Elon Musk has agreed to buy Twitter in exchange for a pledge to minimize restrictions on the platform, prompting concerns about what this means for the “digital town square.”
Human rights organizations are concerned that a lack of moderation may lead to an increase in hate speech.
Many Twitter users are also wondering if this implies that accounts that have been suspended by the company will be reinstated.
Donald Trump was the most high-profile person to be suspended.
Human rights groups expressed alarm over hate speech on Twitter following the announcement of the purchase, as well as the authority it would give Mr Musk, a self-described “free speech absolutist.”
He has been outspoken in his criticism of Twitter’s content moderation rules, stating that the platform must be a true venue for free speech.
He called free expression “the basis of a functioning democracy” in a statement released after the agreement was reached.
“We are worried with any moves that Twitter might take to degrade enforcement of the regulations and systems designed to protect users,” Amnesty International wrote in a Twitter thread.
“The last thing we need is a Twitter that willfully ignores violent and abusive rhetoric directed at users, especially those who are disproportionately harmed, such as women, non-binary people, and others.”
A request for comment on the issues identified by Bazzup was not immediately returned by Twitter.
Will Trump make a comeback?
Last year, following the disturbances at the Capitol building in Washington on January 6, Donald Trump’s account was permanently suspended.
Even if his Twitter ban is lifted, Mr Trump insists he will not return to the platform, preferring instead to utilize his own platform, Truth Social.
Mr Trump told Fox News, “I’m not going on Twitter, I’m going to remain on Truth.”
He went on to say that he believes Mr Musk, whom he described as a “nice man,” will “enhance” the platform.
Mr Trump’s representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the BBC.
Mr Trump may opt to return to the platform if he stands for president in 2024, according to Ming-Chi Kuo, a technology analyst with investment management firm TF International Securities.
“If Twitter is ready to reinstate his account, Twitter is still a better choice for him to have a voice,” Mr Kuo added.
“Building a platform with more clout than Twitter before the next presidential election is difficult.”
Will people stop using Twitter?
Mr Musk expressed his hope that even his harshest detractors will continue to utilize the site “because that is what free speech implies.”
Some Twitter users, on the other hand, have threatened to leave, while others have actually done so.
Jameela Jamil, a British actress best known for her role in the TV show The Good Place, predicted that the site would “become an even more lawless, hostile, xenophobic, prejudiced, sexist zone.”
Ms Jamil informed her one million followers, “I’d like this to be my… final tweet.”
Meanwhile, Caroline Orr Bueno, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Maryland, said she will remain on the site for the time being because she has over 450,000 followers.
“We have no notion what it will look like under Elon Musk’s leadership,” Ms Bueno said.
“What we do know is that if everyone who is decent leaves, things will get a lot worse here a lot faster,” she warned.
Most users will “take a wait-and-see approach,” according to Dan Ives, an analyst at investment company Wedbush Securities, who told the Bazzup.
Mr Ives explained, “Now it’s about attracting new customers and keeping defectors off the platform.”
Uncertainty is on the horizon.
Mr Musk’s $44 billion (£34.5 billion) offer was unanimously accepted by Twitter’s 11-member board.
Jack Dorsey, who co-founded Twitter and remains on its board of directors, expressed his delight that the platform “will continue to serve the public conversation,” despite his belief that “no one should own or govern Twitter.”
In a tweet on Tuesday, Mr. Dorsey stated, “It aspires to be a public good at a protocol level, not a company.”
Most users will “take a wait-and-see approach,” according to Dan Ives, an analyst at investment company Wedbush Securities, who told Bazzup.
Mr Ives stated, “Now it’s about attracting new users and keeping defectors off the platform.”
There will be a period of uncertainty ahead.
Mr Musk’s $44 billion (£34.5 billion) offer was accepted unanimously by Twitter’s 11-member board.
Even while he does not believe “anyone should control or run Twitter,” Jack Dorsey, who co-founded Twitter and still serves on its board, expressed satisfaction that the site “will continue to serve the public conversation.”
Mr. Dorsey stated in a tweet on Tuesday that “it wants to be a public good at a protocol level, not a company.”
“However, when it comes to the difficulty of it being a firm,” Mr Dorsey added, “Elon is the singular solution I trust.” “I have faith in his goal to spread consciousness.”
According to the Reuters news agency, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal also addressed staff at a meeting, when he stated that the company’s future was questionable.
“We don’t know which route the platform will take once the deal complete,” Mr Agrawal reportedly remarked.
Politicians have reacted.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters on Monday that US President Joe Biden “has long been concerned about the power of huge social media platforms,” including Twitter, whoever owns or operates it.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat, called the agreement “destructive for our democracy,” and called for a wealth tax and “tough measures to hold Big Tech accountable.”
Senator Marsha Blackburn, a Republican, hailed the accord as “an optimistic day for freedom of speech.”