1. More Free Speech
In the past months, Elon Musk has been posting and retweeting various posts on the critical need for 1st Amendment Free Speech, arguing heavily in favor for individuals to have more and not less of it. Musk has been critical of Twitter’s guidelines that prevent certain stories, accounts, videos, stories, and posts from being posted because of it upsetting one side of the political spectrum. Various mainstream media pundits, reporters, celebrities, activists on the political Left, and human rights groups are angry and worried that Musk’s acquisition of Twitter could allow for speech they do not like or what they deem ‘hate speech.’ Many of these groups and individuals, as well as Democratic politicians, are worried and angry about Musk taking control of Twitter, arguing that the Tesla’s CEO’s actions on the social media site will potentially spread ‘disinformation’ and disproportionately impact women, non-binary persons, LGBTQ people, and others.
2. A More Transparent Platform
One of the biggest changes that Musk wants to enact on the social media platform is bringing about more transparency for all user. In the past few years, Twitter, along with various other social media outlets have been criticized for not being transparent and open for how they curate their algorithm. This has led to both Republican and Democratic politicians demanding that Twitter provide users with more insight into their development and have proposed legislation for such actions. In various interviews, Twitter executives and developers have tried to explain how they prioritize tweets but refused to give specific information to the public on their system. Now that the social media company is under Musk’s control, the Tesla CEO has announced his intentions to cut down on social media spam and make Twitter’s algorithm available to the public. Should this become actual policy, users will see how Twitter prioritizes its tweets, penalizes others, and the factors that make a tweet go viral.
3. A Fully Private Company
The agreement struck between Musk and Twitter means that the social media outlet will transform from a publicly-traded company into a fully-fledged private one. In the past, Conservative commentators and politicians like Senator Josh Hawley from Missouri have argued that the billions of dollars of special immunity the federal government provides Twitter must end entirely, essentially making the company completely private on its own. If such actions were to occur, the social media company would then become fully dependent and more accountable to its users. In a letter to the company, the Tesla CEO stated that Twitter was going to need to go private to enact the changes that needed to be made. Musk addressed the fact that Twitter’s own board members have very few shares among themselves and are not aligned with shareholders. Should the company decide to become fully privatized, Mr. Musk stated that he wants to keep as many shareholders as legally possible.
4. A New Edit Button
Twitter in the past has rejected users and developers pushing for an edit button that would allow ordinary users to edit their tweets. Other social media outlets like Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook have an edit button that allows users to change photos, stories, and other features. In 2018, the former head of Twitter, Jack Dorsey stated that the firm would most likely never add an edit button feature because of transparency concerns. On April 1, 2022, Twitter stated that it was exploring an edit button but was widely interpreted by many as an April Fool’s joke. In later weeks, Musk created a poll on his Twitter account, asking users if they wanted to see an edit button to the social media platform. According to reports, around four million twitter users responded to Musk’s poll with 70 percent of users responding yes to his question. Now with Musk acquiring the social media outlet, users who have wanted an edit button for so long may now get their wish come true.
5. Universal Verification
One of Twitter’s most famous features since 2009, is the blue verified badge that lets people know that an account is authentic. In May of 2021, Twitter announced that anyone can apply for a blue checkmark or verification, but not everyone will be able to be approved. Twitter has six categories that allow companies, journalists, politicians, celebrities, brands, digital content creators, and others to obtain verification. As a member of Twitter’s board and the biggest shareholder of the company’s stock, prior to owning the company, Musk suggested that any user who pays the three-dollar Twitter blue subscription fee should obtain a checkmark. The Tesla CEO believes that the current process of obtaining a blue check mark is unfair for all Twitter users and believes that change is needed for everyone to enjoy all features of the social media outlet. Individuals who have tried to apply for a blue check mark verification but have failed for approval might now be able to obtain one.