Independent Online

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

‘Goodbye Twitter’ hashtag trending amid Elon Musk’s #TwitterTakeover

Bye, bye birdie. Many tweeps have threatened to leave Twitter following Musk's buyout. Picture by Souvik Banerjee/UnSplash

Bye, bye birdie. Many tweeps have threatened to leave Twitter following Musk's buyout. Picture by Souvik Banerjee/UnSplash

Published Apr 26, 2022

Share

Story continues below Advertisement

Musk's reaffirmation of prioritising free speech on Twitter has given rise to fears that the platform will become a hotbed of misinformation and harassment.

This has seen Musk’s #TwitterTakeover being met with mixed reactions on the platform overnight, with a growing number of tweeps threatening to leave Twitter.

By this morning, less than 12 hours after the billionaire-businessman’s bid to take sole ownership of Twitter for a sum of about R690 billion was accepted, #GoodbyeTwitter was trending on the platform.

While positive changes are expected, the one causing the trouble for some has been Musk's reaffirmation of prioritising free speech on Twitter.

Some fear that this will mean the platform will become a hotbed of misinformation and harassment. And already some are questioning, who’s free speech Musk is talking about, with them asking if it will include his biggest detractors.

He seemed to allay these fears - for some only - with this tweet yesterday:

Story continues below Advertisement

Others fear it may open the way for former US President Donald Trump to return.

However, Trump, who was permanently banned from the platform and whose company is building a rival to Twitter called Truth Social, has no interest to return to the platform, apparently. Reuters reported him telling Fox News in an interview on Monday that he will not return.

Story continues below Advertisement

Musk has in the past said he thinks Twitter should be “very cautious with permanent bans,” and that time-outs were better.

What free speech may look like is of the most concern for those using the platform and it has sent them scurrying to find alternative platforms. Some alternatives that have come up are popular platforms such as Reddit and Tumblr, which offer similar community engagement around shared interests, while also fostering an environment for free speech.

In a Twitter statement announcing the deal, Musk said: “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.”

Story continues below Advertisement

Some worry that Musk's wish for free speech could see some of the platform's work to curb harmful content such as hate speech, misinformation and harassment taking a blow.

In a war of words among what some have described as the “woke left” and the more “militant right”, influencer, JT Lewis, whose cover photo is of him with Trump tweeted: “’if Musk is buying Twitter, I am leaving’ is the new 'if Trump wins I am moving to Canada’.” A clear dig at the more liberal left on Twitter.

However some were happily applauding the loud departure announcements, saying, however, they were quite unnecessary.

Share