On Tuesday, billionaire Elon Musk announced that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis will declare his presidential campaign on Twitter Spaces, a platform Musk owns. Moderated by former PayPal executive David Sacks, the live, unscripted conversation will be the first of its kind and contain real-time questions and answers. Musk hopes to use the event to revive Twitter’s waning profile in the upcoming election cycles by introducing political personalities and news events.
With Twitter’s declining engagement and advertisers fleeing, Musk has a strong financial motive to elevate the platform. One of Twitter’s most notable figures, former President Donald Trump, utilized Twitter to fuel his presidential bid and eventually his rise to power. However, Musk reinstated Trump’s Twitter account, as well as its check mark and 87 million followers, after he announced his bid for the 2024 presidency, but Trump chose to utilize Truth Social instead, mocking DeSantis’ campaign on Twitter in the process, stating: ‘The only thing less relatable than a niche campaign launch on Twitter, is DeSantis’ after party at the uber elite Four Seasons resort in Miami.’
Many media companies have played a significant role in election cycles, but the increasing prominence of social media companies in politics, with leaders hosting heads of state, such as Mark Zuckerberg interviewing President Obama, is unignorable. Furthermore, presidential campaigns use tweets to court voters and social media pages to reel in donors. There have been accusations that algorithms utilized by companies like Twitter deepen political divides by recommending content rife with misinformation and extremism.
Musk recognizes that social media has assumed an expanding role in political conversations and aims to host interviews with the politicians of different political persuasions. He also wants Twitter to develop into a public town square and become a platform where more organizations make announcements. Since buying Twitter last year, he has swiveled the social media platform to the right, and former Fox News host Tucker Carlson recently announced that he would relaunch his show on Twitter after being fired from the cable network. Musk describes himself as a political moderate, stating that he reluctantly voted for President Joe Biden over Trump in 2020 but has been critical of the Biden administration and has appeared to shift his support to Republicans in recent years.
Musk has met with DeSantis, and the billionaire announced that he would back the governor if he ran for president. Despite embracing some of DeSantis’ attacks, Musk has not formally endorsed a candidate. Rather, he said that his preference is for a president ‘who is representative of the moderate views that most of the country holds.’
Elon Musk announced yesterday that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis will declare his presidential campaign on Twitter Spaces in a live, unscripted conversation. This event comes before an important upcoming election cycle, and Musk hopes that his introduction of politics to the social media platform, which he owns, will distance Twitter from its competitors and assist in the restoration of the platform’s waning profile.
Twitter is currently struggling to keep its users engaged and advertisers from fleeing. Musk recognizes that by introducing political figures and news events, the platform could become more engaging and post earnings once again. Trump, an influential figure on Twitter, used the platform to his advantage during the 2016 presidential election, and his tweets played a significant role in his rise to power. Following the attack on the Capitol and his ban from Twitter, Musk reinstated his account along with its blue check-mark and followers. Despite this, Trump decided to utilize a different platform, Truth Social, instead of Twitter.
Social media companies have assumed an increasingly prominent role in politics, hosting heads-of-state, such as Mark Zuckerberg interviewing President Obama. Presidential campaigns often utilize social media to court voters and reel in donors. However, there have been allegations that the algorithms utilized to boost engagement on social media companies deepen political divides by recommending content that is excessive in misinformation and extremism.
Musk envisions Twitter as a public town square and aims to host interviews with politicians from different political persuasions to expand Twitter’s reach in the political conversation. Since Musk acquired Twitter last year, he shifted the platform to the right, and former Fox News host Tucker Carlson announced he would be relaunching his show on Twitter. Musk calls himself a political moderate, but he appears to have shifted his support to Republicans in recent years despite his reluctance to vote against President Joe Biden in the 2020 elections.
Governor DeSantis is a potential presidential candidate, and Musk announced he would support the governor’s campaign if he chooses to run. However, Musk has not endorsed him formally. He prefers a moderate presidential candidate who reflects the views of the majority of American citizens. It will be intriguing to see the future political developments that occur on Twitter Spaces and the degree to which Twitter proves successful in closing the gap and regaining users and advertisers.
As revealed in an announcement yesterday, Elon Musk, the billionaire owner of Twitter, plans to revitalise the website’s profile ahead of the upcoming election cycle by hosting an unscripted chat between Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and himself. The event, which will be moderated by former PayPal executive David Sacks, will be the first of this kind and will allow direct real-time interaction with the audience, something that Musk predicts will draw more people towards the site.
Twitter’s influence in politics dwindled over the years as social media platforms became more involved in political conversations. Twitter used to be a kingmaker in election cycles, but now the emphasis is on social media. Political parties now use Twitter to reach voters and donors, and heads of state regularly feature on top social media platforms. The downside to this political shift is that extremists use the algorithms that these companies use to spread misinformation and deepen divides in an already polarized country.
Musk’s vision for Twitter is a social colloquium, a virtual public square where people can engage in conversations with different political figures. Moreover, since Musk purchased Twitter last year, he has changed the platform’s tone to the right, and former Fox News host Tucker Carlson intends to relaunch his program on Twitter. Musk believes he is a political moderate but appears to be leaning towards Republican politics in recent times, despite voting for Joe Biden in the previous presidential election.
Governor DeSantis’s decision to declare his presidential campaign via Twitter Spaces is also significant as Musk has previously voiced his support for the governor. The billionaire has met DeSantis before and has hinted that he may endorse his presidential campaign, although he has yet to make an official endorsement to this effect. Musk asserted that his preferred president would be someone representing moderate views that resonate with the masses.
The political conversation on Twitter and other social media platforms has become more pronounced in recent years. With Republicans and Democrats having their views broadcast everywhere, ranging from misinformation to extreme content, political divisions have deepened. Musk wants to use his platform to establish connections across the aisle while introducing people from all backgrounds and ideologies to the political conversation, as he thinks this is what the public wants.
Musk’s plan to promote Twitter and its gradual shift to the right make it an interesting channel for political figures to engage with more conservative audiences. By using Twitter Spaces, politicians will have an opportunity to engage with their followers and can answer listeners’ questions in real-time. Whether Twitter can regain its profile during the upcoming election cycle and become more influential in politics remains to be seen.