Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter is currently dominating the news cycle. Many people have questions. Many people are perplexed by Musk’s decision, citing the high price he paid for the platform as well as his views as a “free speech absolutist,” which makes some (including me) wary. What exactly does that mean? Will people be able to say whatever they want without fear of repercussions? Misinformation? What changes will the algorithms undergo as a result of his involvement? Will the platform improve? What about supervision? Regulation? What effect will taking the company private have on that level of scrutiny? Why is it even possible for a single person to wield this much power and wealth?
And you have to wonder, what exactly is he purchasing? Twitter exists because of its user base. Twitter would cease to exist if its users ceased to exist.
No one knows anything yet and all this is just a feeding frenzy with a whole lot of speculation. It’s important to note that journalists use Twitter a lot. Politicians and related groups also rely on Twitter. Twitter is not going away! The only question is how will the algorithms and content policies change the game in the future. No doubt, we will know if and when any tweaks are made.
On the news of Musk’s takeover, some users have left the platform overnight with others creating profiles on alternative sites (like https://counter.social) and taking a wait-and-see approach. I’ve also heard that some former Trump supporters who left the platform in protest of Twitter’s ban on Trump’s account are returning.
Many people are also wondering if Trump’s Twitter account will be reinstated. For many on the left, this could be the end of their Twitter journey, as they believed it was appropriate for him to be banned permanently.
People are also wondering how Musk will use the platform and whether he will ‘look behind the curtain’ to see how Twitter can enrich his own interests by targeting users to either buy products he’s developed or to give him ideas for developing new products and/or services. With no indication of how or if he will be permitted to do so, many will wonder if they want to be a part of such a venture knowing they will most likely be the target of such campaigns. While this may be true, any perceived unfair advantage used by Musk may deter potential advertisers who do not want to put money in the hands of their competitors.
Which begs the question: Would Tesla, SpaceX, or any of Musk’s competitors suspend Twitter advertising due to Musk’s involvement? I suppose Musk doesn’t have to care if the platform makes money because he owns it.
In response to Musk’s takeover, the consensus among media outlets covering this story is a resounding ‘I don’t know.’
According to CNN, Musk has promised to “make the algorithms open source in order to increase trust, defeat spam bots, and authenticate all humans.” They’ve got 8 questions. If he makes the algorithm open-source, potential Twitter competitors will be able to use the same algorithm (which may be the end goal).
According to Fox News, Twitter employees are distraught over the news, and conservatives are praising it while others are threatening to leave the platform.
For the time being, opinions will be all over the place until this settles and we see what actually happens. The only thing we know for certain is that Elon Musk has paid $44 billion for Twitter and that the company will be privatised. If someone were to invest that amount of coin, there has to be a compelling reason.
I am hoping that he is going to take Twitter to the next level and since he is not really looking to just make more money as are typical billionaires, I feel that he could rock this to become a game changer in social networking as he has already proven with cars and rockets!
What you think about that depends on whether you think Musk is a superhero or a supervillain.
Will this have an effect on the technology sector?
Nothing that I can see.
Twitter has been used by the tech industry, as well as other major industries and news outlets, to disseminate breaking news and information about new products, services, or product announcements. It’s too early to tell, but I expect this type of tweeting to continue unabated and that, for the most part, the tech industry will be unaffected by this latest development.
The reach would be obviously impacted if people stopped using Twitter but it could easily swing the other way and get more users. It would be a battle cry if companies were able to prospect competitors’ followers. I’m not too concerned about this as we don’t use Twitter much because the tech community lives mostly on LinkedIn and Reddit. For the time being, all we can do is wait and see.
Check out my previous posting about this latest news: https://www.e-channelnews.com/elon-musk-buys-twitter-what/