Welcome to Twitter 2.0: 'Extremely Hardcore'

Twitter 1.0. Will Twitter 2.0 be an improvement? (Creative Commons.)

Elon Musk launched his Twitter 2.0 effort at midnight last night, warning employees by email that developing the new platform will “need to be extremely hardcore.”


Thank goodness he wasn’t talking about the content.

Tech writer Gergely Orosz got the scoop at zero-dark-thirty this morning. According to his leaker, Musk’s email demanded that employees must “click ‘yes’ to confirm being part of this by 5pm ET tomorrow, else they get 3 months severance.”

That’s roughly eight hours from now, so for some unknown number of Twitter 2.0 workers who might not be willing to devote the “long hours at high intensity” Musk requires, the clock is ticking.

“Only exceptional performance will constitute a passing grade.”

Some countries, as Orosz noted, have much stricter employer/employee relationship laws than California’s “at-will” system. Presumably, workers in the EU and other places will have longer to decide. “I expect Twitter could simply stop employing people in such countries/close offices,” Orosz wrote.

Here’s the full text:


Twitter nearly went bankrupt in 2016, and Musk warned last week that the company risks bankruptcy once more. Advertisers have fled the platform — some apparently for political reasons — in the sometimes chaotic days since Musk took the company private two weeks ago.

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Musk rolled out a new Twitter Blue verification system, then quickly canceled it when users discovered how easy it was to get verified as somebody else. Another new Blue is supposed to land by the end of the month, so I suspect a lot of coders who click “Yes” today will be working long hours while the rest of us enjoy a Thanksgiving break.

If that seems nuts, Musk is famous — some would say infamous — for making quick decisions, discarding mistakes just as quickly, and iterating to something new or more refined.

Why Twitter 2.0? Because unless you take the time and effort to properly curate your Twitter experience, the platform frankly sucks. At Stephen Kruiser’s urging, I came back earlier this year after being gone for several years. Even then, it was on the condition that my account be private in order to avoid the endless trolls and s***posters.


I opened it back up to the public a few weeks ago on a trial basis. If Musk succeeds at reforming Twitter, maybe I’ll leave it that way.

The mobile apps aren’t very good, either, which is the most common way of using the platform.

If Musk can do even a small fraction for social media of what he’s done for the commercial space launch business, I suspect he’ll get his $44 billion worth.

If not? I didn’t miss Twitter for the four years I was gone, and I’ll miss 2.0 even less.


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