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AP cuts through the Twitter turmoil: What it all means to users of the bird platform

FILE - The Twitter splash page is displayedon a digital device in San Diego, April 25, 2022. , in San Diego. On Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022, Twitter continued to bleed engineers and other workers after new owner Elon Musk gave them a choice to pledge to “hardcore” work or resign with severance pay. (AP Photo / Gregory Bull, File)

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AP’s Business News department distinguished its coverage of Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter by putting one key ideal at the center of the reporting: how the platform was changing itself, and how it might change the future of discourse on the site.

This has allowed AP to cut through the daily chaos of Musk’s tweets, layoff reports and buggy things happening on the site to prioritize details of the fast-breaking story that mattered most to one key group of people: users.

Technology reporters Matt O’Brien and Barbara Ortutay, along with misinformation beat reporter David Klepper and other key contributors from AP departments around the world, helped ensure AP was competitive on the story, and that it was presented in a way that readers could understand and apply to their own lives and accounts.

AP spoke to Twitter staffers who were laid off,amplifying how these cuts could affect what people see on the service.

Melissa Ingle,who worked at Twitter as a contractor for more than a year, was one of a number of contractors who said they were terminated. She told AP she’s concerned that there’s going to be an increase in abuse on Twitter with the number of workers leaving.

“I love the platform and I really enjoyed working at the company and trying to make it better. And I’m just really fearful of what’s going to slip through the cracks,” she said Sunday.

The AP team worked not only to carefully report news of more layoffs, jittery advertisers, and an ongoing saga around questionable changes to verification of users and news content — even concerns over the site’s very survival — but also made sure to incorporate how-to pieces that spoke to news consumers’ needs. Klepper produced a smart piece that helped people navigate their social media feeds on election day and recognize misinformation.

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The Mastodon social media site, shown Nov. 11, 2022, has emerged as an alternative for some users abandoning Twitter. – AP Photo / Barbara Ortutay

And Ortutay closed out the week with a look at alternative platforms if users decide the Twitter drama is just too much for them!

For thorough,nimble reporting on the constantly shifting developments at the social media leader — with a focus on how everyday users are affected — O’Brien, Ortutay and Klepper earn AP’s Best of the Week — Second Winner.

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