While buying Elon Musk, Twitter searches for his soul

A toxic cesspool. A lifeline. Fingers on the pulse of the earth. Twitter is all about these things and its more than 217 million users worldwide – politicians, journalists, activists, celebrities, weird and idealists, cat and dog lovers and anyone else with internet connection.

For Elon Musk, its ultimate troll and perhaps most popular user whose company’s purchases are on the rise, Twitter is a “de facto town square” that desperately needs an independence change.

One wonders if there will be a takeover and how. On Friday, Musk announced that the deal was “on hold”, while tweeting that he was still “committed” to it. Earlier in the week, the CEO of billionaire Tesla said he would lift the ban on President Donald Trump’s platform if he completed his purchase. On the same day, he added that he had supported a new EU law aimed at protecting social media users from harmful content. Meanwhile, the current CEO of Twitter fired two top directors on Thursday.

That said, it’s been a messy week for Twitter. One thing is for sure: unrest will continue inside and outside the company.

“Twitter was always chaotic at its highest level. It was always conspiratorial and it was always dramatic,” said Leslie Miley, a former Twitter engineering manager. “It’s in Twitter’s DNA,” he said.

‘What People Think’

Since its launch in 2007 as a scrappy “microblogging service” at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, Twitter has always weighed in on its weight.

At a time when its rivals are counting their users by the billions, it has remained small, frustrating Wall Street, and made it easier for Mask to make an offer that its board could not refuse.

But Twitter also has an unparalleled impact on news, politics and society thanks to its public nature, its simple, largely text-based interface and sense of chronological urgency.

The Associated Press technology writer Michael Lidt wrote in a 2009 story about the company, “It’s a patchwork of self-expression inflamed with whimsy, narcissism, voorism, hoaxerism, tedium and sometimes useful information.” Twitter had 26 employees at the time and its most popular user was Barack Obama.

Today, the San Francisco Icon employs 7,500 people. Obama is still his most popular account holder, followed by pop star Justin Bieber and Katy Perry (Mask 6). Emerging mainstream Twitter can be chronicled by world events, as the war, the terrorist attacks, the Arab Spring, the #MeToo movement and other important moments in our shared history are played on the platform in real time.

“Twitter often attracts thinkers. People who think about things are attracted to a text-based platform. And it’s full of journalists. So Twitter is both a reflection and a driver of what people think,” said Kathy Regenwitz, author, editor and creator of OnlyFans. , Who has been on Twitter since 2010 and has over 18,000 followers

He finds it great to discover people and ideas and to let others discover his writings and thoughts. This is why he has been on the platform all these years despite the harassment and death threats.

Twitter users flock to the platform, in academia, in special fields, with curious interests, subcultures small and large, grassroots activists, researchers and many more. Why? Because at best, it promises a free, exchange of truths and ideas, where knowledge is shared, debated and questioned.

And those subcultures – they are strong. There are Black Twitter, Feminist Twitter, Baseball Twitter, Japanese Cat Twitter, ER Nurse Twitter and many more.

Cornell University professor Brooke Erin Duffy says, “It has enabled interest groups, especially those that revolve around social identities, whether we talk about gender or sexuality or race, to have really important in-group conversations” in the media.

The dark side

Contrary to Twitter’s instantaneousness, the universal, open nature and 280-character (once 140-character) limit is a perfect recipe for raising emotions – especially anger.

“Twitter allows anonymous people to take occasional shots, but it’s one of the most effective ways to communicate with people with similar interests,” said Steve Phillips, former general manager of the New York Mets, who now hosts the show. MLB Network Radio.

But there are also huge, dark parts of Twitter. It funds the Nazis’ Twitter, confused trolls, conspiracy theorists, and huge networks to influence the election of nation-states.

Jaime Longoria, research and training manager at the non-profit Disinfo Defense League, said Musk’s Twitter acquisition jeopardized a platform that many experts believe did a better job of curbing harmful content than its competitors.

“We’re watching and waiting,” Longoria said. “The Twitter we know may be over.”

In multiple tweets in 2018, then-CEO Jack Dorsey said the organization was “committed to holding the public accountable for the health and openness of collective health, openness and a culture of public discourse.”

Twitter, led by her trust and security team, has worked to make things better. It has enacted new policies, labeled false information, and repeatedly kicked its violators against hate, violence and other harmful activities. Fit and in the beginning, things started to improve, at least in the United States and Western Europe.

Outside of Western democracy, however, there has not been much change in the repression of hatred and misinformation.

“Twitter has a lot of hatred, especially towards minorities. And so hate speech, often violent hate speech and fake news, Twitter has to fight a constant battle to suppress it,” said Shoaib Danial, co-editor of the Indian news website Scroll.

Daniel says Musk’s freedom of speech doesn’t make much sense in India because initially there weren’t many restrictions on speaking on platforms.

“It’s full of hatred anyway,” he said. “And Twitter hasn’t done much about it. So let’s see where it goes.” Which, given the nature of the musk mercury, can be almost any aspect.

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