There’s that famous meme from Arrested Improvement the place Jason Bateman’s character opens up a paper bag labeled “DEAD DOVE: Do Not Eat.” He opens the bag, presumably finds a useless hen, and, stuffed with remorse, says to nobody specifically, “I do not know what I anticipated.”
That is all to say: I image Elon Musk, wandering the halls of Twitter HQ, whispering to nobody specifically, “I do not know what I anticipated.”
As a result of the newest shitstorm for Musk, amid a deluge of crashing shitstorms, is maybe probably the most predictable factor within the historical past of the web. Musk eliminated any barrier for verification on Twitter — putting a blue check up for sale for $8 — and people immediately used that ability to post fake news. See, whereas there was a difficult-to-find distinction between a blue examine verifying the id of a notable particular person and a blue examine for having $8, all of it just about seems to be the identical on the timeline. So individuals may purchase blue checks and put up pretend information, posing as somebody or one thing notable. At first it was largely individuals posting pretend sports activities information. That did not final.
Issues have gotten a lot worse for Twitter. Predictably, individuals started posing as companies, political organizations, political figures, and others. By Thursday night it was uncontrolled. At seemingly each flip was a pretend account. Here is only a small sampling and, honest warning, these examples are fairly controversial in nature.
All this, clearly, is way extra critical than a pretend tweet about LeBron James. That is political and could possibly be harmful. Think about the injury a nasty actor may do on an election evening. Much less critical for the world — however fairly critical for Musk and Twitter’s future — that is the precise form of factor that might scare the hell out of advertisers, which is mainly the one approach the platform makes cash.
Unsurprisingly, Twitter has now paused the ability to purchase a checkmark by Twitter Blue. Again to the drafting board for Musk. I am undecided what he anticipated.