However, there are multiple reasons that Musk’s taking over of the company could be a good thing. Here, we’ll take a look at four of them.
Elon Musk’s Offer to Buy Twitter Was Accepted
In April 2022 Musk announced that he had made an offer to purchase Twitter. Having initially bought a large amount of stock, the successful businessman decided to put out an offer to purchase Twitter shortly after.
After putting in the offer to purchase the company, the board accepted it, and the sale is due to go through later this year. While the company is yet to change hands, the sale is fairly secure thanks to the $1 billion opt-out clause in the deal.
Here are a four reasons that this purchase could be a good thing for Twitter…
1. Twitter Could Take Free Speech More Seriously
Twitter doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to free speech. When it comes down to politics, people on both the left and right equally believe that their side is being treated less favorably by Twitter, its algorithm, and content moderators.
More generally, Twitter users complain of shadowbans when posting tweets about certain topics. And while Twitter’s misinformation rules are designed to protect users, they could pose some ethical issues when it comes to free speech and who decides what information is misinformation.
Current Twitter CEO, Parag Agrawal, previously explained how the platform is actually emphasizing certain people over others in an interview with MIT Technology Review.
One of the changes today that we see is speech is easy on the internet. Most people can speak. Where our role is particularly emphasized is who can be heard. The scarce commodity today is attention.
And so increasingly our role is moving towards how we recommend content and that sort of, is, is, a struggle that we’re working through in terms of how we make sure these recommendation systems that we’re building, how we direct people’s attention is leading to a healthy public conversation that is most participatory.
Musk, on the other hand, is a self-proclaimed “free speech absolutist”, vowing to follow free speech on Twitter to the letter of US law.
Discussions come as to whether US law does enough to protect users from hate speech. This often comes down to a matter of personal opinion.
Twitter has features to protect users but it remains to be seen whether Musk will keep any of these features going forward.
Musk previously tweeted that if the most extreme 10% on both the left and right are equally upset, there’s a good policy in place. This suggests Twitter will have some protection against wild conspiracy theories and harmful content.
2. Musk Suggested a Number of Improvements for Twitter
Musk plans to change certain Twitter features and while these remain to be implemented, his suggestions look as if they will actually improve the platform.
One such improvement is making Twitter’s algorithm open-source. This will provide some transparency into how Twitter works, ensuring there are no content biases. It’ll also help make it easier to identify how some Twitter features work, and how advertisements and promoted content are chosen for users.
Other improvements include getting rid of all the annoying bots that post spam on the platform, the introduction of an edit button, features to make Twitter Blue worth the money, and improved user authentication.
3. The News Could Benefit Current Shareholders
While Elon Musk will privately own the company once the sale goes through, until that point Twitter remains a publicly traded business. This means that new and existing shareholders can continue to trade their shares for a profit or a loss.
As Musk details more of what he plans to change or implement when he takes over, the Twitter share price will continue to react. If there’s confidence in Musk’s plans, the price will rise, which could create some nice gains for shareholders who trade before the final sale.
This is very much dependent on the perception of Twitter’s future when the sale goes through, but as the date draws nearer, stock prices could begin to increase.
4. Musk’s Business Track Record Should Set Twitter for Success
Putting aside personal opinions of Musk, there’s no denying his successful track record in other ventures. Years ago, Musk founded PayPal, which grew to become one of the largest online payment platforms, and still is today.
Currently, Musk is the CEO of Tesla, and the Founder/CEO of SpaceX. Both companies are future-focused, one producing AI self-driving cars, and the other, spaceships for space travel and research.
Musk’s public personality has brought both companies into the public spotlight, and they’re individually billion-dollar companies, both in profits and in value.
It’s likely that Musk will take his successful experience in tech companies to Twitter. The businessman knows how to run a company, and we can expect the same from Twitter.
Love Him or Hate Him, Musk Could Brighten Twitter’s Future
With Musk’s deal to purchase Twitter accepted, a lot is set to change. Whether it’s an edit button coming to the platform, a policy move open to free speech, or just the name on a piece of paper, it’s happening.
And with Musk’s history of business success and proposed changes for the better, Twitter could be set for a bright future. Let’s hope it comes to fruition.
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