Elon Musk Bought Twitter - Is T&T Ready for Big Changes?
How Elon’s new position could shake up the social media platform
Elon musk is now the largest shareholder of Twitter with a 9.2% stake in the company since last month. The purchase shocked many users and has many industry leaders contemplating what the future of the platform is.
Elon claims he bought the platform to promote freedom of speech as he sees the digital space Twitter has created as essential for sharing viewpoints.
While he has eluded to changes that would support these claims such as an edit button and clamping down on bans, it's unclear what is his intention versus what the company will actually execute in the coming months.
We always aim to evaluate major events in the social media space. This one is no exception. How will these changes impact us locally and regionally?
Here are two main things that can change:
1. Politically Neutral Social Media Space
One of the main policies that Elon wants to implement is to make the space “politically neutral” and for more freedom and speech and expression on the platform.
This is indicative of the recent announcement that Elon Musk has intentions of reversing the ban on former President of the United States, Donald Trump. Trump was banned following the events that led to the Capitol riot events in 2021. Twitter claimed he violated the company's guidelines on hate speech, violent threats and harmful misinformation. This latest announcement from Musk was reported by CNN last Tuesday. You can read more about this pending decision here.
Trump has since said that he will not return to the platform and remain on a competitors social media website called ‘Truth Social’. However, Elon’s aim to make it a space for political expression is in direct conflict with some countries' policies on free speech. The First Amendment protects freedom of speech in the United States in all its capacities however, in countries like Trinidad and Tobago, freedom of speech is limited by laws of hate speech and defamation.
Many local defamation cases in recent years have been from statements made on social media platforms resulting in thousand-dollar lawsuits. While these changes might be interesting for the US political landscape they could still violate our country's laws and policies on free speech.
2. Improving Twitter’s Platform and Users
It will be interesting to track how Elon will transform the platform for more growth. Many critics have said that Twitter has the capability to increase its reach and number of users with new features.
Elon will now be competing with massive social media companies such as Meta and TikTok. It is likely that he will use Twitter as a space to test out various features to help increase its capabilities and users.
This will allow many local companies to evaluate how they can also increase their reach through these features. A great example of this was Twitter Spaces, where users could host virtual rooms where others could listen, speak and discuss certain topics. This took up particular popularity with local Twitter users.
Even local politicians, most notably Faris Al Rawi, jumped into a Twitter space to discuss the Emergency Powers Regulations 2021 with local journalist Kejan Haynes along with 3500 active listeners.
In this regard, it can be very exciting to see how the platform can create new avenues like Spaces for locals to engage with one another. Twitter is one of the more difficult platforms to master when it comes to digital marketing but key changes and new capabilities could improve a business’s success and ease of use on the platform.
Locally, there are currently, 129.6 thousand Twitter users and it will be interesting to see if this increases over the next year.
There is no denying that Elon Musk is a multi-resourced entrepreneur that has dreams that are quite bigger than the average person who calls themselves a businessperson. Elon is known for his capacity to think beyond the scope of his competitors. His acceptance of failure has allowed him great successes, particularly with respect to Space X and making commercial space travel a notable possibility.
Twitter will definitely be the space to look at over the next year to see whether Elon can make dynamic changes to the platform to promote free speech globally.
What do you think will change with Elon’s new position at Twitter? Tell us in the comments or better yet be a guest contributor and respond to our article- Send us an email at email@example.com