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Musk says Twitter will offer “amnesty” to suspended accounts

Elon Musk said Thursday Twitter will grant “a general amnesty” to accounts that had been suspended from the platform beginning next week. The CEO posted a poll the day earlier over whether the platform should restore affected accounts.
The news comes within a week of Musk also ending former president Donald Trump’s ban from the platform after running a similar poll. Trump was banned after the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, but said he doesn’t intend to return to the platform.
Musk’s poll to users included a caveat that suspended account holders could rejoin the platform “provided they have not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam.” Around 3.2 million users responded to the poll, which voted 72.4% in favor of amnesty.
“The people have spoken. Amnesty begins next week. Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Musk said, using a Latin phrase that means “The voice of the people is the voice of god.”
Historically, Twitter has banned accounts that glorify hate and harassment, have the potential to incite violence or rampantly spread misinformation that can lead to harm. Some high profile individuals who were banned include MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell after he made a series of claims that Trump actually won the 2020 presidential election; former Trump advisor and former executive chairman of Breitbart Steve Bannon after he said Anthony Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray should be beheaded; and Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes for violating the site’s policy of prohibiting violent extremist groups.
It’s unclear from Musk’s brief tweet how Twitter will deal with content moderation in the future, now that more potentially problematic voices will be returning to the platform. These concerns have only been exacerbated by Musk’s mass layoffs and the general exodus of employees who’d rather quit than be “hardcore.”

Musk’s impact on content moderation at Twitter faces early test in Germany

Musk says Twitter will offer “amnesty” to suspended accounts by Rebecca Bellan originally published on TechCrunch
Musk says Twitter will offer “amnesty” to suspended accounts

Elon guts Twitter, Google shutters Hangouts, and the tech layoffs continue

Hey, all — welcome back to Week in Review, the newsletter where we sum up the most read TechCrunch stories from the past week. And oof, what a week it was.
Want this newsletter in your inbox every Saturday? Sign up here. Signed up? Let’s just dive right in.
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Mass layoffs at Twitter: It was Elon’s first full week as the boss of Twitter post-$44 billion acquisition. Sweeping layoffs were said to be on the way — and, well, they’ve begun. After a painfully impersonal heads-up email went out Thursday evening, entire teams are waking up to find their access suddenly revoked. With reports suggesting layoffs could impact up to half the company, Twitter employees have reportedly taken to referring to the whole thing as “the snap” (à la Thanos). A class action lawsuit has already been filed alleging that Twitter isn’t following the proper legal processes here.
Layoffs everywhere: Meanwhile, news of tech industry layoffs continues to pour in. Lyft let go of 13% of its workforce, Stripe cut 14%, Opendoor reduced its workforce by 18%, Chime parted ways with 12%, and more. Meanwhile, both Apple and Amazon have reportedly gone into hiring freezes.
Google kills Hangouts: We knew it was coming, but this week Google put the final nail in Hangouts’ coffin, shutting down the chat-focused web app (the Hangouts Android/iOS apps were shuttered last year) in favor of Google Chat. Of course, given Google’s history with chat apps, I expect at least two more to be launched and/or shuttered by the time I finish this newsletter.
Falcon Heavy returns to space: This week SpaceX launched its Falcon Heavy rocket for the first time since 2019, finally moving forward on a mission that had been delayed (“due to payload readiness issues”) since late 2020.
Amazon expands its Music service: “The company said it will now offer Prime subscribers a full music catalog with 100 million songs, instead of the previously more limited selection of just 2 million songs,” writes Sarah, “and will make most of the top podcasts on its service available without ads.”
audio roundup
Whats up in TC podcast land this week? Here’s some of the highlights:
The Equity crew chatted about the ever-evolving role of the venture capitalist, and our friend Melia Russell from Business Insider stopped by to fill us in on her recent story about how “investors are rewriting the playbooks when it comes to maternity leave policies at their firms.”
Amanda joined Darrell on the TC Podcast to discuss Elon’s “questionable plans” to change up how identity verification works on Twitter
The Chain Reaction team dive into the growing list of troubles that have developed for Bitcoin miners in the last few months.
Not a part of TechCrunch+ yet? Here’s what TC+ members were reading most behind the paywall:
Pilot’s CEO tears down their $60 million Series C deck: Published in early 2021, this one blew up for some reason this week! Just a few weeks after raising a big Series C, Pilot CEO Waseem Daher sat down with Lucas Matney to break down what worked about their pitch deck.
The most common pitch deck mistakes: Speaking of pitch decks, TC’s resident pitch expert, Haje Jan Kamps, has a list of the mistakes he’s tired of seeing in decks, having reviewed thousands of them.
Elon guts Twitter, Google shutters Hangouts, and the tech layoffs continue by Greg Kumparak originally published on TechCrunch
Elon guts Twitter, Google shutters Hangouts, and the tech layoffs continue

Twitter CMO is the latest to leave in a string of exec departures

Twitter CMO Leslie Berland is the latest executive leaving the social network, just days into its Elon Musk era, Bloomberg and the New York Times report. Citing unnamed sources, Bloomberg also writes that Jean-Philippe Maheu, the vice president of global client solutions, is leaving the company.
Berland hasn’t said anything publicly about the job change yet, other than tweeting out a simple blue heart emoji.

— Leslie Berland (@leslieberland) November 1, 2022

Despite the tweet’s brevity, it seems to have been signal enough to usher in a flood of responses, including other Twitter employees sending blue heart emojis right back. A VP of product quote tweeted Berland’s tweet and added that “it’s not hyperbolic to say that no one had a bigger impact on Twitter the service — and Twitter the company. She always had your back, she always listened, she always did right, and she made Twitter ‘what’s happening.’”
Berland’s LinkedIn and Twitter bios haven’t been updated to reflect any job change. TechCrunch reached out to Berland prior to publishing for comment but did not immediately hear back.
Berland’s reported departure comes over a decade after they first joined the company — and continues a string of departures that were announced today, including chief consumer officer Sarah Personette and chief people and diversity officer Dalana Brand.
As my colleague Amanda Silberling noted, the cohort of Twitter’s pre-Musk executives still at the company is getting smaller and smaller. Jay Sullivan, Twitter’s head of product, deleted the bio on his Twitter account, which previously denoted his role at the company. The previous head of product, Kayvon Beykpour, was let go by former CEO Parag Agrawal in May. Agrawal himself, along with CFO Ned Segal, general counsel Sean Edgett and Head of Legal Policy, Trust and Safety Vijaya Gadde were let go on Thursday when Musk took over.
Current and former Twitter employees can reach out to Natasha Mascarenhas at natasha.m@techcrunch.com, or Signal, a secure messaging app, at (925) 271 0912.

Twitter CMO is the latest to leave in a string of exec departures by Natasha Mascarenhas originally published on TechCrunch
Twitter CMO is the latest to leave in a string of exec departures

The week an Apple event and YC Demo Day collided

Happy Saturday, friends. Welcome back to Week in Review, the newsletter where we very quickly sum up the most read TechCrunch stories from the past week. Want it in your inbox every Saturday AM? Get it here.
This week saw two big events running in parallel: an Apple hardware announcement and Y Combinator’s Demo Day. Either one of those on their own would generally lead our traffic for the week — having them smash into each other on the same day was … interesting. And maybe a little exhausting.
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The Apple stuff: Apple’s event, as their events tend to do, mostly dominated the tech news cycle this week. Rather than turn this entire newsletter into one big list of Apple things, I’ll just say: new iPhones, new AirPods, and a beefy new Apple Watch. Want more words than that? Here’s our roundup of the news.
Y Combinator moonshots: Startups are hard. But every YC batch has at least a handful of companies that seem a little extra hard — the moonshots, if you will. From faux fish to teams that want to reinvent flying, the Demo Day team rounded up some of the wildest pitches.
Musk/Twitter drama continues: Elon Musk is still aiming to undo his multibillion-dollar offer for Twitter, and Twitter still wants to hold him to it. This week a Delaware judge made two decisions in the ordeal: The trial will not be delayed by a month as Musk’s legal team had requested, but Musk will be allowed to “amend his counterclaim with details” disclosed by Twitter security whistleblower Peiter “Mudge” Zatko earlier this month.
LG wants you to buy NFTs on your TV: NFT sales have reportedly tanked over the last few months. Will the ability to buy/sell/trade NFTs on LG smart TVs be the thing that turns that around? No, no, it will not.
Kim Kardashian’s new gig: “America’s favorite reality star is leveling up her repertoire,” writes Anita, with another job title: private equity investor. Kardashian is teaming up with Jay Sammons, formerly the head of Consumer/Media/Retail at the Carlyle Group, to launch a new private equity firm called SKKY Partners.
Jeep’s EVs: Another legendary auto brand is diving deep into electric vehicles — this time it’s Jeep, which this week revealed plans to roll out three different EVs (the Recon, Wagoneer S, and Avenger) by 2025. The company, notes Jaclyn, expects “EVs to compose half of its sales in North America — and all of its sales in Europe — by 2030.”
Patreon layoffs: Patreon, a company that helps creators build out paid membership offerings, laid off employees this week. The layoffs purportedly leave Patreon without much of a security team, which seems … not ideal?
Image Credits: Bryce Durbin
audio roundup
What’s up in TC podcast land this week? “Selling Sunset” star Christine Quinn stopped by Found to tell ’em about her new startup, the Chain Reaction crypto crew talked about the latest drama at Binance, and Burnsy took a virtual trip to Minnesota to put the spotlight on the Minneapolis startup scene for TechCrunch Live.
Want 15% off an annual TechCrunch+ subscription? Use promo code “WIR” when signing up. Just want to know what TC+ readers were reading most this week? Here’s the breakdown:
YC Demo Day favs: Nearly 230 pitches later, which Y Combinator S22 companies stood out to the Demo Day team? Here are their favorite pitches from Day 1 and Day 2.
The most important slides in your pitch deck: Reporter/former VC/resident pitch deck expert Haje shares his insights on which of the perhaps-too-many slides in your deck are most crucial.
The freemium bar is shifting: Across products from Slack to Google Meet to Heroku, many companies are shifting up their free tiers to offer less. Why now? Anita explores the trend.
The week an Apple event and YC Demo Day collided by Greg Kumparak originally published on TechCrunch
The week an Apple event and YC Demo Day collided

Daily Crunch: Snap lays off one-fifth of its workforce after missing revenue and growth targets

To get a roundup of TechCrunch’s biggest and most important stories delivered to your inbox every day at 3 p.m. PDT, subscribe here.
Midweek? More like mid-weak! Okay, terrible pun, but we’re a little low energy in this heat wave today, so it kinda made sense.
Oh! And good news, btw, we’re offering 15% off Disrupt tickets (excluding online or expo tickets) for you, our trusty Daily Crunch readers. Use promo code “DC” to claim your discount!
See you tomorrow!  — Christine and Haje
The TechCrunch Top 3
Slumdog $5-illonnaire: Landa is the latest startup to attract venture capital, in this case $33 million, to democratize real estate ownership, Mary Ann writes. Its approach enables people to invest in the real estate sector, which is known for providing generational wealth, but in a less expensive, more fractional way, and in some cases, for as little as $5 initially.
Snap, crackle and . . . fizzle: Despite the myriad of news and new revenue streams we’ve reported about Snap right here in this newsletter, Evan Spiegel said the words no tech employee wants to hear right now: “restructuring our business.” Amanda reports that this unfortunately means cutting 20% of staff.
Obstacles abroad: Amazon faces some tough competition in India, and Manish reports that has presented some challenges in the e-commerce giant’s ability to gain a more prominent foothold in the country.
Startups and VC
This week, Haje went deep with a founder who’s building digital license plates. He mused that building an easy-to-copy hardware product in an incredibly tightly regulated industry where winner-takes-all would be an utter nightmare, but when it works, it works, and it’s fascinating to see Reviver build a company, one license plate at the time.
Populus, the San Francisco–based transportation data startup, got its start as shared scooter mania took hold and cities tried to make sense of how infrastructure was being used by fleets of tiny vehicles. Now, Populus co-founder and CEO Regina Clewlow is repositioning the company to take advantage of another hot opportunity: curbs and congestion, Rebecca writes. It’s a really good read from the TechCrunch transportation desk with an undertone of “the power of great pivots.”
Raisin’ money, raisin’ hell:
Looking beyond the matrix: Ron reports on CodeSee’s latest product, which helps organizations visualize their code base.
Turning coaching into a team sport: Natasha M reports that the founder of Human Q disagrees with some of the biggest and most valuable competitors out there. Instead of one-to-one coaching, Human Q wants to make group coaching an impactful alternative. This founder wants to take on the biggest coaching startups with a group-focused approach.
Stretching the chains: Supply chain firm NFI inks a $10 million deal to deploy Boston Dynamics’ Stretch robots, reports Brian.
Fintech, that’s like fly-fishing, right?: Christine reports that Solid raised a $63 million Series B round of funding to continue providing its fintech-as-a-service offering for companies wanting to launch and scale their own fintech products. 
Like twitch3: Rita reports that Stacked raised $13 million to be the Twitch for web3 gamers.
 Crafting a XaaS customer success strategy that drives growth
Image Credits: THEPALMER (opens in a new window) / Getty Images
Giving users better service than they expected could literally save a software startup. In one study, companies that spent 10% of yearly revenue on customer success attained peak net recurring revenue.
“Companies mostly deploy two or more customer success archetypes,” according to TC+ contributors Rachel Parrinello and John Stamos. “They usually vary by customer segment, business versus technical focus and sales motion focus: adopt, renew, upsell and cross-sell.”
If you’re interested in optimizing revenue through CS, read the rest for a full overview of job design methodology, because “companies should not design their customer success roles in a vacuum.”

Crafting a XaaS customer success strategy that drives growth

(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)
Big Tech Inc.
Social media and privacy don’t often go hand in hand, especially when children can see a lot on the internet already. Twitter got caught up in this when it reportedly tried to monetize adult content in an effort to compete with OnlyFans. It later scrapped the program when it was found that its system couldn’t “detect child sexual abuse material and non-consensual nudity at scale,” Amanda writes. Meanwhile, California lawmakers wasted no time moving ahead to put in place statewide online privacy protections for children where there are none at the federal level, Taylor reports.
Stepping on the gas, er, EV pedal: Toyota is accelerating its investment in U.S. electric vehicles, and will park some $3.8 billion into that initiative, up from an initial $1.3 billion, Jaclyn writes.
Cashing in on NFTs: Event organizers working with Ticketmaster can now issue NFTs tied to tickets on Flow, Ivan reports.
It’s almost fall and that means another Apple event: Brian has the skinny on all the things you should know about Apple’s iPhone 14 event on September 7.
New satellite on the block: Royal Caribbean is going “all-in on satellite service,” and will outfit its fleet of ships with Starlink internet, Devin writes.

Daily Crunch: Snap lays off one-fifth of its workforce after missing revenue and growth targets