Elon Musk to Purchase Twitter – What does this imply for Twitter’s Future?

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  • May 16, 2022
Elon Musk to Acquire Twitter – What does this mean for Twitter's Future?

Only in the near past, Tesla billionaire co-founder and SpaceX founder Elon Musk is set to acquire Twitter after making a buyout supply of $44 billion, with the plans of not solely shopping for the social media firm, however finally, to take make it a privately held firm, and this was a critical supply that Twitter, Inc. merely couldn’t refuse.

Elon Musk is ready to amass Twitter after making the corporate as astonishing buyout supply of $44 billion

Basically, Musk’s transaction with Twitter, Inc. equates to precisely $54.20 per share, a purchase order value that represents a 38% premium to Twitter’s closing inventory value on April 1st, 2022, which was the final buying and selling day earlier than Mr. Musk disclosed his roughly 9.2% passive possession stake (73 million shares) within the firm.

Musk’s former 9.2% stake comes from a earlier take care of Twitter, Inc., which befell only a few weeks earlier than his $44 billion deal for the social media platform, the place Musk bought round $2.89 billion in inventory, in keeping with a US Securities and Alternate Fee (SEC) submitting that was publicly highlighted by CNBC.

That earlier deal for his 9.2% stake got here shortly after Musk had criticized the social media agency’s free speech insurance policies only a few weeks earlier than, the place he expressed via a 2-Tweet segment that within the fashionable world, Twitter served as a “de facto public city sq.”, the place “free speech is important to a functioning democracy”, finally mentioning that the corporate was falling in need of its duties to scrupulously adhere to the rules of free speech.

Nonetheless, in the case of Musk’s latest $44 billion all-cash transaction for Twitter, this was a severely interesting supply that had by no means been on the pill for Twitter, Inc., and as such, it didn’t take lengthy for Twitter’s board to unanimously approve the transaction.

WHAT ORIGINATED MUSK’S TWITTER PURCHASE ?

Only a month earlier than his $44 billion supply for Twitter, Musk had already acknowledged via a Tweet that he was giving “critical thought” to constructing a brand new social media platform. Nevertheless, as an alternative of a constructing a completely new social media platform, Musk got here up with a easy, but significantly better technique; buying Twitter for a noticeable fortune that was inconceivable for the corporate to refuse.

Elon Musk Serious Thought
Elon Musk considering by way of his speech throughout a press convention at SpaceX’s Starbase facility close to Boca Chica Village in South Texas on February 10, 2022. — Picture Supply: Jim Watson (AFP / Getty Photos)

Shortly after closing the deal that introduced him roughly 9.2% passive possession stake, Twitter’s new CEO, Parag Agrawal had posted a Tweet declaring that Musk could be becoming a member of Twitter’s present board of administrators as a Class II Director, with a time period that will expire on the firm’s 2024 annual shareholder assembly.

Regardless, Musk himself ended up deciding towards that enterprise resolution only a few days later.

Whereas Musk didn’t actually justify why he had second ideas, Twitter board’s prompt appointment of Musk’s Class II Director place would have finally prevented him from proudly owning greater than 14.9 p.c of the corporate — which implies that he would have by no means been in a position to take management of the corporate throughout his time period as one in all Twitter’s board members.

In different phrases, Twitter was cautious at first when negotiating with Musk, as the corporate’s predominant board members initially adopted a “poison tablet” share technique that aimed to stop a hostile takeover from Tesla’s CEO.

Nevertheless, in keeping with an article revealed on The Wall Avenue Journal, simply 10 days after Twitter’s board members had initially adopted that very same “poison tablet” technique, they reportedly gave Musk’s ultimate supply of $44 billion a re-evaluation.

As a matter of truth, Musk’s unprecedented $44 billion supply was precisely the rationale why Twitter, Inc. rapidly accepted his ultimate proposal, as Twitter’s banking companions had already been discussing behind the scenes with the corporate’s board members in regards to the issue of reaching that degree of public market valuation if Musk’s 44$ billion supply was not accepted.

Briefly, Musk’s supply accounts for an unbelievable sum of cash that in actuality, is way more than anybody else would have seemingly paid for the social community.

Shortly after the $44 billion deal for the social media platform was accepted, Twitter’s Unbiased Board Chair, Bret Taylor commented on the choice behind the transaction, explaining that “The Twitter Board carried out a considerate and complete course of to evaluate Elon’s proposal with a deliberate deal with worth, certainty, and financing.” Mr. Taylor additionally added that “The proposed transaction will ship a considerable money premium”, for which the corporate’s board members imagine that accepting Musk’s $44 billion proposal “is the very best path ahead for Twitter’s stockholders.”

Twitter’s Unbiased Board Chair, Bret Taylor

Twitter’s present CEO, Parag Agrawal additionally shared his personal ideas over a Tweet in regards to the firm’s “last-minute” enterprise resolution, easy saying that “Twitter has a goal and relevance that impacts your complete world. Deeply happy with our groups and impressed by the work that has by no means been extra vital.”

However, whereas the transaction has already been formally introduced, it’s nonetheless vital to notice that the deal for Musk’s acquisition of the social medial platform is simply anticipated to shut someday in 2022, despite the fact that that may primarily rely upon approvals from each regulators and shareholders.

Furthermore, the 2 sides are additionally believed to have mentioned the extra vital particulars on the final minute, together with any obligatory monetary ensures in case the acquisition finally ends up falling aside.

WHAT ARE MUSK’S FUTURE PLANS FOR TWITTER?

Instantly after Musk’s $44 billion supply for Twitter was formally confirmed, the Web went into overdrive making an attempt to foretell what this meant for the social media platform, its customers and the world as an entire.

Now, the principle query behind each Twitter person’s thoughts is an apparent one: “How precisely is Musk planning to enhance Twitter?”

Elon Musk and his many plans for Twitter’s Future

To place it merely, Musk stated that he plans on upgrading Twitter by defending free speech by way of improved censorship measures, by offering a clear “open-source” algorithm for Twitter customers in order that they’ll customise the platform’s feed in keeping with their private preferences, together with releasing an Edit Button that permits customers to conveniently edit their tweets for typos and different issues, in addition to by combating towards spam bots and cryptocurrency scams, and likewise by “authenticating all people.”

As well as, Musk has additionally hinted at ridding Twitter of its reliance on advert income, whereas nonetheless praising the corporate’s lately launched subscription providers (which might positively be a touch about his marketing strategy for the social media platform, so maintain that in thoughts).

Defending Free Speech by way of Improved Censorship Measures

Beginning with what’s most likely the most important concern in everybody’s thoughts, the safety of free speech. What’s and isn’t allowed on Twitter is a crucial subject that Musk himself has already been tweeting about since earlier than he disclosed his stake within the firm.

Elon Musk on Twitter’s Free-Speech Insurance policies

As Musk had already expressed in his 2-Tweet segment, in at present’s society, Twitter at present serves for most individuals as a “de facto public city sq.”, the place “free speech is important to a functioning democracy”, finally suggesting that the corporate has been falling in need of its duties to scrupulously adhere to the rules of free speech.

Musk had shared his opinion on the matter shortly after tweeting a pool that inquired whether or not customers believed Twitter was adequately defending free speech inside their social media platform, for which he additionally added by way of one other Tweet that the ballot’s outcomes could be “essential”, thus urging for users to “vote carefully”.

Round 2 million Twitter customers participated in Musk’s Twitter ballot associated to the corporate’s free speech insurance policies, the place round 70% of respondents voted no, due to this fact suggesting that the corporate didn’t fittingly protected the rules of free speech inside their platform.

Nonetheless, it’s vital to needless to say the US’ First Modification doesn’t apply to personal corporations, like Twitter (as soon as the corporate’s transaction with Musk is concluded), which mainly permits stated personal corporations (together with Musk’s future Twitter board members) to create their very own guidelines about what’s allowed.

Within the mild of that subject, again in 2020, Twitter’s CEO, Parag Agrawal (who was the corporate’s CTO at the moment) had instructed MIT Expertise Evaluation that the corporate’s position was “to not be sure by the First Modification”, however as an alternative to “serve a wholesome public dialog” for its many customers.

Now, Musk isn’t the primary individual to query whether or not Twitter is censoring some voices. The truth is, customers that assist a conservatism philosophy had beforehand criticized the corporate for banning former US President Donald Trump, for which that “permanent Twitter suspension” had occurred proper after the lethal Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riots, though Twitter’s co-founder Jack Dorsey has defended the decision, which is made due to the danger of inciting violence.

Furthermore, a few of these conservative Twitter customers have additionally been calling out Musk to finally enable Trump again on the platform.

Earlier than closing out his $44 billion deal for the platform, Musk also stated on a Tweet that “a social media platform’s insurance policies are good if probably the most excessive 10% on left and proper are equally sad”, though he didn’t reply questions on how Twitter would estimate these metrics.

Then, only a few days after establishing his multi-billion greenback take care of Twitter, Inc., Musk backed up his opinion with another Tweet saying that “For Twitter to deserve public belief, it should be politically impartial, which successfully means upsetting the far proper and the far left equally

With all under consideration, it’s protected to say that how a lot affect Mr. Musk can actually have on Twitter’s future content material moderation continues to be an open query.

Twitter’s present head members be aware that the corporate’s coverage choices aren’t decided by neither its board members nor the corporate’s shareholders, whereas additionally including that the social media big has no plans to reverse any of its already-existing insurance policies on content material moderation (and due to this fact, on free speech).

Regardless of the case could also be, it’s apparent that Mr. Musk’s tweets haven’t been freed from controversy. Simply again in March, 2020, Musk was held accountable for violating Twitter’s guidelines towards dangerous coronavirus misinformation, where he falsely tweeted that “youngsters are basically immune” from COVID-19, whereas in actuality, youngsters can catch the SARS-CoV-2 virus like anybody else.

In the long run, Musk didn’t actually get punished for his untimely assertion, as Twitter reported to Axios that his tweet didn’t violate the corporate’s guidelines as a result of it wasn’t “definitive”.

Offering a Clear “Open-Supply” Algorithm for Twitter Customers

It’s no secret that Social Media customers from most platforms (together with Twitter, Fb, and so forth.) have strongly complained that the present algorithms used on these platforms vastly management their lives, as these are programmed to influence customers to spend extra time on stated platforms.

For instance, some Twitter customers choose to see the tweets posted by who they observe in a chronological order.

Nonetheless, not so way back (in March, 2022), after noticing a fast rise in person complaints, Twitter made the decision of rolling back a unique change that was originally announced during October, 2021, which allowed its customers to have their private account’s algorithmic feed show both by the Prime Tweets first or by the Newest Tweets first (from who / what subjects they observe).

Now, Musk didn’t specify what the entire course of would encompass, however open-source software program is freely accessible and could be altered. By offering a clear “open-source” algorithm to Twitter customers, every person can customise the settings for his or her Twitter account’s feed to be displayed in keeping with their private preferences.

Musk had initially supplied the thought of getting Twitter operating on an open-source software program in a March twenty fourth, which he prompt via a Twitter poll, for which roughly 83% of 1 million respondents stated sure.

Extra importantly, Twitter’s co-founder Jack Dorsey additionally appeared to approve the outcomes from Musk’s ballot on Twitter being open-sourced, stating by way of a Tweet of his personal that “The selection of which algorithm to make use of (or not) ought to be open to everybody.”

In a TED Discuss that befell earlier this month (April, 202), Musk had already talked about that he thinks Twitter customers ought to have the ability to see if a tweet has been demoted or promoted on the location so as to be assured that there’s no “behind-the-scenes manipulation.”

Musk additionally famous that Twitter’s code ought to really be on an open repository, mentioning Github, as that will additionally enable folks which might be passionate for coding to not solely search for errors within the algorithm, but in addition to counsel modifications that would show to be helpful to a number of customers.

Releasing an Edit Button for Enhancing Tweets

For a protracted, very long time, Twitter customers have requested for a solution to edit their tweets so as to have the ability to appropriate typos and even rephrase one thing they initially posted.

Nevertheless, the extremely requested characteristic hasn’t actually been on the high of the corporate’s present priorities; not now, neither prior to now…

Whereas Twitter did embody a solution to undo tweets as a part of its “Twitter Blue” month-to-month subscription plan, not everyone seems to be prepared to spend 3 {dollars} a month simply to have the ability to have entry to corresponding to a fundamental performance (which Fb and lots of different Social Media platforms do have).

Musk as lately been very invested in altering every little thing that Twitter customers think about to be unsuitable in regards to the platform, and folks have been actively noticing it.

Only in the near past (April 4th, 2020), Musk as soon as once more introduced up the thought of Twitter doubtlessly having an Edit Button, which he addressed by simply tweeting another poll that requested customers “Would you like an edit button?”. The outcomes had been clear, with greater than 4 million respondents voting on the ballot, with virtually three quarters supporting the thought.

Elon Musk Edit Button
Elon Musk ballot’s Twitter Customers on doubtlessly having an Edit Button for the platform

Musk hasn’t supplied his personal view of whether or not he thinks an edit button is required.

But, impressively sufficient, simply at some point after (April fifth, 2020) Musk’s ballot befell, Twitter itself posted a Tweet stating that the corporate had already been engaged on an edit characteristic for the reason that final 12 months of 2021, including that they “didn’t get the thought from a ballot”, which was adopted by a “cheeky” winky face emoji.

The corporate’s Tweet on a possible Edit Button ended by stating that Twitter, Inc. will quickly “begin testing the software to study what works and is feasible”.

Nonetheless, it’s vital to needless to say Twitter had already expressed issues prior to now about releasing an Edit Button, as that would result in points corresponding to folks sharing tweets which might be then altered to alter their which means.

Again in 2020, Twitter’s co-founder, J. Dorsey had even instructed Wired throughout an interview that the social media platform would most certainly by no means add an edit button, the place he talked about that Twitter “began as an SMS textual content messaging service. So, as you all know, once you ship a textual content, you possibly can’t actually take it again. “We wished to protect that vibe and that feeling within the early days.”

Thus, not all hope is misplaced, because it looks like Twitter is lastly placing this ever-requested characteristic larger on its precedence record.

With that stated, all that Twitter customers can do in the mean time is de facto simply cross their fingers, hope for the very best, and wait that this actually fundamental, but very wished characteristic finally ends up coming quickly.

Final however not least, along with a possible Edit Button, Musk has additionally lately prompt permitting long-form tweets.

The truth is, not so way back, Musk ironically commented on a long Twitter thread posted throughout April 2022, joking about Twitter’s short-response kind, the place he stated “My most instant takeaway from this novella of a thread is that Twitter is *method* overdue for lengthy kind tweets!”

Preventing In opposition to Spam Bots

One other of Musk’s future plans for Twitter is a critical marketing campaign towards the huge armies of spam bots, which in keeping with Musk himself, are the “single most annoying drawback” on Twitter. It is a process that the famend entrepreneur behind Tesla and SpaceX at present holds close to the highest of his record of modifications for the social media platform.

Twitter’s Spam Bots and the risks that include them

As most Social Media customers are conscious of, spam bots are basically automated accounts managed by software program, for which these bot-accounts are programmed to copy duties of genuine Twitter customers corresponding to following different customers, in addition to liking and commenting on posts.

Nonetheless, the principle goal behind spam bots is to have these bot-accounts Tweet and Retweet content material for a selected aim which may very well be to both to extend the follower base of that account, or finally, to immediate unsuspecting customers into clicking a malicious hyperlink.

One Twitter’s spam bot account can negatively influence a number of actual Twitter customers

In line with previous experiences, Twitter bots have sadly tricked much less tech-savvy customers into making monetary transactions by way of PayPal and Venmo funds.

Not solely can spam bots be malicious, however they’re additionally identified for use as a way to influence, bully and incite customers. For instance, there have been cases the place cybercriminals used Twitter bots to unfold malware to massive teams of Twitter customers.

On high of every little thing already talked about, spam bots have additionally been used for influencing elections and propagating political ideologies, which, clearly, goes towards the entire thought of Musk’s deal with the safety of free speech inside Twitter’s platform.

Identical to he did for all of his different plans for Twitter, Musk introduced via a Tweet that if his bid to purchase the platform succeeded, himself and his new Twitter companions “would defeat the spam bots or die making an attempt”!

And like a lot of his followers already know, this isn’t the primary time that the billionaire has expressed his displeasure with spam bots.

Preventing In opposition to Cryptocurrency Scams

Along with his worries about spam bots, Musk has additionally expressed his issues about Cryptocurrency scams on Twitter to swindle traders, which sadly, has been a thorn in Twitter’s aspect, and likewise an issue that has personally impacted Musk.

Not too long ago, there have been a number of scammers who’ve impersonated Musk through the use of pretend accounts on numerous social media websites (not solely Twitter, but in addition Fb, amongst different platforms) in an effort to rip-off folks’s hard-earned cryptocurrency (both by investing in it or by farming it with computer systems).

Twitter’s pretend Cryptocurrency Rip-off accounts pretending to be Elon Musk to rip-off cryptocurrency from a number of Twitter customers

Moreover, again in 2020, Musk’s account was additionally amongst a number of high-profile Twitter accounts that had been hacked to push a bitcoin rip-off.

Then, throughout January 2022, Musk complained about the occurrence via a Tweet, the place he negatively highlighted that Twitter was spending extra time specializing in less-important buyer merchandise corresponding to profile photos that showcased NFTs (nonfungible tokens – that are belongings verified on a blockchain), slightly than combating towards these Cryptocurrency scams (which might both be run by spam bots, manually, or each).

Authenticating All People

Lastly, for Musk’s plan of “authenticating all people”, this may very well be one thing that has very critical penalties, not just for Twitter Customers, however far past that.

Elon Musk Authenticate Humans
Elon Musk on Twitter’s Verification System to Authenticate All People

The primary potential path that Musk might take could be the extension of Twitter’s Verification System, which as of know, is denoted by a Blue Examine-mark by the aspect of a person’s username.

Elon Musk Authenticate Humans
Elon Musk’s Official Twitter Account with the Verified Image apart his Person Tag

Presently, Twitter’s Verification System is restricted to a small group of those that particularly meet a number of rigorous standards, for which these guidelines have come underneath heavy criticism prior to now. Nonetheless, there may very well be a plan to open up Twitter’s verification strategies extra broadly to those that are prepared to again up their profile with proof of determine, corresponding to a passport.

In line with Manoel Horta Ribeiro, who research social media platforms, communities and moderation on the Swiss Federal Institute of Expertise, Lausanne, doing so would create a completely organized system of accounts, primarily separating these linked to actual life, and people not.

The primary aim behind this improved system for Twitter’s verification strategies could be to try to cease troll armies, spam bots, and Cryptocurrency scams for harming customers, that are the identical malicious accounts that Musk has in his sights for Twitter’s upcoming future.

Enhancing Twitter’s Verification System is an especially vital aim that’s additionally shared by many politicians, who really feel that an actual identify accompanied by a radical id coverage would vastly assist to unravel a few of the hate and abuse issues that brings tribulation to social media platforms.

Even despite an improved verification technique for Twitter’s platform, analysis counsel that persons are nonetheless more likely to abuse different customers on social media even when not taking motion from an nameless account, as racists will are inclined to exhibit a racist-behavior no matter with the ability to conceal behind pretend profile names and photos.

Furthermore, whereas there are many causes for Twitter customers to confirm their id, some customers may equally have legitimate causes to not use their actual identify or to provide their private data to social media platforms, with the principle concern of clearly defending their very own id, with some examples being content material creators corresponding to streamers, digital artists, ghost writers, and extra.

Jean Burgess, who’s a revered professor on the Queensland College of Expertise and creator of Twitter – A Biography, acknowledged that “there are main crimson flags for human rights right here, not solely by way of person privateness with respect to Twitter itself, since verification would require entry to delicate private information, however by way of security from authoritarian regimes, or repressive employers.”

Regardless of all of these privateness issues, authenticating actual (human) customers is one thing that Musk is targeted on fastidiously planning to alter as one of many key cornerstones to his new imaginative and prescient for Twitter, which might very effectively be enforced by the platform’s potential future values.

Elon Musk Authenticate Humans
Elon Musk on bettering Twitter’s Verification System to Authenticate All People

Be that as it might, like many different issues related to Social Media platforms, Mr. Musk may quickly discover out that there’s no fast repair to such an intricate drawback, particularly with the thousands and thousands (and now billions) of customers that social media platforms are at present identified to have.

In line with Manoel Horta Ribeiro, eradicating a person’s anonymity “isn’t any silver bullet”, because it merely “modifications how the system works, bringing each advantages and challenges” to the entire ordeal.