The amount of data Elon Musk would have access to if he privatized Twitter ‘cannot be compared to anything that has ever existed’: report

Elon Musk gestures as he speaks during a press conference at SpaceX's Starbase facility near Boca Chica Village in South Texa

Musk acquired a 9.2% stake in Twitter.Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

  • Researcher Shoshana Zuboff told The Washington Post that one person controlling Twitter would be “incompatible with democracy.”

  • Unregulated data collection about user behavior means the social media industry holds incredible sway over real-world events.

  • “This is a disaster, and it’s not only about Elon Musk, but he kind of puts it on steroids,” she said.

Elon Musk’s plans to privatize Twitter have spurred concern among privacy experts and social media researchers, including one former Harvard professor who told The Washington Post that having one person in control of the social platform “is a disaster” for user privacy.

The former professor and author of “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism,” Shoshana Zuboff, said huge ad revenues and unregulated data collection about user behavior have changed the social media industry, which now holds incredible sway over real-world events.

Because content on social media platforms can influence public opinion and lead to changed behaviors, she said, the people in control of the sites hold a tremendous amount of power.

Putting that power in the hands of a single person, she said, would be “incompatible with democracy.”

“There are simply no checks and balances from any internal or external force,” Zuboff told The Washington Post.

Should Musk take ownership of Twitter, the Tesla CEO would have near-complete control over an amount of user data “that cannot be compared to anything that has ever existed, and allows intervention into the integrity of individual behavior and also the integrity of collective behavior ,” Zuboff said.

“This is a disaster, and it’s not only about Elon Musk, but he kind of puts it on steroids,” Zuboff told The Washington Post.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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