This Is What It Looks Like When Twitter Falls Apart

The Atlantic
December 22, 2022

Elon Musk now claims that he will step down as Twitter’s CEO, contingent on him finding the right replacement. In just eight weeks, Musk has laid off large chunks of the workforce, asked those who remained to commit to being “extremely hardcore,” unbanned previously suspended accounts, caused advertisers to flee the platform, kicked a number of journalists off the platform and then reinstated them, and polled users about whether or not he should continue as CEO (a majority voted no).

David Karpf, a professor of media and public affairs at George Washington University and a longtime Twitter user, has been studying and thinking about the intersection of the internet and politics for years. When we spoke late last week, he predicted that the Musk drama would continue: “Every time he goes a couple days of getting a little worried that people are getting bored, he has to do something ridiculous.”

When I briefly caught up with Karpf again yesterday, he was curious about how Musk would top the week’s Twitter poll—but confident that he somehow would. “I just feel like I’ve reached the limits of my imagination for what that could be,” he said.

Read More