Emma Bennett—Staff Writer
We’ve all heard the news. On April 25, Twitter’s board agreed to sell their $44 billion platform to Elon Musk. That’s a lot of money for broke college students, but maybe not for Musk, the world’s richest person.
While I’m not a Twitter user, I’ve understood the app as an unfun, toxic, misinformation-filled platform. Despite Musk’s acquisition, I possess little faith that his advocacy for “free speech” will come to fruition.
On the one hand, Musk made a number of lofty promises, claiming he’d loosen Twitter’s censorship through privatizing the site and publicizing the app’s algorithms.
While seemingly a good idea, the determination and ability required to tackle the app’s already-broken discourse presents a daunting task. We, its users, are not capable of switching mentalities overnight, and the Internet gives all an ample opportunity to lash out without consequence.
To clarify, I do not have a problem with people expressing unpopular opinions. That is what makes our world diverse and our voices unique. However, Musk has tweeted harsh words in the past. So, to me, Musk’s proclaimed dreams for the site sound like ‘a pot calling the kettle black.’
I do have a problem with how Musk handled the deal, though. As said by CNN, Musk is “notoriously predictable” and he criticized the board and ridiculed former Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, online. If this is how Musk plans on using his freedom of speech, count me out.
Overall, it seems Musk will encounter difficulties. First, he’s inexperienced in social media. Second, he’s immature and naïve about how the company ought to be run.
I would say I’m an optimistic individual, but the way Musk seems to think he can fly by the seat of his pants is unnerving. As asserted by The Wall Street Journal, there’s a difference between harassment and censorship. Musk does not seem to recognize this and plans to give everyone a pass, even if the posted message is hurtful or untruthful.
Third, Musk will experience difficulty finding time to be present on Twitter and give it the devotion it requires. (You know, he owns Tesla.) High-profile figures Evan Greer, Roy Gutterman, and David Kaye also worry about Musk’s time management skills.
Musk’s buying of Twitter displays the flaws of our capitalistic world: If the big companies continue to buy and gather like this, there will soon be no individually owned businesses left.
As a college student in a small, Midwestern town, this hits home. I know a majority of Dordt’s student body thrifts clothes and knick-knacks from Mom-and-Pop stores. As these business owners are a part of our community, we want to contribute to their livelihood.
This Twitter situation is not the last time a rich billionaire will add another company’s name to their repertoire, but I’d be wary of what this does to our community and the world at large.