Twitter, once a dominant force in the world of social media, is on the verge of collapse, and the question of when it will finally vanish from the internet is being measured in hours, not days, according to experts.
Having paid $44 billion for Twitter, Elon Musk continues to send out positive tweets suggesting that he has full confidence in the site. But his decision on Saturday to reinstate the account of failed former president Donald Trump could be the fatal cut that causes the site to hemorrhage the remainder of its staff and value because many users are calling for advertisers to boycott the site unless Trump is again banned.
According to The Washington Post, even the smallest technical problems at Twitter threaten to send it into a death spiral.
Several critical teams essential to keeping the site functioning were cut to a single engineer or none by the departures Thursday, leaving the company partially on autopilot and likely to crash sooner or later, engineers said.
While there were no widespread reports of outages on Friday, “Every mistake in code and operations is now deadly” said a former engineer who departed the company this week. Those left “are going to be overwhelmed, overworked and, because of that, more likely to make mistakes.”
For example, the team which monitors runs a service known as Gizmoduck, which stores all of the information found in user profiles, is now gone, meaning that one minor blip or operational hiccup could leave 450 million users without access to the information connected to their accounts and profiles, which just so happens to be the lifeblood of the site.
Jessica González, CEO of the advocacy group Free Press, noted Friday, “Musk has swiftly decimated Twitter’s ability to maintain the platform’s integrity, health, and safety,” adding:
“His reckless actions, including sacking most of his staff and compelling others to leave, have caused an explosion of hate speech, conspiracy theories, and fraud on the site. If there is one lesson that all social media platforms must take away from this debacle, it’s that without protecting users from hate and lies, you have no company at all. Invest in the health and integrity of your platforms or risk extinction.”
Meanwhile, Musk continues to post tweets that make it sound as if he’s living in a parallel universe where logic, reason, and common sense don’t exist.
FYI, Elon: Everything is alive until the moment it emits a death rattle and takes its last breath.