Twitter is atwitter with the news that maverick billionaire Elon Musk is set to buy the microblogging platform outright. Musk has big intentions for Twitter, which he plans to take private and exert direct control over.
The move has been welcomed by free speech advocates who criticize Twitter for its expansive censorship policies, euphemistically called “content moderation.” They hope that Musk will open the platform to be hospitable to political speech, particularly that which is critical of the establishment.
Musk himself has stated — on Twitter, of course — that U.S. tech companies should not be “the de facto arbiter of free speech.” Ostensibly, Musk believes that users should be able to broadcast and access legal speech on the platform.
This is no small challenge. Social media platforms are beholden to powerful groups, as well as their own employees, who tend to be politically progressive. Their censorship decisions affect what kind of information is widely available to the public.