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Celebs Fly South

By Linda Cheung

Following Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter on October 28, 2022, Musk has made a series of changes causing a mass exodus of high-profile celebrities off the social media platform. Since the takeover, Musk has revamped the site’s subscription service, allowing users to pay $8 - $11 per month for a blue checkmark, the ability to edit posts and other perks.

"I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy," Musk said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. "Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company."

By agreeing to Twitter’s terms of service, users are able to connect to their community through the exchange of various multimedia. However, the user also agrees to a binding contract, enabling the company to moderate user-generated content when it is in violation of the site’s rules and policies. Therefore, the acquisition of Twitter enables content to be moderated according to a new set of rules or guidelines established by Musk. Though this topic has proven to be controversial via public discourse, some students at NHP feel that Twitter as a private company can run any way that the owner feels is best.

Artwork by Debarati Chowdhury

Celebrities and other users flock from Twitter due to Elon Musk's new position as CEO.

“I do feel that social media companies are within their rights as privately-owned corporations to moderate their platforms and the content posted on them as they see fit and in a way that they feel benefits all of their users,” junior Alvin Paul said.

“Even though many, including myself, believe Elon Musk has proved incompetent as CEO of Twitter, Twitter as a company can make whatever judgements they want on who can and cannot be allowed on their platform,” junior Ethan Mehta said.

Celebrities such as Elton John and Gigi Hadid have left the platform since Musk’s takeover, citing concerns such as misinformationand hate and bigotry.”

“Of course users have a right to abandon a social media site,” social studies teacher Dr. D’Orsogna said. “It’s happened in the past and will continue to happen in the future. Oftentimes when users have abandoned a platform it’s because of changes in technology, but changes to how a site is administered will also result in user flight.”

Ultimately, Musk’s acquisition of Twitter has caused a mass migration of celebrities to exit the platform in response to unpopular changes among the site’s content moderation policies and subscription service.


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