Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, wants the world to know that Twitter is changing.
Musk said on Thursday that he has made an offer to buy Twitter for $54.20 per share, valuing the company at over $43 billion. Musk made the statement after declining a position on Twitter’s board of directors.
Musk is one of Twitter’s top stockholders, owning 9.2% of the firm.
Musk’s offer to buy Twitter has sparked discussion about what this means for the social media platform’s future. Musk has stated that if Twitter rejects his offer, he will reevaluate his status as a shareholder. Musk has even proposed the creation of a new social media platform.
Musk has more social media clout than Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey put together, as calculated by followers. Those tweets reveal Musk’s love-hate relationship with Twitter.
The Tesla CEO could push for the following four changes at Twitter.
Change content moderation
Since before he revealed his interest in the company, Musk has been tweeting about what is and isn’t allowed on Twitter. Musk, for example, asked users if they thought Twitter protected free expression in a poll at the end of March. The poll results, he suggested, would be “very important.”
Approximately 70% of the 2 million people who took part in the survey said no.
“Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy. What should be done?” he asked in a follow-up tweet, adding another question about whether a new platform was required.
Musk’s tweets, for what it’s worth, haven’t been without controversy. In 2020, Musk was accused of breaking Twitter’s guidelines against dangerous coronavirus misinformation by allegedly tweeting that “kids are essentially immune” to COVID-19. Children can, in fact, contract the virus. The message did not breach Twitter’s guidelines, according to Axios, because it was not “definitive.”
Fight cryptocurrency scams
Scammers have used phony identities on social networking sites to imitate Musk in order to induce users to give away cryptocurrency. Musk’s account was among the high-profile Twitter accounts hacked in 2020 to promote a bitcoin fraud.
Musk complained in January that Twitter was focusing its efforts on nonfungible tokens, or assets that have been validated on a blockchain, rather than combatting crypto spam bots.
Last week, he voiced a similar complaint, saying that bots are Twitter’s “single most annoying problem.”
Users have long requested the option to edit their tweets for typos and other issues, but it hasn’t been high on Twitter’s priority list. As part of its $3 per month Twitter Blue subscription plan, the company included a way to undo tweets.
Users of social media platforms have complained that algorithms have taken over their lives, luring them to spend more time on Twitter, Facebook, and other sites.
Some Twitter users prefer to view tweets in the order they were sent. After user complaints, Twitter reversed a change that would have shown the algorithmic feed by default.
Musk has suggested that Twitter’s algorithm be made open-source. Musk didn’t elaborate on what that would entail, but open-source software is free to use and modify.
He proposed the idea in a poll on March 24. A total of 83% of the 1 million people who took part in the survey said yes.