Musk’s proposed Twitter changes unnecessary, misguided

Elon Musk recently bought the social media app, Twitter, for $44 Million. Musk is a billionaire and CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors. He has spoken about four different changes he may have for the app. Some of his plans have created widespread discourse on how these will be executed on the app. 

The first change he plans to make is to loosen up on free speech rules. His goal is to make the rules on the app match the law. The First Amendment doesn’t apply to private companies. Twitter’s role is not to be bound by the amendment, but instead to serve as healthy space for public communication. Hate speech is not explicitly illegal, but it is still harmful to others. A relaxed approach to content moderation could make these types of posts more prevalent.

The next change he wants to make is to implement an edit button. Many Twitter users have found typos frustrating on the app because when posted, they aren’t able to change it. The past owners of Twitter stated concerns that an edit button could cause users to share tweets and alter the meaning afterwards. For example, someone could post “Have a great day” and then get replies reacting positively, and then change the original tweet to something offensive. 

Musk has spoken of making an open source algorithm. This means the code for the algorithm would be public information. The intention of this change is to increase trust. Twitter’s algorithm looks for patterns of which tweets become popular or spark the most conversation. Seeing the code behind an algorithm doesn’t necessarily mean the average person can understand and know how to interpret it. 

The last change he proposed is to combat crypto currency scams. This scam is a type of investment fraud that involves criminals stealing money from online investors. Musk’s planned solution is to authenticate real humans or have accounts linked to other personal identifiers. Scammers can impersonate celebrities and push followers to send crypto currency.

I assert that Twitter being owned by Musk will drastically change the app. I have no doubt that troll posts will be amplified. Authenticating all humans is impossible while also trying to match the laws free speech rules. The law protects anonymous speech as well. I am convinced that Musk owning Twitter will make the app a hostile environment. Musk is a controversial character. For example, an anonymous CF student is running an anti-Elon meme Instagram account.

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