Elon Musk is considering a change to Twitter that would put all content on the site behind a paywall, according to a new report from tech journalist Casey Newton on Platform. The news comes in the wake of bizarre decisions by Musk after he took over the social media company late last month – a marriage that Musk tried to pull out of, but was forced to consume at the pace of $44 billion.
Musk’s proposed paywall for all Twitter content, something that doesn’t seem imminent according to Newton, could allow some users to read and post tweets for free for a short window and only charge after a period of time. Twitter did not respond to a request for comment from Gizmodo, which tends to happen with any company run by the press-unfriendly billionaire.
Musk did things quick and broken, in Silicon Valley parlance, though those breaks came at a human cost at the company’s San Francisco office. Musk laid off thousands of people last week, but Twitter officials reportedly tried to protect employees who were pregnant or undergoing cancer treatment and desperately needed their health insurance, according to Platformer.
But some people who were fired on Friday believe they were fired precisely because they were vulnerable and needed time off. A six-month-pregnant former Twitter employee, data science manager Shennan Lu, tweeted that she loves her job and plans to file a lawsuit.
“There is definitely discrimination here. So I will fight. Read tweeted. “My performance has been ahead (top 30%) for the last few quarters, and I know for a fact that other male managers don’t have that rating stayed. See you in court.
Twitter even tried to rehire some employees who were fired last week, apparently because some were fired in error, while others will likely have the expertise to accommodate Musk’s desires to change the platform.
Advertisers fled the social media platform, puzzled by Musk’s messy management style, which is played out in public on Twitter. And it’s those tweets that have spooked big brands, given that Musk appears to appeal to the far right and threatens to go “thermonuclear” on brands that might pull advertising from the social media site. Musk tweeted a meme of a Nazi soldier on Mondayalthough in all honesty he still steals memes and probably had no idea he was a Nazi.
Musk has also banned several people from Twitter in recent days for ‘impersonating’ the billionaire, which is becoming clear under his skin. Musk has previously called himself a free speech absolutist, though he doesn’t seem to understand what that phrase actually means, given the way he handles Twitter. In fact, Musk recently responded to a tweet from right-wing activist Tom Fitton that suggested anyone calling for a Twitter ad boycott could be sued for tortious interference, a ridiculous claim that would criminalize protected speech. Musk replied with a simple affirmative, although the Above the Law blog calls Fitton “aimbecile.”
Twitter’s debt burden is legendary at this point, reaching around $1.2 billion for the service per year. But it seems extremely unlikely that a Twitter paywall plan will bring in enough money to cover the cost of lost advertising, let alone make a dent in that $1.2 billion a year.
But what do we know? We’re just idiots who didn’t have $44 billion to buy Twitter. Well, Musk didn’t have $44 billion either, choosing to partner with some of the worst human rights abusers. on the planet to finance his contract. But you know, Musk is rich, so he must be a genius.