, cost-cutting, and upping subscription measures.
Immediately upon taking office, Musk fired Twitter's top executives, including CEO Parag Agrawal, and he also laid off the company's board of directors, rendering himself the sole board member.
His changes have been so impactful that according to NBC News, an engineering manager vomited after being informed he would be firing hundreds of employees. Moreover, Musk canceled the work-from-home policy that was implemented after Covid and demanded that employees come back to the office and work 40 hours a week or be fired. Per Bloomberg, the Tesla-Twitter mogul also expected 80-hour work weeks as opposed to the regular 40.
In light of these changes, an email was sent to employees and staff from the new platform owner, demanding them to be “extremely hardcore," because if they didn’t click and work around the new Twitter system, they would face being fired with three months of severance. Hundreds of employees exited the company, and so have users and celebrities as a result of his changes.
New Twitter policy is freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 18, 2022
Negative/hate tweets will be max deboosted & demonetized, so no ads or other revenue to Twitter.
You won’t find the tweet unless you specifically seek it out, which is no different from rest of Internet.
Free speech only "for the powerful"
Employment in the US is usually at will, meaning that employers can fire someone for any reason, including but not limited to criticizing or expressing views that may go against company policies, or even not showing up on time.
Elon Musk tweeted on Friday that Twitter aims to promote freedom of speech and will even permit hate speech to be posted on the social media platform. But the latter will be hard to "reach", according to the tech mogul, adding that certain mechanisms will be manoeuvered to demote the posts.
Being the founder of electric car manufacturer Tesla and rocket producer SpaceX has brought Musk enough fame, and now he's ranked the world's top billionaire on Forbes's Real Time Billionaires list and still has time to invest in selective free speech policies. Using his power to pick and choose who can post what by claiming freedom of speech, while simultaneously expelling employees for speaking their mind, is beyond what privilege of the elite looks like in a world of exploiting basic rights for the benefit of a dollar sign.
The fact that he has employees on their toes, fearing the loss of their jobs - the mere core of their income and health insurance - and even suffering mentally and physically, paints a picture of the power instilled by entitled billionaires like Musk and others into corporations to deeper build a hierarchy between rich and poor, elite and 'worthless'.
To put it simply, free speech for Musk is free speech "for the powerful".
Our love will never die pic.twitter.com/y5SldfAAt0— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 21, 2022
Musk agreed to buy Twitter for $44 billion 'to help humanity' on October 28 after months of negotiations and legal battles with the company over the number of fake accounts on the social media platform, which the entrepreneur believed was much higher than the company reported.
On October 30, Musk announced that Twitter will potentially be split in various strands where users will be able to rate posts and stage online rows in a distinct created space on the platform, adding that Twitter would form a "content moderation council" with diverse viewpoints to help govern the platform’s policies.
In a very recent update, Musk tweeted on Sunday an agreeing response to a user's tweet which suggested that Musk should prepare for increased attacks and retaliation from the Biden administration following the decision to reinstate former US President Donald Trump's account on the platform.