Elon Musk is buying Twitter
Twitter and Elon Musk announced on Monday 25 april 2022, that the billionaire would commit $44 billion to purchase the social media platform.
But why Twitter is so important for the Tesla' owner?
We all know that Twitter’s active user base of 330 million, is comparable to rivals like Facebook and TikTok, but this is not the real gold nugget. Beyond its numbers, the not too hidden treasure is given by an huge influence on public debate and the media due to the high presence of Politicians, journalists, famous people and intellectuals on the site.
In full "Musk" style at the moment he hasn't leaked any explanation or leaked any explicit intention, he has certainly always presented himself as a champion of free information and this move could represent his step forward in this area.
We don't have to forget that in 2016 also Mark Benioff (Ceo of Salesforce) wanted to buy to it for 20 billions dollars, but everyone opposed him: his management team, his directors, and his investors. Word leaked of the impending deal, and Salesforce's stock began to fall.
Everytime that something like this happens, the public opinion rises concerns scared from the fact that too much power will be concentrated in a single person. The contrast between private power and public communication is an ancient story, the same happened in Italy when Berlusconi entered in the media sector or with the Rupert Murdoch SKY project.
The reality is that the enourmous financial power of Elon Musk that gives him the possibility to purchase one website or app with such a profound impact on millions of people’s speech, highlights the importance of clear rules in the way to structure the communication infrastructures. Moreover there is a delicate unstable balance on making changes in the way these social networks works, people now use Twitter and value it for its contribution to public conversations and public debate (without to forget that it also serves as a place for harassment and hate speech), if any changes will come on the way the rules are adopted, it can just change people’s interest in using the platform making it less popular than it is, and reducing its power and value.
Probably nobody knows the real intentions of Elon Musk, but for sure he will discover that the social media world is not simple as it seems, for sure this is an interesting moment where on one hand, we have a creative billionaire taking control of a massive influential platform but at the same time, we have governments around the world saying, that the freedom of these platforms should be regulated by strict rules. And that’s going to be interesting to see how he deals with that.