Twitter: The new frontier?

The mass exodus from Twitter that new owner Elon Musk threatened did not materialize, at least for today at Twitter headquarters.

However, the new owner comes into a massive, but troubled company, where most employees are awaiting their time on the chopping block. 
Twitter may well be Elon Musk's biggest challenge since it appears to be the first company he did not built it from scratch.

Whether from the air or down on the ground, Twitter had no obvious signs of masses of laid off or fires employees leaving its in San Francisco headquarters. Its new private owner, Elon Musk, has said he will lay off three quarters of Twitter's staff, saving him a billion dollars while eliminating some 5,600 hundred jobs. "I worry that he's gonna get rid of most of the moderation staff which are the people that keep Twitter safe and civil or, at least, somewhat safe and civil," said veteran tech analyst Larry Magid.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS APRIL 25: In this photo illustration, The Twitter profile of Elon Musk with more than 80 million followers in shown on a cell phone on April 25, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. It was announced today that Twitter has accepted a $44 billi

Edwin Chen, a former Twitter data scientist, who managed much of Twitter’s data said, told the Washington Post that such severe cuts would put Twitter’s users at risk of hacks and exposure to offensive material. "Part of it has to do with trolls and bigots and cyberbullies and others out there who have just made the lives miserable for a lot of people," said Magid. 

"If he's gonna cut any staff, I think this problem gets a million times worse," said CNET's Ian Sherr.

SEE ALSO: Elon Musk takes over Twitter, saying it will be "digital town square" not a "free-for-all"

Though Twitter's former executives said some 238 million active user was up more than 16 percent better than the same period a year, Musk said that Twitter's own data shows less than 7% of that number, just 16 million users, see the majority of Twitter ads.  A Wedbush Securities financial analyst is quoted as saying "It will be a Herculean task to turn this around."

While there's no longer a public shareholder appointed board for Twitter, Musk can do with Twitter as he wishes since the First Amendment does not apply to private companies. But, advertisers, the life's blood of Twitter's finances, have the power of the purse. "If you want to make your money from advertising, you can't make it into a place that people don't want to be or feel uncomfortable because these brands don't want to be associated with bigotry or violence," said Magid.

But, without a board, Musk can choose to go for subscriptions. "He'll continue to innovate the process, users could spend money or have a paid for platform or have other services offered," said SJSU finance expert Professor Matthew Faulkner.

Finally, allowing the former president back on could raises major issues with who stays, joins or becomes a Twitter quitter.