STORY BY AMY DAO
PHOTO BY PIXIE IWATA
Why Elon Musk wants Twitter and what it means for the platform looking forward.
According to The New York Times, billionaire and Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, has finalized the $44 billion deal to buy Twitter. Musk has announced his plans for taking the social media platform private and reinventing the platform.
Questions are being raised about how the buyout will change Twitter. With a mixed opinions from the public, here are what some students had to say.
Hillary Calderon, Executive Secretary of Cypress College’s Associated Students, believes that Musk’s history with the platform may interfere with the trajectory of free speech for Twitter.
“If anybody else is taking over Twitter, I wouldn’t have as much of a worry, or concern,” Calderon said.
“But because it is this particular individual, Elon Musk, I know of many different accounts that consistently ridicule him, almost to the point of cyberbullying. But it’s a little bit silly to think of like, such a powerful individual being able to be cyber-bullied online,” said Calderon.
Another concern is how a billionaire running a social media platform can affect or limit free speech. Elon Musk is a prominent user on Twitter, with over 80 million followers.
Calderon said, “I do feel that this whole transaction is kind of limiting to free speech, and it’s kind of like a big example of someone not being able to handle other people’s free speech. I think it also brings in this question of like, ‘how are you defining free speech online?’ and then the people that are able to limit that.”
Recently, Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez indirectly tweeted her concerns over Zuckerberg, which Musk misinterpreted was about himself and the buyout with Twitter.
On the other hand, Selwyn Gibson, Political Science major and Student Government Activities Coordinator, to an extent, doesn’t mind the buyout with Musk.
“From what I understand about where he’s trying to take the company, he intends to basically upset people on the extreme ends of the spectrum while, virtually saying nothing,” he said.
“I mean if we’re keeping up with the Constitution, then they can pretty much say anything as long as they don’t incur violence. So I don’t really see an issue with that, as long as you keep the extremism down, I’m perfectly fine with it. I don’t really have a problem with him on Twitter,” said Gibson.
According to The New York Times Daily podcast, Elon Musk has silently bought 73 million shares of the social media company. With the deal being finalized, big changes are looking to happen for the platform.