Elon Musk buys Twitter

Elon Musk’s Acquisition of Twitter a Win for Free Speech

26 April 2022

2 MINS

Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, has struck a deal to buy Twitter for $61.4 billion dollars in what could be a positive development for free speech on social media.

This morning, the social media world awoke to the news that Elon Musk, a tech entrepreneur and the founder of SpaceX and Tesla, had successfully made a deal to buy Twitter for $61.4 billion Australian dollars.

Although Twitter has a small user base (200 million) compared with the other major social networks like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, it is still an immensely popular network, particularly with celebrities (like Elon Musk himself, who alone has 84 million followers).

But Twitter has faced criticism over its regulation of certain individuals; most notably former US President Donald Trump, who was banned from the platform in the wake of the Capital Hill attacks.

Significantly, Elon Musk, who has been trying to acquire Twitter for some time, has been outspoken in support of free speech, claiming that he intends to shape Twitter into a more free speech-friendly platform.

 

Musk recognises that free speech ‘is the bedrock of a functioning democracy’ and sees Twitter as ‘the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated’.

Musk has big plans for Twitter, wanting to improve its transparency and increase trust in the network:

“I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans. Twitter has tremendous potential — I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.”

 

Musk’s deal to buy Twitter has inevitably met with opposition, with many threatening to leave the platform due to his acquisition.

Charles M. Blow, a New York Times columnist and journalist, tweeted that the deal ‘will be just the push’ he needed to convince him to leave Twitter.

 

Actress and writer Yvette Nicole Brown responded to Blow’s tweet, stating that she would follow suit and help to fight ‘against what @twitter is about to become’.

 

It makes one wonder why so many people are so opposed to a ‘free speech’ platform that they need to fight against it.

Nonetheless, many see it as a step in the right direction for social networks. To signify his commitment to free speech, Musk tweeted that he hoped that even his ‘worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means’.

 

Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro outlined the concerns many have had over Twitter’s current algorithms and lack of transparency.

 

Twitter has said that the deal was unanimously approved by its board.

Undoubtedly, the world will watch with anticipation as Musk begins to make significant changes to the Twitter platform. Many will look on with the hope that Twitter 2.0 will become a bastion of free speech in the world of Big Tech.

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Photo: Getty Images

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