Techmeme
October 31, 2022, 2:15 PM

Top News

Alex Heath / The Verge:
Sources: Twitter could make Twitter Blue a $20/month subscription that verifies users; staff have until November 7 to build the feature or face being fired  —  Now that he owns Twitter, Elon Musk has given employees their first ultimatum: Meet his deadline to introduce paid verification on Twitter or pack up and leave.
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Casey Newton / Platformer:
Sources: Twitter is strongly considering taking away its verified users' badges if they don't subscribe to Twitter Blue  —  Under pressure to generate revenue quickly, Twitter's new CEO considers ending free verification  —  Twitter is strongly considering making its users pay to remain verified …
Washington Post:
Source: Elon Musk plans to lay off 25% of Twitter's workforce in the coming days, focusing on sales, product, engineering, legal, and trust and safety  —  The first round of layoffs, led by his lawyer Alex Spiro, will target 25 percent of the workforce  —  SAN FRANCISCO …
Lauren Hirsch / New York Times:
Twitter faces ~$1B per year in interest expenses after Elon Musk's deal added ~$13B in debt, up from ~$50M in 2021 when operations generated ~$633M in cash flow  —  Mr. Musk faces financial challenges in owning Twitter.  The site frequently loses money and took on $13 billion in debt for the blockbuster deal.
Financial Times:
Sources detail the twists and turns in Elon Musk's $44B Twitter takeover, starting in March, falling apart, and then closing late on October 27  —  Even as his $44bn buyout came down to the wire, Elon Musk kept Twitter guessing.  —  Normally, lawyers and advisers on each side …
Alex Heath / The Verge:
Alyssa Lukpat / Wall Street Journal:
The top 20 tech billionaires globally have lost $480B+ on paper in the past year; Mark Zuckerberg's wealth drops by $87B+, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos by $58B+  —  Moguls including Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos have collectively lost more on paper than the market values of most S&P 500 companies
Selina Cheng / Wall Street Journal:
Inside Foxconn's Zhengzhou iPhone plant as the company grapples with a weekslong COVID-19 outbreak during a critical period, leading to harsh lockdown measures  —  As it adheres to Beijing's strict epidemic controls, Apple's biggest smartphone assembler scrambles to keep production lines moving
Amanda Hoover / Wired:
Some Twitter users, concerned about Elon Musk's ownership, are moving to alternative platforms, including Mastodon, which has seen sign-ups surge, and Discord  —  Discord, Mastodon and other services are bustling as Twitter fans make backup plans for their online social lives.
The Intercept:
An investigation details the US DHS' ongoing plans to police misinformation on COVID-19, Afghanistan, Ukraine, and more; Meta built a portal to flag content  —  The Department of Homeland Security is quietly broadening its efforts to curb speech it considers dangerous, an investigation by The Intercept has found.
Benjamin Parkin / Financial Times:
India's ban on Chinese video games has boosted its domestic industry but foreign publishers, wary of the heavy-handed approach, are afraid to invest  —  Heavy-handed approach drives domestic success, but executives worry foreign publishers now afraid to invest in country  —  It is the year 2500.

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Dan Milmo / The Guardian: