Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Student reacts to Elon Musk buying Twitter

May 3, 2022
<p>Elon Musk recently buys Twitter in a $44 billion dollar deal.</p>

Elon Musk recently buys Twitter in a $44 billion dollar deal.

Photo by Madison Echlin | The State News

Twitter was founded in 2006 by Parag Agrawal. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, recently bought Twitter in a $44 billion deal to buy the platform. The deal took a week due to a ‘poison pill’ set by the company, which stops a potential hostile takeover.

According to Musk, he has hinted at a plan to buy Twitter and modify its moderation policies. His main critique about the platform is that it’s too restrictive. In the future, Musk hopes that Twitter will treat more content permissively and not resort to content removals and account bans.

The takeover came with a lot of unsolicited criticism from lawmakers and there is a lot of speculation on what Musk’s ownership could mean for the 2024 presidential election.

Under his ownership, the interpretation of ‘free speech’ might mean that Twitter will only remove tweets that are considered illegal content, such as child pornography. But, it may stop short of misinformation, which has been an issue since the pandemic began.

"He might be an absolutist about free speech and he'll let absolutely everything on there ... including hate speech and things like that," Lyman Briggs graduate Gabriele Seilo said.

Here's what Musk said on the matter:

Many people, including the government are trying to figure out what that entails and what are the limits of it.

"In the short term, I think it's going to cause a lot of outrage from certain parts of the political spectrum," Seilo said. "It's going to cause other people to be more bold (I think) in their positions."

Seilo mentions that Musk might keep the status quo, but there is a possibility that far right extremists or hate speech will be perverse on Twitter as a result of the deal.

He invested in Twitter, buying more than 100 shares of the company before Musk bought the platform. "I bought in at like somewhere around 50 bucks," Seilo said. "So, that means each share is going to have some value of the difference between the two."

Seilo provided more insight on the matter, mentioning that China banned Twitter in 2009 and that the government had no leverage over the platform. "Elon Musk buying Twitter could impact how it's governed in relation to how China feels about free speech," he said. "I don't know if that will happen, but it could impact it because Chine is so influential."

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