Loup Funds’ Gene Munster predicts that there’s a 90% chance Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter happens. But, the question is, with Tesla and SpaceX, among other things, occupying Musk, how much energy will the free speech advocate want to or even have to invest into Twitter?
It’s clear that free speech is important to Musk. It’s so important that if the Twitter deal falls through, he’s likely to start his own social platform which he codenamed “X.” If the deals goes through, I believe that the time Musk invests into Twitter will significantly under-index his passion on the topic of free speech. His strength is solving technical problems with no discernible solution sets including those at Tesla, SpaceX, The Boring Company and Neuralink.
The skills needed to build a free speech platform fall outside of Musk’s wheelhouse and, ultimately, free speech is a puzzle I don’t believe can be solved. If Musk removes filters, constraints and regulations, Twitter will degrade into a shouting match. Evidently, one party gets fatigued and relocate to a new platform that will validate their opinions. This psychological need for social validation is perhaps one of reasons why Musk wanted out of the deal.
MacDailyNews Take: As we’ve written previously:
Hopefully Musk will be an agent of change for a platform that should, at this point, be considered a public utility that allows for all viewpoints to be openly discussed.
Elon Musk is a doer.
The doers are the major thinkers. The people that really create the things that change this industry are both the thinker and doer in one person. – Steve Jobs
Art and music, design and performance, opinion, fiction, provocation, are what we work to enable. That fills us with such a sense of pride as well as a deep sense of responsibility because we know that these freedoms require protection; not just the forms of speech that entertain us, but the ones that challenge us, the ones that unnerve and even displease us. They’re the ones that need protection the most. Unpopular speech, unpopular art, and unpopular ideas; speech that questions the people in power.
It’s no accident that these freedoms are enshrined and protected in the First Amendment. They’re the foundation of so many of our rights. We means we all have a stake, and a role, in defending them. This is a responsibility that Apple takes very seriously… We work to defend these freedoms enabling people around the world to speak up. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, accepting the Newseum’s 2017 Free Expression Award on April 18, 2017
The Internet has become as important as anything man has ever created. But those freedoms are being chipped away. Please, I beg you, open your senses to the will of the people to keep the Internet as free as possible… I don’t want to feel that whichever content supplier had the best government connections or paid the most money determined what I can watch and for how much. This is the monopolistic approach and not representative of a truly free market in the case of today’s Internet. – Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak for The Atlantic, December 21, 2010
A few more quotes:
• Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech. ― Benjamin Franklin
• To view the opposition as dangerous is to misunderstand the basic concepts of democracy. To oppress the opposition is to assault the very foundation of democracy. ― Aung San Suu Kyi
• Because if you don’t stand up for the stuff you don’t like, when they come for the stuff you do like, you’ve already lost. ― Neil Gaiman
• Censorship reflects society’s lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime. – Potter Stewart
• Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. ― United Nations
• If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. ― George Washington
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