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Home Tech What the Future Holds for Twitter

What the Future Holds for Twitter

by James Musoba
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Since Elon Musk bought Twitter, the platform has seen some massive changes. The controversial $8 a month Twitter Blue was recently launched, and has received mixed reviews.

The blue check mark used to be a status symbol on the platform, which was given to journalists, politicians, and celebrities alike. But now, anyone can acquire one, provided they pay $8 per month.

The move by Musk was to increase revenue, because currently the platform is reliant on advertisers. As Musk wants to make Twitter a free speech haven, many multinational companies have boycotted the company, from Apple to Coca- Cola.

Twitter still remains the go to platform for politicians to get their message out. Even though so many influencers and politicians say they will leave Twitter, so far they haven’t. This is because of the huge audience Twitter provides, and that the platform has a monopoly on short form blogging.

The first politician to understand the power of Twitter was former President Donald J Trump. He used Twitter masterfully in 2016 to reach the electorate, and bypass the legacy media.

Back in January 2021, Trump was controversially banned from Twitter. The reason given was that he was inciting violence in light of the storming of the Capitol on January 6th. However, since Musk bought Twitter he ran a poll asking people on Twitter whether Trump should be reinstated. The result ended 52% yes and 48% no.

Musk then reinstated Trump’s account, but he has not tweeted from it since. Whether he will use it for the 2024 election cycle remains to be seen. But, Trump has previously stated he likes Musk but will not return to the platform.

Since his Presidency, Trump launched Truth Social, a direct competitor to Twitter. It looks like Trump will just exclusively post on Truth, because if he moves back to Twitter, Truth will suffer massively.

Twitter is used by many people across the world, mainly for news. Musk recently stated that Twitter is the number one place to get the latest news and opinions. This statement is somewhat true for expert analysis and funny memes.

In the Arab world, Twitter is uncensored unlike in other areas of entertainment like certain movies and games. Films like the Matrix, and games such as online slots are prohibited by authorities. Nonetheless for the latter, Arabs are able to access these casino games via a VPN and using cryptocurrency as a payment method.

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Content moderation has always been a struggle for Twitter, nevertheless, Musk took the decision to fire 90% of the moderators in favor of free speech. The EU previously stated that Musk must adhere to their rules, over Twitter which received a lot of backlash at the time.

Currently, Twitter does not have a major competitor. Their main two are echo chambers for both the right wing and left wing. Mastodon is the left wing competitor with many journalists having migrated there recently, in a protest to Musk purchasing Twitter.

On the other hand, Trump’s Truth Social is the right wing competitor to Twitter. The platform is an echo chamber, where no real discussions take place, just everyone in agreement and scorn of Trump’s political enemies.

The biggest issue facing Musk is Twitter’s hate speech policy. It’s a fine line between hate speech and free speech, and advocacy groups such as the ADL have spoken out against Twitter. They have led a boycott of the platform, lobbying companies to pull advertisements.

When it comes to hate speech, Twitter recently suspended Ye’s Twitter account for inciting violence. It’s unclear whether the move is permanent or temporary. He posted a symbol of the Star of David and the Swastika, which offended many on the platform and has made international news.

No matter what happens with the future of Twitter, Musk definitely has a tough job on his hands. But one thing for certain he will not keep everybody happy, all of the time.

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