Personal Growth

Twitter loves Musk however dreads a Musk takeover, analysis finds

Twitter’s board has agreed to promote the corporate to Elon Musk, who will take it personal. The deal was introduced simply hours after researchers at Tuft University revealed that Twitter customers might not share in Musk’s enthusiasm for a Musk-owned Twitter.

A sentiment evaluation of 4.5 million tweets reveals that whereas Twitter customers very a lot loved Elon Musk’s tweets criticizing the social media platform, their pleasure turned to disappointment and anger when the multibillionaire tweeted his intention to purchase the social community.

The researchers analyzed tweets from individuals in 5 nations—the U.S., U.Okay., India, South Africa, and Nigeria—because the Musk/Twitter drama unfolded in March and April.

Tufts’ Bhaskar Chakravorti, who led the analysis, says the easiest way to have a look at the outcomes is by specializing in three days—the day Musk started questioning Twitter’s dedication to free speech on Twitter (March 25), the day Musk introduced he owned greater than 9% of Twitter shares (April 4), and the day when Musk introduced his $43 billion bid to purchase the corporate and take it personal (April 14).

Chakravorti, who’s dean of worldwide enterprise at Tufts’ Fletcher School, factors out that the largest sentiment expressed in tweets concerning the first two occasions was “joy” (see the blue-green line within the chart). And whereas a major variety of Twitter customers expressed “joy” when Musk introduced his supply, a far larger quantity tweeted sentiments of “sadness” and “anger” (the blue and purple strains, respectively.)

The April 14 spike in adverse sentiment could also be echoed once more at present with the information that Twitter has accepted Musk’s supply. (Fast Company will replace the story if and when that evaluation turns into obtainable.)

It’s impossible that the Twitter board thought-about the Tufts evaluation when evaluating Musk’s bid. It is feasible that it performed its personal evaluation.

The board has a fiduciary accountability to shareholders to answer a great supply, Chakravorti stated earlier than Monday’s announcement, but it surely additionally has a accountability to the Twitter neighborhood.

Its final choice might mirror the stability it seeks to strike “between free speech and respectable speech on the platform,” as Chakravorti put it.

Musk is a libertarian who characterizes Twitter as a “town square” and believes that individuals ought to, for essentially the most half, be capable to say something they need there. Critics of the deal worry that this place will solely result in extra poisonous content material on the platform. It may additionally result in a content-moderation regime dictated by fewer individuals and with much less public transparency.

“This is a raw expression of where Twitter draws the line,” Chakravorti stated of Twitter’s choice. “Should we hand over control to one single, admittedly talented, individual, or should we have open scrutiny and moderation?”

The Tufts sentiment evaluation means that Twitter neighborhood has severe doubts about how a non-public, Musk-controlled Twitter may evolve. “I think they would rather have a transparent, publicly traded platform than a privately held company run by one person who has been a bit erratic on the platform,” Chakravorti stated.

It’s additionally attainable that the Twitter board might have connected speech and content material moderation situations to the deal.

Twitter customers can anticipate to see modifications to the type of content material they see of their feeds. They might acquire the flexibility to edit their tweets after they’re reside.

It might take some time, however the tenor of the discourse on issues resembling well being and politics on Twitter will change, too. Whether that makes Twitter extra, or much less, pleasant to democratic values stays to be seen.



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