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Police Halt Elon Musk’s Attempt to Remove Twitter Sign From HQ After Rebranding

Elon Musk’s efforts to rebrand Twitter as X are not going as smoothly as planned. While workers were trying to remove the company’s old name and famed bird logo from the front face of its headquarters, police intervened.

The local police department stopped the impromptu renovation Monday afternoon, citing the act as “unauthorized work.” The authorities say the social media company failed to notify the building’s owner and security about its intention to remove the sign from its San Francisco headquarters.

After the incident, a representative for the police department shared with The Associated Press in an email that no crime had been committed. The police were trying to ascertain if Twitter had a permit to close Market Street and block a lane of traffic.

“Officers assigned to Tenderloin Station responded to the area of 10th and Market streets regarding a report of a possible unpermitted street closure. Through their investigation, officers were able to determine that no crime was committed and this incident was not a police matter.”

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By the time the work had been interrupted, only the old Twitter logo and the letters “er” remained. On Sunday, Musk had tweeted, “And soon we shall bid adieu to the Twitter brand and gradually, all the birds.” Later that day, he shared on the platform that the bird logo would be replaced with the letter X.

X.com now points to https://twitter.com/. Interim X logo goes live later today.”

However, users like NYTimes Tech Reporter @Rmac18 tweeted, the hyperlink redirected many users to a GoDaddy landing page.

“Despite this, X dot com is still redirecting some people (including myself) to a GoDaddy site with ads for sectional sofas.”

The New York Times reported that Musk renamed conference rooms in the building, incorporating the letter X. Some titles seen in photos include “s3Xy,” “eXposure,” and “eXult.” The letter X was also projected into the cafeteria.

Musk has made a number of controversial changes to the site since he purchased the social media platform for $44 billion last year, the most recent being the name change to X. Many of these amendments to the platform, with its lax moderation policies, have driven advertisers off the website.

He has also been accused of not holding up his alleged “free-speech absolutist” philosophy. Aside from his supporters, users claim that the new paid Twitter Blue subscription directly puts a price on speech, amplifying his supporters while dampening the reach of his opponents or those who cannot afford it.

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Users with left-wing views and progressive activists are seeing their accounts suspended with no explanation. He was recently accused of removing the community-based fact-check under one of his tweets inciting vaccine hesitancy.

Earlier this month, Musk told CNN that the company was struggling with its finances, citing a 50% drop in advertising revenue and a negative cash flow.

In a tweet about the rebranding, Twitter’s new chief executive Linda Yaccarino praised taking the platform in a new direction.

“It’s an exceptionally rare thing – in life or in business – that you get a second chance to make another big impression. Twitter made one massive impression and changed the way we communicate. Now, X will go further, transforming the global town square.”

However, analysts say that this move could end up costing Twitter. Mike Proulx, research director and vice president at Forrester, said in a blog post that given the drop in revenue and negative cash flow, ditching the Twitter name will damage the platform further.

“This is far from a position of strength from which to attempt what is essentially an app relaunch — a move that will only alienate more users and more advertisers. While Musk’s vision is to turn “X” into an “everything app,” this takes time, money, and people — three things that the company no longer has. Disenfranchised Twitter users will increasingly turn to Threads while Musk’s company continues to lose money. Simply put, X’s runway is coming to an end.”

Tweet

Elon Musk Among Witnesses Expected to Take the Stand This Week in Tesla Tweet Trial

Elon Musk is among the expected witnesses to appear this week in the ongoing federal trial accusing him of deceptively driving up the price of Tesla stock by tweeting about taking the company private, which never happened.

The August 2018 tweet in question stated that Musk had “secured” funding to take Tesla private at $420 per share. The company’s stock was slumping at the time due to production problems.

Tesla shareholders filed a class-action lawsuit suing Musk for billions of dollars in damages for money investors say they lost after the tweet inflated share price. The trial, taking place in San Francisco, is expected to last for three weeks. 

Investor Glen Littleton from Kansas City, Missouri, is seeking damages on behalf of shareholders who traded the company’s stock in the days after Musk’s tweet. 

Littleton had purchased Tesla investments with hopes that the automaker’s stock would eventually be worth far more than $420. Upon seeing Musk’s tweet, he felt compelled to sell his Tesla stock options since he knew the completed deal would have rendered them worthless. 

He stated he sold off most of his Tesla positions to try and limit his losses, but even after doing so, the value of his Tesla portfolio plunged by 75%.

“The damage was done. I was in a state of shock.”

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The case’s outcome may depend on whether Musk knowingly raised Tesla’s stock price by tweeting that he had secured money for a $72 billion takeover of the business. The stock plummeted in value when it became apparent that he lacked the funding to complete the deal a week later. 

On Wednesday, Nicholas Porritt, lead attorney for the investors, told the trial’s jury of nine that “millions of dollars were lost when his lies were exposed.” 

“Why are we here? We are here because Elon Musk, chairman and chief executive of Tesla, lied. His lies caused regular people like Glen Littleton to lose millions and millions of dollars.” 

Porritt also pointed out that not only did Musk’s tweet cause investors to lose money, but it also affected pension funds and other organizations that owned Tesla stock.

The trial’s presiding judge, U.S. District Judge Edward Chen, has already ruled that Musk’s tweet was false and reckless. 

Porritt took advantage of the judge’s verdict and told the jury they should presume Musk’s tweet was false, which the judge permitted.

“When the CEO of a public company like Tesla lies about his company and hurts investors, it’s critical that he is held accountable for that harm that he causes.”

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In his opening statements, Musk’s attorney Alex Spiro insisted that Musk was “serious” about the buyout when he tweeted about securing funding.

“You will come to learn very soon that this was not fraud, not even close.”

Spiro argued that the rise in Tesla’s stock price after the tweet was due to investors’ faith in Musk’s capabilities and reputation as a visionary.

“Mr. Musk tries to do things that have never been done before. Everyone knows that.”

According to Spiro, Musk and representatives from the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia had already discussed taking Tesla private.

“He didn’t plan to tweet this. It was a split-second decision.”

Spiro said Musk used the “wrong words” in a rush to be transparent about the potential deal with the Saudi fund.

Musk is on the witness list for both sides of the case. Porritt told The Associated Press that Musk is expected to take the stand when the trial resumes on Friday, if time permits, or on Monday.

twitter

Elon Musk Plans Widescale Layoffs Across Twitter

Shortly after assuming control of Twitter, Elon Musk ordered managers to draft a list of employees to be laid off, according to four people who declined to be identified out of fear of retaliation. The company currently employs around 7,500 people.

Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion and took the company private on Thursday once the deal was completed. He informed investors that he planned to trim its workforce significantly, open the platform to more advertising, and implement lenient content moderation policies.

The layoffs will likely occur before Nov. 1. Employees designated for termination would have received stock grants as part of their compensation on that date. Typically, grants constitute a substantial portion of employee pay. If Musk terminates workers before that date, he may avoid paying out the awards, although the current merger deal requires him to pay the employees in cash in place of stock for “any equity that would have vested within three months from their last day at the company.”

Ross Gerber, CEO of Gerber Kawasaki Wealth & Investment Management, reported that Jared Birchall, head of Musk’s family office, informed him that layoffs were imminent. His company contributed less than $1 million to help finance Musk’s takeover of Twitter.

“I was told to expect somewhere around 50 percent of people will be laid off.”

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Musk arrived at the company’s San Francisco headquarters on Wednesday and assumed control on Thursday, immediately firing several Twitter executives. Chief executive officer Parag Agarwal, chief financial officer Ned Segal, former general counsel Sean Edgett, and former policy and legal executive Vijaya Gadde were among those let go.

It is improbable that Musk will pay the complete severance package of $20 million to $60 million planned for the executives. Musk fired the executives “for cause,” which could render the severance agreement invalid.

He also informed advertisers of his intention to transform Twitter into the “most respected advertising platform in the world.” Musk initially indicated that he wanted the platform to be a haven for “free speech.” However, he has revealed that he intends to organize a council to determine content moderation procedures and has yet to decide which previously banned high-profile accounts, such as former President Donald Trump’s account, will be reinstated. 

He reassured advertisers with a tweet addressed to them that “Twitter obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences!”

“The reason I acquired Twitter is because it is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence. There is currently great danger that social media will splinter into far-right wing and far left-wing echo chambers that generate more hate and divide our society.”

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The Verge reports that Musk is also considering charging users $20 per month to maintain their blue check mark and verified account status. Musk told some employees that they needed to prepare to implement the new feature by Nov. 7 or they would be fired from their position at Twitter. One employee said Musk utilizes “textbook dictator tactics: sowing fear and confusion.”

Twitter users are concerned that the lack of content moderation could lead to an increase in misinformation and hate speech. On Sunday, Musk himself tweeted a link to a website circulating a baseless conspiracy theory about the Oct. 28 attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi. He has since deleted the tweet. Many prominent users, such as New York Times columnist Charles Blow and actress Jameela Jamil, have stated that they will abandon the platform now that Musk owns it.

NBA star LeBron James tweeted about a report by the Network Contagion Research Institute, which showed that racial slurs on the platform increased by nearly 500 percent in the 12 hours after Musk’s Twitter acquisition was finalized.

“I don’t know Elon Musk and, tbh, I could care less who owns Twitter. But I will say that if this is true, I hope he and his people take this very seriously because this is scary. “

Elon Musk Has Plans For Twitter As The Company’s Largest Shareholder

The richest man in the world, Elon Musk, has become Twitter’s largest shareholder with a 9.2% stake in the company. Musk immediately took to Twitter to announce some of his plans for the social media site.

Tesla Cybertruck

Tesla Unveils Unique, Angular “Cybertruck”

Yesterday, Tesla introduced the newest entry in its line of electric vehicles, the sci-fi inspired “Cybertruck.” With a design resembling no other consumer vehicle on the market, the Cybertruck features a completely angular aesthetic, and Tesla founder Elon Musk described it as inspired by the visuals of Blade Runner. The vehicle’s design came as a surprise to members of the press, as the truck’s appearance was not leaked ahead of the event, an accomplishment for Tesla during a time when technology is frequently leaked to the press before being officially unveiled. While rumors had circulated that Tesla was designing a pickup truck, no one had predicted that it would look so unusual, appearing more like a prop in a science-fiction movie than a real consumer product.

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During Tesla’s press event, the Cybertruck was marketed for its unique and unusual characteristics, and the presenters made it abundantly clear that nothing else like it exists on the market today. The truck has a stainless-steel “ultimate exoskeleton,” as Tesla calls it, and in order to demonstrate the strength of the truck’s exterior, an on-stage presenter hit the truck with a sledgehammer, leaving no visible mark. Musk claimed the truck was “literally bulletproof,” as its exterior is able to withstand shots from a 9mm handgun. Musk also made bold claims about the strength of the glass used in the truck’s windshield and windows, and tried to demonstrate this strength by having someone throw a metal ball at it; however, in a moment that prompted laughter from the audience, the metal ball shattered the drivers’ side window, and then shattered the truck’s rear drivers’ side window when the demonstration was tried again.

Musk has said that he doesn’t care whether people like the design of the truck

The truck has several distinctive features; most strikingly, the design features virtually no curves, instead being shaped by triangles and quadrilaterals. Though the vehicle does not resemble a pickup truck, it features 100 square feet of lockable exterior storage and a payload limit of up to 3,500 pounds. The Cybertruck has an adaptive tire pressure system, allowing drivers to adjust the ride height of the vehicle depending on the situation using a built-in air compressor. Additionally, Tesla advertised an electric ATV, called the “Cyberquad,” which can be stored in the truck’s bed, allowing the truck to recharge the ATV’s battery. Though it appears to be an optional accessory for the Cybertruck, Tesla has not yet announced if and when the Cyberquad will be available for purchase.

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Elon Musk boasted impressive statistics for the truck’s performance, both on the road and off. On-road, the fully-upgraded model of the truck accelerates from 0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds and can drive a quarter mile in 10.8 seconds. And when used off-road, the truck has “the best approach angle, clearance height, and departure angle,” according to Musk. Additionally, the vehicle comes in three battery capacity options, allowing a range of 250 miles, 300 miles, and 500 miles, respectively. The Cybertruck includes Tesla’s autopilot technology as a standard option, with an additional upgrade enabling full self-driving capabilities as soon as the software is authorized for widespread use. The truck starts at $39,900 for the single motor AWD option; other options include dual motor AWD for $49,900 and triple motor AWD for $69,900.

Reactions to the unique truck’s unveiling were predictably mixed. Many were skeptical of the “outlandish” product, with some going so far as to question whether Tesla was “for real.” Others called the vehicle “a niche product at best,” questioning its commercial viability. Journalists had a chance to take a ride in the Cybertruck, which features a starkly minimalistic interior and spacious, comfortable seating. While no one argued that any part of the unveiling was boring, many questioned the practicality of such a vehicle, and suggested that the design was too weird for the product to enjoy mass-market success. Musk has said that he doesn’t care whether people like the design of the truck, and this lack of concern for the general public’s opinion certainly informed the vehicle’s appearance.