Elon Musk now owns almost 10 percent of Twitter

Tesla CEO and tech business mogul Elon Musk now owns 9.2 percent of Twitter shares, according to a recent schedule 13G filing released by the SEC.

Bloomberg states this purchase was worth around $ 2.89 billion and Twitter’s value in the stock market went up 27 percent on Monday, April 4. Naturally, this begs the question why did Musk make this seemingly random purchase, and what does it do for the platform and its users at large?

Musk has yet to publicly state his reasoning for the purchase but looking at his recent Tweets and his history on Twitter may point to his intentions. After all, Elon Musk is one of the most followed accounts on the platform and has even gotten into trouble because of his behavior there.

Was it pl;anned?

A little over a week ago, Musk posted a poll on his account where he asked followers and users if Twitter adheres to the concept of free speech with over 70 percent of respondents saying ‘No.’ This poll doesn’t appear to have influenced his decision as he already made the filing for purchasing on March 14.

The day after that poll, the SpaceX founder stated that since Twitter is the “de factor public town square,’ its supposed failure to advocate free speech “undermines democracy.” He even pondered the need for another Twitter-like platform, which has been attempted in the past, but few can match up against the likes of this social media behemoth.

Musk is no stranger to criticizing the site, like the time he blasted Twitter for spending time and energy on enabling NFT profile pictures. He also posted a meme that depicted Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal as Joseph Stalin getting rid of a dissident in the form of former CEO Jack Dorsey.

Vocal criticism aside, that still leaves the question of what will happen to users unanswered.

A small piece

It’s not like Musk has total control over Twitter, but it’s difficult to believe that someone would buy almost 10 percent of the one largest social media platforms in the world and do nothing with it. So far, neither Elon Musk or Twitter have alluded to or pointed out any changes coming to the site.

In recent years, Twitter has been criticized for its content and how it polices itself. Some have said that Twitter doesn’t do enough to combat misinformation while others complain about censorship.

We’ve reached out to Elon Musk and Twitter for a comment and will update this post with their responses.

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Microsoft 365 will tell your boss almost immediately if you send an inappropriate message

Microsoft will soon roll out a new system that will help businesses identify inappropriate messages sent by employees over its productivity and collaboration software.

As noted in a new entry in the company’s product roadmap, the Microsoft 365 compliance center will receive an upgrade that will cut the time it takes to identify breaches of company communication policies drastically.

“This feature will reduce the detection to investigation time to under an hour, allowing your organization to respond to communication compliance alerts promptly,” Microsoft explained.

The Microsoft 365 update is currently still under development, but is scheduled to roll out in preview in April, ahead of a full launch in the autumn.

Employee monitoring with Microsoft 365

Unbeknownst to some, many businesses constantly monitor the way in which employees interact with one another over email and communication software.

Part of the justification for this practice, considered by some to be an unacceptable invasion of privacy, is that cybercriminal actors frequently target employees over these kinds of platforms, which can also be used by malicious insiders to exfiltrate data.

Another factor is the opportunity for business software to be used to bully or harass fellow employees, in breach of an organization’s official communications policy.

As explained in a Microsoft 365 blog post, the communication compliance facility tracks messages sent and received over email, Microsoft Teams, Yammer and third-party platforms. Once a message in breach of pre-defined policies has been identified, it is handed over to a designated team of reviewers.

After the Microsoft 365 update takes effect later this year, the time between initial detection and review will supposedly fall from roughly 24 hours to under an hour. As part of the change, Microsoft Teams users will also be encouraged to report “inappropriate or concerning messages” within chats and channels manually, a separate roadmap entry shows.

Although businesses will certainly benefit from the upgrade, it is unclear precisely how Microsoft will manage to cut the investigation time by such a significant margin. TechRadar Pro is awaiting a response to a request for clarification.

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Energy news round-up: energy bills set to rise by almost £100, plus more from the last seven days

This week in energy: COVID-19 continues to impact energy customers in the UK in various ways, with warnings of a surprise energy bill at the end of the summer. We've also seen precautionary measures by energy suppliers to support prepaid meter customers; Bristol City Council’s intended sale of Bristol Energy after it ran up a major loss; and more. Here's our round-up of what happened in energy in the last seven days…

Customers could face surprise energy bills of around £94

Research conducted by Energy Helpline has reported that UK energy customers could be faced with a surprise £94 energy bill by the end of the summer. That's due to above-average energy consumption, thanks to the lockdown. 

It seems that Brits have been consuming 30 per cent more energy than normal, while direct debits remain calculated on the basis of pre-lockdown usage. In some cases this could lead to customers being trapped in a debt-spiral. 

The best way of resolving this, of course, is to run an energy comparison and switch energy supplier to take advantage of a cheaper energy deal. However, Energy Helpline is also advising customers to fit energy efficient lightbulbs, take shorter showers and avoid appliances being left on standby. 

Assistance for prepaid meter customers

Money Saving Expert (MSE) has advised this week that some people who are self-isolating may experience difficulty in topping up their prepaid meters, but a number of energy companies have said they will assist if necessary. 

The Government and energy suppliers have agreed to implement a set of emergency measures specifically to assist prepaid meter customers. These measures include the provision of cards loaded with emergency credit, adding discretionary credit to meters and enabling others to top meters on behalf of those using them. Ofgem has also said it expects providers to support prepaid meter customers, including those in vulnerable circumstances. 

Vulnerable customers can also join the Priority Services Register in order to receive various services for free, including advanced notice of planned power cuts, priority support in emergencies and regular meter reading services. 

Coronavirus impacts on smart meter installation

MSE has also reported that energy providers have temporarily suspended the installation of smart meters in homes during the lockdown period. This means that engineers will only attend homes if there is an emergency situation, for example involving a loss of energy supply. 

However, as lockdown restrictions are eased, providers will again allow engineers to attend homes for meter installation. E.on, Npower, Ovo and SSE have all resumed installation, but this is only in England and only on a limited basis. Clearly, they will not install a meter in any household where someone is self-isolating, at higher risk or has experienced symptoms over the last month or so. 

Providers are also letting customers know that an engineer will only attend their home where residents feel comfortable with them doing so. 

Bristol City Council to sell Bristol Energy

BBC News and other media have reported that Bristol City Council will now sell its council-owned company Bristol Energy following losses of more than £30 million. Some councillors have called for an inquiry into the matter, which has also been the subject of considerable discussion on social media. 

The council finally took the decision to sell Bristol Energy following a recommendation from accountant Ernst and Young. Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees said that he was disappointed that it hadn’t worked.

  • Read more: BBC

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