Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter could upend the music industry’s largest forum
Dana Merson The founder of the advertising company Biz3, has been on Twitter since its inception as a widget where users had to submit their tweets to be published. It was introduced to the platform when Herb magazine partnered with Twitter for SXSW in 2007.
“There will be a live stream to the Twitter widget on Herb, and it will just say what people are doing,” Myerson recalls. “And you also send these messages in the void… Who even reads them? I was like, ‘How am I going to get bands to do this?” Fifteen years later, Twitter is a vital communication tool for musicians, politicians, police departments, city municipalities, and other large agencies looking to keep Consistent with General Pew Research reports that 1 in 5 Americans use Twitter, and “about seven in ten adult Twitter users” get their news from the site.
But those dynamics may change after Elon Musk’s recent acquisition of the social media company. After laying off nearly half of Twitter’s employees, Musk reportedly rushed to roll out the controversial Twitter Blue feature, which allows nearly any user to get a “blue badge” verification for an $8 monthly fee. Twitter has started its own verification program to ensure users get information from credible sources and real celebrities, while this latest feature has been taken advantage of to impersonate the likes of LeBron James and ESPN reporter Adam Schefter.
For publicists like Meyerson and Scott Jawson, of Dark Matter PR, changes can start to affect how they do their business. Jawson says he mainly uses Twitter to find press for clients like Big Boi, Mavi, Montell Fish and SoFaygo. “For me, it is often not very easy to find contacts for journalists and writers,” he says. “And Twitter is a very valuable tool in that you can see – especially if someone is validated – if they’re tweeting with links to their article, it’s easy to connect with them. If there’s more confusion about that, it’s going to be hard to say who they are. It also deters people from being on the platform.” Jawson also expressed concern about people impersonating journalists on Twitter and deceiving up-and-coming artists.
The ease of new-found impersonation has also given reason to worry about scammers potentially preying on young fans. The 20-year advertising veteran has represented such businesses as The Weeknd, Lil Baby, and A$AP Rocky. She believes that mass out on Twitter would reinforce the importance of real-world relationships. “I guess what you’ll do, and I’m already seeing the transformation happening, is [encourage publicists] By going out to shows and meeting people in real life,” she says. They will have to find clients that writers are interested in and then connect that way. I think many young people have used social media as an accelerator to be like, ‘I know all these people.’ But there is A different kind of relationship when you meet someone in real life versus the way you present yourself and who you are on social media.”
On the flip side, Myerson also believes that people leaving Twitter can prevent music from exploding on the platform more frequently. “[Twitter] She’s the Wild West, so she’s working for the artist.” “If you look at Megan Thee Stallion, her music was blasting, but Hot Girl Summer was trending on Twitter, and then jumped at the celebrity shark who took their picture and hashed ‘Hot Girl Summer.'” Literally, a song called “Hot Girl Summer” that Nikki was working on came out, and she was capitalizing on something that originated from social media, specifically Twitter.”
The so-called “black Twitter”, a social community of mostly black users, has become a cultural engine for the platform. Twitter hysteria around songs like “Bad N Boujee” and “Bodak Yellow” helped both singles reach number one on the charts. Fan bases like Nicki Minaj’s “Barbz” organize group hearings on Twitter regularly to help her artist top the charts. Twitter has become a forum for music lovers to talk to each other and their favorite artists.
“[With] On Twitter, there’s a lot of talking, and there’s a lot of conversation happening,” Myerson says. “It’s a lot more sharing in a really simple way. So it looks like a platform that anyone can use. Instead of selling photos or videos, you’re selling more ideas, ideas, or conversations. So I was not shocked that as the world is more divided between art and commerce, someone comes along and makes a change of things. The direction you’re going looks scary.”
Musk’s decision to fire the entire moderation team exacerbated the rampant hate speech problems. For example, in the 12 hours after Musk closed his Twitter acquisition, there was a 500% increase in N-word use, driven primarily by racist accounts taking advantage of lax rules. This racist spike aligns with digital company Bot Sentinel reports that Twitter lost nearly 877,000 users and had to suspend nearly half a million more users in the five days following Musk’s acquisition. According to the company, that’s twice the amount of activity in a typical period.
“I think, as we’ve all seen over the past few months, it all came to a head,” Myerson says. Is it freedom of expression or is it hate speech? And where do we stand with that? “We don’t see it the same way on any other platform,” Myerson says.
Jawson agrees with Twitter’s toxicity, noting, “I think there are people out there who enjoy using Twitter, and they already know it’s a terrible place. When Elon Musk came in and said, ‘I don’t want it to be a hell-free place for everyone,’ it was already a hell-free place for everyone.” Merson says. “Anyone can come in and buy [a social platform]. So, does the seller have the responsibility to make sure he sells to someone who has morals? It’s different from putting someone in government, so the assumption that there is any morality in capitalism is the number one problem.”
Artists like Sara Bareilles, Toni Braxton, and Whoopi Goldberg have already left Twitter in response to the changes. in a tweet, Braxton She cited the slight increase in hate speech as her reason to sign off. “Hate speech under the veil of ‘freedom of speech’ is unacceptable; therefore, I am choosing to stay off Twitter because it is no longer a safe place for me, my children, and the children of others.
Now, an increasing number of users are promoting Mastodon as a potential alternative to Twitter. Mastodon’s “toots” feature is similar to Twitter, but the platform’s complex signup process and split servers prevent conversations from flowing freely as they are on Twitter. Myerson has not yet looked at Mastodon, while Jawson says he would be open to using it if enough people he respects start using it.
Other artists tend to Discord to keep in touch with fans. Jawson client Mavi recently suggested starting a Discord server, but Jawson says the decision has nothing to do with Musk’s purchase of Twitter. Jawson thinks Discord is a worthwhile “fan club” for artists but it has flaws. “Discord is also owned by another billionaire with his own agenda,” he says. “Maybe he’s less reckless and chaotic than Elon Musk, but all of these platforms are owned by people who have potentially nefarious targets, whether they send them directly as Elon does or not.” However, he adds, “I feel there has to be a better alternative to what’s going on now. It’s just who’s going to create it and how can you do that sustainably without forcing algorithms that encourage hate speech.”
Until the arrival of this utopian app, Myerson believed it was up to the artists to follow Braxton, Goldberg, and others by capitalizing on their massive followings against Musk. She cites artists who have removed their music from Spotify in response to Joe Rogan’s controversial anti-fax stance. “If I was an artist and someone could impersonate me, I would be really clear and say, ‘I’m not going to be on this platform anymore because of that,’” Myerson says. that. Use your strength. ”
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