Twitter no longer serves as a trustful source of information

Last Sunday (8), Elon Musk recommended two “good” war news handles for his 150 million followers on Twitter to get news from the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

The billionaire’s two recommendations are notorious sources of misinformation. In May, they spread the lie that the White House had been bombed, for instance.

Upon noting the gaffe, Musk deleted the post. Before that, it had accumulated +11 million views.

It was only a matter of time — and a dramatic event — for Twitter’s decay to reveal itself in the worst possible way. Over the course of almost a year, Musk’s wrong incentives and disastrous serial decisions turned Twitter into one of the worst places to get trustful information.

Activists and OSINT experts are wasting precious time debunking video game images and old videos, reposted on Twitter to direct narratives and/or earn money with the (bad) revenue sharing program implemented by Musk.

It’s not that digital misinformation has emerged now or is it exclusive to Twitter. It’s just that, there, it’s out of control.

In almost a year, Musk fired ~75% of Twitter employees, dismissed all the thousands of contractors who moderated content, trashed the press, empowered extremist speeches, and created the worst incentives for misinformation to flourish on the platform.

The situation is so serious and peculiar that Thierry Breton, Commissioner of the European Union, published an “urgent letter”, in a harsh tone, pointing out Twitter violations of the Digital Services Act and demanding action from Musk within 24 hours.

Twitter, nowadays, is what all alt/extremist social media — Gab, Truth Social, Parler — have always dreamed of: a space frequented by millions of people, controlled by an extremist himself, and where money and truculence speak louder in a supposed “cultural war” that would be underway.

A lot of good people are still on Twitter, among other (few) reasons, “to get informed”. I’m sorry to say, but the old Twitter no longer exists and what’s left in its place is not good for that.

With information from the Associated Press and Wired.

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