The Bird is Freed

On October 27, 2022 at 11:49 p.m. ET, @elonmusk tweeted, “the bird is freed.” I’m wondering if he meant “fried.” Elon is out about $44 billion (a substantial portion of which is his own money) and the freshly fired executive team is up approximately $88 million. It’s no fun being fired, even by Elon, but the windfall of cash may ease their pain.

What will happen now? Staff cuts that don’t come with a windfall of cash – and those cuts will deeply hurt some very talented people. (Full disclosure: Twitter is a client of ours.)

There are, of course, some very big questions about who Elon will allow back on the platform and what changes he will make to Twitter’s content moderation workflows and processes. There’s a strong possibility that he will change Twitter’s content moderation policies as well. He has also suggested that Twitter could function with 75% fewer employees. We’ll see.

The social media industry has massive problems that need to be addressed: social media addiction, AI bias, bullying, general content moderation, and eliminating hate speech (just to name a few). It also has some serious business problems, like how Apple’s ATT has made advertising far less effective on all social media platforms. That all goes to say that if Elon is hands on, he’s going to have his hands full.

That said, he’s the richest person in the world; if he called this one right, we’re all going to learn something. If he called it wrong, from a financial point of view, he won’t even notice.

Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit



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