The Daily View 11/1/2022: Twitter, McDonald’s , the Metaverse , and Uber

The media is blaming Musk for destroying twitter even though twitter was already a train wreck when he bought it.

Racist tweets quickly surface after Musk closes Twitter deal

An emboldened cast of anonymous trolls spewed racist slurs and Nazi memes onto Twitter in the hours after billionaire industrialist Elon Musk took over the social network, raising fears that his pledge of unrestricted free speech could fuel a new wave of online hate. The flood of racist posts was among the most prominent signs of how Twitter had changed in the first hours of Musk’s ownership. But those who were expecting even bigger changes, such as the restoration of former president Donald Trump’s account and the layoff of hundreds if not thousands of Twitter employees, will have to wait longer.

Yes, because until Musk come along, no one had ever posted anything racist on Twitter. It would not surprise me if said trolls do not exist or were planted to make Musk seem incompetent or to lower the value of Twitter. It costs nothing for political operatives to set up fake Twitter accounts, post racist tweets with the accounts, screenshot/save the tweets (such as with, and then send said screenshots to the media, such as Vice, Wired, or The Verge, as evidence of Twitter being overrun by racists. I posit zero people are actually genuinely offended by said tweets, assuming the tweets even exist, but just want to see Twitter crash and burn now that Musk owns it, probably so that Musk will be overwhelmed and thus forced to sell Twitter at a large loss back to its original owners. Hollywood puts out far worse, offensive dreck than almost anything posted on Twitter by trolls, so color me skeptical that this is anything but pearl clutching. Whenever the ADL, SPLC, ACLU, etc. or whoever does a report about hate speech, it’s never about ending racism per say, but about some other ulterior agenda or motive. Like Hollywood, it’s all an act.

Twitter did hear from one major advertiser, however, the auto manufacturer General Motors, which told CNBC that it was temporarily suspending advertising on the platform until the direction of the company under Musk becomes clearer. On Thursday, Musk tried to assuage advertiser worries in a tweeted letter in which he promised that the site would not become a “hellscape” or a “free-for-all” and pledged that the app would remain “warm and welcoming to all.”

Good ol’ virtue signaling General Motors, which did this exact same media stunt in 2012 regarding Facebook. It’s common for famous people and companies to make a big announcements out of protest, such as moving to another platform or suspending advertising, and then quietly returning when it’s no longer politically expedient or because the new platform is inferior. It’s so shallow and transparent. No one wants its shitty, unreliable cars and trucks anyway, and it had to be bailed out in 2008 anyway. Good riddance.

The next item is Meta (formerly known as Facebook) crashing. Meta stock has lost over 2/3 of its value since a year ago due to a combination of slowdown of Facebook/Instagram earnings and costs related to building the ‘Metaverse’. Does this mean it’s doomed? It does not matter per say because it’s only one of a dozen companies, the others being Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, McDonald’s, Walmart, etc–that I have recommended and are laying the infrastructure/groundwork for the tech singularity (or in the case of McDonald’s, the obesity singularity, which I guess is when the worldwide obesity rate reaches 100%).

McDonald’s benefits from any economic environment: In high inflation, restaurants can jack up prices, all while Americans will continue to shell out $20 or more per trip, more money than healthier alternatives, to satiate their addiction to the greasy stuff. During recessions, McDonald’s is also popular because people perceive it as a bargain, even though it’s not.

But anyway, if half or even fewer of these dozen companies succeeds, the gains can be on the order of 10x or more on those which do succeed, so one of them falling and not recovering, such as Facebook/Meta, is immaterial to long-term returns. That is the point of diversification, which is one of the fundamentals of investing.

To add, the Metaverse is a terrible idea. It’s only tangentially related to cryptocurrency, but instead related to Facebook’s ambitious goal of making a sort of VR-equivalent of Facebook, along with Microsoft, what some have dubbed the duo of corporate hell. Facebook in 2014 bought Oculus VR Inc. for $2 billion, and rather than just admitting they were early/wrong and taking the loss on this technology no one wanted or needed, they octuple-doubled-down on it.

VR has been around for over 3 decades, and has failed each time a company has come along promising that ‘this time’ would be different. The graphics are terrible, the headset is clunky and expensive, it causes nausea for between 40-70% of users, and most importantly, there are no good applications that necessitate it (sorta like a certain digital currency).

Had I worked at Facebook and someone pitched me the idea of the Metaverse, I would have nixed it immediately. Same for had someone in 2020-2021 pitched me crypto/NFTs; I too would have told them immediately it was crap. Facebook should have taken the billions wasted on the Metaverse and made another acquisition of a social network or platform, similar to Instagram or What’s App, which were huge successes. There is a long history of VR being a commercial failure, so Facebook’s failure is not without precedent. It’s not like dismissing a new technology out of ignorance or misunderstanding, such as people who dismissed the world wide web in 1993-1998. This is something that could have been avoided.

Finally, Uber stock surges 11% on earnings. Uber is employing the Amazon or Tesla strategy of losing money to build market share and infrastructure, which will pay off years later. Uber is still worth $60 billion, close to its all time high, years after the left was certain it would go the way of (here is a post from as far back as 2015 in which I predicted Uber would succeed despite losing a lot money, and I was right). Uber has survived everything thrown at it, such as Covid, regulation/lawsuits, attempts at unionization, bad press by the liberal media, etc. During Covid, it pivoted to delivery, such as Uber Eats, which has been a major success. Uber is not just a delivery or taxi company, but it’s part of the trend towards AI and automation overall, similar to Tesla.