“The world’s richest man can now decide online speech’ SU Media Professor Weighs in on Elon Musk Twitter Purchase

Impact Of Twitter Purchases

SALISBURY, Md- With Elon Musks’ 44 billion dollar purchase of Twitter, Social Media experts are warning of a lack of moderation, and dangerous speech returning to the platform.

Dr. Jennifer Cox a communications professor at Salisbury University says Twitter has already experienced issues with harassment, doxing and hate speech, but as a private company, it had accountability to shareholders and board members.

As a private company, the leadership becomes much more streamlined, with Musk at the top.

“There are already problems on Twitter as a publicly-traded company and now that he is purchasing it and shifting it to a privately owned company the decision comes out of the hands of a chain of command that would make decisions and literally puts it in the hands of one man, the richest man on earth,” she said.

She tells us she is unsure of what Musk means by embracing free speech on the platform and fears it could mean emboldening extremist and violent speech on the platform.

“So it’s really unclear what he talks about when he says free speech because that refers to the government censoring your speech but has no bearing on private companies and their platforms,” she said adding ” I can only hope it does not mean a free for all because we have tried that and it has failed.”

She points out the prolific following alt-right figures and movements such as Q-Anon and Pizzagate had on the platform, which required intense intervention from the platform to combat.

“He seems to want to return to Twitter to this place of completely free and unmoderated discussion which sounds utopian until you consider the damage that we have seen that lead to,’ she said.

 

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