By clicking “Accept All Cookies,” you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation and analyze site usage.

Skip to main content

Sinan Aral Weighs In on Twitter Takeover

May 09, 2022

Elon Musk is “in over his head because running Twitter isn’t as easy as colonizing Mars or electrifying the automotive industry around the world,” MIT IDE Director Sinan Aral recently told Yahoo!Finance Live. “And that’s only a little bit in jest,” Aral continued in the interview when news broke about Musk bidding for the social media company. “In all seriousness, Musk made this announcement about having a no censorship platform in the form of Twitter the same week that the European Union passed the Digital Services Act (DSA), which creates a lot of fines and penalties for companies that don’t moderate their content.” There are many obstacles to overcome, Aral noted.

The DSA “requires that social media platforms engage in content moderation, remove hate speech, remove disinformation, misinformation, and war propaganda, and they fine 6% of all revenue, if you don’t do it,” Aral said. “And if you continue to not do it, then you’re banned from Europe. [Musk] can’t create a European Twitter and a U.S. Twitter. These are not decisions that you can talk your way around. You actually have to run the company. And the rubber is going to meet the road when we see which decisions he actually makes.”

Also at the end of April, Aral spoke with Ali Velshi, on MSNBC about the Twitter bid.  Aral noted that Musk is going to have “a misinformation problem” if he upends content moderation on Twitter.