Twitter is one of the largest social media sites globally, with an active user count of around 217 million: A remarkable amount of people engaging on the website. Twitter proves itself to have a great variety of uses. For many, the social media platform is merely a place to interact with friends and share memes. However, for others, Twitter is a political platform or a marketing base. It absolutely has the ability to influence the world and the people in it in ways both small and large.
A significant part of that influence comes from the voices contained within it. Ranging from NASA to Justin Bieber, nearly anyone that wants to consider themselves part of the mainstream internet culture has an account on Twitter in some form. One of the most popular accounts on Twitter is Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
Recently, Elon Musk reached a deal with Twitter to purchase a controlling share in the company for 44 Billion dollars; a remarkable sum. Twitter is undoubtedly a worthwhile investment for anyone with the money to purchase it, considering the major influence that social media has on our world. Aside from the clear financial benefit of owning a massive company, Elon has expressed an interest in enacting changes that he believes will benefit the company.
One of the major stated intended changes is the reduction of sitewide moderation in the name of free speech. For those familiar with Musk’s general behavior on Twitter, such a statement will come as no surprise. Musk often pushes the boundaries of his speech, saying things that some people may see as unfit for a leader of a Fortune 500 company. But just as many people see his behavior as befitting the entrepreneurial figure.
Though, for someone who seemingly supports free speech, there are some concerns regarding Musk’s past behavior, as once there was a teen that posted tweets regarding Musk’s private flights. He offered the teen five thousand dollars to take the tweets down. Such behavior begs the question to be asked: does Musk’s commitment to free speech extend so far that he would allow his personal privacy to be jeopardized on a website he owns?
Aside from Musk’s desire for twitter to become a bastion for freedom of speech, Musk has other intended changes for the site. Some of these changes include the limitation of botting on Twitter, removing advertisements, and open-source code. My favorite change would be the addition of an edit button, allowing users to fix mistakes on tweets.
All of these changes sound potentially beneficial for the future of Twitter, but it all depends upon feature implementation, as each comes with its unique challenges. Implementing zero advertisements is extremely unlikely, even if everyone would appreciate the change. Twitter makes the majority of its income off of ads. To remove such a massive revenue stream seems unlikely.
A change in controlling interest is a massive change for a company. Whether or not all of the changes Elon Musk has suggested will come to fruition, this new acquisition will influence the social media giant, the world, and our future.