Elon Musk buys Twitter: how much will the social media platform change?
Max Boot, a Russian-American author and active columnist for The Washington Post wrote an article titled “Elon Musk is the last person who should take over Twitter”. The article was published on April 14, 2022 and I guess it hasn’t aged well. Twelve days later, Elon Musk is the new boss of Twitter and there’s nothing you, me or Boot can do about it.
$44 billion is a huge amount, but not for the richest man on the planet who made the deal with the social media site and bought Twitter like a toddler buys candy in a general store. If I had this shit money in my account, I’d go clone myself, buy islands, get married fifty times over, and do a biopic about myself with me in the lead and even get an Oscar for it. But we’re guessing Musk is an angel from heaven’s gate to weed out bots, hackers, and spammers from Twitter (good vibes only).
From owning a 9.2% stake in Twitter in the first week of April to being the new boss of the microblogging service in the fourth week; Musk’s takeover of Twitter is complete. Twitter has confirmed that it has reached an agreement with the owner of Tesla and Space X to acquire the company. The 50-something has promised and hinted at massive changes to the social networking website to bring Twitter back to its hay days! With the deal expected to close by the end of the year, we take a look at four major changes the biggest social media platform could witness with Musk as its new boss.
Say hello to the Edit button
The edit button has long been touted by Twitter, even before Musk showed interest in the company. On April 4, Musk conducted a Twitter poll asking users for their thoughts on the edit button. Twitter CEO Parag Agarwal later endorsed the tweet and retweeted, quoting:The consequences of this vote will be important. Please vote carefully.”
With Musk as the new owner, users can expect Twitter to work quickly on its service and incorporate the “edit” feature very soon. For Twitter users, the “delete” option is the only “edit” there is. Either a user should delete their own tweet or they should follow up with another tweet to clarify typos or any other mistakes made. But, with Musk promising so much, users can cross their fingers. And, who knows, one day we wake up from our nap to see a Twitter update with the edit option.
Freedom of expression and content moderation
There has been speculation that Donald Trump could have his ban on Twitter lifted after Musk took over the company. However, the former US president erased those claims and told Fox News that he was engaged with Truth Social, a social media platform on which he has yet to post. It should be noted that Twitter has never been shy about banning big names in international politics and celebrities for their “infamous” tweets and alleged violation of Twitter’s Terms of Service.
Twitter has been subjected to immense scripts for its content moderation policy. What can be said and what cannot is actually a matter of great debate. However, Elon Musk clearly doesn’t like the company’s content moderation policy and has been a champion of free speech on the microblogging site. With the Tesla owner at the helm, expect the new content moderation policy to be watered down, allowing Twitterati to have its ideologies heard.
Twitter’s algorithm will be Open Source
The Space X owner also said Twitter’s algorithm is transparent to the user. In a March 24 tweet, Musk conducted a poll in which he asked if Twitter’s algorithm should be open source. With one million respondents saying yes to the idea, Musk advocated that Twitter users can see if their post has been downgraded or promoted. This would prevent any behind-the-scenes manipulation, he said. With him having control of the baby blue app, users are speculating that he would soon be working on the program as well.
Fight against bots and spammers
What is the future of Twitter from now on? Among the tons of prophecies made by experts, one prediction is certain. And it’s the apocalypse for bots and spammers. What Bloomberg and The New York Times don’t report, Musk tweets himself. On April 22, 2022, Musk tweeted, “If our Twitter bid succeeds, we will defeat spambots or die trying to authenticate all real humans.
Well, we might agree with the statement given that the Tesla owner posed as scammers who stole over $2 million in crypto scams according to a CNBC report. Well, with the announcement made about authenticating every account and removing bots, all we can do is fold our hands and hope it doesn’t turn out to be a fluke.