Elon Musk will soon control Twitter.
On Monday, the business stated it had accepted the Tesla CEO’s $44 billion takeover bid. That means the world’s richest person, known for his erratic behaviour, could soon be able to impact conversation on a social network utilised by over 200 million people daily.
How might Musk use it?
Here are some of his Twitter ideas.
Loosen content rules for free speech.
The Tesla and SpaceX CEO calls himself a “free speech absolutist” and criticises online platforms for their excessive moderation.
Twitter is the digital town square where things crucial to humanity’s future are debated, and free expression is the backbone of a functional democracy, he said in announcing the purchase.
Musk argues that social networks should not remove offensive but legal comments. “If it’s a grey area, let the tweet live,” he stated recently at a TED conference.
Twitter now prohibits harassment, abuse, and threats of bodily harm. The site also prohibits disinformation about COVID-19.
Musk’s attempt to relax Twitter’s rules of engagement worries social network experts. They claim it allows harassers, trolls, and others to target people.
They fear loosening Twitter’s regulations will embolden those seeking to misuse the site by spreading misinformation about political events, government leaders, and public health and safety.
Create an edit button for users’ tweets.
An edit button is one of Twitter’s most requested product changes.
Unlike Facebook, Instagram, and other social networking apps, Twitter does not allow editing of published information.
Professors, journalists, and other frequent tweeters have criticised Musk’s support for allowing users to edit their messages.
Experts believe introducing an edit option will be weaponized by unscrupulous actors who will use it to cover up abuse or harassment, or to fool or manipulate others.
Others argue that controls might be put in place to allow tweets to be modified to remove typos while preserving the original message.
Make Twitter’s algorithm public
Musk claims that Twitter’s algorithms should be made public. He favours putting Twitter’s algorithm on GitHub, a popular code-sharing site for programmers.
According to some social media transparency advocates, disclosing Twitter’s thick and intricate algorithm will accomplish little.
Twitter processes billions of bits of content every day. Twitter’s recommendation system and how tweets go viral are so thick and sophisticated that even the company’s software developers struggle to comprehend its logic.
War against ‘bot armies’
Musk also favours limiting the use of Twitter bots, which are automated accounts that respond to specific themes.
Musk’s corporate empire has been known to attract bots, particularly Tesla-supporting bots that target Musk opponents.
He hasn’t stated he’d temper those bots, but he has urged cracking down on scammy bots advertising bitcoin scams.
“We will destroy the spam bots or perish trying!” Musk said last week he wants to “authenticate all real persons.”
Nearly 90% of Twitter’s revenue currently comes from advertising, but the platform has struggled to attract advertisers as it devolves into political firestorms and violent online fights.
The corporation will no longer be pressured by shareholders to increase advertising income. Musk says it should be subscription-based.
Last year, Twitter introduced Twitter Blue, a premium service that costs $2.99 a month and includes features like an undo button that allows tweets to be recalled before being posted.
Musk says Twitter Blue should be cheaper, that paid subscribers shouldn’t see ads, and that the joke cryptocurrency Dogecoin should be accepted as payment for a Twitter subscription.
What about Trump’s Twitter ID?
Musk hasn’t stated whether he’ll reinstate former President Donald Trump after the business permanently banned him for violating its rules and inciting the Capitol siege on Jan. 6.
Trump hailed Musk “a terrific man” and said he was pleased with the billionaire’s acquisition, but he had no intentions to return to Twitter. Trump stated he will instead focus on his Truth Social alternative social network.
The question came up during a Monday afternoon all-hands meeting. Agrawal said it was for Musk.
“We don’t know where the platform will go once the deal closes,” he said.