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But the crisis is bigger in the real world. An avalanche of resignations from employees of the social network increased in the last hours, after Muskowner of Twitter for only three weeks, asked employees on Thursday the 17th to choose between giving themselves “unconditionally and working long hours at high intensity” or leaving the company. Among the employees who rejected the offer are software engineers and key personnel for the operation of the platform.
The resignations – estimated at hundreds of people, according to the US media – hit a workforce that had already suffered nearly 3,000 layoffs after the arrival of Musk.
Several of the employees who resigned said goodbye on the social network using the hashtags #oneteam (a team) and #lovewhereyouworked (love where you worked), while thousands of users announce every hour that they are leaving the social network.
The tycoon has responded with jokes and sarcasm. He has also ordered the company headquarters to be closed until Monday the 21st, disabling the workers’ electronic access passes and momentarily blocking several people at the headquarters on Thursday night.
The crisis in Twitter has led us to think about the contribution of this social network to the world, especially for fields such as politics and journalism in which the platform has become more relevant in recent years.
Raúl Castro, Dean of Communications and Advertising at the Universidad Científica del Sur, highlights its relevance. “It is not the most massive network, but it is the one in which the main ideological and moral tensions and struggles in the life of societies develop. It has a strategic importance to the extent that actors in leading positions of power, whether corporate or governmental, speak out there”, he tells El Comercio.
He explains that the platform-based style of doing politics had its first sketches with the former president of the United States, Donald Trump, who expressly led his administration bypassing the press and the media. “What media like Twitter do is call for peer-to-peer communication, direct with individualsCastro adds.
Hugo Morales, a journalist who is an expert in technology, points out that Twitter has positioned itself as a public square that has been a fertile field for political discussion and for the press, although not necessarily for the distribution of content from traditional media.
“What Twitter does is put the same value on what a common person says and what a large medium says. Many times the big media feed on Twitter anything that appears and that is striking, such as videos of an accident or the photo that shows that something is happening. Basically thanks to Twitter we have eyes and ears everywhere and perhaps that is why it is so relevant for journalists and politicians, who seek to capitalize on everything that happens to get more public to their cause.”, he points out.
Regarding the debate on the disappearance of the social network, Morales considers that more than becoming extinct Twitter it will transition towards irrelevance and will lose its place. “If it follows the trend we see, other platforms will enhance aspects that Twitter has today, such as microblogging, the rich message format and other things that make it relevant as a kind of public square.”, he points out.
Since Musk bought Twitter, dissatisfied users migrated to other platforms. One of the most popular is Mastodon, founded in 2016 by the German developer Eugen Rochko.
Morales points out that Mastodon is the closest escape vehicle to the experience that we find in Twitter. However, the expert highlights that, although Twitter is a polarized place and where the toxicity of its community stands out, Mastodon makes it possible for people to create their own servers under their own rules, “which means that if you don’t think like me, I’ll deny you the service and go to another place where everyone thinks like me. All the polarization is going to be in a closed place and people are going to feel free to exacerbate hate speech, smears, etc.”he warns.
Castro remembers that Twitter belongs to the first generation of social media, whose raison d’être was initially based on a democratizing ideal. However, all this optimistic vision went into crisis after scandals such as Cambridge Analytics, when it came to light that the technological development of media organizations, such as Facebook and Twitter, led to such sophistication and observation of users that they ended up commodifying your personal information.
“It is then that social networks enter into crisis and today there is talk of a second generation of social media with platforms like TikTok and Twitch. In addition to the generational change, what is different is that a different type of interactivity is produced, where the subjects deliberately create patterns of communicational pokes. This is important because it means that we can face the burial of the great stories. Now there is the possibility that the politics or actions of power move towards micro-spaces, we are experiencing the height of fragmentation. The order of influence will have to be reconfiguredCastro says.
About where it’s headed Twitterthe expert remembers that Musk He’s a totally unpredictable guy. “It is clear that there is a search process for the construction of new global powers whose influence is as much or greater than that of nations, and in this way, for Musk, becoming Twitter represented that position..
POINT OF VIEW
“Towards discredit and irrelevance”
Tech-savvy journalist and editor at The-Update.com
Elon Musk is realizing that being the Twitter troll, as he always was, isn’t nearly as fun as being the Twitter moderator and it shows. His initial deregulation of the platform, which allowed users to have the blue check, ended with people who began to impersonate him, his ex, the brands.
The big problem facing Twitter today is that the person running it has a history of erratic decisions that goes back a few weeks. Musk is not only facing disrepute from his own personal brand, but also disrepute from the advertising industry and the regulatory industry, who do not trust him.
We are not witnessing the death of Twitter, but the same thing that has historically happened with other social networks is going to happen, which is that it begins to progressively fall into disrepute and irrelevance.
If Twitter is put to an end, an extremely used space is not lost either because among the large social networks Twitter is the smallest. Perhaps a vision, a way of using it, a particular window is lost, but the news flow or false news does not necessarily end. We lose the format, but what is behind that format will continue to be there.