Announced today, Elon Musk successfully bought the social media app Twitter. At the beginning of the month, Musk became the largest shareholder of the app, as he bought 9.2%. As predicted, Musk became a part of the Twitter board the next day. Five days later, on April 10, he made a bid to buy Twitter. Today, his bid was accepted, and Musk bought the site for 44 billion dollars, sparking a lot of conversation on the app. Musk says he believes he can make the app better and says that he prioritizes freedom of speech. But, some are curious as to how the app could potentially change, while others threaten to boycott the app completely, as #deletetwitter trends.
Twitter accepts buyout, giving Elon Musk total control of the company https://t.co/oPwAgAAs6S pic.twitter.com/rU9V49QMva
— The Verge (@verge) April 25, 2022
Since Musk has been vocal about his position regarding free speech, some are wondering how he is going to make these changes. Musk has made some hints about his ideas, even tweeting today that he hopes his “worst critics remain on Twitter because that is what free speech means.” Musk believes that content moderators intervene too often, so some think that content moderators will change in some ways, though it is not clear how. Some are also hopeful that former President Trump’s account will be unbanned.
Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy.
What should be done? https://t.co/aPS9ycji37
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 26, 2022
I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 25, 2022
How Twitter is reacting
Since Twitter is often used to express opinions on trending topics, it is not a surprise that there was a lot of commotion on the app, with things like #TwitterTakeOver trending and #twittersold. The former CEO, Jack Dorsey, began to trend as well. As usual on the internet, opinions were divided. Some compared the website to the long-abandoned MySpace, which was also very important at one time. “Well, Twitter, it’s been fun, but like MySpace, it looks like the party is over,” one person wrote. Others wrote that Jack Dorsey is not unlike Elon Musk, since they have had similar politics and ideologies, and do not expect things to change too much.
I mean, I'm not going to leave Twitter just because it's owned by a very stupid and very evil billionaire, because like, I was here for years when Jack Dorsey was running things
— Joseph Fink, 👻🎃healthcare is a human right🎃👻 (@PlanetofFinks) April 25, 2022
44 billion for this
— quinta brunson (@quintabrunson) April 25, 2022
Others, however, were looking forward to the changes in the app, hoping that free speech would be promoted on the app since some do not believe in censorship of any kind, even if it could be considered hate speech.
Free speech for all. Regardless of your sensitive feelings. It’s important and necessary for a free democracy.
— Nomad (@nomad_pilot) April 24, 2022
Although it is too soon to see the impact Elon Musk will have on the app and how it will affect users, many are discussing the Tesla CEO, whether it be to celebrate his new company or to ponder leaving the app for good.