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  • Late in the evening on October 27th, Elon Musk officially took ownership of Twitter and wasted no time overhauling basically everything about the company.

    10 月 27 日深夜,伊隆·馬斯克正式接管 Twitter,並不浪費一分一秒地針對該公司幾乎每個部分進行大規模改造。

  • In a matter of days, he's fired the board of directors, installed himself as CEO, and made a string of increasingly chaotic product decisions.


  • He's talked about relaunching Vine.

    他談到了重啟 Vine 的議題。(譯註:Vine 為 Twitter 於 2013 年 1 月推出的免費短影音應用程式,並於 2016 年 10 月停用)

  • He's talked about establishing a new oversight board for moderation decisions.


  • The biggest new project is getting all the verified accounts to pay 8 dollars a month for their blue check, and if the engineers can't ship an update in the next week, they're fired.

    最大的新項目是讓所有已驗證的帳號每月支付 8 美元以保有他們的藍色勾勾,而工程師們如果不能再下一週內發布更新,就會被解僱。

  • Looming over everything is the threat of massive layoffs, touching nearly every part of the company.


  • Whatever happens, this is gonna have a huge and lasting impact on what it's like to use Twitter.

    無論發生什麼,這對 Twitter 的使用體驗都會有巨大且持久的影響。

  • So, what is Elon Musk's version of Twitter actually gonna look like?

    那麼,馬斯克管理下的 Twitter 會是什麼樣子呢?

  • Twitter was part of the first wave of social media companies, founded just one year after YouTube and two years after Facebook.

    Twitter 是第一波出現的社交媒體公司之一,在 YouTube 出現一年後、Facebook 出現兩年後就建立。

  • But where those two became billion-dollar businesses, Twitter has really struggled.

    但在這兩間公司都成為價值十億美元企業的同時,Twitter 卻掙扎了。

  • Lots of people use the platform, but as a business, it's inconsistent at best, struggling for profitability through a rotating cast of CEOs.


  • As Mark Zuckerberg put it, "It was like they drove a clown car into a gold mine."


  • As of last quarter, Facebook has about 10 times more users and makes 10 times more money than Twitter.

    截至上一季,Facebook 的用戶數比 Twitter 多約 10 倍,且獲利也比 Twitter 高 10 倍。

  • From April to June, Facebook made a profit of 8.4 billion dollars and Twitter lost 344 million dollars.

    從 4 月到 6 月,Facebook 的利潤為 84 億美元,而 Twitter 則損失了 3.44 億美元。

  • That's a lot of money to lose in three months.


  • And after 15 years of fitful profitability, Twitter was looking at a very real possibility that the company would just run out of money.

    而經過 15 年的不穩定盈利後,Twitter 真正地面臨了一個非常真實的可能性,公司會耗盡資金。

  • Into that mess steps Elon Musk.


  • Even as Twitter was failing as a business, it had become really influential with a core set of users, particularly people who work in the media.

    即便 Twitter 在企業面做得失敗,它在一群核心使用者之間變得極有影響力,尤其是在媒體工作者之間。

  • So, when Twitter made controversial moderation calls, like banning Trump or blocking a "New York Post" article, it could have a huge overall effect.

    所以當 Twitter 做出停用川普權限或是封鎖《紐約郵報》一篇文章等爭議性調度決策時,它可能會產生巨大的整體影響。

  • As Elon became more prominent on Twitter, he also became more prickly about the platform's moderation choices.

    隨著馬斯克在 Twitter 上地位變得更高,他對於該平台的調度決策也變得更加挑剔。

  • And unlike basically every other person on Earth, he was in a position to raise tens of billions of dollars just to buy the thing.


  • This is not a way to sort of make money, you know.


  • Having a public platform that is maximally trusted and broadly inclusive is extremely important to the future of civilization.


  • I don't care about the economics at all.


  • So, in theory, this approach could work.


  • Whatever you think of him, Elon Musk has a long history of running mission-driven companies, and if you squint a little, you can imagine Twitter being run the same way.

    無論你對他有什麼看法,馬斯克長時間以來都經營了任務導向型公司,而如果你爭一隻眼閉一隻眼,可以想像 Twitter 以同樣方式被經營。

  • But basically everything Elon has done since he made this offer has made the deal seem like a slow-motion disaster.


  • After charging in hard with the 44-billion-dollar offer, he spent most of the year trying to weasel out of the deal because of some pretty specious claims about bot activity,

    在以 440 億美元高價狠狠出擊後,他這一年大部分的時間裡都在試圖從交易中脫身,因為一些關於機器人活動的可疑宣稱,

  • eventually caving once Twitter took him to court.

    不過在 Twitter 將他告上法庭後,最終還是屈服了。

  • Now Elon really owns Twitter.

    現在馬斯克真的擁有了 Twitter。

  • He's made himself CEO and he can do whatever he wants, but mostly, what he seems to want to do is make life difficult for the people who actually work there.


  • You can argue some of this makes sense.


  • Twitter really does need to reduce its costs, and the whole reason Elon bought it in the first place was because he thought they were doing a bad job.

    Twitter 的確需要消減支出,而馬斯克一開始購入它的原因就是認為他們這方面做得很糟糕。

  • But the fact that it's happening so quickly and haphazardly raises the real possibility that there just won't be anyone left to keep the platform running.


  • Twitter's reputation as social media's ugly duckling also works against it here.


  • Anyone with the skills to really help Twitter succeed could make a lot more money at Facebook or YouTube, and they wouldn't have to deal with working for Elon.

    任何真正有能力能夠幫助 Twitter 成功的人,都可以在 Facebook 或 YouTube 賺更多錢,而且他們還不必應付與馬斯克共事這件事。

  • At a company like SpaceX or Tesla, you might stick around because you really care about electric cars or private space flight.

    在像 SpaceX 或 Tesla 這樣的公司,你可能因為真的關心電動汽車或私人太空旅行而堅持下去。

  • But, at this point, it's hard to imagine anyone really feeling that way about Twitter.

    但在現階段,很難想像會有人對 Twitter 抱有這種感覺。

  • Then there's Musk's view of free speech.


  • His basic idea is that Twitter should do less moderation, which is a reasonable enough idea,

    他的基本想法是,Twitter 應該少做一些調度作業,這是一個足夠合理的想法,

  • but in practice, it's meant gutting Twitter's trust and safety team at the same time that the platform is seeing a huge surge in tweets using racial slurs.

    但在實踐上,這意味著要在該平台上使用種族誹謗推文數量激增的同時,砍掉 Twitter 的信任和安全團隊。

  • Whatever you think about the abstract ideas in play, this is not gonna tempt in any new users or advertisers.


  • What's left looks an awful lot like a death spiral,


  • where staff chaos creates user experience problems, which leads to fewer users and less money, which leads to more staff chaos and more platform issues.


  • For all Elon's experience, he's never run a social network before, and he's not gonna have a lot of runway to turn Twitter around.

    儘管 Elon 有諸多經驗,他從來沒有經營過社交網路,而且也不會有太多可以扭轉 Twitter 局勢的空間。

  • If he really can't, he may have just bought a 44-billion-dollar trash fire.

    如果他真的做不到,他可能剛購入一座 440 億美元的垃圾火。

  • Thanks for watching.


  • It's been a busy week of updates, but you can catch it all on

    這週的更新非常密集,但各位可以到 上觀看。

  • - Sweet. - That was great.

    - 好極了。 - 那很棒。

  • Did you like the point? That was, likethat's what... that's what gets me.


Late in the evening on October 27th, Elon Musk officially took ownership of Twitter and wasted no time overhauling basically everything about the company.

10 月 27 日深夜,伊隆·馬斯克正式接管 Twitter,並不浪費一分一秒地針對該公司幾乎每個部分進行大規模改造。

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