Musk sets out Twitter mission and sparks debate over content accuracy

Twitter Inc.’s new CEO, Elon Musk, said Sunday the social media platform’s mission is to become the most accurate source of information about the world, sparking debate about how it would achieve that and who determines what exactly is.

A series of drastic measures, including laying off half the staff and charging users, that Musk has taken since he took over Twitter in a $44 billion deal just under a week ago has provided some early clues as to how the platform is being redesigned by the richest person in the world. Some ads have withdrawn spend since the deal was announced, with Musk accusing activist groups of pressuring advertisers amid content moderation concerns.

“Twitter needs to become by far the most accurate source of information about the world. That’s our mission,” Musk said Sunday. His tweet immediately sparked tens of thousands of replies, provoking lively debates about how to accomplish the mission.

“Exactly for who?” asked Twitter founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey. Musk, who also runs electric vehicle company Tesla and rocket company SpaceX, said last month Twitter will form a content moderation council with “very diverse viewpoints.”

The self-proclaimed freedom of speech absolutist said at the time that no major content decisions or account reinstatements would take place until that council convened. Musk also said Sunday that Twitter users who impersonate themselves without clearly stating it as a “spoof” will be permanently banned without warning. He said Twitter previously issued a warning ahead of the suspension, but since Twitter is instituting widespread review, there will be no warning and “no exceptions.”

“This is clearly identified as a condition of signing up for Twitter Blue,” Musk said, and any name change will result in a temporary loss of the verified tick. Twitter updated its app on Apple’s App Store on Saturday to begin charging $8 for coveted blue checkmarks to boost sales.

Perks of the verification service include “half the ads,” the ability to post longer videos on Twitter, and a priority ranking for quality content, Twitter said. But earlier Sunday, the New York Times reported that Twitter is delaying rolling out verification ticks for subscribers to its new service until after Tuesday’s midterm elections.

In a sign of greater confusion following Musk’s takeover, Twitter is now reaching out to dozens of employees who have lost their jobs, asking them to return, Bloomberg News reported on Sunday. Some of those asked to return were inadvertently fired. Others were fired before management realized their work and experience might be necessary to develop the new features Musk envisions, the report said, citing people familiar with the moves.

Twitter did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment on the reinstatement effort.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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