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Seven Changes by Elon Musk since Twitter Takeover

The acquisition of social media microblogging site, Twitter, by business magnate and the world’s richest man, Elon Musk began on April 14, 2022, and was concluded…

The acquisition of social media microblogging site, Twitter, by business magnate and the world’s richest man, Elon Musk began on April 14, 2022, and was concluded on October 27, 2022, after months of back and forth, lawsuits and verbal mudslinging.

Since the purchase of the social media company, Elon Musk’s approach to managing it has been described by many users as ‘unusual’.

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Daily Trust highlights some of the changes he has made so far as well as others Musk is considering.

Monetization of verification

Accounts of public interest on Twitter, as well as of individuals who have been recognized by the platform carry a blue tick next to their name, confirming that they are who they say they are, but Musk has signalled that he is about to charge users some token for that privilege.

More than 230 million people tweet daily and about 420,000 of them have the blue tick next to their name.

Musk recently indicated that verification will cost $8 a month – a review of an earlier $20 – as part of an overhaul of the platform’s premium service, Twitter Blue.

He tweeted: “Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue check-mark is bullshit. Power to the people! Blue for $8/month.”

In another tweet on Sunday, Musk emphasized that “Widespread verification will democratize journalism & empower the voice of the people.”

Suspension of parody accounts

Musk has said Twitter accounts engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying they are a parody will be permanently suspended.

Twitter had previously issued a warning before suspending accounts, but there would now be no warning, he announced.

“Going forward, any Twitter handles engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying “parody” will be permanently suspended,” he tweeted on Sunday.

Long texts

Twitter will also soon include a feature allowing users to add long-form text to their tweets, as Musk announced on Saturday.

Musk didn’t say when the functionality would arrive, but promised it would end the “absurdity of notepad screenshots.”

“Twitter will soon add the ability to attach long-form text to tweets, ending the absurdity of notepad screenshots,” he wrote.

He added that the company also plans to work on additional tools for creator monetization and enhancements to the platform’s search functionality.

“Search within Twitter reminds me of Infoseek in ’98! That will also get a lot better pronto,” he wrote.

Content moderation, account reinstatement plans

Musk has promised there will be no changes to content policies, or reinstatement of banned accounts such as Donald Trump’s until a newly announced content moderation council is convened.

He has said it will take at least “a few more weeks” for a new process overseeing account reinstatement to be put in place.

Musk said, “Twitter will be forming a content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints. No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes.”

Different tiers of Twitter

Musk has floated the idea of splitting Twitter into different strands of content. He suggested that users will be able to select which version of Twitter they want, in the style of choosing a film based on its content rating.

He also backed a user’s suggestion that the service splits into different video game-style modes, including a “player versus player” version, where verified accounts can hold Twitter spats.

A user could assign a rating to their posts, which would then be modified by “user feedback.”

Charging for video content

Musk is also reportedly considering charging for video content on Twitter. The feature would involve letting people post videos and charging users to see them, with Twitter taking a cut.

However, the plan has been flagged internally as high-risk, according to the Washington Post, which cited a memo flagging “copyrighted content, creator/user trust issues, and legal compliance.”

Placating advertisers

Given that ads account for 90% of the company’s revenue, the Tesla CEO needs to keep them onside while he tries to boost income via other initiatives.

To that end, he sent a message to advertisers as the takeover was being finalized, saying he would not let the site become a hotbed of hate speech.

“Twitter obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences,” he said.