Musk wants to purchase Twitter for $43 billion…damn.
It takes a lot to shock people these days, and in the world of business it’s not often that people et that worked up, in a genuine manner at least. When Elon Musk gets involved in one matter or another though, it’s easy to assume that people are going to be interested since the billionaire is known for being eccentric, and he doesn’t often exhibit another speed. This time though, one can’t help but wonder if he’s taking a bite that won’t be easy to chew. Just saying the words $43 billion is easy enough, since they’re words, not a hard currency that’s packed into the gathered syllables and consonants. But when a person realizes that Musk is actually serious, the words become a little heavier, don’t they?
Trying to imagine that much money isn’t too hard, but trying to imagine making one purchase, with the knowledge that there’s plenty more being generated and plenty more in reserve, requires the kind of imagination that a lot of people can’t force themselves to conceive of. One has to wonder if those that brought Twitter to life had any idea of whether the social media site would take off as it did, since back in 2006 the internet was a little simpler than it is now and the flowering idea of social media was still looked at as something that might never replace the actual human experience of getting together and sharing gossip. The way it is now, some folks can barely remember what it’s like to get through their day without creating a half dozen tweets before lunch.
As one of those that is slowly becoming the ‘old dogs’, a term that’s tough to take these days since the old days that some of us remember didn’t include technology that was still mostly science fiction back in the day, Twitter is a maze of people and opinions that gets messy very quickly. A single tweet can create a chain reaction that will see a person go from having nothing to being one of the richest people around, or it can take a successful person and ruin them in just a few well-placed words if that happens to be the goal. That’s a little unnerving, isn’t it? One’s reputation can be built or ruined by people tweeting from their couch or as they’re on their way to work, like an afterthought. And Musk wants to purchase this under the idea that free speech is important for democracy. Is anyone else hearing the Jaws theme, or something as equally ominous, just thinking about what would happen if Twitter was in the hands of one person?
It probably wouldn’t be a dictatorship.
Putting too much responsibility, or power, in one person’s hands usually sounds like a bad idea since people are human after all, and we make mistakes. Right? But money talks and sense and reason usually gets told to take a walk, so it’s easy to think that a $43 billion price tag might be enough for a lot of folks to think that Musk MUST know what he’s talking about and he should just be handed the title of majority shareholder and possibly ‘owner’ of Twitter. Does anyone else get a shudder down their spine when thinking about such a thing. The truth is that while a lot of people, like myself, think that TWIT-ter (had to, it’s accurate) is essentially a site where people go to bitch about anything from the most mundane to the most ridiculous of ‘issues’, many people, a LOT of people in fact, tend to schedule their day around their tweets. Don’t bother denying it, Twitter wouldn’t have grown as it did without people jawing about anything from what they ate upon waking up to the most random thought they could come up with. But with Elon Musk interested in buying Twitter, would this get better, or worse? Or would it change at all?
Would Musk run Twitter into the ground?
Free speech is a big reason why Musk is interested in Twitter, or at least that’s what we’re being told. He does appear to have an issue with the practices that Twitter uses when it comes to limiting what people are able to post. Some even think that if he were allowed to make any changes to the platform concerning free speech that internet trolls would be able to run rampant over the site. That’s kind of a head-scratcher though, since some would think that trolls are already able to disguise themselves and say what they want anyway. If there’s any issue with Twitter, it’s the idea that they don’t want trolls on the site. But their definition of a ‘troll’ is kind of loose in a few ways, since denying the speech of certain people while allowing others that promote the ideas that Twitter agrees with is incredibly biased. If Musk opened the doors wide to the true idea of free speech, it does feel, to some people, that Twitter would become a virtual wild west where trolls could roam free and say what they like. To be fair, that’s kind of what free speech is, since there are still bound to be consequences if one goes too far, but ultimately a person is allowed to say what they want. Maybe the confusion lies in the word ‘free’, since be it speech or anything else, free tends to give on the idea that they’re entitled to experience something without consequences.
But really, a balance does need to be struck between free speech with consequences vs. free speech with caveats, and Elon Musk doesn’t feel like he’d be the best person to promote or maintain that balance.
Is Twitter going to deny chaos or slip further into it?
A lot of us have been touched by Twitter in one way or another. Some have been elevated, some entertained, and others have been attacked by a Twitter mob at least once when someone pointed at us and gave out a screech worthy of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
As someone that’s experienced the latter in a way that made it clear that people become mindless and willing to follow the mob when someone decides to start s**t, it’s very easy to think that if Musk really did open up Twitter for everyone to exercise their free speech, it would become a seriously screwed-up situation that would see people seeking to either be a part of the mob to avoid detection or would see them becoming online warlords that would continue to target one person after another in order to keep themselves safe.
That sounds like a gross exaggeration, doesn’t it? I mean, really, Musk would keep things civil and continue to instill rules and regulations that kept people from being bullied online, right? Honestly, the idea of online bullying sounds ridiculous, especially when it comes to how it affects people, but as someone that was raised to handle bullies in the old-fashioned way, being affected by anything that anyone says online feels kind of silly. But these days, online bullying is very real, and whether people want to believe it or not, Twitter is one of the worst sites when it comes to allowing people to hound others and sic their own Twitter mob on a person on a whim. Would Musk’s ideas keep that from happening, or would it be considered a ‘growing pain’ if he were to take over? You think it’s dramatic, but it’s a little too real to just brush it off.
What brought on this need to control Twitter?
Twitter feels a little too big for anyone to control it, even if they have the money to say ‘this is mine’. The Twitterverse has made it abundantly clear that they’re not going to be silenced or controlled. There are too many loopholes and way too many ways to circumvent what passes for authority on this site to think that even Musk would be able to come up with a foolproof way to push freedom of speech while continuing to make it a ‘safe space’ for everyone that uses it. One thing that many people understand about Twitter is that it’s a tenuous balance that keeps this site in check, no matter that there are rules and regulations that are meant to keep things civil.
It’s enough to wonder if Musk’s purchase would be a serious kick to that unstable teeter totter that might make a lot of people feel that things are about to become insanely unbalanced. This doesn’t appear to be his goal, so maybe it would be more like a clumsy stumble while looking around the site he’s purchased (if it happens). But it does feel that things would become a bit unsettled since it’s very likely that people would be waiting for the other shoe to drop and tip the scales or make them spin like a weather vane in a windstorm. Take that as you will, but chaos is only a misstep away at any given time.
Maybe it would shake up Twitter, and maybe that would be a good thing.
The only trouble with shaking the tree or rocking the boat or beating the brush, however one wants to say it, is that there’s no telling what’s going to happen as a result. The purchase of Twitter doesn’t sound like the sure thing that Musk might want it to be, but it does sound as though he’s doing what he can to make his case. One has to wonder what it would be like if Musk did take over Twitter, and if it would be better, or worse.
What do you think Radassers? Should Elon Musk be allowed purchase Twitter? What would happen if this does occur?
As of now, there’s no doubt that Musk is serious, as he’s been making it kind of obvious that he’s not playing around. But whether Twitter is going to bow to Musk’s desire to change things and shake it up the way he appears to want to is uncertain. One has to think of what might happen if his idea of free speech is allowed to be instituted, and whether or not it would be for the better, or the worse. It’s bound to be interesting to see who’s able to hold on, or hold out, the longest, given Musk’s wealth and influence, and Twitter’s known ability to be insanely difficult.
WTR? (Why’s That Radass?)
If you’re not into social media then you might be better off these days, but if you are, then seeing Twitter being bought out by Elon Musk might be a cause for anxiety. The possibilities aren’t entirely endless, but it does feel as though this might be something to watch carefully. Musk isn’t the dumbest person alive obviously, but his idealism when it comes to free speech might become an issue if it’s applied to a social media site like Twitter.