Twitter has made it clear that Elon Musk will not get any “special treatment” on the platform even though he is now Twitter's largest shareholder. Musk is also a board member of Twitter. According to Adrian Zamora, Twitter will maintain its principles of impartiality in the development and enforcement of policies. This suggests that the social media platform is likely to maintain the same community rules against Musk regardless of his position in the company.
Also, Zamora added that it is unlikely that Musk will be directly involved in changing Twitter policies. While board members can give guidance and feedback about the company, they are not directly involved in making any changes to platform policies.
But despite this, the board members are not as toothless as it seems. They can make major decisions that can influence the future of the company. This includes things like approving mergers and even overseeing the business side of the platform. But when it comes to the day-to-day running of Twitter, the board is not allowed to get involved.
Musk became the largest shareholder of Twitter earlier this week after it was revealed that he purchased stock worth around $3 billion. The deal gives Musk a 9.2% stake in Twitter and soon after the news broke, he was invited to sit on the company’s board. Before the purchase was revealed, Musk had expressed concern about the free speech policies at the social media service. He even held a poll asking if Twitter should introduce an edit button or not.
This appeared to suggest that the Tesla CEO would be moving to push for bigger changes on how Twitter is run. However, it seems like things are more complicated than that. Some experts have argued that there is something bigger at play here. While a 9.2% stake may seem like a small number right now, it could be the first move towards a hostile takeover that would see Musk own a controlling interest in the company.
The Tesla CEO is the richest man on the planet and he surely has the financial muscle to pull this off. Nonetheless, even with his 9.2% stake in the company, Musk could still have a bigger say on the future of Twitter. Whether this will translate into greater freedoms on the platforms as far as free speech goes remains to be seen. It is important to note though that the free speech issue is not Musk’s alone.
Twitter, and by extension big tech companies in the US, have been criticized before for censoring opinions they do not agree with. Former President Donald Trump was one of the key critics of big tech and was pushing legislation that would regulate these companies further.
The GOP has also raised the issue of what it calls censoring conservative views on Twitter and other platforms. Although Musk may not be able to make bigger changes on Twitter in the near term, there are growing calls for more regulation in Washington.