Twitter is refusing to pay the bills it owes to Google Cloud, reports say.
Twitter's contract with the service is up for renewal this month, and the fallout of not paying could deeply impact the social platform's safety protocols, including spam and abuse prevention measures.
It's another problem stemming from the steep and controversial cost-cutting measures that the social platform has taken in recent months.
What Happens If Twitter Stiffs Google?
Twitter's contracts with internet heavy hitters Google and Amazon have long supplemented the services that Twitter operates from its own servers. Twitter is currently in the middle of a multi-year contract with Google, but it has stopped holding up its end of the bargain. Now, it risks losing the Google servers it's hosting some services on.
What Twitter functions are at risk of flailing or dying entirely when Google pulls the plug? Platformer, which broke the news, identifies three:
- Services related to fighting spam
- Services related to removing child sexual abuse material
- Services for protecting user accounts
More services may be hosted on Google as well.
Limited functionality for any one of those three services would be terrible news for a social platform that's already had an impressive run of crises since shifting to new management in the last year.
Twitter's Cost Cutting Under Musk
Elon Musk took over control of Twitter last year in a $44 billion deal. Since then, a large part of his plans for the social media website have revolved around cost cutting.
Twitter has laid of thousands of employees. It has refused to pay rent for its offices, as well, and one source told the New York Times that Twitter explored the possibility of avoiding paying severance to its laid-off workers. Even “hardcore Musk loyalists” were laid off.
Given these past reports, the news that Twitter is now reconsidering paying Google for services rendered doesn't seem surprising. According to some reports, Twitter has even been arguing with Google about renegotating its contract since March of this year.
Is Using Twitter a Safety Concern?
All the best VPNs and password managers on the market — as helpful as they are — won't protect your email, password, or other Twitter account information, should the service be breached by a third party. And a short-staffed Twitter with its Google servers at risk of disappearing doesn't exactly scream secure.
Plenty of Twitter's userbase seem set to sink or swim with the social platform, however.
If your business has a presence on the website, we'd recommend checking that you've siloed your account's data, a move that can minimize any potential harm from a breach.