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Elon Musk Has Officially Taken Over Twitter

Here’s what we’re keeping an eye out for

Current eventsTech and the online world
By VoiceBox ·

VoiceBox

By young people, for young people

Elon Musk Has Officially Taken Over Twitter - Here’s what we’re keeping an eye out for

The Musk Twitter era has begun. Pictured last Thursday (27th October 2022) walking into Twitter HQ carrying a sink (brownie points for whoever gets the pun), Musk officially completed the takeover shortly afterwards, Tweeting “the bird is freed” in reference to the deal. 

Policymakers are likely to be watching closely over the next few weeks, as Musk implements the desired changes to create his ideal version of the platform. 

Here’s what we know so far:

Board of directors dissolved 

Following a group of Twitter executives reportedly being escorted out of the company’s San Francisco base last Friday (28th October 2022), it’s since been confirmed that Musk has dissolved Twitter’s entire board of directors.

We expect that Musk will oversee most of Twitter’s operations himself, whether that be as Chief Executive or Chairman. It’s possible that he will place someone beneath him, perhaps as a Managing Director or Chief Advisor, to endorse his decisions and act as the main spokesperson. We are certainly interested to see who he appoints within any potential management team, and how much influence they are granted by the Tesla owner. 

Content moderation remains, for now

It’s fair to assume that Musk will introduce some form of user safety and policy management to his team following the takeover. Even a person as unpredictable as the billionaire is likely to elect for user protection and data privacy to remain on the site – or he might risk both legal action and a decrease in active accounts from the already struggling platform. He appears keen to keep sceptics on his side, Tweeting over the weekend (29-30th October 2022) that he had not yet “made any changes to Twitter’s content moderation policies”.

But anyone who is appointed within the realms of user safety could see their role evolve while Musk grapples with prioritising free speech. 

What about banned accounts?

Musk has made some controversial friends in his time, including former President Donald Trump, and musician Kanye West.

Both Trump, and more recently West, have been banned under Twitter legislation. But while Musk has spoken before about allowing previously blocked accounts back on the platform, he has since stated on his Twitter account (27th October 2022) that it cannot become a “free-for-all hellscape”, and that he bought the firm to “help humanity, whom I love”. 

Removal of spam and bot accounts

We have spoken before about Musk’s pledge to ensure that all Twitter users are ‘real’, which is likely to be one of the biggest challenges Twitter will face in the coming months and years. Spam accounts aren’t a problem solely faced by Twitter – almost all platforms host them, and have various solutions to minimise their effects. Most often, we see the requirement to share private information such as a driver’s licence to prove identity. 

Musk and his engineers may create a new type of AI that supposedly doesn’t require the sharing of private information to prove identity. AI is a controversial and complex tool that must be used appropriately if it’s to do good. We will have to wait and see how Musk approaches account verification, as any reliance on AI or a requirement to disclose private information may be an unpopular decision among Twitter users.

Twitter could evolve into ‘X, the everything app’ 

Earlier this month (4th October 2022), Musk Tweeted that buying Twitter is an “accelerant to creating X, the everything app”. There has never been much elaboration into what exactly ‘X’ is, but it has been predicted to mimic China’s WeChat, a place where all comforts and necessities are brought together, from messaging, to finance, to food orders. 

Crypto exchange is also a possibility. Musk has not been shy to express his interest in decentralised finance, so it wouldn’t be surprising if he pushed the emerging form of finance towards his recent acquisition. 

The elusive and ambitious Musk will soon be full steam ahead, working towards his vision of Twitter and ‘X’ – and only then will we know more about what the platform is truly going to look like. Whether you see the takeover as a good thing or not, it’s extremely important that your voice is heard. Please get in touch with us if you have any further thoughts.

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