The Most Expensive Intervention in History 

Thursday, November 17th, 2022

It’s a week much too full of Twitter news, but I’m hopeful this will be the last post about the flailing company for awhile. On Wednesday, Elon Musk issued an ultimatum via email to the folks who currently remain at Twitter.

Twitter is shifting to an engineer-driven operation — one that “will need to be extremely hardcore” going forward, according to the midnight email, which was obtained by The Washington Post. Employees were asked to click an icon and respond by Thursday if they wanted to stay…Anyone who did not sign the pledge by 5 p.m. Eastern time Thursday would receive three months of severance pay, the message said.

Well gosh, that seems like a really tough decision. Do you want to be “extremely hardcore” work for a man who appears to be a colossal freaking idiot (at least when it comes to overseeing Twitter), or do you want a three month paid vacation while you look for a better job? Before you answer, be sure to read this paragraph:

The email came just a few hours after Musk tweeted he was tabling Twitter’s Blue Verified, his first major product since taking over last month as Twitter’s owner and chief executive, while the company sorts out issues with the feature following a botched rollout. Inside Twitter, staffers are using the additional time to conduct a postmortem on the launch, trying to understand why impersonations of high-profile individuals and brands spiraled out of control, according to a person with knowledge of the internal discussions who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution.

“We reassigned the meaning of a checkmark from ‘This account is verified by Twitter to be who they say they are’ to ‘We took eight whole dollars from this account holder, with no review whatsoever’, and suddenly fake accounts pretending to be celebrities and companies popped up! How could this have happened? We have never been on the internet before, nor even met a teenager or really more than 10 humans.”

My most charitable explanation for this whole mess is that Musk recognized his own crippling Twitter addiction, and decided the only want to stop it was to buy and kill the company. In that case, he’s doing a great job so far!


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