Reactions, And Worries, As Musk Twitter’s Takeover Is Finalized
Elon Musk’s $44 Billion takeover of Twitter was completed last week, with Musk officially becoming the owner and de-facto CEO of the influential social media platform. The drawn-out saga of the acquisition, which at times seemed like it would fall through, marks the beginning of a new chapter for a platform now run by one of its most prominent users. Musk’s ownership has raised new questions about content moderation, rules around speech, and other fundamental questions about what Twitter (and by proxy, social media) should even be. The takeover, with Musk being a self-proclaimed advocate for “free speech,” has spurred a sharp increase in derogatory posts from trolls, according to the nonprofit Network Contagion Research Institute. While Musk sought to assuage the fears of advertisers by saying the platform would not become a “free-for-all hellscape,” some prominent corporate advertisers already appear to be wary of the change in discourse on the platform.
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[00:00:00] This week on the nonprofit newsfeed, we are talking about some of the reactions, concerns, and worries of the Elon Musk Twitter takeover. We’re now in a post Twitter ownership world and a post Halloween year. A lot of scary times, right? Nick? Look at that transition. Look at that transition. . Good, Good transition.
[00:00:49] Uh, we got a lot of spooky things happening. The midterms are only week, a week away. That’s pretty spooky enough. Uh, so we got a lot to cover today, but George, to your point, Uh, our big story for the week is reactions and Worries. Has Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover is finalized? So Elon Musk, $44 billion takeover of Twitter was completed last week with Musk officially becoming the owner and de facto CEO actually of the influential social media platform after he fired.
[00:01:24] Previous senior executives the drawn out saga of the acquisition, which at times seemed to , seemed like it would fall through Marks the beginning of a new chapter for a platform now run by one of its most prominent users. Musk’s ownership has immediately raised new questions about content moderation, rules around speech, and other fundamental questions about what Twitter could should.
[00:01:50] Being and even social media more broadly. We wanted to highlight, uh, one non-profit and network contagion Research Institute has tracked a sharp increase in interrogatory posts from trolls. It would seem not necessarily because of any decision, but that trolls feel emboldened, uh, by must taking ownership must himself.
[00:02:13] Is a quote unquote advocate of what he calls free speech, even though that’s not entirely, uh, descriptor, uh, a specific descriptor. Anyway we’re kind of in a new year, uh, of Twitter ownership and we have some really big questions that are gonna need answering and seems like they are going to be answered at a certain point of.
[00:02:38] A volatile time for one of the most important social media platforms on Earth towards what’s your take?
[00:02:43] My take is it’s complicated. If you find yourself immediately racing to cancel Elon Musk to cancel Twitter, to cancel communication, I, I would question. How that plays out over time. You know what I would say is anyone lamenting the golden days of Twitter? Clearly never used Twitter. Twitter is a dumpster, It is a dumpster of emotional reaction in short tweet form.
[00:03:13] It really, uh, at its best, you know, has allowed, uh, the walls to come down for communication between like nation states and celebrities. Like this is an interesting. Platform. It’s undeniable that it is powerful. However, it is also a bit of a cesspool, and it is dealing with questions that are effectively holding up the mirror to the communications, uh, the arguments of what truth is, and it’s, it is complicated, is the answer.
[00:03:43] And so I like seeing nonprofits step up and show, you know, things like this sharp increase in derogatory posts from troll. And holding, you know, the, the moderators, the, the people that control the day to day at, uh, Twitter, you know, hold them, hold them to account, uh, as every social media platform should be.
[00:04:04] His vision, I think, really should be looked at in isolation of, you know, which media outlet you’re choosing to listen to an attack. What is actually happening? What we’re actually seeing is the fragmentation of social networks to create even more isolated pockets of communication and vitriol. What does that mean?
[00:04:26] Look at parlor. Look at, you know, truth, social. What is happening is not good. That is not a good thing. You don’t want the public commons, the ability for Americans. Americans to speak with each other to be fragmented into pockets of the internet where voices become angrier, louder, and frankly less moderated.
[00:04:50] Making Twitter that place, although it may piss off, obviously both sides, making Twitter a place where in an ideal world, everyone can just sort of scream at each other, but at least sometimes hear each other is a better place. I would argue. Than extremist groups, people, thoughts becoming more extreme in fragmented social networks.
[00:05:16] So in that vision, I believe in the process of getting there, Boy, this is gonna be messy. Yeah. George, I, I agree with you there about the problem of fragmentation. I think I’m a little bit more worried. By Elon Musk in particular because I truly don’t necessarily, he know what, how, or how much he’s given critical thought to some really, really thorny issues that the platform is facing and will have to face, especially around election integrity issues like active disinformation issues, cybersecurity issues, right?
[00:05:56] What happens if someone’s able to hack Zelensky account, right? Like there are are real national security issues at play, and I, I think my trust in him is not very high because over the weekend, uh, Musk tweeted an article. Uh, basically spreading disinformation about the, uh, speaker, uh, Pelosi’s husband and the attacker.
[00:06:23] And from a, from a known kind of disinformation website and actually deleted the tweet, but in deleting the tweet, also criticized the New York Times for covering him that he, in fact, did in fact tweet that. You know, trolls do as troll are, and then that’s kind of his modus opera in that platform.
[00:06:41] That’s not like a like a new thing, but my perspective is that the bulk of these users on the platforms are actually not American. They’re foreign users. And I think that social media has shaped global events, not necessarily for the better. And I think. I worry that he hasn’t necessarily grasped the enormity of that kind of responsibility in the context, not just of America, where comparatively we have stable political institutions, minimal political violence comparatively right to other places.
[00:07:22] And, you know, it remains, it remains to be seen. I’m not, Yeah, that’s, that’s my take. I’m not sure he is grasped the enormity of the issue. I have to agree. Inexcusable to be posting something with that level of conspiracy meets stupidity in literally the opening hours of ownership. He did delete it is learning.
[00:07:45] I think the folks that. Say Elon Musk has figured out, you know, rocket science, he can figure out this. I would argue that rockets are easy, they’re predictable, they follow physics, Social science. Social science at scale has not been done, Has not been done well, and we’re still figuring it out. And you’re right, it’s not just Americans.
[00:08:04] I’m looking at just the sort of American view of this. But yes, this is an international platform and there are a lot of questions to be answered, but what I will say is, The past trajectory of what Twitter was doing. You know, you can, you can dance on the fact that they banned Trump for all you want. The, the truth is, on a day to day basis, they were, I believe, doing harm in the features algorithms in way that the platform was fundamentally designed.
[00:08:33] Something needed to change, I think must, needs to learn that he’s no longer a user of this platform. In the same way that I think Bezos has learned that owning a Washington Post comes with a certain amount of responsibility. I’d say the paper has held up under that type of ownership, but it is a, a different level of power and you can’t use your account anymore for this sort of shock value marketing that he has done in the.
[00:09:01] Yeah, I agree. Uh, Mark Zuckerberg’s gotten dragged in front of Congress to talk about stuff that’s happened on that platform. Like Elon has now assumed that responsibility for his platform. So yeah, I guess we’ll see. Truth be told, I wish he stuck the rockets in physics, not social science. I think he has made this assumption would been so much more liked.
[00:09:24] Yeah. I don’t know. I wonder if we’re just watching a modern day IOUs do IOUs stuff. I hope not. Yeah. Smart guy. Like doing good stuff too, but yeah. All right. Shall I take us into our next story, George? Oh, on the last point, I hope nonprofits listening, don’t pick up their toys. I think they choose and hope to choose to participate, to hold up a mirror, to be a part of that group.
[00:09:53] Uh, because only bad things happen when we refuse to talk to each other.
[00:09:57] Yeah, I think that’s fair. And for better, for worse, people are still on it, right? You don’t wanna self. Segment who you’re talking to especially if you’re mission, and I think, I think he’s gonna be bringing in opportunities for financial transactions, for fundraising opportunities to turn something that Twitter has ignored forever.
[00:10:17] The ability to, I don’t know, compensate creators. And in doing so, you’re going to see opportunities open up.
[00:10:24] Yeah, I think there is a potential point for opportunity. I guess we’ll see changes by the minute, . Uh, alright, I’ll take us into our next story. And this comes from the Salt Lake Tribune and it’s about how a mental health workforce crisis has these nonprofits retooling office culture. So it actually talks about specific nonprofits in the, uh, Salt Lake area, uh, including.
[00:10:53] An organization called Odyssey House and First Step House, talking about how they’re focusing on non-profit employee retention, uh, by doing things to address burnout and other mental health issues like moving to a four day work week. I think it’s no secret that non-profits have struggled, especially with the onset of the pandemic to hire and maintain staff.
[00:11:18] Particularly. For a whole host of reasons. But just kind of an interesting story about how some nonprofits are, are trying to address some of those those underlying issues with, uh, nonprofit staff that are quite frankly working in supporting supportive housing services as a, it can be a, a, a pretty intense job, right?
[00:11:40] Like these are, you’re working with folks who are in really precarious situations in their life. So I think that this is an interesting. For staff retention. Yeah, retention and attraction. The problem is this isn’t a copy paste for any organization. This isn’t a panacea. The truth is, if you are dealing with something like childcare, it’s not like the children don’t need care on Fridays.
[00:12:04] If you’re dealing with at risk individuals in communities, it’s not like everyone takes off on Friday. It’s not like the elderly don’t need meals in company on Friday. So I think it works when it works. If you are thinking about trying this, I would try it in small doses amounts. I will say whole Whale has done half day Fridays for the summer, and the team enjoys it.
[00:12:33] I’ll give you a visual cue. Nick is, is, is definitely doing the fists raise there. I would test it in small doses to see the. Unintended consequences to your community that may result in taking off Fridays. That said, if possible, it seems like it, it can and does work and you know, frankly, it gives you that advantage.
[00:12:53] Yeah, I think it’s a, it’s a fair point. It’s something, it’s something interesting that’s not related to budget. You don’t need, uh, you don’t need to switch things around in the budget to experiment with you. A four day work week, you know, that trickles down. Right? But, but it’s kind of one of those creative things that you can think about.
[00:13:14] If, if money for, for hiring is tight. Yeah. I mean, you’re decreasing your labor by 20%. That’s what you’re effectively doing. You had X hours, you have 20% less hours simply by saying that. And it’s an important thing to note, especially. Time on task is something that your impact is inextricably linked to.
[00:13:33] I e come back to hours of children, watched numbers of conversations and meals delivered to the elderly. Like you will simply be reducing your impact by 20% in many impact our linked types of philanthropy. That, and that maybe what needs to happen. I wouldn’t just say, Hey, here’s a good idea. Let’s just do this tomorrow.
[00:14:02] You know, test it. Rest. Look at what happened. , definitely, definitely. All right, George. This next one is an academic article with an abstract that I’m not even gonna pretend to know that I understand. So I was gonna pass it to you right off the bat. Can you least say the title of the article or the Sure.
[00:14:25] This is from nature.com from the Journal of Nature Medicine, and the title is Swarm Learning for Decentralized Artificial Intelligence in Cancer, Histopath. If that doesn’t explain it, I don’t know what does. First off, right away, I have to say this is what’s wrong with science. The, the use and the excitement cases here, I’ll just break down very quickly.
[00:14:52] Obviously I have a bias or paying attention to all things, uh, blockchain and also ai, and this is a marriage of both, basically what is happening here. A bunch of smart researchers were trying to use the same medical data. Medical data needs to be carefully controlled, anonymized, not centrally controlled, and in order to collaborate in a sort of trustless way, they are using the Ethereum blockchain to basically load all of this data control access to make sure it’s not shared the wrong way, and then they can sort of allow.
[00:15:25] Doors that are secure, open to the various researchers to run on the same way, in the same, uh, in the same controlled. There are different AI models that are finding solutions to various types of, of cancer and cancer treatment. So, you know, it is, it is a, a buzzword, bingo, fill in the card, but practical use cases being, uh, done, not just, Oh, wouldn’t it be cool if this is, uh, practically being, so if you care about cancer, take a look at this cuz it’s interesting.
[00:16:01] Boy. Yeah. That it’s a sleep, It’s a sleeper. It’s , it’s a lot of buzzwords. I love me a good abstract, but I do have to say that the first sentence of the abstract is artificial intelligence can predict the presence of molecular alterations directly from routine histopathology slides. And, uh, that’s where you lost me.
[00:16:23] But George, you, you managed to excite me more than the abstract entitle. Yeah, we’re, we’re solving the answer. Hey everybody, look at a bunch of these pictures. What do you see? We need a bunch of these pictures. Looked at the same way. What do you see here? And the truth is there’s a lot of data that needs to be controlled, flowed, and then, you know, run AI processing on it to find these types of insights.
[00:16:47] This is good thing . It’s a good thing. No, this is really cool. Uh, AI for. Super geeky and like, I, I’m not gonna stop. I’m like, I’m always slipping it in there. You’re like, how does that qualify as nonprofit news? Eh, it’s cuz it’s our show. That’s how the, the editorial oversight committee has been slacking.
[00:17:08] All right, I’ll take us to our next article. And this lo and behold, really, uh, on on, on brand for us, Uh, and on topic. Uh, George, this is an article written by, uh, the one and only you about, uh, uh, email fundraising, AI writer tool that is free for now and on brand. It’s scary. Good. I’ve given it a shot.
[00:17:36] What do we want listeners to know about this tool? You hear is talking a lot about it. This is a completely free demo that I have created that will write your fundraising email for you. And it’ll give you a great first draft because at the end of the year we are the collectively are creating so many appeals and asks to different audiences and different ways and like searching for language to freshen it up.
[00:18:01] So this, uh, AI tool is trained on some of the best fundraising emails and best practices out there. And you essentially write a sentence of write me a fundraising email for my organization. We do this and it is for Thanksgiving, It is for the holiday season, it is for Hanukkah, it is for whatever it may be.
[00:18:19] And it will turn it out for you and give you a great first draft. And it’s just a like, Oh, I get it. And it, you know, couldn’t be simpler. It’s a form waiting on a website. We’re paying for all of the backend costs of, uh, the G P T three open ai. API on a bunch of words we’re paying for go play with it. How about that?
[00:18:36] Uh, we also have, uh, another article in here from the Clooney Foundation for Justice. And this announcement, Michelle Obama, Melinda Gates, uh, Amal Clooney, announced collaboration to support adolescent girls education and help and child marriage. So in, I, I’ll just say anytime you see those names hanging out it’s worth paying attention.
[00:18:56] And so we, we included that. That’s the cfj dot. Uh, uh, announcement coming out. Yeah, George, that’s a really cool one, and I gotta give a shout out to Amal Clooney especially, but as well as George Clooney. Like you see a lot of celebrities who do kind of the, you know, the charity thing. But one, Amal Clooney is literally a professional and prominent international human rights lawyer.
[00:19:21] And two, they have a real foundation that does like, really, really important international human. Litigation and work. It’s like not only are they walking the walk, like they’re, they’re walking in the footsteps of their clients. Like it’s truly tremendous. So just like a shout out to them cuz they are awesome.
[00:19:41] And that’s the end of my sentence. Yeah. One quote in here, in so many places, the moment a girl becomes teenager, her options start to shrink. Often it means to. And end to her education or the beginning of a marriage, she did not choose. That’s why it’s so important, the advocates for women and girls pay special attention to this gravely important time in a girl’s life.
[00:20:02] And that’s from Linda Gates. So I completely agree, uh, on many levels and great to see this, uh, collaboration and hope to see more from it. Absolutely. All right, George, how about a feel good? All right, what do we got? All right. This one is from Yahoo News, but it’s about a Halloween non-profit bash attracting thousands and smashes, hundreds of pumpkins.
[00:20:30] So this took place on behalf of. The organization turn away no longer, which supports children entering the foster care system. And the Great Pumpkin Spa Smash is a free community event that also attempts to raise awareness and funds for this awesome cause. And I didn’t get my pumpkin smashing out on my system this year, and I feel like I’m, I’m missing out.
[00:20:58] Amazing fundraisers like this because let’s face it, there’s a lot of, uh, there’s a lot of things happening in the world and uh, I think we could all smash a pumpkin or two for a good cause. Yeah, it’s a great, it’s a great band and also a, a great cause Hopefully they were able to compost a lot of that. I could imagine.
[00:21:14] There’s sizable mess. All right, Nick, just because you know, just because we can, quick question for you. How much do pirates donate on.
[00:21:25] I don’t know. How much do pirates donate on average, George? A buck a year. Well, you put up with the podcast this long. That’s what you get. That’s what you get from making it to the end. All right, Nick. See you next time. See,