Twitter: the 4 changes that Elon Musk could make

Twitter: the 4 changes that Elon Musk could make

Elon Musk wants the world to know change is coming to Twitter. This week, Parag Agrawal, the boss of the social network, announced that the billionaire would join the board of directors of the company. The news came a day after Elon Musk revealed he had amassed a 9.2% stake in Twitter, making him the largest shareholder. ”
I look forward to working with Parag and the Twitter Board to deliver meaningful improvements to Twitter in the months ahead.
“, a
spear the big boss.

Elon Musk’s entry into Twitter’s board has fueled speculation about what his new role might mean for the social network’s future. Like other Twitter users, he was quick to share with his 80 million followers his thoughts on what should be improved.

Musk’s outspokenness even got him in trouble. In 2018, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission sued him for allegedly violating financial securities law after he tweeted that he had ” secure financing to take Tesla off the stock exchange. He ended up making a deal with the SEC that requires some of his tweets to be pre-cleared. His lawyers are trying to put an end to this coercion.

Elon Musk’s term on Twitter’s board is due to expire in 2024 and he’s agreed to hold no more than 14.9% of the company’s equity while on the board. plank. Here are four changes he might be looking to get Twitter to accept.

Evolve content moderation

What’s allowed and what’s not on Twitter is something Elon Musk has spoken out about even before revealing his stake in the company. At the end of March, he launched a poll to find out if users thought Twitter protected free speech. He said the results of this consultation would be “ very important “.

Freedom of expression is essential to the proper functioning of a democracy
“, he wrote. ” Do you think Twitter strictly adheres to this principle? »

About 70% of the 2 million participants answered in the negative. ”
Since Twitter serves as a de facto public square, failure to adhere to the principles of free speech fundamentally undermines democracy. What should be done ?
“, he reacted, adding another question on the advisability of creating a new platform.

Musk isn’t the first person to wonder if Twitter is censoring certain voices. In the United States, conservatives criticized the platform for banning former US President Donald Trump after the January 6 riots at the Capitol. Some Twitter users have called on Elon Musk to reinstate him. The First Amendment to the US Constitution does not apply to private companies, such as Twitter, which can create their own rules about what is allowed. In 2020, Parag Agrawal, then Twitter’s CTO, told
MIT Technology Review that the role of the company was not “not to be bound by the First Amendment “, more than ” promote healthy public conversation “.

The question of what influence Elon Musk or the board may have on content moderation remains open. Twitter says its policy decisions are not determined by the board or shareholders, and it has no intention of reversing existing policies. Still, board members play an important advisory and feedback role across all departments of the company, according to the company.

Elon Musk’s tweets have not been without controversy. In 2020, he was accused of breaking Twitter’s rules against coronavirus misinformation, when he falsely claimed that ” children are virtually immune against Covid-19. In reality, children can catch the virus. Twitter ultimately concluded that the tweet did not violate its rules because it was not ” final “.

Fighting cryptocurrency scams

Cryptocurrency scams have been a thorn in Twitter’s side and an issue that has affected Elon Musk personally. Scammers impersonated him using fake accounts on various social networks in an attempt to trick victims into donating cryptocurrency.

In January, Elon Musk lamented that Twitter was spending time on projects like profile pictures with NFTs rather than fighting cryptocurrency spam bots.

A button to edit tweets

Twitter users have long been asking for a way to edit their tweets to fix typos and other issues. But this much-requested feature has never been high on the company’s agenda. On the other hand, the paid service Twitter Blue at 3 dollars per month includes a function which allows you to cancel a tweet.

This week, Elon Musk revived the idea of ​​an edit button, again relying on a poll. ” Do you want an edit button? “, he tweeted. Of the 4 million participants, almost three quarters supported the idea.

In response, Twitter said it had been working on an editing feature since last year. ” No, the idea did not come to us from a survey retorted Twitter’s communications team with a wink emoji. The company said it will start testing the tool to find out what works and what is possible.

In the past, Twitter has raised concerns that an editing tool could lead to abuse, with people sharing tweets that are then edited to change their meaning. In 2020, Jack Dorsey (co-founder of Twitter) even told Wired that an edit button would probably never be introduced. ”
We started as an SMS text messaging service. So as you all know when you text you can’t really get it back
“, he explained. Now, it looks like Twitter is putting this feature higher on its priority list. On Monday, Parag Agrawal reacted to the poll launched by Elon Musk. ”
The consequences of this survey will be significant. Please vote wisely

Open Twitter Algorithm

Elon Musk has suggested that Twitter release the source code for its algorithm. Softwares open-source are available free of charge and can be modified. The boss of Tesla once again used the survey to push this idea. About 83% of the one million respondents answered in the affirmative.

Jack Dorsey appeared to approve of the results, tweeting: ”
The choice of which algorithm to use (or not) should be open to everyone.
» article adapted by CNETFrance

Front cover image: NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs, D

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