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Re: Rough times for Twitter

From: Devin Ulibarri
Subject: Re: Rough times for Twitter
Date: Mon, 21 Nov 2022 10:47:49 -0500
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Date:   Sat, 19 Nov 2022 17:00:37 +0900 (JST)
From:   "Akira Urushibata" <>
Subject:        Re: Rough times for Twitter

Day by day Twitter is sinking deeper into quagmire. It appears two
thirds of the workforce has left the company. (We don't know the
exact figure for the layoffs were so thorough that the section which
should be reporting such details exists no more.) How much the
remaining staff can handle is an open question.

I believe fellow list members are observing friends and relatives who
are still on Twitter growing pessimistic about its chances of survival
and asking for assistance on how best to evacuate.

Instructions to Twitter users on how to archive user account data are
appearing in mainstream media. They come with warnings that requests
can take more than 24 hours to be processed. This was so even before
Musk's takeover - and as things stand now, unlikely to get better.

I don't particularly like Twitter. But I know people who do and are
hoping that it would survive. Much information on what Ukrainians
have experienced under Russian aggression reached us via Twitter.
Politicians and business leaders used the platform to make
announcements. Some are still doing so.

People like the public officials taking protective measures face a
dillenma. If they don't hurry to save their past tweets, they may see
them wiped out when the company folds. Lost tweets and direct
messages have the potential of inviting legal jeapordy. But the
actions of those who do hurry place a burden on the system servers.
Ironically the stress can hasten the downfall. Many people are each
contributing a straw which might be the one (="last straw") that breaks
the mule's back.

In the meantine a crisis is brewing in the cryptocurrency market.
CEOs and analysts continue to use Twitter to send messages to
anxious stakeholders. This is a source of concern, for history
teaches us that communication failures tend to aggrevate financial

"The bird has been freed."

So Elon Musk tweeted upon completing the purchase. It is obvious to
many that the bird is growing weaker and weaker under his custody -
to the point that once down it may never be free to take off again.
Reminding people about this should encourage them to think about
freedom. Ordinary Twitter users are starting to realize what
freedom they would lose should the platform disappear. I expect at
least some of them to be willing to listen to accounts by people who
have been working to protect freedom.

If Elon Musk really cares about freedom, he should discuss the matter
with an expert of freedom. Richard Stallman is one such expert. Musk
should have reached out much earlier: doing so would have given him
better understanding of what he had ahead and saved him money. Even
now it is not too late.

"Many a man can stand adversity. To test a man's true character,
give him power." - Abraham Lincoln


Hundreds said to have opted to leave Twitter over Elon Musk ultimatum
- The Washington Post

Hundreds of Twitter employees refused Thursday to sign a pledge to
work longer hours, threatening the site's ability to keep operating

"I know of six critical systems (like `serving tweets' levels of
critical) which no longer have any engineers," a former employee
said. "There is no longer even a skeleton crew manning the
system. It will continue to coast until it runs into something, and
then it will stop."


Among those who were said to have declined to sign the pledge were
half the trust and safety policy team, including a majority of
those who work on spotting misinformation, spam, fake accounts and
impersonation, according to one employee familiar with the team.


"Every mistake in code and operations is now deadly" said a former
engineer who departed the company this week. Those left "are going
to be overwhelmed, overworked and, because of that, more likely to
make mistakes."


Users urged to archive tweets amid rumors of Twitter implosion
- The Guardian


Elon Musk Is Bad at This - The Atlantic

The Musk era of Twitter has so far been defined by unhinged tweets,
fleeing advertisers, and botched layoffs.

Elon Musk has spent the past 12 years tweeting whatever comes into
his mind, often without major negative consequences. That was
before he owned the place. Now, less than two weeks after his $44
billion purchase, the world's richest man is finding that his
actions ... may actually have consequences. Advertisers are
fleeing, the employees remaining after a round of mass layoffs are
alienated, and onlookers are completely vexed by a freewheeling
approach that has coincided with a rise in hate speech on the
platform, among other problems.

Musk's fans see the billionaire as a visionary ... But what the
past two weeks demonstrate is that Musk is, at best, a mediocre
executive-and undoubtedly a terrible, distracted manager.



Twitter's potential collapse could wipe out vast swathes of recent
human history - MIT Technology Review


Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the 1920s
book by Frederick Lewis Allen

The chapter about the October 1929 stock market crash provides a
vivid account on how a communication outage can affect a market

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