Published: 26th April 2022
#WhatTheFAQ: What does Elon Musk's buying of Twitter mean for you and me?
We unravel what could go down at the social media company as the Elon Musk era begins
And so, it's confirmed. The saga of the grand Twitter sale has reached its climax with Elon Musk, the world's wealthiest man, finally buying the micro-blogging platform for close to $44 billion. Not a bad day's business, eh? But what has he said about the landmark deal? And why did he want to buy it in the first place? We reveal all details right here in What The FAQ.
Why did Musk want to buy Twitter?
Elon Musk has always been an advocate for free speech. He made this clear after announcing his bid in a speech. "Twitter has become kind of the de facto town square, so it’s just really important that people have both the reality and the perception that they are able to speak freely within the bounds of the law,” he said. Surely, there was no looking back from then on. He has also said, "My strong intuitive sense is that having a public platform that is maximally trusted and broadly inclusive is extremely important to the future of civilization,” while adding that “I don’t care about the economics at all.”
What all could change on Twitter?
Musk has pledged to take Twitter private. He has expressed interest in keeping as many shareholders as allowed by the law. There are, however, a lot of open questions about how much change he would really affect.
What about the possible edit button on Twitter?
In a Twitter poll by Musk himself, his followers replied with an emphatic 73.6 per cent saying yes to the edit tweet feature. And soon, the Twitter team confirmed that the company was already working on the feature. While they said that they didn't get the idea from a poll, the survey by Elon couldn't have hurt either.
What is Musk's view on Twitter's algorithm?
Musk has been an ardent supporter of making the algorithm open source so that the public can view and improve upon it. He has said that this will help Twitter from "behind the scenes manipulation." Experts have felt that this would be easier said than done since opening the algorithm to the public could reveal trade secrets and invite abuse.
Musk is bound to face severe backlash from the public if user data is made less secure than what it already is. Twitter's direct messages are not encrypted meaning that deleting them from one's account would not make them invisible to other parties. DMs remain on Twitter's servers. It remains to be seen if Musk would tinker with the policy to make them more secure for users.