Tech

Twitter belongs to Elon Musk: what will change in the coming months

A few hours after the announcement of the takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk, concern reigns among both users and employees. What will become of the social network? If the billionaire has already sketched the outlines of his project, he remained relatively vague on the real changes he intends to make to the platform. We summarize what we know for the moment.

It is now official. After several days of hesitation, blocking attempts and negotiations, Twitter finally gave in to Elon Musk’s offer. Last night, the billionaire announced his takeover of the social network for 44 billion dollars. If we expected it a little, the thing was not obvious yet last week. Indeed, many Twitter shareholders opposed the takeover, even strategizing to discourage the businessman from getting his hands on the company.

It now remains to be seen what Elon Musk intends to do with his favorite social network. If the latter clearly lacks ideas, users are still in the dark about the real changes that will be made. One thing is certain: in a few months, the platform will no longer look like what we know today. Softer moderation, the possibility of modifying his tweets or even the assumed integration of cryptocurrencies… here are the avenues publicly mentioned by the billionaire.

Less aggressive moderation

This is the central point of Elon Musk’s project. On several occasions, he has expressed his desire to make Twitter a “arena of inclusivity”. In the press release published to announce the acquisition, the latter adds a layer by declaring that “Freedom of expression is the foundation of a functioning democracy”. Indeed, on several occasions, the businessman complained of “censorship” that the social network would apply and which would prevent its users from communicating freely.

These statements are therefore not insignificant. On Twitter, many are worried about what is really behind this project. It is clear that if there is moderation, a lot of hateful and violent tweets, particularly towards minorities, slip through the cracks every day. Despite the reports, some even remain online for several days, or are never deleted. That an assumed libertarian like Elon Musk wishes to make this moderation even more flexible, there is reason to ask questions about the future of the rules in force on the platform.

While the billionaire is actually unlikely to allow racist, homophobic and other nonsense on Twitter for the sake of “free speech,” some people may feel more comfortable the idea of ​​sharing their discriminating opinions. Also, many have suggested that Donald Trump, banned from Twitter in 2021, could make a comeback. However, the former President of the United States has indicated that he will remain on Truth, his own social network.

An Edit Tweet button

Another spearhead of this takeover, Elon Musk could finally add a button to edit these tweets after publication. This is certainly the feature most expected by users. For years, Twitter has argued that this would go against its philosophy, which strives for maximum spontaneity and honesty. In other words, giving the possibility of modifying one’s tweets is to risk allowing one to modify one’s opinions according to one’s desires.

On his personal account, Elon Musk has repeatedly defended the integration of the feature. A few weeks ago, Twitter finally gave in and started testing for Blue users. It is possible that things will kick into high gear under the guidance of the businessman.

Better integration of cryptocurrencies

In addition, the Twitter Blue subscription offer is of great interest to the billionaire. In a survey of its subscribers, the latter stated in particular that “Anyone who signs up for Twitter Blue (i.e. pays $3/month) should get certified”. In addition, Elon Musk suggested that this subscription could be paid for by Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency of which he has more or less voluntarily been the muse for a few years.

twitter takeover elon musk
Credits: Pixabay

Cryptocurrencies, precisely, could in the future occupy a prominent place within the social network. As we know, Elon Musk is particularly fond of digital currencies, and the slightest of his statements has the power to tilt the market. It would therefore not be surprising if it is possible to make various purchases on the platform using digital currencies.

A few other ideas

Finally, Elon Musk has floated a few other ideas over the past few days. Already, he wants the Twitter algorithm to become open source, in order to give more control to its users. Surprisingly, he also offered to take the company off the stock exchange, without his motives being clearly explained.

Anxious to maintain his image as a great humanist, the billionaire also proposed to transform the headquarters of Twitter into a refuge for the homeless. He made it clear that his intention is very serious and even discussed the terms of its implementation with Jeff Bezos. Finally, the businessman has indicated that he wants to remove all advertisements from the platform.

Towards a massive exodus of users

Despite his strong popularity on social networks, it is a mild understatement to say that Elon Musk is not unanimous on social networks. Also, as soon as the takeover of Twitter was announced, many users migrated to Mastodon, a very similar application offering a few additional features. In the early evening, the servers of the latter dropped following the massive and unexpected arrival of Internet users.

Related: Twitter Shareholder Wants to Sue Elon Musk for Hiding His Joining the Company

Indeed, several of them claimed that they would not stay on the platform if Elon Musk carries out all his projects, fearing in particular that hate speech abounds with impunity. Another concern, anonymity on Twitter, already at the heart of public debate for several months, has also been the source of many debates. The Anonymous account has thus made it known that it will be deleted in the event that users need to authenticate.

But users aren’t the only ones who fear the worst for Twitter. Many employees have shared their concerns, whether for the future of the platform or for their own work. On this last point, the current CEO wanted to be reassuring by saying that no dismissal will take place. Only, many do not seem to share Elon Musk’s vision for their business. It is therefore possible that we will soon see a wave of departures within the firm.

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