Some hold worries that the potential removal of moderation could develop it into a platform for hate speech and misinformation
Following weeks of discussions between Twitter’s board and billionaire Elon Musk, the corporation last week announced that they have now entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by the tech mogul, with the transaction expected to close in 2022. With Musk’s desire to champion free speech on the platform and prioritise legitimate accounts and interactions, what do members in Singapore feel about the potential changes? Latest data from YouGov RealTime Omnibus indicates that members here are generally unaffected by the acquisition, with almost half saying they did not have a reaction to the news (44%).
Among those who expressed a reaction, surprise was the most common one (26%), while an additional seventh expressed worry (15%) and happiness (15%). Twitter users were also generally more likely to have a reaction to the news – whether surprised, worried, happy, angry, or sad – than the national average.
As for anticipated behaviour following the change in leadership, majority of Twitter members who were aware of and had a reaction to the acquisition (i.e., were either surprised, worried, happy, angry, sad or others), said they would continue with their regular Twitter usage (65%).
Men are significantly more likely to stick with the status quo, with seven in ten saying they will continue with regular usage (73%). Women, on the other hand, are significantly more likely to say they will modify their behaviour on the platform (24%), as compared to only one in ten of men who say the same (13%).
A small minority will make more drastic changes to their behaviour by switching to other social media platforms (9%) or stop using Twitter completely (5%), while a final one in twenty are members of the platform but not active users (5%).
When Twitter members were asked how the potential removal of moderation would affect the future of the platform, almost half agreed that this may cause it to develop into a platform for hate speech and misinformation (45%). Women are more likely to be of this opinion, with over half feeling this way (51%).
Conversely, one in five Twitter members said the removal of moderation would allow for more healthy debates and free speech (20%), with men significantly more likely to think so (26%).
Another sixth say this would not have any drastic impact (17%), while one seventh are unsure (14%).
YouGov RealTime Omnibus provides quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. This study was conducted online on 28 April 2022, with a nationally representative sample of 1,052 adults in Singapore (aged 18+ years), using a questionnaire designed by YouGov. Twitter members accounted for 306 of the 1,052 respondents. Data figures have been weighted by age, gender and ethnicity to be representative of all adults residing in Singapore (18 years or older) and reflect the latest Singapore Department of Statistics (DOS) estimates. Learn more about YouGov RealTime Omnibus.