Elon Musk’s offer to take 100% of Twitter, after buying 9.2% about a month ago, has sparked much debate on the Net. The richest man in the world has said he wants to buy the whole thing. microblogging platform to make Twitter a bulwark of freedom of expression. An issue that is extremely topical in the light of Donald Trump’s ban, rather than as a function of the “fake news” spread by no-vax, for example, and raises several questions, as Riccardo Luna rightly points out.
Donald Trump Jr, paradoxically given his father’s ban, has written that “Elon Musk who controls Twitter and allows free speech is literally worse than Pearl Harbor !!!”. And Techdirt founder Mike Masnick believes Musk’s definition of free speech is utter nonsense, and his suggestions for Twitter completely ignore decades of content moderation on social platforms.
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Opinion that seems to be shared by most people, at least according to their statements on social networks. According to the data emerging from our analysis, there were more than 2.7 million online citations (social + online news + blog and forum) by Elon Musk, by about 297 thousand unique authors, whose contents involved (like + reaction + comments and shares) as many as 31.5 million people. A truly important volume of conversations that generated an “opportunity to be seen” of 51.120 million impressions. Potential reach that is reasonably estimated to have generated 2,556 million impressions, of actual exposures, gross of duplications, to content related to one of the most eccentric entrepreneurs, let’s say, on the planet.
Conversations that have a clear prevalence of negative sentiment, of emotions related to the verbalizations of people characterized by negativity towards the hypothesis that Elon Musk can get to control Twitter.
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by Pier Luca Santoro
It is no coincidence that the content that generated the most engagement in this regard is a tweet that reads “I was on Tumblr when Yahoo had to sell it for $ 3 million after buying it for $ 1.1 billion. we were all somewhat responsible for losing Yahoo by a billion dollars. and with that kind of collective effort, I think here on Twitter we can lose even more to Elon Musk ”.
And even the “emoji cloud”, that is the hundred emojis most associated with online conversations relating to Musk, is full of perplexed “smilies”, that laugh or that their brains go up in smoke, rather than cry profusely at the idea that Twitter actually passes. out of hand, as shown by the infographic summarizing the results of our analysis. According to a survey launched on March 25 by Musk, which obtained more than two million responses, 70% believes that Twitter does not adhere to the principle that free speech is essential for a functioning democracy.
The poll on freedom of speech on Twitter was also commented by the collective Anonymous, which in the past has not shown itself tender with Musk: “Do you think that in a functioning democracy Tesla and SpaceX adhere to the principles of freedom of expression also with regard to their employees? “.
But it is evident from the results of our analysis that for the vast majority of people it cannot, and should not, be Elon Musk who decides what exactly the idea of free speech means and what are the limits to be imposed on this sacrosanct principle, in general and specifically with regard to social networks, also because the good of democracies, in this case, is secondary. By criticizing Twitter, Elon Musk is simply pursuing his interests, given that the Securities and Exchange Commission – an agency that oversees the US financial market – has asked a federal judge to ensure that Musk does not break the agreement that provides that the tweets of him are monitored.