Is the Blue Bird Actually Free?
Al Arabiya, Saudi Arabia, October 27
As soon as the Twitter deal – which nearly collapsed more than once – was completed by Elon Musk last week, Musk posted a picture of an open cage and a freed bird and announced that “the bird is freed.” Musk, the billionaire businessman behind Tesla, Starlink, and SpaceX, claimed that the world of social media, of which Twitter is one of the largest platforms, has become free of restrictions and limited speech. In 2021, Musk was named the king of Twitter. Some of his tweets caused an impact on the financial markets, while others sparked controversies. After Twitter’s founder Jack Dorsey stepped down from the company, the role was taken over by Parag Agrawal, who served as the company’s chief technology officer. With Musk stepping in and firing Agrawal, alongside other senior company leaders, the inevitable question now arises: Who will make sure that Twitter doesn’t become a leading source of misinformation that matches its newly minted owner’s whims? Some wonder whether there is actually a need for a restructuring of social media platforms in a way that is more suitable for the era we live in. Will the blue bird benefit users without paving the way for new controversies? The prevailing public opinion today revolves around the demands for technical modifications to Twitter, such as the tweet edit button, and more and more attention to fake accounts and electronic “armies,” which will require the establishment of a “Twitter police.” The richest man in the world acquired a social media platform and transformed it from a public company beholden to its shareholders to a private company whose owners spark controversy at all levels. Elon Musk carries with him the banner of saving humanity at a time when many people portray his ultimate goal as political ambition. One of the first repercussions of the acquisition is the announcement by former US President Donald Trump of the upcoming revival of his Twitter account, which was permanently banned following the January 6 events on Capitol Hill. There is no doubt that with Musk’s new role, he will become critically important to politicians in the United States and around the world. Musk now has the power and strength that these individuals need, and they will begin courting him to win over his affection. – Nadine Khammash (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)