Elon Musk has come up with some bold, if still vague, plans to transform Twitter into a place of “maximum fun” once it buys the social network for $44 billion and takes it private.
But enacting what for now is little more than a mix of vague principles and technical details could be considerably more complicated than Tesla’s CEO suggests.
This is what could happen if Musk goes ahead with his ideas on freedom of expression, the fight against spam and artificial intelligence in social networks.
Musk’s top priority, but also his vaguest, is make Twitter a “politically neutral” digital public square that allows as much freedom of expression as the laws of each country allow.
He has acknowledged that his plans to reshape Twitter could anger the political left and mostly please the right. He has not specified exactly what he will do with the former US president’s canceled account. donald trump and other right-wing leaders whose tweets have violated the company’s restrictions against hate speech, violent threats or harmful misinformation.
Musk has not ruled out suspending some accountsbut says such bans should be temporary.
open source algorithms
Based on his hobby artificial intelligenceMusk has promised to “make algorithms open source to increase trust.” He talks about systems that classify content to decide what appears in users’ feeds.
But some — especially the most conservative — are concerned about “shadow banning”, a supposed function to reduce the reach of misbehaving users, but without disabling their accounts.
Authenticate all humans
Musk wants Twitter to “authenticate all humans,” an ambiguous proposal that could be related to his desire to delete spam accounts.
Increasing mundane identity checks — like two-factor authentication or pop-ups asking which of the six photos shows a school bus — could deter anyone from trying to amass an army of fake accounts.
Musk might also be considering offer more people the blue badge to authenticate the accounts of tweeters and tweeters.
But some activists worry that these measures could lead to a “real name” policy similar to Facebook’s approach of forcing people to validate their full names and use them in their profiles. That could contradict Musk’s free speech approach.
Twitter without ads?
Musk has floated the idea of a Twitter without advertising, although it was not one of the priorities described in the official merger announcement. That may be because eliminating the company’s primary way of making money would be a tall order, even for the world’s wealthiest person.
Ads accounted for more than 92 percent of Twitter’s revenue in the fiscal quarter from January to March. The company last year launched a premium subscription service, known as Twitter Bluebut so far with little success.
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Elon Musk has plans for Twitter: This we know so far