A French Perspective on Elon Musk’s Twitter
A lot has happened since Elon Musk made a sensational entrance in Twitter headquarters by carrying a sink. As soon as Musk took control of Twitter on Oct. 28, he fired a large part of the company’s workforce and launched a $7.99 pay-for-play blue check system that led to a profusion of “verified” impostor accounts and was later suspended. Musk also announced that major content decisions or account reinstatements would be made by a content moderation council, then abandoned this idea and posted polls asking users to vote on sensitive issues, such as whether Donald Trump’s account should be restored. He subsequently restored Trump’s account and also those of many extremists, including far-right influencers and people associated with the QAnon ideology. Musk also decided to stop enforcing any policy against coronavirus misinformation and made a number of “Twitter files” public in an attempt to demonstrate that the former Twitter management protected Democrats, namely President Joe Biden’s son Hunter, and also engaged in censorship against conservatives. And just recently, Musk abruptly decided to suspend the accounts of half a dozen journalists from CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other news outlets without warning or explanation, before reinstating those accounts following a Twitter poll. Finally, Musk lost a significant number of advertisers while many experts observe the rise of hate speech on the Twitter platform.