OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Twitter CEO Elon Musk has taken action that triggered some of his employees. He has temporarily closed Twitter offices and suspended employee access, it was reported.
“Twitter just alerted employees that effective immediately, all office buildings are temporarily closed and badge access is suspended. No details given as to why, Zoe Schiffer said. We’re hearing this is because Elon Musk and his team are terrified employees are going to sabotage the company. Also, they’re still trying to figure out which Twitter workers they need to cut access for. Offices will reopen on November 21st. In the meantime: ‘Please continue to comply with company policy by refraining from discussing confidential company information on social media, with the press or elsewhere,” the reporter tweeted.
“So far no Twitter employees have been deactivated — even those who’ve publicly resigned. Musk and his team only collected the list of ‘yes’s’ — employees who said they want to be part of Twitter 2.0. They’re still trying to track who is out,” she added.
NEW: Twitter just alerted employees that effective immediately, all office buildings are temporarily closed and badge access is suspended. No details given as to why.
— Zoë Schiffer (@ZoeSchiffer) November 17, 2022
The CEO has been busy since taking the reigns at Twitter and has dipped his toe in politics.
Musk brutally trolled a sitting Democrat United States Senator after he complained that a parody account mimicking him had been verified.
“A @washingtonpost reporter was able to create a verified account impersonating me—I’m asking for answers from @elonmusk who is putting profits over people and his debt over stopping disinformation. Twitter must explain how this happened and how to prevent it from happening again,” Democrat Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey said.
Musk responded by saying, “Perhaps it is because your real account sounds like a parody?”
Perhaps it is because your real account sounds like a parody?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 13, 2022
“Apparently, due to Twitter’s lax verification practices and apparent need for cash, anyone could pay $8.00 and impersonate someone on your platform. Selling the truth is dangerous and unacceptable. Twitter must explain how this happened and how it will prevent it from happening again,” the senator said.
“Safeguards such as Twitter’s blue checkmark once allowed users to be smart, critical consumers of news and information in Twitter’s global town square,” he said. “But your Twitter takeover, rapid and haphazard imposition of platform changes, removal of safeguards against disinformation, and firing of large numbers of Twitter employees have accelerated Twitter’s descent into the Wild West of social media. That is unacceptable. Twitter and its leadership have a responsibility to the public to ensure the platform doesn’t become a breeding ground for manipulation and deceit.
“Notwithstanding Twitter’s termination of Twitter Blue and paid-for blue checkmark verification shortly following the publication of the Washington Post article and the proliferation of imposter accounts, Senator Markey requested Twitter leadership provide answers to the following questions:
What was Twitter’s process for issuing paid-for blue checkmark verification of a Twitter account?
What was Twitter’s process for issuing verification of an account that is “notable in government, news, entertainment, or another designated category” on your platform? Please describe the internal steps at Twitter that were supposed to be followed for these processes.
How did the paid-for blue check verification process differ from the free verification process that preceded it?
How dis Twitter’s system allow a Washington Post reporter to obtain verification of a fake account?
Is Twitter planning to reintroduce a verification system?
On Wednesday, Musk’s platform rolled out a new way to identify “official” Twitter accounts, but then “killed” the idea hours later.
“The social media platform is working to reconsider which users receive the blue checkmark icon next to their names,” the Daily Wire reported. “Before the world’s richest man acquired the company, the symbol indicated accounts belonging to celebrities, official government agencies, members of the media, and other ‘authentic accounts of public interest,’ according to a help page published by Twitter.”
The new addition featured the word “official” underneath verified accounts along with the noted blue checkmark.
Existing blue-check users received the new designation under “previous verification criteria,” the platform noted, or after enrolling in Twitter Blue, a new $7.99-per-month subscription plan that was introduced on Wednesday in which users pay for their verification.