The Twitter Scandal

Courtesy of Microsoft Apps

Recently there has been quite a lot of drama surrounding the application of Twitter. This is because it was sold to Elon Musk who has made decisions relating to the app that are questionable. We have asked students in Apopka High School what they think of these decisions and whether they have noticed any change.


First we asked Jesus Acuña, a Junior at Apopka High School about whether he’s seen any changes in the app since Musk’s ownership. “ Yes, since Elon Musk started implementing change in Twitter, I have been feeling like the number of people violating the community guidelines has increased. Lately, I have been finding more bullying and offensive content inside the app.” When people get more liberty to break rules and guidelines, naturally more offensive comments would appear. Many contemplate leaving the app for good because they are not happy with its developments, “At this moment I don’t think that the changes made by Elon Musk impact my experience to the point where I feel like quitting. But if Elon Musk keeps making decisions based on his political point of view I could change my mind and quit the app.” Musk is balancing on a tightrope with Twitter, because it seems like many people are thinking the same thing. One of the leading reasons is because of the decision made by Musk to reverse Donald Trump’s ban from the app, “I believe that Donald Trump was properly banned because of his tweets inciting the tragedy of January 6. I feel like Elon Musk’s political biases are interfering with the good function of the app and it’s not going to result in something positive.” Trump does have the ability to sway the people, and Twitter’s guidelines are apparently more lenient.


Courtesy of SkyNews

We got some input with Mr. Houvouras, a teacher at Apopka High School, who is known for using Twitter as his educational app instead of Canvas. Many students have the app for this reason, “I put announcements and reminders on Twitter. I also put threads of notes and images so students can easily scroll through a lesson. Students also have opportunities to respond to questions and prompts.” This seems to be better than Canvas, but the arrival of Musk’s changes have been apparent for Mr. Houvouras. “Despite my algorithms, I see a lot more ignorant tweets from people whose opinions are trash and I do not value. I didn’t see tweets from Person X before Musk made his changes; why am I seeing them now?” With the lenient guidelines it’s easier for students to get into trouble on the platform, despite Mr. Houvouras careful supervision. Like Jesus, Mr. Houvouras is also contemplating leaving the app. “I am giving serious consideration to getting off Twitter. Elon Musk is greedy and a huge liar, so abandoning Twitter might be the [right] move.” I also asked Mr. Houvouras on his opinion on Trump’s revised ban status, “30,000 documented lies in four years is reason enough to ban anyone from writing or speaking in a particular space. Let [Trump] speak on his own failing platform.” Bold statement that many also agree with.


Next we interviewed Andres Palmar, a Senior at Apopka High School on some of his opinions on Twitter. Many use

Courtesy of TechCrunch

Twitter for different reasons, “I normally use Twitter as a way to access general information about something. For example, I’ve been keeping up to date with the World Cup on Twitter,” he said. Information is one of the key reasons why people use Twitter. Another major thing that happened in Twitter was that Musk fired multiple members of the company for not being ok to work inhuman hours. “ I think it’s a little crazy that all of those people could just be laid off because of a company change. Although I can’t really add more because I don’t know much more about it.” Lastly, I asked Andres about his opinion on the changes to the app: “Overall, I think the changes in Twitter are positive at the end of the day. Twitter had become a very biased app and [the] executives there were having way too much power than what they should have been allowed to have.” This is a fair point because, the executives in charge before had a great deal of power and sway inside the company and app and that changed now.


Courtesy of FIFA

On the other side of the spectrum is Maria Bonilla, a Senior at Apopka High School. When asked about her opinion on Musk she answered, “I think Elon Musk has too much money. The fact that he was just able to buy an app as big as Twitter is wild. He should be taxed more.” Of course we asked about her common usage of the app, and she responded, “I normally use Twitter to see current events and recently to watch and read about the World Cup. I also use it for homework in my AP Art History class.” She is also a student of Mr. Houvouras and that class is the original reason she downloaded the app in the first place. Another continuity is the usage of Twitter to stay informed on the world wide obsession of the World Cup, the international soccer tournament that takes place every four years. Many don’t use Twitter in a way that can be impacted very much by change in ownership, and this seems to be the case for Maria. “I personally don’t really have much of an opinion about the changes in Twitter. I haven’t seen a really big change in the app itself, mostly just the people talking about it.” Many of the changes can be blown up by word of mouth or in certain cases the press as well.


The last of our interviewees is Andrea Aguilar, a Sophomore at Apopka High School. She, like most others, has not seen any major changes in the app, “I haven’t really seen many changes in Twitter since Elon Musk’s ownership because I don’t use it that often.” When you use an app casually or don’t use it often, changes to the app won’t really affect you. Most people use it for information, but the information Andrea tunes in for is a little different. “I like watching a lot of celebrity drama because they do the most illogical things ever, with absolutely no shame at all. You can [typically] find that on Twitter.” With the lenient guidelines it must be a bloodbath and a great source of entertainment. Apps with entertainment have For You pages which Andrea learned about when first being introduced to Twitter, “When I first downloaded it I heard from a friend that before you get anything that interests you on your feed. … As in, you have certain things that interest you and over time, those things will appear on your feed. I typically go on Twitter when I hear news about something I want to know more about and if you know of the right sources then it’s all real news.” When big events happen, she tunes in to find out more, clarifying that you have to have the right sources of information to guarantee legitimacy.


Twitter is a large and successful social media platform, so what happens in Twitter affects many other places. In fact, according to some of our interviewees, it is already affecting their views of the app and its future. According to others, the changes are not so profound and doesn’t really affect them in a big way.