Reviews | Elon Musk understands what’s wrong with Twitter. Does the media?

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The news that Elon Musk has bought a stake in Twitter and joined the company’s board of directors is very important.

The “first movers” have a huge advantage in almost every area of ​​life. Examples abound, but my favorite is actually limited: Dick Fosbury dazed the Mexico Olympics in 1968 and revolutionized the high jump with his “Fosbury Flop” technique. In my own radio world, I like to remind everyone that Rush Limbaugh built the mall and we’re just tenants. No one would be unionized on hundreds of channels if Limbaugh hadn’t provided a “proof of concept” to radio station owners.

When Twitter hit the scene, it nearly wiped out blogging overnight. It quickly became the preserve of journalists and then “influencers”, and evolved from there to a deep blue universe with a few red comets streaking across it.

While Twitter remains a great place for sports discussions and breaking news, most conservatives believe the platform has slid so far left on politics that it’s now marked in the same precarious spot as most cable and network news: “left from left”. Good for the outlets if they want half the country not giving them a chance. But it’s a disaster for audience and user growth.

Molly Roberts: Twitter is a toy Elon Musk can’t wait to start playing with

Twitter has become a mostly “woke” echo chamber run by content moderators who have banned President Donald Trump but not, say, Iranian despot Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the blood of hundreds of innocent people. on the hands, including US soldiers and marines. , who are the victims of its terrorists operating as the Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Meanwhile, so many conservatives are breaking Twitter’s “rules” that it’s hard to follow. More recently, center-right voices commenting on gender debates must wonder if their banishment is near. Whatever one thinks of these issues, there is simply no “right” way to discuss them. But Twitter decided otherwise. Federalist editor Mollie Hemingway recently summarized right-wing consensus on social media in general and Twitter in particular: “You can’t have been alive for the last five years and think that social media companies are doing anything but amplifying leftist madness and crushing anything from the right that hurts the left.”

Thus, the conservative view of Twitter is fixed. Could this change? Does Twitter want it? Private companies don’t have to worry so much about alienating millions of potential users. It is up to their owners to be awake or not. But publicly traded companies have shareholders who want growth and profits. There are, of course, limits to the pursuit of profit, as companies dealing with Russia or making money from Uyghur slave labor have discovered.

But there is no “consensus” on many of the hottest domestic issues, and none can be enforced by government through the First Amendment. Musk’s arrival in the Twitter boardroom promises a beachhead for common sense about the diversity of opinion in America and how the corporate disdain for debate smells about him the same as that of Vladimir Putin. state media.

Adam Lashinsky: Why Elon Musk is buying Twitter

Musk understood that. He also realized that his large stake in the company would instantly increase its value (and therefore the value of his investment). Users loved “old Twitter”. The awakened Twitter? Not really. Twitter executives seeing the market reaction to Musk’s arrival must realize they’ve lost track. Users didn’t want a nanny state imposed from Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters. Investors certainly did not want the company to lock itself into the blue bubble.

Musk is on Twitter’s doorstep with a wake-up call. Now, who will do the same for the rest of the country’s opinion and information providers?

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