Solent Unviersity Southampton logo
Solent Unviersity Southampton logo
Skip to main content

Dr Garfield Benjamin, online privacy expert and Lecturer in Social Sciences looks at what lies ahead for Twitter

2nd November 2022
Health, psychology and sociologyHomepage - News - Standard

With Elon Musk the new owner of Twitter, Dr Garfield Benjamin, online privacy expert and Lecturer in Social Sciences at Solent University, looks at what lies ahead for Twitter.

If he goes ahead with his plans, fires all the people working hard to improve it and turns it into a free speech absolutist hate space, most reasonable people - and importantly most reasonable advertisers - will leave Twitter. Although it's not clear where they will go, as there isn't another platform that has the same balance of random happenings and ongoing conversations. It could, however, create a space for something new, that is collectively owned.

“On the other hand, Musk will quickly realise that it's hard to run a social media platform, and that he can't get away with his plans. Coming up against user complaints, mass exodus, forthcoming regulation and lack of profitability could soon see him getting bored and frustrated with his new toy. In which case, Twitter will either limp on as a slightly worse version of what it currently is, or he'll try to sell it, in which case who knows?”

Garfield Benjamin is a lecturer in sociology, teaching issues of data, technology, media, power, identity and society. Prior to joining Solent, Garfield worked at the Birmingham Centre for Cyber Security and Privacy, after completing a PhD in Digital Technology Theory and Practice at the University of Wolverhampton. Garfield’s research focuses on societal issues with technology.