Yesterday was quite a hectic day. Twitter has officially announced that it has entered into a “definitive acquisition agreement” with Elon Musk, for $54.20 per share in cash in a deal valued at approximately $44 billion. Once the transaction is finalized, Twitter will officially become a private company, which is expected to close by the end of 2022.
In the official announcement, Twitter said its shareholders would receive $54.20 in cash for each share of Twitter common stock they hold, and that the price represents a 38% premium to the stock’s closing price. from Twitter on April 1, 2022.
“Twitter’s Board of Directors conducted a thoughtful and comprehensive process to assess Elon’s proposal with a deliberate focus on value, certainty and funding. The proposed transaction will offer a substantial cash reward, and we think this is the best way forward for Twitter shareholders,” said Bret Taylor, Chairman of Twitter’s Independent Board of Directors.
Musk has previously explained how he wants to make Twitter a free-speech platform, and also mentioned that he wants to see all users verified (to see if they’re human) and eliminate bots from the network. social.
In the official announcement, Musk said, “Free speech is the foundation of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital public square where issues vital to the future of humanity are debated. I want also make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating spambots and authenticating all humans Twitter has huge potential – I look forward to working with it the company and the user community to unlock it.”
Before Musk unveiled his Twitter stake in late March, he conducted a poll asking people if the platform’s algorithm should be open source. 82.7% of the 1.1 million chose “Yes”, while 17.3% thought it would not be a good idea.
If the algorithm were published, it would allow everyone to see how Twitter determines which Tweets are worth promoting and hiding in users’ feeds. The algorithm is sophisticated and will allow social media platforms to moderate content that users post freely.
Although we won’t go into specifics, some politicians believe Twitter and Facebook’s algorithms are biased against them. Making the algorithm open source could show how these work, determine what is useful, harmful, what it considers “fake news” and generally offer some behind-the-scenes insight. The algorithm’s open source could help Twitter make significant changes to its social network and other platforms that may license it – which is a possible way for Twitter to make money. Revealing the algorithm could provide the transparency that most social networks lack, but it could also hurt the company because it would show off its most crucial feature.
Freedom of expression
What are the advantages?
Expressing all opinions “within the limits of the law” would result in more transparency and freedom when sharing an opinion. This would result in people not being afraid to share all the things they think. As long as the content does not incite violence or encourage others to break the law or cause damage and injury, it can be shared freely.
Freedom of expression promotes the free exchange of ideas and people learn from the experiences and viewpoints of others. It allows you to freely share knowledge without worrying about the consequences. It can explore immoral and illegal activities, and it allows people to express themselves in any way, shape or form.
What are the disadvantages ?
Freedom of speech is great, but the law does not allow anyone to make threats against another individual, and slandering people is often illegal. Freedom of expression also prohibits people and companies from plagiarizing, and it does not allow anyone to share material that could be considered obscene. If Twitter allowed free speech without filtering out these things, it could be shut down because it could become a platform that could spread fake news, incite violence, and generally cause more trouble.
The problem with social media networks is that they make it easy to receive and read information and as a result, many people have started relying on them for information. Spreading false information has become so effective over the years that it has become a legitimate activity for some organizations and criminal groups. Fake news can spread too quickly, and filtering out real and distorted content and other fake media is too difficult.
During the TED interview, Musk was asked why he made an offer to buy Twitter. Musk shared that he wants people to speak freely “within the limits of the law.” While this sounds like everyone wants to hear, it’s important to note that the law is different all over the world. While most governments are open to free speech, there are other governments that want to suppress the media and air their own opinions for one reason or another.
Giving users freedom of speech “within the bounds of the law” would still lead to many account suspensions, and it wouldn’t solve all the problems. This could lead to more “fake news” as Twitter could be more lenient on specific topics and viewpoints and do more harm than good.
Fight against fake news
To combat fake news, scams, and other fraud on the social network, Musk wants to eliminate Twitter bots, authenticate all human users with a verification service, and introduce significant changes that would change how Twitter works. Musk has previously said he doesn’t want to buy Twitter to make money, but he seemed to show he would adjust the monetization techniques and systems used by the social giant to focus less on ad revenue. The service could emphasize subscriptions, providing a recurring revenue stream.
What are Twitter bots?
Twitter bots are automated accounts controlled by software. Bots are labeled as “Automated by [bot creator’s name]” and the person who created it. Bots can be helpful or harmful, and they can like, retweet, and generally do anything normal users can. Most bots give users free features, some post memes about a trending or random topic, some allow users to upload videos, display tweet threads in an article layout, and more Again. They can also help spread fake news, spam, and scam people.
As a developer who owns a Discord bot used by over 50,000 people, bots are undoubtedly useful and provide great tools, but they can and certainly are misused on the platform. I would hate to see bots removed from Twitter, but all indications are that it could happen either at the end of the year or next year.
How will this affect you?
There will likely be a lot of changes after the deal closes at the end of the year, but until then it will remain controlled by Twitter’s board and current shareholders. Twitter has been very slow to introduce new features, and while the edit button is under developmentit should have been available on the platform for many years.
Musk’s proposed changes will likely take some time to hit the platform, and there will be challenges and public criticism. We also have no idea what the board structure will look like, or whether Elon will manage the company himself, or appoint someone to help him; after all, he is the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, two very different and massive companies.
In the near future, it’s clear that Elon Musk will try to change the way Twitter works, but it remains to be seen how that will affect a platform that has more than 217 million daily active users. Those who oppose Musk’s vision have already widely voiced their opposition to the new changes and said they will walk away from the platform. We’ll have to wait and see how that plays out.