Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, reached a deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion in late April. The deal ends a drama marked by aggressive threats to the acquisition, before finally handing over personal control of one of the most influential social media platforms on planet Earth to Musk.
The acquisition was received mixed by the public. Some worry that Musk has too much control over the platform.
Avery Van Pelt, a student from Wyoming, is concerned that there will be more harassment on Twitter. To the Associated Press, Avery said, “There’s no more plural ownership, it gives him complete power over Twitter, and I think Twitter’s situation will only get worse if he tries to open the faucet for free speech, because that would give room for the spread of fake news, hate speech. and so on, maybe even more harassment.”
Meanwhile, a retired couple from the state of Seattle, Don and Christie Riggs, assessed that the issue of misinformation and conflicts of interest had the potential to damage the platform with the bird symbol.
“We are concerned about what he might do in relation to the misinformation issue, (for example) removing the misinformation filter,” said Don.
“His ability to have so much control, to control content for personal gain, rather than for the common good,” added Christie.
Twitter briefly served as a mouthpiece for former US President Donald Trump before the platform blocked it, and Musk – a self-proclaimed “rights defender” – has said he wants to reform what he sees as excessive moderation on Twitter.
Some are concerned that easing Twitter moderation will actually worsen the conditions for democracy. Jochen Ahlswede, a resident of Germany, thinks Musk is not the right person to define the boundaries of a platform as big as Twitter.
“President Trump’s incident, I think, shows that these platforms have such a huge influence on public discourse, so I don’t think it’s a good idea to have this influence in the hands of just one person and I think Musk is also someone who acts in his financial interests. not in the public interest.”
Meanwhile, in a statement released on Twitter, Musk said that, “freedom of speech is the cornerstone of a healthy democracy, and
Twitter is a digital square where what matters to humanity’s future is debated.”
Laura, a pensioner from Minnesota, agrees with the opinion. “I think the voices have been muted and we need to hear all their opinions.”
The public company will now become a private company owned by Musk, who negotiated a buyout at $54.20 per share. [rd/jm]
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