Journalism, media studies and some politics | ALL ARTICLES
25 de April de 2022

Twitter and Elon Musk: is it bad to the internet?

For U$44 billion, the social network Twitter will be owned by Elon Musk. The South African billionaire bought the social media after weeks of negotiation. Musk will take the company private after the red tape. The process should be completed later this year.

With the news, speculation began on social media. Free of speech or disinformation? Will former US President Donald Trump return? The end of Twitter bots? First, let's talk about Musk's promise about the changes in social media.

  • Unrestricted Free speech - with disinformation and hate.
  • Possibility to edit posts.
  • Human verification to post, fight the robots.

Musk's Twitter at the service of the Alt-Right?

A trending topic on social media today talking about Musk's Twitter will support the promotion of Alt-Right disinformation in the USA and bolsonarism in Brazil. Come on, does anyone really think a billionaire pays U$ 44 billion just for political propaganda? Or free speech?

What Musk wants with Twitter is power and influence. He was the only one of the billionaires without means of communication. And communication is power. Jeff Bezos, owner of Amazon, is also the owner of The Washington Post, the important and influential American newspaper. Now, Musk has the politicians's social media.

There are probably other reasons to have social media, like data and algorithms. But, it's stupid to think that the focus is on supporting Alt-Right propaganda. One of Musk's promises is to fight bots with human checks.

What about Bolsonarismo's marketing campaigns without bots? What about tag campaigns without bots to be up at dawn, for the citizen to wake up in the morning and see in Twitter Trend Topics?

Chronological timeline

Yes, Elon Musk is not a good guy, everyone knows that. Probably, Trump will go back to the Twitter when Musk is in charge of the company. But nowadays, Twitter is a festival of hate and disinformation even without Trump. YouTube is more disseminator of disinformation in Brazil than Twitter and people control the video platform less.

As the world talks about the future of Twitter with Musk, the European Union has passed a proposal for social media to show users how its algorithms work. Furthermore, social media like Instagram will be forced to offer a chronological timeline option. European Union approved a proposal to require social networks to reveal how the algorithms work to users. Networks like Instagram will be forced to offer a chronological timeline option.

A chronological timeline protects citizens from these attacks (disinformation) and today only Twitter has that option. The European law will take time to come into force, but it would be interesting if the rules were adopted in other countries.

Should people leave Musk's Twitter?

First, we need to wait for Musk take over the company. Let's see if he really changes the rules of the Twitter. And if somebody feels bad about posting on a Musk social network, remember that other options are Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook and Instagram, Google's YouTube, Bezos's Twitch... Talking about the fortune of these billionaries is more interesting, okay?


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