A $44 billion deal that started almost as a joke online came to pass yesterday, and it has caused parts of the internet to melt. Elon Musk has had his $44 billion offer for Twitter accepted by the board of the social media giant.
Why are we, Last Movie Outpost, a pokey movie and streaming website writing an article on this? Well, for a start social media is the media. Every studio, major movie star, and most creatives from directors to craft services are all on Twitter. What happens there matters to us. And to you, our Outposters.
Even we are on Twitter (twitter.com/MovieOutpost, since you ask. Give us a follow!).
Elon Musk began his maneuvers towards Twitter after expressing some concerns over Twitter’s perceived political slants and over-censorship of those who expressed opinions outside of that slant. Opponents of Musk’s comments and approach pointed out that this was not censorship, but moderation.
The Twitter board unanimously agreed to accept the Musk offer of $44bn on Monday. The deal will still require the approval of shareholders.
It has immediately become another front line in the culture wars. Many US conservatives and old-fashioned Liberals are looking forward to a prospective less regulated Twitterverse. Many point out that it is ridiculous that the Supreme Leader of Iran, Chinese State Media, and the Kremlin were allowed accounts while the sitting President of the USA at the time, Donald Trump, was banned from the platform.
On the other side, many expressed dismay at the possibility that the platform would allow hate speech and disinformation to spread without safeguards. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), a US civil rights advocacy group, said in a statement:
“Mr. Musk: free speech is wonderful, hate speech is unacceptable. Disinformation, misinformation and hate speech have NO PLACE on Twitter. Protecting our democracy is of utmost importance, especially as the midterm elections approach. Mr Musk: lives are at risk, and so is American democracy.”
Many commentators from one side of the debate are already threatening to pack their digital bags and flee the platform, with many “I quit” style posts spreading online, barely a year since many of them told opponents on the platform:
“If you don’t like it, go and start your own Twitter!”
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a prominent Republican and potential 2024 presidential candidate, said Musk’s offer to buy Twitter:
“…raises the prospect that the platform will be a place where free speech can thrive, not a tool for narrative enforcement”.
The White House has already expressed “concern” over the power of social media, but refused to be drawn on Twitter itself, keeping its comment generic. Press Secretary Jen Psaki said:
“What I can tell you is a general matter: no matter who owns or runs Twitter, the president has long been concerned about the power of large social media platforms.”
Amnesty International USA’s director of technology and human rights, Michael Kleinman, said:
“Twitter has a responsibility to protect human rights, including the rights to live free from discrimination and violence and to freedom of expression and opinion – a responsibility that they already too often fail.
We are concerned with any steps that Twitter might take to erode enforcement of the policies and mechanisms designed to protect users. The last thing we need is a Twitter that willfully turns a blind eye to violent and abusive speech against users, particularly those most disproportionately impacted, including women, non-binary persons, and others.”
This one is going to run and run. Seismic social media shake-up? Shots fired in culture war? What do our Outposters think?
Check back every day for new content at Last Movie Outpost.
To like us on Facebook Click Here
To follow us on Twitter Click Here
See our YouTube channel Click Here