Elon “Musk” stop

Elon Musk: hated by most but loved by many, this successful self-made billionaire is picking up new headlines every day. On Oct. 28 of this year, Musk closed on a 44 billion dollar transaction to acquire Twitter from the previous owner, Jack Dorsey. The deal inevitably garnered much attention from the media and the general public. Concerns regarding the future of Twitter and the changes being made to the company are currently in discussion. While some may agree or disagree with the way Musk has managed the company so far, it will unquestionably change the social media landscape.
Following the 44 billion dollar deal, Musk disrupted the internal working culture as employees were fired through email with no specific reason. In addition, Musk also gave the remaining employees an ultimatum. He laid off almost half of the company’s workforce and several top executives, like former CEO Parag Agrawal, who had conflicting ideas of what the future of Twitter should look like.
“This will mean working long hours at high intensity,” Musk said in a memo. “Only exceptional performance will constitute a passing grade.”
After the memo was sent, several employees effectively resigned. This was not the only mind-boggling news that struck Twitter in the short period succeeding the transition of company ownership. Musk implemented a series of risky reforms to the company, reinstating accounts that had been previously suspended, including the accounts of Donald Trump, Kanye West, and Andrew Tate.
The renowned “blue checkmark” is now only given if the user is subscribed to Twitter Blue. For those unfamiliar with Twitter blue, it is a monthly subscription that offers exclusive access to app customizations allowing for posts to be more creative. Twitter Blue was introduced by Elon Musk to generate more money through the app without excessive advertising.
It was not surprising for Musk to reinstate so many suspended accounts, as one of his first promises was to protect free speech and eradicate cancel culture in the app. Shortly after unbanning Kanye, Musk had to temporarily restrict his account due to an infamous “Swastika” tweet. Additionally, on Nov. 29, Twitter quietly removed its COVID-19 misinformation policy which helped protect against misleading information about the virus as well as conspiracy theories. Though some believe this is a good idea, others are concerned it will lead to further polarization, threaten the safety of others, and increase hate speech.
Researchers from the Center for Countering Digital Hate used data from the analytics app Brandwatch to conclude that racially motivated tweets have skyrocketed since Musk purchased Twitter. The research showed a slur used against Black people was in 30,546 tweets which tripled the rate before Musk’s takeover. Twitter also saw an increase in hateful language against other marginalized groups.
Musk’s ultimate goal is to make Twitter free for all and give everyone a voice. Twitter’s stock, reputation, and users are currently in play. It is a moment of great instability in the company. It will take very careful maneuvering for Musk to bring it out of the hole it’s currently in. Musk has proven he can do it with his other companies like SpaceX and Tesla, so there is no reason he would not be able to do it now. As Twitter enters a crucial moment in its history, there is no doubt that Musk’s new ownership will reshape social media and change the internet in unprecedented ways.