Cyber Monday Twitter Update

Image by Mediamodifier from Pixabay

Today is Cyber Monday. If you need a break from searching for those last minute deals…here’s some Twitter news from the past few days:

Elon Musk is gloating “Twitter new user signups at an ‘all-time high'”.

A month after completing his takeover of Twitter, Elon Musk says new user signups are at an “all-time high.” On Saturday evening, the billionaire shared a slide deck that details the current state of Twitter and his vision for the platform. As of November 16th, Twitter was adding more than 2 million new users per day over the last seven days, according to one of the graphs Musk shared. He added daily signups are up 66 percent compared to the same seven-day period in 2021.


However, those figures are very likely skewed by bots (which was Musk’s reason for trying to back out of the deal in June). Seems bots invaded Twitter shortly after the protests from the fatal fire in Xinjiang, China began late last week. Twitter staff cuts enabled spam porn deluge that drowned out China protest news. There already has been issues with content moderation specially removing pirated/copyright content in a timely matter. On Saturday, November 19th someone posted  the entire The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift movie on Twitter (in a series of 48 2-Minute Tweets).

This weekend, widespread protests erupted in China in what amounted to “the biggest show of opposition to the ruling Communist Party in decades,” AP News reported. Many protesters attempted to document events live to spread awareness and inspire solidarity across Twitter. Demonstrations were so powerful that Chinese authorities actually seemed to cave, appeasing some of the protesters’ demands by easing the severe lockdown restrictions that sparked the protests.

This could have been a moment that showed how Twitter under Elon Musk is still a relevant breaking-news source, still a place where free speech demonstrations reach the masses, and thus, still the only place to track escalating protests like these. Instead, The Washington Post reported that a flood of “useless tweets” effectively buried live footage from protests. This blocked users from easily following protest news, while Twitter seemingly did nothing to stop what researchers described as an apparent Chinese influence operation.

Twitter Employees in Europe are not being paid (at least on time). Is this a warning sign of the upcoming Twitter apocalypse aka bankruptcy? Sounds like a ‘banking’ issue and not on Twitter’s end. Though we would not be surprised if Musk unknowingly laid-off/fired (or they quit) most of Twitter’s payroll department (much like their official communications department).

“It has come to our attention that some of you may not have received your November 2022 salary yet in your bank account,” an email sent to current and former staff reads. “The payments have gone through our Twitter bank account, and as usual, with no change to the process.”

The email says this “might be a delay in Interbank settlement” but adds the company is “actively investing [sic] with our bank and will keep you posted.”

While on the subject of Twitter’s European operations, Twitter’s Brussel’s office has been closed. This location did not have a very large staff to begin with an after lay-offs and Musk’s Twitter 2.0 ultimatum, there were none left.

Twitter’s Brussels office is no more, according to reports, which could make it more difficult for the company to adhere to new European Union regulations regarding content moderation. The number of people employed at the office dropped from six to two after new owner Elon Musk cut the workforce in half. The remaining executives, Julia Mozer and Dario La Nasa, left Twitter last week, according to the Financial Times — just as Musk told employees to commit to his vision for a “hardcore” Twitter 2.0 or leave.

A bit forgotten about with all the other Twitter news over the past month was a massive Data Breach back in July which exposes over 5.4 million accounts.

Earlier this year, Twitter confirmed that the private user data for 5.4 million users was stolen due to an API vulnerability, but the company said it had “no evidence” that it was exploited. Now, all of those accounts have been exposed on a hacker form, BleepingComputer has reported. On top of that, an additional 1.4 million Twitter profiles for suspended users was reportedly shared privately, and an even larger data dump with the data of “tens of millions” of other users may have come from the same vulnerability.