Between the end of “awakened censorship” and the fear of democracy, Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter is shared.

After several weeks of negotiations, the announcement fell on a Monday. Elon Musk, the richest man on the planet, has reached a final agreement with the board of directors of the social network Twitter to take over the company worth $44 billion. The billionaire head of Tesla and Space X has repeatedly expressed doubts about the work of the social network.

A self-proclaimed free speech absolutist, the businessman pledged in a press release broadcast by Twitter to make the platform “better” by allowing access, among others open source algorithms, removing robots, improving authentication systems, or offering the ability to modify an already published tweet.

“Freedom of expression is the foundation of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is a digital community platform where issues vital to the future of humanity are discussed,” he continued. Basically, it was this desire, shown by Elon Musk, that caused a lot of controversy.

Liberation from “awakened censorship”

Internet users have welcomed the takeover announcement. “Elon Musk is buying Twitter to free our FREEDOM OF SPEECH from the rats, rodents and reptiles that lurk in the corporate culture of Twitter,” said American entrepreneur Richard Kazak. The same story in conservative circles. “This is a great day to be conservative on Twitter,” Republican Senator Marcha Blackburn said.

Elon Musk has widely blamed content moderation, which he considered too strict on the platform, demonstrating his desire for “even the worst critics on Twitter to persevere.” Rumors about the possible return of Donald Trump, banned from social media for posting false information there, spread before the main stakeholder put an end to it, confirming that he would remain on the TRUTH, a platform that he himself created.

Elon Musk is buying Twitter. CNN+ is shutting down. Disney is on its knees. This is a bad time to wake up.” commented the elected Republican. What worries the defenders of the space of free exchange within the framework of legality. The latter are not without originality in expressing their dismay.

Democratic danger

On a forum given Guardian, academic Democratic Party member Robert Reich does not hesitate to attack Elon Musk. “The real purpose of Musk has nothing to do with the freedom of others. His goal is his own unrestricted freedom – the freedom to wield vast power without being held accountable to laws and regulations, shareholders or market competition – that’s why he’s determined to own Twitter,” he said, before expressing his concern at a Democratic level. “Contrary to its ambitions to disrupt interstellar transport and flight, this one is dangerous. It could well undermine democracy.”

As for American journalist Michael Hiltzik, we have to give free rein to the quirky billionaire. “No one knows if Musk will be good or bad for Twitter. It all depends on the policy that he decides to implement as the owner of the platform, and how,” he said in the columns of the Los Angeles Times. The latter also returns to the concept of “free speech absolutism” mentioned by Elon Musk.

“The truth is that ‘free speech absolutism’ does not exist as a virtue in the real world. Every public space imposes restrictions on speech, either explicitly through published rules or implicitly through the self-regulation of its users. The task ahead of Elon Musk seems more serious than imagined.

Light criticism, complex art

For Evelyn Duek, a lecturer at Harvard Law School, content moderation on public platforms is far from improvisational. “Funny thing about content moderation […] is that almost everyone thinks there is a problem. Almost everyone also thinks that if you just put them in charge, they will fix everything, ”she says in Atlantic Ocean.

“Many of those who thought that a universal internet run only by users was a good idea regret their naivety. So platforms should moderate, but Elon Musk is right that the public deserves a better understanding of what’s going on. The public and regulators should demand more transparency to know what content is actually on the platforms, how they moderate it, and whether they are actually following the publicly stated rules,” she begins, before concluding, “The best of this comedy. “The drama played by Musk should illustrate why we must demand more from our public sphere than from billionaire overlords.”

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