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Re: Rough times for Twitter

From: Paul Sutton
Subject: Re: Rough times for Twitter
Date: Mon, 7 Nov 2022 16:25:32 +0000

On 06/11/2022 22:44, Akira Urushibata wrote:
Twitter, now owned by Elon Musk, is going through a major upheaval.
According to Musk the company is losing 4 million dollars a day.
Half of the workforce will depart in a massive layoff, raising
concerns that there may not be enough staff left to monitor harmful

Twitter is also exploring new venues of raising money.  One is
making authorized accounts, previously available to celebrities and
public officials for free, open to all for a charge.  Some are
worried that imposters make take advantage of this feature.
Twitter, with its urgent need to raise money, may prod a small team
to implement it as quickly as possible.

I request fellow list members to be on the alert.  Someone may
set up an account pretending to be Richard M Stallman or some other
influential programmer, and be granted verification.  The account may
not last long but significant damage can be done with no more than a
few tweets.

Elon Musk paid 44 billion dollars to acquire Twitter.  Many observers
now feel certain that the unreasonably high price has led to savage
cost-cutting measures.  What people don't notice is that Musk got much
free software as well.  More accurately he got access thereto in the
form of experienced engineers who know what free tools are available
and how best to apply them.  Many of them are now leaving Twitter
and that means the firm is losing access to free software.

Because free software is free (as in "free beer") the loss does not
immediately show up in the accounts.  Neither does the effect of any
inappropriate tweet made by the maverick owner.  Being invisible loss
of this nature evades the attention of most observers, especially
financial experts.  It is possible that even Elon Musk fails to
understand the extent of the problem, for as we all know, he is one
character especially fond of the money that he can count.

There has been a huge exodus to mastodon over the past few days, something like 60,000 users, so this really does open up opportunities for the free software communities to help and support.

1. More instances to even the overall user load
2. Opportunities to help people develop the skills needed to run their own instance 3. Opportunities to open up discussions around free software, given that much of mastodon is based on GPL or similar licensing structures 4. Lets just share news, content etc on Mastodon, peertube etc and help each other share this content to these new users

We have the opportunity to make sure the conversation around any free software is positive, so promoting LibreOffice or BBB or Jitsi as alternatives to teams / zoom etc.


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