Twitter, a social media platform that serves as a social ground for political leaders, experts across industries and an information center for millions of users around the world, has recently been acquired by Elon musk.
Elon Reeve Musk is an entrepreneur, investor, and business magnate. He is the founder and Chief Engineer at SpaceX, CEO and Product Architect of Tesla, Inc.; Founder of The Boring Company; and co-founder of Neuralink and OpenAI. Musk has always been a keen user of Twitter where he shares memes and updates on happenings in Space X and his other companies.
Earlier this week, he acquired Twitter for $44 billion after his recent advocacy about the need for free speech for all. In a release by Elon musk, he stated “free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated”. Mr. musk further stated, “I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating spam bots and authenticating all humans. Twitter has tremendous potentials- I look forward to working with the company and community users to unlock it”.
This recent takeover by Elon musk has geared up different conversations around the world ranging from what his true intentions are; content policing as opposed to the idea of free speech, The banning of Donald Trump etc. Some people consider it as a hostile takeover. In a recent tweet Musk stated, “I hope that even my worst critics remains on Twitter, because that is what free speech means” this tweet has raised concerns of different users as some of them think it would give rise to hate speech, electoral disinformation, foreign manipulation, racism etc., as there would be little or no regulation to how people share their thoughts on the space.
In time past, Twitter has had a history of allowing users to operate anonymously. This has been as umbrella for different users to shield under to makes post they would most likely not be able to make under their real identity. However, Elon musk stated that one of his goals is to authenticate all humans. He’s yet to state how this would be accomplished, but users have their fingers crossed as this goal would most likely be a threat to the whole idea of Free speech.
Another of Elon Musk’s proposed plans for the platform– to make its algorithmic code open source so that it is accessed publicly and could boost transparency as to how and why Twitter shows people certain posts.
Cyber security experts have given their take on the security implication of this idea, making the codes open source could enhance transparency for Twitter users but in turn make Twitter a target for cyber-attack. Jamie Moles, senior sales engineer at cybersecurity firm ExtraHop, said: “As we’ve seen with Log4Shell and Spring4Shell, vulnerabilities in widely used open-source applications are exponentially more valuable. Making its code open source may increase transparency for Twitter users, but it may also make Twitter a much bigger target for attackers.”
Would Donald Trump be reinstated?
This big question has stirred up in the hearts of many users as they are curious to know if the once US president, Donald Trump who was permanently suspended from the platform would be reinstated. However, in an interview with Fox News on Monday, Trump called Musk “a good man,” saying he was pleased with the billionaire’s acquisition, but Trump said he has no plans to try to return to Twitter. Instead, Trump said “I am going to be staying on TRUTH.” On the other hand, Elon musk hasn’t yet declared any intention to reinstate Donald Trump’s account.
Furthermore, Twitter hosted an all-hands meeting on Monday afternoon, during this meeting, a Twitter employee asked CEO Parag Agrawal whether Trump would be reinstated. Agrawal said that was a question for Musk.
“Once the deal closes, we don’t know which direction the platform will go,” he said. It was also stated in the meeting that the deal with Elon musk will close in six months, until then the company will continue to operate in its usual way, making decisions guided by already standing principles.
News about the privatization of the company has stirred different feelings in the heart of many, their workers inclusive. During the course of the meeting on Monday, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal stated: “This is indeed a period of uncertainty,” Agrawal said. “All of you have different feelings and views about this news; many of you are concerned, some of you are excited, many people here are waiting to understand how this goes and have an open mind. If we work with each other, we will not have to worry about losing the core of what makes Twitter powerful, which is all of us working together in the interest of our customers every day.”
Outside the news of acquiring Twitter, the billionaire seems to be up to quite a number of things. Recently, his transportation company; The Boring Company announced it will be starting a full scale hyperloop test later this year. The company has set out to solve major transportation problems people face ranging from traffic and time spent for transportation. This technology proposes to bring passengers from city to city in less than 45 minutes with about a speed of above 1000 kilometers per hour. It had its first human test ride in November 2020. The hyperloop operates with magnetic levitation as its basic technology, also known as maglev. The maglev is what allows the hyperloop to travel at incredibly high speed. In a chat with a tweep on Twitter, Elon musk stated: “From a known physics standpoint, this is the fastest possible way of getting from one city center to another for distances less than ~2000 miles. Starship is faster for longer journeys.” The hyperloop is the future of high-speed transportation.