Experts dig into Musk’s Twitter purchase and what it means for ‘free speech’

As Elon Musk and Twitter seal the deal on his $44 billion purchase of the social media platform, many have wondered what might change in terms of content going forward. Once the transaction is complete, Twitter will become a private company — with Musk laying down the rules, but with few changes to Washington’s regulations.

“Free speech is the foundation of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital public square where issues vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk said in a statement Monday. “I also want to make Twitter better than ever by improving the product with new features, making algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating spambots and authenticating all humans. Twitter has huge potential – I can’t wait to work with the company and the user community to unlock it.”

Various experts have offered their assessment of what we might expect:

Will Rinehart of the Center for Growth and Opportunity suggested that Twitter’s “about-face” was quite telling. “It wasn’t until Musk secured nearly $47 billion in funding that the board began to seriously consider his offer. Indeed, Musk was able to cobble together a package in just one week, showing How great it was to have new management at Twitter. But it also shows that Twitter is vulnerable to a potential competitor. Tech companies like Twitter really aren’t as unassailable as people think.

Jessica Melugin, director of the Center for Technology and Innovation at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, added that the deal will fix any free speech issues or turn the social media platform into “an unusable hellhole” of objectionable content.

“Of course, no one really knows what he’s going to do and to what effect, but his efforts are definitely preferable to the regulatory solutions proposed by the government,” Melugin explained. “Whatever changes Musk makes, they will necessarily be above government regulation, because they will only happen on one platform among many that users will have to choose from. If his new policies make Twitter better and its happier users, other platforms can emulate them.If Musk makes decisions that make matters worse, at least the consequences are limited to Twitter.Government regulations on content moderation, on the other hand, subject far more of social media users to negative results because they span all (or all of the major) platforms. to have many labs trying different solutions to today’s content moderation challenges than a one-size-fits-all government approach.”

Some have suggested that it won’t be a free game, but that the rules of the game will be level playing field for everyone.

“Twitter, along with other notable big tech platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and Amazon, have for years engaged in tactics such as shadow banning, censorship, undoing, and undoing. -platform of any person or group that has gone against their prescribed ideology,” said Tom Garrubba, vice president of cybersecurity research collective Shared Assessments.

“Their claims about it ranged from cries of ‘save democracy’ to ‘fake news’ or that the reports came from ‘foreign interference’, raised collective eyebrows for some time. It was noticed by all but those who refuse to look beyond the borders of the DC ring road or the major metropolitan coastal cities,” Garrubba continued. free speech advocate – taking over such an important news channel as Twitter, got little to no rebuke when Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post. Given that these tech giants have rapidly expanded the size of the marketplace, ideology should have no place in determining what can be said and who can be heard.”

Ron Bradley, Vice President of Shared Assessments, also added: “The human element being the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain, I applaud the intention to improve authentication on the Twitter platform. This change can’t happen soon enough and will have a huge impact on spam bots and other misinformation modes.”

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