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When the Twitter bird becomes Musk's

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When the Twitter bird becomes Musks
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Credits: New York Post

Elon Musk is preparing to establish a new empire in the world of communication. An affluent entrepreneur, he is going to make his own the social media site Twitter, in which he has eight and a half million followers of his own, and is set to dominate the communications of its 20 million users. He has literally bought Twitter. In a few months, this public company will become a one-man private company - a one-man media company that will not be answerable to shareholders or directors. Despite its small number of users in comparison to others (Meta has over 360 million users, including Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp), Twitter has been at the forefront of public opinion formation and influencing views. None else has the capacity and scope Twitter has in taking events all around the world instantly and conducting serious cyber discussions on them. Tweets often become the subject of prime time debates.

Twitter is the platform where all influential political leaders present their views first. Important announcements are also made via Twitter. It can be said that the 'Arab Spring' started on Twitter. The 'Black Lives Matter' and 'MeToo' movements were also created and continue to be powered by the Twitter bird. Studies show that in terms of conversation dissemination, Twitter is 15 times faster than Facebook and 300 times faster than Instagram. It is a matter of concern for sure that such an institution is controlled by a single person. Elon Musk owns Tesla, an electric car company, and SpaceX, an aerospace company, and both are doing well. But since Twitter is a media organization, even that efficiency should be a cause for concern. Musk says he stands for freedom of expression, the foundation of a democracy. He also points out that Twitter is a place where debates are held for the future of mankind.

The question has been raised as to how democratic the ideas and the method he continues to express on Twitter are. Musk's interest in acquiring the non-profit Twitter has also raised doubts. Its owners were reluctant to sell; they resisted Musk as much as possible. Employees, who know Musk's ruthless methods toward workers, are also concerned. And yet what is the motive behind the pertinacity to own it? He acquired the company at the cost of $ 44 billion and became the company's largest shareholder. Now that it has become a private company, policy decisions will be his alone. All media values, including freedom of expression, will become a matter of one man's discretion on Twitter. Musk's Twitter posts and interactions so far have been solely for his corporate interests. Like former US President Trump, Musk also carried out character assassinations through Twitter posts. Musk's tweets had to be removed for violating corporate rules. The freedom of expression he is highlighting now should also be on the yardstick of corporate selfishness. The dangers of a billionaire monopolizing the social media sector and his policy of controlling cyber discussions are being highlighted today.

Musk's statement that he is considering removing fake profile 'bots' and ensuring transparency through an open-source algorithm is laudable. But the move to abolish the existing monitoring of freedom of expression is dangerous too. Unrestricted 'freedom' on social media is seen as approval for hate propaganda. We see Facebook becoming a heap of hatred that is not as monitored as Twitter. The oversight -though limited - is what gives credibility to Twitter, which had banned Trump. Minorities, members of the black community and women are by and large safe on Twitter from violent hate attacks. Meanwhile, Musk's Tesla Company is facing charges of racism. He has apologized in court for simply insulting a British man on Twitter. Even the other day, Musk confronted a woman member of the U.S. House of Representatives, who criticized his 'Twitter' deal with misogynistic comments. It should be noted that it is the right-wing, including Trump supporters, who celebrate Musk's acquisition of Twitter the most. In an era in which freedom of opinion is construed as unbridled hate mongering, a billionaire with a track record of maverick behaviour buying Twitter and lecturing about freedom will only elate those who indulge in spreading hate. It would be good if the Twitter bird won't turn into a vulture.

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TAGS:Twitter Elon Musk Donald Trump Facebook Instagram Meta Space X Tesla 
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