I’d make a counter argument: Shut it down instead. Nevertheless, there are different opinions on it. I am sharing what I stumbled on:
Twitter is a funny company. It owns what is probably the most influential social platform on the planet—a concentrated network of elite figures in media, politics, technology, and entertainment, all of whom look toward the site as a guide to what is important in their fields—and yet it grows slowly and can’t seem to post a consistent profit. It has a core of extraordinarily dedicated users, who spend hours a day creating and sharing content for the site, and yet many of those users would agree that the product is broken and the experience of using Twitter sucks ass.
I can’t blame them. Each one of them appears for getting social validation. As if their presence online is mandated by internal circulars, and some unknown force determines their “presence as key-opinion-leaders”. The influencers follow a pre-determined heirarchy with specific agendas pushing the ideas of “free-speech”. This moniker has become one of the most abused terms on the planet.
Now Elon Musk seems likely to own Twitter, and the overwhelming feeling is that Twitter is about to become either less bad, or much worse, depending on who you are and what you care about. Some of Miami’s most annoying venture capitalists seem to believe that Musk will fire purportedly cosseted employees, restore allegedly lost free-speech rights, and thereby (?) unlock the value of the supposedly underperforming company. Some alarmed Twitter liberals are worried that Musk will loosen moderation, and unleash the forces of chaos, misinformation, trolling, the dreaded desinformatsiya, etc., on our fragile political system. (30,000 people joined the decentralized, open-source social-media protocol Mastodon after news broke that Musk’s deal was likely to go through.)
I wonder if there is any way to “fix” it. It won’t. If it serves the specific agenda, it will be. I have tried Mastodon and it is bad. I use Telegram and recommend using it. “Decentralisation” is a pipe-dream, but eventually users will come around to understand that the bulk of Twitter “users” are predominatly bots and algorithms to amplify the engagement metrics.
To be clear, I don’t think this is benevolent; I think Twitter is bad and transformation would be welcome, if only because it might open new horizons of possibility. But from this perspective, Elon Musk didn’t buy Twitter to transform it; he bought it to make sure it stays the same. In some sense that might be the worst outcome of all.
I agree with the author. It is true. It is his personal megaphone now (assuming the sale goes through).