Elon’s Quest for Twitter

A Must-Have for Musk

On April 25th, 2022, Elon Musk made history by purchasing media giant Twitter for an astounding 44 billion dollars – the second largest recorded buyout in American history. Musk has made his plans very clear for the app, which include loosening restrictions on censorship as well as increasing transparency surrounding the app’s algorithms.

   This record-setting purchase is not without controversy; many are apprehensive that the planned changes will foster extremist hate and disjoint the intense content moderation protocols that Twitter had thoroughly established. Additionally, Musk has already made frightening comments about the extreme expectations he will set for his workers. His buyout of Twitter is expected by some to become a continuation of the hostile work culture that Musk is known to create – exemplified recently by Tesla’s $137 million payout for racism and abuse at various factories.

   To the contrary, some consider Musk’s anti-censorship policies and humorous lack of professionalism to be a good omen for the company’s fortune. Surveys among social media experts working with celebrities have discovered the simple reason many prominent people are ditching Twitter – it’s considered “a high-risk, low-reward platform.” One of Musk’s particularly contentious moves to combat Twitter’s cancel culture was his pledge to reinstate the account of former President Donald Trump, and with it end perma-bans on the platform altogether. 

   Though his ambitious plans have only gained international attention very recently, Musk’s sizable purchase was far from impromptu. Back in 2017, Musk responded jokingly to a tweet advising him to buy Twitter; his response was simply: “How much is it?” And while Twitter under Musk’s ownership is still in its infancy, his arsenal of new ideas for the company appears endless. With Twitter now going private, meaning that stake in the company can no longer be bought and sold publicly, its reliance on advertisements is negligible, and, as a result, Musk has openly talked about his willingness to move it towards a subscription-based service. As critics watch from every direction, Musk’s laissez-faire approach to free speech through Twitter is an experiment that will only unravel with time.

 

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