One year ago, Elon was “forced” to buy Twitter. I say “forced” because there has been speculation that Elon planned this all along. Elon, being the perceived “mastermind” he is, allegedly has been planning to bring Twitter to its knees for some time (do birds have knees?) to rid the app of the stinky leftists and make it a MAGA cesspool again. It’s a nice conspiracy theory. Plenty of people put Elon on a higher pedestal than I think he deserves to be on. He may be smart, technically speaking, but I don’t think he is very cunning or intelligent in the matters of human behavior. Elon seems to be just as prone to fallacious thinking and getting tangled up in conspiracy theories just as much as any ol’ regular Joe Schmoe.
Just 3 days after officially buying Twitter, Elon commented under a Hillary Clinton tweet claiming that “there was more to the story” concerning Nancy Pelosi’s husband being viciously attacked in their home. The article he linked in his tweet claimed Paul Pelosi was in a dispute with a gay male prostitute.
Just 5 days later, after sharing an unfounded conspiracy theory with his millions of followers, Elon claimed that advertisers were leaving because checks notes “activist groups” were “pressuring advertisers” to leave the platform…because they “hate free speech.” No, it most certainly did not have anything to do with Elon being all Qanon to the masses.
It hasn’t been all bad with Elon’s takeover though. One of his first goals was to get rid of those pesky blue elitist check marks and make everyone pay $8 a month for the little blue icon that lets you know you were speaking to the real Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, and not some parody account claiming to give followers $50,000.
The biggest concern Xitter users voiced was about the verification process, what happens if people just start creating fake accounts and buy the blue check to seem legit? Well, Elon came up with the genius idea of requiring fake accounts to put “parody” next to their user name. Easy fix!
Elon graciously enticed, ahem, offered users who pay for the blue check to receive the ad revenue for the ads that appear under each of their tweets. This has created an interesting phenomenon of users applying clickbait and anger-inciting tweet tactics to create activity and generate income for themselves.
For the last year, we’ve had the opportunity to be privy to Elon’s running thoughts about what he should do with Twitter. Some of his best ideas included; Unsuspending all Twitter accounts (that were suspended under previous management); making people pay to vote in Twitter polls; segregating the Twitter feed between people you follow and people who have blue checks under the “for you” tab; and most recently, removing headlines from articles posted on (X)itter.
Some of Elon’s ideas make sense, some don’t. Anyone with a Doge or Tesla profile photo however will tell you that all of Elon’s ideas are the best ideas that anyone could ever idea. Whether you like his ideas or not, it’s becoming increasingly obvious how easily he changes his mind or doesn’t fully follow through. He makes statements, and then it becomes a wait-and-see situation. Polls are still a free feature, and the “For You” tab is filled with people who I actually follow but also are not verified users. You just never really know with Elon.
Elon’s idea to change the Twitter name to X, albeit, not surprising, gives some insight into who he is as a person. He could care less about the marketability factor and the online cultures that have cemented the Twitter name. Think of Netflix, we don’t say “Hey, do you want to watch a movie online?”, we say “Hey, Netflix and chill?” It will never be “Black X,” it will forever be “Black Twitter.” None of that matters to Elon though, it’s just about what he thinks is cool.
Whatever decisions Elon makes for X’s future, they are likely to have a lasting impact on the way we social media. Users have been scrambling to find a more stable platform that doesn’t always seem to be one tweet away from bankruptcy due to advertisers choosing to leave the platform over Elon’s controversial statements. After a year of Elon, it’s clear that Twitter will never be the same, however, that may not be such a bad thing. Time will tell.