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tv   Inside Story  Al Jazeera  November 7, 2022 3:30am-4:01am AST

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debbie has witnessed the country's transformation what we've seen here and others there is remarkable in terms of accessibility. the tournament has been a catalyst for change vans arriving the property will be able to, you know, hop on a taxi or hop on the metro and go to their accommodation, which we've worked with to ensure that it's accessible, they'll be able to go all the fans zones and fad fight and go to stadium. there are sensory room and 3 of the welcome stadiums, often used by children with autism. these spaces provide a view of the match, as well as a com and secure environment. every station on the doha metro is fully accessible and all of the stadiums have been designed with wheelchair access in mind. the v will be stronger, i mean eli trees as good as anyone else in the house and i think went back not that many years as a roach i use, he was struggling when people stood up in front of he wouldn't necessarily say when things like side st. ah, or you've been a situation the had instructed view and things like that. every view here is as
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good as everyone else has. this is a world cup that's been designed to deliver a lasting legacy for the disabled community. and the richardson al jazeera doha, ah, this is al jazeera and these are the top stories, the sour, moscow backed officials in the hearse own region side. there have been power outages after russian media reports that ukrainian forces attack to dam. since october, both russia and ukraine have repeatedly accused each other of planning to bridge. the nova kafka dam using explosives more now from al jazeera is a said bag. what we're hearing from the russian back authorities record focus on is that they say the ukrainians are massing tanks and armored vehicles along the person axes. and in a high number and run, there's been increased number of artillery strikes,
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taking place on the city. and of course, her son is a very important city, both politically and militarily for russia, it's the only regional capital that they've managed to capture since the start of the war. it's a gateway to crimea and the rest of the size of also the ukrainians managed to take a bose, the russian troops. the so far what we hear is that there's no electricity in carson. and the reason, given that by the russian forces is what they, according to the act of public college, under politicians in the us making a last ditch attempt to sway voters ahead of choose the mid term elections. republicans are looking to win back control of congress. they hope voters will punish president, jo biden's, democrats for high inflation. the u ins. climate change summit has opened in egypt for the warning that our planet is sending a distress signal. delegates a conference with the 7 have agreed to officially adds to the agenda. the issue of who should pay compensation for the impacts of climate change. at least 19 people
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have been killed in a plane crash and tend to nia, the craft operated by precision. it crashed into like victoria, as it attempted to land in a nearby town. rescuers were able to wade through the water to bring some of those still inside the plant safety. the crash is being blamed on bad weather, but investigations ongoing. with both of the headlines, the news continues here on al jazeera, after inside story up mixed. ah twitters new boss has fired half of its workforce. ellen musk has been making drastic changes since buying the social media platform for $44000000000.00.
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advertisers and users alike are now waiting to see what else is in store for twitter. this is inside stored. ah hello and welcome to the program. my manager, jerome ilan mosque, likes to make headlights and spending $44000000000.00 to buy. one of the biggest social media platforms in the world is one way to achieve that. but the deal has been troubled from the start mosque tried to back out, but at the 11th hour, signed on the dotted line. averting a major court battle. no sooner had the inc dried on the deal than he said about firing half of twitters workforce by email. after they were locked out of the companies i t systems. some of those gone include staff with human rights and hate speech expertise. twitter had been moderating content,
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notably expelling former us president donald trump. some major advertisers now say they're withholding their business until they see what happens next. we have a lot to get to with our guests, but 1st this report from rob reynolds in san francisco. just one week after buying twitter, ellen musket gutted its workforce firing up to half of its 7500 employees at twitter headquarters in san francisco. there were no laid off workers filing out clutching boxes of their personal effects. all the firings were done by email. some employees tweeted in colorful language denouncing what they see as a callous and impersonal method of termination and take creed and very tense environment at twitter and social media is really all about creativity. employees have filed lawsuits against twitters new ownership saying the mass firing violates federal and state laws requiring 60 days advance notice and severance payments.
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musk fired all twitter senior executives last week. as soon as he bought the company for $44000000000.00, musk also says he wants to charge users a subscription fee to have their identities verified on the platform, which has outraged many users must describes himself as a free speech, absolutist who and fears that twitter will relax its moderation under his management, allowing hate speech and misinformation to flourish. has led prominent advertisers including general motors, pfizer, audi volkswagen, and others to suspend advertising on the platform. experts also expect elite users in politics, entertainment, and other fields will flee twitter in droves if it's standards on hate speech or misinformation are relaxed. major leaders, and especially people within government can't be associated with that on, on any social media platform along that nature. and so they,
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they will be forced to leave the platform by whoever is, is managing them. musk tweeted on friday, the twitter has suffered a massive drop in revenue, which he blamed on unnamed activists pressuring advertisers. musk says he wants to take twitter into private ownership. so that it's shares would no longer be publicly traded, and it would no longer be subject to federal securities regulation. that's a complicated regulatory process that could take years to accomplish. and with all of the lawsuits already filed. it all means plenty of work for lawyers. even as thousands of twitter employees are now out of a job, rob reynolds al jazeera san francisco mosque has reassured investors. the coming changes won't affect twitters user protection rules. a,
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it is not okay to engage in. people conduct a we had like actually like targeted attacks where temporarily, if you go with a speech on twitter, but this is a battery here. so now all i want it to you with everyone to do the payment verified with what it is you're trying to get as many people payment verified as possible. it's only $8.00 a month with the manner in which staff were fired, has angered and upset former employees and their representatives. the only thing that i got officially from twitter was, is, and an email and that didn't really give any specific reason. so
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it sounds a bit strange to the fives for cause, but with no actual cause. so still trying to find out what the actual reason is if it's a typical. busy it's standard practice, but people's, the only way people would find out would be not any phone call or any email from their employer or their boss. but just by seeing their court work, laptops automatically reduced and just go blank. that's the way people find out. this is in a highly unusual way to go about a layoff, particularly in silicon valley, often and silicon valley. a lot of the tech companies won't want to make these as public and are much more afraid of negative p r. then in this situation, additionally, one of the things that if i were advising employees in the situation,
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i would be looking to who exactly is getting laid off. is that whistleblowers? is there any desperate effect on any particular demographics? ah, all right, let's go ahead and bring in our guests in bullet county, mayo and ireland adrian wexler, technology editor of the irish independent newspaper. in san francisco, kara brennan alamo, chief people officer at lattice a people, management software company and in kyoto, japan mark einstein, a digital media specialist with the i t. r corporation. a warm welcome to you all. and thanks so much for joining us today on inside story mark, let me start with you today. so it's being reported that in order to fund his $44000000000.00 acquisition of twitter, ellen musk loaded the company with $13000000000.00 in debt. and that, that comes with more than a $1000000000.00 a year in interest payments. so how much pressure does that put twitter under right now? and at the end of the day,
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does that mean that you on mosque has bought twitter for far more than it's worth? well, i think that is literally the $44000000.00 question. i would say that it has been a question since twitters inception. if it really is able to monetize and, and does this really match the evaluation that it's always had? i think that right now, we're kind of seeing a rude awakening for twitter. so i do expect a very, very drastic change in both their business model and their strategy going forward. cara, how chaotic and haphazard have the layoffs at twitter been thus far? how confusing and how difficult has that made things for those who have lost their jobs? you know, i was connecting with some folks that recently lost our job from twitter just yesterday, and the word that they use is devastated. they felt not only that they were still hadn't many questions about the, their future,
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their immediate future. there are a lot of questions that haven't been answered by the twitter team, but they're also feeling really upset about the loss of the twitter that they thought they knew. and the new leadership has come in and they feel a true lack of respect for what has been built in a true uncertainty for, for the mission of twitter and the future of the business that they had put so much effort into so particularly in the san francisco bay area, we're feeling it, we're feeling it for these, these former tweets and adrian, when it comes to how chaotic haphazard, these layoffs have been handled. we are hearing reports that some of those who were fired have actually been asked back already. what have you heard when it comes to that? i've heard very similar things here in dublin. twitter employs 500 people and the word you use is correct. it's chaos. they've gotten rid of. most of the curation
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teams, they would be the teams responsible for creating legitimate information, alongside topics that have a high risk event of misinformation. they've gotten rid of a lot of the machine learning ethics teams affecting the algorithm as well as transparency and accounting accountability teams. and even the trust and safety team, which is the one we all talk about and, and twitter says they've only caught 15 percent of that team. they're the front facing content moderators. there's a lot of evidence now that there's already chaos chaos going on. on twitter, we know that in the 1st 24 hours after it almost took over use of the racial slurs term, the n word increase by 500 percent most himself tweeted and then deleted a homophobic conspiracy theory a few days ago. so the company is in chaos, and there's a lot of fear about the kind of misinformation we'll see. an adrian let me follow up with you regarding that point that you were making about these fears about the
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potential spread of misinformation on the platform. there was an open letter that was sent by volker turkeys that you and high commissioner for human rights. and he said that reports that ellen musk had laid off twitters entire human rights team, were not an encouraging start. and he expressed apprehension about our digital public square and twitters role in it. he also warned against propagating hate speech and misinformation. and he highlighted the need to protect user privacy. how much concern is building right now regarding all of this absolutely huge of in, as well as the teams that i mentioned that the company has caught, which are supposed to be the safeguards against misinformation which are supposed to act. i suppose, you know, value, the main reason we all come to twitter in the big public news moments because that's why twitter is twitter is also coating the infrastructure team, which means servers and cloud services. now we're coming up to mid term elections
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in the u. s. early voting has already started. there's a very real chance that the servers may now crash. this is inside of what insiders in twitter are telling me. so that all adds up to a very, very worrying climate. over the next few weeks, kara adrian was just talking about these reports that the infrastructure teams at twitter had been cut that some of the members of the rights teams had had been cut that had been laid off. let me ask you, aside from how much concern all of this is causing from your vantage point, could these lay offs have been handled differently and if so, how i mean from your vantage point, what steps should have been taken? there are a lot of examples even recently in silicon valley of layoffs that have been handled really thoughtfully and compassionately. we saw jack dorsey tweet a level of personal responsibility for these. i think that's
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a start. this is about understanding that each one of these, what we're hearing is 3700 employees, has a life, has a family, potentially have friends that, that they're concerned about. and with just a little more planning, that's the unfortunate thing. just a little more planning and a little more thoughtfulness. i think this could have gone a lot better on some of the things that employ that employers have done as we have gone through a number of lay offset at bane or companies in silicon valley is they provided extended periods of severance. some have offered to, for me to give out placement services. they've even turn their own recruiting teams into search firms for those exiting employees to help them find new roles within silicon valley. they've helped create alumni groups, which i understand are ex twitter employees are now self organizing into alumni
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group so they can share information because there's been such a lack of information. this is something that silicon valley that people understand unfortunately because we've gone through a lot of cycles within our business, right? we've, within our industry, we know what it's like when the tech is hit with a macro economic downturn. and often we pull together to help people have really soft landings and the leader of those of that input. empathetic approach is often the, the employers because we also know that there's often a time when things get better. and those folks want to be seen as the respectful employer so that they can get the very best talent. and a truly knowledge based economic situation that we have in the silicon valley. we're one engineer, one trust and safety person can be a 10, ex multiple on your business. we have to treat people really well because we know we may want them in the next 2 years when things look
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a little bit better. i can tell you that it's definitely not that the conversation that's been around twitter and twitter leadership right now. mark, twitter has seen a massive drop in revenue these past few days and there are some advertisers who have paused they're spending as, as a result. busy of the concerns surrounding twitter right now. how concerned are advertisers and also how much is twitter dependent on ad revenue? i mean, well, yes. so twitter is basically completely dependent on ad revenue. and that's why eli mosque has announced new business models like potentially a subscription fee. and i think this is really the beginning of all sorts of other services that will be attempted to whether or not they pan out is, is another story. you know, however, i do want to point out that a lot of the big names of advertisers who are leaving the platform happened to be automotive companies like audi, volkswagen and g m. well,
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these are also competitors of tesla, and of course they wouldn't want their marketing campaign information to be in the hands of the company with no relationships with, with their competitor. so i think we need to be very clear about that. but that being said, you know, that the failure or the inability of, of twitter is a whole odd to get away from a purely ad based revenue. business model is the reason that they are losing $4000000.00 a day. and i think really, ultimately why they are in this predicament, are there's a lot of showmanship that, that happens when, when even must does anything. but the underlying issue is, is there just losing money because they're just not diversified as a company market? or are we starting to get a clearer picture of what you on mosques, ultimate vision is for twitter and how ambitious that that vision may be. i'm you talked about the need for, for reorganization restructuring and up and also, you know, how significantly has the platform changed already?
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well, i mean as to what specifically is going on internally is, is not something i have direct knowledge of. fight on, you know, i'm based in japan. and when we look at the kind of web to datto giants in japan like rock with 10 or a cow in south korea, or you know, the 80 in china on, you know, these super apps are, are very diversified. and so for example, when, when coded hit on, for example, right, sharing went down to 0, but to do every exploded. and so overall these companies weathered the storm fairly well. i think that you must ultimately has a grand vision to do something like this with twitter again, but it's, it's really the execution that's going to be the, the big question mark as, as opposed to what the vision is. but yeah, definitely diversification into a super ap is, is what i think he's thinking and there's probably a crypto currency angle to that as well. adrian, you heard mark there, talk about super apps and how they have changed and developed in asian countries. i
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want to ask you a little bit right now about the use specifically, because under the european union, digital services act, large tech companies will be required to have robust content moderation systems to ensure they can quickly take down illegal material such as hate speech. so what is the policing of twitter going to look like going forward in the u? it's going to be much tougher. so twitter already got a fine here in dublin in ireland. it was a data privacy. finally, wasn't much money at all, but european authorities have been very, very active. over the last year or 2 in finding big tech companies. instagram got a 400000000 euro find. google got a 4000000000 your, i mean the, you in general add, you know, takes the gloves off when it comes to big tech companies. particular us big tech companies. and you're right to point to the digital services. even though that won't be enacted until 2024 will come into effect rather until 2024. that has very
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significant provisions in it, particularly targeting things like misinformation hate speech and the fines there could be very significant up to 6 percent of annual turnover. and after twitter at the moment that would be around $300000000.00 euro. but that's not money that twitter can afford. kara, eli mosque is already facing legal challenges as a result of these layoffs. from your perspective, do you think he's going to be facing even more and potentially, how might these play out going forward? i think there's always legal risk when you have any type of a reduction in force. i think they have exacerbated that risk in the choices they've made it twitter, though. i also think there has been some thought related to how they can protect themselves in some of the structure of, of how they've approached these layoffs. they're saying that technically people are
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going to be paid through the beginning of june, i'm sorry, through the beginning of january. so those types of things help them, de facto accommodate the laws that we have in california and in north america related to look to layoffs. the thing that i'm actually much more concerned about is what they're going to do in order to execute the strategy that they have ahead of them. i. we have a saying here in silicon valley that culture each strategy for breakfast and fundamentally they've exited. many of the employees that have built the culture of trust and safety, the culture of human rights focus in the organization. we know that they have dismantled, dismantled all of their employees, resource groups, which includes groups that are focused on equal rights or racial quality. all those different elements that are tracked the right kind of thoughtful employees to your
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business. and those are the things to me that are equal risks with some of these legal potential legal challenges. lot is the company that i work for has done our own research. and we know that 23 percent of employees already are, are facing disengagement coming out of the pandemic. how do you get people engaged? who are sitting at twitter right now and asking them to face the challenges that even must as he's going to overcome. and kara, just very quickly, we are starting to run out of time, the layoffs that we've seen, a twitter, and you're talking about the impact on what this is having on silicon valley. how much of a chill is, is sending to workers throughout the tech industry. right? now, it definitely is, we've had a slow drumbeat of layoffs to date that started happening at the beginning of summer. as many of you know, tech is one of the earliest industries to be affected by some of these macroeconomic shifts. we started hearing of organizations that are frozen, hiring, we know that apple is said that they expect to not hire very much through 2023. and
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just we, we had lift stripe and others doing significant layoffs. so this feels like a punch in the guides and to have the story played out on twitter and has so many people backed into these employees. yeah, it's been a tough time. adrian, a twitter wants to get as many users as possible to enhance its, its advertising value and revenues. of course, somebody like former president, donald trump brought it a huge volume of hits. do you think going forward that the lifetime bands for folks like donald trump are going to be lifted by you on musk? do you think that will see trump return to twitter or, or others who got lifetime bands and, and how much concern is that raising? i think the intention is to lift that ban on from, from everything that you love, most cassette, all of the signals that he has sent out. i think that comes with
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a huge risk to him, to twitter for the reasons i just started lined on to the european union's digital service act, with europe essentially being now the regulator for the world wide web. but as to the kind of people we're going to see who is going to be tractor that's going to depend hugely on you measures like the $8.00 per month for your blue verified check. my problem with that is, if you're somebody like me who has a blue check mark and who won't pay the $8.00. and if you've a lot of the 400000 of us who just won't pay, that means you few are verified people on twitter and the whole reason to come to twitter in a big news moment is for the authenticity of people who are tweeting out what they know, so that could be a big problem. and mark, we only have about a minute and a half left a. let me ask you to follow up on what adrian was saying about this plan to charge people around $8.00 a month for this blue verified check on twitter going forward. when it comes to the
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controversy over or with charging people, there are those who are saying that this could in fact back fire for twitter, and that it could dis, incentivize prominent accounts from actually being verified. is this really a money making prospect for twitter or do you think that this has the potential to, to, to cause you know, to, to be a big back fight? well, i mean again i, i think that if they are really losing $4000000.00 a day like you, when musk says then something has to change and they are going to have to change their business model, you know, verifying people. busy for, for, for money you know, whether the $8.00 is for everybody, whether there are tier systems, whether people can be grandfathered in, i think is for me to be seen. but, but to me, the key messages that things do have to change from a financial perspective because twitter is not a non profit organization. so all right, that's my take. all right, well we have run out of time, so we're going to have to leave the conversation there. thanks so much to all of our guests. mark einstein, kara brennan, alamo, and adrian wexler. and thank you for watching because see the program again. any
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time by visiting our website, al jazeera dot com and for further discussion, go to our facebook page at facebook dot com, forward slash ha. inside story. you can also join the conversation on twitter. our handle is at e j inside story from me. mm hm. mm hm. jerome and a whole team here, and uh huh. bye for now. i ah. across the u. s. millions of americans rely on conservative talk radio shows for the news and entertainment. these are all real issues for real people. the
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