Elon Musk should take over Twitter

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Courtesy of NYU Center for SocMed and Politics

Elon Musk has become a household name when it comes to tech giants, and now he’s invested himself in social media as well.

Abhinav Purohit, Staff Writer

Elon Musk’s offer to buy Twitter was officially accepted by the social media company’s board of directors on April 25. 

While many celebrated the news of the CEO of Tesla and the founder of SpaceX taking control of Twitter, it was aso seen as a red flag for the company’s foreseeable future. 

Despite many people’s hesitancy, Musk is the right man to lead Twitter, not just as a business but more importantly as a platform that has been the unofficial spot for the world’s happenings.

Although Musk put the deal on hold on May 13, he tweeted he is still commited to acquisition, once  he is provided with  proof that Twitter has less that 5 percent fake accounts. 

The entire deal will most likely go through with this hold up being a slight hiccup that might possibly lead to futher negotiations before the finalization of the transfer  of ownership. 

The offer to buy Twitter totaled around $44 billion, which will give shareholders $54.20 per share, a premium considering Twitter’s stock has been moslty trading under $50 for six months. Initially, Musk bought 9.1 percent of the company’s stock earlier this year with the intention of getting on the board. But after a roller coaster ride through April, Musk made an offer to buy the whole company. 

This offer would also allow Musk to take the company private, meaning that the shares of the company would no longer be listed on the stock market. The company has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange since it became a publicly-traded company in September 2013.

Why take over Twitter?  While many see the established billionaire as the head of Tesla and SpaceX, those who know him more also know that he loves Twitter. With nearly 92 million followers, the entrepreneur loves posting jokes, memes, and random thoughts in addition to the usual updates of his companies.

Despite Twitter being Musk’s primary social media platform, it is in no way perfect. Twitter has often been the topic of controversy when it comes to moderation, for being way too extreme especially when it comes to politics. 

Many people have been banned from Twitter for not meeting the particular set of guidelines the company wants its users to abide by. 

Musk does not agree with Twitter’s extensive regulations in terms of banning users. He has expressed in a tweet explaining that “a social media platform’s policies are good if the most extreme 10% on left and right are equally unhappy.”

Many people have concerns about Twitter going private. As Michael Posner, the senior contributor for Forbes, wrote on forbes.com, “As a privately held company, Twitter would not be subject to the same disclosure requirements as publicly traded companies. Nor would it be required to have a board of directors elected by shareholders to provide oversight of management.” 

While this is definitely true, Posner doesn’t consider the significant advantages of taking a company private. For one, Musk wouldn’t have to deal with the hassle of appeasing countless investors who want to see the company run a certain way. This would allow the management to make swift decisions without the bureaucracy that comes with having a public company. 

Musk also hopes to implement new changes to Twitter if he owns the company. First and probably most importantly, Musk wants to add an edit button to the platform. In a public poll on Twitter, nearly 73.6 percent voted “yes” for a feature for an edit button.  

Next, he wants to clean up the platform by authenticating all real humans and to “ . . . defeat the spam bots or die trying,” Musk tweeted. 

In addition, he wants to implement an open-source algorithm that would allow users to see how exactly their feeds are curated. 

But his most drastic changes would come in the form of implementing new procedures for content moderation. Musk believes in ending permanent bans on the platform and implementing his ideas for free speech by keeping the platform from intervening over what someone says. 

He also is not too keen about how former President Trump was banned, saying in an interview with the Financial Times, “I think that was a mistake because it alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice.” 

He later tweeted, “Even though I think a less divisive candidate would be better in 2024, I still think Trump should be restored to Twitter.” 

Additionally, Musk also wants to improve the platform’s financials by possibly charging a slight fee for businesses and governments.

By taking over Twitter, Musk will hopefully give the company a fresh start and set precedent for what social media companies should be like.