Nothing beats getting to witness internet history by just showing up.
Twitter user June Findlay, reflecting on Elon Musk's pending takeover
On Twitter, you’re never supposed to be the main character of the day. It seems Elon Musk either never got or completely disregarded that message. On Monday, the announcement of Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of Twitter made him the main character of the week. While Musk’s ownership of Twitter isn’t 100% final yet, the potential regime change has many women of color on the app debating if it’s worth sticking around any longer.
There’s a lot to hate about Twitter already. As a Black Muslim woman with a relative level of visibility, I’ve dealt with the harassment that shapes the experiences of many women on the platform. Following Donald Trump’s presidency and the 2020 elections, there has been increased discussion about Twitter’s proliferation of dis- and misinformation.
Musk isn’t a person I would count on to solve any of that.
When filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission for his initial bid to buy the site, Musk stated, “I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy.” He added that Twitter “will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form. Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company.”
So what exactly does that mean for Twitter’s future under Musk? Who knows. He’s talked about wanting to improve Twitter by “making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans.” But as Vox outlined, Musk’s plans have a lot of contradictions. And when it comes to free speech, Musk’s record has been questionable at best.
No matter how much there is to hate about Twitter, the app has been incredibly useful for many women of color. As concerns surrounding Musk’s potential control of Twitter grows, Mic spoke to four women of color about their future on the social media giant. (Responses have been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.)