Controversies, reversals, concerns… Twitter, the blue bird of bad omen for the whimsical Elon Musk?

The recent decisions of the boss of the social network also reflect on another of its flagships: Tesla. Explanations.

Users who vote for his departure, the action of his flagship, Tesla, which plunges. Elon Musk has been in turmoil since his acquisition of the social network Twitter at the end of October for 44 billion dollars.

Latest episode, the barely veiled challenge on Tuesday to the results of the survey on his departure that he had put online on Saturday and Sunday. 57.5% of the 17.5 million voters voted in favor of his abandonment of the management of the company to the blue bird. But the owner, who had undertaken to respect the results, seemed to dispute them by now wishing to reserve participation in the consultations only for paying subscribers.

Serial controversies

A reversal which is added to the decisions taken in recent weeks and which some describe as erratic management. Upon his arrival at the head of Twitter, Elon Musk had carried out a surprising wave of dismissals, followed by the resignation of many executives, in particular those in charge of moderation and security. Whoever allowed Donald Trump, banned from the network after the Capitol stormed in January 2021, to return to the platform, was also strongly criticized for having suspended the accounts of journalists last week who published his private jet trips.

For many observers, the American tycoon, who presented himself as a defender of freedom of expression, does not act with neutrality in the management of the platform which he seems to use for political purposes. “Freedom of the press is at the very foundation of democracy. To attack one is to attack the other. Afflicted by the drift into which Elon Musk is precipitating Twitter”, commented Jean-Noël Barrot last week, the Minister for the Digital Transition.

The warning from the boss of RSF

Even though the journalists were reinstated, the decision was frowned upon, such as blocking users from sharing links with other social platforms. This new policy of use was then relaxed under the protest of “twittos”, disconcerted by the “closure” of the media, thus blurring the message a little more.

“Whether or not Elon Musk lost his referendum is not the main question. The point is that all this has nothing to do with democracy. It’s degree zero, even the opposite of democracy Legitimacy cannot come from a vote of Internet users,” said Reporters Without Borders Secretary General Christophe Deloire on Twitter.

“Afterwards, is Elon Musk more dangerous for democracy than for Twitter? Maybe Twitter will come before democracy…”, wondered recently Christophe Deloire, in Midi Libre. Because the mistakes and reversals of the whimsical billionaire, each more spectacular than the other, weaken the social network more than ever.

Those who flee the platform

According to the New York Times, the criticism is now turning into outrage, prompting influential users to leave the platform and call for the conversations to continue on other networks. One of them, Mastodont, has claimed an increase in its audience and its members since October, which would have increased from 300,000 to 2.5 million active Internet users.

However, far from the more than 220 million daily active users reported by Twitter.
Investors are asking for clarity. Because the perception of Tesla, the flagship of Elon Musk’s success, became negative in November, according to the Yougov site. And according to Le Monde, the action of the electric car firm has plunged 60% since the start of the year. The Covid crisis in China, the second country in terms of income, has weighed on Tesla’s production, which has had to agree to price cuts. And to finance Twitter, Elon Musk sold several billion shares of the automaker.

Concern at Tesla

A serious warning for the billionaire whose fortune has melted, according to the Bloomberg agency, by 100 billion dollars since the beginning of 2022, to the chagrin of venture capitalists who want Elon Musk to devote himself completely to Tesla, where “the part is still far from being won”, according to a Rothschild analyst quoted by Les Echos, in particular because of the entry into the market of many competitors.

“From the botched subscription plan to the banning of journalists to the daily political controversies, it’s been an all-out storm as advertisers have fled, leaving Twitter to widen its deficit,” points out Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives, interviewed by La Dépêche and AFP, which estimates the company’s potential losses at some $4 billion a year.

According to investment adviser Gary Black, quoted by the same sources, Tesla’s board of directors to let go of the reins of Twitter and refocus on the automaker, whose stock has fallen more than 33% since the acquisition. of the social network.

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