California Observer

Will Twitter survive these challenges?

New Twitter CEO

Image Source: Vox

On Twitter today, everyone is saying goodbye.

There are a lot of people using the hashtag “RIPTwitter,” and a lot of Twitter users are rushing to save their information.

They also tell you where to find them elsewhere (consumer champion Martin Lewis, who has two million Twitter followers, has set himself up on Mastodon, although he admits he still needs to learn how to use it).

Elon Musk, the new CEO of Twitter, is not one to miss a trend, so he tweeted a tombstone meme with the Twitter logo.

A lot of people who work for Twitter are leaving. A week after he bought the platform, Mr. Musk fired half of the people who worked for him. He sent an email to his remaining workers telling them they had to work in “hardcore” conditions, which made many of them quit.

According to their Twitter bios, many people leaving are engineers, developers, and coders. These are the people behind Twitter.

Let’s look at the bluebird’s two biggest flaws, which could quickly make it fall off its perch.

Could Twitter be hacked?

The first is the most obvious: a hack that does much damage.

Like all big websites, including this one, the BBC, Twitter will constantly be attacked by evil people and even the government. Millions of people follow the personal Twitter accounts of world leaders, politicians, and famous people. As we have seen before, this is an easy target for hackers who want many people to see their scam.

Or, they might want it to go away, so they send a lot of web traffic to it to see if it goes down because it’s too busy. There will always be attempts like this because a battle never ends.

In the 21st century, cybersecurity is or should be an essential part of how every business runs. But Lea Kissner left Twitter last week. She was in charge of cyber security there. So she may still need to be replaced. (Twitter also doesn’t have a communications team, so asking isn’t easy.)

Most likely, the security of Twitter is critical. You can use more than just a piece of string to run a website that 300 million people visit every month. But you have to keep being tough over time.

Think about how often you update your phone or computer to keep it safe. That’s because security holes you didn’t know you had are constantly being found, and it’s the provider’s job to send you a fix.

Servers in danger

The second thing that could go wrong is that someone with a grudge can shut down the servers.

Without servers, there would be no Twitter (Facebook, Instagram or our digital world.)

The bodies of these platforms are powerful computers called servers. They are there in the data centers. These are warehouses full of computer servers essential to how online businesses work. The world runs because of servers.

All of these machines heat up a lot. This is why they must keep data centers cool and have a steady electricity supply.

As data moves from one server to another, they must update and replace them. One or more of these things could go wrong. If it did, it would happen quickly and in a big way.

Choosing to go nuclear

Elon Musk knows all of this. So let’s not think that he doesn’t, shall we? He could also act like a fool, though.

We need to find out who’s watching right now.

Yesterday, I thought more people were looking at Twitter than we thought.

I told a story about an astronomer locked out of her account  because of a mistake made by automated moderation tools. She thought she had broken the rules. No one from Twitter or Mr. Musk’s other companies got back to me or talked to her. But they fixed her account by the end of the day.

Someone was paying attention somewhere on Twitter. That could be what enough of them are doing.

Musk could declare Twitter bankrupt and shut it down as a third option. Still, he seems to like being Chief Twit for the time being.

Opinions expressed by California Observer contributors are their own.

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Opinions expressed by California Observer contributors are their own.