TECH NEWS – The tech guru buying Twitter has not been greeted with enthusiasm, especially because Musk promises much more “freedom”, which may mean proliferation of trolls and harassers on the social networking site.
Founded in 2006, Twitter is one of the most influential social networking sites, where you can quickly and briefly let the world know what you think and big announcements from the world of movies and games that fans can react to instantly. It was recently bought up by tech guru billionaire and Tesla and SpaceX frontman Elon Musk, who said he wanted to make the social networking site a better, more accessible place. But this hasn’t gone down well with professionals, including those who manage social media sites in the gaming world.
IGN in the US interviewed several professionals, most of whom asked to remain anonymous, who are the managers of social media sites for game studios and publishers. One of the major concerns of those interviewed is that, according to Elon Musk’s previous statements, it would not be ‘free speech’ but ‘free enterprise’ on Twitter if Musk stuck to his statements, i.e. there is a fear of proliferation of trolls and harassers on the social networking site. This assumption is based on the tech billionaire’s definition of the chirping platform as a “digital town square” and his recent TED talk in which he said he would like to see tweets that have been considered “morally grey” included on the social networking site in the name of „uncensorship”. In other words, Elon Musk would loosen the rules that have been in place on Twitter for 15 years.
“We’ve spent months and years trying to keep our community in check on this platform, so we’re very concerned that in the future, there may be people who would leave [Twitter] out of fear of the growing harassment that ‘free speech’ will bring. The same goes for brands, as it is unclear what the innovations could lead to content moderation and feedback […],” said a social media expert at a North American AAA game development studio. Some have also expressed concern that the Twitter-centric gaming community will be scattered across platforms if people don’t like Musk’s radical changes.
Colin Cummings, the public relations officer at EvolvePR, a PR company for video games, who heads up the Social Media and Community department, told IGN in the US that Twitter has been key to communicating with users and that while it hasn’t been perfect, it could cause a lot of problems and headaches for him and others in his position if Musk digs deeper into the rules and code. And that’s what the billionaire is planning to do, as he has announced plans to introduce new features, make the algorithm open source, crack down on spambots and require authentication for everyone who uses the platform. Cummings says there is no perfect alternative to Twitter yet. Facebook, Instagram and TikTok are very different, with much slower communication because of the image and video-based communication, which requires more editing and tweaking than plain text. Also, rebuilding a community would be a tough and expensive job. In any case, video gaming social networking sites hope that Elon Musk will be sensible when it comes to redesigning Twitter.