Elon Musk can be confusing at times, and his political views are evasive, making it difficult to determine exactly what the billionaire might do after acquiring Twitter. But in recent weeks and months Musk has given more hints about what he would change on the social network — in interviews, regulatory filings and, of course, on his profile on the platform.
Here are the main areas Musk can try to modify:
Freedom of expression and content moderators
Musk has often expressed concern about Twitter’s content moderators, who, in his opinion, go too far and over-intervene on the platform, which he sees as “the de facto public square” of the internet.
In the regulatory document in which he announced his attempt to buy Twitter, he wrote: “I invested in Twitter because I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the world, and I believe free speech is a social imperative for a functioning democracy”.
He added that he didn’t trust the company’s current leadership to make the changes he deems necessary and prioritize his ideas about freedom of expression on the platform. “After I made my investment, I now realize that the company will not thrive or meet this social imperative in its current form,” he wrote.
In a tweet on Monday, Musk said he hopes even his “worst critics” will continue to use the platform, “because that’s what free speech is.”
The ‘Trump question’
Musk has not publicly commented on how he would handle former President Donald Trump’s banned Twitter account. But his free speech comments have fueled speculation that the social network, which he owns, could reinstate Trump, who was barred from the platform last year.
After the January 6, 2021 riot on Capitol Hill, Twitter said that Trump violated its policies by inciting violence among his supporters. Facebook also banned Trump for this reason.
The former president, who was known for tweets criticizing opponents and sometimes announcing policy changes, is also trying to get his own social networking site off the ground. His startup Truth Social has struggled to attract users, and the problem could get worse now that Musk has suggested changing the rules for content moderation on Twitter. Trump said in a recent interview that he probably wouldn’t return to Twitter if he could.
At a TED conference this month, Musk explained his plans to make the company’s algorithm an open-source model, which would allow users to see code showing how certain posts emerged in their timelines.
He said the open source method would be better than “having tweets mysteriously being promoted and demoted with no awareness of what’s going on”.
Musk has also previously pointed to the platform’s politicization, and recently tweeted that the policies of any social media platform “are good if the farthest 10% on the left and right are equally unhappy.”
Who uses the platform and how
Before offering to buy Twitter, Musk expressed concern about the platform’s relevance.
When one account posted a list of the top ten most-followed accounts on Twitter, including former President Barack Obama and pop stars Justin Bieber and Katy Perry, Musk responded: “Most of these ‘top’ accounts tweet rarely and post very little content. .Is Twitter dying?”
More recently, Tesla’s chief executive promised in a tweet on Thursday that he would “defeat the spam bots or die trying!”
Translated by Luiz Roberto M. Gonçalves
I have over 8 years of experience in the news industry. I have worked for various news websites and have also written for a few news agencies. I mostly cover healthcare news, but I am also interested in other topics such as politics, business, and entertainment. In my free time, I enjoy writing fiction and spending time with my family and friends.