Twitter’s communications group has been successfully silent since November, when it was reportedly decimated within the layoffs that CEO Elon Musk carried out after shopping for the corporate.
Which means it hasn’t responded to journalists’ questions on any of the developments which have occurred since — from the layoffs and mass resignations themselves to main adjustments to the consumer expertise to a collection of controversies involving Musk and his announcement that he’ll ultimately step down.
Now the press electronic mail deal with is energetic once more, at the very least to some extent.
Going ahead it should routinely reply to journalists’ inquiries with a single poop emoji, Musk introduced — via tweet, after all — on Sunday.
When requested for touch upon Monday morning, Twitter promptly responded to NPR’s electronic mail with a scat image.
Scores of Twitter customers confirmed that that they had efficiently examined the function for themselves, and lots of have been fast to criticize him and the brand new coverage.
“Huh, similar as basic consumer expertise then,” wrote Charles Rickett, a video editor with the U.Ok. tabloid Metro, in a remark that is gotten greater than 1,600 likes.
Musk advocates at no cost speech
Musk, who purchased Twitter for $44 billion in October, describes himself as a “free speech absolutist” and framed the takeover by way of defending expression.
However lots of his strikes in that path — from weakening its content material moderation practices to reinstating accounts that had been suspended for rule violations — have fueled security and misinformation issues.
Musk’s acknowledged dedication to free speech has additionally been known as into query by his therapy of journalists.
In December, he took the extremely uncommon step of banning the accounts of a number of high-profile journalists who cowl the platform after an abrupt change in coverage about accounts that share the areas of personal jets (together with his personal) utilizing publicly accessible info.
Musk reinstated these accounts a number of days later after widespread backlash, together with from the United Nations and European Union, and the outcomes of an informal Twitter poll.
There’s some related historical past
This is not the primary time Musk has de-prioritized exterior communications at an organization he owns — or invoked the poop emoji in severe issues.
Tesla, the much-talked-about electrical automobile firm of which Musk is co-founder and CEO, stopped responding to press questions in 2020 and reportedly dissolved its PR division that very same yr.
In 2021, Musk responded to tweets from journalists asking him to rethink.
“Different corporations spend cash on promoting & manipulating public opinion, Tesla focuses on the product,” he wrote. “I belief the individuals.”
Tesla has confronted its share of controversies within the years since. Notably, the U.S. Securities and Alternate Fee sued Musk for securities fraud over a collection of 2018 tweets teasing a Tesla buyout that by no means occurred. A jury cleared him of wrongdoing in February.
And Musk recurrently makes use of Twitter to troll those that disagree with him, as NPR has reported.
In Might 2022, Musk put his Twitter buyout plans on maintain following stories that 5% of Twitter’s every day energetic customers are spam accounts. Then-CEO Parag Agrawal wrote a lengthy thread utilizing “information, information and context” to element the corporate’s efforts to fight spam — and Musk responded with a poop emoji.
When Twitter sued Musk to pressure him to undergo with the acquisition, it cited that tweet (amongst others) as proof that he had violated his non-disparagement obligation to the corporate.
When information of that quotation went public, Musk took to Twitter to make clear what he had meant: