Elon Musk acquires Twitter and with it hate has the opportunity to take over the platform
On Oct. 28, Elon Musk bought social media platform Twitter for $44 billion and immediately created problems for the brand.
Musk has argued that Twitter is restrictive to the public's freedom of speech He has said that Twitter holds a responsibility to be a “public town square” in order to uphold democracy. What he fails to realize is that voices can snowball out of control and lead to disasters outside of social media.
Social media creates communities of people that do not see reality. They instead see a place where they can anonymously spread hate without repercussions. Twitter has seen some of the worst of these people.
With Musk’s claim that he will change Twitter policies, many users have seen this as their chance to use their anonymity to its max.
According to Network Contagion Research Institute, a company dedicated to finding cyber-social threats, the use of the N-word and other slurs was up by 500%.
This surge in users posting content like this was due to a small number of Twitter users, encouraged by 4chan users, to see how far they can go without being taken down.
Over 50,000 posts containing the N-word came from only 300 accounts.
Twitter claimed that their policies did not change, yet these users were able to take their hate to this level without any repercussions.
If policies are to change, Twitter's landscape will transform into a platform for hate, similar to that of 4chan leading many people to leave the site.
There is also concern that Twitter will be bent to the whim of Musk’s own personal agendas.
Musk’s purchase of Twitter may be connected to the criticism his company Tesla received in 2018 for extinguishing any attempts for employees to unionize.
He claimed that media outlets were not telling the whole truth and that, in response, he would create a platform where the truth could be found.
In reality, if Twitter is under Musk’s management the ideas of what is true can still be bent to his ideals.
Musk also plans on implementing a paid program for users to get the elusive “blue check” next to their account name. This check currently represents verified users. A verified user is a person who has proven that they are a real person and typically are a person with social influence.
The check helps users identify who is real and who is fake. If verification becomes a paid service for anyone to use, users will have difficulty knowing what is real and what is fake.
This opens up the opportunity for malicious users to spread false information to the public.
Musk’s purchase has opened the door for many ill-willed users to spread hate and misinformation to the world. Twitter will have to redirect their plans or risk becoming a platform where the only returning users are people looking to wallow in the hate.
By Morgan Davidson
Morgan is from Fallbrook, California. In Fallbrook she represented and served her community through the Rotary Club and Boys and Girls Club of America. She moved to San Diego in 2021 to pursue her degree in Journalism. Morgan is in her fourth year at San Diego State University and is looking forward to her career in esports and gaming PR.