Home News Stand Elon Musk has Changed the Essence of Twitter, but Does It Matter?

Elon Musk has Changed the Essence of Twitter, but Does It Matter?

by: Nick Gambino

Elon Musk purchased Twitter after a series of events that seemed like he was committing to a bit instead of making a serious business decision.

After floating the idea of acquiring the fledgling social media platform in a tweet, he doubled down and got serious about it. After some back and forth, including a lawsuit and counter-suit, Musk coughed up $44 billion and became the owner of Twitter on October 27th, 2022.

Now almost six months in, we have a pretty good idea of how he’s doing as CEO of Twitter, which was taken private as part of the sale. That said, how about we look at a less philosophical angle and just talk cold, hard numbers? At the end of the day, Twitter is a business and not a non-profit.

Since taking the reins, Musk has grown the user base to 354 million active users, 260 million of which are daily active users, according to research by ExpressVPN. Those daily numbers were up 2% the month after the purchase went through. A lot of this is attributed to a general interest in what Musk would do with Twitter. With the introduction of the paid version of Twitter and the backlash it caused, it is not surprising that some analysts expect large droves of users to flee the site this year.

One of his main reasons for the bold move of purchasing the platform was to make it a bastion for free speech around the globe. What “free speech” means varies greatly from person to person, usually tied to political leanings.

To Musk, those two words are a “social imperative for a functioning democracy.” I think most of us can agree with that, but when it starts edging into acceptance of hate speech and vile epithets, where do we draw the line?

For example, Musk reinstated Donald Trump, who not only has a history of hate speech but was instrumental in creating or minimally stoking the fires that resulted in the January 6 insurrection. Does someone like that have the right to a platform to spew their perverted beliefs? Or have they foregone those rights by violating unspoken codes of decency that allow human relations to flourish?

On the flip side of that free speech coin, Twitter recently banned Kanye West from the platform for posting a flurry of antisemitic tweets. So where’s the line in Musk’s Twitter? It’s blurry, to say the least.

We’ll have to wait and see. In the cutthroat social network wars, you need to constantly innovate and shake things up, or you’ll be put out to pasture by the masses. While I may disagree with aspects of the direction Musk has taken Twitter, it felt like it was in need of change and maybe even cowboy tactics, something Musk is very good at.

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