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There's One Thing Elon Musk Hates More Than Being Mocked on Twitter

By Dustin Rowles | Social Media | February 9, 2023 |

By Dustin Rowles | Social Media | February 9, 2023 |


We haven’t written much about Elon Musk in recent weeks, and there’s a good reason why: We stopped caring. Sometime around mid-December, we resigned ourselves to the fact that Twitter will never be Twitter again, and that if it’s not felled by bankruptcy, it’ll either degrade or the majority of users will lose interest and move on. A lot of users have come to the conclusion in recent months that it’s not that hard to live without the social media platform, and that it ultimately did not provide much value to begin with.

In fact, yesterday, when the DMs of millions of users disappeared and we couldn’t Tweet without “scheduling” a tweet for an hour and a half, it felt less frustrating than inevitable. I genuinely don’t think the service will survive under Musk’s leadership. It’s lost half of its advertising revenue, Twitter Blue has only brought in $28 million (or less than 1 percent of its revenue), Musk has interest payments to make, and none of the “improvements” Musk has made have improved the service.

To wit: A few weeks back, Musk decided to clutter up the interface even more by adding public view counts showing how often a Tweet is seen. He asserted that people would be surprised by how often Tweets were read, even if users were not always engaging with them. People were not surprised. In fact, the impression numbers were embarrassingly low related to the follower counts. That was true for everyone, but especially Elon Musk. People stopped reading and engaging with his tweets, and Musk didn’t understand why. He didn’t understand that we, collectively, lost interest in him sometime around the time that Kevin McCarthy was denied Speaker of the House fourteen times. Twitter stopped being the main story on Twitter, and we all moved on.

However, the one thing thin-skinned Elon Musk seems to hate more than being mocked on the platform he spent $44 billion on is being ignored. From Platformer:

On Tuesday, Musk gathered a group of engineers and advisors into a room at Twitter’s headquarters looking for answers. Why are his engagement numbers tanking?

“This is ridiculous,” he said, according to multiple sources with direct knowledge of the meeting. “I have more than 100 million followers, and I’m only getting tens of thousands of impressions.”

One of the company’s two remaining principal engineers offered a possible explanation for Musk’s declining reach: just under a year after the Tesla CEO made his surprise offer to buy Twitter for $44 billion, public interest in his antics is waning.

Employees showed Musk internal data regarding engagement with his account, along with a Google Trends chart. Last April, they told him, Musk was at “peak” popularity in search rankings, indicated by a score of “100.” Today, he’s at a score of nine. Engineers had previously investigated whether Musk’s reach had somehow been artificially restricted, but found no evidence that the algorithm was biased against him.

Musk did not take the news well.

“You’re fired, you’re fired,” Musk told the engineer.

Platformer is also reporting that morale at Twitter has bottomed out. Employees no longer communicate on Slack, most of them are interviewing elsewhere, and answers to questions Musk asks are generally the safe ones. “When you’re asked a question, you run it through your head and say ‘what is the least fireable response I can have to this right now?’” one employee explained to Platformer.

Publisher’s Note: We use images of Lee Pace instead of Elon Musk as our header for aesthetic reasons, and with apologies to Lee Pace. We’ve missed you, Lee.