We’ll say this: If Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter produces nothing of any value—and gosh, but is that an “if” that feels like an increasingly solid bet as every new day ticks by—at least it will produce one image that will live on for years in our mind’s eye: A scrolling set of insults, including “dictator’s asskisser,” “mediocre manchild,” and, most beautifully, “space Karen,” projected on the side of the social media company’s headquarters tonight. Said building, of course, is currently shuttered, amidst the company’s latest “mass exodus” of employees in the span of a handful of weeks.
Unlike the last time Musk lost a huge fraction of his recently purchased asset’s workforce—when he laid off about half the company’s employees within a week of being forced to buy it at a self-set, and exorbitantly high, price—this latest departure doesn’t appear to have been entirely intentional. Per CNN, managers at Twitter apparently weren’t expecting Musk’s latest ultimatum to employees, which forced them to choose, within 24 hours, between resigning and taking severance, or committing to a “hardcore” workplace, to lead to quite so many people issuing a salute emoji and taking the cash.
It’s not clear yet how many people left Twitter today; reports on the company’s Slack channels describe waves of those salutes, which have come to be shorthand for “I do not want to work for space Karen anymore.” (“Petulant pimple.” “Apartheid profiteer.” “Supreme parasite.” They’re really very good.) Musk’s team apparently shut off badge access to the building for the weekend shortly after the deadline for the ultimatum passed, reportedly out of concerns about sabotage. (Non-Elon-based sabotage, we mean.)
The mood on Twitter itself, meanwhile, is even more apocalyptic than usual; we even saw some people make what seemed to be genuine good-faith efforts to transition over to social media system Mastodon, heretofore thought to be a strictly hypothetical task. The major concern right now is that, even by conservative estimates, Twitter has lost a lot of the people who make the tweets go over the last two weeks; with the World Cup starting on Sunday, this new “hardcore” Twitter 2.0 is about to get one hell of a stress test, of the sort you typically don’t inflict on terminally wounded patients, on the not-that-off-chance that they’ll die.
God damn: Imagine if someone who wasn’t a genius had bought this thing!