Elon Musk Buys Twitter: Here are 4 big changes he will make
Elon Musk has big plans for the social media platform after his takeover of Twitter. He announced the changes he will make in the future.
Social media platform Twitter struck a deal Monday with billionaire Elon Musk, who wants to take over and privatize the platform. Musk had offered to buy Twitter for $54.20 per share, for a total of $44 billion.
He had already made the offer in mid-April, and yesterday, Monday, Twitter confirmed the deal (via cnet.com). The purchase could change things on the popular text messaging platform. That’s why we list what changes might come to you.
Musk has big plans for Twitter
Musk shared a screenshot from his statement yesterday, pointing to some of the changes detailed below. Specifically, it says:
Freedom of expression is the cornerstone of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital marketplace where issues affecting the future of humanity are discussed. I want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, using open source algorithms to increase trust, defeating spam bots, and verifying everyone’s identity. Twitter has tremendous potential – I look forward to working with the company and the community to unleash it.
🚀💫♥️ Yesss!!! ♥️💫🚀 pic.twitter.com/0T9HzUHuh6
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 25, 2022
1st Change: Publish the algorithm
In his statement, Musk clearly says that he wants to make the algorithm open source, that is, public. This algorithm is primarily responsible for determining what content you see (first) on Twitter and what you don’t see immediately.
But exactly how this is determined is not yet clear. Musk has already stated that he wants to change that at the end of March, when he started a survey on whether the algorithm should be open source:
Twitter algorithm should be open source
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 24, 2022
But Musk goes a step further. In a live interview with TED, he said that to ensure transparency, users should be able to see if their tweets have been downed or promoted by the platform. Also, the code should be on the Github coding platform, where programmers can search the Twitter code for bugs and suggest improvements.
2st Change: Dealing with Freedom of Expression
Before we begin, we would like to briefly clarify the terminology: American Freedom of Expression is not the same as German freedom of speech. In many cases, American freedom of expression is interpreted too broadly; This means that in other countries it also includes expressions that currently fall within the scope of hate speech, incitement to commit a crime or slander. For example, false statements are not criminal offenses in the United States and are covered by freedom of expression.
Musk has stated in his previous tweets that he disagrees with how freedom of speech is currently being handled on Twitter. He specifically wrote:
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
It is not yet clear what exactly he plans to do in this area. However, it is conceivable that tweets and accounts that were previously deleted from Twitter for violating policies may be handled differently in the future.
3st Change: Increased fight against spam bots
Spam bots are a problem on Twitter, especially in the cryptocurrencies space. You can find them below tweets from accounts mainly dealing with Bitcoin and Co. Followers often impersonate an account to entice them to transfer cryptocurrency. In almost all cases, it is a scam.
Musk had complained about bots in January. There, Twitter’s NFTs shared a screenshot of their implementation plans as their profile picture and harshly criticized them.
A few days before Twitter accepted his offer, Musk revisited the issue on the platform. Here he wrote: If our Twitter bid is successful, we will beat the spam bots or die trying! And verify the identity of all natural persons
If our twitter bid succeeds, we will defeat the spam bots or die trying!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 21, 2022
Change #4: An edit button
A button to edit tweets could also be on the new Twitter owner’s wish list for changes. It didn’t exist until now, probably because the content of the expressions could get complicated if they could be changed later. On April 5, Elon Musk launched a poll asking if his followers wanted an edit button with deliberately misspelled answer options.
Do you want an edit button?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 5, 2022
There are many recommendations for the app, including Twitter user Everyday Astronaut. It offers the editing functionality under two conditions: First, it should only be available for a few minutes, that is, five to ten minutes after the tweet is sent. On the other hand, processing should always be traceable via a link. So everyone can see what has changed.