Student Opinion: Elon Musk’s Recent Quest to Buy Twitter Appears to Be an Ego Move

 

AP/Jae C. Hong/Yana Paskova/Getty/Business Insider composite

 

By: Ariana Ceballos 

 

Elon Musk, the man proclaimed the “Richest Man in the World,” shared in a recent interview that he found himself rotatingthrough friends’ homes in his travels to California. But contrary to many headlines, this “homeless” struggle did not humble Musk. 

 

Earlier this week, the mogul announced his intent on buying the social media platform, Twitter, for 44 billion dollars. Musk is no stranger to the platform with a following of 87.9 million users, who tolerate the obnoxious posts this man has to share. In his quest for the app, Musk claimed that free speech is the “bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.” If Musk acquires the company, he will allow the site to be flooded with vile subjective opinions which will not improve the platform at all, as he has already been reported to be lenient on current Twitter restrictions.  

 

As Twitter’s biggest individual shareholder, and now potential CEO, Musk’s previewed plans for the app are aligning with his beliefs that the app has restrictions on certain speech, which he plans on reconsidering. Musk is not a stranger to controversy; he once shared an insensitive image of Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, comparing him to Hitler over his COVID-19 mandates. This rhetoric of hate-speech and false information is being tackled by Twitter currently, and Musk who has indulged in these posts before, now has the power to allow these posts to resurface. In acquiring Twitter, Musk will treat the platform as his own playground, promoting his beliefs and encouraging others to do so, turning the space into a more toxic site than it is today. 

 

Twitter is a site that is already plagued by toxicity. For instance, its ban on Donald Trump’s account came after the January 6 insurrection. Before the Capitol riot, Trump fueled hate speech and had his posts flagged for false information. In a report by NPR, Shannon Bond described the means by which Elon Musk wants to change current Twitter restrictions, stating, “Musk says he thinks Twitter should allow all legal speech…here in the US that would mean leaving up things like paid speech, harassment, state-backed disinformation, spam…all things the platform limits or removes.” These restrictions are in place for a reason. Current banned posts are removed for, fueling discrimination, bullying, and false information, all things that— in recent years— have rendered serious consequences. 

 

While the actual Twitter site will have changes, it is important to also note the worries of the employees. In the same NPR report, Bond claims, “Leadership has kept quiet during this entire saga with Musk, and a lot of staff are frustrated.” Musk is the owner of many companies, so how will he prioritize this new set of employees? 

 

NPR reports a company-wide meeting left this question out in the open, while current Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal told his employees that “much about the future is up to Musk.” It’s evident that this buy-out needs to consider the employees of the company— not just the officials. While overall employees do not have much say, officials should be clear to them on how their position will hold. As it appears that Musk thought well about the financial transaction to get the company, it is bewildering how he is able to keep others involved with the company on their toes. 

 

I find myself confused and astonished by this move of Musk, though he is generally very unpredictable. Who knows what will come next? At the moment, it just appears that he bought a new toy and is excited to do with it as he pleases. 

 

About The Author

Jordan Varney received a masters from UC Davis in Psychology and a B.S. in Computer Science from Harvey Mudd. Varney is editor in chief of the Vanguard at UC Davis.

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5 Comments

  1. Keith Olson

     In acquiring Twitter, Musk will treat the platform as his own playground, promoting his beliefs and encouraging others to do so, 

    What, instead of Twitter promoting the beliefs of Democrats and the left?

     It’s evident that this buy-out needs to consider the employees of the company

    I’m sure employees will still receive their pay and benefits if they decide to stay.  Other than that the employees don’t decide the path the company should take.  If they have a problem with that then they should leave.

    I find myself confused and astonished by this move of Musk, though he is generally very unpredictable. Who knows what will come next? At the moment, it just appears that he bought a new toy and is excited to do with it as he pleases. 

    Just as others found themselves confused and astonished on why billionaire Jeff Besos bought the Washington Post.  Was that just a new toy for him too?  Funny, but I don’t remember reading any Vanguard articles criticizing that purchase.

     

  2. Keith Olson

    People are kidding themselves if they felt Twitter was run fairly without subjective opinion in it’s flagging department.

    A great example is the NY Post Biden laptop story which Twitter banned right before the election.  That story was found to be truthful.  I remember the Vanguard wouldn’t allow the NY Post story to be posted either in its comment section.

    Bill Maher Says Twitter ‘Failed’ When They Censored The NY Post For Hunter Biden Article

    https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/bill-maher-says-twitter-failed-191055300.html?fr=sycsrp_catchall

    1. Alan Miller

      If your goal is to win to prevent the evil ones from taking office, censorship, even of truths, is felt to be ‘excusable’.

      I realize the ‘evil ones’ are a hotter matter from today forward until the civil war — and remember which side stockpiles the guns before you place your bets on the winner of that — because of the “the” one and only issue.

  3. Chris Griffith

    Elon Musk’s Recent Quest to Buy Twitter Appears to be an Ego Move

    Yes without a doubt Elon musk has a huge ego.. can anyone named me one billionaire that doesn’t have an ego? Why don’t you ask Mr greenwald he appears to have a huge ego himself and then ask him if he thinks that’s a character flaw 🙂

    This is what I think Musk will do😁 He will get rid of the board and do sweeping changes unseen by the public to the employee base. Each person will undergo review for their past practices and be let go if they are determined to have used their own bias in making decisions he will not make the same mistake that Trump made when he failed to get rid of the shadow government after he was elected a company cannot survive when the employees make decisions for the company based on their own biases. Musk I do not believe has the intent of turning on the liberals I think he’ll be fair and allow users to speak. Remember Twitter pretty much banned those that were well known and had a strong opposing narrative

     

    This is just one person’s opinion 😁

     

  4. Chris Griffith

    I think Elon Musk will convert Twitter into an all-pay site with no ads:

     

    1. Introduce Edit button

    2. You have to be a subscriber to be able to use it.

    3.Subscribers get 100 more characters per message

     

    he’s already saving a lot of money by setting Twitter board salaries to zero…

    I also think there’s a very good chance that Elon Musk is going to use Twitter some type of an exchange for Bitcoin Dogecoin and Ethereum

    I just wish there was a way that I could invest in this thing he’s going to make billions off this thing.

    This is just one person’s humble opinion

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