Michael Calore: In a single phrase?
Lauren Goode: I will provide you with a phrase.
Michael Calore: Elon Musk.
Lauren Goode: Oh, actually? It is like a correct noun.
Michael Calore: Yeah.
Lauren Goode: It is like an improper noun.
Michael Calore: I imply, he looms giant. What about you?
Lauren Goode: I went with a dictionary phrase, so I selected inauspicious.
Michael Calore: Inauspicious.
Lauren Goode: Inauspicious.
Michael Calore: That is darkish.
Lauren Goode: Look it up. It’s darkish. It’s, however it’s been a bizarre 12 months.
Michael Calore: It has been a really unusual 12 months. I imply, all years are unusual, however I believe this 12 months is off the charts.
Lauren Goode: We should always speak about it.
Michael Calore: Let’s do it.
[Gadget Lab intro theme music plays]
Lauren Goode: Hello, everybody. Welcome to Gadget Lab. I am Lauren Goode. I am a senior author at WIRED.
Michael Calore: I am Michael Calore. I am a senior editor at WIRED.
Lauren Goode: That is our final Gadget Lab episode of the 12 months. Now previously, we might often publish a rerun episode round this time of 12 months, however we heard that you just all truly actually like listening to Gadget Lab in December, possibly since you’re on the lookout for somewhat escape from the household otherwise you’re touring and also you want some pods for the lengthy journey. So we’re right here taping this in mid-December and hoping you’ll discover somewhat pleasure on this episode. So Mike and I’ve been doing lots of reflecting and a few debating over the largest tech information of 2022. As journalists, we’re usually masking the information, however an enormous a part of the job can be being an avid information shopper, and we have each been completely steeped in all issues metaverse, Web3, Zuck, Apple, Twitter, SBF.
Michael Calore: Elon.
Lauren Goode: Elon Musk. Mike, I am simply going to get straight to it. What do you assume was the largest tech information story of 2022?
Michael Calore: Effectively, once we ready for this episode, we compiled our personal lists of the issues that we needed to speak about, after which we shared our lists with one another. I’ve one thing that I wish to speak about, however I believe the factor that you just wish to speak about is extra vital. So we should always speak about that first, and that is Tweelon.
Lauren Goode: Tweelon.
Michael Calore: Mr. Tweelon.
Lauren Goode: Yeah. I imply, you just about hinted this within the intro to our present that this was going to be an enormous matter for us at this time. So this one first began again in April when Elon Musk stated he would tackle a 9.2 p.c stake of Twitter and train his affect over the corporate by its board. Then he shortly stated he would not be becoming a member of the board, after which just a few days later introduced his intention to only purchase Twitter, simply purchase it for someplace round $44 billion. Now, an entire bunch of stuff occurred within the following months, the place Musk then accused Twitter of getting a much bigger bot drawback than initially disclosed. Twitter buyers sued Musk on and on and on. Musk appeared to be looking for a approach out of the deal whereas the remainder of us had been attempting to determine what an Elon-owned Twitterverse would appear to be. Then on the finish of October, it truly occurred. The deal closed and Tweelon, as we have been calling it right here at WIRED, was an actual factor, however in fact, it is not just like the chaos went away—fairly the alternative. Musk fired half of Twitter employees. He introduced after which held again on plans for a brand new verification scheme and an elevated subscription price for Twitter Blue. He reinstated some distinguished accounts on the platform. He blocked some others. He launched a batch of information about content material moderation that appeared to quantity to lots of performative transparency. Most not too long ago, he stoked conservative trolls by tweeting one thing derogatory about individuals’s most well-liked pronouns. Yeah, and that is, by the best way, simply in mid-December as I discussed.