After the news broke on Monday that Elon Musk bought a multibillion-dollar stake in Twitter, becoming the social media platform’s biggest shareholder, the world’s richest man had a little fun by trolling those who run the company.
The Tesla CEO purchased 73,486,938 shares, which were valued at $2.89 billion as of Friday’s closing. Prior to this being reported, Musk suggested in a tweet that Twitter, which he characterized as “the de facto public town square,” was failing to adhere to free speech principles and in doing so, undermines democracy. The most notorious example of which involves Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop, as Twitter would temporarily suspend the New York Post’s account in the critical days leading up to the 2020 election after breaking the news, and suppress the story on the platform.
On Monday, he polled followers with a question about an edit button — cleverly misspelling “yes” in the choices available.
Do you want an edit button?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 5, 2022
Not only does Twitter not allow users to edit tweets after publishing, the company seems to take pride in this fact and even appeared to mock users on April Fool’s day — which may or may not tip their hand on how the company really feels about the great unwashed masses that use their platform:
we are working on an edit button
— Twitter (@Twitter) April 1, 2022
Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said in 2020 that the company would “probably never” implement an edit feature, and when asked if the April 1 tweet above was a joke, the company said in a statement, “We cannot confirm or deny but we may edit our statement later.”
For the record, as of this writing, more than 2.5 million people responded to Musk’s poll with 73.4% answering “yse,” while 26.6% say no.
Interestingly, Parag Agrawal, the current CEO of Twitter, responded to Musk’s tweet: “The consequences of this poll will be important. Please vote carefully.”
The consequences of this poll will be important. Please vote carefully. https://t.co/UDJIvznALB
— Parag Agrawal (@paraga) April 5, 2022
Here’s a quick sampling of other responses to Musk’s edit feature tease:
I want Trump, @dcdraino, @carpedonktum, @projectveritas, and Megan Murphy back on the platform… & @TuckerCarlson & @charliekirk11 & @TheBabylonBee and many other voices who were arbitrarily silenced. And an end to shadowbanning and hate-bots. For starters! #backbypopulardemand! https://t.co/MlmpJ9xxzI
— Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban) April 5, 2022
He’s gone mad with power. https://t.co/vUWMO0qqE5
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) April 5, 2022
Yes, but it should have a 5min “shot clock.”https://t.co/VnD2SEQ7Fk
— Adam Baldwin (@AdamBaldwin) April 5, 2022
No. We need a platform on which we can speak freely without fear of banishment, and push the envelope on both big and small ideas. https://t.co/e1KFGWb46O
— Jordan Schachtel @ dossier.substack.com (@JordanSchachtel) April 5, 2022
Someone in charge of Twitter just asked us what we want.
US. The USERS.
— An Angry Empath (@empath_angry) April 5, 2022
We need a platform where we are allowed to speak freely without fear of political censorship. The edit button is unnecessary.
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) April 5, 2022
We solved this on Facebook a long time ago. You just include an indicator that it has been edited along with a change log. If you are really worried about embeds they can point to a specific revision in that history but with a link to the latest edit. Not a real issue.
— Boz (@boztank) April 5, 2022
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