Daniel Ketchelos—Staff Writer
Rich, evil, white men and corporate greed. Such is the typical reaction provided when billionaires are brought up in conversation.
Although Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, is among these rich, white men, I don’t think his intentions are entirely evil. Musk’s acquisition of Twitter for $44 billion is a beneficial move for Twitter’s users and other social media sites.
In recent years, Twitter has ramped up the censorship of its users. Most notably, conservative figures including former U.S. President Donald Trump, Georgia congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, and conservative Milo Yiannopoulos, have been banned for breaking Twitter’s user agreement.
Twitter is not the only social media platform that has silenced users. Facebook and its subsidy, Instagram, have removed content and accounts that violate the company’s policies.
This is an issue that affects free speech for all individuals, regardless of their political beliefs.
With Musk purchasing Twitter, he is preparing to create a platform that focuses less on censorship and more on the ability to express individual opinions.
“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk said. “Twitter has tremendous potential—and I look forward to working with the community of users to unlock it.”
Free speech is a fundamental right given to citizens in the U.S. Increasingly, publicly owned social media sites are constraining the ability of users with opposing opinions to post their thoughts on the platforms. With Musk buying Twitter and privatizing the company, he will create a space for all individuals, regardless of Republican or Democratic affiliation, to engage in discussion and discourse online.
Musk aims to publicize the Twitter algorithm that prioritizes which tweets receive the most user engagement, and wats to minimize the power that advertisers have on the platform. Privatizing Twitter will allow Musk to make these changes without outside pressure from investors.
“Twitter as a company has always been my sole issue and my biggest regret,” said Jack Dorsey, former CEO of Twitter. “It has been owned by Wall Street and the ad model. Taking it back from Wall Street is the correct first step.”
I would much prefer Twitter to be bought out by Elon Musk compared to billionaires such as Meta and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, or Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Privacy concerns from the Meta platform are increasing and a buyout of Twitter from Zuckerberg would considerably monopolize ownership of social media sites. Zuckerberg’s Meta platform currently owns Instagram (acquired for $1B) and WhatsApp (acquired for $19B), if it acquired Twitter, it would mainly restrict control of social media sites to the Meta Platform and Alphabet Inc. (Google).
Musk gaining control of Twitter will allow for a new entrant to lead a social media site and create competition for other platforms to follow the availability of free speech.