The Twitter board has agreed to sell the platform to Elon Musk for $44bn (£34.5bn). Less than two weeks since his shocking bid. It’s nothing short of a controversial decision as Musk has been known for his love of free speech, despite the consequences. Where does this leave Twitter?
Twitter to be sold to the world’s richest man
Twitter have agreed to sell the platform to Elon Musk for $44bn. He’s stated that the platform has “tremendous potential” that he wishes to unlock. It will be interesting to see what he means by this. He has been known to say some very controversial statements on Twitter as well as in everyday life. Is this going to be a breeding ground for this type of behaviour? Already, Musk has said he wants to make some changes to the platform. He wants to relax the content restrictions currently in place and remove all fake accounts.
The latter is a sensible suggestion. Fake accounts can be really damaging, not only to personal accounts, but also businesses and brands. Removing them or putting all efforts into doing so will only be a positive move. However, relaxing content restrictions? How far will he go with this? As we know, he isn’t afraid of speaking his mind and believes free speech is important. Which, in some cases, yes. However, there needs to be a line. You cannot take to such a large platform and say whatever you’re feeling when all eyes are watching. It can be extremely damaging.
Could shareholders change this decision?
It’s said that the shareholders may have the final say. They’re being asked to vote to approve this deal. So, the decision may lie in their hands. With Elon Musk already being the world’s richest person according to Forbes magazine, it seems hard to say no. It’s likely he wants to continue to build his empire, rather than doing it for the right reasons some may say. Elon Musk has a net worth of $273.6bn. This is mainly thanks to his share holds in the very luxurious car brand Tesla which he runs. Not only that, but he also leads the aerospace firm known as SpaceX.
Trump backing Musk
With the relaxation of moderation over tweets, it’s thought hate speech might rise. It’s not unreasonable to have this thought when Musk is so known for saying it as he sees it. He has been known to say very controversial statements which offend huge amounts of people. With him overseeing an entire social media platform, how will things change? Donald Trump’s account was previously banned due to his comments. This came after Washington riots started. The platform found enough was enough and terminated his account.
Donald Trump won’t be returning to Twitter
It’s been said that Donald Trump has no intentions of returning even if his ban is lifted. He has created his own platform known as Truth Social. The idea behind it is based around free speech. Allowing users to say exactly how they feel. This idea is extremely damaging, so it’s likely for the best if Trump does stay away from Twitter as we know it. However, Trump did go on to say that Elon Musk is a “good man” who will “make improvements” – what these improvements may be, we are unsure.
Musk himself has said “free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy” a statement which, can be taken many ways. While it might be correct in many people’s eyes, there must be a limit. It is one thing voicing your views on climate change, whether they be good or bad. But, it is another essentially brainwashing others into having the same viewpoint as you. This is where it becomes damaging. Not only that, but where is the line? What can’t be said? There has to be some rules, whether he likes it or not. Hopefully, he will have others working with him to control Twitter who may put a stop to his questionable behaviour.
Why does Elon Musk want to own Twitter?
Elon Musk has the goal of having unconstrained freedom. He doesn’t necessarily have the want or desire to make Twitter a better place for its users. Instead, he wants the freedom when it comes to his own use of the platform. Essentially, Musk wants to hold the power. It’s no surprise considering he’s the richest man in the world and is in control of extremely powerful businesses. He doesn’t want to be held accountable and that’s the worrying part. Musk doesn’t want to have to answer to shareholders or laws and regulations. He wants to be in charge of everything himself. Completely rewriting the rules of Twitter as such.
“Twitter has tremendous potential – I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.”Elon Musk
Twitter is losing users
Within this statement there is huge hope. He is voicing that he wants the platform to continue to improve for its users. However, he has to be careful because he needs to consider all users, not just the ones who agree with him and his statements. You can’t take over one of the largest social media platforms and alienate anyone who doesn’t share your views. Twitter is already seeing a loss. With Jameela Jamil already removing her Twitter account as soon as it was known Elon Musk would be buying the platform. It’s likely many more will go the same way.
It will be interesting to see whether the platform starts to sink due to it soon being privately owned by Elon Musk. He has said he wants the platform to be even better, and we can hope this is the case. We will have to see what is meant by this. If his intentions are to remove spambots, that’s a step in the right direction and certainly something all users could get behind. Twitter is being put under pressure and has been for a long time. Politicians are encouraging the site to clamp down on certain content allowed on the platform and rightly so. Hopefully with Elon Musk being one of the most powerful technology owners out there, this is something that will be changed for the better.