November 22, 2022
UOW expert commentary: Dr Steinar Ellingsen on Twitter
UOW expert says it’s a corporate hunger games situation at Twitter
Dr Steinar Ellingsen says it’s a corporate hunger games situation at Twitter, as Elon Musk takes over the social media platform.
“Algorithm is king and they’re even using it to work out who to make redundant in the business,” Dr Ellingsen said.
“It’s really uncertain times. What seems likely to happen is we’ll end up in a corporate hunger games style situation, where particularly salaried workers will be out on notice and new jobs will be created and everone will have to reapply for their new jobs on short term contracts and with less job security.
“One of the more concerning things that has happened is the firing of all the moderators. There are some left in there still, but we’ve seen a high spike in hate speech for example.”
Dr Ellingsen doesn’t believe Mastodon will be an alternative to Twitter and says it lacks the town square feel of Twitter, which has the ability to reach a huge audience with one tweet.
“The content doesn't come to you in the way that it that it does on Twitter if you follow a hashtag, so it's not a town square as such,” Dr Ellingsen said.
“The exodus of users isn’t necessarily going to be big enough for the platform to die. Twitter's demise, if it happens, will come from lawsuits or even bankruptcy more than anything else.”
Dr Ellingsen is a Senior Lecturer in Journalism, Communication and Media in the School of Arts, English and Media.
UOW academics exercise academic freedom by providing expert commentary, opinion and analysis on a range of ongoing social issues and current affairs. This expert commentary reflects the views of those individual academics and does not necessarily reflect the views or policy positions of the University of Wollongong.