Elon Musk had been trying to buy Twitter since April 14, and finally acquired it on Oct. 27 after previously trying to back out of the deal. He ended up buying it for 44 billion dollars.
Immediately after his acquisition, reports broke that he fired some of Twitter’s top executives, including the CEO and CFO Parag Agrawal and Ned Segal.
He then confirmed his plan to charge users $20 a month for verification. However, when Stephen King caught wind of this, he expressed his adamant disapproval on a Twitter thread, and Musk decided to lower the price to $7.99. The final format for verification is yet to be known as issues have come up about impersonation and the idea of adding an “official” tag to certain accounts. On Nov. 11, the Twitter Blue subscriptions were paused due to people impersonating brands and figures. A new program called “Blue Verified” was set to launch on Nov. 29, but was eventually put off because there were still issues about impersonation, with Musk saying they would hold off the relaunch until there could be a high confidence of stopping impersonation.
Musk has made drastic changes to the staff at Twitter. He initially laid off half of the company’s 7,500 person workforce. The entire accessibility engineering team is included in those numbers. This team played a huge role in making sure that the website was usable for people with disabilities. Later, on Nov. 12, Twitter fired around 80% of their contract employees. These measures were justified as being part of a cost-cutting measure due to a drop in company revenue. Musk tweeted that they had no choice, as Twitter was losing over 4 million dollars a day, and claimed that everyone exiting the company would be offered three months of severance pay. People who weren’t laid off were told to be prepared to put in extra hours and endure “hardcore” working conditions. He also expressed concern for Twitter’s financial stability and that Twitter might have to declare bankruptcy.
Alongside announcing “hardcore” working conditions, Musk has also initiated a big push towards employees of Twitter who have been working at home returning to an in-person environment. He stated that unless someone’s contribution merits dealing with the communication issues that arise from working from home, they should return to the office. Essentially, if you are able to come to the office and aren’t showing up, this would warrant you leaving the company.
Perhaps one of Musk’s more controversial moves was reinstating former president Donald Trump’s Twitter account. This was one of the big questions people have been asking since Musk first expressed a desire to buy Twitter. He first tweeted a yes/no poll asking whether people thought Trump’s account should be reinstated. The yes votes won, and so Trump’s account was reinstated. Trump has yet to tweet, and has previously expressed that he does not wish to use Twitter even if his account was reinstated due to his platform on TruthSocial.