By Helee Shukla
Known for being the business magnate behind multimillion-dollar corporations such as Tesla Motors and SpaceX, Elon Musk ventured into a vastly different realm with his deal to buy Twitter in mid-April. Musk offered to buy the social media platform for $44 billion and has big plans for the company, such as emphasizing free speech and eliminating bots. Before he can establish these changes, Twitter has to decide whether they will go forward with the deal.
Twitter’s employees were divided when their chief executive revealed the news to them. Many felt betrayed that they were kept in the dark while officials discussed the deal behind the scenes, while others were more so worried about the future of their job. Some endorsed the deal, believing that Musk would transform the company for the better. Likewise, students had mixed feelings about the deal.
“I honestly didn’t believe it when I heard that he wanted to buy Twitter– it was so out of his scope. I don’t feel comfortable knowing that a platform of unregulated news would be controlled by a multibillionaire who has every reason to use it to support his odds,” junior David Ren said.
“I feel like the millions of bots on social media make browsing inauthentic and take away from the feel of what apps like Twitter are supposed to be. If Elon Musk will truly change that, it’ll definitely bring more accuracy to the app,” senior Tesna Cherian said.
Twitter’s chief executive has already been settling the deal and working out the fine print with Musk. As aforementioned, one of Musk’s concerns with the platform was the copious amount of bots. Twitter responded to his unfounded claims by presenting yet another: that less than five percent of its users were bots. Twitter’s CEO refused to show proof of the stark claim, enraging Musk who even reached out to the Security and Exchange Commission to cross-check it and declared the deal was “on hold.”
But whether the delay had truly to do with bots in the first place is debated. Refusing to go forward with a deal because of one questionable factor governing the trade seems unlikely to some.
“It doesn’t make sense how he would offer to buy the company for such a large amount of money without even reviewing the very reasons for doing so. Putting off the deal because of such a trivial argument is suspicious, and it feels more like Elon having second thoughts about the purchase as a whole,” junior Ishita Bansal said.
If Musk successfully acquires Twitter, he plans to bring back free speech, which he considers the “bedrock of a functioning democracy.” Similarly, he wishes to increase transparency in the general makeup of the application by making its source code public. To combat bots, he’ll establish an authentication system, which could make it more difficult for people who operate under anonymous profiles to speak up, counteracting the purpose of his first two proposals.
Source by Sam Tsui
A reader keeps up with the growing tension between Elon Musk and Twitter.
Nevertheless, it is evident that Musk’s goals lean towards transforming Twitter into a more trustworthy app but serve as a striking change to a platform that operated under community- established rules. Regardless of whether the deal will renew free speech to its users, increase Twitter’s share value or even occur at all, the volatile nature of global communication platforms will be made clear.