Max Boot, a Russian-American author and an active columnist for The Washington Post wrote an article titled, ‘Elon Musk is the last person who should take over Twitter.’ The article was published on 14 April 2022 and guess it didn’t age well. Twelve days later, Elon Musk is the new boss of Twitter and there is not a damn thing that you, me or Boot can do about it.
$44 Billion is a whooping amount, but not for the wealthiest man on the planet who locked the deal with the social media site and bought Twitter like a toddler buys candy from a general store. If I had that much money in my account, I’d go cloning myself, buy islands, get married fifty times and make a biopic on myself starring me in lead and even get an Oscar for it. But we are presuming Musk is an angel who has come from the gate of heavens to terminate Twitter bots, hackers, and spammers (Good vibes only).
From owning a 9.2 percent of stake in Twitter in the first week of April to being the new boss of the microblogging service by the fourth week; Musk’s Twitter takeover is complete. Twitter confirmed that it has reached an agreement with the Tesla and Space X owner to acquire the company. The fifty-year-old, has promised and hinted toward making massive changes in social networking website to review Twitter back to its hay days! With the deal expected to close by the end of the year, we look at four major changes that the grandest social media platform may witness with Musk as the new boss.
Say Hi to the Edit Button
The edit button is long touted by Twitter, even before Musk showed his interest in the company. On April 4, Musk conducted a Twitter poll asking users their opinion about the edit button. Twitter CEO, Parag Agarwal later endorsed the tweet and retweeted quoting, “The consequences of this poll will be important. Please vote carefully.”
With Musk as the new owner, users can expect Twitter to work fast-track on its service and incorporate the ‘edit’ feature very soon. For Twitter users, ‘delete’ option is the only ‘edit’ in existence. Either a user has to delete his/her own tweet or they have to follow up with another tweet to clarify typos or any other error committed. But, with Musk promising so much, users can keep their fingers crossed. And, who knows one day we wake up from our nap to see a Twitter update featuring the edit option.
Free Speech and Content Moderation
There were speculations made that Donald Trump might have his Twitter ban lifted after Musk’s take over the company. However, the former American President rubbed off these claims and told Fox News, he is committed to Truth Social, a social media platform where he is yet to post. It is to be noted that Twitter has never been shy of banning top honchos of international politics and celebrities for their ‘infamous’ tweets and alleged violation of Twitter terms of service.
Twitter has been under immense scripting for its content moderation policy. What can be said and what cannot, is in fact a question of great debate. However, Elon Musk clearly doesn’t like the company’s content moderation policy and has been a flag bearer of free speech on the microblogging site. With Tesla owner at the helm, one can expect the new content moderation policy to be watered-down allowing Twitterati to be vocal about their ideologies.
Twitter Algorithm to be Open Source
The Space X owner has also been vocal about the Twitter algorithm being transparent to the user. In a March 24 tweet, Musk conducted a poll where he asked whether Twitter’s algorithm should be open-source. With a million respondents saying yes to the idea, Musk advocated that Twitter users should be able to see if their post has been demoted or promoted. This would prevent any behind-the-scenes manipulation, he stated. With him having control of the baby blue application, users are making speculation that he’d soon work on the program as well.
Fight against Bots and Spammers
What is the future of Twitter from here onward? Among tons of prophecies being made by pundits, one prediction is certain. And, it is the doomsday for bots and spammers. What Bloomberg and New York Times fail to report, Musk tweets it on his own. On April 22, 2022, Musk tweeted, “If our Twitter bid succeeds, we will defeat the spam bots or die trying and authenticate all real humans.”
Well, we could agree with the statement considering the Tesla owner had been impersonated by scammers who stole more than $2 million in crypto scams as per a report by CNBC. Well, with the announcement made on authenticating each account and clearing bots, all we can do is fold our hands and hope it does not turn out to be a fluke.