Musk’s purchase of Twitter signals long-term worries


As Elon Musk enters his second week as chief executive of Twitter, the company faces major consequences as Musk has already fired top executives and has announced a plan to remove 75 percent of the company’s employees. 

Twitter’s overemployment has been a growing concern, so job cuts were expected, but Musk’s plan is a much more extreme measure than what people originally predicted. There will likely be cuts to the company’s infrastructure, including its crucial data centers that allow millions of users to log onto Twitter. 

“When I first heard about Elon Musk’s plan, I thought he was making an irrational decision and I was concerned for the employees who will face the consequences,” Carys Ayala (11), Twitter user, said. “I hope he does not actually carry this out because Twitter is already so bad at censoring its content, and it will only get worse.”

Twitter’s staff released an open letter to protest against Musk’s plans, sending it to Twitter’s board of directors and Musk himself. 

“A threat to workers at Twitter is a threat to Twitter’s future. These threats have an impact on us as workers and demonstrate a fundamental disconnect with the realities of operating Twitter… We cannot do our work in an environment of constant harassment and threats. Without our work, there is no Twitter,” employees wrote in the letter. 

Twitter employees are upset over Musk’s rash announcement of firing thousands of workers, accusing him of harassment. Yet many journalists believe Musk’s announcement is simply a bluff. He has often made baseless claims without carrying it out, so many are speculating that it will be the same this time. 

“Initially I didn’t believe that Musk was actually going to fire so many of the employees,” Jennie Koh (11), social media enthusiast, said. “That’s what I thought at first, but now that he has actually taken control of the entire company and fired the head executives such as the CEO, I’m honestly not so sure anymore.”

Musk revealed that he does not believe in banning users completely from the platform, even if they were involved in repeated hate speech or inappropriate behavior. Musk’s overtaking of Twitter, therefore, is likely to hurt Twitter’s content moderation. The significant job cuts will also affect this, as the lack of workers on the platform will make regulation extremely difficult. Twitter already has difficulty taking down inappropriate, hateful, and spam-like content, but if 75 percent of the company’s employees are fired, users will likely encounter content that goes against community guidelines. 

“The space market is pretty much his, electric cars is a pretty big market of his, and now he has control of communication on one large social media platform, which is a concern,” Matthew Halter, AP English Literature teacher, said. “When we have a businessman like that starting to monopolize all these areas, there will be a problem.” 

Musk has further proposed plans to charge $8 monthly in order for verified users to maintain their blue check marks, which is being faced with heavy backlash. He has justified this by saying that he needs a way to pay the bills, and implementing this system will help get rid of bots, trolls, and spam accounts. 

Still, users are suspicious and nervous about their future Twitter experience with Musk as the sole director of the company. What is clear so far is that consequences will certainly take place, whether for the better or for the worse.