What Made You Think You Could Just Do That?
When a company is big enough to become an official channel of communication for the White House, it’s not shocking that jerking it around in an effort to break things off of it is going to break a lot more than leadership bargained for. Twitter, now X, is experiencing quite a bit of seismic activity in response to their rebrand.
Purely From A ‘Visibility of Leadership’ Viewpoint
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the current CEO’s reputation as a funny rich guy is going down the pipes. He launched a car into space! Haha, what a Bond villain! He sold a flamethrower! Haha, what a Bond villain! He smoked a joint on Joe Rogan’s show! Haha, what an Everyman. He illegally started taking Twitter’s old sign down and replaced it with an incredibly bright one that strobes every twenty seconds! Haha…. what… but that’s not….that’s like… Lex Luthor, not Tony Stark. A man who made a program that Twitter bought had to tweet at Twitter leadership to ask whether or not he was still going to receive the money he was owed for his work, and the CEO, barely researching the issue at all, tried to embarrass him into dropping it with private medical info that Twitter The Company did not have the right to share. That’s not even Lex Luthor – that’s abominable.
It’s important to know these things for context. Musk, the current CEO, is not and has never been playing 4-D chess with this purchase. Turning Twitter into X instead of simply making X is a result of impulsive tweets and communications that (falsely) boosted the hopes for Tesla’s stock price. Remember how hard he was trying to get out of it? Especially the stuff about the bot count? He didn’t want it. But not following through would have landed him in hot water with the US government for stock manipulation, perhaps even insider trading.
He could have made his own social media platform instead of buying the most expensive one on the market, and he probably would have been better off for it if he hadn’t been memeing, but he had something to prove. He had to prove he was funny and cool and so rich he could just buy Twitter on impulse.
Musk’s incredible wealth has insulated him from consequences. Worse, Twitter’s status as an important communications tool is delaying further consequences for the company itself. The companies hosting the servers are reluctant to shut it down or throttle. Advertisers pulled away from Twitter, but losing their money didn’t turn off the lights like so many predicted it would. Meeting the definition of ‘doing business with’ terrorist organizations may have already triggered investigations by the US government, but they’re moving so slow it’s impossible to tell what’s happening. The company itself is running on a skeleton crew, but the people remaining are effectively held hostage by visa requirements or somehow believe they can fix what’s been broken. View rate limits keep people from scrolling perpetually like they always have. Despite everything, despite waves and waves of bad choices, bad updates, firings, missed rent payments, bad sources of income, all the things that used to take down giants like Sears, MySpace, Kmart, et cetera, Twitter lumbers on, a giant among giants. The landlord can’t even get them out of the building despite Twitter tampering with the signs outside of it without a permit. Part of the reason people are so eager for the ship to go down is because by all rights, Twitter should have died already. And yet users keep going back! Twitter keeps limping forward! Few websites have ever been able to keep crawling forward like this after getting kneecapped, but by golly Twitter is hanging in there.
One More Sign, One More Change, One More Anything
The sign’s hanging in there too! The sign(s), actually. The whole reason I’m writing this article is because of the signs and what they represent within Twitter, now X. We know rebranding to X is wiping out a ton of brand recognition. How does Musk intend to make up for all the lost years of bird? By changing the sign on the San Francisco Twitter building into a giant, blinding white Unicode character X. This is after Twitter tried to take down the old sign without getting the building’s permission first, and the cops came and stopped them taking letters off before they were even half done. Both signs, both bad, were on the building at the same time, and neither had the necessary permits from the city to be in the state they were in, either partially torn down or powered up.
Musk’s blinding X sign was an unusual sight on the San Francisco streets because those signs are a genuine danger to drivers at night, so nobody else puts them up. It’s likely that they’re not allowed to. Twitter happened to be right across from a residential building (which is occupied even on the weekends) but even if it wasn’t, several thousand lumens of strobing, flashing light is irritating unless you’re actively seeking it out at shows and such. It didn’t stay. Like the process for removing the sign, Musk did not get permits to put this new one up – it wouldn’t have strobed like that if he had. It wouldn’t have been as bright, or as annoying, if he’d just gone through the process and let someone tell him no.