For my money, this Twitter thread from The Washington Post’s Megan McArdle was a rare beacon of sanity illuminating what was otherwise a dumpster fire of sky-is-falling-level freakouts on Twitter, in the wake of the announcement that it’s being acquired by the Technoking himself.
From Amazon’s Jeff Bezos seeming to wonder aloud whether Musk is a Chinese stooge (see below) to Twitterers tweeting all manner of “this way lies madness” insanity, we’ll get into some of the more extreme examples below.
Elon Musk Twitter reactions
As a quick reminder: My colleague Jacob Siegal has the details of the whole transaction right here. Basically, Musk has reached a deal to acquire the company for $54.20 per share in cash in a transaction valued at approximately $44 billion. His purchase is a 38% premium over the company’s closing stock price on April 1st.
Could this have been the distraction that Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal said was probably imminent (back when it was announced that Musk would not be joining the Twitter board, lol)? At any rate, let’s take a quick look at some of the more extreme reactions to the Elon Twitter announcement:
1) The “we’re all screwed in the end” lament (as if Twitter wasn’t to begin with)
Y’all know this doesn’t end well, right? https://t.co/kEOlvSVitP
— Michael Steele (@MichaelSteele) April 25, 2022
2) Call this one the “if X happens, I’m moving to Canada” warning
Hi Twitterverse. Many thanks for the knowledge and sharing over the past ten years or so. If Musk takes over Twitter I will be off within a few hours. Might be just as well for my well being but I’ve learned a lot of valuable stuff from many of you.Thank you all. Howard
— Howard Dean (@GovHowardDean) April 25, 2022
3) The “even billionaires can be unnecessarily weird about this, too,” example
Interesting question. Did the Chinese government just gain a bit of leverage over the town square? https://t.co/jTiEnabP6T
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) April 25, 2022
4) Musk is buying Twitter because of white power, or something
What’s not changing, once Twitter is fully in Elon’s control
As far as I’m concerned, if anything justifies wresting the ownership of Twitter as far away as possible from anything that’s come before, it’s navel-gazing drivel like this (from none other than Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey): “Twitter is the closest thing we have to a global consciousness.”
How detached from reality do you have to be to tweet something like that?
To the extent that there is such a thing as a global consciousness, this silly website which gets far more attention than it deserves was not the thing that created it.
And spare me the pablum about Twitter being some kind of public square. Twitter is no such thing, and never has been. The dirty little secret that’s not really a secret at all about Twitter is the fact that this service is architected much like the real world.
If you’re big offline, you will be here. While, more often than not, ordinary users struggle to get the faintest blip of engagement with their tweets.
Do you want to know what’s not changing after Elon takes control of Twitter? This will still be a dumb idea for a product, the same as it was when it launched.
Perhaps we’ll all realize one day that it’s not actually a de facto good to be connected to millions of people around the world — along with all their stupid, mundane, racist, irrelevant chirping.
I was actually going to tweet about some of last tonight, now that I think about it. But I decided to, you know, just live my life instead.