Why should we care what happens to Twitter?
Three Harvard Kennedy School faculty members who monitor the media landscape argue that Twitter remains such an outsized player that it would be perilous to ignore the current turmoil gripping the social media platform since it was bought by billionaire Elon Musk. Professor Nancy Gibbs, director of the School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, joined Senior Lecturer Juliette Kayyem and Shorenstein research director Joan Donovan in reflecting on the consequences of the ownership change and subsequent chaos. Gibbs noted that Twitter is still a critical tool for journalists, especially for local reporters; she said the disruption there could provide an opening for new competitors. Kayyem said the verification process at Twitter—recently upended by the new owner—attempted to limit harm by helping people judge the veracity of information. Without it, she said, the fear is that fake accounts will magnify false information. Donovan said Musk had quickly dismantled a decade’s work of Twitter’s efforts to build up engineering teams for content moderation and curation.