Elon Musk seems to delight in upending things. He smoked marijuana with Joe Rogan. He lost millions after making a weed joke on Twitter. He neglected to tell anyone he and Grimes had a second child. He wants to take Tom Cruise to space. Now the Tesla and SpaceX head seems to be using Twitter to do what Trump is currently failing to do: take on Twitter.
Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy.
Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 25, 2022
On Friday, Musk started a poll. “Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy,” he wrote. “Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?” Over 70% of participants participated in what could generously be called a flawed, unscientific study on a site that attracts extremists and people who like to bomb polls like this.
The next day, with the poll closed, he teased at his findings.
Is a new platform needed?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 26, 2022
“Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy. What should be done?” he wrote, adding, “Is a new platform needed?”
As with much of Musk’s actions, it’s unclear how serious he is, or how long he’ll stay interested in this subject. But clearly Twitter’s increased banning of people, often far right extremists, has gotten to him. Of course, should he go full Trump and create a Twitter clone, hopefully it will fare a lot better than Truth Social, the service that, like many of the former president’s get-rich-quick schemes, started out as a disaster and continued to get worse. Maybe he wants someone else to pick up up this idea. Or maybe this is just Musk s*it-posting. Who knows?
(Via The Daily Beast)