Musk Discusses His Views on Content material Moderation as Twitter Deal Inches Nearer to Completion


So what’s the most recent on Elon’s nice Twitter shake-up?

Whereas we’re nonetheless ready for Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover bid to be finalized, Musk has been slowly doling out extra particulars of his Twitter reinvigoration plan, which he believes will see the app grow its user count by 200% over the next three years, and usher in 5x extra income by 2028.

Which appears ridiculously optimistic by any measure – however given Musk’s observe document together with his different corporations, nobody’s dismissing his plans outright, as possibly he sees one thing we don’t, and there’s truly a pathway to creating Twitter a extra important factor of individuals’s on a regular basis lives.

Although from what Elon’s outlining so far, that pathway’s not precisely clear simply but.

Right this moment, in an interview at the Financial Times’ ‘Future of the Car’ conference, Musk provided some new notes on his Twitter plans, together with:

  • Musk feels that Twitter has a robust left bias as a result of it is primarily based in San Francisco. Musk’s view is that many Twitter staff wouldn’t even realise this bias because of the place they’re situated
  • Musk reiterated his plans to open-source Twitter’s feed algorithm, saying that, if he can, he would ‘actually put the Twitter algorithm on GitHub and say like, ‘Hey, anybody wish to counsel modifications to this? Please go forward
  • Musk indicated that, primarily based on the proof that he’s seen, he would probably restore former President Donald Trump’s banned account, as everlasting bans, in his view, are usually not efficient within the overwhelming majority of instances

The final level is what most are latching onto – ever for the reason that Tesla proprietor introduced his plans to purchase Twitter, right-wing pundits have been trumpeting the deal as a win at no cost speech, and a restoration of their functionality to say what they need on the social media platform, free from perceived bias and enforcement aligned with political perspective.

Twitter itself has been working for years to determine a good and cheap course of for the enforcement of its guidelines, however in Musk’s view, the banning of Trump was an over-reach, which Musk says, former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey agrees with.

In response, Dorsey defined his perspective on the Trump ban:

As you’ll be able to see, Dorsey had reservations in regards to the resolution on the time, and Musk’s view aligns with these considerations. Whether or not it was the correct transfer or not, the choice to ban Trump has turn into a ‘line within the sand’ second, and it’ll probably be a significant level of competition in marking the Elon Musk period on the app, if certainly Musk does transfer to undo Trump’s ban as soon as he takes possession of the corporate (which continues to be to be confirmed).

Although Trump says that he’s not coming again anyway. The previous President is outwardly devoted to constructing his personal social community, Truth Social, which, if it’s profitable, may find yourself making him some huge cash, whereas additionally permitting any kind of speech that it chooses.

Nevertheless it’s additionally exhausting to think about that Trump is overly glad chatting with a a lot smaller viewers. Right here’s a visible illustration of the engagement on Reality Social because it stands proper now.

Trump had close to 90 million followers on Twitter when his account was banned, which gave him an enormous platform to unfold his political messages, whereas just about each considered one of his tweets sparked a brand new information cycle of its personal.  

If Musk does reverse Trump’s ban, regardless of his feedback on the contrary, I’m tipping that Trump will probably be again, which is able to kick off a brand new season of ‘Will They Ban Him?’, as he resumes his late night time observe of poking his varied enemies and critics by way of his brief missives.

The Trump concern apart, Musk’s expanded feedback on content material moderation in right now’s interview do appear slightly regarding, in that exterior of those bigger, extra excessive profile instances, there does appear to be a stage of naivety to his understanding of sufficient platform moderation.

As per Musk:

“If [Twitter users] say one thing that’s unlawful or in any other case simply damaging to the world, then there ought to be maybe a timeout, a brief suspension, or that specific tweet ought to be made invisible or have very restricted traction. I feel if there are tweets which are flawed and unhealthy, these ought to be both deleted or made invisible, and a suspension, a brief suspension is suitable however not a everlasting ban.”

‘Flawed and unhealthy’ is fairly imprecise, and whereas I’m certain that Musk has a stronger grasp on the actual points at play than what this assertion would counsel, it does appear that he has a method to go in absolutely understanding the potential harms and risks of permitting sure forms of speech to be amplified by way of social networks.

In any occasion, Musk does advocate a type of moderation right here, in policing essentially the most dangerous forms of content material. Musk has beforehand famous that he’ll align with the legal guidelines of every area, in figuring out what is going to and received’t be allowed within the app, whereas he additionally lately met with Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner for Internal Markets to debate the EU plans for content material moderation.

So Musk, in keeping with his statements so far, will look to make sure that Twitter adheres to evolving content material legal guidelines, in all areas. Which is smart, and looks as if a extra ‘palms off’ method to such points. However finally, that would see Musk’s free speech stance diluted, a minimum of within the eyes of the extra excessive parts who’re welcoming the Musk period with open arms.

And all of this apart, none of Musk’s views on free speech will assist the platform stimulate consumer progress.

How will Twitter triple its consumer base in three years? Most individuals that may entry Twitter are already properly conscious of what the platform is and the way it works, they usually’re both utilizing it or they’re not.

How will Musk persuade those that’ve proven no curiosity up to now to enroll?

There’s nonetheless a method to go in understanding the following part of Musk’s plan, and plenty of parts that must be thought-about, in all facets, earlier than we get some perspective on what, precisely, Twitter will turn into in its subsequent stage.





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