Elon Musk Bought Twitter. Now What?

Elon’s “acquisition” of Twitter began on April 14th, 2022 and finished October 27th, 2022. Elon’s goal with buying Twitter was to make it a platform that enabled free speech. That hasn’t happened.

The largest thing that he implemented since buying Twitter was the verification checkmark that could be bought for $8 a month. This verification checkmark, which had previously been given to people that were popular or influential, was now available to anyone who has $8 to spend. This lack of distinction between real influencers and fake ones did not end well.

The biggest scandal was one involving a company based in Indianapolis called Eli Lilly that sells insulin. In the US, insulin is extremely expensive, but something that diabetic people need in order to survive. The false tweet was, “We are excited to announce insulin is free now.” The reason it was believable was because of the blue checkmark next to the name, making it seem like it was from the company itself. As a result, the stock price of Eli Lilly plummeted, causing them to lose lots of money. Not only did this raise awareness about the cost of insulin and show how insulin companies overprice necessary goods, but also shows the flaws in the new version of Twitter created by Elon Musk. 

One effect of Elon’s purchasing of Twitter is that it is now no longer a public company in which people are allowed to buy shares of, and on November 8th, Twitter was officially delisted as a stock available for purchasing on the New York Stock Exchange. There were also several changes in the employees and staff of Twitter after Elons purchase. This includes several employees with higher positions of leadership in the company getting fired by Elon once he had bought the company. With his new name as CEO, Elon plans to install a content moderation council. This council will be in charge of determining who becomes banned on the platform; a similar council had already been installed before his purchasing, but he claims that this council will be different from the previous one as this council will be a “Supreme Court” compared to the last council in place for Twitter. Let’s see if this goes any better than the Eli Lilly scandal.

Musk’s intentions of making it a website for free speech and for people to share their opinion was good, but turned into a very bad landscape, an online free-for-all. Advertisers, fearing the possible hate speech that would come along with the unmoderated website, pulled their advertisements from the Twitter, essentially costing Musk millions of dollars in revenue due to his aims at free speech.

It was a good idea, it just had a very, very unexpected (and by unexpected, I mean bad) outcome. In the business world, intentions don’t matter. It is the outcome that counts.