Stevens: Musk has a fundamentally flawed mindset on Twitter changes

Levi Stevens, Staff Writer

In April, billionaire Elon Musk offered to purchase the bleeding social-media platform that is Twitter. This was an odd decision for Musk because he was offering billions of dollars to make a relatively unnecessary purchase. Although it was a large investment, Musk was willing to spend more than $40 billion to reach his goals of free speech and democracy. So, did he reach these goals?

To make a long story short, no, Musk did not achieve these goals because he did not intend to. Rather than becoming an idle CEO after his recent acquisition, Musk decided to make use of his extremely unprofitable decision. As a result, hundreds of Twitter employees have been laid off from their California offices. Rather than making a simple acquisition, Musk went out of his way to make drastic changes for the company.

The verification system is also subject to change under the hands of Musk. Directly after the purchase, Musk haggled with famous writer Stephen King to lower the cost of paying for “the blue check” for verification on the platform. This was an embarrassing showcase of Musk’s incompetence when it comes to making major changes for Twitter. 

Paying for the verification check is a flawed concept, as many Twitter users were quick to point out. If anyone is able to purchase the authority of a verified account, they would be able to create convincingly official troll accounts. In theory, Musk believed everyday users would pay for verification, while bots and trolls would be unable to. He thought this would provide “power to the people” as he stated multiple times. This was incorrect, and it can be seen in the current state of Twitter. Previously, a verified parody of Eli Lillie pharmaceuticals left many wondering if insulin was actually free.

Exacerbating these major issues, Musk stated he plans to remove the old system of verification in the coming months. This would be extremely problematic because verified parody accounts could become more legitimate than the companies they’re actually parodying.

Overall, I think Musk needs to rethink his approach when it comes to Twitter reform. His volatile, drastic actions are leading to major issues affecting companies and everyday users. Perhaps Musk should just leave Twitter in the warlike state it has always been in.