I created my Twitter account around 13 years ago in 2009. That time it was a new wonder on which people used to share small and irrelevant things of their daily life like what they were eating, drinking, thinking or doing at the moment. Tweeting was fun and there was no hidden agenda in doing so. On the whole, it used to be a humorous global social hub full of positive thoughts and sometimes wisdom also.
Gradually it caught the attention of clever players from the fields of politics, business, marketing and criminal activities and they started using it in their own crooked way. Today this platform carries tons of negative thoughts and has become a tool for bullying and harming others. About 25 million people actively use Twitter in India, while around 220 million people around the globe are active on this microblogging social platform.
Political parties and their leaders use Twitter in their own discreet way. Antisocial groups spread lies, fake news and harmful content through this medium. After coming to power, Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave utmost importance to twitter and made it mandatory to have most of the government activities on twitter. It also inspired other political leaders to use twitter.
Now when the world’s richest man, SpaceX founder Elon Musk has bought it for $ 44 billion (appx Rs 3.37 lakh crore), everyone wants to know how its future will be. The deal is done, but legal and regulatory aspects are yet to be reviewed, after which the microblogging platform will go completely under Tesla CEO Musk. Musk thought the existing Twitter management was running the company poorly. He first acquired a 9 percent stake in twitter, then offered to buy the entire company.
Now it is being speculated what kind of changes are on the cards. It is likely that by verifying Twitter’s original account holders, all users will get a blue tick, which is currently considered a symbol of prestige. Till now only a few fields like films, music, politics and media come under the purview of blue tick. Musk thinks that Twitter has a lot of potential, which is yet to be fully tapped. Following Musk’s advice, Twitter had thought of adding a feature to edit tweets, but in the meantime, the entire company went to Musk.
The facility to edit posts is already available on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, whereas Twitter users were still facing the problem of deleting a tweet if there was some mistake in typing. However, the problem with the new feature is that the original tweet will also be present in memory. There will be many more changes in Twitter now.
Musk is an advocate of ‘free speech’ and therefore wants to allow everyone on Twitter to have their say. Such open relaxation can be dangerous in a democratic country like India. By misusing it, trolls and miscreants can spread anarchy in the country by spreading false information. They can edit their tweets by spreading lies, which will be even more dangerous. Musk had said in his previous tweets that users should be aware of which tweet gets promoted and which is left behind. Let’s see what happens next.
Writer is a senior journalist & columnist.