After months of tantrums and tirades, America’s crybaby Elon Musk’s buyout of Twitter is finally complete. If it wasn’t an appealing time to join before, now is an even worse time.
Musk shared a manifesto to the platform on Oct. 27 which highlighted his main interests in buying the company, citing mainly an upkeep of freedom of speech on the site. Despite Twitter being a privately owned company with no real need to honor the first amendment, Musk fails to realize what exactly he has opened the platform up to.
Some people see this as salvation for the platform. Finally, they will be free to say what they want. Others see this as a fearful sign of the future, one that may not be as safe of a place for ideas as Musk paints it out to be. It doesn’t stop there either, Musk’s business strategy also marks a time of uncertainty for people working at the company.
Immediately following the deal’s completion, the use of racial slurs jumped up by 500%. If his goal was to not feed into “far-right wing echo chambers,” then he is utterly failing from the offset. If Musk wants “free speech,” he will have to loosen moderation efforts on the site, which will make the already unpalatable site an even less pleasant experience.
Musk’s most noteworthy change on the platform will relate to the famous blue check mark, which indicates profile verification. Check marks will be locked behind Twitter Blue, the paid premium subscription Twitter launched almost a year ago. In statements detailing the changes to the subscription, Musk notes several other key features including priority in comments and searches, the ability to upload longer videos to the site, and limited advertisements. Twitter Blue will now require users to pay $8 on a monthly basis, nearly twice that of its previous $4.99 price.
Ultimately, Elon is attempting to damage control the $44 billion he wasted on Twitter, all in the name of free speech as he sees it. He knew he was in way over his head and decided that if he couldn’t fight the case against Twitter, then he was going to monetize it.
Musk is also planning to unban or unsuspend most people who he believes were “wrongfully terminated,” from the site. This includes several notable right-winged figures, as well as former president and prevailing golf enthusiast Donald Trump. You know, the guy who instigated an insurrection, and conceptualized his own Twitter knock-off in protest of his removal from the platform.
If that wasn’t enough to start ringing the alarm bells in someone’s head, Musk’s attitude towards this motion is incredibly nonchalant and almost condescending. We don’t want your Twitter bucks Elon, we want a safe platform for us to express ourselves and not be harassed over it.
His fight for free speech is ironic seeing his historic anti-union rhetoric. If you are going to talk , you have to walk the walk, Elon!
His bizarre management doesn’t end with updates to the site, it extends into the actual business of Twitter as well. On Oct. 31, Musk dissolved the entire board of directors, leaving him the sole leader. He claims it’s only temporary as he forms a new board that will be composed of people with a more diverse group of ideals. His layoffs won’t end there, with a massive layoff planned for early November.
Musk has also ushered in several Tesla engineers to fill positions to oversee a platform that very few of them have any experience with. This has also drawn ire from the board of directors at Tesla who wonder how, if at all, this will benefit the company.
Through all of this, several high profile celebrities, politicians, and internet personalities have weighed in on the situation. Musk is raking in all of the interactions and laughing all the way to the bank. Despite protests and claims that they will leave Twitter, everyone is too addicted to the app to leave permanently, proving Musk’s previous projections correct.
Only time will tell how Musk’s actions will truly affect Twitter. I say that if you were planning to get out, there is no better time than now.