Elon Musk has been dropping hints about what he would change about Twitter. Here’s what we know so far.
- Free speech and content moderation: The Tesla and SpaceX CEO describes himself as a “free speech absolutist” and has often criticized “excessive moderation” on online platforms. Ahead of the announcement of his agreement with Twitter, Musk tweeted saying he hoped even his “worst critics” continued to use the platform “because that is what free speech means.”
- Enhance platform with new features: Twitter users have been clamoring for an edit button for years. Musk has said he supports letting people change what their tweets say, a proposal that has stirred a heated debate among academics, journalists, and other heavy users of the platform. Musk believes that Twitter is not being used to its full potential. “Twitter has unlimited potential. I will unlock it,” he had said.
- Make algorithm an open-source: At a TED conference this month, the billionaire elaborated on his plans to make Twitter’s algorithm an open-source model, which would allow users to see the code showing how certain posts came up in their timelines. He supports placing Twitter’s algorithm on GitHub, a site popular with programmers for sharing computer code. He said the open-source method would be better than “having tweets sort of being mysteriously promoted and demoted with no insight into what’s going on.”
- Launch a war on ‘bot armies’: Musk has suggested that there should be a crackdown on scammy bots promoting cryptocurrency hustles on Twitter. He favours combating the proliferation of bots — fake accounts that are programmed to respond to tweets on certain topics. The Tesla chief executive promised in a tweet Thursday that he would “defeat the spam bots or die trying!”
- Scrap advertisements: Right now, almost 90% of Twitter’s revenue comes from advertising, but the company has struggled to attract advertisers to the platform. Musk has suggested it should move to a subscription model. The Tesla CEO has said Twitter Blue should be cheaper and that if people are paying, they shouldn’t have to see advertisements. He also supports the idea that the cryptocurrency that started as a joke, Dogecoin, should be an acceptable form of payment for a Twitter subscription.