Elon Musk Is Changing Twitter

Elon Musk officially bought Twitter on October 27 for $44 billion.


Image by Photo Mix from Pixabay

Elon Musk officially bought Twitter on October 27, 2022 for $44 billion. The long process began April 4, when Musk was revealed as Twitter’s largest shareholder. He refused to join the board of directors and instead offered to buy out the other shareholders and make Twitter private.

The board accepted his offer, but Musk began to back out. By July 8, he had announced he would be undoing the purchase. He claimed Twitter had too many spam accounts that fudged their statistics. Twitter threatened to fight back immediately. They launched an official lawsuit on July 12. On October 4, Musk agreed to go on with the purchase after the threat of a lawsuit. 

This purchase has created a huge debate. Some view it as a genius career move for Elon Musk. The next step in his list of goals for creating “X”, the app for everything. Clark, economics teacher at Edgewood, is excited to see what Musk does with Twitter.

“I was grateful that someone was going to take over this public square where we discuss issues. I like a level playing field,” he said.


Others see it as a big mistake for Musk and Twitter. They worry about the platform’s future. Lily Penny was an avid Twitter user for years.

“When I heard he purchased [Twitter], I knew it wasn’t [going to] end well,” stated Penny.

What Happened to the Company

Musk’s takeover began a few days before he officially bought Twitter. He made several tweets about what he wanted to do: reduce the amount of workers, create stricter guidelines, and require longer days. He planned to cut the workforce by over 75%. He has already fired a large portion of Twitter workers to reduce costs. He also removed many perks for Twitter employees, like working from home or having catered meals.

“Elon Musk” by jdlasica is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Many Twitter workers are distraught with the sudden change. Some employees jumped ship before Musk began making changes. Those left are fearing their future prospects at the company. Many are already out of a job. Several employees were fired for arguing with Musk on Twitter. A few hundred were fired to reduce labor costs. Many team leaders were fired so Musk could replace them with his own choice for the job.

Elon Musk has already stated his interest in finding a new CEO, as his workload has been extreme. Some view his excessive workload as karma, since he previously ordered Twitter workers to work “long hours at high intensity” on his Twitter account. Others see it as what is necessary to be as successful as he is. Clark feels Musk has been majorly improving the efficiency of Twitter.

“He’s a visionary. Look what he’s done. He fired 90% of the workers because they were all just sitting there eating lunches and deciding who to ban…These workers at Twitter, it looked like they had a day at the spa. Lattes, lunches,” he said.

Along with this overturn of workers, many advertisers have decided to leave Twitter. They are no longer going to pay Twitter to host ads for their product, which created a major loss of revenue. Ford, General Mills, Pfizer, Audi, and more, have all stated they are currently not purchasing ad space on Twitter.

“Twitter” by chriscorneschi is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

What Happened to the Platform

With all of Musk’s business moves, Twitter has seen some major overhauls, problems, and attention.

The first major change Musk implemented was Twitter Blue. Users could pay $8 to have a blue check mark next to their name. Twitter used to have a verification process that also provided a blue checkmark. The old system tried to verify official accounts, like those of famous politicians or celebrities. The original intention was to reduce the amount of parody accounts and digital identity theft. He removed the old platform to introduce Twitter Blue, which requires no verification that the user is who they are claiming to be, nor that they are a real person.

The application of this system did not run as smoothly as Musk was hoping. Many users changed their account names to parodies of Elon Musk, SpaceX, Tesla, and other major people or companies. These users began to unleash hundreds of tweets lying about business moves, detailing false information, or condemning the party they were parodying. These tweets had real consequences, as some users saw the tweets and believed them to be from the actual account. Penny was on Twitter in the middle of these changes and was very confused at first.

“I definitely saw a lot of false updates from “verified” users, but then the information they gave was totally false. I found out people were paying to be verified and impersonating people,” said Penny.

Musk tried to block this by stopping Twitter Blue accounts from changing their names, and then by forcing parody accounts to label themselves as such. Ultimately, he brought back Twitter’s original verification status and created a new checkmark. Now, Official users have a gray check mark next to their name, and Blue users have a blue checkmark. Only “official” accounts have been verified by Twitter.

For weeks, Elon Musk has been arguing that Twitter does not promote free speech. He framed his acquisition as a chance for Twitter to become a true safe space for everyone, so they could say whatever they wanted. He detailed how he would remove bans from certain users that he believed were unjustly banned. This led to a legion of users requesting an individual appeal to Musk. From Kanye West to Kathy Griffin, he reinstated many notable figures’ accounts. He then went on to ban just as many accounts. He reinstated Kanye West’s ban after West tweeted anti-Semitic beliefs. He also banned several smaller users that were trying to troll him by deliberately posting embarrassing or offensive tweets targeted at Musk.

“Elon Musk unveiling Neuralink” by jurvetson is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

The Future

The future of Twitter is in the hands of Elon Musk. Many of Musk’s moves have been unpredictable, so these next steps will be hard to figure out. Even his end goal is unclear to us, whether he wants to incorporate Twitter into his own app or he wants to deplete its popularity so his own can take over.

Elon Musk has had a rocky start in this purchase of Twitter. It was clear that he wanted to back out of it initially, but whether he changes his mind or got stuck in a bad position is hard to tell. He removed catered food from the workplace, but then brought it back after his workers spent too much time leaving the office to get food. He placed beds all across Twitter headquarters to encourage employees to sleep at Twitter and work long nights. He implemented a verification system and then undid it after users abused the system to get back at him. He wanted to make Twitter a place for free speech, and then banned several accounts. While it is normal for companies to experience difficulty when changing their leadership, Twitter’s end game is still up in the air. Some users are getting ready to leave the platform entirely.

“I will eventually delete the app and delete my account. I am going to be way more cautious of Twitter,” said Penny.

Others are just waiting for the dust to settle. They do not necessarily like what is going on at he moment, but they have hope that soon in the future the app will not be so hectic.

“Whenever he says he’s going to do something, he gets it done. I think he has a plan,” said Clark.