What Elon Musk plans to do on Twitter – and if it will work Business

But are his plans feasible? Here is an overview of the proposed changes.

“Absolutist of freedom of expression”

Musk is a self-proclaimed “free speech absolutist.”

After former US President Donald Trump was banned from the platform earlier this year, he tweeted: “A lot of people are going to be very unhappy with West Coast high tech as the de facto arbiter of freedom of expression.”

He also said in April, “I hope even my worst critics stay on Twitter because that’s what free speech means.”

So we might see blanket bans on various accounts, including those that have spread misinformation and extremist views, relaxed in the name of open speech.

Such a move, however, would go against Twitter’s recent work to stamp out toxic behavior on the platform.

Musk will have to strike a balance between the two, as it could also alienate advertisers – Twitter’s main money-maker. Companies might not want their paid posts placed next to controversial tweets.


Twitter launched its first subscription plan last year, called Twitter Blue, which costs $3 (£2.6) to access more features.

Musk has indicated he supports such a model, although he wishes it were cheaper, having previously said his interest in Twitter was “not a way to make money”.

In a now-deleted tweet, he hinted that advertising could be removed from Twitter entirely: “Corporate power to dictate policy is greatly increased if Twitter depends on advertising money to survive.”

It will nevertheless have to propose a credible strategy of subscriptions or even advertising models to secure Twitter’s income.

The deal to buy Twitter was largely funded by high-cost debt, which it will have to service.

An edit button

Calls to an edit button are nothing new. But while it would allow users to correct innocuous typos, it could also lead to significantly impaired public discourse.

Musk polled his followers to ask if they wanted Twitter to develop an edit button, with 73% of 4.4 million votes in favor.

A user who responded to Musk’s poll said the edit button should only be available for a few minutes and the original tweet should remain publicly available. Musk called the proposal “reasonable.”

Ben Sangster, a former software engineer at Twitter, however, warned that while they considered it a team in 2015, they “concluded the potential for abuse was too high to move forward.”

Spambots and human authentication

Musk called spambots, which typically post a deluge of tweets to users’ feeds, “the most annoying problem on Twitter.”

He thinks one solution would be to authenticate “all real humans” and use photos, emails and phone numbers to establish someone’s identity.

Twitter already has good practices in place to detect fake accounts.

But it has become harder to spot instances where real people are creating fake accounts to spread misinformation or attempt to scam users, including through crypto-related tweets.

Musk will have his work cut out for him. Such capabilities would also likely require more investment.

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This notice was published: 2022-04-26 09:26:48

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