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Elon Musk, the Tesla and SpaceX chief, has now taken over Twitter.
The move has been plagued by scandal since it was first announced in April, with Mr Musk vocal about the buyout before trying to renege on the US$44bn purchase.
Mr Musk has made numerous wild claims over the past few months about his intentions for both the company and the app – many of which might push people to want to delete Twitter.
“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated”, Mr Musk said in his announcement.
“I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans.”
Mr Musk has suggested that Twitter could have an in-built YouTube competitor, while on its way to becoming a ‘Super App’ akin to WeChat in China that clumps together various features like payments, photo sharing, posting, and more under one app.
Whether Mr Musk, infamously unpredictable in his business decisions, is either willing or able to implement these changes remains to be seen, but it is possible it could completely change the vibe of the app.
Experts have also suggested that his ideas behind content moderation are infeasible, and Mr Musk himself has made wild decisions for his other companies that does not suggest stability. Mr Musk, in 2018, suggested a “site where the public can rate the core truth of any article” called Pravda; it did not come to fruition.
A more concrete business decision Mr Musk has reportedly considered is gutting Twitter. Reports indicate he would cut staff by up to 75 per cent, potentially crippling its moderation and curation teams and, if so, could have a significant effect on the ability of the company to prune unwanted material on the site – something Mr Musk has also complained about regarding spam and crypto bots.
Others may also want to remove their Twitter account to avoid giving Mr Musk more money, power, and influence – in the same way people deleted their Facebook accounts as a backlash against the influence of Meta and ‘surveillance capitalism’. Mr Musk recently made waves geopolitically by suggesting Ukraine permanently cede Crimea to Russia, something which earned the ire of President Volodymyr Zelensky and other former Ukrainian diplomats.
For those who wish to do so, the process to removing their Twitter account is relatively straightforward – but does not happen immediately. The first step is deactivation. Users should navigate to “settings and privacy”, either via the left-hand swipe menu on iOS and Android or under the ‘more’ tab on desktop.
Following that, users should head to “account” and, in that menu, scroll to the bottom and select “deactivate your account.”
Twitter will then ask users to confirm their password and, following a grace period of between one month and a year, the account will be deleted. This includes all tweets and other content, although Twitter does warn that search engines such as Google or Bing may have cached some posts, leaving them relatively visible. (Independent)