Elon Musk buys Twitter: Social Platforms encourage free speech

Senior Oscar Olsen looks at a tweet from Elon Musk during study hall. Olsen sees Musk’s purchase of twitter as a positive, and hopes to see political fairness on the platform.

Oskar Barudin

Senior Oscar Olsen looks at a tweet from Elon Musk during study hall. Olsen sees Musk’s purchase of twitter as a positive, and hopes to see political fairness on the platform.

Oskar Barudin, News Editor

The business world credits CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, for adding Twitter to his powerhouse. However, this action affected much more than the business world. Musk has made significant changes to Twitter, and as of Thursday, Nov. 3, 7,500  former employees are out of a job.

On Oct. 27 2022, Musk became the CEO of Twitter. His acquisition of Twitter came as no surprise, however, as he had shown interest in contributing to the company since Mar. 2022. On Apr. 9 2022, Musk informed the public that he owned a 9.2% stake in the company.

As CEO, in just seven days, Musk made notable changes to the company. These changes sparked controversy as some support Musk’s decisions, while others do not support his purchase. Musk has changed guidelines on the platform, allowing for much less restriction of tweets.

Senior Oscar Olsen saw Musk’s purchase as important for users and democracy. “I think it’s a step in the right direction,” Olsen pointed out regarding the standards in which a tweet is taken down. “[Musk’s] doing enough where it’s fair for both sides…There is not a bias towards one side of the political spectrum.”

Olsen is an example of someone who is in favor of Musk’s decision and argues that the tweets taken down were motivated by bias. Supporters like him hope that Twitter becomes a place that is fair for people regardless of their political voices and affiliation. 

Someone who argues against Musk’s decision would say that more regulation is needed, and the Tweets since Oct. 27 are too freely written. Users have shown their dissupport, and in just 4 days after Musk became CEO, 875,000 users have deactivated their accounts.

While Musk is trying to keep Twitter balanced, some streaming platforms and sites do not have any control over their content, and anything can be posted. Gab Social and Rumble are sites with no restrictions and serve similar purposes as YouTube, Twitter and Reddit. For instance, YouTubers who are banned from making videos for their content switch to Rumble so they can continue to post and appeal to their audience.

Musk sparked controversy once again when he became CEO. On Nov. 7, a day before election day, Musk tweeted to his supporters encouraging the independent voters to vote Republican.

Many people on twitter have questioned Musk’s integrity, because on Apr. 27, Musk tweeted, “[Twitter] must be politically neutral, which effectively means upsetting the far right and the far left equally.”

This tweet gave a hopeful future for Twitter and its users, with the expectation that Musk keeps Twitter a politically fair site. 

Government teacher Joe Youngbauer sees the importance and influence that Twitter has over the American people. “Information and people’s opinions play a huge role in shaping our views of the world around us,” Youngbauer shared.

Youngbauer has a recognition for the control over users Twitter has. He hopes the content on the platform is fair and accurate for members of both parties. 

Musk’s purchase of twitter has been nothing short of controversial among its users. Time will only tell the significance of Twitter becoming a less-regulated platform and how other free speech platforms will affect opinions and beliefs.