John Hugh DeMastri on October 27, 2022
One day before a judge-imposed deadline to close his deal to acquire Twitter, Elon Musk outlined his motivation for purchasing the social media platform in a Thursday tweet that discussed advertisements, content moderation and the formation of online echo chambers.
Musk’s primary motivation was to make Twitter into a “digital town square,” where ideas can be debated in a “healthy,” nonviolent manner, the SpaceX CEO said. He argued that “traditional media” catered to the most “polarized extremes” on both the right and the left to maximize clicks and ad revenue, and claimed that there is a “great danger” that social media companies would devolve into extreme echo chambers across the political spectrum.
“That said, Twitter obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences!” the tech mogul wrote. “In addition to adhering to the laws of the land, our platform must be warm and welcoming to all, where you can choose your desired experience according to your preferences, just as you can choose, for example, to see movies or play video games ranging from all ages to mature.”
Dear Twitter Advertisers pic.twitter.com/GMwHmInPAS
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 27, 2022
Musk has been relatively quiet publicly about his plans for the company, although he has repeatedly mentioned that he intends to promote free speech on the platform, The Associated Press reported. Additionally, he has mentioned using Twitter as a stepping stone to create an as-of-yet unreleased app, dubbed “X”, which Musk has described as “the everything app.”
One of the few concrete expectations for Musk’s actions after acquiring Twitter is a plan to lay off 75% of the workforce in a bid to improve profitability. The move, reportedly pitched by Musk to banks and investors that will finance Musk’s purchase, would cut the company to roughly 2,000 workers from 7,500, a change that some analysts and former employees fear might hamper security and moderation efforts.
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