Twitter is About to be Acquired by Elon Musk.
What You Can Expect to Change
Popular social media and microblogging platform Twitter is close to being fully acquired by eccentric billionaire and professional troll Elon Musk. One of the two world’s richest men, Musk is known to be an out-of-the-box thinker and he has shown his capabilities with SpaceX and Tesla, two of the most innovative and futuristic companies in existence right now.
His net worth improved massively as Tesla’s stock price skyrocketed during the Covid-19 boom and it is still going relatively strong despite a recent downturn in the price index. He is estimated to be worth more than $160 billion and the total Twitter purchase is expected to cost him around $45 billion, roughly a fourth of his net worth.
Twitter’s Recent Actions
Twitter infamously banned the account of former US President Donald Trump who incited a charged crowd to attack the Capitol building on January 6, 2021, after his earlier election loss. Previously, many of his tweets were branded fake news and Twitter was his favorite platform. Despite his attempts to develop and deploy a competing platform like Truth Social, he still obviously misses the reach and effectiveness of Twitter and its global appeal.
Twitter took the initiative in this case after it detected a big abuse by social media fronts to promote certain hate-filled topics with impunity. While Trump trudged a fine line for a long time, he was finally banned after the January 6 incitement that led to the deaths of more than 8 people around the US Capitol. Similarly, many other leaders and influencers were banned from the platform because of problem-laden tweets.
What is Musk’s Inspiration for the Twitter of the Future?
Musk has outlined two basic principles he would like to implement on Twitter to improve it. The first is promoting free speech on it and the second is to remove spam and fake accounts. While the second bit is much more popular and has universal support, the first one is a lot more controversial.
Free speech is necessary fundamental freedom considered by most democratic groups of people, but many including major governments oppose absolute free speech without safeguards in place for antisemitism, xenophobia, sectarian, racial incitements, and other calls for political violence.
So, free speech advocacy is surely going to be the main agenda for Musk, but how far will he go in allowing absolute freedom of speech on the platform, especially without first addressing the mammoth issue of fake trends and accounts? That remains to be seen. Musk has indicated again and again that he wants to remove curbs from the platform. That is certainly going to happen.
In addition to these two basic changes, another major shift expected is the adoption of digital currencies aka cryptocurrencies on the official Twitter platform. Twitter is likely to introduce its own wallet or allow wallet companies to attach their public addresses on their Twitter accounts for quick donations and fundraising campaigns.
While the official Twitter wallet isn’t available right now, you can still setup your own crypto wallet on popular exchanges such as Binance or purchase a hardware wallet like Ledger or Trezor which are considered safer than software wallets.
This, however, may present the social media giant with a new financial conundrum and invoke reactions from federal regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission and the IRS of the USA. The former is already a long-term rival of sorts of Musk, and it forced him to pay a considerable amount of fines and removed him as the head of Tesla’s board of directors back in 2015. However, Musk is a different beast now. Back then he was just an eccentric billionaire in the mid-level pecking order. Now, he is among the two richest guys in the world. The SEC will surely think twice before taking the same steps against him now.
What to Expect from the New Twitter Regime?
With a change in ownership, Musk is expected to bring about big changes in the microblogging platform. But what are those specific changes and how soon will he be able to implement them? That is the biggest question at the moment.
He recently got in a tweetstorm with current Twitter CEO Parag Agarwal, and it appears like he may change the CEO or elevate himself to that post. In both cases, Agarwal’s role in the company may be short-lived considering he only took over from Jack Dorsey at the start of this year.
While Twitter is not as popular as Facebook or newcomers like TikTok, it is the most popular platform for public figures to start new trends and disseminate official information. Other platforms are known to have a lot of “noise” that is affecting the overall status as a serious platform for serious discussions. Twitter shines in this regard and is known to be the most active platform to target fake news and incitements to violence.
Twitter is expected to undergo a paradigm shift in thinking when Musk takes over the reins of the popular platform. However, the extent of the change is up for debate as government censors and other organizations keep tabs on the latest developments and are likely to respond accordingly.