So Elon Musk is attempting a hostile takeover of Twitter. My media friends aren’t happy. My conservative friends are pumped. My liberal friends are wringing their hands.

My prediction? Twitter as an interface will remain largely as it is: a sewer of non-thought where hundreds of millions of people post whatever the hell they want. Occasionally, great images and moments of profundity emerge that shock the world.

(Credit to Vox Optima’s social media manager, John Barnett, for the “sewer” appellation. You’ve never been more apt.)

I don’t believe that under Musk’s ownership Twitter would suddenly become a refuge for fringe alt-right influencers. It already is. On Twitter you can be a QAnon true believer, an antifa activist, a friendly democratic socialist, post a video of your kid’s latest soccer goal or call for jihad. Right now.

The military trains against hostile actors on Twitter, such is the power of the platform to influence audiences. Some of my own work involves creating simulated Twitter campaigns for military training audiences to react and respond to.

I believe, dear readers, this is called “free speech.”

If the deal is completed, will more crazypants tweets and hostile personal attacks get through? Maybe. And the biggest question is whether under Musk’s leadership Tweeter-in-chief Donald Trump would be allowed back on the platform.

If it would make Twitter more money, I think the answer is yes.

The allure of Twitter to a megabusinessman like Musk is the massive metadata available. Although data licensing just makes up 13.5% of Twitter’s annual revenue, half a billion tweets a day provide tremendous data mining capability for someone with broad spectrum business interests like Musk.

And this brings up valid antitrust questions except no one in the Federal government seems to think the other tech giants like Google/Alphabet, Facebook/Meta, Microsoft or Amazon pose a problem with the amounts of personal data they collect, so Musk will also get a bye with his Twitter bid, too.

At issue in this transaction is who profits from our data and the $3.7 billion in annual advertising revenue, shareholders or Musk. I’m not sure that matters all that much to individual Twitter account holders. It’s somewhat akin to McDonald’s corporate buying back some of its stores from franchise holders; does that change your Big Mac experience? Not one whit.

The only issue that I have some personal heartburn with is Twitter’s 7,500 employees. There are numerous reports that Musk’s enterprises are not pleasant places to work. I am passionate about supporting employees because I find that content, self-actualized staff give their best effort to any project.

Musk has achieved tremendous results in his enterprises. Yet they are plagued with reports of sexual and racial harassment. Imagine how much further in innovation Tesla and SpaceX would be with workforces free from such nastiness.

Back to the user experience. In a Musk-owned Twitterverse, vapidity, cruelty and outright lies will still be promulgated. Cyberbullying will continue unchecked. Violent extremists will not stop trying to rally new adherents to their despicable causes. Breaking news from war zones will still emerge. Moments of joy will seep out from the slog of conspiracy theories and put-downs.

Twitter won’t become freer. It won’t become cleaner. Twitter will remain what it is today: A place where anyone (or any bot) can say anything for any reason. It’s both vile and breathtaking. Much like our modern world.

Merritt Hamilton Allen is a PR executive and former Navy officer. She appears regularly as a panelist on NM PBS and is a frequent guest on News Radio KKOB. A Republican, she lives amicably with her Democratic husband north of I-40 where they run two head of dog, and two of cat. She can be reached at news.ind.merritt@gmail.com.