Elon Musk, the billionaire owner of Twitter, received an avalanche of pleas and requests from banned account holders and global leaders within hours of launching Twitter into a new era.
Given his commitment in a letter to advertisers Thursday to restore free expression while preventing the platform from becoming a “hell environment,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk now faces a difficult balancing act.
Russia’s state-run RT asked Musk to “unban RT and Sputnik accounts and remove the shadow ban from mine as well?” according to RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan.
After the deal closed on Friday, Musk spoke to Twitter staff about the mounting pressure.
Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev tweeted his congratulations: “Good luck to @elonmusk in overcoming political bias and ideological dictatorship on Twitter. And leave this Starlink business in Ukraine.”
Late Thursday, the self-proclaimed “free speech absolutist” and world’s richest man completed his long-running Twitter purchase.
Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, tweeted, “let the good times roll,” his latest humorous gesture signaling that his $44 billion tumultuous effort to take Twitter private has been successfully completed.
Musk has promised to reduce the use of content filtering that conservatives say discriminates against their viewpoints.
However, some people are concerned that if norms are not established, the “digital town square” could become a dangerous place for democracy and public health.
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The Conservatives’ attempt on Friday to push the envelope drew some sharp reactions, as is typical on Twitter.
“Hey @ElonMusk, now that you own Twitter, will you help fight Trudeau’s online censorship Bill C-11?” asked the organization Canada Proud, which is working to oust Justin Trudeau from power.
Masks, which were widely adopted during the Covid-19 pandemic and have proved controversial in the United States despite scientists recommending their use, were also a popular topic.
“Now that we can tell the truth here, with Elon Musk officially taking over, I’m just going to come out and say it: Masks don’t work,” tweeted @ianmSC.
Another tweeted: “As this platform allows free speech again, I’d just like to say that awesome ranch Doritos are better than nacho cheese.”
(With information from Reuters)