On October 27, 2022, both Twitter and the world of social media would change forever. On that fateful day, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk, bought Twitter for $44 Billion. It is safe to say Twitter hasn’t been the same since Elon Musk purchased the company. Elon aimed to improve the platform, allowing for an environment where freedom of speech prevails. However, Elon’s decisions have debatably left a negative impact on the platform, with some questioning whether the platform is knocking on death’s door.Embed from Getty Images
In the first week of Musk’s domain of Twitter, hate speech surged on the platform due to Elon’s approval of unfiltered freedom of speech. The usage of the N-word in the first week was three times the usage for the entirety of 2022.
However, Musk recently announced a new policy on freedom of speech. While this change allows harmful and hateful speech on Twitter, it will only make those types of tweets visible to those seeking them out. With this change, Twitter remains a place of freedom of speech but also allows users to avoid seeing hate speech on Twitter. With time, according to Musk, hate speech impressions have actually decreased from before the purchase.
Along with his belief in complete freedom of speech, Musk unbanned Donald Trump, Ye West, and Andrew Tate. Trump was banned following the attack on the Capital after he promoted the actions taken. West was banned following his usage of anti-Semitic language(and recently had his account suspended again for “inciting violence”). Tate was banned for his misogynistic beliefs. Now, all three are back on Twitter and are free to say whatever they want.Embed from Getty Images
Not only has Musk shown his belief in freedom of speech, but he has also shown his democratic values while running Twitter. Musk has run numerous polls that have caused significant changes on Twitter. These polls include whether or not Donald Trump should be unbanned and if banned accounts should be given amnesty, barring illegal activity or spam.
Another issue with Musk’s takeover of Twitter came with the new verification process. Before Musk bought the company, verification was given to companies and people to let users know whether they were reliable. However, Musk implemented a system where verification is given to anyone who pays eight dollars a week. This has caused impersonation issues, as users paid for verification and changed their usernames and icons to resemble a company or person.
However, a solution has arisen in an attempt to fix the problem. Tweets by companies, government officials, or any other powerful or influential person or organization are labeled “official.” That way, there can be a distinction between real, verified accounts and fake, verified accounts.
Since Musk’s takeover and drastic changes to the platform, half of Twitter’s top 100 advertisers have stopped advertising on the platform. In response to this, Musk revealed a plan in which Twitter will match the spending of advertisers who spend $500,000 or more, up to $1 Million, in marketing value. With these advertiser incentives and an all-time high of active users, Twitter appears to be thriving under Musk’s leadership.
While Musk’s tenure had a rocky start, his frequent changes and new policies appear to be leading Twitter in the right direction. It is safe to say that Musk, and Twitter, have changed the social media world forever. Whether or not this new takeover will cause the platform’s demise is still up for debate. In the end, only time and the decisions of Musk will tell the ultimate fate of twitter.