Twitter, FTX, DWAC, More: Wednesday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, November 23, 2022

I’m sorry these last issues have been so Twitter / FTX heavy. I feel both of these stories are very important right now. Since this is a holiday week in America many of you are ignoring this newsletter anyway, hopefully. By Monday I’ll try to steer us back to more interesting horizons.


Reuters: ‘Toxic Twitter’ activists ramp up pressure on brands after Trump account reinstated. “A coalition of civil rights activists on Monday were urging Twitter’s advertisers to issue statements about pulling their ads off the social media platform after its owner Elon Musk lifted the ban on tweets by former U.S. President Donald Trump.”

Wall Street Journal: FTX Crypto Customers Worry They Will Never See Their Money Again. “Customers of beleaguered crypto exchange FTX are losing hope they will ever see their money again. The company’s massive financial problems began spilling into the open early this month, and FTX was quick to halt withdrawals from its international unit. American customers had hoped they might be luckier, but many of them haven’t been able to get their money out either.”

Investor’s Business Daily: DWAC Stock Spikes After Trump Merger Vote, Musk Reinstates Trump On Twitter. “Digital World Acquisition Corp. (DWAC) stock spiked after early losses Tuesday, as shareholders of the special acquisition company approved a one-year deadline extension to take former President Donald Trump’s social media platform public.”


The Verge: Twitter won’t restart paid verification until ‘significant impersonations’ stop, Elon Musk says. “Elon Musk told Twitter employees on Monday that the company won’t relaunch its paid verification subscription, Twitter Blue, until ‘we’re confident about significant impersonations not happening,’ according to a recording of his remarks obtained by The Verge.”

Search Engine Land: Is Google Search getting worse?. “Marissa Mayer, the former CEO of Yahoo, was Google’s 20th employee and the one-time leader of its search team, said Google is concerned about the declining quality of the web. The comments were made on a recent Freakonomics podcast episode that looked at whether the quality of Google search has declined over the years.”

New York Times: As Elon Musk Cuts Costs at Twitter, Some Bills Are Going Unpaid. “Before Elon Musk bought Twitter last month, the company’s executives had racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in travel invoices that the social media service planned to pay. But once Mr. Musk took over the company, he refused to reimburse travel vendors for those bills, current and former Twitter employees said. Mr. Musk’s staff said the services were authorized by the company’s former management and not by him. His staff have since avoided the calls of the travel vendors, the people said.”


The Register: France says non to Office 365 and Google Workspace in school. “The French minister of national education and youth has said that free versions of Microsoft Office 365 and Google Workplace should not be used in schools – a position that reflects ongoing European concerns about cloud data sovereignty, competition, and privacy rules.”

CNBC: UK to investigate Apple and Google’s ‘stranglehold’ over web browsing. “The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority launched an investigation Tuesday into Apple and Google’s control of the mobile browser market. The authority will explore the companies’ ‘stranglehold’ over browsing, as well as Apple’s control over cloud gaming through the App Store, it said in a release. The agency said Google and Apple powered 97% of all web browsing that took place in the U.K. in 2021.”


Financial Times: Let crypto burn. “In the aftermath of the collapse of FTX, authorities should resist the urge to create a parallel legal and regulatory framework for the crypto industry. It is far better to do nothing, and just let crypto burn. Actively intervening would convey undeserved legitimacy upon a system that does little to support real economic activity. It also would provide an official seal of approval to a system that currently poses no threat to financial stability and would lead to calls for public bailouts when crypto inevitably erupts again.”

WIRED: Here’s Proof Hate Speech Is More Viral on Elon Musk’s Twitter. “For the months prior to Musk’s takeover, the researchers deemed just one tweet out of the three top 20 lists to be actually hateful, in this case against Jewish people. The others were either quoting another person’s hateful remarks or using the relevant key words in a non-hateful way. In the weeks after Musk took over Twitter, the same analysis found that hateful tweets became much more prominent among the most popular tweets with potentially toxic language.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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