Issue #135 | May 18, 2023
Ever since billionaire Elon Musk took the reins of Twitter for a staggering $44 billion in October 2022, Twitter has transformed into a hub of chaos. It seems every week the platform makes headlines—whether its for the appointment of a new CEO, the launch of Twitter Blue, or the change in the meaning of a blue check mark.
This week, the focal point of Twitter discourse is free speech. Musk portrays himself as a staunch advocate of this fundamental right—but it seems he’s just looking for a place to spew controversial takes and borderline conspiracy theories, all the while paradoxically kneeling to the demands of the Turkish government to silence political dissidents.
Brace yourself for a ride as turbulent as a SpaceX launch as we explore the current Twitter landscape… or should I say, hellscape.
– Grace Stanley, Newsletter Editor
THE DARK SIDE
Twitter’s ‘free speech’ hellscape is Elon Musk’s paradise
Musk allows hate speech and conspiracy theories to run rampant, while those peddling mistruths get rewarded.
By Steven Asarch, Passionfruit Contributor
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“Content creators: taking care of your mental health is the most important part of being successful in the long run. … Taking care of my mental health finally has allowed me to revisit my content in a healthy way and feel like I’m creating again.”—Streamer Widow discusses the importance of mental health.
What creators can learn from the Writers Strike, Part 2: No Creator is an Island
We can’t face a cruel and complex system alone.
By Lon Harris, Passionfruit Contributor
SEEKING A TREND
Should creators worry about AI influencers?
Is AI coming for creators’ jobs?
By Jen Glantz, Passionfruit Contributor
IN THE BIZ
- Montana signed a bill banning TikTok yesterday. While users will not be penalized for using the app in the state and the bill will certainly be legally contested, downloads of the app are slated to be limited starting in January 2024.
- In response, creators are urging each other to diversify their income and take steps to own their audience outside of one singular platform.
- With the writers’ strike entering its third week, demonstrators are protesting the “upfront week,” a traditional time of the year when media companies like NBCUniversal, Fox, and Disney have lavish events in New York to attract advertisers.
- YouTube staged its own huge event called Brandcast for upfront week, complete with creator performances, a fashion show, an appearance from Doja Cat, and more.
- Discussions around generative AI and new NFL programming on the platform were the event’s key takeaways.
- TikTok announced this week the launch of a new $6 million fund called Effect Creator Rewards which will pay creators who make popular effects on the platform.
- This comes after the launch of another creator fund in February, despite sweeping criticisms of TikTok’s initial stagnant creator fund format by creators like Hank Green and MrBeast in August 2022.
- Controversial streamers Kai Cenat and IShowSpeed are starting a show on Rumble, a right-leaning alternative streaming platform similar to Kick, popularized by streamer Adin Ross.
YOUTUBE MADE ME WATCH IT
‘Mission’ accomplished on these ‘Impossibly’ good videos.