Elon Musk does not rest even on Easter. The headlines that the founder of Tesla has left these days with his intention to buy Twitter. With the intention of removing it from the public markets to "release its potential", the Pandora's Box of controversy was opened. The proposal to open the social network to true freedom of expression has not been welcomed. With some shareholders on a war footing who, for the moment, deny any operation – which, in fact, has materialized with the so-called poison pill – and a segment of employees who reject the leadership of the businessman, now it is the analysts who are studying how it could be a scenario in which Twitter dominated the world. Spoiler: it wouldn't be good.
The history of the havoc that social networks can cause and the role that these empires have been taking over time is a story that already has many lines. From Facebook with its already proven effect on electoral processes or cultural positions for or against a race or religion, they are already a fact. What was previously only analyzed as a possibility, is now a palpable fact that – far from having a solution – continues to be a problem in the making.
How to control the social speakers that social networks have become? How to do it without harming that long-awaited freedom of expression and maintaining the rights of users? These are questions to which there is still no answer and that open a parallel debate. These renewed public forums should be in the hands of private companies or they should be public. Furthermore, if they were government property, would they be sinless? Nothing is clear in that uncertain future. As well as the continuous comparison of social networks, be it Facebook or Twitter, with a public forum. "They're not like the town square," Claire Wardle, a professor at Brown University, told The Washington Post. And you're right, in a forum where the voice hides behind the anonymity of millions of people little Greek forum can be found.
The dirty game of Twitter privacy
Image: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images.
It is precisely that privacy and freedom enjoyed on social networks – and which has been moderated for some time in order to limit excesses – that is at stake with the entry of Elon Musk. The businessman said that from the beginning of his participation in the shareholding of Twitter that he had realized the great problems of the social network. A self-styled absolutist of freedom of information, for the businessman any interference by Twitter or any company that owns a social network is an affront against basic civil rights. "It is incompatible with democracy," he pointed out.
But there are many voices that warn of the danger, precisely for that same democracy that Musk defends, the simple idea that a monster like Twitter is owned by a single businessman. One, in fact, of the controversial caliber and profile as that of the founder of Tesla.
Elon Musk, with supreme power over Twitter, would own freedom itself
Nothing good can come of a person like Elon Musk with absolute power over a company like Twitter. And, saving the differences, this story has already been felt with Facebook and the supreme power that, despite its public listing, Zuckerberg continues to maintain over what happens within its preserve. No matter how many years and scandals go by, the succession of outrages against rights and freedom of expression continue to happen.
Elon Musk, with supreme power over Twitter, would own freedom itself. And also of the data that was created there. Data that experts do not doubt would be used for the ultimate purpose of manipulating and influencing people's behavior. Because if history has taught us anything, it is that trusting the good work of technology companies does not bring good things. And much less in one led by a genius who, as we well know, has an easy tweet and an amazing facility for creating controversy.
The future of the social network and much of what happens on the planet would be at the mercy of a billionaire out of control. From inside and outside doors, without the obligation to present and explain, decisions would be more opaque than ever.
With this panorama, we hope that the SEC's blockade of Musk's plans, for the moment, the world gains points in its fight for freedom of expression. It is not insured, but surely better than in the hands of Elon Musk.