After more than two years of high-profile negotiations, it's official; Elon Musk has taken over Twitter. With the wealthiest individual in charge, we're sure to see some changes soon.
Elon Musk reportedly fired CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, and head of legal policy, trust and safety Vijaya Gadde and laid off many employees at Twitter reported by Washington Post, and the New York Times. Along with them, he laid off thousands of employees.
Elon Musk runs Twitter like the other companies he is in charge of. He comes up with ideas on the fly, operate in an environment that isn't always welcoming to his employees and occasionally shares plans for furthering the company's business objectives before talking to his staff.
Shortly after midnight on November 9th, Elon sent an email to his staff announcing the end of Twitter’s remote-work-for all policy. The email went live on the company’s site shortly after midnight in Pacific Standard Time.
Musk has said that he intends to make Twitter open and free so that anyone can post anything they like, as long as it’s legal.
“I think it’s essential to have free speech and to be able to communicate freely,” said Musk at a Twitter employee meeting in June that Vox obtained a recording of.
Even these relatively more permissive platforms have attempted to control the levels of narcissism, trolling, and toxicity because the recent proliferation of "free speech"-themed platforms has shown that if you let anyone say whatever they want on a social media app, there's a good chance that app could become toxic.
A lot of perfectly legitimate content can be unpleasant to look at - such as hate speech, violent images or spam. Because these topics are not liked by many users and advertisers, they're generally bad for business.
Musk knows this, which is why he has advocated that a human should help the algorithms determine what content merits promotion through the site. In his words, "I think free expression is extremely important... but there should be rules around it. We shouldn't be perfect guardians of free speech--there should be nuances."
Musk has also opted to bring back controversial figures to the platform like Donald Trump whose account was previously deactivated.
Despite the lack of concrete evidence of systematic anti-conservative bias and the continued popularity of conservative influencers on social media sites like Twitter, Musk's remarks about bringing back Trump and his commitment to free speech have made him popular with conservatives who have long felt silenced by Twitter and other social media companies.
Musk has pledged to address Twitter's "bots" problem, which refers to the large number of accounts that frequently publish spam or fake content like phishing and cryptocurrency get-rich-quick schemes.
Despite Twitter's insistence that they make up less than 5% of all accounts, bots remain a significant known problem. As his legal justification for first pulling out of the transaction, Musk has claimed that he believes that percentage to be far higher, at least 20 percent.
Elon Musk has recently introduced a new service on his social media platform. In order to get verified badges, or blue check marks, they’re going to charge $8 per month. Elon Musk desired to give people more options when it came to the verification badge, but only the ones who were willing to pay the price.
Thanks to the new service, if you subscribe you're likely to be seen more; get replies, mentions or search results much faster. The same won't hold true for people who don't subscribe!
Twitter’s verification program used to provide a way to distinguish between people's identities on the Internet. You had to apply for it and show ID before getting a check mark. As a way to ensure that people the account they are following is actually the account, Twitter gave its users the ability to request verification.
Twitter will continue to see great changes under the management of Elon Musk. As a product and as a company. We have to wait and see if it benefits the product or hurts it in the long run.