Elon Musk now says that his Twitter deal is on hold, but he's still committed. Reuters reports that the social media company estimates that the false/spam accounts that form a big part of the billionaire's plans for the site constitute less than five percent of the "daily active users on the site." This would be a huge difference from what people previously believed might actually be going on. In the reporting, Twitter says that there were 229 million users who got served advertising during their first quarter. Musk has been vocal about both the "spam bot" problem and "free speech" on the platform. But, conscientious observers have noted that addressing such topics would be more than a massive headache for the company and users.
Other reports have indicated that Musk had plans for the platform that included authenticating every users. (An idea roundly drubbed by Internet historians and social media experts alike!) His other resolutions for the "free speech questions" reportedly include paring down the Twitter Safety team that provides the moderation for the social media platform. (An idea that would take an already incendiary situation and pour gasoline on it!) However, if he decides to go in another direction, or the company does, the road forward seems unclear. Advertisers recently met with the company to discuss their partnerships going forward. It seems like a lot of those entities want no part of the free speech tornado of strange memes, harassment, and possible prejudice that such an environment would foster.
Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of usershttps://t.co/Y2t0QMuuyn— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 13, 2022
Musk tweeted, "Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users."
"By 'free speech,' I simply mean that which matches the law. I am against censorship that goes far beyond the law," the Tesla owner said in a previous statement. "If people want less free speech, they will ask the government to pass laws to that effect. Therefore, going beyond the law is contrary to the will of the people."
Another controversial move by the company was to tease and launch an "edit button" on the platform. As disinformation runs rampant on every social media service under the sun, Twitter's decision to move forward with this not only created a stir of concern and skepticism with social media scholars but also the daily users as well.
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