Twitter owner Elon Musk is breaking his silence, amid rumors and reports that the website could potentially shut down. Musk, who bought Twitter earlier this year for over $40 billion, has courted a string of controversies in his weeks-long tenure at the website, both for changes to the platform's Verification process, to multiple strings of layoffs among employees. The latest round of layoffs reportedly arrived this week, after Musk gave remaining employees an ultimatum of either committing to long hours at the website, or resigning with three month's severance. According to tech reporter Kylie Robertson, roughly 75% of employees have agreed to take the severance package, and Musk has subsequently revoked employee badge access and temporarily closed down Twitter's offices to stop any potential sabotage.
This, combined with anonymous comments from former Twitter staff questioning if the platform can continue operating with this skeleton crew, or if it will experience some sort of technical shutdown in the near future. In a series of tweets on Thursday, Musk joked about the whole ordeal multiple times, even deploying The Flash's Grant Gustin grave meme. He then claimed that the website "just hit another all-time high in Twitter usage" on Thursday.
How do you make a small fortune in social media?— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 18, 2022
Start out with a large one.
Let that sink in …— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 18, 2022
🏴☠️— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 18, 2022
Why did Twitter's Verification change?
Being Verified on Twitter has gone through multiple evolutions in the span of the past few weeks, beginning with Musk floating the idea of charging upwards of $20 a month for a Twitter Blue subscription. The cost was then changed to $8 a month — something that quickly backfired, as many users purchased Verified accounts to impersonate real figures or brands. In an attempt to combat this, Musk has threatened to suspend any fake Verified accounts, rolled out (and then removed) a second "Official" checkmark, and then proclaim that fake accounts need to include "Parody" in their display name and bio.
As those who have been on Twitter in the past few days can probably attest, none of these measures have stopped the influx of fake accounts — so it seems as if Musk's strategy is now to just remove (even temporarily) the option to purchase a Verified account.
What do you think of Elon Musk's reaction to the recent Twitter drama? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!