Questions Remain Surrounding Confidence That Musk Will Take Over Twitter
Elon Musk has back in the headlines again this week after saying that he would reverse the Twitter ban on former President Donald Trump if his proposal to acquire the company is finalized.
Musk Breaks Silence About Trump Twitter BanRead More »
The billionaire went on to say that he would reverse the ban. He also said that Jack Dorsey, former CEO and co-founder of Twitter, agrees that the social media giant should not apply permanent bans on users. Dorsey followed up Musk’s comments by tweeting that while there are exceptions, permanent bans do not work.
Musk pointed out that removing Trump’s access to Twitter did not silence his voice. Instead, the ban only served to amplify it and rile up his base. This is why Musk said that the decision to ban was “morally wrong and flat out stupid.”
The Tesla and SpaceX CEO also conceded that his acquisition of Twitter is not final, meaning that the return of Trump to Twitter is not a sure thing.
History of Trump’s Ban
Trump was famously banned from Twitter after the January 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol. The company said that the president violated their rules regarding inciting violence. According to Twitter, the decision to ban Trump came directly from Dorsey. Twitter’s decision triggered more social media platforms to ban or suspend Trump’s accounts following the insurrection.
Since that time, Trump has said that he would not return to Twitter even if the company decided to reverse the ban. After leaving office, Trump started his own media venture, Truth Social. However, this new platform has struggled to attract users, falling significantly short of expectations.
Musk’s Plans for Twitter
Musk used his time at the podium on Tuesday to dive deeper into his plans for Twitter should the deal come to fruition. He said that he wants to get rid of bots that support spam or scams. Musk also said that he wanted to make the company’s algorithm less secretive, providing more transparency by making it publicly available. This would include allowing the public to comment and make suggestions for the algorithm.
He also addressed what many users criticize about the platform with its left-leaning bias. Musk said that Twitter needs to be more “evenhanded.” While he said the employees at the corporate office in San Francisco do not intend to show their bias, the far left nature of the Silicon Valley culture makes it more difficult to do.
Musk spoke about permanent bans as they do not relate to Trump, saying that he wanted that trigger to be rare. He said that bans of this nature should be reserved for spam accounts and bots that have no legitimacy in posting.
In the past, Musk said that his goal is for Twitter to only limit content moderation to topics that the government has explicitly said is illegal. However, on Tuesday, Musk appeared to leave the door open a bit more on moderation, saying that there is a vast range of content that could be deemed objectionable enough for Twitter to moderate. Going beyond straight illegal content, Musk said that speech that is destructive or wrong could also be subject to enforcement in the form of temporary suspension or the silencing of a specific tweet. He did not elaborate on what metrics would be used to ascertain if a tweet was in need of moderation.
Will the Deal Go Through?
The question about the viability of Musk’s purchase of Twitter is still a hot topic. Musk’s plan to forge ahead to purchase the company largely depends on how stocks in Tesla are performing. Unfortunately for Musk, shares of Tesla have plunged approximately 20% since Musk’s intentions to buy the company and move it to the private space were made public.
In addition, stocks of Twitter are now over 10% under the proposed purchase price of $54.20. The stock has been hanging out in the range of $47 over the last few weeks. Investors believe that this drop is an indication that Musk will not be able to move forward with the deal at the original proposed purchase price. Despite securing over $7 billion in financing from a myriad of respected investors, there are still doubts that the takeover will come to fruition as planned.
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