The Elon Musk Twitter deal is almost at its end. A Bloomberg report stated that the plan was to finalize the deal by Fri. 28 October, transferring ownership to the billionaire. As the social media platform is about to switch hands, it has raised multiple questions regarding Musk’s plans for it and its impacts. Since Twitter’s influence spans every sphere of everyday life, could Musk’s acquisition influence the next US election?
Twitter’s Influence On US Election
Over the years, there have been multiple bans placed on political figures by Twitter. One of the most notable is the ban of former US president Donald Trump – a move that saw calls for ‘freedom of free speech’ on the platform, which Elon Musk himself has highlighted.
Musk has previously made it known that when he took over the social media platform, he plans to ‘clean it up.’ His idea of a ‘clean up’ included making Twitter a platform that supports free speech. So it begs the question of how he intends to go about it.
Once Musk takes control of Twitter, he will have the power to unban important political figures such as Donald Trump and Senator Ron Johnson. If the Tesla CEO does choose to do this, it may have a profound influence on the next US elections as it reinstates the access of these political figures to a wide audience once more. However, there is no telling if it is possible to further influence beyond lifting the bans on political figures in pursuit of free speech.
The next US election will happen in 2024, and by then — assuming the deal goes through as planned, Musk will have had control of the social media platform for at least a year. This is enough time for some significant changes to the platform.
Musk, Bitcoin, And Social Media
Elon Musk has always been one of the biggest evangelists of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general. Back in 2021, his electric vehicle company Tesla had briefly accepted Bitcoin payments before halting it due to environmental concerns. However, Musk has not stopped showing support for Bitcoin. Tesla still holds about $200 million worth of BTC on its balance as of the time of this writing.
It is therefore not a long shot to expect that the use of Bitcoin could be promoted on Twitter once Musk takes over. Twitter already has the “Tip Jar” feature that allows users to tip content creators using Bitcoin and other cryptos. Musk’s previous idea was to expand this to include Dogecoin. So the billionaire’s takeover of Twitter could lead to an even larger presence of the crypto community on the platform. He could use his new position to promote Bitcoin as he has done in the past.
As for the Twitter deal, Musk does not seem too fazed about the court order to complete the deal by Oct. 28. “I think it’s an asset that has just sort of languished for a long time but has incredible potential,” Musk said during a Tesla earnings call. “Although obviously myself and the other investors are overpaying for Twitter right now.”
Elon Musk visited the Twitter headquarters on Wednesday where he said he met “a lot of cool people.” He is expected to speak to Twitter workers on Friday about the future of the platform. While there are no public details on what this would entail, there have been reports that he plans to cut 75% of the 7,500 workers, leaving a skeleton staff of 2,000.
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Featured image from Ekonomist, chart from inew.news