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7 X Controversies Under Elon Musk Besides Allowing Pornography

11 June 2024 15:35 WIB

TEMPO.CO, JakartaAmerican billionaire Elon Musk has been making headlines since acquiring the social media platform X, formerly Twitter, in October 2022. Most recently, he allows X users to openly share consensually produced and distributed pornographic content.

Previously, Twitter did not explicitly prohibit adult content, and the platform had even become a space for creators of NSFW (not safe for work) content, especially after the launch of Twitter Blue, now known as X Premium, which allows creators to monetize their content similar to the platform OnlyFans.

Here is a list of seven other controversies related to X under Elon Musk's leadership:

1. Changing the Twitter Logo

Musk's decision to change the platform's logo from a blue bird to a white X on a black background on July 24, 2023, sparked public debate. The blue bird has been a Twitter icon for 17 years since it was designed in 2012. He also changed the name of Twitter's parent company to X Corp.

2. Closing Journalists’ Accounts 

On January 9, 2024, X unilaterally shut down several accounts belonging to well-known left-wing journalists, including Ken Klippenstein of The Intercept and Steven Monacelli of the Texas Observer, for allegedly criticizing X's owner.

These accounts were reactivated later that day, with no explanation for the suspension. The shutdown also affected the accounts of several journalists and commentators, including podcaster Rob Rousseau and Alan MacLeod of MintPress News. Each of their profiles reads "X closed accounts that violated X rules.

3. Suspending Journalists' Accounts

In December 2022, X suspended the accounts of ten journalists who had criticized Musk. Among them were CNN reporter Donie O'Sullivan and Washington Post reporter Drew Harwell. X also briefly suspended the account of Mastodon, a software that has features similar to X. At the time, Musk claimed that they could regain access after seven days.

The accounts of several independent journalists were also suspended, including Aaron Rupar, Tony Webster, New York Times reporter Ryan Mac, Mashable's Matt Binder, The Intercept's Micah Lee, Voice of America's Steve Herman, and Keith Olbermann.

4. Massive Layoffs

Upon becoming the new owner of Twitter, Musk fired several executives, including Chief Executive Parag Agrawal, Chief Financial Officer Ned Sagal, and Head of Legal and Policy Affairs Vijaya Gadde. Musk claimed this was necessary to cut large severance payments. He also terminated the employment contracts of up to 80 percent of Twitter employees.

The move comes after the platform reportedly lost money in the decade leading up to the acquisition. Twitter only managed to make an annual profit twice before being acquired by Musk.

5. Paid blue ticks

Elon Musk started charging for blue ticks in an effort to monetize services and create a social media network that does not rely on advertising. The blue tick, previously used to verify high-profile accounts or large organizations, is now offered as a paid feature. Users with a blue tick get exclusive features.

Users with a blue tick get exclusive features for a subscription fee of US$8 per month, such as a few ads, search priority, tweet editing, tweets up to 4,000 characters, and video uploads up to 2 gigabytes (GB). 

6. Limiting Users

In July 2023, Elon Musk announced a new policy to limit the number of tweets that users can read to 10,000 per day for verified accounts, 1,000 per day for old unverified accounts, and 500 per day for new unverified accounts. He said the policy was aimed at overcoming extreme levels of data scraping and system manipulation. 

7. Removing Employees’ Days of Rest

Elon Musk is known as a hard worker and his employees are expected to follow suit. In the hope that employees can work as productively and optimally as he does, he eliminated the Days of Rest program, which granted employees a day off per month outside of their regular leave.

KHUMAR MAHENDRA | MARVELA | ANANDA BINTANG PURWARAMDHONA | RINDI ARISKA | NABIILA AZZAHRA | ZACHARIAS WURAGIL

Editor's Choice: Indonesia Threatens to Block X If Pornography Still Allowed

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