‘Immoral, dangerous!' Playbill Quits Twitter Amid Elon Musk Takeover Chaos

    Theatrical guide is latest brand to leave social network.

    By: BLOOMBERG
    | Updated on: Nov 12 2022, 13:15 IST
    Elon Musk Twitter Bankruptcy Talk: Timeline
    Twitter
    1/13 He’s told employees to brace themselves for long hours, that “the road ahead is arduous and will require intense work to succeed,” and said bankruptcy was possible. Here’s how the saga is unfolding: (Bloomberg)
    Twitter
    2/13 Oct. 27: Musk takes control- His first act is to fire the Board along with CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, head of legal Vijaya Gadde and Counsel Sean Edgett. Musk forms advisory team that includes celebrity attorney Alex Spiro, VC David Sacks, Neuralink CEO and head of Musk’s family office Jared Birchall, investor Jason Calacanis, and partner of Andreessen Horowitz Sriram Krishnan. (Reuters)
    Twitter
    3/13 Oct. 28: Brands begin to take pause- As Musk plans to unban accounts and says he will charge for user verification, advertisers suspend ads. (AFP)
    Elon Musk Twitter
    4/13 Oct. 31: Top tweeters protest- Amid murmurings of plans to charge existing verified accounts, author Steven King tweets, “$20 a month to keep my blue check? F**k that, they should pay me. If that gets instituted, I’m gone like Enron.” (AFP)
    Elon Musk
    5/13 Nov. 1: Teams working around the clock- The product team works over the weekend on Musk’s idea to charge users for blue check marks. A photo of product director Esther Crawford sleeping on the floor of a conference room, trying to make the deadline, goes viral. Meanwhile, managers are asked to make lists of who can be fired. Employees print out their software code for review by Musk and engineers from Tesla, to determine if their contributions are worthy of keeping a job. (REUTERS)
    Twitter
    6/13 Nov. 3: Massive layoffs begin- A memo is sent to all employees telling them of imminent layoffs and to watch for an email with the subject line: “Your Role at Twitter.” Badge access to offices is suspended as 3,700 staffers receive word that they’ve been cut. Realizing employees essential for the continuity of the business have been let go by mistake, some are asked to come back. (AP)
    Elon Musk Twitter
    7/13 Co-founder EV Williams tweets, “Heart’s out to the tweeps getting laid off today.” Co-founder Jack Dorsey adds, “I realize many are angry with me. I own the responsibility for why everyone is in this situation: I grew the company size too quickly. I apologize for that.” (REUTERS)
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    8/13 Nov. 5-6: Musk responds to celebrity protests- Unrest grows on the platform over the weekend, particularly over the issue of impersonator accounts. Actress Valerie Bertinelli starts a movement of people changing their Twitter names to “Elon Musk.” Comedian Kathy Griffin joins the protest, finds her account locked. Then Musk announces, “Going forward, any Twitter handles engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying `parody’ will be permanently suspended.” (AP)
    Twitter
    9/13 Nov. 8: Musk sells more Tesla- Despite a previous vow not to sell any more Tesla stock, Musk sells an additional $3.95 billion, bringing the total sold in past year to $36 billion. (REUTERS)
    twitter
    10/13 Nov. 9: Musk Blue tick mark- Blue check mark option becomes available for purchase, and immediately becomes a tool for impersonators. An account masquerading as Nintendo Inc. posts an image of Super Mario holding up a middle finger. (REUTERS)
    Elon Musk
    11/13 Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, and a close cadre of advisers are considering a host of changes to the way Twitter is run and makes money. (REUTERS)
    Twitter
    12/13 Nov. 10: More key executives quit as Musk warns of bankruptcy- In his first meeting with employees, Musk tells them to brace for 80-hour weeks and requires everyone back in the office full time. He also says bankruptcy for the company is not out of the question if it doesn’t start generating more cash. Several executives in charge of keeping Twitter safe and accountable to its users quit, including chief information security officer Lea Kissner, chief privacy officer Damien Kieran and chief compliance Marianne Fogarty.. (AFP)
    Twitter
    13/13 Nov. 11: Verified accounts get “Official” tags- Twitter adds badges that say “offiical” to verified accounts in some places, though confusion abounds. More brands depart the platform. (REUTERS)
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    Playbill quits Twitter. (REUTERS)

    In it's last tweet, Playbill told its more than 412,000 followers that as of Nov. 11, it will no longer be active on Twitter across its five accounts and warned, regardless of verification marks, “If you see a tweet from a Twitter account that contains our name, please understand it is not us.”

    The theater guide that is symbolic if not synonymous with Broadway went on to explain how in recent weeks Twitter has greatly expanded its tolerance for hate, negativity and misinformation and that as a respected news outlet, it felt it would be irresponsible to continue on a platform where readers might have a hard time distinguishing real news from fake.

    Since acquiring the social network on Oct. 27, Elon Musk has met with criticism for mismanaging the platform. In his first weeks of ownership, the tech billionaire fired half of the company along with executive leadership, and disabled content moderation tools. This has caused an  exodus of brands from the social network fearful of having their ads and tweets appear next to hate speech.

    “The issue concerning us all is content moderation and its impact on BRAND SAFETY/SUITABILITY. You say you're committed to moderation, but you just laid off 75% of the moderation team!” said MMA Global President Lou Paskalis in a tweet to Musk.

    Others have been urging brands to take a pause. NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson tweeted, “It is immoral, dangerous, and highly destructive to our democracy for any advertiser to fund a platform that fuels hate speech, election denialism and conspiracy theories. Until actions are taken to make this a safe space, we call on companies to pause all advertising on Twitter.” Playbill will still be active on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, pending an ongoing review.

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    First Published Date: 12 Nov, 13:15 IST
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