Elon Musk is officially buying Twitter and the company will be private again soon enough. Like many others, I’m apprehensive about this news, for a variety of reasons. Especially since a lot of authors swear by the Twitter platform. I’ll be honest though, it’s never really been my favorite platform to use and I don’t tweet that often. And now I’m thinking of deleting my profile altogether.
Should I Tweet Away? Or not?
I know a lot of authors swear by the Twitter platform for connecting with their writing communities, publishers, agents, and readers. But the platform kinda drives me, a writer, nuts. Even after they extended the character limit, it still never seems as if there’s enough space to say anything of depth or real meaning. And that irritates me. Why are people being encouraged to be superficially entertaining, quippy, or oftentimes, just rude? As opposed to thoughtful and engaging? Or am I the only one who thinks that? I fully admit I am not a Twitter aficionado by any means. So I’m not sure if I should tweet more or less as it is.
If you’re an author who loves Twitter and uses it frequently, please leave a comment at the bottom of the page and tell me more about how and why. I would sincerely (I promise, no snark at all) like to know more!
My Concerns About Elon Musk Taking Over Twitter
According to an NPR article published yesterday, here’s what Musk says he’s going to do after buying Twitter, along with my thoughts.
- Loosen up content rules in the name of free speech. While Musk claims to be a “free speech absolutist” I don’t entirely believe him, or that his intentions are entirely pure. Why? Mainly because he’s a billionaire who is buying a platform to control it, because he thinks that he’s the only one capable of saving it, and us, and free speech itself. Yikes! This way of thinking is alarming to me: that one man alone (and maybe a handful of his cronies too) can and should save us and our platforms for free speech to endure, behind soon-to-be-closed doors of a private company primarily away from public purview. It’s important to consider everything that won’t be transparent or known once Musk takes over Twitter and makes it private. Regardless of what he says now, it’s important to weigh how he will remain accountable, and by whom, if anyone? It does mean something for him to be accountable to shareholders, cronies, and himself alone, and not users, for example.
- Create an edit button so users can change their tweets. I am somewhat indifferent to there being an edit button for tweets. There is always a history and archive of something posted online, especially on social media sites, even if it’s edited.
- Open up Twitter’s algorithm to the public This doesn’t really matter because the algorithm is so complicated. Not many people will even be able to understand it, so sharing it won’t make that much of a difference.
- Launch a war on ‘bot armies’ This could be a good thing, but wouldn’t add that much to the platform since Twitter is already banning a lot of bot accounts and is getting better at it. In fact, this might end up working against his plans to loosen up the rules on the platform (point 1 above).
- Scrap advertisements This could end up hurting smaller businesses and organizations that rely on the platform for generating awareness and funding via targeted advertising.
Another big unknown is whether Musk will reinstate Trump on the Twitter platform in the future. In my opinion, reinstating Trump would recreate the vitriolic environment that was prevalent on the platform before he got banned. (Everything I have to say about that would take up an entire blog post. So, we’ll just leave it at that for now. )
My Final Thoughts on Tweeting Now
Right now I’m leaning toward deleting my Twitter profile altogether, especially with Musk taking over the platform. As it is, I don’t really enjoy using the platform. However, first I want to know more about why writers and authors enjoy using it, as well as how they use it. And second, there is a part of me that wants to wait and see what type of environment will be prevalent on the platform after Musk initiates the changes he’s stating he’ll make– if he does indeed make them.
What do you think? Are you still going to tweet? Comment below.
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