Sports media has used Twitter as a tool for years, and as Elon Musk assumes control of the company, his impact on the social media platform certainly bears wondering.
During his Monday episode of The Right Time, ESPN’s Bomani Jones discussed what Musk running Twitter could mean for tweeters. And while many expect Musk to quickly alter Twitter’s censorship policy to allow for more free speech, Jones also wonders how much more free the speech on Twitter can get.
“I don’t notice too many speech limits on the platform as it is,” Jones said around the 41-minute mark of the above podcast. “That was the part that I saw there. I was like, ‘oh wow people can’t do that?’ That’s wild. My mentions don’t necessarily indicate such things.”
Jones also questioned Musk’s motivation for purchasing Twitter. Considering the price Musk paid and Twitter’s inability to monetize itself despite benefiting from free content creation, Jones believes it highlights ideology as purchase motivation.
“One thing Twitter ain’t never been good at is making money. And he paid a price that was way higher than anybody else would pay, which is to say it’s hard not to think that the reasons he’s doing this are about ideology,” Jones said. “This is such bad business that you can only assume that the motives are ulterior in why it is that he wants to do this.”
In addition to loosening content moderation, conservatives have urged Musk to reinstate Donald Trump, while advertisers will threaten to pull their money if he does allow previously banned accounts back on Twitter. Advertising has been the lead source of income for Twitter, which could drive Musk to find ways of charging users.
“In the end I think it’s the users that are gonna have to come around and make a decision,” Jones said. “Like if the conditions of Twitter for you are intolerable, do you have to be there? Like, what are you getting from it?”
“It’s going to be terrible with Elon Musk being there, but we’re not entitled to Twitter,” Jones continued. “We’re not owed to Twitter. We just might have to let it go.”
Despite the change in ownership, it’s hard to imagine the sports media industry “letting go” and operating without Twitter. Newsbreakers would actually be forced to break news on the outlets and platforms that pay them to break news instead of providing that content free to Twitter.