Guide to all the Changes Coming to Musk’s Twitter
November 7, 2022
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by Stephen Kanyi

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months you have probably heard of the Musk Twitter saga that had been raging on for a while now. After months of back and forth with the Twitter board in and out of court, the acquisition was finally completed.

In a deal that was worth $44 billion, Elon Musk completely bought off Twitter. Following the acquisition, changes have been coming in fast. People have been fired, the board of directors dissolved, code re-checked and Musk has even announced a number of new radical features.

So much so that even I, an avid Twitter user, have been having a bit of a hard time getting my head around it all. I imagine it has been the same for most people; there is only so much information one can retain in the modern internet age.

Moreover, if history is anything to go by, we expect more changes in the next few months. This is the nature of acquisitions.

Events at Twitter HQ have been many and more are incoming but so far here is what you really need to know:

Elon Musk Acquired Twitter

When? Last week on Friday.

After months of negotiations and court battles the $44 billion deal was finally concluded. New owner Elon Musk was over the moon about it. He expressed his joy in a series on Twitter. For him, the deal was a win for ‘free speech.’

Why did Musk buy Twitter?

Well according to the tech tycoon and futurist; “Twitter is the de-facto global town hall.” It is the ‘digital town square’ where people can (now) express themselves freely discussing issues affecting their lives and the world at large.

And I agree. There is no other platform that encourages or incentives discussion or debate such as Twitter. Meta’s products i.e. Facebook and Instagram and now even TikTok do not quite inspire debate as Twitter. They are, at best, content-sharing platforms and not much else.

What has the Fallout Been Like?

Well, you have probably already heard that a bunch of Twitter executives have been fired. These include Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, chief financial officer Ned Segal and legal affairs and policy chief Vijaya Gadde. Firings have also included a number of engineers as Musk moves to cut staff in a bid to bring down costs. According to Musk, Twitter loses $4 million a day!

Also noteworthy is the fact that while completing the acquisition he alluded to cutting the staff by 75%. As of Friday morning 4th November, firing was still underway with those let off knowing via email.

Also missing in action is the board of directors who have all been dismissed now that Elon Musk is the sole owner of the platform.

What Changes are Coming to Twitter?

Since his acquisition, Elon has alluded to a few changes that the company is working on instituting on the platform.

  1. Charging $8 for a blue verification checkmark. The reception has gone as well as you’d expect. Most people are against charging for a feature that Twitter has been offering for free. Musk has however defended this decision saying that it will balance the chequebooks at the company while also helping pay content creators on the platform.
  2. Re-instituting accounts which had been banned for ‘bogus’ reasons. Musk has called himself a free-speech absolutist several times. As such, he has expressed disapproval of Twitter’s policy to suspend accounts.
  3. Toning down on content moderation. In alignment with his aversion to censorship, Musk has detailed plans to change Twitter’s policy to censorship. So far, he has fired chief moderator Vijaya Gadde and has described plans to create a moderation council that “has widely diverse viewpoints.”
  4. Charging for content including images and videos. In a bid to make money for content creators, Musk has described plans to charge users for viewing certain images and videos. If one hasn’t paid, they will not be able to view these images but can retweet the posts.

More importantly, Musk has said that he wants to make Twitter better for every user. He also wants to make it “by far the most accurate source of information about the world.” Whether he can do both, only time will tell.

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