While Elon Musk first addressed Twitter employees at a Q&A for all, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX gave some more details about his plans for the social platform.
When Musk first announced his bid to buy Twitter for $44 billion, he proposed the idea of ”authenticating all people” on Twitter. As we are well aware, one of his biggest grievances with the platform is its bots and fake accounts.
Today, Musk explained what this plan could entail and clarified that he doesn’t think human authentication is a requirement to use Twitter. He added that anonymity can be helpful for people to freely express their political views, which is a priority for him.
According to Bloomberg, Musk proposed an idea that users could pay to be verified as human through a tool like the subscription product Twitter Blue, and that those users’ tweets could be ranked above others.
With regard to content moderation, Musk stayed true to his earlier statements that people should be able to say “pretty outrageous things” as long as those statements are legal.
Musk routinely called himself a ‘freedom of speech absolutist’ (despite being premature) endorse Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for President, who supported and signed legislation limiting discussions of race and LGBTQ issues in public schools).
But Twitter’s existing platform guidelines aren’t that strict. In addition to prohibiting illegal actions, the platform prohibits hateful behavior (attack or threaten people based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, etc.), images of Graphic violenceand promoting suicide or self-injury†
On the business side, Musk said he wants Twitter to have more than a billion users. According to the latest quarterly report, Twitter has 229 million daily active users from which to monetize.
User growth would directly support Musk’s other ideas for Twitter — he wants the company to monetize through ads, in-app payments, and more features for creators. While Twitter has rolled out a number of creator products such as superfollows, ticket spaces, and tips, creators don’t depend on Twitter for their income, while running a successful YouTube account can be a viable career.
Musk said he wants Twitter to be more like China’s WeChat, noting that users “basically live off the app” because it combines social media, messaging, calling, games and payments into one app. He also complimented TikTok, owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, for entertaining users.
It remains unclear how, when and if this deal can be closed as Musk demands more information from Twitter about how many accounts are not really people. At the same time, the stock market has suffered, pushing both Twitter and Tesla shares down, leaving Musk in trouble as Twitter expects him to honor his $44 billion bid.
Still, Musk claims to love Twitter and is at least committed enough to answer questions from employees.
“Some people use their hair to express themselves. I use Twitter,” he said.