On Oct. 27, Elon Musk purchased Twitter for $44 billion, and he immediately started making changes, firing its chief executive Parag Agrawal and chief financial officer Ned Segal. Musk said he wants to make Twitter a more “freewheeling place” for all types of commentary. He also described himself as a “free speech absolutist.”
Elon Musk ranks number one on the Forbes “Richest People in The World” list for 2022. Musk is the founder, CEO and chief engineer at SpaceX, the CEO and product architect of Tesla, the founder of The Boring Company, and co-founded the electronic payment company PayPal.
Aerospace company SpaceX recently purchased a larger Twitter ad campaign to help promote its internet service, Starlink. Calling the campaign a “Twitter takeover, typically companies spend upwards of $250,000 to put their brand on the main Twitter timeline for a full day, according to a current Twitter employee who asked to remain unnamed,” Lora Kolodny said on Cnbc.com.
Musk’s current effect on Twitter
Twitter has lost nearly 1.3 million users in the first week since Musk purchased the platform. Usatoday.com Natalie Nevsa Alund reported, “The Bot Sentinel, which tracks the behavior on Twitter by analyzing more than 3.1 million accounts per day, believes more then 877,000 accounts were deactivated and 497,000 were suspended between Oct. 27 and Nov. 1.”
“Twitter is my second most used social media platform. I think Musk buying Twitter is good for the company, he will allow more free speech through the app,” John McCormick, junior business management major, said.
Although, John Ruttman, sophomore exercise science major, said, “I don’t use Twitter that much, I think Musk is ruining the platform. I saw on the news that he fired about half of their workforce. That’s a lot of people without work. How a company of that size can work with half of their workers, will be interesting to see if they can pull it off.”
Opinions on the effect
Major companies, such as General Motors, Audi, Volkswagen, General Mills, Pfizer, United Airlines, and more have paused their Twitter ad spending. Companies were all shaken up when Musk decided to launch and suspend a program to charge money for a previously free verification logo, a blue check mark. This made companies nervous and want to leave the platform because people could purchase the verification mark and pose as fake companies, politicians, or celebrities, and post wrong or misleading information.
“Since Musk bought the platform, it has not really affected if I go on it more or less,” McCormick said. “I use the platform often, even with some of the changes he has already made, it most likely won’t affect how much I use it unless he makes people pay to use the platform as a whole.”
“Musk buying the platform has affected my use of Twitter a little bit,” Ruttman said. “I still use the platform a good amount. I would say the second most used one behind Instagram. When he announced you could buy the verification mark was when I started using the platform less, it kind of ruined the authenticity of it for me, than anyone can act verified and spread information right or wrong.”