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Twitter: Five Changes to the Platform for Users by Elon Musk

 

Three months have passed since Elon Musk stormed into Twitter's San Francisco headquarters, and the company has barely escaped the spotlight. We've talked a lot about his thoughts on the social network and some of his more controversial business decisions, such as laying off 50% of the workforce, but less about how the platform's 237 million monthly active users use it on a daily basis.

1. Restricting alternative Twitter viewing methods

Twitter appears to have suspended access to its API, which is used by other platforms to communicate with it. So, if you use a social media manager to access your account rather than the Twitter app or website, you may discover that Twitter is not currently working with it. It's unclear whether the move was intentional, but many experts believe it was.

"My guess is that this is because those third-party apps do not show ads and they allow the user to manage their feed as they see fit, which is at odds with Musk's plans to put more ads in front of users' eyeballs and prioritize the tweets of people who have paid for Twitter Blue," said tech commentator Kate Bevan.

Although Twitter has not made an official announcement, popular apps that appear to be struggling include Tweetbot, Fenix, and Twitterific.

2. Maintenance

The order in which tweets appear on people's timelines is perhaps the most noticeable change. A new tab allows you to select between the most recent tweets from people you follow and those recommended by Twitter.

If you're using an iPhone, you'll see two columns at the top, "for you" and "following"; if you're using an Android device, you'll see a star icon on the top right-hand side of the screen. The problem is that many users did not notice or were unaware that the app occasionally reverted to Twitter's curated "for you" feed. There have been complaints that this feed is mostly made up of Twitter recommendations and interactions between people you follow and people you don't know, rather than the content you chose to follow in the first place.

Others, on the other hand, don't mind: "Some days I want to go to a restaurant with just my friends, some days I'll pitch up at the pub and see who's in...can be fun," one Twitter user explained.

3. Reintroduction of contentious accounts

Mr Musk began with some high-profile accounts that had previously been banned for violating Twitter's rules. They included Ye (rapper Kanye West), who was barred from sharing anti-Semitic posts, influencer Andrew Tate (who is currently being held in Romania on charges of people trafficking), and former US President Donald Trump, whose tweets were accused of inciting the Capitol Hill riots in January 2021.

4. Twitter's Blue

Twitter's subscription service, Twitter Blue, launched at the end of November after a few false starts. The $8/$11 (£6.50/£9) monthly fee guarantees access to extra features such as an edit button, increased visibility, and fewer ads. Anecdotally, it appears to have attracted a reasonable number of subscribers, but not a large number - though, as usual, no official news about its success has been released thus far.

5. Ticks of silver and gold

Twitter's "blue tick," which is now a sign of a subscriber, was previously a symbol of a verified account. It was given to the accounts of hand-picked celebrities, journalists, and brands by Twitter to indicate that they were not fakes.

Those who acquired a blue tick under the old regime still have them, along with a message explaining that it is a "legacy" and "may or may not be notable". As a result, seeing a blue tick next to an account does not automatically confer authority on that account.

It has been replaced by a gold or silver tick for brands and government figures, so Coca-Cola is now gold, with an explanation that it is an "official business," and Rishi Sunak, the UK Prime Minister, now has a silver badge.

'Spin Master

Twitter had to change whether Mr. Musk was there or not. Its user base and ad revenue had been stagnant for a long time, while rival social networks had sprung up and experienced explosive growth. Twitter is known for being a small but influential platform, but this was not translating into profits.

Mr. Musk is "a master of PR and spin and innovation and creativity", said social media expert Matt Navarra. He is not afraid of causing a stir or tearing up the rulebook. But will his revolutionary tactics turn around the fortunes of this floundering company, which he claims was losing $4 million per day when he took over?

It's difficult to say because Twitter is secretive about its metrics. It is now a privately owned company, as it should be. However, new advertisers do not appear to be flocking to the site, users are complaining about changes to the way their accounts are displayed, and a recent API change has irritated developers, a community that Twitter needs to help it grow.

Mr. Navarra of his own user experience of engaging with 150,000 followers said, "The vibe seems to have shifted and it doesn't seem to be quite what it was before. I don't see any signs of green shoots for a new Twitter."

5 Most Significant Online Influencers of 2022

The Wired portal has taken the initiative to publish a list of the individuals that sparked the most online debates in 2022. Controversies motives, false information, and online turmoil will also be on the minds of many people going forward. 

Despite some issues that appear to be fading, such as the COVID-19 outbreak and the world of cryptocurrency, these issues frequently come up on social media. Money laundering, theft, and fraud are among the issues frequently in these debates. 

1. Sam Bankman-Fried

Money laundering, theft, and scams have been rampant in the cryptocurrency sector, from the Crypto dark-web drug trade to billions of dollars being taken from crypto firms by cybercriminals. Sam Bankman-Fried is currently charged with fraud of more than $8 billion in connection with the fall of the bitcoin exchange FTX. The exact extent of the misuse of user cash in FTX's collapse is still unknown, and even the new CEO of the firm, John Ray, claims he's never witnessed a greater catastrophe. This could have far-reaching effects on the cryptocurrency economy. 

In addition to the staggering losses, Bankman-Fried stands in as a particularly alarming example of the problems with the crypto economy.  He seemed to really embrace increased government controls of the business, unlike so others in the crypto sphere.

2. Elon Musk

After the purchase of Twitter, Musk's dark side was exposed, and the erratic power of the world's richest person suddenly put a major online institution in danger. Elon fired at least 4,400 contract workers after letting go of nearly 50% of the Twitter personnel, jeopardizing the operations of a service that acts as Twitter's main artery.

Additionally, Twitter has drastically reduced the size of its team of content moderators, creating scenarios where only one employee is left to monitor child abuse-related tweets across the entirety of Japan and the Asia-Pacific area. Twitter has also outlawed left-wing accounts under Musk's supervision which goes against his support for free speech. He provides a glimpse of the conspiracy-minded ideas and trolling that really motivates his behavior. 

3. Xi Jinping

Every wave of brutality under Xi Jinping has been accompanied by a tightening of online restrictions as censors combed social media for any mention of protests. Han Chinese authorities in Xinjiang have even insisted that Uyghurs install an app that checks their phones for prohibited information.

This year's protests against China's oppressive zero-Covid lockdowns have sparked a new round of online repression, in which it is now illegal to even like a protest-related post, and any indication of wrongdoing is monitored through a controlled credit system with the potential to result in users' immediate expulsion from online platforms. He's made it quite apparent that dictatorial control will infiltrate the Chinese digital life.

4. Narendra Modi

India has begun to resemble China ever more in how it suppresses both offline and online protests under Modi and the BJP. The Indian government has recently taken steps to tighten its control over social media, including temporarily shutting down the internet in the disturbed region of Kashmir, banning several Chinese apps, including TikTok, and giving a three-person group control over social media moderation policy choices.

The government can use the new IT regulations as a tool to challenge the platforms when it wants. It's the initial step toward making it possible to restrict online speech like in China.

5. GRU

In the past seven years, Russia's GRU military intelligence units known as Sandworm and APT28 caused two blackouts in Ukraine. In 2022, it started a plethora of cyberattacks aimed at erasing data from the Ukrainian government and business networks, frequently concurrent with direct physical assaults by the invading army. In a NotPetya-like incident of collateral damage, one GRU malware operation even managed to shut down connectivity to 5,000 wind turbines spread around Germany. A third blackout strike in Ukraine was also attempted by GRU's Sandworm hackers, but this time, at least in the view of the Ukrainian government, defenses were able to prevent it.

The year 2022 will be regarded as a time of major global events with several noteworthy events and occasions. Despite some issues that appear to be fading, such as the COVID-19 outbreak and the world of cryptocurrency, money laundering, theft, and fraud are among the issues frequently on social media. 

Elon Musk's Cool New Data Plan is Probably Ethically Wrong

 

There is no way around it. Elon Musk is a brilliant businessman. If you display the man a box, he will think outside of it. The CEO chased away all of Twitter's advertisers, so he's been trying to figure out how to make money for his company lately.

Based on a report in the Platformer newsletter, Twitter is working on a plan that would force users to opt in to targeted ads, removing a years-old privacy setting that gives users more control over their data. But wait, there's more! The new strategy may require you to share your location data and allow Twitter to sell your data to third parties. Furthermore, the company may seek your permission to use your contacts and the phone number you provided for two-factor authentication to target advertising. These are not only brilliant ideas; they are almost certainly illegal as well.

As per Platformer's sources, Twitter's new innovation would display a full-screen pop-up asking users to consent to personalized advertising and location data collection. Because the only reason to get rid of the pop-up would be to say yes, using Twitter would be impossible without consenting to the new data regime. Several laws are in the way of what Elon may be planning. 

The GDPR is in effect in Europe. Just last week, the EU issued a ruling against Meta that prohibited this type of mandatory consent. California has the CCPA as well as its younger brother, the CPRA, which takes effect on January 1. 

Both essentially state that you cannot compel people to consent to data sharing and targeted advertising. Furthermore, the plan may run afoul of Apple, Inc., a consumer electronics manufacturer that makes a big deal about privacy. If you join up for the $8 per month Twitter Blue service, you will reportedly be able to avoid targeted advertising. Apple claims that forcing users to choose between ad tracking and a paid service will result in your app being removed from the App Store. 

Then there's the Federal Trade Commission. The reported plan could result in enforcement action, if only because Twitter recently paid the FTC a $150 million fine for targeting ads without permission using two-factor authentication phone numbers. The company has been under an FTC consent decree since 2011. Elon has benefited from resignations, firings, and other personnel changes in Twitter's legal department.

Twitter currently lacks a communications department, as Musk laid off half of the company. As a result, the company did not respond to a request for comment right away. A quick look at Twitter reveals that hundreds, if not thousands, of users are upset with the whole forced consent idea, and many have threatened to leave the site if it goes through.

Selling your data and showing you more targeted ads would solve a lot of Twitter's problems if it weren't for the CCPA, the FTC, the GDPR, Apple, and Twitter's own users. Ads generate 90% of Twitter's revenue, and the company's relationship with advertisers is deteriorating.

Elon tweeted over the weekend to thank advertisers for returning, which, uh, doesn't seem to be a thing that happened in the universe the rest of us live in. One former executive defined the advertiser situation at Twitter as "catastrophic" in late November.

Traffic to Twitter's ad management tool was down 75% in October and then 85% in November, compared to the same time last year, according to the Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile, Twitter alleviated advertisers' concerns about rising hate speech by running advertisements for major corporations on the profiles of white nationalists. Twitter's ad business was already in danger before Musk dumped the majority of his company's biggest advertisers. 

Twitter Feud with Apple Boss Resolved, Says Elon Musk


Twitter CEO Elon Musk has recently said that he and Apple boss Tim Cook have “resolved the misunderstanding” over Twitter being possibly removed from the App Store. 

The feud began when earlier this week, Musk, in a series of tweets accused Apple of halting most of the advertisements and threatening to remove the platform from its App Store. He added that this situation had become “a battle for the future of civilization.” 

However, Apple’s chief executive tweeted on Wednesday that “Tim was clear that Apple never consider doing so.” While he did not say whether Apple’s advertising was discussed in the meeting. 

The meeting between the two CEOs as numerous companies have halted spending on advertisements on Twitter, due to concerns over Elon Musk’s content moderation plan. 

This would apparently be a major setback for Twitter since Twitter relies on advertisements for the majority of its aggregate revenue. 

On Monday, the Twitter CEO accused apple of “censorship,” while also criticizing its policies, particularly the levies it imposes on purchases made through its App Store. “Apple has mostly stopped advertising on Twitter. Do they hate free speech in America?” said Musk. 

Later, Musk updated his Twitter followers that he was meeting with Mr. Cook at Apple’s headquarters, adding in his tweet: “Good conversation. Among other things, we resolved the misunderstanding about Twitter potentially being removed from the App Store. Tim was clear that Apple never considered doing so.” Meanwhile, Apple has not made any official comment on the said meeting. 

Weeks after Mr. Musk became the chief executive, Twitter lost at least half of its major advertisers. This estimates a loss of nearly $750 million to the social media giant, as reported by Media Matters, a non-profit watchdog. 

Some of the major advertisers lost included General Mills and Pfizer. Musk as well acknowledged that this defection has resulted in a “massive drop” in revenue, with the company losing $4 million per day. 

Apple, on the other hand, is consistently one of the major advertisers on the social network company, spending over $100 million annually, as reported by Bloomberg.  

Twitter Substitute: Mastodon is it Secure?

Mastodon, a Twitter substitute, has gained popularity as the Musk era gets underway, however, is it more private and safe than Twitter?

Mastodon resembles a hybrid of Twitter and Discord. It is a microblogging network, like Twitter. It hosts hundreds of separate servers, unlike Twitter, and is decentralized.

Mastodon is self-funded and dependent on member donations and the administrator's goodwill. The servers are often run by volunteer moderators and focused on a single topic, such as politics or technology. Each has unique guidelines and a sign-up procedure. Users do not require special access to view posts and interact with others because users can join as many as they like and follow people across different sections.

People who switch from Twitter to Mastodon make the first error of thinking that it will be a resembling alternative. 

Mastodon Security

Forbes spoke to numerous specialists who addressed security issues with Mastodon's architecture and potential programming flaws in an article published this week. 

"Mastodon isn't the cure many people abandoning Twitter may think it is," cautioned Cybrary's senior director of threat intelligence, David Maynor.

For your Mastodon account, enable two-factor authentication. Mastodon's design may have flaws, according to Melissa Bischoping, director and endpoint security research specialist at Tanium. The website is divided up into 'instances,' or separately maintained sections. In addition to developing the rules for each 'instance,' administrators are also in charge of the site's infrastructure and software.

User verification is another function that falls under the general security category. Anybody can sign up at any of Mastodon's several distinct instances, independent servers managed by various admins because you are not registered and pretend to be you. 

Finally, numerous instances have been created solely for the goal of testing security and reporting flaws and vulnerabilities, allowing the ethical hacking and bug-hunting community to continue to participate and enhance the security of the platform as it becomes more widely used.


Elon Musk is Planning to Develop an Alternate Smartphone

If Apple decides to remove Twitter from the App Store, Elon Musk has an easy strategy,  to build his own smartphone. 

Musk has changed a lot about Twitter since he joined at the end of October, including major staff cuts and firings that prompted managers in charge of data privacy and content moderation to resign.

In terms of content filtering, Musk fundamentally supports the right to free expression. Additionally, he apparently intends to attempt and make money for Twitter through explicit content. When Jack Dorsey was in charge, content filtering was more deliberate and concentrated on user 'safety,' outlawing obscenity, hate speech, and violence. 

Musk tweeted on Friday night, "If Apple & Google expel Twitter from their app stores, @elonmusk should manufacture his own smartphone," in response to the conservative commentator Liz Wheeler. The prejudiced, snooping iPhone & Android would be cheerfully abandoned by half of the country. A foolish little smartphone ought to be simple for the man who makes rockets to Mars, right? ”

"I sincerely hope it never comes to that, but indeed, If there is no other option, I will develop an alternate phone," Musk said.

Phil Schiller, a senior Apple marketing executive that oversees the company's App Store, deactivated his Twitter account last week, which could be a terrible sign for Twitter. After Musk criticized Apple's fees on Twitter, calling them a hidden 30% tax on the internet, Schiller made the change.











Twitter's Brussels Staff Sacked by Musk 

After a conflict on how the social network's content should be regulated in the Union, Elon Musk shut down Twitter's entire Brussels headquarters.

Twitter's connection with the European Union, which has some of the most robust regulations controlling the digital world and is frequently at the forefront of global regulation in the sector, may be strained by the closing of the company's Brussels center. 

Platforms like Twitter are required by one guideline to remove anything that is prohibited in any of the EU bloc's member states. For instance, tweets influencing elections or content advocating hate speech would need to be removed in jurisdictions where such communication is prohibited. 

Another obligation is that social media sites like Twitter must demonstrate to the European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, that they are making a sufficient effort to stop the spread of content that is not illegal but may be damaging. Disinformation falls under this category. This summer, businesses will need to demonstrate how they are handling such positions. 

Musk will need to abide by the GDPR, a set of ground-breaking EU data protection laws that mandate Twitter have a data protection officer in the EU. 

The present proposal forbids the use of algorithms that have been demonstrated to be biased against individuals, which may have an influence on Twitter's face-cropping tools, which have been presented to favor youthful, slim women.

Twitter might also be obligated to monitor private conversations for grooming or images of child sexual abuse under the EU's Child Sexual Abuse Materials proposal. In the EU, there is still discussion about them.

In order to comply with the DSA, Twitter will need to put in a lot more effort, such as creating a system that allows users to flag illegal content with ease and hiring enough moderators to examine the content in every EU member state.

Twitter won't have to publish a risk analysis until next summer, but it will have to disclose its user count in February, which initiates the commission oversight process.

Two lawsuits that might hold social media corporations accountable for their algorithms that encourage dangerous or unlawful information are scheduled for hearings before the US Supreme Court. This might fundamentally alter how US businesses regulate content. 

The Twitter Blue Scandal Caused Eli Lilly to Lose Billions of Dollars


It seems that Twitter Inc. has suspended its recently announced $8 blue check subscription following a proliferation of fake accounts on its platform. However, the decision to suspend the service came too late for one pharmaceutical company due to how fast online accounts proliferated. 

American pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly (LLY) lost billions of dollars after its stock plummeted on Friday due to a false tweet claiming "insulin is free now" sent on Thursday by a fake account, verified with a blue tick. 

A fake account impersonating Eli Lilly on social media promised free insulin as part of its promotion on Friday, according to The Star newspaper. However, the stock of the company dropped 4.37 percent, wiping out over $15 billion in market capitalization. 

In a tweet posted from its official Twitter account, Eli Lilly provided clarification regarding the matter.

A flood of fake Twitter accounts has sprung up since Elon Musk's revised subscription guidelines for Twitter Blue were announced. Eli Lilly is only one of the victims. 

Twitter's Blue Saga


It was reported on Friday by AFP that Twitter took action on Friday to curb the proliferation of fake accounts. This has been seen since Elon Musk took over the company. There has been a suspension of new sign-ups for the newly introduced paid checkmark system on Twitter, and some accounts have been restored to their gray badges. 

Before the new law, the coveted blue tick used to be available only to politicians, famed personalities, journalists, and other public figures. It was also available to government organizations and private organizations. 

The official Twitter account @twittersupport tweeted on Friday about restoring the "official" label on accounts to stop the flood of fake accounts. The tweet stated "To combat impersonation, we have added an "official" label to some accounts." 

There is evidence that Twitter has temporarily disabled the feature as documented by a memo sent internally to its employees, obtained by US media including The Washington Post, to address "impersonation issues."

Twitter Drama Continues With Blue-Tick Confusion


Social media platform Twitter halted and later relaunched its premium services that offer blue-tick verification labels to subscribers paying $8 a month. The services went unavailable on Friday, after Twitter was flooded by a wave of fake user accounts that were approved. 

The action was taken in response to a number of accounts impersonating company giants receiving a blue tick, that previously indicated that the platform has verified the user as real. 

A Twitter user claimed to be a drugs firm Eli Lilly and said "insulin was free". Twitter did not comment. 

The incident added to the concerns about how Musk’s leadership has an impact on the spread of misinformation on the platform. 

"We apologize to those who have been served a misleading message from a fake Lilly account," tweeted Eli Lilly, a few hours after the prank post went up on the internet on Thursday, reiterating the name of its real Twitter handle. Consequently, the firm’s shares fell up to 4% on Friday amid the confusion. 

Max Burns, a US-based PR strategist says he had seen the fake accounts being impersonated as ‘verified user’ accounts with the verified blue tick badge, that was supposedly purchased via Twitter Blue posing as support accounts for existing airlines and asking users who were trying to contact them on Twitter to direct message the fake accounts instead. 

"How long until a prankster takes a real passenger's ticket information and cancels their flight? Or takes their credit card info and goes on a spending spree?" he said. "It will only take one major incident for every airline to bail on Twitter as a source of customer engagement." 

Adding to the confusion, these fake verified accounts could put advertisers in major difficulties, who have put their businesses with Twitter on hold. Musk's rocky run atop the platform laying off half its workforce and triggering high-profile departures has raised questions about its survivability. 

The imposters could be a major setback, even if the fake accounts are taken down quickly. 

They have created overwhelming reputation risk for placing advertising investments on the platform, says Lou Paskalis, longtime marketing, and media executive and former Bank of America head of global media. He adds that with the fake verified brand accounts, a picture emerges of a platform in disarray that no media professional would risk their career by continuing to make advertising investments on, and no governance apparatus or senior executive would condone if they did. 

Twitter’s Latest CEO Warned Employees 

Last month, Elon Musk made his $44 billion purchase of Twitter and swiftly set about overhauling the company. 

Musk has fired roughly 3,700 employees, almost half of the firm’s former staff- and pushed the firm to concentrate on finding ways other than advertising to generate revenue. 

His first email to employees warned, "The road ahead is arduous and will require intense work to succeed[...]Without significant subscription revenue, there is a good chance Twitter will not survive the upcoming economic downturn." 

Senior Twitter Officials Resigned Upon Elon Musk's Takeover

At Twitter, as we all know by now that a lot is going on. 50% of the employees were laid off after Elon Musk took over the business. A couple more top executives quit the firm as Musk implemented measures to make Twitter profitable. 

As pressure over Twitter's future and the unpredictable actions of its new owner, Elon Musk, grows, the company's chief information security officer, who held one of the most critical positions, announced his resignation on Thursday.

Robin Wheeler and Yoel Roth have resigned. At Twitter, Roth served as the Senior Director of Safety & Integrity, while Wheeler is in charge of the Client Solutions division. When rumors first surfaced, Roth acknowledged his departure while Wheeler underlined that she is still very much a part of Twitter.

The former CISO, Lea Kissner, stated in a tweet that they were eager to determine their next course of action. Kissner did not answer right away to a request for comment and did not publicly explain why they left Twitter.

According to a source with knowledge of the matter, Twitter's head of integrity and safety, Yoel Roth, also announced his resignation from the organization on Thursday. Roth became a prominent public figure in the days that followed Musk's purchase of the business, defending and explaining some of the numerous changes that were being made. On Wednesday, he participated in a Twitter Spaces discussion with Musk to allay worries about how the site will handle harmful content in light of the modifications.

On Thursday, the billionaire held his first meeting with the workers who weren't affected by the layoffs. Musk issues a dire warning during the meeting, orders staff to report daily, and bans remote work. All employees are required to put in 40 hours a week in the workplace, he continued, with the only exceptions being those who are physically unable to travel to an office or special circumstances approved by the manager.

The most recent illustration of the internal unrest gripped Twitter in the wake of the company's massive layoffs in their resignations. The employee's post also asserted that Musk's emphasis on monetizing the site would endanger users who are particularly vulnerable, such as political dissidents and human rights campaigners.

The employee stated Musk seemed unconcerned about Twitter's potential culpability before the FTC, which was implied in the message, and it even hinted that it would put Twitter's own staff in legal danger.


Twitter Users Switch to Mastodon. What Next?


Mastodon, a platform similar to Twitter getting famous

In the aftermath of Elon Musk taking over Twitter, few users have been using alternative platforms. Mastodon is one of the biggest beneficiaries. But what is it? Let's read more about it.

In terms of appearance, Mastodon looks like Twitter, account users write "toots" (meaning posts), which be liked, re-posted, and replied to. The users can also follow each other. Beneath the surface, however, its working is different. 

It is one of the reasons why the platform is getting a lot of users, but it has made some doubts for new users signing up. The platform is six years old, but its current rise is unbelievable, getting overwhelmed by new followers every day. Here's everything you want to know about it.

Selecting servers

The first thing a user has to do after signing up is select a server, there are many. The themes vary from county, city, or interest- like UK, social, technology, gaming, etc. 

It doesn't matter which server you are using, as you can follow users from any server, however, it gives you a familiar community that'll share similar content, the kind you might be interested in. Famous ones like social and UK- are currently running very slowly because of the high demand. 

How to find people? 

The server you select becomes part of your username, for instance, if you are using your current Twitter handle "XYZ" on a UK server, the username will be @xyzmastodonapp.uk. So here's your user address, the people can search it to find you on the app. If you're on the same server, you can find a person using their name, but if they are on another server, you will need their full address. 

In this matter, it is different from Twitter, Mastodon will not recommend users you might be interested in. You can also look for hashtags. 

Moderation of Mastodon

Zoe Kleinman, writer at BBC says:

"This is a real hot potato. At the moment all the servers have their own moderation rules, and some have none. Some servers are choosing not to link to others that are full of bots or seem to have a high quantity of hateful content - this means they will not be visible to those on the servers where they are blocked. Posts can also be reported to the server owners."

In case of hate speech or illegal content, the owners can remove it, but it doesn't assure that the content is removed from everywhere. 

If Mastodon continues to grow, it can become a major issue. There have already been cases of people being targeted via hateful content, and the use of homophobic harassment. 

What about the ads?

No, there are no ads. But you can promote your company or services, as there are no regulations. Mastodon also doesn't have a curated experience like Twitter, where you view posts on the basis of what your followers are talking about. 

Is it paid or free?

It depends on the server you are using, some ask for donations, as they don't get paid, however, a large part of it is free. 








Hackers Could Find a Heaven on Elon Musk's Twitter

 


The ransomware group Yanluowang appears to be on Twitter now, using its newly created account to announce that they have breached the systems of the messaging platform Matrix, a service that has compromised high-profile companies. 

Yanluowang is one of several cybercrime groups that have been active on Twitter in recent months, and the platform's takeover by Elon Musk, who has promised a more laissez-faire approach to content moderation, could make it an even more attractive environment for cybercriminals to operate in.

It was recently reported that Yanluowang, the cyber security firm known for targeting financial services companies with its malware, had started tweeting. As far as we understand from the account, it appears that it has been used to display data that it steals from its victims. The first of these is Matrix, an open messaging protocol used by 60 million people worldwide. It was breached last week by the gang, which is claiming responsibility for the theft. 

On Twitter's page, several links appear to provide access to leaked data from the Matrix messaging platform as well, including "chief coder and saint thread" and "master stealer task." 

There are six links on Twitter's page, which appear to provide access to leaked data from the Matrix messaging platform. A member of the Tech Monitor team has reached out to Matrix for comment. Tweets are a favorite of ransomware gangs Ransomware gangs are not the first group of criminals to use Twitter as an outlet to promote the theft of data using ransomware. 

Several groups, including Karakurt and BlackByte, have created Twitter profiles for themselves to make their illicit merchandise more widely known to the world. In terms of Yanluowang's page, it appears to be still up, though both appear to be suspended, at least for the time being. A website set up by Karakurt on the open web was also used to sell their data to the highest bidder at the time of the hack. 

This method of data extortion is so common, even though it may prove to be short-lived and risky because cybercrime gangs experimenting with it need somewhere public and with a large reach that they can advertise their stolen data, according to Allen Liska, an intelligence analyst at Recorded Future. 

Liska told Tech Monitor in August that "Not everyone has a Tor browser, and Karakurt needs to be able to earn money as much as it can whether or not it can make any money from where it's getting its data," if it wants to succeed. Essentially, if you are trying to extort someone, you cannot make it difficult for them to obtain the data if your aim is extortion." A hacker could be attracted to Elon Musk's Twitter account in the wake of Elon Musk's acquisition of Twitter for $44 billion, Twitter is currently experiencing a period of upheaval that might last for years to come. 

It has been confirmed that Tesla CEO Elon Musk is now working for Twitter as their "Chief Twit" after completing the takeover of the company on Friday, which occurred after several months of legal proceedings. Musk expressed his intention to make Twitter into an environment where freedom of speech is a flourishing characteristic in the very public wranglings that preceded the deal, referring to himself as a "free speech absolutist" during the public debate that preceded the deal. The site is believed to change its approach to the way it moderates content shortly as a result of this change in approach. Before Musk's takeover, there was reportedly an increase in hate speech on the platform in the days leading up to his takeover. 

In this respect, hackers could reap the benefits of this, as they would be able to maintain accounts to advertise their illegal activities on the internet. CISO at cybersecurity vendor Recorded Future, Jason Steer, says that this is a possibility that can be just as easily nailed down. In his opinion, "hackers will continue to exploit other platforms like Telegram to promote their work and sell stolen data for decades to come, but he does believe that [Twitter's current issues] could be an opportunity for them."

Over 50% of Twitter Staff are Sacked by Elon Musk


Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter, defended the decision on Saturday, claiming that there was 'no choice because the firm was losing millions of dollars daily. This comes amid a wave of widespread layoffs at Twitter around the world, including in India, and the outrage that followed.

Elon Musk made the decision to fire over 50% of the Twitter workers. After overnight limiting access to the company's headquarters and internal systems, employees were notified by email of their employment status.

To announce their departure, employees are tweeting using the hashtag #LoveWhereYouWorked and a saluting emoji. Elon justified the choice by claiming that the business was losing $4 million daily. Three months' worth of severance pay was provided to everyone who lost their jobs.

In contrast to a profit of $66 million during the same period last year, the corporation reported a net loss of $270 million for the second quarter that concluded on June 30, 2022. There are rumors that up to half of Twitter's 8,000 jobs could be eliminated. The website has trouble turning a profit. Making a dent in the salary cost is one method to solve the issue.

Simon Balmain, a senior community manager for Twitter in the UK, said that he had been signed out of both his work laptop and the Slack chat app, leading him to fear that he had been fired.

After already terminating some employees, several Twitter employees on Thursday night filed a class action complaint, according to CNN, alleging that Twitter violated the federal and California Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act).

According to the WARN Act, if a mass layoff "affects 50 or more employees at a single site of employment," the employer has to give 60 days written notice in advance. Additionally, Twitter has let go of the majority of its over 200 Indian staff. According to sources, the engineering, sales and marketing, and communications teams will all be affected".

Following Elon Musk's takeover of the social media company, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey finally spoke out about the widespread layoffs. He stated, " 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 apologise for that.”

The cost-cutting comes in response to criticism of Twitter's efforts to collect money by putting up a proposal to charge $8 (£7) per month for a blue check-mark that says, "Verified."Those that pay could receive more promotion for their tweets and see fewer advertisements in addition to the verification badge.

Since a few years prior, Twitter has not turned a profit, and its monthly user base of around 300 million people has remained broadly stable. Experts cautioned that Twitter's ability to battle misinformation may be impacted by the dismissal of half of its workers, particularly with the US midterm elections set for next week.





Elon Musk and Twitter Will End Their Court Battle as Early as Wednesday




A source close to the litigation, familiar with Elon Musk's case, tells Reuters that the world's richest man and Twitter Inc are likely to reach an agreement as soon as Wednesday that will allow him to close a $44 billion deal with the social media platform. Evaporation of the litigation could take place as early as Wednesday, the source adds. 

Musk, who is also the chief executive officer and a billionaire founder of the electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors, announced on Twitter late Monday that he would change course and abide by his agreement to purchase the company for $54.20 per share. There is a possibility that the following will happen if Twitter drops its lawsuit against the company. 

During Monday's announcement of his plans, Musk included a condition that the deal would not close unless the necessary debt financing had been obtained. As per a source, depending on how the negotiations unfold, it is possible that this condition could be lifted by a potential agreement, which is why he has requested anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the negotiations. 

There has been no sign that Twitter's legal team has accepted any of the offers made by the federal government. Instead, earlier in the day, Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick, the Supreme Court justice on Delaware's Court of Chancery, said that she was preparing for a possible trial. 

An attorney representing the Twitter shareholders who are seeking to begin a class action lawsuit against Musk, also stated in a letter to McCormick that Musk should be required to make a substantial deposit to cover any losses if he reneges on his commitment to finishing the deal again. Michael Hanrahan also claims that he should be held liable for interest that was caused by his actions that delayed the closing of the deal. 

On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that Musk and Twitter executives had several unsuccessful discussions in recent weeks. These discussions were regarding a possible price cut to Musk's $44 billion plan to buy the popular social media platform. On Monday, he reversed course after he reversed course on the acquisition. 

As per the report, Musk on the first occasion requested a 30% discount. This was later reduced to about 10% and ultimately rejected by Twitter due to the lack of interest from the company. 

Musk's legal team did not provide any information on what led to the team's offer of settling the case. He was, however, expected to face some tough questions at his deposition in Austin, Texas on Thursday. Twitter may have been able to gain leverage in talks for a deal to close because of the same. 

On Wednesday, Twitter shares closed at $51.30, a drop of 1.3% from their previous closing price of $53.90. On Tuesday, Twitter's shares touched their highest since Musk and Twitter reached a deal in April calling for Musk's purchase of the company at $54.20 a share. 

Musk's shares of Tesla fell by 3.5% on Wednesday. This was because investors were fearful Musk may be forced to sell more shares of the electric carmaker to fund the Twitter deal. Musk is yet to confirm. Additionally, Twitter could be a distraction for entrepreneurs since it is a social media platform. 

According to Musk, he walked away from Facebook’s acquisition deal in July after discovering Twitter had allegedly misled him about the number of fake accounts. However, Twitter did not respond to Musk’s request for comment. 



19-Year-Old Claims to Have Hacked Into More Than 25 Teslas

 

A 19-year-old hacker claims to have remotely opened the doors and windows of over 25 Tesla vehicles in 13 countries, as well as turned= on their radios, flash their headlights, and even start their engines and begin "keyless driving." David Colombo, who claims to be an IT specialist based in Germany, also claims to have been able to disable the vehicles' anti-theft systems and determine whether or not a driver is present. 

In a Monday tweet, Colombo claimed to have "complete remote control" of the Teslas, but later explained that he was never able to take over automobiles to "remotely manage steering or acceleration and braking." 

"Yes, I potentially could unlock the doors and start driving the affected Tesla’s," he tweeted. "No I cannot intervene with someone driving (other than starting music at max volume or flashing lights) and I also cannot drive these Tesla’s remotely." Colombo tweeted on Tuesday that his breach was "not a vulnerability in Tesla's system," but rather "it’s the owners faults."

Colombo stated on Twitter that he was able to disable Sentry Mode, an anti-theft feature in which a built-in camera functions as a de facto alarm system. When an alert is triggered, cameras begin filming in the area around the vehicle. The video is then streamed to the vehicle's owner via a mobile app. 

This is not the first time that a Tesla vehicle has been hacked. The Tesla Model X's Autopilot was hacked many times in 2020. In one case, Israeli researchers from Ben Gurion University deceived the car by flashing "phantom" images on a road, wall, or sign, leading it to brake suddenly or steer in the wrong way. A few months later, Wired reported that Lennert Wouters, a researcher at KU Leuven, "stole" a Tesla Model X in 90 seconds. 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said last fall that he will cooperate with regulators to ensure that electric car drivers' personal data is safe from hackers. With the rapid rise of autonomous driving technology, data security in automobiles is causing more public worry than ever before, he said through remote hook-up at an electric vehicle conference in China. 

By 2025, an estimated 470 million automobiles will be linked to a computerized database, making them prime targets for cybercriminals. According to Tech Monitor, the automobile cybersecurity industry is predicted to be worth $4 billion by that same year.

Elon Musk Backed Floki Turns Rs 1000 Into Rs 34 Lakh

 

Everyone knows that at the start of this year, Musk was one of the most vocal proponents of Dogecoin. His regular pronouncements and tweets propelled the cryptocurrency to new heights. Tesla CEO Elon Musk, on the other hand, stated in June that he will be getting a Shiba Inu dog (the face of Dogecoin) as a pet shortly, and that it will be named 'Floki.'

In September of this year, Musk shared a photo of Floki, which sparked another surge in the Dogecoin. This benefited all the linked or inspired coins, such as Baby Doge and Shiba Inu. Floki Inu, on the other hand, has been the largest gainer, with significant returns to its investors. Surprisingly, the coin didn't even exist until recently. 

The digital token has risen 3,40,150% in just two months, from $0.00000002 on August 8 to $0.00006805 on October 8. In rupee terms, this implies it turned a Rs 1,000 investment into Rs 34 lakh in less than two months. As of Sunday, Floki Inu had a market capitalization of $700 million (Rs 5,250 crore), which was higher than that of listed companies such as Sequent Scientific, Strides Pharma, Inox Leisure, Cochin Shipyard, Sudarshan Chemicals, MTAR Technologies, and others. 

Floki Inu is also the only crypto project officially affiliated with Elon Musk's brother Kimbal Musk's 'Million Gardens Movement,' which aims to empower people to choose, grow, prepare, and consume healthy food. In a contribution drive for this movement last week, Floki Inu raised $1.4 million in just 35 minutes. Floki Inu issued 10,000 Flokitars to the general public on September 18, 2021. 

Floki Inu is riding high on the play to earn revolution, which resonates with millions around the world, according to Sharat Chandra, Blockchain & Emerging Tech Evangelist. This explains the coin's unprecedented pricing. 

"It’s going to head north in the days and months to come. Team behind Floki is focussed on developing an ecosystem of use cases powered by NFTs, games, decentralized banking and creating new monetization models," Sharat said. 

According to Darshan Bathija, Co-Founder and CEO of Vauld, "the way this meme coin is being regarded has radically changed over the last six months as they have grown more mainstream." If a coin's price movements are influenced by a big external source, it poses a greater concern and investment risk, Darshan added.

Leaked Emails Shows ULA Conspire against Elon Musk and SpaceX

 

According to an apparent email leak, the United Launch Alliance, a major SpaceX competitor, was planning to promote conspiracy stories concerning SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. The emails originally appeared on Backchannel and highlighted a communication among ULA VP Robbie Sebethier and Hasan Soloman, a senior lobbyist with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, who is the other party in the communication. 

They purport to disparage NASA's leadership as "incompetent and unpredictable," and they even theorize on a conspiracy theory involving Elon Musk and former US President Donald Trump. 

Elon Reeve Musk FRS is a businessman and entrepreneur and is one of the richest persons on the planet. He is the founder, CEO, and Chief Engineer of SpaceX, as well as an early-stage investor, CEO, and Product Architect of Tesla, Inc., the founder of The Boring Company, and the co-founder of Neuralink and OpenAI. 

Whereas, Space Exploration Technologies Corp. is a Hawthorne, California-based aerospace manufacturer, space transportation services provider, and communications corporation. SpaceX, in addition to working for NASA, also launches satellites for the military, private enterprises, and other countries. 

The email discussion addresses a conspiracy theory wherein Musk is said to be collaborating with Donald Trump to assist the Chinese Communist Party. Musk was also openly tolerant and obedient to Chinese officials at Tesla, according to the leaked email. 

“Large NASA taxpayer investments are being thrown away due to the cozy relationship established by Trump political hacks throughout NASA. The US Government’s deep space exploration program is at risk: This large program which is the baseline for deep space exploration is being threatened due to political favors being offered to Elon Musk,” Sabathier wrote on April 23. 

The timeframe suggests an irate ULA in the wake of NASA's decision to sole-source contract SpaceX for the Human Landing Systems. This is indeed a recurring pattern, as SpaceX continues to secure huge government contracts while ULA struggles to stay competitive. 

SpaceX has not commented on the leak, and on the other hand, a spokeswoman for United Airlines has likewise declined to comment. However, according to Ars Technica, the emails seem to be authentic.

Ongoing Bitcoin Scams Show Power of Social Engineering Triggers

Over the last seven months, the number of Bitcoin scams has increased dramatically. The scams began around October 2020 and are still going on today. “Since October 2020, reports have skyrocketed, with approximately 7,000 people reporting losses of more than $80 million on these scams,” the FTC reported on May 17, 2021. 

It explains two different types of scams: The first is to entice victims to phoney websites that appear to be legitimate and offer investment opportunities and the second is essentially a celebrity scam, in which the alleged celebrity claims to triple every bitcoin investment instantly. Elon Musk's name is often used as a celebrity in the latter scam. He is used to lend legitimacy to the scam because of his business acumen and involvement in cryptocurrencies. 

The BBC reported on May 13, 2021, that a schoolteacher had lost £9,000 (nearly $12,750) after being duped into visiting a fake website. The study didn't say how she was tricked, but the website was a parody of the BBC. According to a fake news article, “Tesla buys $1.5 billion in bitcoin, plans to give $750 million of it away”, only the second half of the headline is incorrect. Tesla did, in fact, purchase $1.5 billion in bitcoin in February 2021, citing the need for “more versatility to further diversify and optimize returns on our cash.” 

Grammatical pedants may have seen a red flag in the fake BBC website's use of the word "giveaway" (generally a noun) instead of "give away" (the correct form for an action). Scams are known for grammatical and typographical mistakes, but the fake website is otherwise very convincing. The teacher invested £9,000 with the expectation of receiving £18,000 in return but got nothing. 

A month before, the BBC reported on a Twitter-based scam that resulted in a much larger loss. The real Elon Musk tweeted “Dojo 4 Doge” on February 22, 2021. Using the handle with the name Elon Musk on Twitter, a scammer offered a once-in-a-lifetime chance to send up to 20 bitcoin and earn double. The victim fell for it and submitted 10 bitcoins, which he promptly lost – about £497,000 (nearly $700,000).

Bitdefender, a security company, recently reported on two email campaigns with similar themes. In two separate campaigns, tens of thousands of fraudulent Tesla-related emails were sent. Both campaigns have the same pitch: send Elon Musk some bitcoin and he'll give you back twice as much. The first campaign makes use of a PDF attachment, apart from the PDF's post, which reads, "Our marketing department here at Tesla HQ came up with an idea: to hold a special giveaway event for all crypto fans out there," there is nothing malicious about it. The PDF contains instructions on how to send bitcoin and earn twice the sum in return. “ELON MUSK 5,000 B T C GIVEAWAY!” is a popular subject line for emails. 

Other emails, on the other hand, are personalized, including the user's username. Nearly 80% of the emails in this campaign seem to have been sent from IP addresses in Germany. According to the researchers, “11% of the fraudulent emails hit users in the United Kingdom, 79.26% in Sweden, and 9.22% in the United States.” 

The second campaign consists of a simple email containing details about the fraudulent giveaway and a Bitcoin Address QR Code that can be scanned by participants. The email reads, "If you want to participate in the giveaway, it's very simple! All you have to do is send any amount of Bitcoin (BTC) to our official donation address for this case (between 0.1 BTC and 50 BTC), and once we receive your transaction, we will immediately send back (2x) to the address from which you sent the BTC.” 

On the other hand, Bitdefender states that “at the moment, one of the perps' crypto wallets reveals 31 transactions totaling 1965.21 dollars.” All of these bitcoin scams show that it's almost impossible to keep users from falling for good social engineering – whether it's a scam or a phishing assault. In this scenario, the campaigns hit all the right notes: believability, celebrity endorsement, urgency, and most importantly, greed.

Who Could be Behind the Whale Address that Owns Dogecoin Worth $12 Billion?

 

After the sudden spike in cryptocurrency this year, news outlets and various traders have been thinking about who might be behind the famous and exceptional Dogecoin with the whale address DH5yaieqoZN36fDVciNyRueRGvGLR3mr7L, which is worth 12 billion dollars. It has mined 36.7 billion Dogecoins since 2019 and has a world demand of dogecoin of around 28%. 

Although it's fun to speculate that the aforementioned address belongs to a single person who suddenly accrued billions of dollars of the same meme cryptocurrency, Dogecoin. While Patrick Lodder, a dogecoin core creator, said that it more likely seems that the cryptocurrency address resembles some cryptocurrency exchange. 

Dogecoin is a crypto-monetary developed by Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer, software developers, who wanted to build a payment system like a prank, using wild speculation in cryptocurrencies at the time. Some regard this a valid investment opportunity, despite its humorous existence. 

Dogecoin's value has dropped significantly in recent days as China has imposed a ban on cryptocurrency trading, which is one of the primary reasons for the drop. Tesla and SpaceX's CEO Elon Musk, who mostly supports it on his social media pages, was primarily responsible for the development of the spike. 

While it’s no doubt that the story behind this meme cryptocurrency – Dogecoin must be the most interesting one but with the ongoing tweets from Elon Musk, his fans would connect the most to it. 

Lodder, who has worked with Dogecoin since 2014, has explained that everyone can deliver Doge to a publicly listed address so cash entering an address is no "clue" in the identification of the address unless its value increases significantly. 

"These are all jokers, that probably has nothing to do with the operator of the wallet, that's just people having fun," he said. 

CoinDesk's research head claimed that the inert activities could also state that the whale is not an exchange but simply a person. However, Lodder said that this form of operation implies that the address is cold storage for an exchange. An exchange that takes care of several Dogecoin probably will not keep it on the server and rather will discharge its assets into a more secure offline warehouse like a cold storage wallet. 

"This looks like somebody getting a lot of money into custody and putting that into a cold storage wallet so that it's more secure," Lodder told Business Insider. 

Many assumptions to whom the address may belong have indeed been published on various online forums. Similarly One of the Reddit accounts suspects this whale address could be one of the several dogecoin addresses of Robinhood. The user tracks data mostly on-chain and assumes that the address is one of the cold storage wallets of Robinhood. Whereas some believe that the address belongs to the father of dogecoin- Elon Musk. 

Such rumors', Lodder said, may theoretically be dangerous for a doge-like cryptocurrency. He added that there indeed is speculation that a whale might make people sell their doge in a hope that the whale would also dump all their doge. 

He said that if the address were part of an exchange, it would be helpful if the exchanges were to take place. Most cryptocurrency exchanges do not reveal their dogecoin or various other cryptographic addresses. 

"It would be helpful for the dogecoin community, not even just doge but all crypto, if there was a good way to either independently verify that the books of a custodial exchange are in order, or to have an audit report from a professional firm that does the audit and certifies that everything is fine," said Lodder.

Crypto Tumble is Testing the Durability of the Cryptocurrency Boom

 

The rapid and broad retreat of virtual currencies is putting the cryptocurrency boom to the test. After a bruising U.S. session that shocked the cryptocurrency world, Bitcoin and Ether remained under strain. 

During Asian trading, the two most common digital tokens retreated to this week's lows before recovering. As of 12:09 p.m. in Hong Kong, bitcoin had fallen as much as 8.7% and was trading at $39,270. Ether was down as much as 15% at one stage, but it later recovered. 

In the last week, the value of more than 7,000 tokens monitored by CoinGecko has dropped by more than $600 billion to $1.9 trillion. Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency, fell 11% on Wednesday, breaking below $40,000 for the first time, and is now around $25,000 below its April high. 

Several factors are at stake, ranging from onetime promoter Elon Musk's criticism of Bitcoin's energy usage's environmental effects to the possibility of a regulatory crackdown on what has been dubbed the "Wild West of investing." The returns from digital tokens have been so large that some traders may have been taking money. 

According to Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at Oanda, the $40,000 mark is a "critical make-or-break pivot stage" for Bitcoin, and a drop to just below $30,000 isn't out of the question.

Early in April, the market capitalization of cryptocurrencies surpassed $2 trillion for the first time, more than doubling in less than two months on expectations that institutional investors will become more active. About $600 billion has been lost as a result of the existing weakness. According to Mike McGlone, a commodity strategist at Bloomberg Intelligence in New York, bitcoin checked its 200-day moving average, and its discount to the 120-day average is the largest since last year. He expects the price of Bitcoin to settle around the $49,000 average in 2021. 

Bitcoin's price to gold ratio has fallen to its lowest level since early February. This comes as investors become more cautious of risky assets, as well as the economy's post-pandemic recovery. Bitcoin supporters argue that it is a modern-day store of value, but the token's volatility contradicts this argument. 

A continuing recovery in Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency, attracted attention after Bitcoin pulled back from a mid-April peak. But that, too, has come to a halt. In a note published on Monday, Chris Weston, head of research at Pepperstone Group Ltd. in Melbourne, said he was closing a short Bitcoin/long Ether trade because the "dust just needs to settle."