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Now that Elon Musk is Twitter overlord, what’s expected to change?

Now that Elon Musk is Twitter overlord, what’s expected to change?

Ever since Musk acquired 9.2% of Twitter, he has been tweeting about changes he wants to bring to it.

(Photo: Reuters) (Photo: Reuters)

PeopLate on Monday the confirmation came in that Twitter had agreed to be acquired by Elon Musk for $44 billion in cash. The decision from the Twitter board came just a few weeks after Musk made them an “offer”, and despite the fact that they initially did not want to sell, things evidently changed. 

However, even before Musk “made an offer”, he had tweeted about things he wanted to change on the platform, including the addition of the much-talked-about edit button. It is now being assumed that some of these changes are bound to show up on Twitter in some form or the other. 

It is also not impossible for Musk to do a complete about-turn on some of these plans though. He’s known to be unpredictable. It will take six months from now for the deal between Twitter and Musk to go through, and in the meanwhile CEO Parag Agrawal and Bret Taylor, Twitter's Independent Board Chair, have said that it is going to be business as usual. As we wait, here are some of the changes Musk wants to bring in. 

The edit button  

Musk had tweeted in 2019 that Twitter needed and edit function/button. He reiterated that again during his recent TED2022 conference a few days ago where he mentioned that he wants Twitter to have an “edit” button. He also addressed critics’ concerns by saying that the edit option should exist for a short period of time and “zero out all retweets and favourites” after an edit. 

Musk also posted a poll on whether his followers wanted an edit button on the platform with 4.4 million people voting with a “yes”. Twitter did “confirm” after the poll that it was indeed working on an edit button but mentioned that it has been in the works much before Musk’s poll. 

According to reports, Twitter’s edit button has already gone live for some people though it is not functional yet. Social media analyst Jane Manchun Wong discovered in the code that the edit button is going to work a little differently from what is being envisioned.  

Once the edit button does go live, it is going to act more like an archive than a straight-up edit option. You can read more about how it is going to work here

Also Read: Elon Musk may just buy Twitter: What does this mean for free speech?

Longer tweets  

Musk also suggested the tweets on the platform ought to get longer. He commented on a long Twitter thread earlier this month with - "My most immediate take away from this novella of a thread is that Twitter is *way* overdue for long form tweets!"

Twitter currently allows tweets with 280 characters, up from the 140 that was allowed till 2017. 

Down with the bots  

One of the main things we can expect Musk to go after on the platform are the spam bots. He tweeted that if his Twitter bid succeeds, “we will defeat the spam bots or die trying” since they were the “single most annoying problem” on the platform.  

He’s also suggested that Twitter should “authenticate all real humans”, and brought up the idea what all Twitter Blue users be verified automatically. 

Time-outs and no permanent bans  

Musk mentioned during his TED2o22 talk that he would be “very reluctant to delete things”, and “just be very cautious with permanent bans - timeouts, I think, are better” he said speaking about content moderation on the platform. This could mean that we might see some banned accounts making a comeback, most importantly Donald Trump, who has, however, said that he isn’t coming back on Twitter. 

Musk additionally said that if there was a lot of controversy around a tweet, “you don’t necessarily promote that tweet”, but he added that he does not have “all the answers here”. Musk is also of the opinion that Twitter should not regulate content beyond what is required by the laws of the country it is operating in. 

Open-source

Musk has tweeted about his concern about bias being “inherent” in Twitter’s algorithm and he feels that this can be solved with an open-source algorithm. He also said that he wants to publish Twitter’s ranking algorithm for the public to examine on GitHub. '

Also Read: And it’s done. Elon Musk now owns Twitter.

Also Read: 5 years ago Elon Musk asked the price of Twitter, now he has bought it