Is Twitter playing with fire by not paying their Google Cloud bills? Google Cloud, for months, has been fielding attempts by Twitter to renegotiate their contract, which will come to an end this month. Now they’ve stopped paying.
Twitter’s Cloudy Relationships
The company’s current deal with Google Cloud was made before Elon Musk took over the company last year. It’s meant to protect users’ accounts and combat spam. Some worry that the end of this contract could block Twitter’s trust and safety teams, ultimately endangering user data.
Twitter has a hybrid-cloud model so while there are dangers here, it’s likely they’ll be able to moderate the impact. Having said this, they haven’t got the best relationship with another of their cloud providers either! In March, Twitter had a not dissimilar conflict with AWS. Due to outstanding bills, Amazon threatened to withhold their advertising payments. The company’s bad behaviour doesn’t end with the cloud. Last year, California Property Trust sued them for not paying rent for the Twitter HQ building.
Goodbye Google Cloud
Twitter signed the $1 billion contract with Google Cloud in 2018. It’s now been reported that they’re refusing to pay, as they come up to the renewal date at the end of this month. Despite Google Cloud offering protection for user accounts, spam and other illegal material, Twitter wants out.
The company is moving as many services as they can away from Google Cloud before the contract ends. However, they aren’t likely to make it in time. It’s feared that some services will be sacrificed when the contract expires. Some are particularly concerned about the prospect of an uptick in spam and child sexual abuse material (CSAM) without the protection provided by Google Cloud.
Since Elon Musk bought Twitter he’s been in the news with one shock decision after another. He’s let go of thousands of employees, as part of his plan to slash infrastructure costs by $1 billion! On top of this, many of the app’s features have been crashing. The trust and safety team told Musk that their systems had been crashing “at least once a day” when he inquired about a Twitter Blue user who had been impersonating him. The press and the public have grown more and more dismayed with the chaotic running of the company.
In December last year Musk posted a poll asking if he should step down as CEO, with nearly 60% saying he should. He agreed to take the action once he found “someone foolish enough to take the job”. Linda Yaccarino has now taken over as CEO. Do you think the new CEO will be able to steer the company out of this chaos?