Until the previous week or so, Elon Musk, whom people know on Twitter primarily for trolling and incurring the wrath of the SEC. He has, at the moment, set his sights on taking over the platform. Speaking at a TED conference, the Tesla CEO Musk positioned his hostile takeover offer to Twitter, not as something he wanted to do but as well thought out as his tweet. However, as something he felt was important to the function of democracy.
He said it’s important to the functioning of the United States as a free country and many other countries. The risk of civilization on its reduction more they can increase the trust in Twitter as a public platform.
That may sound like a lofty goal, and it is not that different from how Jack Dorsey and other Twitter leaders about the platform. But the actual ideas of Musk offer for making Twitter more trustworthy are strange and sometimes contradictory as well thought out as. Musk suggests that he has little understanding of how Twitter works, let alone how to manage the company.
During the interview, Musk repeatedly stated that he had believed speech on Twitter had a legal limit. He said that when there was an era on its side, even doubtfully, he said that Twitter let the speech exist. He said they should use permanent bans sparingly. A good sign of free speech is that [if] someone you don’t like can say something you don’t like, and if that’s the case, then we have free speech.
In addition to being a somewhat narrow view of free speech, Musk’s record seems to be at odds with this statement. While he has no experience in running a social media company, his actions as CEO of Tesla suggest that there should be many scenarios wherein he does not commit absolutely ‘free speech.’
Like quartz, Musk has allegedly numerous Tesla workers who disagree with him. Recently an employee was for posting videos on his personal YouTube channel showing flaws in the self-driving software of Telsa running on his vehicle. Musk also reportedly tried to force a law firm hired by Tesla and further SpaceX to fire an associate who had previously worked for his archenemy, the SEC, for the involvement attorney in the agency’s investigation of Musk. Incidentally, Tesla has faced accusations of discrimination and is currently facing the state of California over its treatment of black employees.
Trust and safety experts also pointed out that a lack of content moderation has a chilling effect on ‘free speech.’ People are required, so feel free to speak up. ‘Effective moderation’ is not innately in disagreement with freedom of expression, tweeted Samidh Chakrabarti, Facebook’s former head of civic integrity.
It is more than theoretical. Just ask former CEO Dick Costolo, who handled over one of the most toxic eras in Twitter history. Thanks to ‘a hands-off approach’ to content moderateness. Under his tenure as CEO, Gamergate and other targeted harassment campaigns were able to kick dozens of users off the platform. Costolo that his unable to deal with the trolls was a big mistake.
Others pointed out that less moderation would result in Twitter quickly becoming overrun with spam and other shady but entirely legal content. Even Musk seemed to contradict himself, saying that a top priority would be ridding Twitter of ‘the spam and scam bots’ and bot armies that frequently pretense.
Twitter stands alone, and it is far from the culture war battles for free speech. The company is still changing many of its core functions to find new revenue streams. Still aggressive for users and revenue would prove challenging even for seasoned Twitter insiders. It is not Musk.
Further, Musk does not even seem to know what he wants. He acknowledged that he was not sure if he would be able to buy Twitter. He further claimed to have no concern about making money on his venture. He claimed to have a “plan B .”However, he did not share information. He also admitted that his tweets were little more than a stream of consciousness that he sometimes composed.
As with so many other things he does, it’s impossible to tell if he wants to control Twitter completely or if this is just another elaborate troll. It could be both.
He reflected that he thinks this is going to be a painful thing. In that, at least, he is correct.