April 6, 2022
Photo: Patrick Pleul/Getty Images
Good morning! Elon Musk is now on the board of Twitter and wants to make “significant improvements” with his newfound power. Does Elon just want an edit button (like all of us) or is he going all in on anarchy? We’ll soon find out. I'm Nat Rubio-Licht and I officially hate desert hiking after spraining my ankle in Joshua Tree. 🥲
Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal announced Tuesday that Elon Musk would be joining the platform's board of directors a day after it was revealed that Musk is now Twitter’s largest shareholder. As a long-time Twitter user with a following of more than 80 million, Musk has become a favorite among the company’s higher-ups: Former CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted Tuesday morning that he’s wanted Musk on the board “for a long time.”
Musk has complained that Twitter limits free speech, even teasing that he was giving “serious thought” to starting his own social media platform. Instead, he may be bringing these ideas to Twitter. Agrawal seemingly sees Musk’s problems with Twitter as a plus, calling him both a “passionate believer and intense critic of the service.”
Twitter may no longer be just a place for Elon Musk to make outlandish promises and Tesla announcements. Now, it could be a place for him to make changes — potentially problematic ones, at that.
Musk’s ideas might be bad for business. The Tesla CEO calls himself a “free speech absolutist” who wants Twitter to open-source its algorithm. Both of those concepts would destabilize Twitter’s existence as a money-making enterprise.
Musk’s status as Twitter’s troll-in-chief could open the floodgates. Critics of Musk’s appointment to the board are concerned that Musk’s influence will revert the platform back to a darker time, before the company got serious about content moderation and abuse prevention. Folks still face harassment on Twitter, and rolling back those efforts would make the user experience worse.
Twitter may have some safeguards in place. The company’s corporate governance for its board of directors states that certain topics are “unrelated to [their] duties and responsibilities." These include product complaints and inquiries, as well as new product suggestions.
This is Elon Musk we’re talking about, though. He’s notorious for not playing by the rules — not even the federal regulations that his companies are required to follow by law. Will he take over Twitter, start his own social network (as he tweeted about in March) or tire of being a social media star and go back to shooting rockets into space? Knowing Musk, all of the above.
How is the infrastructure rollout going — and what does it mean for tech?
It’s been almost six months since Congress passed the landmark $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. With bad data to go on, like inaccurate broadband maps, how should the government distribute funding? Which tech companies are going to benefit most from the five-year push for EV growth? Who's getting left out? Join us at 9 a.m. PT April 21, where we'll explore how the infrastructure bill rollout is going and what it means for you. RSVP here.
DuckDuckGo has an all-in-one privacy solution aimed at simplifying online privacy protection. DuckDuckGo’s app can be used as an everyday browser with private search, tracker blocking, encryption, and now email protection built-in. It’s the free, easy button for online privacy.
Steve Aoki said NFTs are giving musicians more ownership of their work:
Google’s Javier Soltero said companies should stand by the office policies they set:
Michael Smith of climate-focused venture capital fund Regeneration.VC says we need to rethink consumerism:
Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference is happening online again. It’ll run from June 6 to June 10.
Pam Greer is leaving Amazon. Greer was the HR exec tasked with making Amazon the "best employer on Earth."
Jason Kilar is leaving WarnerMedia as chief executive, just before AT&T and Discovery merge into Warner Bros. Discovery. Kilar has led WarnerMedia for about two years.Kimberly Cassady is MX’s new chief people officer. She was most recently the chief talent officer at Cornerstone OnDemand.
Twitter is working on an edit button after all. In fact, it’s been working on one for the past year or so and will start testing the tool with Twitter Blue subscribers.
Uber is experimenting with becoming a travel super app, adding buses, planes and trains as booking options in its U.K. app in the coming months. It could expand the experiment if it works well.
Fast is already coming to a halt. The one-click checkout company apparently gave investors the option to lay off workers to help cut costs.
Elon Musk likely broke rules to become Twitter’s biggest shareholder. He was probably supposed to disclose his stake much earlier, and postponing the notice may have saved him a lot of money.
Roblox is paying its interns a lot of money. It offers the highest-paying internship in the U.S. with a median monthly pay of over $9,500, according to a Glassdoor report.
Apple is toying with automatic subscription price changes. It’s working with Disney and others on a feature that would automatically enroll subscribers in price hikes.
Amazon is trying to compete with Starlink. It signed a deal with three companies, which notably does not include SpaceX, to launch Project Kuiper internet satellites.
Honda and General Motors are working together on EVs. They’re hoping to create “a series of affordable electric vehicles” by 2027.
Google Cloud has built a data lakehouse on BigQuery. Called BigLake, it will be at the center of Google Cloud’s data platform strategy and is now available in preview.
Amazon Labor Union is getting a lot of interest from other warehouses. Over 50 buildings nationwide have contacted the group since its big union win.
Google Docs is getting emoji reactions. Finally!
Some of us are overly ambitious about what we think we can get done in a day. That’s why we fill our to-do lists with tasks — only to end up feeling unaccomplished at the end of the day. A new to-do list app called Bento is trying to solve that.
The app limits users to three tasks — one small, one medium and one large — in a single “Bento box,” which can represent any unit of time. So you could have one Bento box for morning tasks and one for afternoon assignments. The idea is to help people figure out their priorities and better organize their day without a never-ending to-do list.
Tracking is a comprehensive problem — over 80% of websites, apps and emails contain third-party trackers. Because of that, people need a multi-pronged privacy solution. DuckDuckGo’s all-in-one privacy app can be used as an everyday browser with multiple features built-in, including private search, tracker blocking, encryption, and email protection.
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