• Braxton Hoare

Elon Musk Buys Twitter

The world’s richest man has recently acquired one of the biggest social media platforms after publicly stating how unsatisfied he is with the current state of censorship on the platform. In fact Musk proposes a radical shift in how we censor all content online, opting to make twitter more of a wild west in his approach.

One of Elon’s first major changes since taking the company private has been to make the platform's essential blue checkmark a paid feature so that only those willing to cough up 8 dollars a month can boast their legitimacy. Many users with large audiences are rather unhappy with this change as this is how they stand out in an ocean of copycat scam accounts attempting to fool unsuspecting people on the platform. Many of these celebrities have begun changing their names on Twitter to “Elon Musk” in order to demonstrate clearly how problematic it would be to let anyone who pays 8 dollars boast a blue checkmark. With how twitter works currently, once someone has been verified there is nothing stopping them from changing their name and profile picture to appear as someone else. This is why the verification has been so selective up to this point. Each person who meets the verification requirements has to be manually checked by a Twitter employee for legitimacy.

One suggestion that could solve many of these issues would be to have the new Twitter blue check mark verification work as a paid tier separate from what they currently have for verification. This could allow everyone to prove their identity on Twitter while not removing the status symbol that the current checkmark has become for its users. They will of course need to reverify users after a name change.

It’s clear that Elon has his work cut out for him as Twitter has many shortcomings as a platform. The company is majorly bloated with extra staff, and 10% of the platform's accounts are run by “bots” (AI software programmed to post ‘spam’ advertisements on the platform). Elon quickly stripped down the company by firing about half of its employees. It seems this was needed for a long time, but it does appear he may have made the call a bit prematurely as he has begun rehiring some of these same employees.

All of this chaos has damaged the Twitter brand, as well as Elon Musk’s reputation. People have begun leaving the platform as all these changes appear to be made by the billionaire apparently on a whim. However, it has only been a few weeks since Elon has been in charge, so it's hardly been enough time to draw judgment on how this whole endeavor will play out. It is clear though that Elon may need to be flexible with his plans and willing to adjust to keep the users of the platform.

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