How to solve the Musk problem

Since taking control of Twitter, Elon Musk has turned the platform on its ears

If you own a Twitter account, you no doubt know that Elon Musk has taken over control of the social media company this past fall. 

Musk, a billionaire and founder of electric car company Tesla, has chief executive officer experience in a wide variety of companies (many of which failed) and is known online for his troll-like tendencies. His arrival at Twitter led to mass exodus from the company’s workers as Musk initiated layoffs of over half the company’s staff. Even if you do not know about the takeover, the odds are you have encountered some type of media involving the event. Twitter users were worried, myself among them, that Musk, an outspoken conservative and “free speech” abolitionist, would ruin the bird app. And, well, it is not looking good. 

The “free speech” that Musk so loves is not even present in the new social media platform. It has become clear that Musk’s definition of free speech is that any speech he likes can be allowed, any that he does not is free to be removed. This is shown through the accounts Musk has banned from the app, including one that legally tracks his private jet movements. In this case, some may argue that Musk was doing it for his own safety, and such things should be implemented across all of Twitter. That point would be valid if Musk did not make a post trying to identify a man using his license plate number on Twitter hours after banning the jet-tracking account. 

In more recent times, Musk has banned half a dozen journalists from Twitter, all of whom were outspoken reporters on Musk’s failing as a CEO. “Free Speech” my butt. 

How can this be stopped? How can social media, which is without a doubt an essential service in today’s society, be kept safe from insecure billionaires with an agenda? The answer is government ownership. 

I know what you are thinking. Does this not allow for the government to push its own agendas? Will this not give too much power to an entity that already controls taxes and an army worth trillions of dollars?

Maybe. But, let me pose this question: would you rather have officials publicly elected in charge of Twitter or an insecure billionaire? I would take the government every time. It would provide more consistency and overall improve social media platforms. 

The government should impose regulations not on social media itself but the companies that operate them. They should have a clearly defined version of hate speech and set clear rules for what is allowed on each individual site. I think someone with the public’s best interest in mind should make all the decisions about the most important communication service for the public. The internet is very similar to roads, or even electricity, in its importance. It should be regulated by the government and standards should be set to ensure social media remains as important a tool as it has been and keep it from becoming the dangerous weapon it could be.