It is unclear what Elon Musk’s approach will entail for the “digital town square” after he agreed to buy Twitter in exchange for a pledge to eliminate platform censorship.
Human rights advocates have expressed worry that a lack of restraint could lead to an increase in anti-Semitic rhetoric.
Many Twitter users are also wondering if this implies that accounts that have been suspended by the company will be reinstated.
When it came to those who were suspended, Donald Trump was the most well-known.
Human rights groups expressed alarm over hate speech on Twitter following the announcement of the purchase, as well as the authority it would give Mr Musk, a self-described “free speech absolutist.”
He has been outspoken in his criticism of Twitter’s content moderation rules, stating that the platform must be a true venue for free speech.
He called the free speech “the bedrock of a functioning democracy” in a statement released after the agreement was reached.
Amnesty International wrote in a Twitter thread: “We are concerned with any steps that Twitter might take to erode enforcement of the policies and mechanisms designed to protect users.
“The last thing we need is a Twitter that wilfully turns a blind eye to violent and abusive speech against users, particularly those most disproportionately impacted, including women, non-binary persons, and others.”
Twitter didn’t answer REVYUH’s request for comment right away about the issues.
Will Trump make a comeback?
Last year, following the disturbances at the Capitol building in Washington on January 6, Donald Trump’s account was permanently suspended.
Even if his Twitter ban is lifted, Mr. Trump insists he will not return to the platform, preferring instead to utilize his own platform, Truth Social.
“I am not going on Twitter, I am going to stay on Truth,” he told Fox News.
He went on to say that he believes Mr. Musk, whom he described as a “good man,” will “improve” the platform.
Mr. Trump may opt to return to the platform if he stands for president of the United States in 2024, according to Ming-Chi Kuo, a technology analyst with investment management firm TF International Securities.
“Twitter is still a better choice for him to have a voice, if Twitter is willing to restore his account,” the analyst said.
“It’s not easy to build a platform with more influence than Twitter before the next presidential election.”
There is a great deal of ambiguity ahead
Mr. Musk’s $44 billion offer was unanimously accepted by Twitter’s 11-member board.
Jack Dorsey, who co-founded Twitter and remains on its board of directors, expressed his pleasure that the platform “will continue to serve the public conversation,” despite his belief that “no one should own or run Twitter.”
“It wants to be a public good at a protocol level, not a company,” he said in a tweet on Tuesday.
“Solving for the problem of it being a company however, Elon is the singular solution I trust,” he added. “I trust his mission to extend the light of consciousness.”
According to the Reuters news agency, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal also addressed staff at a meeting, when he stated that the company’s future was questionable.
“Once the deal closes, we don’t know which direction the platform will go,” he reportedly said.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters on Monday that US President Joe Biden “has long been concerned about the power of large social media platforms,” including Twitter, whoever owns or operates it.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat, called the agreement “dangerous for our democracy,” and called for a wealth tax and “strong rules to hold Big Tech accountable.”
Senator Marsha Blackburn, a Republican, hailed the accord as “an encouraging day for freedom of speech.”
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