The Elon Musk-Twitter saga — it has quickly turned into one — has had many twists and turns. To give you a quick recap, here’s what has happened so far: Musk acquired a 9.1% share in Twitter, and became the single largest shareholder; Twitter announced Musk will join the board of directors and there were a few murmurs of ‘what’s going on’. Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal then revealed that Musk had said no to the board sear — those murmurs became audible whispers. And then Musk — in his own words — “made an offer”. Not to join the board but actually acquire Twitter for close to $43 billion. No more whispers and murmurs, now it was a full furore “what the hell is going on”. Now, we are at a will he, won’t he stage or rather will they (Twitter) or won’t they sell?
If — and it’s a big if at the moment now — Musk actually ends up acquiring Twitter then there are bound to be changes. Why? Because the Tesla CEO has made his feelings about certain things wrong with Twitter pretty clear. There shouldn’t be sweeping changes but if Musk’s takeover bid is a success, then here’s how some things may change at Twitter.
The edit button could finally make its way
It won’t be because Elon Musk ‘asked’ for it but he has been vocal about the need of an edit button. As soon as he became the biggest shareholder, Musk put out a tweet and poll asking who wants an edit button. So yes, we can expect the edit button to come but Twitter has been working on it for a while.
Content moderation could change on Twitter
In his own words, Elon Musk is a “free speech absolutist”. Musk has made his displeasure known about Twitter’s moderation policies. The biggest one was when the then US president Donald Trump was banned from the platform. Earlier this year in March, Musk put a poll on Twitter asking if the platform stuck to the principle of free speech. “Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy,” he said. “What should be done?”. So yes, Musk could change the content moderation policies on Twitter.
Solving Twitter’s “single most annoying problem”
Spam accounts or spambots, as per Musk, are Twitter’s most annoying thing. A follower on Twitter said to Musk, “Elon, you need to do something about these Crypto spam bots. They’re getting really annoying. Improving the verification system to prove that you’re an actual *real* human would help with this.” Musk replied and said that it is the “single most annoying problem”. So if you are the owner of Twitter, then you’re bound to solve the problem, no?
A ‘more’ open-source Twitter: Changing the algorithm
Twitter, to some extent, is an open-source platform — some of its tech is publicly available to view and even change. Musk, in another tweet, did ask his followers if Twitter’s algorithm should be open source or not. At a TED conference, Musk elaborated on it and said that it should be more open source as “there’s no sort of behind-the-scenes manipulation, either algorithmically or manually.” Perhaps the algorithm might change as per Musk’s ‘vision’ of “unlocking Twitter’s extraordinary potential.”