Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the comedy-is-now-legal! dept

This week, we kick off the most insightful side of things with a comment from That One Guy on my post about how I still hope Twitter succeeds, where the comment highlights the biggest single thing that might get Elon to stop from burning the site to the ground: getting past his own ego.

Step one: Realize and admit when YOU are the problem

From the sounds of it while it might not be impossible to stop the site from burning down the first step of that will require Musk to admit that he screwed up and that all the derision aimed at moderators and those that have that as their job was grossly unfair because it turns out those people actually did/do know what they were talking about.

If he can set aside his ego and admit that he was dead wrong about moderation then it might be possible to salvage the site, though it’s going to be a seriously uphill battle convincing the people who were canned or left to come back and it’s going to get a lot of Very Fine People angry with him.

If he can’t set aside his ego… break out the hotdogs and smores kits because the place is likely to go down in flames and there’s not much else anyone else can do at that point but enjoy the spectacle.

Second place was an anonymous comment on that same post, in response to a comment from our resident Trump fan, who attempted to mock the stories of chaos at Twitter by noting that he remembered “similar ‘chaos and dysfunction’ adjectives being used four years ago to describe the White House.” And the comment that won second place noted there may have been a pretty good reason for that:

And rightfully so.

The Trump White House was utter chaos for his entire stint in office.

And even out of office it’s chaos… To wit: his handling of sensitive documents, documents that belong to NARA, and please explain why he would have classified folders missing the documents that are actually classified.

(and if you say that he mind-declassified them, that just proves that you have consumed the kool-aid, are wearing the tin-foil hat and probably have Q tattooed on your ass.
Oh and you are addicted to the Trump taint odor.)

Not surprisingly, the commenter he was responding to ran away and didn’t come back to respond.

For editor’s choice, I have another anonymous comment on that same post talking about “good Elon” vs. “bad Elon.”

Elon is being “Good Elon” and “Bad Elon” (a classic abuser pattern) and it is going to bankrupt twitter in 2023. The advertisers who paid the bills aren’t coming back unless Elon fires himself. Elon has no idea how isolated he is in his sycophant bubble; he proceeded to block the most important spokesman for his advertisers who pay twitter’s bills.

What was wrong with pre-Elon twitter was insufficiently rich feedback from the crowd for effective moderation. That is, remember the mDAU audits where they went through samples with humans to figure out if users were correctly classified as monetizable, and were running about 95% accurate?

You could classify users feedback for accuracy the same way…so you’d generally have not only reports, but also reputation scores for those doing the reporting. And you could certainly have more nuance (checkboxes) in the user reporting checkboxes. They probably could have done that last year…if not for Elon.

And our second editor’s choice comment on the insightful side is also about Musk and Twitter, but on a different story, where Musk suddenly decided that parody was no longer legal on Twitter. This comment, by Christenson, was responding to an anonymous comment suggesting that Twitter’s previous management had sabotaged the company for Musk because they hadn’t secured 2023 advertising commitments earlier this year at an ad conference where those commitments are often made. Christenson points out that’s not accurate:

Gotta disagree with you there — Twitter’s 2021 financial numbers were PUBLIC ($10B revenue from advertising, lost like $500M on that, with $800M due to a lawsuit settlement over share price volatility). Especially with the user growth, they stood to probably make about $250M in 2022.

As to the advertising conference, well, the lack of answers on moderation last summer has turned into chaos after the deal closed — and that’s on Musk, he said very publicly he wanted to change how twitter was moderated, but gave twitter no details when queried. Advertisers last week asked Musk how he reconciled “no changes to moderation” with the huge staff cuts in the face of brand safety, and Musk proceeds to block the leader of the advertising conference who asked.

Twitter management did what it was supposed to do … sold the company for $44B, about twice a reasonable price. Inability to predict Musk really wasn’t part of their job; this constant 180 turning from Musk is very much the pattern of a narcissist and an abuser, maybe even a psychopath.

Anyway, since they now have to pay an extra billion or two of debt service, and they’ve kneecapped their ad revenue with no way to recover without firing the chief twit, bankruptcy is on its way. This even if they find the greatest moderation algorithm ever and roll it out tomorrow, perfectly.

Okay, but what was funny last week? Turns out… it’s some more stuff about Elon Musk and Twitter! Thad took the first spot for the funniest comment by a lot responding to rojcowles comment on the post about how Twitter under Musk may be violating the FTC’s consent decree by suggesting a new Elon meme based on an alleged quote from Musk’s personal lawyer, Alex Spira, that “Elon puts rockets into space, he not afraid of the FTC.” Thad jumped in with the winner:

Elon puts rockets into space, he ain’t afraid of no ghosts.

In some ways, what’s even funnier is that later in the week, after that story and that comment came out, it was reported that Elon actually was positive that Twitter must have “ghost employees” on the book, and demanded an audit that Twitter employees were real humans (and then fired the auditor!). So maybe he is afraid of some ghosts.

In second place on the funny side, we’re still swimming in Musky waters, as Chris O’Donnell showed up to respond to a comment from Diogenes on the story about Twitter’s difficulties rolling out its new bluecheck system, that discussed his banning people for parody. Diogenes notes that “Musk bans parody, but he IS a parody,” leading to this retort from Chris:

Maybe he didn’t want the competition.

For editor’s choice we had a lot of pretty funny comments to choose from, but we’ll start with a comment from ThatOtherOtherGuy on the post about Twitter and the FTC consent decree, in which there were reports that Twitter was both desperately trying to hire back some of the people and telling engineers they needed to “self-certify” that what they were doing did not violate the consent decree (which is not at all how it works), the comment speculated how that all went down:

Please come back!

Welcome back to Twitter! BTW, please sign this document. What is it? Oh, never mind, just some routine paperwork. Definitely nothing that would expose you to criminal prosecution.

Aaaaaaaand, finally, we had a comment from… wait… [checks notes]… “Mike Masnick (verified)”… uh…. announcing a brand new Techdirt feature that I certainly was not aware of:

New Techdirt Features Announcement

Just want to give everyone a heads up, Techdirt will soon be introducing an ‘Official Techdirt Icon’ on those commenters that obtain funniest / most insightful comment of the week more than 2 times in a calendar year (icon can also be bought for $8 / month via my patreon)

I guess since that came from a “verified” account it must be real. I expect it to be live within a week or we’ll fire the team implementing it.

That’s all for this week!

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Comments on “Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt”

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Christenson says:

I could have sworn...

I put my name on that “Good Elon, Bad Elon” comment beginning

Elon is being “Good Elon” and “Bad Elon”…

The “Good Elon, Bad Elon” is from one of the early ex SpaceX managers/leaders who did not stay on.

There’s also the whole distraction aspect of Elon’s on-again off-again purchase. Agrawal wasn’t wrong to complain about it. I think the $150 million fine for the FTC this year was weighing on everyone, quite possibly paralyzing testing initiatives that might have improved moderation.

Christenson says:

Re: It *is* Mike Masnick's website...

Techdirt as we know it is very much the invention of and still lead by Mike Masnick, so of course he writes the “best” (or Funniest/Most Insightful) Comments of the Week posts. If you ask nicely, he might tell us when in the mists of time he started doing that.

There’s nothing odd or nefarious there; the destruction of Twitter seems to be the hotbutton these last few weeks. I’m not quite sure who all the editors that are making the editors choices are, or how they make the choices, but the results don’t seem unreasonable.

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