Elon Musk Acquires Twitter

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Viviana Pena

Since Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, he has talked about the changes that he will do to the platform. One of these changes will be to authenticate every Twitter profile. 

Musk’s biggest pet peeve about Twitter is the excess of spam account, especially those conducting scams. In the summer of 2020, Musk was a victim to these scams when his account got hacked and promoted scam cryptocurrency. Musk was not the only victim as former president of the United States Barack Obama and Kanye West also fell victim to this. 

There are a few possibilities in which musk might seek out to authenticate all humans on the platform. This could become an issue with accessibility, people wanting to join Twitter with new changes, or a privacy issue. 

One of those possibilities is the requirement to show real names on each account. The privacy issue is particularly worrisome to human rights groups, said Natalia Krapiva, an attorney at the digital rights group Access Now, “especially for people in countries like Russia and others where individuals get severely persecuted for criticizing the government or covering important political events like the protests, corruption, or the war in Ukraine.” 

Even a real-names policy could prove challenging. Facebook has some experience with this as they were forced to make changes to its names policy in 2015 after critics pointed out that abuse victims and other vulnerable groups had good reasons to use pseudonyms. The changes at Facebook raised the bar for reporting a fake name and allowed users to provide reasons to the company why they avoid using their real names.

As of right now, many believe he means things like CAPTCHAs, even if they do not catch every bot.