Not Just Yet, Donald Trump: Twitter Still Isn’t Ba ck to Normal

The long-awaited Twitter acquisition between its old owners and billionaire Elon Musk was concluded on October 27, 2022. Some right-wing Republicans are thrilled to have Elon Musk as the new owner because of his strong beliefs in users having “freedom of speech” on a private, non-government owned platform. Many people have hinted and even prayed for Musk to grant the return of Donald Trump and his “Twitter fingers” back to the platform to participate in this “freedom of speech” on a wholly private platform.

The acquisition of Twitter began in April of this year when Musk began purchasing shares in the company. He became the company’s largest shareholder at that time when he purchased nine percent of the company’s stock. At that point, Twitter invited Musk to join its board of directors, in which he declined and counter-offered to purchase the company for $43 billion. Fast-forward to today and Twitter’s old owners are now $44 billion richer.

Elon Musk has had a vision for how Twitter should be, at least since he began purchasing large amounts of shares of the company. Musk plans to create new features for its users, to make the Twitter algorithm more open-sourced, rid the platform of spam accounts, and of course, to promote free speech on the platform. Since Musk has become the new owner of Twitter on October 27, use of the “N” Word has rose by nearly 500%; even civil rights groups have had to step in to explain to Musk their concern about the prevalence of hate speech.

As a result of these civil rights groups’ concerns, Musk has pledged not to reinstate previously banned Twitter accounts for the time being – including Donald Trump’s previously banned account. Although Musk did not give an exact time frame on reinstating banned accounts, he did tweet that it would take at least a few weeks for the company to design a new process for reinstating those previously banned accounts. That news, however, has created a frenzy for right-wing Republicans who were looking for Donald Trump’s return to the platform. These right-wing users have accused Musk of being a traitor to their freedom of speech cause, and some have even denounced him and his new ownership of the Twitter platform. Based on Elon Musk’s tweets, it is extremely unlikely that Donald Trump could make a return to Twitter before the midterm elections next week.

Musk’s hesitation to reinstate previously banned Twitter accounts shows the first dilemma he is being faced with as the new owner of Twitter. Although free speech is just about every human’s deepest desire, Musk is learning quickly that “free speech” doesn’t simply allow people to say anything their heart or mind desires – free speech always comes at a high price, and an even bigger price when you’re the owner of one of the most popular social media sites in the world.

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