Elon Musk reveals his plans for Twitter
TL;DR: With Elon Musk’s offer to buy Twitter, the world’s richest person has revealed some of the changes he has planned for the platform, including open sourcing the algorithm, tackling the spam problem, and being less restrictive when it comes to censor tweets from users.
Musk made his offer to buy Twitter yesterday following a string of events, including the rejection of a board seat, which suggested he had been planning the move since he became the largest shareholder.
Musk revealed some of his plans for Twitter at a TED event in Vancouver. “A top priority I would have is to eliminate the spam and spam bots and bot armies on Twitter,” he said. “If I had a Dogecoin for every crypto scam I saw.”
How would Elon Musk change Twitter if he bought it? First he would make it open source. Watch @Elon Muskis wide live #TED2022 interview with @TEDChris On @YouTube here: https://t.co/dFFUxNqLZe pic.twitter.com/Okm3y5HpEy
— TED Talks (@TEDTalks) Apr 14, 2022
The Tesla boss also spoke of his desire to make the Twitter algorithm open source. “One of the things Twitter should do in my opinion is open source the algorithm and make changes to people’s tweets — if they’re emphasized or less emphasized, that action needs to be made clear. So everyone can see that there’s action.” So there is no behind-the-scenes manipulation of any kind, neither algorithmic nor manual.”
Musk has long criticized Twitter for not adhering to the principles of free speech. In his letter to Twitter board chairman Bret Taylor yesterday, he said his initial investment in Twitter was fueled by its “potential to be the platform for free speech around the world, and I believe freedom of expression is a societal necessity.” for a functioning democracy.”
Should Musk’s takeover offer succeed, he would like Twitter to take a more relaxed approach to moderating tweets. “If in doubt, let it be,” he said. “In a case where there might be a lot of controversy, you might not want to promote that tweet. I’m not saying I have all the answers here. I think we want to be very reluctant to take things down and be very careful about permanent bans. Time outs are better.”
Musk has admitted he is facing hurdles in his bid to take over Twitter. The Wall Street Journal reports that Saudi royal Alwaleed bin Talal, one of Twitter’s largest shareholders, wrote: “I do not believe the proposed offer […] comes close to the intrinsic value of Twitter.” Other shareholders also do not support Musk.
It’s been a hectic few weeks for Musk and Twitter. On April 4, it was revealed that he had acquired a 9.2% stake in the company on March 14; the delay in revealing his purchase has led to a class-action lawsuit. He then asked his followers if they wanted an edit button, which Twitter is now getting (though not because of Musk’s poll). The company’s CEO, Parag Agrawal, announced last week that Musk would serve on the board of directors, limit his ownership to 14.9% and avoid any hostile takeover attempt, but he turned the position down at the last minute. – and now we know why.