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Elon Musk said his team is going to do a "random sample of 100 followers" of Twitter to see how many of the platform"s users are actually bots

Elon Musk said his $44 billion Twitter deal is on hold pending his own research to confirm the company's estimate that less than 5% of users are fake. Twitter announced last month it accepted Elon Musk's buyout offer.Picture Alliance/Getty Images Tesla and SpaceX billionaire Elon Musk said Friday his Twitter buyout was temporarily on hold. Musk said he will conduct his own research into how many Twitter users are fake accounts. Twitter said in a public filing this month less than 5% of users are fake or spam accounts. Elon Musk on Friday said he plans to conduct his own research to determine the amount of Twitter users that are actually bots before his purchase of the social media company continues.In a tweet sent early Friday morning, Musk said the Twitter deal was on hold until he could verify the site's estimate that fake or spam accounts represent less than 5% of users, though he added he was "still committed" to the acquisition.On Friday evening Musk announced how his team would evaluate the estimate."To find out, my team will do a random sample of 100 followers of @twitter," Musk said in a tweet, referring to the platform's own account, which has more than 61 million followers. "I invite others to repeat the same process and see what they discover."—Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 14, 2022He added that he "picked 100 as the sample size number, because that is what Twitter uses to calculate" it's own estimate.Twitter announced on April 25 it accepted Musk's buyout offer. A week later, Twitter said in a public filing that fake or spam accounts made up less than 5% of its monetizable daily active users in the first quarter. When a Twitter user questioned if Musk had thought about this before agreeing to a $44 billion deal, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO said he "relied upon the accuracy of Twitter's public filings."In a follow up tweet, Musk wrote, "The bots are angry at being counted," along with a cry-laughing emoji.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 13th, 2022

Trump says there is "no way" Elon Musk is going to buy Twitter now

Former President Donald Trump used Truth Social to respond to the news that Tesla CEO Elon Musk's Twitter buyout is temporarily on hold. Former President Donald Trump, left, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, right.Getty Images Donald Trump said there is "no way" Elon Musk is going to go ahead with his Twitter purchase. The former president said Musk wouldn't buy it at a "ridiculous" price because of the number of spam accounts. Musk said on Friday that his Twitter buyout is on hold until he works out how many Twitter users are actually bots. Former President Donald Trump responded on Friday to the news that Tesla CEO Elon Musk's planned Twitter buyout is temporarily on hold. Posting on his social media platform, Truth Social, Trump told his followers that he believes Musk will not go ahead with his Twitter purchase."There is no way Elon Musk is going to buy Twitter at such a ridiculous price, especially since realizing it is a company largely based on BOTS or Spam Accounts," Trump wrote on Friday, per Mashable. "Fake anyone?"Musk said in a tweet on Friday that he plans to conduct his research to determine the amount of Twitter users that are bots before his purchase of the social media platform goes ahead.He said that the $44 billion deal was on hold until he could verify that fake accounts represent less than 5% of users. "To find out, my team will do a random sample of 100 followers of @twitter," Musk said in a tweet.Trump addressed the spam account concern in his Truth Social post. He wrote, "By the time you get rid of them, if that can even be done, what do you have? Not much?"The former president went on to say that "Elon would have already been long done" if it wasn't for the breakup fee.Musk and Twitter have signed an agreement that includes a $1 billion break fee payable by the Tesla CEO if he walks away."Just my opinion, but Truth Social is MUCH better than Twitter and is absolutely exploding, incredible engagement," Trump wrote on his social media platform.Trump's Truth Social launched in February. According to Insider reporter Rosie Bradbury, who spent a week on the platform, it feels like a "conservative ghost town that had been overrun by bots."Musk said this week that he would reinstate Trump's account once he owns Twitter, calling the decision to ban him a "morally bad decision." Trump has previously said that he would not rejoin if his account were reinstated.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 14th, 2022

Elon Musk said his team is going to do a "random sample of 100 followers" of Twitter to see how many of the platform"s users are actually bots

Elon Musk said his $44 billion Twitter deal is on hold pending his own research to confirm the company's estimate that less than 5% of users are fake. Twitter announced last month it accepted Elon Musk's buyout offer.Picture Alliance/Getty Images Tesla and SpaceX billionaire Elon Musk said Friday his Twitter buyout was temporarily on hold. Musk said he will conduct his own research into how many Twitter users are fake accounts. Twitter said in a public filing this month less than 5% of users are fake or spam accounts. Elon Musk on Friday said he plans to conduct his own research to determine the amount of Twitter users that are actually bots before his purchase of the social media company continues.In a tweet sent early Friday morning, Musk said the Twitter deal was on hold until he could verify the site's estimate that fake or spam accounts represent less than 5% of users, though he added he was "still committed" to the acquisition.On Friday evening Musk announced how his team would evaluate the estimate."To find out, my team will do a random sample of 100 followers of @twitter," Musk said in a tweet, referring to the platform's own account, which has more than 61 million followers. "I invite others to repeat the same process and see what they discover."—Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 14, 2022He added that he "picked 100 as the sample size number, because that is what Twitter uses to calculate" it's own estimate.Twitter announced on April 25 it accepted Musk's buyout offer. A week later, Twitter said in a public filing that fake or spam accounts made up less than 5% of its monetizable daily active users in the first quarter. When a Twitter user questioned if Musk had thought about this before agreeing to a $44 billion deal, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO said he "relied upon the accuracy of Twitter's public filings."In a follow up tweet, Musk wrote, "The bots are angry at being counted," along with a cry-laughing emoji.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 13th, 2022

Twitter Deal Still Happening? Musk Says "Not Out Of The Question" But At Lower Price

Twitter Deal Still Happening? Musk Says 'Not Out Of The Question' But At Lower Price Update (1447ET): Is the Twitter deal dead? Musk seemed to suggest it was, unless he can buy the company for a lower price in light of 'bot-gate' which erupted over the weekend (see below). Speaking at the "All In" summit, Musk said that a viable deal for Twitter is "not out of the question," but at a lower price. He also challenged the truth and accuracy of Twitter's public filings. Twitter's choice: admit Musk is right and it has a huge fake userbase, opening up existing management to countless shareholder lawsuits, or kill the deal and be sued for record shareholder value destruction. — zerohedge (@zerohedge) May 16, 2022 Maybe Trump was right? *  *  * Update (1426ET): Speaking virtually at the "All In" summit tech conference, Musk speculated that at minimum, Twitter is '20% bots,' before asking rhetorically whether it was potentially 80-90% bots. He added that there's 'no way' to know the actual number of bots on the platform. Later, Musk suggested that while he's historically voted for Democrats, he may vote Republican in the next election. According to the Tesla CEO, the Democratic party is 'overly controlled' by unions. *  *  * The fate of Elon Musk's Twitter deal - or at least the price he'll end up paying - may hinge on just how many 'spam' accounts are active on the social media platform. The controversy began on Friday after Musk tweeted a Reuters article in which Twitter estimated that fake accounts comprise less than 5% of users, to which Musk said "Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users," then added "Still committed to acquisition." Still committed to acquisition — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 13, 2022 Musk followed it up with a another tweet explaining that his team will do a “random sample of 100 followers of Twitter” to find out the percentage of fake accounts. Then on Saturday, Musk tweeted "Whoever thought owning the libs would be cheap never tried to acquire a social media company!" - to which Twitter user @PPathole replied with a claim that "certainly more than 5%" of handles are "scam/spam/fake/bot" accounts. "Exactly," Musk replied, adding "I have yet to see *any* analysis that has fake/spam/duplicates at.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeMay 16th, 2022

Twitter CEO explains why finding bots in a random sample of 100 users won"t work. Elon Musk replies with poop emoji.

Elon Musk's deal to buy Twitter is on hold due to spam accounts, but CEO Parag Agrawal disagrees with his plan to survey how bad the issue is. Elon MuskHANNIBAL HANSCHKE /Getty Images Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal explained Monday why Elon Musk's plan to identify bot accounts is flawed. Musk said Friday his team would be doing a random sample of 100 followers to find spam accounts. Agrawal said such an estimate couldn't be done outside of Twitter. Musk replied with a smiling poop emoji. Elon Musk says his deal to buy Twitter is on hold due to a proliferation of spam and automated accounts on the platform, but CEO Parag Agrawal disagrees with his plan to survey how bad the issue is."We don't believe that this specific estimation can be performed externally, given the critical need to use both public and private information (which we can't share,)" Agrawal tweeted Monday of Musk's proposal to sample a random set of 100 users. "Externally, it's not even possible to know which accounts are counted as mDAUs on any given day."According to Musk, disclosing his plan publicly apparently got Musk into trouble with Twitter's legal team, who said he violated a non-disclosure agreement."We don't believe that this specific estimation can be performed externally, given the critical need to use both public and private information (which we can't share,)" Agrawal continued. "Externally, it's not even possible to know which accounts are counted as mDAUs on any given day."Agrawal also said Twitter is "strongly incentivized" to find and remove spam and that "anyone who suggests otherwise is just wrong."Musk shortly after responded to Agrawal's thread with a smiling poop emoji.—Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 16, 2022Monday's conversation between the two parties is the latest twist after Musk said Friday that his acquisition of Twitter was on hold until he could verify that the company's estimate of fake or spam users was indeed accurate, noting that he was "still committed to the acquisition." The company has said previously that fake accounts represent less than 5% of users.In the meantime, Musk also made jabs at Twitter's algorithm, advising his followers to set their timelines to chronological order."You are being manipulated by the algorithm in ways you don't realize," he said. Twitter's cofounder and former CEO Jack Dorsey, with whom Musk has always shared a friendly rapport online, responded that the app's algorithm "wasn't designed to manipulate" but instead to save time for users that step away from the platform for a while and wish to see the content you most wish to engage with.—jack⚡️ (@jack) May 15, 2022  Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 16th, 2022

More than 23% of Elon Musk"s Twitter followers are spam or fake accounts, research groups say

The analysis was based on a system of 17 warning signals that point to an account being suspicious, two audit research groups said. Elon Musk himself acknowledged that his most-liked tweet only received 4.8 million tweets, dwarfed by the number of followers he has and the total number of active Twitter users.Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images Elon Musk's Twitter followers are likely 23% fake or spam accounts, two research groups says. Their analysis flagged users based on 17 warning signals that point to suspicious accounts. This comes as Musk disputes Twitter's estimates that fewer than 5% of its accounts are fake. More than 23.42% of billionaire Elon Musk's 93 million followers on Twitter are likely fake or spam accounts, according to a joint audit by two research groups published Sunday.The two groups, SparkToro and Followerwonk, said their definitions of "fake" and "spam" accounts might not be the same as Twitter's. They said they used a system of 17 warning signals, based on an algorithm that ran through 35,000 fake Twitter accounts bought by SparkToro and 50,000 accounts the teams marked as non-spam.If one of Musk's followers was flagged for multiple spam signals, they graded it as low quality or fake, they said.In total, they said that 70.23% of Musk's users were unlikely to be "authentic" or "active users who see his tweets."Fake accounts by the numbersAnalyzing all of Musk's nearly 100 million followers, they found that 73% have spam-correlated keywords on their profiles and that 71% use locations that don't match any known place name. And 41% of these accounts use display names that match spam patterns, they said. Notably, 69% have also been inactive for more than 120 days, the groups added.The research groups also pointed out how 83% of Musk's followers had a "suspiciously small number of followers," and 78% follow an "unusually small number of accounts."SparkToro's Rand Fishkin told Insider that what defines "small number" depends on the algorithm."For example, an account that's older or that tweets more may have a higher threshold, versus a newer account that tweets less and has a lower one," he wrote in an email.Other metrics the teams used include the age of the Twitter account, how many tweets it's made over an extended period of time, and whether it uses Twitter's default profile picture. As such, SparkToro said it defines fake accounts as "those that do not regularly have a human being personally composing the content of their tweets, consuming the activity on their timeline, or engaging in the Twitter ecosystem."On the other hand, Twitter defines monetizable daily active users as "people, organizations, or other accounts who logged in or were otherwise authenticated and accessed Twitter on any given day" through its paid products or platforms that show ads, according to the company's SEC filing for Q1 2022.The company hasn't publicly revealed its full method for classifying fake or spam accounts.SparkToro wrote in its analysis that some of the "fake accounts" according to its definition aren't necessarily problematic, such as bots that aggregate front page news stories or ones that tweet photos and links from restaurants around the world.But it said most of the spam accounts it flagged are guilty of peddling propaganda and disinformation, pushing phishing attempts or malware, manipulating stocks and cryptocurrencies, and trying to harass other users.It also noted that its analysis could be undercounting active users who don't tweet anything but browse their timelines, and that it also may not be flagging some sophisticated spam accounts.Still, the research groups said their analysis leans on a "conservative" estimate of what a fake or spam account is.Musk's Twitter bot debateThe assessment comes as Musk said on Friday that he's pausing his $44 billion purchase of Twitter until it proves the accuracy of its claim that less than 5% of its users are fake.His announcement prompted a heated online exchange between him and Parag Agrawal, Twitter's CEO, in which the latter defended Twitter's numbers and tweeted that it suspends half a million spam accounts a day.Musk responded with a poop emoji and questioned how advertisers with Twitter would know what their money gets them. One analyst firm said Musk's apparent hesitancy to buy the platform might be a ploy for him to negotiate a lower price or back out of the deal.But Twitter said on Tuesday that it's remaining firm on the price originally agreed with Musk, at $54.20 a share.The Tesla CEO and founder recently acknowledged that his own Twitter account's numbers may be inflated.Speaking on Monday at a tech conference in Miami, he pointed out that one of the most-liked tweets on the platform (his own tweet about buying Coca-Cola) has 4.8 million likes compared to Twitter's estimate of 217 million total active users.—Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 28, 2022 Musk said his worry lies with whether Twitter's count is incorrect by "an order of magnitude.""Something doesn't add up here, and my concern here is not is it 5, or 7 or 8%, but is it potentially 80% or 90% bots?" he said.SparkToro and Followerwonk's estimates say around 19.42% of all active Twitter accounts are likely spam or fake accounts, based on a sample of 44,058 random accounts.The two groups said it's not unusual for prominent or large Twitter accounts like Musk's to have a high number of fake followers. For example, SparkToro's follower audit tool says that nearly half of the followers on President Joe Biden's Twitter account are fake.In October 2018, SparkToro also ran an analysis on former President Donald Trump similar to the one conducted on Musk's account and found that 61% of Trump's followers were bots, spam, propaganda, or inactive accounts.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 18th, 2022

Elon vs. Parag: Argument Over Spam Accounts May Jeopardize Twitter Deal

Elon vs. Parag: Argument Over Spam Accounts May Jeopardize Twitter Deal The fate of Elon Musk's Twitter deal - or at least the price he'll end up paying - may hinge on just how many 'spam' accounts are active on the social media platform. The controversy began on Friday after Musk tweeted a Reuters article in which Twitter estimated that fake accounts comprise less than 5% of users, to which Musk said "Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users," then added "Still committed to acquisition." Still committed to acquisition — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 13, 2022 Musk followed it up with a another tweet explaining that his team will do a “random sample of 100 followers of Twitter” to find out the percentage of fake accounts. Then on Saturday, Musk tweeted "Whoever thought owning the libs would be cheap never tried to acquire a social media company!" - to which Twitter user @PPathole replied with a claim that "certainly more than 5%" of handles are "scam/spam/fake/bot" accounts. "Exactly," Musk replied, adding "I have yet to see *any* analysis that has fake/spam/duplicates at.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeMay 16th, 2022

Elon Musk called Twitter newsfeed algorithms "manipulative," prompting a reply from founder Jack Dorsey, who disagreed with the claim

"You are being manipulated by the algorithm in ways you don't realize," Musk said. He told followers to "fix" their Twitter feed. Musk tweeted on Friday that his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter was on hold.AP Elon Musk told his followers to "fix" their Twitter feed to show "Latest tweets." Twitter founder and ex-CEO Jack Dorsey said the setting was simply a way of showing trending news. Musk has said he wants the Twitter algorithm to be open source. Elon Musk said Twitter users were being "manipulated" by the site's newsfeed algorithm, prompting a response from founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey.It marks the latest twist in Musk's tumultuous takeover of the company.In a tweet on Saturday, Musk indicated the default Twitter feed, which shows tweets based on popularity and a user's interests, needed to be replaced. Twitter did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment made outside of normal working hours."You are being manipulated by the algorithm in ways you don't realize," Musk said, telling his followers to "fix" their Twitter feed to show "Latest tweets" by tapping the star in the top right of the screen. Dorsey responded by disagreeing with Musk, saying the function was a means of updating followers on trending news and was easily changed."it was designed simply to save you time when you are away from app for a while. pull to refresh goes back to reverse chron [chronological] as well," Dorsey tweeted.—jack⚡️ (@jack) May 14, 2022Dorsey then replied to a tweet from another user who said the function was designed for manipulation, but that it could have consequences."No it wasn't designed to manipulate. it was designed to catch you up and work off what you engage with. that can def have unintended consequences tho," Dorsey said, arguing the current option of being able to choose was best.Musk replied to himself around eight hours later, indicating any manipulation wasn't intentional."I'm not suggesting malice in the algorithm, but rather that it's trying to guess what you might want to read and, in doing so, inadvertently manipulate/amplify your viewpoints without you realizing this is happening," Musk tweeted. "Not to mention potential bugs in the code. Open source is the way to go to solve both trust and efficacy."The Twitter algorithm has been a key talking point for Musk, who wants it to be open source to increase trust in the platform, as he said Friday the acquisition was on hold pending confirmation that 5% of the site's accounts belonged to automated 'bot' accounts. Musk suspects the figure is higher and said he would take a sample of 100 random followers of the Twitter account. Musk said Twitter's legal team told him he had broken Twitter's non-disclosure agreement for that tweet.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 15th, 2022

Elon Musk Wants to Rid Twitter of ‘Spam Bots.’ Nearly Half His Followers Are Fake

Spam bots on Twitter are automated accounts that mimic the activity of real people on the site, but are programmed to engage in malicious activity One of Elon Musk’s top priorities for Twitter following his $44 billion deal to buy the social media company is cracking down on so-called “spam bots.” One problem with that plan: It would cut his own following nearly in half, according to Twitter auditing tool SparkToro. Spam bots are the “single most annoying problem” on Twitter, Musk tweeted earlier this month. He later affirmed his commitment to weeding out fake accounts in a statement he gave announcing his deal with Twitter on Monday. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] “I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans,” he said. “Twitter has tremendous potential—I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.” Spam bots on Twitter are automated accounts that mimic the activity of real people on the site, but are programmed to engage in malicious activity ranging from spreading misinformation to promoting money-making schemes. Musk has specifically called out bots that promote crypto-based scams on Twitter, complaining in a live TED interview on April 14 that “they make the product much worse.” “If I had a Dogecoin for every crypto scam I saw, we’d have 100 billion Dogecoin,” he said. Read More: What Elon Musk Really Believes While Twitter already has policies in place intended to combat spam bots, security remains a persistent challenge for the platform. Musk has vowed to solve the problem by authenticating “all real humans” on the site, but hasn’t elaborated on how he plans to accomplish that. Meanwhile, Musk’s own follower count is significantly boosted by fake accounts. Of Musk’s current 87.9 million followers, SparkToro estimates that roughly 48% are fake—i.e., accounts that are “unreachable and will not see the account’s tweets (either because they’re spam, bots, propaganda, etc. or because they’re no longer active on Twitter).” Musk has nearly 7% more fake followers than the median 41% that accounts with a similar sized followings have, SparkToro reports. By analyzing more than 25 factors correlated with spam, bots, and low quality accounts, the auditing tool found that accounts that are on an unusually small number of lists, accounts that have no url or a non-resolving url in their profile, and accounts that have a suspiciously small number of followers were some of the most frequently observed traits of a sample of 2,000 random accounts from the most recent 100,000 accounts that followed Musk. Even so, those stats aren’t outside the norm for prominent Twitter personalities like Musk. Microsoft founder Bill Gates and former President Barack Obama, for instance, boast fake follower percentages of 46% and 44% for their respective followings of 58.4 million and 131.7 million, while celebrities like Kim Kardashian (72.2 million followers) and Cristiano Ronaldo (99.5 million followers) land at approximately 45% and 43%. SparkToro’s tool can no longer access data for former President Donald Trump, but it estimated in 2018 that 61% of his 54.8 million followers at the time were fake. Trump’s following increased to nearly 89 million by the time he was permanently banned from Twitter in January 2021. Like many of Musk’s high-minded goals for Twitter, exterminating spam bots won’t be easy, and one of the best indicators of his success may be a considerable drop in his own follower count......»»

Category: topSource: timeApr 28th, 2022

Why Elon Musk’s Plans to ‘Fix’ Twitter Will Be Harder to Implement Than He Thinks

Musk has laid out a series of changes to Twitter after making a deal to buy it for $44 billion Elon Musk is purchasing Twitter. After months of publicly toying with the idea, the world’s richest man successfully negotiated a deal to buy the social media platform for $44 billion. On Monday, Musk gave a statement with a short list of goals for the platform, many of which he has recently floated to his 83 million followers on Twitter. “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” he tweeted. “I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans.” [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] But are Musk’s goals actually feasible? Can he really transform Twitter into a less-moderated forum where free speech flourishes—and at the same time make it a service that generates more revenue from subscribers than advertisers? Sure, he’s the world’s wealthiest private citizen, but he’ll need Twitter to churn out income, if only to pay back the banks that loaned him $25 billion for the purchase. Here’s a look at Musk’s proposed changes, where Twitter stands on them currently, and what history–and experts–tell us about whether they might be successfully implemented.   🚀💫♥️ Yesss!!! ♥️💫🚀 pic.twitter.com/0T9HzUHuh6 — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 25, 2022 ‘Free speech absolutist’ Musk called himself a “free speech absolutist” in a March tweet. Last January, three days after President Trump received a permanent Twitter suspension for his “risk of further incitement of violence” following the Jan. 6 insurrection, Musk tweeted: “A lot of people are going to be super unhappy with West Coast high tech as the de facto arbiter of free speech.” Musk’s hardline rhetoric about free speech flies in the face of Twitter’s recent evolution in this area. In 2018, the site came under fire after an MIT study showed that misinformation spread faster on Twitter than real news. Since then, the company has stepped up its efforts to combat hate speech and increase user safety, including the ability for its users to flag false information. The controversial Twitter account Libs of Tik Tok was twice suspended for “hateful conduct”—and last week, the company announced it would ban advertisements that challenge widely-accepted research on climate change. Read More: What Elon Musk’s Purchase of Twitter Could Mean for Donald Trump’s Account But misinformation, propaganda and extremist views are still omnipresent on the site, especially surrounding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. While Musk has said that hate speech would be banned, he has yet to parse out the gray areas, and it seems possible that more lenient policies for content moderation could lead to more of the toxic behavior that Twitter has been trying to stamp out for years. And fewer guardrails around speech could be bad for Twitter’s bottom line: advertisers might be less likely to pay money for posts that might sit next to racism, bigotry or sexism. Removing ads David Paul Morris—Bloomberg/Getty ImagesTwitter headquarters in San Francisco, Calif. on April 21, 2022. In a now-deleted Tweet, Musk argued for the removal of all ads from Twitter, writing, “The power of corporations to dictate policy is greatly enhanced if Twitter depends on advertising money to survive.” Twitter is almost wholly reliant on ads to stay afloat financially. In Q4 2021, the company reported advertising revenue of $1.41 billion out of $1.57 billion in total revenue during that quarter. In November, the company rolled out its first consumer subscription package, Twitter Blue, which costs $3 a month for access to “premium features.” But Chief Executive Parag Agrawal said in February that Blue is “not critical” to meeting its revenue projections, according to the Wall Street Journal. Musk has expressed support for a subscription model, but wants it to be cheaper than it currently is now. At a TED conference this month, he said that his interest in Twitter “is not a way to make money.” But he will need for the platform to continue to earn revenue, because he paid for more than half of it in financing from Morgan Stanley and other institutions. In order to service his debt, he will likely need to not just preserve Twitter’s ad revenue, but grow it. Spam bots and human authentication Musk called spam bots the “single most annoying problem” on Twitter. Bots, which often promote crypto-based scams these days, flood users’ feeds in an attempt to lure unsuspecting victims. Twitter already has a rigorous process for weeding out fake accounts: the company uses software during the registration process to detect patterns of automation. But botmakers are getting more slippery and sophisticated, allowing many to pass through Twitter’s censors undetected. Meanwhile, it’s much harder to sniff out manual fakes, in which real people create fake accounts to spread disinformation or defraud people. One 21-year-old, for instance, repeatedly impersonated Trump family members on Twitter for a year, even tricking the President. Read More: Elon Musk—2021 Person of the Year At the moment, Musk seems to believe that the best solution to the bots problem is to authenticate “all real humans,” or to have accounts overtly linked to other personal identifiers, whether it be a phone number, an email address or a photo. But this idea has raised the ire of many Twitter users who like the app precisely for its pseudonymity. “I would rather have spam bots than have to “authenticate” my human identity. I’ve made it this far without ever associating my government name with my extracurricular activities,” wrote one user in response to Musk. “How can we ensure the people from at-risk regions who have to be under pseudonyms to enjoy the freedom to express the truth while authenticating they’re real humans without blowing their cover?,” the engineer Jane Manchun Wong wrote. Others worried that a detailed list of users, even if kept internally by Twitter, would be vulnerable to seizure or hacks from governments or malicious actors. Michael Saylor, CEO of the business intelligence firm MicroStrategy, responded to Musk with his own suggestion last week: that users should be required to post “a one-time security deposit” that they forfeit if they are reported and found to be acting in malice. This solution, however, could lead to collective bullying, in which a group with a vendetta could mass-report a real individual to get them de-verified and stripped of their deposit. Open-source algorithms What people see on social media is usually the work of complicated algorithms, whose components are often closely guarded secrets of Big Tech. Musk wants Twitter to open-source its algorithms—i.e., to publicly share the decision-making behind what tweets get shown to users. If someone’s tweets are “emphasized or de-emphasized, that action should remain apparent,” he argued at the TED conference. Many agree with him generally, especially in the wake of the 2021 Facebook papers, which showed how skewed algorithms can have disastrous consequences. But several experts have argued that the process of making such information public is far more complicated than Musk is asserting. “The algorithm is just the tip of the iceberg.…The rest of the iceberg is all of this data that Twitter has,” Robin Burke, a professor of information science at University of Colorado at Boulder, told the Washington Post this month. Even if the sprawling computer code was released to the public, Burke argues, much of it would be completely illegible to most viewers—and would be especially useless without the inserted data, which contains plenty of private and personal information. An edit button When Musk polled his followers on April 4 as to whether they wanted Twitter to implement an Edit button, they responded resoundingly: 73% of 4.4 million votes were “yes.” Calls for an Edit button have long been omnipresent on Twitter, while Reddit and Facebook have Edit features that work fairly well for their users. But while an edit button would allow users to fix typos, it would also open the door for bad actors to alter the record of public conversation. Trolls could publish a widely agreed-upon statement in order to rack up likes and retweets, only to change it to something heinous after the fact. Hackers could break into the accounts of governments or corporations and alter information. Ben Sangster, a former Twitter software engineer, wrote that while he was part of an internal effort to create an Edit button in 2015, his team “concluded that the potential for abuse was too high to move forward.” There’s also a smaller technical issue: Twitter allows third-party apps and developers, including widely-used ones like TweetDeck, to download tweets in real time. Once a tweet is downloaded by a platform like TweetDeck, there’s no way for Twitter to recall or edit it, Lewis Mitchell, a data science professor at the University of Adelaide, wrote in a recent article. Twitter itself has announced it is working on an Edit button, but has remained fairly tight-lipped on any details. One user who responded to Musk’s poll suggested that the Edit button should only be available for a few minutes after someone publishes, and that the original Tweet remain available to the public. Musk called the proposal “reasonable.” I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 25, 2022 While Musk faces plenty of challenges, he’s overcome daunting obstacles before, whether at SpaceX or Tesla. And he acknowledged on Twitter that he is ready to hear from his critics, no matter how loud they might be: “I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means.”.....»»

Category: topSource: timeApr 26th, 2022

The wild life of billionaire Twitter founder and "Block Head" Jack Dorsey, who"s officially left the social network"s board, eats one meal a day, and takes ice baths

Jack Dorsey, famous for his unusual life of luxury, stepped down as Twitter CEO in 2021 but continues to lead Block as its "Block Head." Jack Dorsey onstage at a bitcoin convention on June 4, 2021 in Miami, Florida.Joe Raedle/Getty Images Jack Dorsey cofounded Twitter in 2006 and the company made him a billionaire. He's famous for his unusual life of luxury, including a daily fasting routine and regular ice baths. He stepped down as Twitter CEO in November 2021 but continues to lead Block as its "Block Head." Visit Business Insider's home page for more stories. From fighting armies of bots to quashing rumors about sending his beard hair to rapper Azealia Banks, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey leads an unusual life of luxury.Dorsey has had a turbulent career in Silicon Valley. After cofounding Twitter on March 21 2006, he was booted as the company's CEO two years later, but returned in 2015 having set up his second company, Square — which he rebranded as Block in 2021.He led Twitter through the techlash that has engulfed social media companies, testifying before Congress multiple times.And Dorsey announced on November 29, 2021, he had stepped down as the CEO of Twitter. He continues to lead Block, where in April 2022 he changed his title from "CEO" to "Block Head." And on Wednesday, Dorsey officially stepped down from Twitter's board of directors amid Elon Musk's bid for the company, a move that has been expected since fall 2021.Dorsey has provoked his fair share of controversy and criticism, extolling fasting and ice baths as part of his daily routine. His existence is not entirely spartan, however. Like some other billionaires, he owns a stunning house, dates models, and drives fast cars.Scroll on to read more about the fabulous life of Jack Dorsey.Rebecca Borison and Madeline Stone contributed reporting to an earlier version of this story.Dorsey began programming while attending Bishop DuBourg High School in St. Louis.VineAt age 15, Dorsey wrote dispatch software that is still used by some taxi companies.Source: Bio. When he wasn't checking out specialty electronics stores or running a fantasy football league for his friends, Dorsey frequently attended punk-rock concerts. @jackThese days Dorsey doesn't favour the spiky hairdo.Source: The Wall Street JournalLike many of his fellow tech billionaires, Dorsey never graduated college.edyson / FlickrHe briefly attended the Missouri University of Science and Technology and transferred to New York University before calling it quits.Source: Bio.In 2000, Dorsey built a simple prototype that let him update his friends on his life via BlackBerry and email messaging.joi / FlickrNobody else really seemed interested, so he put away the idea for a bit.Source: The Unofficial Stanford BlogFun fact: Jack Dorsey is also a licensed masseur.Getty Images/Bill PuglianoHe got his license in about 2002, before exploding onto the tech scene.Sources: The Wall Street JournalHe got a job at a podcasting company called Odeo, where he met his future Twitter cofounders.Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone and Evan Williams took home the prize in the blogging category at SXSW in 2007.Flickr via Scott Beale/LaughingSquidOdeo went out of business in 2006, so Dorsey returned to his messaging idea, and Twitter was born.On March 21, 2006, Dorsey posted the first tweet.Jack Dorsey's first tweet.Twitter/@jackDorsey kept his Twitter handle simple, "@jack."Dorsey and his cofounders, Evan Williams and Biz Stone, bought the Twitter domain name for roughly $7,000.Khalid Mohammed / AP ImagesDorsey took out his nose ring to look the part of a CEO. He was 30 years old.A year later, Dorsey was already less hands-on at Twitter. Evan Williams and Jack Dorsey.Wikimedia CommonsBy 2008, Williams had taken over as CEO, and Dorsey transitioned to chairman of Twitter's board. Dorsey immediately got started on new projects. He invested in Foursquare and launched a payments startup called Square that lets small-business owners accept credit card payments through a smartphone attachment.Sources: Twitter and Bio.In 2011, Dorsey got the chance to interview US President Barack Obama in the first Twitter Town Hall.President Obama talks to the audience next to Jack Dorsey during his first ever Twitter Town Hall.ReutersDorsey had to remind Obama to keep his replies under 140 characters, Twitter's limit at the time.Source: TwitterTwitter went public in November 2013, and within hours Dorsey was a billionaire.APIn 2014 Forbes pegged Dorsey's net worth at $2.2 billion. On the day it was reported he was expected to resign, Bloomberg's Billionaires Index calculated his net worth at $12.3 billion.Source: Bio. and ForbesIt was revealed in a 2019 filing that Dorsey earned just $1.40 for his job as Twitter CEO the previous year.Twitter and Square founder Jack Dorsey, who doesn't earn anything from his primary day job.David Becker / GettyThe $1.40 salary actually represented a pay rise for Dorsey, who in previous years had refused any payment at all.He's far from the only Silicon Valley mogul to have taken a measly salary - Mark Zuckerberg makes $1 a year as CEO of Facebook.Source: Insider He might have been worth more had he not given back 10% of his stock to Square.Jack Dorsey with Hollywood producer Brian Grazer, Veronica Smiley, and Kate Greer at the annual Allen and Co. conference at the Sun Valley, Idaho Resort in 2013.ReutersThis helped Square employees, giving them more equity and stock options. It was also helpful in acquiring online food-delivery startup Caviar.Sources: Insider and CaviarWith his newfound wealth, he bought a BMW 3 Series, but reportedly didn't drive it often.Alex Davies / Business Insider"Now he's able to say, like, 'The BMW is the only car I drive, because it's the best automotive engineering on the planet,' or whatever," Twitter cofounder Biz Stone told The New Yorker in 2013.Source: The New YorkerHe also reportedly paid $9.9 million for this seaside house on El Camino Del Mar in the exclusive Seacliff neighborhood of San Francisco.The Real Estalker via Sotheby'sThe house has a view of the Golden Gate Bridge, which Dorsey views as a marvel of design.Source: InsiderBefore the pandemic, Dorsey said he worked from home one day a week.Jack Dorsey's home setup.Twitter/@jackIn an interview with journalist Kara Swisher conducted over Twitter, Dorsey said he worked every Tuesday out of his kitchen.He also told Kara Swisher that Elon Musk is his favorite Twitter user.Elon Musk is a prolific tweeter.PewDiePie/YouTubeDorsey said Musk's tweets are, "focused on solving existential problems and sharing his thinking openly."He added that he enjoys all the "ups and downs" that come with Musk's sometimes unpredictable use of the site. Musk himself replied, tweeting his thanks and "Twitter rocks!" followed by a string of random emojis.Both Musk and Dorsey are crypto enthusiasts, and appear to have developed a good public relationship.Source: InsiderFacebook CEO and rival Mark Zuckerberg once served Jack Dorsey a goat he killed himself.Gene KimDorsey told Rolling Stone about the meal, which took place in 2011. Dorsey said the goat was served cold, and that he personally stuck to salad.Source: Rolling StoneHis eating habits have raised eyebrows.Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for WIRED25Appearing on a podcast run by a health guru who previously said that vaccines caused autism, Dorsey said he eats one meal a day and fasts all weekend. He said the first time he tried fasting it made him feel like he was hallucinating."It was a weird state to be in. But as I did it the next two times, it just became so apparent to me how much of our days are centered around meals and how — the experience I had was when I was fasting for much longer, how time really slowed down," he said.The comments drew fierce criticism from many who said Dorsey was normalizing eating disorders.In a later interview with Wired, Dorsey said he eats seven meals a week, "just dinner."Sources: Insider, The New StatesmanIn the early days of Twitter, Dorsey aspired to be a fashion designer.Cindy Ord / Getty Images, Franck MichelDorsey would regularly don leather jackets and slim suits by Prada and Hermès, as well as Dior Homme reverse-collar dress shirts, a sort of stylish take on the popped collar.More recently he favors edgier outfits, including the classic black turtleneck favored by Silicon Valley luminaries like Steve Jobs.Sources: CBS News and The Wall Street JournalHe also re-introduced the nose-ring and grew a beard.GettyDorsey seems to care less about looking the part of a traditional executive these days.Singer Azealia Banks claimed to have been sent clippings of Dorsey's beard hair to fashion into a protective amulet, although Dorsey denied this happened.Azealia Banks.GettyIn 2016, Banks posted on her now-deleted Twitter account that Dorsey sent her his hair, "in an envelope." Dorsey later told the HuffPo that the beard-posting incident never happened.Sources: Insider and HuffPoDorsey frequently travels the world and shares his photos with his 6 million Twitter followers.Jack Dorsey meeting Japanese Prime Minister Sinzo Abe.Twitter/@JPN_PMOOn his travels, Dorsey meets heads of state, including Japan's former Prime Minister Shinzō Abe.Source: TwitterTweets about his vacation in Myanmar also provoked an outcry.Bagan, Myanmar.Shutterstock/Martin M303Dorsey tweeted glowingly about a vacation he took to Myanmar for his birthday in December 2018. "If you're willing to travel a bit, go to Myanmar," he said.This came at the height of the Rohingya crisis, and Dorsey was attacked for his blithe promotion of the country — especially since social media platforms were accused of having been complicit in fuelling hatred towards the Rohingya.Source: InsiderHowever, Dorsey says he doesn't care about "looking bad."FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Trump welcomes South Korea’s President Moon to the White House in WashingtonReutersIn a bizarre Huffington Post interview in 2019, Dorsey was asked whether Donald Trump — an avid tweeter — could be removed from the platform if he called on his followers to murder a journalist. Dorsey gave a vague answer which drew sharp criticism.Following the interview's publication, Dorsey said he doesn't care about "looking bad.""I care about being open about how we're thinking and about what we see," he added.In September 2018, Jack Dorsey was grilled by lawmakers alongside Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Jack Dorsey are sworn-in for a Senate Intelligence Committee.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesDorsey and Sandberg were asked about election interference on Twitter and Facebook as well as alleged anti-conservative bias in social media companies.Source: InsiderDuring the hearing, Dorsey shared a snapshot of his spiking heart rate on Twitter.AP Photo/Jose Luis MaganaDorsey was in the hot seat for several hours. His heart rate peaked at 109 beats per minute.Source: InsiderDorsey testified before Congress once again on October 28, 2020.Jack Dorsey tuning into the hearing with the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation/Handout via REUTERSDorsey appeared via videoconference at the Senate hearing on Section 230, a part of US law that protects internet companies from legal liability for user-generated content, as well as giving them broad authority to decide how to moderate their own platforms.In prepared testimony ahead of the hearing, Dorsey said stripping back Section 230 would "collapse how we communicate on the Internet," and suggested ways for tech companies to make their moderation processes more transparent. During the hearing, Dorsey once again faced accusations of anti-conservative biasJack Dorsey appearing virtually at the hearing.Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty ImagesThe accusations from Republican lawmakers focused on the way Twitter enforces its policies, particularly the way it has labelled tweets from President Trump compared to other world leaders.Dorsey took the brunt of questions from lawmakers, even though he appeared alongside Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai.Source: ProtocolDuring the hearing, the length of Dorsey's beard drew fascination from pundits.Dorsey had to address accusations of censorship.Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERSSome users referred to Dorsey's facial hair as his "quarantine beard," while others said it made him look like a wizard.—rat king (@MikeIsaac) October 28, 2020—Taylor Hatmaker (@tayhatmaker) October 28, 2020"Jack Dorsey's beard is literally breaking Twitter's own face detection," posted cybersecurity blogging account @Swiftonsecurity.—SwiftOnSecurity (@SwiftOnSecurity) October 28, 2020 Dorsey also addressed the way Twitter dealt with a dubiously sourced New York Post story about Hunter Biden.Jack Dorsey appearing on-screen at the hearing.Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAYWhen the New York Post published a report about Hunter Biden on October 14 that threw up red flags about sourcing, Twitter blocked users from sharing URLs citing its "hacked materials" policy.Dorsey subsequently apologized publicly, saying it was wrong of Twitter to block URLs.—jack (@jack) October 16, 2020During the Senate hearing, Sen. Ted Cruz accused Twitter of taking the "unilateral decision to censor" the Post.Dorsey said the Post's Twitter account would remain locked until it deleted its original tweet, but that updated policies meant it could tweet the same story again without getting blocked.Source: InsiderDorsey had to appear before another hearing on November 17 2020 — this time about how Twitter handled content moderation around the 2020 presidential election.U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee via REUTERS/File PhotoDorsey was summoned alongside Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg by Republicans who were displeased with how the platforms had dealt with then-President Donald Trump's social media accounts. Both CEOs defended their companies, saying they are politically neutral.When he's not in Washington, Dorsey regularly hops in and out of ice baths and saunas.This is not Dorsey's sauna.ShutterstockDorsey said in the "Tales of the Crypt" podcast that he started using ice baths and saunas in the evenings around 2016.He will alternately sit in his barrel sauna for 15 minutes and then switch to an ice bath for three. He repeats this routine three times, before finishing it off with a one-minute ice bath.He also likes to take an icy dip in the mornings to wake him up.Source: CNBCDorsey's dating life has sparked intrigue. In 2018, he was reported to be dating Sports Illustrated model Raven Lyn Corneil.Sports Illustrated Swimsuit / YouTube / GettyPage Six reported in September 2018 that the pair were spotted together at the Harper's Bazaar Icons party during New York Fashion Week. Page Six also reported that Dorsey's exes included actress Lily Cole and ballet dancer Sofiane Sylve.Source: Page SixHe's a big believer in cryptocurrency, frequently tweeting about its virtues.Teresa Kroeger/Getty ImagesIn particular, Dorsey is a fan of Bitcoin, which he described in early 2019 as "resilient" and "principled." He told the "Tales of the Crypt" podcast in March that year that he was maxing out the $10,000 weekly spending limit on Square's Cash App buying up Bitcoin.In October 2020 he slammed Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong for forbidding employee activism at the company, saying cryptocurrency is itself a form of activism.—jack (@jack) September 30, 2020 Source: Insider, Insider and CNBC Dorsey said Square was launching a new bitcoin business in summer 2021.Square CEO Jack Dorsey speaks at the Bitcoin 2021 Convention, a crypto-currency conference held on June 4, 2021 in Miami, Florida.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesDorsey announced the new venture in a tweet on July 15, 2021 and said its name was "TBD." It wasn't clear whether that was its actual name, or Dorsey hadn't decided on a name yet.—jack (@jack) July 15, 2021 Dorsey said he hopes bitcoin can help bring about "world peace."Jack Dorsey on stage at the Bitcoin 2021 Convention, a crypto-currency conference in Miami.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesDorsey appeared alongside Elon Musk and Ark Invest CEO Cathie Wood during a panel called "The B Word" on July 2021. He said he loves the bitcoin community because it's "weird as hell.""It's the only reason that I have a career — because I learned so much from people like who are building bitcoin today," Dorsey said.At the end of 2019 Dorsey said he would move to Africa for at least three months in 2020.AP Photo/Francois MoriDorsey's announcement followed a tour of Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa. "Africa will define the future (especially the bitcoin one!). Not sure where yet, but I'll be living here for 3-6 months mid 2020," he tweeted. Dorsey then came under threat of being ousted as Twitter CEO by activist investor Elliott Management.Paul Singer, founder and president of Elliott Management.REUTERS/Mike Blake/File PhotoBoth Bloomberg and CNBC reported in late February 2020 that major Twitter investor Elliott Management — led by Paul Singer — was seeking to replace Dorsey. Reasons given included the fact that Dorsey split his time between two firms by acting as CEO to both Twitter and financial tech firm Square, as well as his planned move to Africa.Source: InsiderTesla CEO and frequent Twitter user Elon Musk weighed in on the news, throwing his support behind Dorsey.Tesla CEO Elon Musk.REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke"Just want to say that I support @jack as Twitter CEO," Musk tweeted, adding that Dorsey has a good heart, using the heart emoji.Source: InsiderDorsey managed to strike a truce with Elliott Management.AP Photo/Jose Luis MaganaTwitter announced on March 9, 2020 that it had reached a deal with Elliott Management which would leave Jack Dorsey in place as CEO.The deal included a $1 billion investment from private equity firm Silver Lake, and partners from both Elliott Management and Silver Lake joined Twitter's board.Patrick Pichette, lead independent director of Twitter's board, said he was "confident we are on the right path with Jack's leadership," but added that a new temporary committee would be formed to instruct the board's evaluation of Twitter's leadership.In April 2020, Dorsey announced that he was forming a new charity fund that would help in global relief efforts amid the coronavirus pandemic.Dorsey.Matt Crossick/PA Images via Getty ImagesDorsey said he would pour $1 billion of his own Square equity into the fund, or roughly 28% of his total wealth at the time. The fund, dubbed Start Small LLC, would first focus on helping in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, he said.Dorsey said he would be making all transactions on behalf of the fund public in a spreadsheet.In July 2020, hackers compromised 130 Twitter accounts in a bitcoin scam.TwitterThe accounts of high-profile verified accounts belonging to Bill Gates, Kim Kardashian West, and others were hacked, with attackers tweeting out posts asking users to send payment in bitcoin to fraudulent cryptocurrency addresses.As a solution, Twitter temporarily blocked all verified accounts — those with blue check marks on their profiles — but the damage was done.  Elon Musk said he personally contacted Dorsey following the hack.Elon Musk (left) and Dorsey.Susan Walsh/AP; Getty ImagesDuring a July 2020 interview with The New York Times, Musk said he had immediately called Dorsey after he learned about the hack."Within a few minutes of the post coming up, I immediately got texts from a bunch of people I know, then I immediately called Jack so probably within less than five minutes my account was locked," said Musk.Source: The New York TimesIn March 2021 Dorsey put his first-ever tweet up for auction.Jack Dorsey and Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, off camera, testify during a Senate (Select) Intelligence Committee hearing in Dirksen Building where they testified on the influence of foreign operations on social media on September 5, 2018Tom Williams/CQ Roll CallAs the craze for Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) gathered momentum, Dorsey announced he was auctioning his first tweet for charity. It was bought for $2.9 million by Hakan Estavi, chief executive at at Bridge Oracle. Dorsey said proceeds from the auction would go to Give Directly's Africa response.Twitter announced on November 29 Dorsey had stepped down as CEO.Jack Dorsey co-founder and chairman of Twitter and co-founder and CEO of Square.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesCNBC was the first to report on Dorsey's expected resignation, citing unnamed sources.Twitter confirmed the story the same day, announcing Chief Technology Officer Parag Agrawal would take over as CEO with immediate effect.Dorsey posted on his Twitter account saying: "Not sure anyone has heard but, I resigned from Twitter."In his tweet he included a screenshot of the email he sent to Twitter staff announcing his resignation.—jack⚡️ (@jack) November 29, 2021And in May 2022, his time on the board of directors officially came to an end, an anticipated move that coincides with the company's stockholder's meeting. Two days after Dorsey stepped down as Twitter CEO, Square changed its name to Block.Block's revamped logo.Block"The name change creates room for further growth," the company said in a statement."Block references the neighborhood blocks where we find our sellers, a blockchain, block parties full of music, obstacles to overcome, a section of code, building blocks, and of course, tungsten cubes," it added.The line about tungsten cubes was an apparent reference to a craze among crypto enthusiasts of paying as much as $3,500 for novelty tungsten cubes.In April 2022, Dorsey changed his official title at Block from CEO to "Block Head."Jack Dorsey's official job description on the Block website was changed to say Block Head.BlockThe title change was made official in a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 20, 2022."There will be no changes in Mr. Dorsey's roles and responsibilities," the filing said.Block's website was also updated to list his new title as Block Head.Musk tweeted in response to the news using fire emojis to signal his approval for Dorsey's title.—Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 23, 2022 Musk officially added the title of "Technoking" to his role at Tesla in March 2021.Dorsey said in an April 2022 tweet his "biggest regret" was Twitter shutting down Vine.Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter and co-founder & CEO of Square, attends the crypto-currency conference Bitcoin 2021 Convention at the Mana Convention Center in Miami, Florida, on June 4, 2021.Marco Bello/AFP/Getty ImagesDorsey replied to a Twitter user lamenting Vine's demise saying: "I know. Biggest regret," accompanied by a sad face emoji.Twitter acquired short-form video app Vine in 2012 but shut it down in 2016.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 25th, 2022

Futures Slide After China"s "Huge" Data Miss Sparks "Broad-Based Recession Talk"

Futures Slide After China's "Huge" Data Miss Sparks "Broad-Based Recession Talk" Friday's bear market rally dead-cat bounce appears to be over, and global stocks have started the new week in the red with US equity futures lower after a "huge miss", as Bloomberg put it, in Chinese data fueled concerns over the impact of a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy. As reported last night, China’s industrial output and consumer spending hit the worst levels since the pandemic began, hurt by Covid lockdowns. And even though officials took another round of measured steps to help the economy by cutting the interest rate for new mortgages over the weekend to bolster an ailing housing market, even as they left the one-year policy loan rate was left unchanged Monday, few believe that any of these actions will have a tangible impact and most continue to expect much more from Beijing.  As such, after a weekend that saw even Goldman's perpetually optimistic equity strategists slash their S&P target (again) from 4,700 to 4,300, and amid growing fears that a recession is now inevitable, Nasdaq 100 futures slid as much as 1.2%, before paring losses to 0.4% as of 730 a.m. in New York. S&P 500 futures were down 0.3%. 10Y Treasury yields were flat at 2.91% and the dollar dipped modestly while bitcoin traded just above $30,000 dropping from $31,000 earlier in the session. Among notable moves in premarket trading, Spirit Airlines jumped as much as 21% following a report that JetBlue Airways is planning a tender offer at $30 a share in cash. Major US technology and internet stocks were down after rebounding on Friday, while Tesla shares dropped, with the electric-vehicle maker set to recall 107,293 cars in China over a potential safety risk. Twitter shares fall 3.4% in premarket trading on Monday, on course to wipe out all the gains the stock has made since billionaire Elon Musk disclosed his stake in the social media platform. Twitter fell to as low as $37.86 -- below the the April 1 close of $39.31, before Musk disclosed his stake. US stocks have been roiled this year, with the S&P 500 on tick away from a bear market as recently as last Thursday, on worries of an aggressive pace of rate hikes by the Federal Reserve at a time when macroeconomic data showed a slowdown in growth. Data from China on Monday highlighted a massive toll on the economy from Covid-19 lockdowns, with retail sales and industrial output both contracting. Although lower valuations sparked a rally in stocks on Friday, strategists including Morgan Stanley’s Michael Wilson warned of more losses ahead as equity markets also price in slower corporate earnings growth. Goldman Sachs strategists led by David Kostin cut their year-end target for the S&P 500 on Friday to 4,300 points from 4,700.  "The broad-based recession talk is the major catalyzer this Monday,” Ipek Ozkardeskaya, a senior analyst at Swissquote, wrote in a note. “Activity in US futures hint that Friday’s rebound was certainly nothing more than a dead cat bounce” just as we said at the time.  The risk of an economic downturn amid price pressures and rising borrowing costs remains the major worry for markets. Goldman Sachs Group Senior Chairman Lloyd Blankfein urged companies and consumers to gird for a US recession, saying it’s a “very, very high risk.” Traders remain wary of calling a bottom for equities despite a 17% drop in global shares this year, with Morgan Stanley warning that any bounce in US stocks would be a bear-market rally and more declines lie ahead. In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 index fell as much as 0.8% before paring losses, with declines for tech and travel stocks offsetting gains for basic resources as industrial metals rallied. The Euro Stoxx 50 falls 0.4%. IBEX outperforms, adding 0.3%. Tech, personal care and consumer products are the worst performing sectors. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Basic Resources stocks outperformed with broad gains among mining and steel companies; ArcelorMittal +3.5%; SSAB +2.6%; Glencore +2.1%; Voestalpine +3.1%. Sartorius AG and Sartorius Stedim shares gain as UBS upgrades both stocks to buy following a “significant de-rating” for the lab-equipment companies, seeing supportive global trends. Carl Zeiss Meditec gains as much as 4.9% after HSBC raised its recommendation to buy from hold, saying the medical optical manufacturer is “well-equipped to deal with supply chain challenges.” Interpump rises as much as 7.6%, extending winning streak to five days, as Banca Akros upgrades the stock to buy from accumulate following Friday’s 1Q results. Casino shares jump as much 5.8% after the French grocer said it’s started a process to sell its GreenYellow renewable energy arm, confirming a Bloomberg News report from Friday. Ryanair shares decline as much as 4.3% on FY results, with analysts focusing on the low-budget carrier’s recovery outlook. They note management is cautiously optimistic about summer travel. Vantage Towers shares decline after the company posted FY23 adjusted Ebitda after leases and recurring free cash flow forecasts that missed analyst estimates at mid- points. Unilever falls after a 13-F filing from Nelson Peltz’s Trian shows no position in the company, according to Jefferies, damping speculation after press reports earlier this year that the fund had built a stake. Michelin shares fall as much as 3.7% after being downgraded to neutral from overweight at JPMorgan, which says it writes off any chance of seeing a recovery in volume production growth in FY22. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks eked out modest gains as surprisingly weak Chinese economic data spurred volatility and caused traders to reassess their outlook on the region. The MSCI Asia-Pacific Index was up 0.1%, paring an earlier advance of as much as 0.9%  on stimulus hopes. The region’s information technology index rose as much as 1.5%, with TMSC giving the biggest boost. A sub-gauge on materials shares fell the most. Equities in China led losses, as Beijing’s moves to cut the mortgage rate for first-time home buyers and ease lockdown restrictions in Shanghai failed to reverse the downbeat mood. Asian stocks were trading higher early Monday, building on Friday’s rally, only to trim or reverse gains as data showed a sharper-than-expected contraction in Chinese activity in April. Signs of an earnings recovery in China are needed for investors to come back, Arnout van Rijn, chief investment officer for APAC at Robeco Hong Kong Ltd., said on Bloomberg Television. “It looks like China is not going to meet the 15% earnings growth that people were looking for just a couple of months ago. So now we’re looking for five, 10, maybe it’s even going to fall to zero.”   Meanwhile, JPMorgan analysts, who had called China tech “uninvestable” in March, upgraded some tech heavyweights including Alibaba in a Monday report, citing less regulatory uncertainties. Benchmarks in Japan, Australia, India and Taiwan maintained gains while Hong Kong also recovered some ground later in the day. Markets in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia were closed for holidays.      Japanese equities were mixed, with the Topix closing slightly lower after worse-than-expected Chinese economic data amid the impact from virus-related lockdowns. The Topix fell 0.1% to close at 1,863.26, with Honda Motor contributing the most to the decline after its forecast for the current year missed analyst expectations. The Nikkei advanced 0.5% to 26,547.05, with KDDI among the biggest boosts after announcing its results and a 200 billion yen buyback. “Though the lockdowns in China are pushing down the economy and causing supply chain difficulties, there’s a positive outlook since the weekend that there could be a gradual easing of the lockdowns as it seems that virus cases have peaked out,” said Masashi Akutsu, chief strategist at SMBC Nikko Securities. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.3% to 7,093.00, trimming an earlier advance of as much as 1.1% after soft Chinese economic data stoked concerns about global growth. Read: Aussie, Kiwi Slump After Weak China Data: Inside Australia/NZ Brambles was the top performer after confirming it’s in talks with private equity firm CVC Capital Partners on a takeover proposal. Qube also climbed after completing a A$400 million share buyback.  In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.1% to 11,157.66. In rates, Treasuries were steady with yields within 1bp of Friday’s close. US 10-year yield near flat ~2.91% with bunds cheaper by ~5bp, gilts ~3.5bp amid heavy. German 10-year yield up 5 bps, trading narrowly below 1%. Italian 10-year bonds underperform, with the 10-year yield up 8 bps to 2.93%. Peripheral spreads are mixed to Germany; Italy and Spain widen and Portugal tightens. The Italy 10-year was cheaper by more than 6bp on the day amid renewed ECB jawboning. Core European rates are higher, pricing in ECB policy tightening. During Asia session, Chinese data showed industrial output and consumer spending at worst levels since the pandemic began. The dollar issuance slate includes CBA 3T covered SOFR; $30b expected for this week as syndicate desks seek opportunities for pent-up supply. Three-month dollar Libor +1.13bp at 1.45500%. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed while the greenback advanced against most of its Group-of-10 peers. Treasuries inched lower, led by the front end, and outperformed European bonds. The euro inched up against the dollar. Italian bonds dropped, leading peripheral underperformance against euro- area peers, while money markets showed increased ECB tightening wagers after policy maker Francois Villeroy de Galhau said a consensus is “clearly emerging” at the central bank on normalizing monetary policy and that June’s meeting will be “decisive.” He also signaled that the weakness of the euro is focusing the minds of ECB policy makers at a time when the currency is heading toward parity with the dollar. The euro may resume its rally versus the pound in the spot market as options traders pile up bullish wagers. The pound fell against both the dollar and euro, staying under selling pressure on concerns that high UK inflation will weigh on the economy. Markets await testimony from Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey and other central bank officials later in the day, ahead of a reading of April inflation later in the week. Australian and New Zealand dollars fell after Chinese industrial and consumer data fanned concerns of a further slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy. In commodities, WTI drifts 0.4% lower to trade above $110. Spot gold pares some declines, down some $6, but still around $1,800/oz. Most base metals trade in the green; LME tin rises 3.4%, outperforming peers. Bitcoin falls 4.6% to trade below $30,000 Looking ahead, we get the US May Empire manufacturing index, Canada April housing starts, March manufacturing, wholesale trade sales. Central bank speakers include the Fed's Williams, ECB's Lane, Villeroy and Panetta, BOE's Bailey, Ramsden, Haskel and Saunders. We get earnings from Ryanair, Take-Two Interactive. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.3% to 4,008.75 STOXX Europe 600 little changed at 433.33 MXAP up 0.2% to 160.34 MXAPJ up 0.2% to 523.32 Nikkei up 0.5% to 26,547.05 Topix little changed at 1,863.26 Hang Seng Index up 0.3% to 19,950.21 Shanghai Composite down 0.3% to 3,073.75 Sensex up 0.6% to 53,119.79 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.3% to 7,093.03 Kospi down 0.3% to 2,596.58 German 10Y yield little changed at 0.98% Euro up 0.1% to $1.0424 Brent Futures down 1.4% to $109.98/bbl Gold spot down 0.8% to $1,797.30 US Dollar Index little changed at 104.46 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg NATO members rallied around Finland and Sweden on Sunday after they announced plans to join the alliance, marking another dramatic change in Europe’s security architecture triggered by Russia’s war in Ukraine The euro area’s pandemic recovery would almost grind to a halt, while prices would surge even more quickly if there are serious disruptions to natural-gas supplies from Russia, according to new projections from the European Commission UK energy regulator Ofgem plans to adjust its price cap every three months instead of every six. Changing the level more often would help consumers to take advantage of falling wholesale prices more quickly, it said in a statement Monday. This would also mean higher prices filter through bills quicker Boris Johnson has warned Brussels that the UK government will press ahead with unilateral changes to parts of the Brexit agreement if it does not engage in “genuine dialogue” While debt bulls on Wall Street have been crushed all year, market sentiment has shifted markedly over the past week from inflation fears to growth. That theme gathered more strength Monday, when data showing China’s economy contracted sharply in April set off fresh gains for Treasuries China’s economy is paying the price for the government’s Covid Zero policy, with industrial output and consumer spending sliding to the worst levels since the pandemic began and analysts warning of no quick recovery. Industrial output unexpectedly fell 2.9% in April from a year ago, while retail sales contracted 11.1% in the period, weaker than a projected 6.6% drop Japanese manufacturers are increasingly looking to move offshore operations to their home market, according to a Tokyo Steel Manufacturing Co. executive. The rapidly weakening yen, global supply-chain constraints, geopolitical risks and shifting wages patterns are prompting the switch, Kiyoshi Imamura, a managing director of the steelmaker, said in an interview in Tokyo last week A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks traded mixed after disappointing Chinese activity data clouded over the early momentum from Friday’s rally on Wall St. ASX 200 was higher as tech stocks were inspired by US counterparts and amid M&A related newsflow with Brambles enjoying a double-digit percentage gain after it confirmed it had talks with CVC regarding a potential takeover by the latter. Nikkei 225 kept afloat as earnings releases provided the catalysts for individual stocks but with gains capped by a choppy currency. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp initially gained with property names underpinned after China permitted a further reduction in mortgage loan interest rates for first-time home purchases and with casino stocks also firmer in the hope of a tax reduction on gaming revenue. However, the mood was then spoiled by weak Chinese data and after the PBoC maintained its 1-year MLF rate. Top Asian News PBoC conducted a CNY 100bln in 1-year MLF with the rate kept unchanged at 2.85% and stated the MLF and Reverse Repo aim to keep liquidity reasonably ample, according to Bloomberg. Beijing extended work from home guidance in several districts and announced three additional rounds of mass COVID-19 testing in most districts including its largest district Chaoyang, according to Reuters. Shanghai will gradually start reopening businesses including shopping malls and hair salons in China's financial and manufacturing hub beginning on Monday following weeks of a strict lockdown, according to Reuters. Shanghai city official said 15 out of the 16 districts achieved zero-COVID outside quarantine areas and the city's epidemic is under control but added that risks of a rebound remain and they will need to continue to stick to controls. The official said the focus until May 21st will be to prevent risks of a rebound and many movement restrictions are to remain, while they will look to allow normal life to resume in Shanghai from June 1st and will begin to reopen supermarkets, convenience stores and pharmacies from today, according to Reuters. Chinese financial authorities permitted a further reduction in mortgage loan interest rates for some home buyers whereby commercial banks can lower the lower limit of interest rates on home loans by 20bps based on the corresponding tenor of benchmark Loan Prime Rates for purchases of first homes, according to Reuters. China's stats bureau spokesman said economic operations are expected to improve in May and that China is steadily pushing forward production resumption in COVID-hit areas, while they expect China's economic recovery and rebound in consumption to quicken but noted that exports face some pressure as the global economy slows, according to Reuters. Macau is reportedly considering a tax cut for casinos amid a decline in gaming revenue in which a cut could be as much as 5% off the current 40% levied on casino gaming revenue, according to Bloomberg. European bourses are mixed, Euro Stoxx 50 -0.6%, following a similar APAC session with impetus from Shanghai's reopening offset by activity data and geopolitics. Stateside, futures are lower across the board, ES -0.4%, with the NQ marginally lagging as yields lift; Fed's Williams due later before Powell on Tuesday. US players are focused on whether the end-week bounce is a turnaround from technical bear-market levels or not. China's market regulator says Tesla (TSLA) has recalled 107.3k Model 3 & Y vehicles, which were made in China. JetBlue (JBLU) is to launch a tender offer for Spirit Airlines (SAVE); JetBlue is to offer USD 30/shr, but prepared to pay USD 33/shr if Spirit provides JetBlue with requested data, WSJ sources say. Elon Musk tweeted that Twitter’s (TWTR) legal team called to complain that he violated their NDA by revealing the bot check sample size and he also tweeted there is some chance that over 90% of Twitter’s daily active users might be bots. Top European News UK PM Johnson is reportedly set to give the green light for a bill on the Northern Ireland protocol, according to the Guardian. UK PM Johnson said he hopes the EU changes its position on the Northern Ireland protocol and if not, he must act, while he sees a sensible landing spot for a protocol deal and will set out the next steps on the protocol in the coming days, according to Reuters. UK PM Johnson is expected to visit Northern Ireland on Monday for talks with party leaders in an effort to break the political deadlock at Stormont, according to Sky News. Irish Foreign Minister Coveney says the EU is prepared to move on reducing checks on goods coming into the region from Britain, via Politico. UK Cabinet ministers have turned on the BoE regarding rising inflation, whereby one minister warned that the Bank was failing to "get things right" and another suggested that it had failed a "big test", according to The Telegraph. Group of over 50 economists warned that the UK's post-Brexit plans to boost the competitiveness of its finance industry risk creating the sort of problems that resulted in the GFC, according to Reuters. European Commission Spring Economic Forecasts: cuts 2022 GDP forecast to 2.7% from the 4.0% projected in February. Click here for more detail. Central Banks ECB's Villeroy expects a decisive June meeting and an active summer meeting, pace of further steps will account for actual activity/inflation data with some optionality and gradualism; but, should at least move towards the neutral rate. Will carefully monitor developments in the effective FX rate, as a significant driver of imported inflation; EUR that is too weak would go against the objective of price stability.   ECB’s de Cos said the central bank will likely decide at the next meeting to end its stimulus program in July and raise rates very soon after that, while he added that they are not seeing second-round effects and are monitoring it, according to Reuters. FX Euro firmer following verbal intervention from ECB’s Villeroy and spike in EGB yields EUR/USD rebounds from sub-1.0400 to 1.0435 at best. Dollar up elsewhere as DXY pivots 104.500, but Yen resilient on risk grounds as Chinese data misses consensus by some distance; USD/JPY capped into 129.50. Franc falls across the board after IMM specs raise short bets and Swiss sight deposits show SNB remaining on the sidelines; USD/CHF above 1.0050 at one stage. However, HKMA continues to defend HKD peg amidst CNY, CNH weakness in wake of disappointing Chinese industrial production and retail sales releases. Norwegian Crown undermined by pullback in Brent and narrower trade surplus, EUR/NOK over 10.2100. SA Rand soft as Gold retreats to test support around and under Usd 1800/oz. Loonie slips with WTI ahead of Canadian housing starts, manufacturing sales and wholesale trade, Sterling dips before BoE testimony; USD/CAD 1.2900+, Cable sub-1.2250. Fixed income EGBs rattled by ECB rhetoric inferring key policy meetings kicking off in June and extending through summer. Bunds down towards 153.00 and 10 year yield back up around 1%, Gilts almost 1/2 point adrift and T-note erasing gains from 12/32+ above par at best. Eurozone periphery underperforming with added risk-off angst following much weaker than expected Chinese data. In commodities WTI and Brent are pressured, but well off lows, and torn between China's lockdown easing and poor activity data amid numerous other catalysts Specifically, the benchmarks are around USD 110/bbl and USD 111/bbl respectively, Saudi Aramco Q1 net income rose 82% Y/Y to INR 39.5bln for its highest quarterly profit since listing, according to Sky News. Saudi Energy Minister says they are going to get to 13.2-13.4mln BPD, subject to what is done in the divided zone, by end-2026/start-2027; can maintain production when there, if the market demands this. OPEC+ to continue with monthly output increases, according to Bahrain's oil minister via Reuters. Iraqi state-run North Oil Company said Kurdish armed forces took control of some oil wells in northern Kirkuk, according to Reuters. Iraq oil minister says they aim to increase oil production to 6mln BPD by end-2027, OPEC is targeting a energy market balance not a price; adding, current production capacity is 4.9mln BPD, will reach 5mln BPD before the end of 2022. China is to increase fuel prices from Tuesday, according to China's NDRC; gasoline by CNY 285/t and diesel by CNY 270/t. US Event Calendar 08:30: May Empire Manufacturing, est. 15.0, prior 24.6 16:00: March Total Net TIC Flows, prior $162.6b DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Markets managed a big bounce on Friday but the mood has soured again in the Asian session after a weak slew of data from China as covid lockdowns had an even worse impact than expected. Industrial production (-2.9% vs +0.5% expected), retail sales (-11.1% vs -6.6% expected) and property investment (-2.7% vs -1.5% expected) all crashed through estimates by a large margin. The slump in retail sales and industrial production was the weakest since March 2020. The latter also had the lowest print on record, with the worst decline coming from auto manufacturing (-31.8%). The surveyed jobless rate (6.1% vs estimates of 6.0%) also ticked up by more than expected from 5.8% in March and is now close to the high of 6.2% in February 2020. Although the 1-year policy loan rate was left unchanged today, the PBoC did ease the rate on new mortgages this weekend. In other data releases, Japan’s April PPI (+10.0%) came in above estimates of +9.4%, the highest since 1980. Amid this, the Shanghai Composite (-0.51%) and the Hang Seng (-0.43%) are in the red, and outperformed by the KOSPI (-0.21%) and the Nikkei (+0.46%). The sentiment has soured in American markets too, with S&P 500 futures also trading lower (-0.68%) and the US 10y yield declining by -2.2bps. Oil (-1.48%) is edging lower too on growth concerns. After last week’s meltdown in crypto markets, Bitcoin is back at above $30k this morning – a jump since the lows of nearly $26k last Thursday but way short of the $38k it traded at in the beginning of the month and $68k early last November. The infamous TerraUSD, the stablecoin that fuelled the crypto slide, is at $0.18. It is supposed to trade at $1 at all times. Looking forward now and there's not a standout event to focus on this week but they'll be plenty to keep us all occupied. US retail sales (tomorrow) looks like the highlight alongside Powell's speech the same day. There will also be US housing data smattered across the week and UK and Japanese inflation on Wednesday and Friday respectively. Let's start with US retail sales as it will be a good early guide for Q2 GDP. Our US economists are anticipating a +1.7% print, up from +0.7% in March. Rebounding auto sales should help the headline number. For more on the consumer, Brett Ryan put out this chartbook last week on the US consumer (link here). US industrial production is out the same day. We have a long list of central bank speakers this week headed by Powell and Lagarde (tomorrow) and BoE Bailey today. There are many more spread across the week and you can see the list in the day by day event list at the end. We do have the last ECB meeting minutes on Thursday but the subsequent push towards a July hike might make these quite dated. US housing will be a big focus next week. It's probably too early for the highest mortgage rates since 2009 to kick in but with these rates around 220bps higher YTD, some damage will surely soon be done after the highest YoY price appreciation outside of an immediate post WWII bounce, in our 120 year plus housing database. On this we will see the NAHB housing market index (tomorrow), April’s US building permits and housing starts (Wednesday), and existing home sales (Thursday). Turning to corporate earnings, it will be another quiet week after 457 of the S&P 500 companies and 368 of the STOXX 600 companies have reported earnings this season so far. Yet, it will be an important one to gauge how the US consumer is faring amid inflation at multi-decade highs, including reports such as Walmart, Home Depot (tomorrow), Target and TJX (Wednesday). Results will also be due from China's key tech and ecommerce companies like JD.com (tomorrow), Tencent (Wednesday) and Xiaomi (Thursday). Other notable corporate reporters will include Cisco (Wednesday), Applied Materials, Palo Alto Networks (Thursday) and Deere (Friday). A quick recap of last week’s markets now. Fears that global growth would slow due to the tightening task at hand for central banks sent ripples across markets, without a clear specific catalyst. Equities declined, credit spreads widened, the dollar rallied, and sovereign yields declined. The S&P 500 fell for the sixth consecutive week for the first time since 2011, falling -13.0% over that time. Even with a +2.39% rally on Friday, it fell -2.41% last week. Large cap technology firms underperformed, with the NASDAQ falling -2.80% (+3.82% Friday), while the FANG+ index fell -3.48% (+5.45% Friday). Volatility was elevated, with the Vix closing above 30 for 6 straight days for the first time since immediately following the invasion, narrowly avoiding a 7th straight day above 30 by closing the week at 28.8. European equities outperformed, with the STOXX 600 climbing +0.83% after a banner +2.14% gain Friday. The Itraxx crossover ended the week at 446bps, its widest level since June 2020. Crypto assets sharply declined, with Bitcoin down -12.51% and Coinbase -34.58% over the week, with a number of so-called ‘stablecoins’ breaking their pledged parity, forcing some to stop trading. The growth fears drove a flight to quality. The dollar index increased +0.87% (-0.27% Friday) to its highest levels since 2002. Only the yen outperformed the US dollar in the G10 space. Sovereign yields rallied significantly, with 10yr Treasuries, bunds, and gilts falling -19.3bps (+8.5bps Friday), -23.0bps (+6.2bps Friday), and -28.7bps (+4.7bps Friday), respectively. Reports that the EU was considering softening their oil-related sanctions due to member resistance combined with growth fears to send oil prices much lower at the beginning of the week, with Brent crude futures almost breaking $100/bbl. When all was said and done, a gradual rally over the back half of the week saw Brent merely -1.04% lower (+3.82% Friday). On the back of disappointing data from China it is down -1.48% this morning. There was a lot of high-profile central bank speak to work through, as there will be this week. The main takeaways included Fed officials aligning behind a series of +50bp hikes the next few meetings, downplaying the chances of +75bp hikes until September at the earliest. Meanwhile, momentum in the ECB is growing toward a July policy rate hike, with policy rates breaching positive territory by the end of the year. In terms of data Friday, the University of Michigan survey of inflation expectations for the next five years was unchanged at 3 percent, though inflation has weighed on consumers’ perception of the current situation. Tyler Durden Mon, 05/16/2022 - 08:02.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeMay 16th, 2022

Twitter Employees Have Spent Years Trying to Make the Platform Safer. Elon Musk Could Undermine All That

Twitter employees told TIME that the billionaire's record bodes poorly for the company's anti-harassment efforts There’s an old joke among Twitter employees that being on the platform is like playing a huge online multiplayer game where every day there’s a different main character—meaning a person who’s critiqued, harassed, or otherwise shoved into the spotlight. According to the joke, you have just one goal in the game of Twitter: never become that main character yourself. One day in 2018, Twitter’s main character was Vernon Unsworth, a British diver who’d spent days assisting the rescue of a group of Thai boys trapped in a flooded cave. After billionaire Elon Musk offered a miniscule submarine to the rescue divers, Unsworth told the media that Musk’s idea was just a useless PR stunt. Musk then took to Twitter, where (in tweets that he later deleted) he baselessly accused the man of being a “pedo guy,” or pedophile. The tweets prompted hundreds of Musk fans to pile on to the diver with abusive, humiliating attacks. Musk subsequently apologized for the tweets in court, saying he did not mean for them to be taken literally. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Illustration by Tim O’Brien for TIME The saga was an example of dogpiling: a phenomenon in which powerful Twitter users spur legions of their fans to harass someone else. For years, teams of Twitter employees have been working—albeit with limited successes—to reduce dogpiling and other common forms of abuse. On April 25, those Twitter employees learned that Musk, architect of the “pedo guy” saga, could become their new boss—after the board accepted a $44 billion dollar bid from the world’s richest man. In statement announcing that Twitter had agreed to let him purchase the social network, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX spoke in grandiose terms familiar to anyone who follows his pronouncements on colonizing Mars or building electric vehicles: “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.” 🚀💫♥️ Yesss!!! ♥️💫🚀 pic.twitter.com/0T9HzUHuh6 — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 25, 2022 But many on the frontlines of the fight for democratic spaces online have questioned whether Musk’s ownership of Twitter would undermine, rather than bolster, democracy. To employees who had witnessed Musk’s own behavior on the platform, the billionaire’s words about freedom of speech rang hollow. With more than 85 million followers, Musk has used his influential account to not only direct insults at critics and share memes about going to the bathroom, but also, according to regulators, to make “false and misleading public statements” that boosted Tesla’s stock price and harmed investors. Some Twitter employees believe this record bodes especially poorly for the company’s anti-harassment efforts. “Multiple times, his followers have been the perpetrators of targeted harassment, and the use of his profile has encouraged dogpiling—which are the exact behaviors we’re trying to limit,” said an employee on Twitter’s platform health team, which works on making the site a safer online space for users. “Since Trump was banned, Musk has become Twitter’s power user number one,” the person said. The employee, who was not authorized to speak publicly, added that they feared a Musk acquisition would at the very least reduce user trust in Twitter’s anti-abuse efforts, and at worst could result in the work being deprioritized or canceled. Members of marginalized communities—who are disproportionately the victims of online threats and abuse—are among those most protected by Twitter’s current content moderation system. Activists from these communities share Twitter employees’ concerns that those protections could be rolled back. “If Elon Musk were to take over, the damage that would be done would spread from Twitter workers not being able to implement the things they need in order to keep the platform safe,” Jelani Drew-Davi, a campaign manager at the digital civil rights group Kairos, told TIME in the days leading up to the deal. As an example of Musk’s record on similar matters, Drew-Davi cited a lawsuit alleging a culture of rampant racist abuse toward Black workers in a Tesla factory in California. Since the explosion of social media usage more than a decade ago, researchers and technologists have forged an understanding of the ways that the design of social media sites has an impact on civic discourse and, ultimately, democratic processes. One of their key findings: sites that privilege free speech above all else tend to become spaces where civic discourse is drowned out by harassment, restricting participation to a privileged few. That finding has informed Twitter’s recent work. While the company does remove tweets and ban accounts of severe offenders, much of its current approach focuses on nudging users to be kinder. Before Musk’s bid, one of the platform’s stated priorities was facilitating “safe, inclusive, and authentic conversations.” It has also pledged to “minimize the distribution and reach of harmful or misleading information, especially when its intent is to disrupt a civic process or cause offline harm.” In cases where tweets are found to be bad for civic discourse but not illegal—like misinformation or insults—tweets can be removed from recommendation algorithms, meaning that Twitter doesn’t boost them into the feeds of users who do not follow their author directly, rather than deleted from the platform entirely. It is unclear whether these policies will continue under the ownership of Musk, who has railed against what he calls “shadow bans.” “In a way, [Musk’s] goals are aligned with ours in that we are certainly interested in protecting democracy,” says the Twitter employee on the health team. “But the idea of bringing more free speech to the platform exposes his naiveté with respect to the nuts and bolts. A lot of platforms [have been] founded on this free speech principle, but the reality is that either they become a cesspool that people don’t want to use, or they realize that there is actually the need for some level of moderation.” Business analysts point out that content moderation is good for profits, too. “Without vigorous content moderation, the platform Musk seeks to own would be swamped by spam, porn, anti-vaccination misinformation, QAnon conspiracies, and fraudulent campaigns to undermine the midterms and 2024 presidential election,” said Paul Barrett, deputy director of the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights, in a statement. “That’s not a business that most social media users or advertisers would want to associate with.” Musk’s takeover deal wasn’t a straightforward tale. It took several twists and turns, as funding looked doubtful and Twitter’s board of directors seemed reticent, adopting a strategy known as a “poison pill” to ward off a takeover. Throughout, Musk cast his quest as flying in the face of intransigent Silicon Valley elites. His statements on free speech often align with Republican talking-points that conservatives are being unfairly censored by tech companies, and—in a move that could open the door for former President Donald Trump’s return to the platform—Musk has said that he would prefer “time-outs” for users who break the site’s rules, rather than permanent bans. (Twitter banned Trump permanently after Jan. 6, 2021, for incitement to violence during his attempt to undemocratically overturn the results of the 2020 election.) Read more: What Elon Musk’s Purchase of Twitter Could Mean for Donald Trump’s Account The debate over transparency on Twitter Alongside vague commitments including adding an edit button and getting rid of spam on the platform, Musk’s most substantial call has been for Twitter to be more transparent about its decision-making. He wants it to “open source” its algorithm, so users can find out when Twitter has stopped recommending their tweets to other users. “That action should be made apparent,” he said at an April 14 TED conference, “so there’s no behind the scenes manipulation, either algorithmically or manually.” But employees who work in the trenches of content moderation say that, while total transparency is a noble goal, informing users about which specific tweets are being “down-ranked” would in practice give bad actors helpful information about how to evade limits on spam, misinformation and hate speech. Indeed, Twitter is already among the most transparent of all social networks in terms of sharing how its algorithm works, as well as researching its own flaws and sharing the results publicly. That research suggests that in practice, more conservative views may have benefited most from the design of Twitter’s algorithm. Last October, Twitter released research showing that its algorithm was acting suspiciously: in the runup to the 2020 election in the U.S., rightwing partisan news sources received a greater boost from Twitter’s algorithm than moderate or left-leaning news sources. The research also found a similar effect for politicians in six out of the seven countries studied, including the U.S. It showed that Twitter’s algorithm recommended, to more users, posts by politicians from mainstream rightwing parties than those from centrist or leftwing parties. Six months on, that team is continuing its work looking at algorithmic bias, amid suggestions from some conservatives that such work means meddling with freedom of speech. Early indications suggest, according to Twitter, that the platform’s boosting of center-right politicians isn’t an intrinsic quality of its algorithm. Instead, researchers have found that amplification shifts over time in line with the topics people care about and changes in how users behave. The data is helping the researchers begin to arrive at an understanding of Twitter as a “sociotechnical system,” with definitions about what constitutes normal and abnormal levels of algorithmic amplification of political content. Such an understanding may one day allow the company to intervene when dangerous real-world events are unfolding. But doing so would be a political intervention necessarily based on Twitter’s values as a company. Overnight, those values appear to have changed from “facilitating healthy conversation” to Musk’s self-professed free speech “absolutism.” Read more: Why Elon Musk’s Plans to ‘Fix’ Twitter Will Be Harder to Implement Than He Thinks On Twitter, where discourse is limited at 280 characters per tweet, nuanced discussion of complex research and value judgments isn’t easy—and in the febrile climate, even Twitter’s own employees run the risk of becoming Twitter’s dreaded main character. Rumman Chowdhury, the leader of the team that carried out the algorithmic amplification research, suggested in a series of tweets that she was opposed to Musk buying the company, though she did not say that this was out of a fear that his takeover would spell an end to her work. Instead, her comments appeared to reference his capacity to weaponize Twitter mobs against critics. “Musk’s immediate chilling effect was something that bothered me significantly,” she wrote. “Twitter has a beautiful culture of hilarious constructive criticism, and I saw that go silent because of his minions attacking employees.” Soon enough, she muted her notifications on the thread, adding: “the trolls have descended.”.....»»

Category: topSource: timeApr 26th, 2022

A Decade Of Elon Musk"s Tweets, Visualized

A Decade Of Elon Musk's Tweets, Visualized Elon Musk is known for many things, but one of his most buzzworthy claims to fame is his online Twitter presence. Because of its candid nature, Musk’s Twitter feed provides the public with a unique opportunity to catch an unfiltered look into his eccentric mind. What can we learn from an in-depth look at Elon Musk’s Twitter feed? What subjects does he focus on the most, and how has his Twitter use changed over the past decade? Visual Capitalist's Carmen Ang and Nick Routley sifted through his entire tweet history to find out. Why Bother? To gain a high-level understanding of Musk’s Twitter profile, our research team sifted through his entire Twitter feed and compiled 15,000 of his tweets into a comprehensive dataset. Why go to all the effort? Here are a few reasons why we spent months sifting through Elon Musk’s Twitter feed: People care about what he has to say: Musk has over 77 million followers on Twitter, and his account is currently the 11th most followed (coming in between Ellen DeGeneres and Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India). Even run-of-the-mill replies to regular Twitter users receive thousands of shares, likes, and comments. Clearly, people are interested in his ideas and interactions. Musk tweets often, and candidly: These days, it’s not uncommon for Musk to share more than 30 tweets in a single day. And his Twitter conversations cover a wide range of topics, from serious conversations about technical aspects of his products to lighthearted memes. This is highly unusual for a person in his position. Some of his tweets have had a big impact: Elon’s tweets consistently make headlines and ruffle the feathers of big shots in business and politics. Elon’s Twitter fingers have moved the needle on everything from Tesla’s stock price to cryptocurrency markets. He’s become a public icon: He’s currently the richest person in the world, and last year, he was named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. The companies that Musk runs are also hugely influential and disruptive. In other words, no matter how you feel about him personally, he’s a pretty big deal. Because of the above, we thought digging into the depths of Elon Musk’s Twitter feed was a worthy pursuit. Below, we’ll get into our methodology, and how we went about analyzing the mountains of tweets. How We Did It: Notes on Our Methodology Once we scraped a decade worth of Elon Musk tweets, we dug through the data and sorted the information to answer two main questions: What are Elon Musk’s most tweeted topics? How has his Twitter activity changed over the years? To answer the first question, we sorted Elon’s tweets into categories (based on keywords) and ranked each category based on the volume of mentions. The results are visualized in the circle chart in the middle of the graphic, which shows Musk’s most tweeted subjects over the last decade. To answer our second question (how has Elon’s Twitter activity changed over the years) we sorted Elon’s feed into three main topics—Tesla, SpaceX, and everything else—and showed which topics dominated his feed each year. Main Takeaways from the Analysis Perhaps unsurprisingly, we found that the two main things Elon talks about the most are Tesla and SpaceX. He’s mentioned both companies consistently over the last decade, and as the timeline shows, Tesla and SpaceX take turns in the spotlight, depending on what’s going on for the companies at the time. While the topics and themes of his content have remained fairly consistent, the frequency of tweets has grown over the years.   Musk now uses Twitter very consistently, tweeting at least once on all but 14 days in 2021. His follower count has growth steadily over the years too:   As the above graphic shows, his follower growth started to escalate between late 2017 and mid-2018 as Musk began to burst into the public consciousness. Why? A lot was happening both personally and professionally for the busy founder: December 2017: Announcement on Twitter that the Boring Company was planning to release a limited edition flamethrower. 20,000 units were sold before the product was discontinued. February 2018: Tesla Roadster was launched into space. July 2018: 12 boys and their teacher get trapped in a cave in Thailand, and Elon gets heavily involved in efforts to try and rescue them. This includes an awkward—now deleted—tweet referring to a British cave diver as a pedophile. (Musk later won a defamation case in 2019.) August 2018: Elon announces on Twitter that he’s considering taking Tesla private at $420 a share. Tesla’s share price promptly dropped after this now infamous tweet was sent. Sept 2018: Musk appears on Joe Rogan’s podcast, and smokes weed with him. The spectacle grabs headlines after the podcast is published. From 2016 to 2018: A highly publicized, on-again-off-again relationship with actress Amber Heard. No matter how outlandish or shocking his comments have been, Musk’s companies continue to see success, and people have continued to show interest in keeping up with the founder’s thoughts—and dank memes—on Twitter. Highlights (and Lowlights) of Musk’s Twitter History In the next section below, we’ll cover some of Elon’s most iconic Twitter moments, hand-selected by our research team. The End of the Fake Elon Era Elon Musk’s first real tweet was shared in 2010. Prior to that, someone was pretending to be him and using the Twitter handle @elonmusk to tweet random and controversial things. Luckily, the imposter didn’t gain much traction, and the real Elon Musk cleared the air on June 4, 2010, with a tweet announcing his authentic arrival onto the platform: Please ignore prior tweets, as that was someone pretending to be me :) This is actually me. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 4, 2010 After this initial tweet, Musk didn’t tweet again until the end of 2011, though his account was still verified that year. His Twitter activity remained relatively low until 2012. A Splashdown to Remember In May 2012, Musk went to Twitter to share his excitement after the Dragon spacecraft successfully returned home. Splashdown successful!! Sending fast boat to Dragon lat/long provided by P3 tracking planes #Dragon — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 31, 2012 This landing made history, as SpaceX became the first commercial spacecraft to deliver cargo to the International Space Station. The engagement on this tweet highlights how much larger Musk’s audience is today. The tweet above, which is highlighting some very exciting news, only has about 350 retweets. The Boring Company Flamethrower In late 2017, Musk started selling Boring Company merchandise, mostly as a joke. But products were selling, and Elon decided to take things one step further, and announced to Twitter that he’d release a Boring Company flamethrower if 50,000 Boring branded hats sold: After 50k hats, we will start selling The Boring Company flamethrower — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 11, 2017 The hats did sell out, so true to his word, Musk released a limited edition flamethrower at $500 bucks apiece. All 20,000 units sold out. The $20 Million Quip In August 2018, Musk told Twitter that he was considering taking Tesla private, at $420 a share. Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 7, 2018 This tweet was a cheeky reference to marijuana, but it ended up costing a fortune. The SEC sued him with fraudulent charges, claiming this irresponsible tweet misled investors. He ended up paying millions in fines, and had to step down as Tesla’s chairman as a result of the drama. Candid COVID Opinions Musk hasn’t been shy about sharing his thoughts on the global pandemic. On March 6, 2020, he tweeted “the coronavirus panic is dumb.” Since then, he’s been vocal about his distrust in antigen tests, and isn’t afraid to share his frustrations around lockdowns with his followers: FREE AMERICA NOW — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 29, 2020 He’s also said that the virus isn’t that deadly and that COVID-19 related deaths were inflated because doctors were wrongfully attributing deaths to the virus instead of other causes. Becoming the World’s Richest Human In 2021, Musk surpassed Jeff Bezos to become the richest person in the world. His reaction was quite understated. In response to a tweet from @teslaownersSV sharing the news, he simply said, “how strange.” From there, he tweeted: Back to work I go … — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 8, 2021 Musk is still currently the richest person on the planet as of this article’s publication date, with a net worth of $213 billion. Bitcoin Boost Elon Musk’s foray into Bitcoin boosterism ramped up on January 29, 2021, when he added “#bitcoin” to his Twitter profile page, a move that appeared to have an impact on the price of BTC. Days later, Musk announced that Tesla acquired $1.5 billion in bitcoin, with plans to accept it as payment. You can now buy a Tesla with Bitcoin — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 24, 2021 The news caused the price of Bitcoin to jump 17% to $44,000, a record high at the time. Bitcoin remained in the spotlight through the year as the cryptocurrency continued to gather support from major financial institutions. Just days prior, Musk also added fuel to the speculative fire surrounding the GameStop stock. By simply tweeting the word “Gamestonk” paired with a link to Reddit’s infamous r/wallstreetbets, GME’s price exploded more than 150% higher. The Multi-Billion Dollar Question After facing backlash over his significant stockpile of wealth, Musk turned to Twitter to ask users if he should sell 10% of his Tesla stock in order to pay taxes. Much is made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10% of my Tesla stock. Do you support this? — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 6, 2021 The majority of Twitter users voted yes, and the billionaire actually followed through and sold more than $16 billion worth of Tesla stock. Reconnecting Ukraine In late February, as Russia launched its offensive in Ukraine, Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation called the SpaceX founder out on Twitter, asking for support. Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 26, 2022 Musk would reply within 24 hours, and soon after, Fedorov would tweet a photo of Starlink terminals arriving safely in the country. Tyler Durden Thu, 03/10/2022 - 19:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeMar 10th, 2022

The wild life of billionaire Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who eats one meal a day, evangelizes about bitcoin, and had to defend his company in front of Congress

Jack Dorsey is expected to announce he is stepping down as CEO of Twitter, unnamed sources told CNBC. Jack Dorsey onstage at a bitcoin convention on June 4, 2021 in Miami, Florida.Joe Raedle/Getty Images Jack Dorsey cofounded Twitter in 2006, and the company has made him a billionaire. He is famous for his unusual life of luxury, including a daily fasting routine and regular ice baths. CNBC reported on Monday that Dorsey is expected to step down as CEO of Twitter, citing unnamed sources. Visit Business Insider's home page for more stories. From fighting armies of bots to quashing rumors about sending his beard hair to rapper Azealia Banks, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey leads an unusual life of luxury.Dorsey has had a turbulent career in Silicon Valley. After cofounding Twitter on March 21 2006, he was booted as the company's CEO two years later, but returned in 2015 having set up his second company, Square.Since then, he has led the company through the techlash that has engulfed social media companies, testifying before Congress multiple times.CNBC reported Monday that Dorsey is expected to announce he's stepping down as CEO, citing unnamed sources.Dorsey has provoked his fair share of controversy and criticism, extolling fasting and ice baths as part of his daily routine. His existence is not entirely spartan, however. Like some other billionaires, he owns a stunning house, dates models, and drives fast cars.Scroll on to read more about the fabulous life of Jack Dorsey.Rebecca Borison and Madeline Stone contributed reporting to an earlier version of this story.Dorsey began programming while attending Bishop DuBourg High School in St. Louis.VineAt age 15, Dorsey wrote dispatch software that is still used by some taxi companies.Source: Bio. When he wasn't checking out specialty electronics stores or running a fantasy football league for his friends, Dorsey frequently attended punk-rock concerts. @jackThese days Dorsey doesn't favour the spiky hairdo.Source: The Wall Street JournalLike many of his fellow tech billionaires, Dorsey never graduated college.edyson / FlickrHe briefly attended the Missouri University of Science and Technology and transferred to New York University before calling it quits.Source: Bio.In 2000, Dorsey built a simple prototype that let him update his friends on his life via BlackBerry and email messaging.joi / FlickrNobody else really seemed interested, so he put away the idea for a bit.Source: The Unofficial Stanford BlogFun fact: Jack Dorsey is also a licensed masseur.Getty Images/Bill PuglianoHe got his license in about 2002, before exploding onto the tech scene.Sources: The Wall Street JournalHe got a job at a podcasting company called Odeo, where he met his future Twitter cofounders.Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone and Evan Williams took home the prize in the blogging category at SXSW in 2007.Flickr via Scott Beale/LaughingSquidOdeo went out of business in 2006, so Dorsey returned to his messaging idea, and Twitter was born.On March 21, 2006, Dorsey posted the first tweet.Jack Dorsey's first tweet.Twitter/@jackDorsey kept his Twitter handle simple, "@jack."Dorsey and his cofounders, Evan Williams and Biz Stone, bought the Twitter domain name for roughly $7,000.Khalid Mohammed / AP ImagesDorsey took out his nose ring to look the part of a CEO. He was 30 years old.A year later, Dorsey was already less hands-on at Twitter. Evan Williams and Jack Dorsey.Wikimedia CommonsBy 2008, Williams had taken over as CEO, and Dorsey transitioned to chairman of Twitter's board. Dorsey immediately got started on new projects. He invested in Foursquare and launched a payments startup called Square that lets small-business owners accept credit card payments through a smartphone attachment.Sources: Twitter and Bio.In 2011, Dorsey got the chance to interview US President Barack Obama in the first Twitter Town Hall.President Obama talks to the audience next to Jack Dorsey during his first ever Twitter Town Hall.ReutersDorsey had to remind Obama to keep his replies under 140 characters, Twitter's limit at the time.Source: TwitterTwitter went public in November 2013, and within hours Dorsey was a billionaire.APIn 2014 Forbes pegged Dorsey's net worth at $2.2 billion. On the day it was reported he was expected to resign, Bloomberg's Billionaires Index calculated his net worth at $12.3 billion.Source: Bio. and ForbesIt was revealed in a 2019 filing that Dorsey earned just $1.40 for his job as Twitter CEO the previous year.Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey, who doesn't earn anything from his primary day job.David Becker / GettyThe $1.40 salary actually represented a pay rise for Dorsey, who in previous years had refused any payment at all.He's far from the only Silicon Valley mogul to take a measly salary - Mark Zuckerberg makes $1 a year as CEO of Facebook.Source: Business Insider He might have been worth more had he not given back 10% of his stock to Square.Jack Dorsey with Hollywood producer Brian Grazer, Veronica Smiley, and Kate Greer at the annual Allen and Co. conference at the Sun Valley, Idaho Resort in 2013.ReutersThis helped Square employees, giving them more equity and stock options. It was also helpful in acquiring online food-delivery startup Caviar.Sources: Business Insider and CaviarWith his newfound wealth, he bought a BMW 3 Series, but reportedly didn't drive it often.Alex Davies / Business Insider"Now he's able to say, like, 'The BMW is the only car I drive, because it's the best automotive engineering on the planet,' or whatever," Twitter cofounder Biz Stone told The New Yorker in 2013.Source: The New YorkerHe also reportedly paid $9.9 million for this seaside house on El Camino Del Mar in the exclusive Seacliff neighborhood of San Francisco.The Real Estalker via Sotheby'sThe house has a view of the Golden Gate Bridge, which Dorsey views as a marvel of design.Source: Business InsiderBefore the pandemic, Dorsey said he worked from home one day a week.Jack Dorsey's home setup.Twitter/@jackIn an interview with journalist Kara Swisher conducted over Twitter, Dorsey said he worked every Tuesday out of his kitchen.He also told Kara Swisher that Elon Musk is his favorite Twitter user.Elon Musk is a prolific tweeter.PewDiePie/YouTubeDorsey said Musk's tweets are, "focused on solving existential problems and sharing his thinking openly."He added that he enjoys all the "ups and downs" that come with Musk's sometimes unpredictable use of the site. Musk himself replied, tweeting his thanks and "Twitter rocks!" followed by a string of random emojis.Source: Business InsiderFacebook CEO and rival Mark Zuckerberg once served Jack Dorsey a goat he killed himself.Gene KimDorsey told Rolling Stone about the meal, which took place in 2011. Dorsey said the goat was served cold, and that he personally stuck to salad.Source: Rolling StoneHis eating habits have raised eyebrows.Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for WIRED25Appearing on a podcast run by a health guru who previously said that vaccines caused autism, Dorsey said he eats one meal a day and fasts all weekend. He said the first time he tried fasting it made him feel like he was hallucinating."It was a weird state to be in. But as I did it the next two times, it just became so apparent to me how much of our days are centered around meals and how — the experience I had was when I was fasting for much longer, how time really slowed down," he said.The comments drew fierce criticism from many who said Dorsey was normalizing eating disorders.In a later interview with Wired, Dorsey said he eats seven meals a week, "just dinner."Sources: Business Insider, The New StatesmanIn the early days of Twitter, Dorsey aspired to be a fashion designer.Cindy Ord / Getty Images, Franck MichelDorsey would regularly don leather jackets and slim suits by Prada and Hermès, as well as Dior Homme reverse-collar dress shirts, a sort of stylish take on the popped collar.More recently he favors edgier outfits, including the classic black turtleneck favored by Silicon Valley luminaries like Steve Jobs.Sources: CBS News and The Wall Street JournalHe also re-introduced the nose-ring and grew a beard.GettyDorsey seems to care less about looking the part of a traditional CEO these days.Singer Azealia Banks claimed to have been sent clippings of Dorsey's beard hair to fashion into a protective amulet, although Dorsey denied this happened.Azealia Banks.GettyIn 2016, Banks posted on her now-deleted Twitter account that Dorsey sent her his hair, "in an envelope." Dorsey later told the HuffPo that the beard-posting incident never happened.Sources: Business Insider and HuffPoDorsey frequently travels the world and shares his photos with his 6 million Twitter followers.Jack Dorsey meeting Japanese Prime Minister Sinzo Abe.Twitter/@JPN_PMOOn his travels, Dorsey meets heads of state, including Japan's former Prime Minister Shinzō Abe.Source: TwitterTweets about his vacation in Myanmar also provoked an outcry.Bagan, Myanmar.Shutterstock/Martin M303Dorsey tweeted glowingly about a vacation he took to Myanmar for his birthday in December 2018. "If you're willing to travel a bit, go to Myanmar," he said.This came at the height of the Rohingya crisis, and Dorsey was attacked for his blithe promotion of the country — especially since social media platforms were accused of having been complicit in fuelling hatred towards the Rohingya.Source: Business InsiderHowever, Dorsey says he doesn't care about "looking bad."FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Trump welcomes South Korea’s President Moon to the White House in WashingtonReutersIn a bizarre Huffington Post interview in 2019, Dorsey was asked whether Donald Trump — an avid tweeter — could be removed from the platform if he called on his followers to murder a journalist. Dorsey gave a vague answer which drew sharp criticism.Following the interview's publication, Dorsey said he doesn't care about "looking bad.""I care about being open about how we're thinking and about what we see," he added.In September 2018, Jack Dorsey was grilled by lawmakers alongside Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Jack Dorsey are sworn-in for a Senate Intelligence Committee.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesDorsey and Sandberg were asked about election interference on Twitter and Facebook as well as alleged anti-conservative bias in social media companies.Source: Business InsiderDuring the hearing, Dorsey shared a snapshot of his spiking heart rate on Twitter.AP Photo/Jose Luis MaganaDorsey was in the hot seat for several hours. His heart rate peaked at 109 beats per minute.Source: Business InsiderDorsey testified before Congress once again on October 28, 2020.Jack Dorsey tuning into the hearing with the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation/Handout via REUTERSDorsey appeared via videoconference at the Senate hearing on Section 230, a part of US law that protects internet companies from legal liability for user-generated content, as well as giving them broad authority to decide how to moderate their own platforms.In prepared testimony ahead of the hearing, Dorsey said stripping back Section 230 would "collapse how we communicate on the Internet," and suggested ways for tech companies to make their moderation processes more transparent. During the hearing, Dorsey once again faced accusations of anti-conservative biasJack Dorsey appearing virtually at the hearing.Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty ImagesThe accusations from Republican lawmakers focused on the way Twitter enforces its policies, particularly the way it has labelled tweets from President Trump compared to other world leaders.Dorsey took the brunt of questions from lawmakers, even though he appeared alongside Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai.Source: ProtocolDuring the hearing, the length of Dorsey's beard drew fascination from pundits.Dorsey had to address accusations of censorship.Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERSSome users referred to Dorsey's facial hair as his "quarantine beard," while others said it made him look like a wizard.—rat king (@MikeIsaac) October 28, 2020—Taylor Hatmaker (@tayhatmaker) October 28, 2020"Jack Dorsey's beard is literally breaking Twitter's own face detection," posted cybersecurity blogging account @Swiftonsecurity.—SwiftOnSecurity (@SwiftOnSecurity) October 28, 2020 Dorsey also addressed the way Twitter dealt with a dubiously sourced New York Post story about Hunter Biden.Jack Dorsey appearing on-screen at the hearing.Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAYWhen the New York Post published a report about Hunter Biden on October 14 that threw up red flags about sourcing, Twitter blocked users from sharing URLs citing its "hacked materials" policy.Dorsey subsequently apologized publicly, saying it was wrong of Twitter to block URLs.—jack (@jack) October 16, 2020During the Senate hearing, Sen. Ted Cruz accused Twitter of taking the "unilateral decision to censor" the Post.Dorsey said the Post's Twitter account would remain locked until it deleted its original tweet, but that updated policies meant it could tweet the same story again without getting blocked.Source: Business InsiderDorsey had to appear before another hearing on November 17 2020 — this time about how Twitter handled content moderation around the 2020 presidential election.U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee via REUTERS/File PhotoDorsey was summoned alongside Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg by Republicans who were displeased with how the platforms had dealt with then-President Donald Trump's social media accounts. Both CEOs defended their companies, saying they are politically neutral.When he's not in Washington, Dorsey regularly hops in and out of ice baths and saunas.This is not Dorsey's sauna.ShutterstockDorsey said in the "Tales of the Crypt" podcast that he started using ice baths and saunas in the evenings around 2016.He will alternately sit in his barrel sauna for 15 minutes and then switch to an ice bath for three. He repeats this routine three times, before finishing it off with a one-minute ice bath.He also likes to take an icy dip in the mornings to wake him up.Source: CNBCDorsey's dating life has sparked intrigue. In 2018, he was reported to be dating Sports Illustrated model Raven Lyn Corneil.Sports Illustrated Swimsuit / YouTube / GettyPage Six reported in September 2018 that the pair were spotted together at the Harper's Bazaar Icons party during New York Fashion Week. Page Six also reported that Dorsey's exes included actress Lily Cole and ballet dancer Sofiane Sylve.Source: Page SixHe's a big believer in cryptocurrency, frequently tweeting about its virtues.Teresa Kroeger/Getty ImagesIn particular, Dorsey is a fan of Bitcoin, which he described in early 2019 as "resilient" and "principled." He told the "Tales of the Crypt" podcast in March that year that he was maxing out the $10,000 weekly spending limit on Square's Cash App buying up Bitcoin.In October 2020 he slammed Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong for forbidding employee activism at the company, saying cryptocurrency is itself a form of activism.—jack (@jack) September 30, 2020 Source: Business Insider, Business Insider and CNBC Dorsey said Square is launching a new bitcoin business.Square CEO Jack Dorsey speaks at the Bitcoin 2021 Convention, a crypto-currency conference held on June 4, 2021 in Miami, Florida.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesDorsey announced the new venture in a tweet on July 15, 2021 and said its name was "TBD." It wasn't clear whether that was its actual name, or Dorsey hasn't decided on a name yet.—jack (@jack) July 15, 2021 Dorsey said he hopes bitcoin can help bring about "world peace."Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on stage at the Bitcoin 2021 Convention, a crypto-currency conference in Miami.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesDorsey appeared alongside Elon Musk and Ark Invest CEO Cathie Wood during a panel called "The B Word" on July 2021. He said he loves the bitcoin community because it's "weird as hell.""It's the only reason that I have a career — because I learned so much from people like who are building bitcoin today," Dorsey said.At the end of 2019 Dorsey said he would move to Africa for at least three months in 2020.AP Photo/Francois MoriDorsey's announcement followed a tour of Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa. "Africa will define the future (especially the bitcoin one!). Not sure where yet, but I'll be living here for 3-6 months mid 2020," he tweeted. Dorsey then came under threat of being ousted as Twitter CEO by activist investor Elliott Management.Paul Singer, founder and president of Elliott Management.REUTERS/Mike Blake/File PhotoBoth Bloomberg and CNBC reported in late February 2020 that major Twitter investor Elliott Management — led by Paul Singer — was seeking to replace Dorsey. Reasons given included the fact that Dorsey splits his time between two firms by acting as CEO to both Twitter and financial tech firm Square, as well as his planned move to Africa.Source: Business InsiderTesla CEO and frequent Twitter user Elon Musk weighed in on the news, throwing his support behind Dorsey.Tesla CEO Elon Musk.REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke"Just want to say that I support @jack as Twitter CEO," Musk tweeted, adding that Dorsey has a good heart, using the heart emoji.Source: Business InsiderDorsey managed to strike a truce with Elliott Management.AP Photo/Jose Luis MaganaTwitter announced on March 9, 2020 that it had reached a deal with Elliott Management which would leave Jack Dorsey in place as CEO.The deal included a $1 billion investment from private equity firm Silver Lake, and partners from both Elliott Management and Silver Lake joined Twitter's board.Patrick Pichette, lead independent director of Twitter's board, said he was "confident we are on the right path with Jack's leadership," but added that a new temporary committee would be formed to instruct the board's evaluation of Twitter's leadership.In April 2020, Dorsey announced that he was forming a new charity fund that would help in global relief efforts amid the coronavirus pandemic.Dorsey.Matt Crossick/PA Images via Getty ImagesDorsey said he would pour $1 billion of his own Square equity into the fund, or roughly 28% of his total wealth at the time. The fund, dubbed Start Small LLC, would first focus on helping in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, he said.The CEO said he would be making all transactions on behalf of the fund public in a spreadsheet.In July 2020, hackers compromised 130 Twitter accounts in a bitcoin scam.TwitterThe accounts of high-profile verified accounts belonging to Bill Gates, Kim Kardashian West, and others were hacked, with attackers tweeting out posts asking users to send payment in bitcoin to fraudulent cryptocurrency addresses.As a solution, Twitter temporarily blocked all verified accounts — those with blue check marks on their profiles — but the damage was done.  Elon Musk said he personally contacted Dorsey following the hack.Elon Musk (left) and Dorsey.Susan Walsh/AP; Getty ImagesDuring a July 2020 interview with The New York Times, Musk said he had immediately called Dorsey after he learned about the hack."Within a few minutes of the post coming up, I immediately got texts from a bunch of people I know, then I immediately called Jack so probably within less than five minutes my account was locked," said Musk.Source: The New York TimesIn March 2021 Dorsey put his first-ever tweet up for auction.Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO, and Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, off camera, testify during a Senate (Select) Intelligence Committee hearing in Dirksen Building where they testified on the influence of foreign operations on social media on September 5, 2018Tom Williams/CQ Roll CallAs the craze for Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) gathered momentum, Dorsey announced he was auctioning his first tweet for charity. It was bought for $2.9 million by Hakan Estavi, chief executive at at Bridge Oracle. Dorsey said proceeds from the auction would go to Give Directly's Africa response.CNBC reported on November 29 that Dorsey is expected to step down as CEO of Twitter.Jack Dorsey co-founder and chairman of Twitter and co-founder and CEO of Square.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesAn undisclosed number of sources told CNBC's David Faber Dorsey is expected to announce he will step down as CEO, CNBC reported Monday.Twitter did not immediately respond when contacted by Insider for comment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 29th, 2021

An entrepreneur built a platform for diverse workers to share honest reviews of their employers. It"s registered over 5,000 reviewers from companies like Google and Deloitte in its first year.

After an 11-year career in real-estate finance, Ekow Sanni-Thomas founded Inside Voices to help bring transparency to D&I issues within companies. Ekow Sanni-ThomasCourtesy from Ekow Sanni-Thomas Inside Voices is a platform to review employers and how they handle diversity and inclusion. Founder Ekow Sanni-Thomas opted for organic growth on TikTok rather than seeking VC funding. Sanni-Thomas spoke with Insider about what he learned as a Black employee in the corporate world. By the time Ekow Sanni-Thomas left the corporate world after 11 years in real estate, he had seen firsthand how easy it is for companies to turn their backs on Black employees despite claiming to promote diversity and inclusion. "This is a problem that I've dealt with throughout my career, not just lack of diversity but also companies having false reputations," Sanni-Thomas said. His negative experience at his last job sparked the idea for his startup, Inside Voices, an online platform for diverse workers to submit anonymous reviews of their employers. It's similar to other review sites, like Glassdoor or Indeed, but it's designed to share the unique perspectives of underrepresented employees.Sanni-Thomas says transparency is one way to equip workers of color with the knowledge they need to find the right company.  Since the global reckoning with racism and police violence two years ago, companies have pledged billions of dollars to anti-racist causes and set goals to recruit and retain Black talent. However, many consultants, professors, and employees contend that diversity efforts to date have failed across the corporate world. "The only reason that companies are able to get away with this is because there's no transparency," Sanni-Thomas said. "There's no place for us to hold them accountable. That's where Inside Voices intends to come in."Building a company from scratchInside Voices also aims to address some of the challenges that other review websites face. Sanni-Thomas said he's focusing on designing the website to weed out spam and provide relevant information to Black and brown employees. Users submit anonymous reviews, answering questions that diversity experts have created, such as: "How do you feel about this statement: I would recommend my company to a person of color?"Sanni-Thomas said Inside Voices currently has about 5,000 user reviews, from major companies like Salesforce, Google, and Deloitte, among others. Since he left his job to build his company in March 2021, Sanni-Thomas has made intentional choices as a CEO to ensure that the foundation of Inside Voices remained aligned with his mission. First, he says he took the extra time to find contractors of color to build his website. He also made the decision to stay away from venture-capital funding, funding the initial product out of his one savings account. In 2020, only 3% of venture-capital funding went to Black-owned companies, though Black entrepreneurs owned 10% of companies in the US, according to Reuters. For a while, users rolled in slowly. But when Sanni-Thomas committed to using TikTok and LinkedIn, he finally found his footing. Inside Voices currently has over 31,000 followers on TikTok and Sanni-Thomas has become an influential voice about diversity on the #careertok hashtag, which influencers who give advice about career development frequent. "There is nothing for organic growth like TikTok, particularly when you have a $0 marketing budget," Sanni-Thomas said. "I scrapped away for nine months, getting one review here, two here. Then I started using TikTok and LinkedIn and it all changed from there." With two beta versions and thousands of users to show for his success, Sanni-Thomas is now going into his first round of VC funding.Career advice for diverse talentCharting a career as a Black employee in the corporate world is like a game of Snakes and Ladders, Sanni-Thomas said, referring to the board game where ladders send you up toward your goal and snakes take you back toward the starting line."There's a lot more snakes than there are ladders," he said. When he started his career, Sanni-Thomas said he thought he had thick skin, but over time, he realized that dealing with racism in the workplace was taking a toll on his mental health. He felt like he wasn't doing enough."I wish I had just been a little bit kinder to myself," he said. "If you don't hit all the milestones that you expected to hit at the speed that you want, just be forgiving and know that a lot of it was not in your hands."Sanni-Thomas also emphasized his own privilege — as a man with a British accent and savings in the bank — as a factor in getting Inside Voices off the ground. Black women, in particular, are "discriminated against with a regularity and ferocity that would simply stop most people from trying," he said.As he builds his community and team at Inside Voices, he wants to ensure that combating misogynoir — discrimination against Black women — is at the center of his mission. "I'm not just out to build a company, just to build a company," he said. "With that being my guiding principle, I don't think I really have any other option but to stay steadfast on the path."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt20 hr. 32 min. ago

AOC Says She Wants To Ditch Her Tesla Following Online Spat With Musk

AOC Says She Wants To Ditch Her Tesla Following Online Spat With Musk Authored by Rita Li via The Epoch Times, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) said she wants to give up her Tesla, one month after getting into an online spat with Elon Musk on Twitter. The progressive Democrat revealed her plan after being asked about the billionaire’s recent comments that he was going to vote Republican in the upcoming elections. Ocasio-Cortez purchased her Tesla Model 3 in 2020 when the pandemic began to commute between Washington and her Queens and Bronx districts, but said she’d now go for a union-made electric vehicle. “At the time, it was the only EV that could get me from New York to Washington on like one, or one-and-a-half charges,” Ocasio-Cortez recently told Bloomberg. “I would love to switch,” she added. She said the move would be to support a manufacturer that allowed workers to unionize. Elon Musk attends The 2022 Met Gala Celebrating “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York on May 2, 2022. (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue) The Tesla CEO this year has drawn the ire of progressives after announcing his bid to take over Twitter with a view to restoring free speech on a platform that he described as having “a very far-left bias.” Musk has also vowed to stop what he calls “woke mind virus.” “He’s a billionaire. I could care less what he thinks,” Ocasio-Cortez told the outlet. The Epoch Times has reached out to her office for comment. Her remarks came after a Twitter dispute with Musk a month ago, when she took a swipe at the CEO over his plans to buy the social media platform, calling him “some billionaire with an ego problem,” without specifically naming Musk. “Tired of having to collectively stress about what explosion of hate crimes is happening bc [sic] some billionaire with an ego problem unilaterally controls a massive communication platform and skews it because Tucker Carlson or Peter Thiel took him to dinner and made him feel special,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in late April. “Stop hitting on me, I’m really shy,” Musk wrote in response, followed by a blushing smiley face emoji. Stop hitting on me, I’m really shy ☺️ — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 29, 2022 The New York representative initially reacted to the CEO in a now-deleted message claiming she was referring to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, but later deleted it and reposted a screenshot of the exchange, adding: “Like I said, ego problems.” Musk’s comments appeared to be in reference to a string of Twitter posts Ocasio-Cortez shared back in December in which she claimed that her Republican detractors were “mad” because they wanted to date her. She made the comments in response to former Trump advisor Steve Cortes, who shared a photo of Ocasio-Cortez and her partner dining outside, noting that she had gone on vacation to Florida, a place without mask and vaccine mandates, policies that the democratic lawmaker stands against. 1. If Leftists like AOC actually thought mandates and masking worked, they wouldn’t be frolicking in free FL. 2. Her guy is showing his gross pale male feet in public (not at a pool/beach) with hideous sandals. O for 2… pic.twitter.com/SNqBqMwr12 — Steve Cortes (@CortesSteve) December 31, 2021 “If Republicans are mad they can’t date me they can just say that instead of projecting their sexual frustrations onto my boyfriend’s feet,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in a post. [ZH: In an escalation of the tiff between AOC and Musk, the billionaire issued this poll on Twitter last night: Even an army of leftist bots couldn’t change the outcome of this poll! — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 27, 2022 75.8% of respondees trust politicians less than billionaires. His response to this was to ask AOC to offer the same poll... .@aoc I dare you to run the same poll with your followers — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 27, 2022 'shots fired'.] A May 4 report by research firm Morning Consult showed that 44 percent of EV-interested consumers identify as Democrats, while 23 percent say they are Republicans. Yet such a divide is much narrower regarding Tesla. As of April, there was only a 2 percentage point gap between Democrats and Republicans for buyers considering a Tesla. Other Democrats who own Tesla cars, according to Bloomberg, include Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.), and Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.). We give the last words to Musk... Politics is a sadness generator — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 26, 2022 Tyler Durden Fri, 05/27/2022 - 15:45.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytMay 27th, 2022

Elon Musk suggests cutting Twitter offer by proportion of bots and calls its lack of explanation "very suspicious"

Musk agreed that if 25% of daily active users are fake accounts, the takeover should cost 25% less, equivalent to $11 billion. Elon Musk has put his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter on hold pending confirmation on the number of bots using the platform.AP Musk suggested cutting $44 billion offer for Twitter based on the number of bots on the platform. He says the share of fake accounts is about 25% of users, rather than Twitter's 5% estimate. Musk called Twitter's lack of explanation over the bot figure "very suspicious."  Elon Musk has added to uncertainty over his $44 billion offer for Twitter by saying the price should be cut by the proportion of fake accounts on the platform and calling Twitter's lack of explanation over its estimates "very suspicious."Musk agreed Saturday with conservative commentator Ian Miles Cheong who tweeted: "If 25% of the users are bots then the Twitter acquisition deal should cost 25% less.""Absolutely," Musk replied. Musk put his deal to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share "on hold" until the platform could prove that only 5% of users are bots.Speaking on the "All-In" podcast Monday, he said the figure was likely to be "four or five times" higher.A 25% reduction would reduce the value of the offer to $33 billion. That sum is far closer to Twitter's market value of just under $30 billion. Shares closed on Friday in New York at $38.29. Musk earlier questioned Twitter's lack of explanation over the 5% estimate, saying it had no incentive to tackle fake accounts. "I'm worried that Twitter has a disincentive to reduce spam, as it reduces perceived daily users," Musk said. Replying to a user who asked if Twitter had been in contact, Musk replied: "No, they still refuse to explain how they calculate that 5% of daily users are fake/spam! Very suspicious."It marks the latest escalation in rhetoric in a turbulent acquisition process, and prompted Musk to remind investors of his priorities toward his other companies Tesla and SpaceX.Musk had previously suggested taking a sample of 100 users to determine the number of bots on the platform, allegedly breaking a NDA with Twitter. He replied to Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal's explanation as to why this wasn't possible with a poop emoji. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 22nd, 2022

Top Twitter exec says Elon Musk"s approach to his takeover has created a "chaos tax" for the company

Jay Sullivan, Twitter's new head of product, said he expected the upheaval caused by Musk's rocky takeover bid to continue. Musk's takeover bid is causing turmoil among Twitter employees.AP Twitter head of product said "chaos tax" from Musk's takeover bid is likely to continue, per WSJ. Twitter has held 15 large-scale meetings following Musk's $44 billion offer, the Journal reported. Some employees are optimistic that Musk can help transform the company, but others want to leave. A top Twitter executive has told employees that Elon Musk's $44 billion takeover bid for the company had created a "chaos tax," according to internal Slack messages seen by the Wall Street Journal.In an internal message addressing the tumultuous takeover of the company, Twitter's new head of product, Jay Sullivan, told employees: "I expect the 'chaos tax' and ups and downs to continue." He added: "As I know more, I will find ways to share with this group!"According to the Journal, Twitter has held 15 company-wide or division-wide meetings to address employee concerns amid upheaval following the Twitter board's decision to accept Musk's hostile takeover bid. Sullivan himself joined as a result of this upheaval, replacing one of the two executives let go by CEO Parag Agrawal in a "shake-up" that also included a hiring freeze and rescinding job offers. Some employees have left the company, others are looking for new jobs, while others are said to be hunkering down to see how Musk changes the company, the Journal reported.Musk has publicly berated Twitter since agreeing a deal to buy the company, accusing it of not being politically neutral, blocking free speech, and being wrong about its estimates of the number of bots on the platform. He has put the deal "on hold" over the question of fake accounts. Agrawal wrote a Twitter thread on Monday explaining why Musk's proposition that Twitter should take a sample of 100 users to determine the number of bots would not work. Musk replied with a poop emoji.The Journal reported that a number of employees had expressed optimism about the takeover, with "dozens" in a Slack channel labeled "i_dissent" hoping Musk could help transform a company that had overcounted its user total for three years. In early May, Musk said he wanted to hire more people and quintuple Twitter's revenue by 2028.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 21st, 2022

"Warning lights flashing": the US military is offering record amounts of cash to head off a recruiting crisis

The US military is using record-level enlistment and retention bonuses to attract and keep troops, and those bonuses continue to increase. US Marine Corps recruits do crunches at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, February 19, 2016.Lance Cpl. Angelica Annastas US military recruiting faces major headwinds as troops leave service and a tight job market lures away potential recruits. The services are using record-level enlistment and retention bonuses to attract and keep troops, and those bonuses continue to increase. Hints that the armed services might soon face a problem keeping their ranks full began quietly, with officials spending the last decade warning that a dwindling slice of the American public could serve.Only about one-quarter of young Americans are even eligible for service these days, a shrinking pool limited by an increasing number of potential recruits who are overweight or are screened out due to minor criminal infractions, including the use of recreational drugs such as marijuana.But what had been a slow-moving trend is reaching crisis levels, as a highly competitive job market converges with a mass of troops leaving as the coronavirus pandemic subsides, alarming military planners.Read Next: Medical Forces Could Be Shorthanded During War Due to Planned Cuts, Milley Says"Not two years into a pandemic, and we have warning lights flashing," Maj. Gen. Ed Thomas, the Air Force Recruiting Service commander, wrote in a memo — leaked in January — about the headwinds his team faces.For now, the services are leaning on record-level enlistment and retention bonuses meant to attract and keep America's military staffed and ready — bonuses that continue to climb.In an interview with Military.com last month, Thomas didn't mince words. He knows he is competing against the private sector to hire people, from technology giants to regional gas stations."If you want to work at Buc-ee's along I-35 in Texas, you can do it for [a] $25-an-hour starting salary," Thomas said. "You can start at Target for $29 an hour with educational benefits. So you start looking at the competition: Starbucks, Google, Amazon. The battle for talent amidst this current labor shortage is intense."Trainees at the 120th Adjutant General Battalion at Fort Jackson in South Carolina, October 30, 2019.Alexandra Shea/Fort Jackson Public AffairsPaired with those competitive offers for workers are a large number of service members retiring, some having delayed leaving the ranks during a pandemic that saw huge instability in the job market.Since fiscal 2020, the US Department of Labor's Veterans' Employment and Training Service — known as VETS — has anticipated that around 150,000 service members would transition out of the military annually as part of its budget justification documents.But in 2020, the Transition Assistance Program, or TAP, the congressionally mandated classes that prepare troops for life outside the military, helped counsel 193,968 service members on their way out of the military, said Lisa Lawrence, a Pentagon spokesperson. That's nearly one-third more newly minted veterans than the Labor Department had planned for.In 2021, that number grew to 196,413. Prior to 2020, the Department of Defense did not report the total number of TAP-eligible service members transitioning, although Lawrence said the number has been somewhere between 190,000 and 200,000 annually in recent years.Payouts aimed at attracting new service members to replace those outgoing veterans are at all-time highs. The Army started offering recruiting bonuses of up to $50,000 in January, and last month the Air Force began promoting up to $50,000 — the most it can legally offer — for certain career fields.The Navy followed with its offer of $25,000 to those willing to ship out in a matter of weeks. It says the bonuses are the result of an "unprecedentedly competitive job market."Cmdr. Dave Benham, a spokesman for the sea service's recruiting command, told Military.com in a recent phone interview that "the private sector is doing things we haven't seen them do before to try and attract talent, so we have to stay competitive."Benham said the scope of the Navy's offer — a minimum of $25,000 to ship out before June — has "never happened before to anybody's collective knowledge around here."Courting and paying for talentUS Army recruits training at Fort Benning.Barry Williams/Getty ImagesThe pandemic economy has placed private-sector workers in the driver's seat, pushing employers to offer more lucrative incentives such as better benefits, flexible work-from-home schedules or massive signing bonuses to make hires. That is putting major pressure on the military as it tries to attract recruits who may be considering the civilian job market.It's all been complicated by the military's myriad of other difficulties getting new troops in the door, such as recruiting efforts quashed by the pandemic, a shrinking pool of eligible recruits, and social media silos complicating advertising.And amid public scandals, such as the 2020 murder of Vanessa Guillén and suicides on the aircraft carrier USS George Washington, military service may seem like a less attractive choice for young Americans."This is arguably the most challenging recruiting year since the inception of the all-volunteer force," Lt. Gen. David Ottignon, the Marine Corps officer in charge of manpower, told the Senate during a public hearing April 27.All of the military's service branches are scrambling to find ways to compete for a younger generation of talent that has plenty of employment opportunities."The military provides a wonderful option for young people, but it's not the only option and so recruiters, I think just like other employers, are trying to understand what the different options are for young people and to address those effectively," said Joey Von Nessen, an economics professor at the University of South Carolina.The bonuses that serve as one of the most immediately tangible lures for new recruits, while escalating, aren't uniform across or even within the services.Most of the bonuses offered for new Air Force recruits range around $8,000 for certain career fields. But for two of the most dangerous jobs, Special Warfare operations and explosive ordnance disposal, the service is making its maximum allowed offer of $50,000 for people to join."It is necessary. I think these are two of our hardest career fields to recruit toward," said Col. Jason Scott, chief of operations for the Air Force Recruiting Service. "It is absolutely necessary to do $50,000 for each of those, and actually $50,000 is the highest initial enlistment bonus amount that we can give."New Marine Corps recruits make their initial phone calls home at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, May 21, 2018.US Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Christian M. GarciaOverall, the Air Force is dedicating $31 million to recruiting bonuses in 2022, nearly double what was originally planned for.The Army faces the same problem — and is putting up the same big offers."We're in a search for talent just like corporate America and other businesses; almost everyone has the same issue the military does right now," Maj. Gen. Kevin Vereen, head of US Army Recruiting Command, told Military.com. "We're trying to match incentives for what resonates. For example, financial incentives. Nobody wants to be in debt, so we're offering sign-up bonuses at a historic rate."We've never offered $50,000 to join the Army," he added.In addition to the sign-on bonuses, the Army is also offering new recruits their first duty station of choice — an unprecedented move as new soldiers are typically placed at random around the world. New recruits can choose locations such as Alaska, Fort Drum in New York, and Fort Carson in Colorado."Youth today want to make their own decisions. We're letting them do that," Vereen said.The services are also trying to keep troops from leaving, knowing that a raft of employment opportunities are available for them if they get fed up with military life.The Army, Air Force and Navy have all announced reenlistment bonuses for certain career fields and specialties, some of them in the six-figure range.The Air Force is offering up to $100,000 reenlistment bonuses based on experience and career field. The Navy is also offering those incentives, with fields such as network cryptologists and nuclear technicians making anywhere from $90,000 to $100,000. The Army is offering a more modest cap of $81,000 to reenlist for some jobs.Anecdotally, military families are describing on social media an inability to find open slots for TAP's sessions. Each in-person class is generally limited to 50 people, but Lawrence, the Pentagon spokesperson, denied the program is being overwhelmed since classes are also available in live online, on-demand or hybrid formats.The urgency described by leaders who are putting their money toward keeping skilled service members is a sign of the worry about a brain drain.Unlike the broader enlistment bonuses, many military career fields don't offer cash for reenlistment, and some of these incentives existed prior to the pandemic. But the job market has put pressure on the services to pay up to keep service members in the force.Overweight and hard to reachUS Navy recruits march in formation at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois, May 14, 2020.US Navy/Seaman Amy JohnsonThe military's difficulties attracting recruits go far beyond making the right bonus offer. The forces working against recruiting increased during the grinding global pandemic — lockdowns kept recruiters home and young Americans are refusing vaccines, for example — and are also rooted in longer-term societal shifts in physical fitness and communication."The aggregate effects of two years of COVID is that is two years of not being in high school classrooms, two years of not having air shows and major public events like being in those public spaces, where our potential applicants or potential recruits are getting personal exposure, face-to-face relationships with military recruiters," Thomas said.Only about 40% of Americans who are of prime recruiting age are vaccinated against the virus. Outright refusal to get the shot immediately precludes joining the force and short-circuits any pitch from recruiters. COVID vaccines are among at least a dozen inoculations mandated by the Defense Department."Seventeen-to-24-year-olds are not getting vaccinated, and those [are] people we aren't having a conversation with," Vereen said.Even when potential recruits are interested and big bonuses motivate them to sign on the dotted line, only about 23% of young Americans are even eligible for service.Past legal run-ins or a drug history prevent potential recruits from joining, and more and more Americans are overweight. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 40% of adults aged 20 to 39 are obese. That problem has been deemed a national security risk by some because it causes an increasingly shallow pool of potential recruits.The confluence of challenges has others loudly alerting the public that there's a problem.Sen. Thom Tillis, R-North Carolina, the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee personnel panel, says the military is on the cusp of a recruiting crisis.Marine recruits line up for chow.Sgt. Dana Beesley/US Marine Corps"To put it bluntly, I am worried we are now in the early days of a long-term threat to the all-volunteer force. [There is] a small and declining number of Americans who are eligible and interested in military service," Tillis said during an April 27 hearing.He added that "every single metric tracking the military recruiting environment is going in the wrong direction." Just 8% of young Americans have seriously considered joining the military, while only 23% are eligible to enlist, according to Tillis.Meanwhile, the prime demographic for recruiting — 17-to-24-year-olds — is getting harder to reach. The military is running high production value recruiting ads on TV, but most younger Americans are watching YouTube, Twitch and other streaming services.On those platforms, ads are dictated by algorithms based on a person's search history, and prime-age viewers may never be exposed to recruiting spots if they don't already have a general interest in the military.The military has relied on Facebook, with its user base that skews much older, and Instagram pointing users to ads based on their existing interests. The Defense Department banned TikTok from government-issued phones in 2019, shutting out Generation Z's social media platform of choice. However, some recruiters have ignored the ban on the Chinese-owned platform, which is seen by some as a security risk."I know a lot of young people are on TikTok and we're not," Vereen said.When the military does get widespread exposure and makes the news, it can be due to scandals such as the slaying of Guillén at Fort Hood, Texas, or other problems that raise questions about safety and the quality of life in the services.Following a wave of suicides and disclosure of a lack of basic amenities such as hot water and ventilation aboard the George Washington, Master Chief Petty Officer Russell Smith, the Navy's top enlisted leader, was asked by a sailor why the service was spending so much on new recruits, specifically mentioning the hefty $25,000 bonus."I gotta use those bonuses to compel something. ... A post-COVID workforce doesn't love the idea that they have to, they actually have to go to work, talk to people, see them face-to-face, exchange ideas and do work," Smith told the crew, according to a Navy-provided transcript. "They would rather phone it in or work from home somehow and, with the military, you just can't do that."US Navy recruits in the galley of the USS Triton barracks at Recruit Training Command.Scott A. Thornbloom/US NavySome sailors said it didn't seem like the service was prioritizing making its current ranks happy or financially incentivizing them to stick around. Smith said the Navy already offers some bonuses to in-demand specialties and that if a particular job doesn't offer one it's because enough of those sailors "love the work that they do ... and when they do, I don't have to use money as leverage."Smith also told the sailor that he "can compel [them] to stay right here for eight years." Most contracts have an inactive period of reserve service built in following the end of active duty that the Navy can tap into."So, you want me finding sailors to come in and relieve you on time," Smith added.The military services hope the new bonuses will overcome all the difficulties and that they will meet recruiting goals for the year. But the numbers are not encouraging so far.The Army has an uphill climb for the rest of the year, having recruited just 23% of its target in the first five months of the fiscal year.The Navy said that, in order to reach its recruiting goal this year, it will have to reduce the delayed-entry program — allowing someone to enlist before they plan on actually shipping out — to below "historic norms," which could in turn cause recruiting issues in future years.There's likely no relief in sight, according to experts.US population demographics are going in the wrong direction and will make the recruiting job increasingly hard. The millennial and Gen-Z generations are smaller than previous generations, meaning there is a dwindling workforce to pull from. And only a small percentage of those youths appear likely to meet the physical qualifications to join in the first place."I think it's likely that the labor shortage is going to be long-lasting," Von Nessen said. "This is not a short-term phenomenon. It was exacerbated by the pandemic, but it wasn't created by the pandemic exclusively."— Thomas Novelly can be reached at thomas.novelly@military.com. Follow him on Twitter @TomNovelly.— Konstantin Toropin can be reached at konstantin.toropin@military.com. Follow him on Twitter @ktoropin.— Steve Beynon can be reached at Steve.Beynon@military.com. Follow him on Twitter @StevenBeynon.— Rebecca Kheel can be reached at rebecca.kheel@military.com. Follow her on Twitter @reporterkheel.Related: Space Force Offering Bonuses Up to $20,000 for New Guardians with Tech BackgroundsRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 19th, 2022

Elon Musk said repricing his Twitter deal for less is "not out of the question," according to report

Elon Musk reportedly said it was not "out of the question" that he might try to pay less to acquire Twitter at a conference in Miami on Monday. Elon Musk.Andrew Kelly/Reuters Elon Musk said that a Twitter deal with a lower price tag is "not out of the question," Bloomberg reported. He previously tweeted concerns about spam bots and sparked a response from Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal. Musk spoke at a conference in Miami and amid tough times in the tech industry, meaning he might be looking to renegotiate the deal.  At "The All In Summit 2022," Elon Musk didn't give the impression that he felt that way about his Twitter deal. He said that a deal with a lower price tag is not "out of the question," Bloomberg reported."Currently, what I'm being told is that there's just no way to know the number of bots… It's like, as unknowable as the human soul," Musk said at the Miami conference, per a social media video, Bloomberg added. For the last few days, Elon Musk has been waffling publicly on his bid to acquire Twitter for about $44 billion as tech stocks dropped. It started Friday morning when he tweeted the deal was temporarily "on hold," then later he was "still committed" to the purchase. That evening, he said his team would check how many spam bots were in 100 accounts. This seemed to have sparked a response from Twitter stakeholders.Musk also said Friday evening 100 accounts was the sample size Twitter uses, and then Musk said Saturday that Twitter's legal team said he broke his NDA by revealing that. Twitter CEO Parag Agarawl said in a thread Monday just anyone couldn't perform a spam bot test with 100 accounts, and Musk replied to the thread with a poop emoji. Twitter has long reported its spam account count at 5%, Variety has noted.Musk has talked about having issues with spam or bot accounts on Twitter before, but Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said that Musk was talking about spam bots as a "dog ate the homework" style explanation to get out of the acquisition or negotiate down the price."The massive pressure on Tesla's stock since the deal, a changing stock market/risk environment the last month, and a number of other financing factors has caused Musk to get 'cold feet' on the Twitter deal," Wedbush noted, as Insider previously reported. The bot idea is "not a new issue and likely more of a scapegoat to push for a lower price," Ives added. As for the conference, several Twitter users also reported that he said "The more questions I ask, the more my concerns grow," about the company. Insider was not able to independently verify this.—Gabrielle Bienasz (@gbienasz) May 16, 2022 Musk spoke at "The All In Summit 2022" Monday afternoon at 2 p.m. ET on video, and the media was not permitted to come to the event, per Bloomberg. The event is an offshoot of the eponymous podcast, which covers "all things economic, tech, political, social, and poker," according to its Twitter bio.The All In event website promised "three days of discussions, belly laughs, poker, and fine wine with the besties," and included speakers like Nate Silver, editor in chief of FiveThirtyEight, and Keith Rabois of Founders Fund. Twitter and Elon Musk did not respond to a request for comment. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytMay 16th, 2022