During an interview, the American billionaire spoke about his vision for the future of the social network. Without finally announcing any significant evolution.
It is an earthquake whose tremors may well be limited. This April 25, businessman Elon Musk bought the social network Twitter for some 44 billion dollars. If the operation does not encounter any unexpected obstacles, the takeover could materialize by the end of 2022.
To better understand the vision of the boss of Tesla and SpaceX, we must return to an interview given to the media Ted last Thursday, April 14, a few hours after having mentioned for the first time this total takeover of the platform.
After major declarations of principle, Elon Musk was more timid when asked to clarify his vision of the future of Twitter.
Freedom of expression… with conditions
Known for his libertarian positions and defending freedom of expression at all costs, Elon Musk reaffirmed his desire to see Twitter purged of anything that, in his view, could be considered censorship. During the interview, he said in particular that he wanted to make the platform “an inclusive arena for freedom of expression”.
But the businessman does not forget the many conditions of this freedom of expression, starting with the law of the different countries where the social network is used.
“Of course, Twitter must abide by the laws of each country where it operates. So there are limits to freedom of expression. […] and Twitter will have to comply with these rules” explains Elon Musk, adding that the platform should not however go “further” in its rules than common law.
A position defended by other personalities, such as Marine Le Pen, who has integrated this proposal into his presidential program.
In fact, social networks like Facebook or Twitter are already required to respect the law of each country for the users concerned. In some cases, however, they decide to apply additional limits, for example on nudity but also on the question of Holocaust denial, prohibited by Facebook in the United States but authorized by law in the country.
Asked about issues of moderation of hateful and/or illegal content, Elon Musk did not refer to an increase in Twitter’s starving workforce in the field.
However, he considered that in case of doubt about content, “it should be left online” and that in the event of a message arousing controversy, it could be appropriate to limit its distribution. An approach already undertaken by Twitter in certain cases, such as publications from accounts deemed close to foreign states.
During the event, Elon Musk also returned to the thorny issue of recommendation algorithms, although Twitter also offers a chronological display.
“In my view, Twitter should make its algorithm open source (accessible to everyone, editor’s note), in particular so that everyone can understand why the scope of a tweet is increased or decreased and to avoid any secret manipulation, whether automatic or manual,” he pleaded.
Elon Musk also returned to more concrete elements, believing that his top priority would be “to eliminate scams and spam, as well as bots”, which he considers very harmful to the user experience, and that he sometimes inspired in spite of himself.
The future owner of Twitter also mentioned the long-awaited button to edit a tweet, again already provided by the platform. To avoid any abuse, he notably mentioned the possibility of a possibility of modification limited in time and a reset of retweets and “favorites” in the event of an update of a publication.