**Threads: Elon Musk Defends Twitter’s Unique Appeal in the Face of Competitor’s Growth**
Elon Musk, the owner of Twitter, is reaffirming his belief that his platform is the ultimate destination for free speech, entertainment, and even negative content. This comes as Mark Zuckerberg’s new app, Threads, gains immense popularity and becomes the fastest-growing app of all time.
Musk took to Twitter to celebrate Threads reaching 100 million users in record time, stating, “You will get more laughs from this app than everything else combined. But I have to warn you…don’t be shocked…there’s some negative stuff too.” The billionaire added a touch of satire to his tweet.
Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta, has been positioning Threads as a friendlier alternative to Twitter since its recent launch. He declared on Threads that his app will provide a kinder space compared to Twitter, which has become more accepting of extreme views since Musk acquired it.
Zuckerberg wrote, “The goal is to keep it friendly as it expands. I think it’s possible and will ultimately be the key to its success. That’s one reason why Twitter never succeeded as much as I think it should have, and we want to do it differently.” In response, Musk criticized Instagram, saying, “It is infinitely preferable to be attacked by strangers on Twitter than indulge in the false happiness of hide-the-pain Instagram.”
Even Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino came forward in defense of the platform, emphasizing the importance of everyone’s voice on Twitter. She stated, “On Twitter, everyone’s voice matters. We’re often imitated—but the Twitter community can never be duplicated.”
**Threads Making Waves: A Threat to Twitter?**
While it remains to be seen if the Twitter community can be replicated, it is evident that a significant number of people, including right-wing figures, are flocking to Threads to see what the hype is all about. Within just seven hours of its release, Threads received 10 million sign-ups, and within 24 hours, that number reached 30 million.
Today, Threads has crossed the 100 million sign-up mark, making it the fastest app to achieve this milestone, surpassing ChatGPT’s record. Despite several competitors emerging since Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, none have gained traction like Threads, which may explain Musk’s strong opposition to the new app.
**Twitter’s Battle with Hate Speech**
Musk and Twitter’s CEO, Yaccarino, are committed to their vision of Twitter 2.0, where individuals can freely express their thoughts. However, this approach has allowed the platform to become a breeding ground for hate speech.
Twitter is currently facing a lawsuit for its failure to remove a series of anti-Semitic tweets earlier this year. HateAid, a German organization advocating for human rights in the digital space, and the European Union of Jewish Students alerted Twitter to six anti-Semitic and racist tweets. Despite the reports, Twitter did not remove the tweets, going against its own moderation policy.
The rise in controversial tweets and hate speech on Twitter can be attributed to Musk’s decision to reduce content moderation, dissolve the independent Trust and Safety Council, and reinstate suspended accounts of extreme users. Research from the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) reveals that the volume of English-language anti-Semitic tweets has more than doubled since Musk’s takeover.
Musk has vehemently denied these allegations, calling them “utterly false” and claiming that “hate speech impressions” have significantly decreased since he assumed control. However, Zuckerberg is capitalizing on Twitter’s shortcomings, suggesting that the platform has not reached its full potential due in part to its tolerance of hate speech.
Twitter responded to Fortune’s request for comment with a poop emoji, which has become customary for the platform.
In conclusion, as Threads experiences unprecedented growth, Musk is steadfast in defending Twitter as a unique platform for free speech and entertainment. However, the platform continues to grapple with the challenges of hate speech, posing a threat to its future.