Twitter Buyout Going Ahead?

 

Despite the ongoing litigation, I’ve remained cautiously optimistic that Elon Musk might yet buy Twitter and clean house. Now there’s word that he may go ahead with it after all.

I’m delighted and hope he continues. I returned to Twitter after a 13-year absence when Musk announced his intention to buy the platform. I’ve remained there in hopes that the sale would eventually go through: failing that, I’ll eventually leave, because it remains a cesspool of censorious leftism — and, yes, there are an awful lot of fake accounts.

In my opinion, free speech remains the single greatest social issue, and lack of it, the single greatest threat to our democracy. I think Twitter becoming a free speech platform would be transformative.

Still cautiously optimistic, but more so.

Published in Technology
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  1. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Musk is up to the task.  A guy who is sharp enough to develop his own variety of melon can do just about anything he sets his mind to.

    • #1
  2. Henry Racette Moderator
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Musk is up to the task. A guy who is sharp enough to develop his own variety of melon can do just about anything he sets his mind to.

    Not just a melon, dude. He’s got his own scent, too.

    • #2
  3. Kevin Schulte Member
    Kevin Schulte
    @KevinSchulte

    My hope is that there is enough evidence left when he takes over . To out the tyrants and there machinations . Where appropriate for legal action , pursue that and make them pay.

    • #3
  4. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    My hope is there is enough evidence left when he takes over . To out the tyrants and there machinations . Where appropriate for legal action , pursue that and make them pay.

    Musk could make evidence available to others, but I wouldn’t think he would be the one with “standing” to actually sue for damages.

    • #4
  5. Kevin Schulte Member
    Kevin Schulte
    @KevinSchulte

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    My hope is there is enough evidence left when he takes over . To out the tyrants and there machinations . Where appropriate for legal action , pursue that and make them pay.

    Musk could make evidence available to others, but I wouldn’t think he would be the one with “standing” to actually sue for damages.

    Perhaps fraudulent representation of Twitter during the negotiations.  

    • #5
  6. Henry Racette Moderator
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    My hope is there is enough evidence left when he takes over . To out the tyrants and there machinations . Where appropriate for legal action , pursue that and make them pay.

    Musk could make evidence available to others, but I wouldn’t think he would be the one with “standing” to actually sue for damages.

    I’m really more interested in the future — in Twitter as a truly open platform. Exposing the censorious bastards would be nice, but what is essential to me is that the platform end viewpoint censorship.

    (Editors, am I allowed to say “censorious bastards?” If not, please delete “censorious.”)

    • #6
  7. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    My hope is there is enough evidence left when he takes over . To out the tyrants and there machinations . Where appropriate for legal action , pursue that and make them pay.

    Musk could make evidence available to others, but I wouldn’t think he would be the one with “standing” to actually sue for damages.

    Perhaps fraudulent representation of Twitter during the negotiations.

    Yes that’s been mentioned before, including as one of the reasons why Musk could back out of buying:  there aren’t really as many human users as they claimed.  But that would be different from suing over censorship etc.

    • #7
  8. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    I have avoided Twitter, but it would be a boon to our culture to have it or something as powerful as it available as a truly free speech platform. I’m not sanguine that it will happen, even under Elon (who has my respect, even though I will never buy an electric car). There are just too many opportunities for subtle manipulation.

    • #8
  9. Kevin Schulte Member
    Kevin Schulte
    @KevinSchulte

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    I have avoided Twitter, but it would be a boon to our culture to have it or something as powerful as it available as a truly free speech platform. I’m not sanguine that it will happen, even under Elon (who has my respect, even though I will never buy an electric car). There are just too many opportunities for subtle manipulation.

    He is down with freedom of speech . My guess , this will be policy going forward with his ownership. 

    • #9
  10. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Musk is up to the task. A guy who is sharp enough to develop his own variety of melon can do just about anything he sets his mind to.

    Not just a melon, dude. He’s got his own scent, too.

    His own species of ox.  And those definitely have a scent.

    • #10
  11. Henry Racette Moderator
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    I have avoided Twitter, but it would be a boon to our culture to have it or something as powerful as it available as a truly free speech platform. I’m not sanguine that it will happen, even under Elon (who has my respect, even though I will never buy an electric car). There are just too many opportunities for subtle manipulation.

    He is down with freedom of speech . My guess , this will be policy going forward with his ownership.

    While I share Doug’s concern (and probably his opinions about electric cars), I do think Musk, of all people, might have a shot at cleaning up the platform. Part of that willingness to believe stems from his approach to engineering: one of his core beliefs is that unnecessary parts and processes should be discarded, not made better. So I can easily imagine him discarding a lot of the “algorithms” behind Twitter’s censorship process, deeming them unnecessary and not worth fixing.

    Anyway, it’s a reason to be hopeful.

    • #11
  12. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    I have avoided Twitter, but it would be a boon to our culture to have it or something as powerful as it available as a truly free speech platform. I’m not sanguine that it will happen, even under Elon (who has my respect, even though I will never buy an electric car). There are just too many opportunities for subtle manipulation.

    Gab has been doing really well as an alternative to Twitter. I haven’t used it, but the numbers aren’t something to turn your nose up at, especially if they are all real.

    • #12
  13. Henry Racette Moderator
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Stina (View Comment):

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    I have avoided Twitter, but it would be a boon to our culture to have it or something as powerful as it available as a truly free speech platform. I’m not sanguine that it will happen, even under Elon (who has my respect, even though I will never buy an electric car). There are just too many opportunities for subtle manipulation.

    Gab has been doing really well as an alternative to Twitter. I haven’t used it, but the numbers aren’t something to turn your nose up at, especially if they are all real.

    Yes, there are alternatives, of course — Gab among them. But I think it would be quite advantageous to reclaim Twitter as a free-speech platform, because it currently isn’t such a platform, and so doesn’t have the disadvantage of being someplace to which “unacceptable” people have fled.

    And I think that’s actually a problem. I like that new platforms have sprouted up to provide a place for people excluded from Facebook and Twitter. Unfortunately, that selects a particular demographic of right and hard-right leaning people, including some pretty fringe sorts. So we tend to end up with platforms dominated by people who are pretty far from the center of the bell curve.

    What I want is a platform open to everyone but full of center and, especially, center-left folk. That’s how we reach normal people and those leaning to the left.

    People on the left tend to not have good arguments and to not be particularly interested, understandably, in trying to defend those arguments. Given that, I suspect true free-speech platforms will tend to tip right over time (much as talk radio did), as frustrated leftists abandon them. But we could have interesting engagement until that happens to Twitter — assuming it happens at all.

    • #13
  14. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    I have avoided Twitter, but it would be a boon to our culture to have it or something as powerful as it available as a truly free speech platform. I’m not sanguine that it will happen, even under Elon (who has my respect, even though I will never buy an electric car). There are just too many opportunities for subtle manipulation.

    Gab has been doing really well as an alternative to Twitter. I haven’t used it, but the numbers aren’t something to turn your nose up at, especially if they are all real.

    Yes, there are alternatives, of course — Gab among them. But I think it would be quite advantageous to reclaim Twitter as a free-speech platform, because it currently isn’t such a platform, and so doesn’t have the disadvantage of being someplace to which “unacceptable” people have fled.

    And I think that’s actually a problem. I like that new platforms have sprouted up to provide a place for people excluded from Facebook and Twitter. Unfortunately, that selects a particular demographic of right and hard-right leaning people, including some pretty fringe sorts. So we tend to end up with platforms dominated by people who are pretty far from the center of the bell curve.

    What I want is a platform open to everyone but full of center and, especially, center-left folk. That’s how we reach normal people and those leaning to the left.

    People on the left tend to not have good arguments and to not be particularly interested, understandably, in trying to defend those arguments. Given that, I suspect true free-speech platforms will tend to tip right over time (much as talk radio did), as frustrated leftists abandon them. But we could have interesting engagement until that happens to Twitter — assuming it happens at all.

    What you want is missionaries, but things don’t always work out for them.

    • #14
  15. JustmeinAZ Member
    JustmeinAZ
    @JustmeinAZ

    I was amused while watching a rerun of Shark Tank the other day. Chris Sacca was on the shark panel and one of the entrepreneurs pitching for an investment asked Chris for his investment “to make up for helping to bring us Twitter”.  Not sure if Chris was amused though.

    • #15
  16. Richard Easton Coolidge
    Richard Easton
    @RichardEaston

    Saw this on (you guessed it) Twitter.

    • #16
  17. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    Unfortunately, that selects a particular demographic of right and hard-right leaning people

    Teacher!  Teacher!  Don’t forget us liberals!  We invented free speech, for Pete’s sake.

    • #17
  18. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    BDB (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Musk is up to the task. A guy who is sharp enough to develop his own variety of melon can do just about anything he sets his mind to.

    Not just a melon, dude. He’s got his own scent, too.

    His own species of ox. And those definitely have a scent.

    Ондатра и любопытные птенцы - cropped - Panoramio.jpg

    • #18
  19. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Barfly (View Comment):

    BDB (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Musk is up to the task. A guy who is sharp enough to develop his own variety of melon can do just about anything he sets his mind to.

    Not just a melon, dude. He’s got his own scent, too.

    His own species of ox. And those definitely have a scent.

    Ондатра и любопытные птенцы - cropped - Panoramio.jpg

    • #19
  20. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    I’ve been surprised how many intelligent & thoughtful people do most of their posting at Twitter.

    In addition to the censorship, it’s a pretty cumbersome platform for anything substantive.  People regularly post what would be a single post at any other platform as a string of 5 or more tweets.

    Would certainly be a very good thing if Musk gets it and is serious about what he says about a more open environment.  A lot of people *think* he’s going to get it; TWTR up 22% today.

    • #20
  21. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Like @henryracette I rejoined Twitter when Musk announced he would purchase it. I have watched it get briefly better, then recede when Musk called off the purchase. Won’t stick around if Musk doesn’t go through with it. 

    • #21
  22. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    I was amused while watching a rerun of Shark Tank the other day. Chris Sacca was on the shark panel and one of the entrepreneurs pitching for an investment asked Chris for his investment “to make up for helping to bring us Twitter”. Not sure if Chris was amused though.

    I’m happy that got on TV though, even if I didn’t see it myself.  I wonder if the pitcher had been planning that for very long?

    • #22
  23. Franco Inactive
    Franco
    @Franco

    The people I listen to have maintained that Elon really did/does want to buy Twitter. It makes sense if you are familiar with him. I’ve become a big fan of this guy. He’s never been interested in money per se other than how it can help him achieve his vision(s). 

    Tesla is in a great position, and even if the stock takes a hit from this, it will come back. I’d consider this a buying opportunity. SpaceX has far outclassed all competition. Starlink will have a tremendous impact bringing internet connection to every part of the globe and I foresee a healthy symbiosis between Twitter and Starlink. 

    As someone who follows his companies and him, it’s pretty clear that Elon got ‘radicalized’ – in other words, felt forced to assert his, and our, collective sanity.

    He’s a first principles guy across the board. If you don’t have free speech you don’t have a democracy, if you don’t have a democracy the state can just take, and take, and has no incentive to innovate, and things just stagnate and devolve. 

    The man has real courage.

     

    • #23
  24. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    My hope is there is enough evidence left when he takes over . To out the tyrants and there machinations . Where appropriate for legal action , pursue that and make them pay.

    Musk could make evidence available to others, but I wouldn’t think he would be the one with “standing” to actually sue for damages.

    I’m really more interested in the future — in Twitter as a truly open platform. Exposing the censorious bastards would be nice, but what is essential to me is that the platform end viewpoint censorship.

    (Editors, am I allowed to say “censorious bastards?” If not, please delete “censorious.”)

    It’s practically a movie title. 

    • #24
  25. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    When Twitter dies I hope it takes journalism with it. 

    • #25
  26. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    genferei (View Comment):

    When Twitter dies I hope it takes journalism with it.

    Journalism is dead but they spiked the story. 

    • #26
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