As Musk removes the safeguards over a half-million users’ personal data, how long will it take for hackers to steal personal data and ransom user accounts?
It’s no secret that Elon Musk is one of the most influential men in the world. Whether it’s in the world of technology, space exploration, or even the world of business, Musk is a force to be reckoned with. But ever since he became the CEO of Twitter, he has been making some decisions that have made people wonder what the future of Twitter if he remains in charge of Twitter. So, let’s explore the risk in Twitter, with Elon Musk playing the worst boss role.
Musk Takes Over Twitter, Reinstates Banned Accounts, and Steers the Ship in a New Direction
On Nov 2022, Elon Musk took over as CEO of Twitter. Since then, he has been making some radical changes to the platform. Most notably, he has been reinstating suspended and banned accounts, despite the outcry from many users. Those accounts include Donald Trump, Jordan Peterson, Babylon Bee, Kathy Griffin, Andrew Tate, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and many more.
Musk has long been a proponent of free speech and open communication, and he has been using Twitter as a platform to get his message out. The concern is that his radical changes could be a risk to the platform and to the people who use it. This has led some to question whether his decisions are being made in the best interest of the platform and its users or his own agenda.
Musk “Do-More” Demand for Workers – Runs Head On Into Empowered Workforce
The other major concern is Musk’s relationship with existing Twitter employees. Ever since he took over control of Twitter, he fired almost 5,000 employees, which is over 50% of the workforce. Then he asked the remaining workers to commit to “hardcore” mode or leave the company, which further resulted in hundreds of more resignations. Moreover, he is also actively firing employees that are criticizing him. So, it’s less than 2 months since Musk took over Twitter, and the platform is already being understaffed.
Although Musk wanted to reduce the workforce and make the platform more financially strong, he was also found in a miserable situation later on. Musk was seen asking the remaining employees who can actually write software to meet him in the office to help understand how Twitter software infrastructure work. Moreover, the Musk administration is also seen hiring back developers and other employees. So, from firing employees to asking them to work in extreme hardcore mode, this miserable workplace culture is not healthy for the platform.
Furthermore, Musk’s expectations could also lead to a drop in morale among employees. People who are expected to work more hours than they are comfortable with could spell disaster for the platform, as it would be hard to maintain a high level of productivity if people are not happy with how they are being treated.
Twitter Highly Dependent on Contractors Who Got Fired
Musk’s administration has fired over 80% of contract employees. As per reports, around 4,400 contractors out of 5,500 were fired by Twitter with no warning or formal notice. This massive layoff does not make sense when Twitter is highly dependent on contractors for many of the day-to-day functions of the platform. For example, there are contract employees working as content moderators to protect the platform from misinformation. But many of these contractors have been fired by Musk, leading to a decrease in the efficiency and reliability of the platform.
Moreover, this could be a huge risk in the long run, as the platform will have to find new contractors to fill the void. And if they cannot find highly skilled workers to take over from the departed contractors, then the platform could suffer greatly.
In addition, the loss of these contractors could lead to a drop in morale amongst the remaining employees. This could raise feelings of uncertainty and insecurity, eventually leading to a decrease in productivity. It is because the employees are less likely to be motivated to work hard when they feel like their job is in jeopardy. So, laying off contractors can damage Twitter in many ways.
Risk from Hackers Getting Key Logins – Taking the Entire Network Down
Twitter has been in an unrest position for the past two months. Musk has not just laid off a large fleet of workers but has also called more than 50 Tesla employees into Twitter, mostly software engineers. Moreover, Musk is asking the workers to do code reviews and fulfill his other aggressive demands.
All such activities are favorable to hackers because there are mostly some changes of loopholes that they can exploit. First, the massive layoff means that there are not enough workers left that can mediate security risks. As per a former employee, Twitter is so complicated that no one really understands how it works. So, many are wondering if hackers will actively try to exploit security loopholes to get key logins and make a severe impact on the network. However, the chances of the entire network going down are rare at the moment, but data breaches, glitches, and similar complications can arise.
Risk from Regulators (EU Regulators) That Will Fine Twitter for Illegal Behavior
Another major risk for Twitter is the potential for regulators to step in and impose fines for illegal behavior. The European Union has been particularly vocal about its desire to regulate the platform, and it could impose hefty fines for any violations of its laws, especially with the current miserable situation under the Musk administration.
Furthermore, the EU has the power to force Twitter to make changes to the platform. This could include changes to how the platform handles user data and how it deals with hate speech and other forms of abuse. In fact, Musk is also giving regulators an opportunity to call the platform for investigation. For example, the recent release of “Twitter Files 2.0” reveals more hidden practices of previous management, such as it shows how they secretly “backlisted” conservative accounts and tweets without the knowledge of users.
While it is unlikely that the EU will take drastic action against Twitter, the risk is still there. And this could have a huge impact on the platform, as it could lead to a decrease in user engagement because users may become wary of the platform if they feel like it is regulated too heavily.
Risk from Advertisers Who Will Not Participate in a Platform Perceived to Be Losing Ground
Another prominent risk to Twitter is from advertisers who may choose to pull their ads from the platform if it is perceived to be losing ground. It is because ever since Musk acquired Twitter and started doing prominent and strange changes, users are turning to alternatives, such as Mastodon. As per the MIT report, more than 1.3 million Twitter users left the platform after Musk bought it. But if we hear from Elon Musk, then he claims that “Twitter usage is at an all-time high”.
No matter what the real scenario is regarding the user base, Twitter has been in chaos for the past two months, which increases the risk that more advertisers might stop participating in promoting their brands on the platforms. If that becomes prominent, it can cause severe revenue damage, but it might also increase users’ engagement because they will be less bombarded with ads. So, it’s a double-edged sword for the platform.
Elon Musk’s recent aggressive actions have brought a lot of attention to Twitter. It’s hard to see any upside to this rapidly changing situation. From the potential of data breaches or server glitches to the risk of regulators imposing hefty fines or advertisers pulling their ads, there are many risks that could spell disaster for the platform.
At best, Musk will sell it back to the founders to rebuild it. Alternatively, Musk will learn from his mistakes and make the necessary changes to ensure the platform’s success. If he is able to do this, then Twitter could still become one of the most successful social media platforms in the world.