Elon Musk’s plan, which we learned about last week, is part of the privatization of the Twitter social network. However, doubts arise as to whether or not it is compatible with a democratic system. A report assures that all the power in the hands of a single person is totally incompatible with a democracy.
3 days ago another bomb went off: Elon Musk made the final offer to buy Twitter saying that the company has extraordinary potential and that he will unlock it. Musk’s offer values Twitter at about $43 billion.
Tesla’s CEO sent an offer letter to the company on Wednesday night, according to the filing. He stated the following: “Since making my investment I have realized that the company will not prosper or serve this social imperative in its current form. Twitter must be transformed into a private company.”
Shoshana Zuboff, retired Harvard Business School professor and author of “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism,” is clear: a new gap is opened in democracy.
Zuboff argues that social media companies like Facebook and Twitter extract as much data as possible about users and then try to maximize their time on the site, since that makes them money.
But the platforms, he argues, are not neutral. By bringing users to the network, they alter not only debates, but also beliefs and even physical actions, encouraging people to do what they might not otherwise do, such as join protests in the real world.
“Putting so much power in the hands of one company is bad enough, but putting it in the hands of one person, as is largely the case with Facebook shareholder Mark Zuckerberg, and as it would be if Twitter were owned by Musk, would be incompatible with the democracy”Zuboff says.
And it is that, if this purchase materializes, It would leave Musk, like Zuckerberg, with a wealth of data about people and the full ability to use it to manipulate and further enrich himself.
However, both companies would have a big difference and that is that, at least, Zuckerberg has a board of directors and the Securities Market Commission to look after the interests of shareholders. A private Twitter owned by Musk would not be required to have even that.
Former Democratic regulators and antitrust advocates have argued that Musk’s offer to buy Twitter underscores the need for Congress to pass legislation to regulate the Internet.
Without rules of the game, without moderation, Twitter seems to become a public square, in which hundreds of millions of people who can interact pseudonymously, will be able to say what they want. This is Musk’s basic idea.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism