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Wednesday, Feb 08, 2023

Elon Musk takes to Twitter to explain 'what free speech means'

Elon Musk took to Twitter to explain "what free speech means" on Monday, in a message to critics as the social media giant mulls his bid to purchase the platform. Here are the changes Mr Musk is expected to push for at Twitter:

YES!


"I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means," Musk tweeted.



Here are the changes Mr Musk is expected to push for at Twitter:


An Edit button: SpaceX CEO Elon Musk floated the idea of an edit button in a Twitter poll on April 4. "Do you want an edit button?" he asked in his post. The words yes and no were misspelt.


More than four million votes were cast, with a majority of users supporting the idea.

Opening up Twitter's algorithm: In a March 24 tweet, Mr Musk suggested that Twitter's algorithm should be open-source. This was again in the form of a poll and 83 per cent of the one million respondents said yes to the idea.


He had further said in a Ted Talk earlier this month that he thinks Twitter users should be able to see if their post has been demoted or promoted so that there is no behind-the-scenes manipulation. He even suggested posting the code on Github so that people can look for errors and suggest changes.

Tackling cryptocurrency scams: Mr Musk's account has been impersonated by scammers who have taken away cryptocurrency in his name. There were reports in 2020 about his account getting hacked.


In January, Mr Musk complained that Twitter is spending engineering resources on profile pictures that showcase non-fungible tokens “while crypto scammers are throwing a spambot block party in every thread”.

“Twitter a de facto public town square”: Mr Musk has also slammed the micro-blogging website of what content is allowed there and what isn't. In another Twitter poll in March, he asked users: "Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy. Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?"


More than 70 per cent users who participated in the poll said a resounding no, promoting Mr Musk to ask if a new platform is needed.



Musk, who describes himself as a "free speech absolutist," made waves last week when he offered to purchase Twitter for $54.20 per share to take it private with the vow of bolstering free speech protections on the platform.

News of the offer sent Twitter shares soaring, but the company's board of directors reacted by putting in place an anti-takeover measure known as a poison pill. Now, the board is reportedly considering Musk's bid.

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