Twitter has been besieged with problems for a while now as it struggles secure sufficient profits to appease investors, deal with a visible bot problem on the network, and, more recently, attempting to push Elon Musk to follow through with the huge $44 billion deal the struck for the company. Today, however, after a tumultuous few months of back and forths, Musk’s deal has been finalized and he now owns Twitter and all its problems. Let’s take a look at what has gone on and what is happening at Twitter now.
Musk agreed a deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion months ago but seemed to get buyer’s remorse as Twitter’s value plummeted. What followed were weeks of direct Twitter bashing from Musk as he was seemingly trying to raise all the issues, he saw with the site that could invalidate the deal that had been struck. However, once it started to become apparent that he wouldn’t be able to get out of the deal, Musk pulled back his barbed attacks and finalized the deal. He is now in charge of the company with both Parag Agrawal and Ned Segal, Twitter’s CEO and CFO, both reportedly having left the social network’s team.
The billionaire has stated many times that he wanted to buy Twitter to protect free speech, a sentiment he followed up with a note to advertisers he tweeted yesterday afternoon. In it he said:
“The reason I acquired Twitter is because it is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence. There is currently great danger that social media will splinter into far right-wing and far left-wing echo chambers that generate more hate and divide our society.”
Musk’s mission to ensure a common digital town square exists where a wide range of beliefs exists should be lauded but it raises the question of what exactly far right-wing and far left-wing views are and who gets to decide upon the platforms they receive. With such importance being placed upon the need to have a common digital town square, is it appropriate that a single billionaire gets to decide who the prominent voices will be who can speak there?
Interestingly, there are many right-wing owned alternatives to Twitter such as Parler, which Ye, or Kanye West as he used to be called, is reportedly on the verge of acquiring. These have been created to air views censored on the more mainstream networks, while there are few if any left-wing alternatives. The worry here is that potentially, by protecting free speech, Musk could offer a way for these views to be amplified once again as they gain access to the much higher user base offered by Musk’s Twitter.
For now, however, we should marvel at the fact that something big has happened here with one of the world’s richest men gaining control over a key meeting point of minds in the modern world. This is something we will have to keep an eye on and will endeavor to keep you up to date with all the biggest developments.