The Elon Musk era begins at Twitter: Expect the unexpected

It’s official. From being one of the most prolific high profile names on Twitter, Tesla CEO Elon Musk now owns the social media platform. In a rather protracted saga — which started in April 2022 — Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of Twitter is finally complete. Musk is known for his rather unconventional style of management if his track record at Tesla is anything to go by. So what should one expect from Twitter now? Well, the unexpected. A few possibilities that may happen are:

Bots beware as Elon’s here

One of the key reasons why Musk’s Twitter takeover — or at least that’s the official party line — was delayed is that he was unhappy with the number of bot accounts Twitter had. It’s no secret that the bot problem is huge for Twitter. In fact, Twitter claims to remove thousands and thousands of fake accounts every day. In July, Musk said that he is putting the deal “on hold” as he wanted to know how many fake and spam accounts were there on Twitter. Musk wanted evidence on Twitter saying that less than 5% of its total users were spam and bot accounts. It is something that Musk clearly feels strongly about. Will he purge them all? Unlikely but life will get difficult for those who rely on fake bot accounts on Twitter.

Free speech or “free-for-all” hellscape?

The Tesla CEO — or “Chief Twit” — has really strong views on free speech on Twitter. In the past, Musk has said that Twitter wasn’t living up to its potential as a “platform for free speech.” He insists that he’s not interested in making money off and rather went philosophical. He told advertisers in an open message, “I didn’t do it to make more money. I did it to help humanity, whom I love.” Musk said people can’t assume that they will get away by saying anything on Twitter.

Banned high-profile names back?

Former US president Donald Trump was banned from Twitter on January 8 “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.” There are many others like Trump who have been banned for a variety of reasons like hate speech, inciting violence and more. Musk, in May 2022, in an interview with The Financial Times categorically said that “I would reverse the permabans. We should not have permabans.” If that wasn’t enough when Trump was banned by Twitter in January 2021, Musk called it “a morally bad decision, to be clear, and foolish in the extreme.” That was about five months back and you never know if Musk lives up to his word or not. An indicator of what could be next is the sacking Vijaya Gadde — Twitter’s legal head soon after Musk took over.

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