Musk Talks Twitter Plans;  CEO unsure of company’s future following private takeover deal

Musk Talks Twitter Plans; CEO unsure of company’s future following private takeover deal

KEY POINTS

  • Musk reached a deal on Monday to buy Twitter for $44 billion
  • Parag Agrawal said the direction of the company is uncertain
  • Concerns have been raised that hate speech and harassment could be exploited via Twitter

Tech billionaire Elon Musk tweeted plans to turn Twitter into a ‘free speech’ platform, but in a town hall meeting with employees on Monday, CEO Parag Agrawal hinted at the uncertainty that comes with it. private takeover of the company.

In a statement Monday — the same day Musk reached a deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion — the SpaceX founder laid out his plans for the social media site. “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,” he said. Musk went on to note that he will implement changes such as “making algorithms open source to increase trust, defeat spambots, and authenticate all humans.”

Earlier Monday, Musk tweeted that he hopes even his “worst critics will stay on Twitter, because that’s what free speech means.” Her tweet came after Rep. Pramila Japayal, D-Wash., tweeted that it was “absurd that one person could afford to buy Twitter for over $40 billion while working families across the country have to choose” daily whether to buy prescription drugs or health care products grocery store.

As the Tesla CEO championed freedom of speech via his Twitter account, Agrawal told a company-wide town hall hearing heard by Reuters that he was unsure of the direction of the company after the conclusion of the Musk deal. “Once the deal is done, we don’t know which way the platform will go,” Agrawal said when responding to a question about former President Donald Trump’s permanently suspended account.

Agrawal also noted that other issues will be addressed in a staff Q&A session that Musk will join in the future, but he assured employees there were no layoff plans. for the moment.

Trump told Fox News earlier Monday that he would do not join twitter even though he knows Musk will be rolling out improvements to the platform. The former president said he would stick to his own platform, Truth Social, which is only available to US users at the time of writing.

Pundits expressed their thoughts on the takeover, with Jessica Melugin, director of the Center for Technology and Innovation at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, saying the deal meant Twitter would fix free speech issues or the platform would turn into “an unusable hellscape”. of divisive content, Forbes reported.

Ron Bradley, vice president of third-party risk management group Shared Assessments, said he supports “the intention to improve authentication on the Twitter platform,” noting that “this change can’t happen enough. early and will have a huge impact on spambots and other misinformation channels.

There have also been concerns that a Musk-led Twitter could open up more media users who want to use the platform for harassment or hate speech directed at minority populations, Politico reported.

Musk told a TED talk last week that offensive tweets should stay on Twitter as long as they’re legal, NPR reported. “If it’s a gray area, let the tweet exist,” he said at the conference.

As part of the deal, Musk will make Twitter private, which means the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will have less financial scrutiny over the platform and Twitter may become harder for lawmakers to regulate. due to the semi-transparent nature of private companies. businesses.

Elon Musk's deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion raises fears that the platform could be subject to the capricious rule of the world's richest person. Elon Musk’s deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion raises fears that the platform could be subject to the capricious rule of the world’s richest person. Photo: POOL via AFP / Patrick Pleul

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