Even though he said he would not fire more people, Elon Musk fired several dozen Twitter employees overnight on Wednesday, most of whom were engineers, while simultaneously trying to hire more engineers. At the same time, Twitter has disbanded its entire Brussels office, sparking concerns among EU officials about whether the social media platform will abide by the bloc’s stringent new rules on policing online content.
These are not the actions of a normal person.
The stories of Musk’s irresponsibility are all over the media, including some significant missteps at Tesla. The media has been enamored by him because he has a ton of money, and too many people believe if you have billions, you know what you’re doing. That’s a canard.
Twitter has trashed Twitter and reinstated banned accounts that spew hate and misinformation. Do you want your brand associated with Twitter while Alex Jones continues his lies?
Your brand has to stand for something, and if not decency, then what? There are so many opportunities for a better ROI using different channels.
Rather than acting like a detective and asking many questions from current Twitter employees, Musk decided to fire numbers without understanding the business and how it works. One could argue that Twitter has too many employees, but you don’t fire people essential to your brand.
Twitter could have developed, for example, digital branded coupons tied to Tweets that could have been directly measured by brands. He could have invested money in AI that would have identified and removed hate speech. He could have developed a symbol on news Tweets that identified whether the story had a left, right, or neutral bias. He could have charged users a dollar a month if he guaranteed that the platform is here for free speech but not speech that spews hate and bigotry. I would be a dollar a month for that.
I advised all my clients via a position paper to abandon Twitter, and they agreed. It’s sad to see an unbalanced person tear down something which took years to develop. Replacements will take up a lot of the slack as people flee, but until we stop worshipping the wealthy who are idiots, we will never learn the lesson here.