Elon Musk’s Israel disinformation investigation, explained

“In the hours after the Hamas attack on Israel began, users subscribed to X Premium — whose accounts show a verified check mark and get boosted engagement in exchange for a monthly fee — spread a number of particularly egregious pieces of misinformation. According to a running tracker by Media Matters, these accounts amplified a fake White House memo claiming the US government was about to send $8 billion in aid to Israel; circulated videos from other conflicts (and in some cases, footage from a video game) while claiming they showed the latest out of Israel and Gaza; falsely claimed that a church in Gaza had been bombed; and impersonated a news outlet. These posts were shared by X users with huge followings and viewed tens of millions of times. The Tech Transparency Project said on Thursday that it had identified X Premium accounts promoting Hamas propaganda videos, which were viewed hundreds of thousands of times.”


Even Elon Musk can’t fully wreck Twitter’s one great superpower

“the TV ratings Nielsen reports have no correlation to the viewership numbers Twitter is reporting. For starters, as always, Nielsen is reporting the average viewership the debates generated, not the total number of views, which is what online outlets generally report. That’s not a new discrepancy, and at this point everyone in tech and media should know better but either doesn’t or pretends not to.

More important, under Musk, Twitter has moved to an even more fanciful description of “viewership,” where it’s not even pretending to count people who watch the video. Instead, it’s simply measuring the number of times someone has seen the tweet with the video scroll through their feed, as the Washington Post’s Will Oremus reports.”


Who is Linda Yaccarino, Elon Musk’s pick for new Twitter CEO?

“Yaccarino is a seasoned media executive who could help repair Twitter’s relationship with its advertisers, many of whom have quit or cut back from the platform recently because of Musk’s perceived volatility. She has a reputation for being a tough negotiator and was key in the launch of NBCUniversal’s digital Peacock streaming service, according to the Wall Street Journal. She’s also a known Trump supporter, according to sources. In the past few months, Yaccarino has publicly praised Musk, and she interviewed him at a major advertising conference in April — paving her way, in the eyes of media insiders, to take on the role.”

“if you think that means the Elon-Twitter story is over, don’t hold your breath. Musk is still very much in control. He will still be the owner of Twitter. Unless he sells the company — or a controlling share of it — he’s the one calling the shots.
How much power he gives Yaccarino is entirely at Musk’s discretion.”

Elon Musk’s tunnels to nowhere

“In late 2016, billionaire Elon Musk was sitting in traffic on West Los Angeles’s notoriously clogged 405 freeway while shuttling between one of his Bel Air mansions and SpaceX’s headquarters in nearby Hawthorne. Fed up with “soul-destroying traffic,” he initially suggested adding another layer to the 405 before tweeting out an even more far-fetched idea: a 3D network of tunnels.
The idea is even more complicated than it sounds: Teslas would drive from the street onto elevator platforms called car “skates,” be lowered to tunnels below ground, and be propelled autonomously at 120 to 150 miles per hour to their destinations, while their passengers relaxed. Thus was launched the Boring Company.

Musk’s new company bought a machine and started boring a tunnel under Hawthorne. An opening party for the test tunnel in late 2018 received mixed reviews. The path was bumpy; the cars did not drive themselves, and they never went faster than 40 miles an hour.

In the years since, the company built a 1.7-mile-long tunnel under the Las Vegas convention center, in which passengers are ferried back and forth in human-driven Teslas. Proposed projects in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Baltimore were scrapped. But that hasn’t stopped cities large and small, in California, Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and elsewhere, from expressing interest in building tunnels for cars. But as Curbed’s Alissa Walker explains on Today, Explained, the company is continually ghosting these cities once they bump into permitting issues or other infrastructural complexities.”