According to the subscription-only tech journal The Information, “Twitter’s board of directors views Elon Musk’s takeover offer as unwelcome, said a person familiar with the situation, suggesting it will fight the bid.”
I certainly hope they do. His move threatens to turn Twitter into early 2010s-era Reddit, when it was a cesspool of bigotry, disinformation, and that MAGA/QAnon test run called Gamergate.
- His “free speech absolutist” stance is wrong. TechDirt’s recent article, Why Moderating Content Actually Does More To Support The Principles Of Free Speech, outlines why moderation actually enhances a community’s ability to have conversation, right from the first paragraph, which includes “Some of that involves legal requirements, some of it involves trying to keep a community focused, some of it involves dealing with spam, and some of it involves just crazy difficult decisions about what kind of community you want.”
- What he truly cares about is his own free speech. Yours doesn’t matter. For example:
- When an anonymous blogger posted a stock analysis for Tesla that was negative, the so-called “free speech absolutist” borrowed a trick from even more terrible broligarch Peter Thiel’s playbook: he found the blogger’s identity and threatened their employer with a lawsuit.
- Journalist Stewart Alsop, who was a big enough fan of Tesla to order a Model X, wrote a post critical of the Model X launch event titled Dear @ElonMusk: You should be ashamed of yourself. The so-called “free speech absolutist” went out of his way to phone Alsop and let him know that he would no longer be getting that Model X as he had cancelled Alsop’s order.
- Then there are the times the so-called “free speech absolutist” fired people for speaking their minds, including:
- What does Musk use his freedom of speech for? Well, there’s the whole “pedo guy” thing, which didn’t add anything useful to a situation where people were racing against the clock in a search-and-rescue operation.
- The only time he’s ever faced governmental consequences for things he’s posted on Twitter was when he was he was manipulating the market for his own gain. That tweet from August 2018 — “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.” was him simultaneously playing to the retail investor crowd and the still-living-in-mom’s-basement crowd (and possibly the crowd where those two Venn circles overlap). As Quartz put it in their article, Elon Musk’s Twitter bid isn’t about free speech, “if Musk has gripes about free speech, they’re with the SEC and not the company he’s trying to acquire.”
- The loudest people celebrating Musk’s potential disruption of Twitter are human trash fires, incredible dumbasses, and often an unholy combination of the two: Jack Posobiec. Lauren Boebert. Jim Jordan. Marjorie Taylor Greene. Monica Crowley. Vladimir Putin’s newest bestest buddy, Tucker Carlson.
“Elon Musk taking #Twitter private could mean an end to content moderation and a return of the platform as fertile ground for extremism, white supremacy, harrassment, and disinformation. Or it could mean nothing. Either way, if this deal goes through, it’ll change the social media landscape in a very big way.”
A very big way, certainly. But a good one? I doubt it.