Twitter on life support: Musk is ruining beloved social media platform

By Michael Haag | Sports Editor

Twitter is used for many things. For some, it’s an outlet for the latest news, both local and national, but it may also be a source of entertainment. Since its creation in 2006, Twitter has been an integral part of social media, and over the last decade, it has grown a strong presence.

However, in recent weeks following a leadership change, there is a clear downhill trend regarding the app. The social media service has turned for the worse, and there’s one person to thank for that: Elon Musk, the cofounder and CEO of Tesla who completed the $44 billion purchase of Twitter in late October.

What has become apparent very quickly is that Musk and Twitter mix about as well as oil and water.

It’s been bad. Many of the company’s executives and high-ranking officials have been laid off or fired at the hands of Musk’s wrath. In addition to this, the verified check is an absolute joke now.

Musk made a promise to those who subscribed to “Twitter Blue” that they would receive the verified check. It’s the same symbol that government officials, news reporters and celebrities have to let people know they are official figures.

Twitter Blue costs $7.99 a month, giving anyone the option to get the verified check. This instigates impersonation and internet trolling. Now, I’m all for the memes from time to time to get a quick laugh, but when my job involves sports coverage, I’d rather not have to take extra time to verify whether or not the tweet I’m seeing is legit or not.

It’s annoying and pointless. The good thing is, Twitter allows you to click the person’s check mark on their profile and see whether it’s because they’re a Twitter Blue subscriber or they’re actually verified.

You would think a “verified” check was self explanatory and wouldn’t need to be looked into, but it seems consumers have to be on their toes even more now.

Ever since Musk bullied his way into becoming the owner of Twitter, he has always been vague about his ideals and what he is going to bring to the application. He spouts all this free speech nonsense but is also making it a commercial business.

Those do not go together at all. Musk must drink orange juice after brushing his teeth, because for Twitter to be completely open and free like he views it, it would have to be nonprofit. There’s no coexisting between free ideals and selling a blue check.

This is an absolute dumpster fire of a project so far, and maybe he has a plan for all of this. Who knows? But at this present moment, it’s not looking good. In just a few days since taking over, Musk has left Twitter bankruptcy in the cards, banned remote work and fired half the staff. Some of that staff includes executives and even the CEO. He has also suggested half of the social media’s profit comes from subscriptions, which is not even remotely close to a flex.

As someone in the media, I hope Musk has a plan and preserves Twitter for what it’s meant to be. Maybe in the coming weeks, the application will stop losing money and make a turnaround for the better. Twitter will either become the Tesla of social media or turn into Vine — an app that had its run of dominance before vanishing before our eyes.

Michael Haag is a third year Journalism student from Floresville, a small town about 30 miles south of San Antonio. Haag is entering his third year at the Lariat and is hoping to continue developing his sports reporting skill set. After graduation, he plans to work on a Master’s degree in Journalism in order to one day teach at the college level. He does, however, plan on becoming a sports reporter for a publication after grad school.