the bloodletting has begun (again) at twitter

An old Twitter error message from the mid-2010s

The Interwebs are filled with the top story that Twitter’s former head of engineering, Foad Dabiri, resigned a day after the DeSantis DeSaster on Twitter Spaces. Dabiri said a lot of nice things on the way out, but the timing of his leaving is no coincidence. Musk will fire people at the drop of a hat. I’m pretty sure that if Dabiri didn’t come to the conclusion to resign on his own that Musk probably offered him the choice of resigning or being fired. What makes Dabiri’s departure even worse is his relative longevity at Twitter; he’s been employed at Twitter for four years, which is almost forever in San Francisco’s tech field.

I keep reading numerous stories that touch on the fact that Musk has now fired over 80% of the staff he inherited with the purchase of Twitter. With a deeply gutted staff and high-level personnel with institutional knowledge leaving, there’s no way in my not-so-humble-opinion that Twitter will fully recover from Musk’s takeover. That, and the fact that Musk want’s to create ‘X’ on top of Twitter’s ashes means that the world will be treated to a long slow slide into irrelevance, to be sold at a loss to someone else.

The question many have asked is why Twitter Spaces were used at all? Many who once worked for Twitter have charitably described Spaces as “janky” and “beta quality” code. Unfortunately Musk doesn’t care about code and service quality as he’s demonstrated with Tesla’s Full Self Driving (FSD) Beta, which has been in some form of alpha or beta release since FSD’s first iteration, Autopilot, was announced for pre-purchase in October 2014. Since that time releases have been pushed out irregularly to all Tesla cars that can support it. At least Twitter Spaces crashing won’t put pedestrians in mortal danger the way FSD in a Tesla would if it malfunctions.


twitter’s absolutely horrible showing

Ron DeSantis’ official presidential run announcement on Twitter Spaces was a disaster, not so much for Ron, as it was for Twitter and Elon Musk. I can’t believe that Musk pushed Twitter Spaces to be the platform for DeSantis to announce his run for President. Considering how critical that initial formal announcement is, I would have thought that all of Twitter, Musk included, would have gone over the entire system with a fine tooth comb making sure that it could handle more than the projected traffic. Twitter Spaces is an audio-only platform, not audio and video. Based on numerous reports, by the time Spaces had settled down, DeSantis had around 300,00 listeners. That’s why I find it remarkable that Musk claimed over three million listened to him on Spaces last month when he was interviewed by the BBC. I really have to call bullshit on that claim.

Musk has had his way with Twitter ever since he purchased it late last year, firing and driving off at least half (if not more) of its initial engineering workforce. As a consequence unreliable Twitter has grown even more unreliable. I don’t believe that Spaces’ failure Wednesday night will hurt DeSantis’ election bid; it’s already mortally wounded by his incompetence and mismanagement. The greater damage will be to Musk and Twitter.