Elon Musk’s Twitter-linked text conversations, which were made publicly available as part of the Twitter lawsuit’s legal disclosure, show his plan for Twitter.
The dramatic, though expensive, interlude in which Musk attempted to thwart his own (very overpriced) purchase of Twitter is finally done, and Musk has agreed to pay the originally suggested price of $54.20 for the social network.
So what comes next? Will Musk leave Twitter as it is, or will he destroy it, dismiss everyone who works there, and start over? Conveniently, Musk’s Twitter-linked text conversations, which were made publicly available as part of the Twitter lawsuit legal disclosure, give enough details about the final product Musk actually wants.
First off, Musk believes in free speech, as he states in the following exchange with Valor CEO Antonio Gracias. He finds Russia Today to be “quite entertaining” and notes that it has “lots of bullshit but some good points too.”
In the next conversation with his ex-wife Talulah Jane (TJ) Riley, who was outraged by the Babylon Bee’s suspension and suggested that “buying Twitter and making it radically free speech”… or “deleting it,” Musk shared a similar attitude.
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The two then discuss Musk’s intention to make Twitter an open source algorithm because it’s critical to “reign in big tech” and because “our public square needs to not have arbitrary sketch censorship.” Musk then chats with venture capitalist and entrepreneur Jon Lonsdale. Musk’s response: “what we have right now is hidden corruption!”
Interestingly, a few weeks later, after it was revealed that Musk had bought a sizeable stake in Twitter, Jon Lonsdale made the following statement: “I bet you the board doesn’t even get full reporting or see any report of the censorship decisions and little cabals going on there but they should – the lefties on the board likely want plausible deniability!”
The conversation with Twitter’s creator Jack Dorsey, in which Jack reiterated that Twitter must be an open platform, only makes things more interesting “while it “can’t have an advertising model,” the open source protocol. Otherwise you have surface area that governments and advertisers will try to influence and control. It will be attacked if it is supported by a single, centralised entity.” Jack’s assessment was that the task wasn’t difficult; it only needed to be completed correctly to be resilient to what had occurred to Twitter. Musk tells Jack after a protracted exchange of words that “it’s worth both attempting to move Twitter in a better direction and building something new that’s decentralised.”
A little digression reveals that Sam-Bankman Fried, the J.P. Morgan of cryptocurrency, was also interested in purchasing Twitter; expect SBF to play a significant role in the organisation moving ahead.
And on another tangent, how wealthy is SBF and how much money could he invest in Twitter? short answer to both: a lot.
Another intriguing conversation, this time with Mathias Dopfner, CEO of German media group Axel Springer, which owns a number of tabloids including Bild, in which he claims that Alex Springer would be happy to run Twitter if Musk purchases the company.
Minutes after Musk disclosed his Twitter ownership, he had an exceptionally fascinating conversation with someone who, in contrast to everyone else in the disclosure, insisted on anonymity. We can only presume that given the “sensitive” nature of his suggestion (“navigating how to let right-wingers back on Twitter… especially the boss himself”), it was shelved out of concern about the extreme left mob’s reaction.
Matthias Dopfner, the head of Germany’s Axel Springer, who does everything in his power to make his personal media outlets painstakingly, boringly, crushingly woke and politically correct, and who we learn is really just another hypocrite and closet “anti-woke,” suggested to Musk that he create a marketplace for algorithms, “e.g., if you’re a snowflake and don’t want content that offends you,” in response to Musk’s announcement If only Dofpner would emulate this with his empire of publications that cater to snowflakes. Dopfner has some additional amusing “actionable” recommendations, such “solve free speech.” Oh ok. Here is the remainder of what the CEO of one of the greatest tabloid empires in the world said (and recent acquiror of Politico) wants to do:
Status Quo: it is the de facto public town square, but It is a problem that it does not adhere to free speech principles. => so the core product is pretty good, but (i) it does not serve democracy, and (ii) the current business model is a dead end as reflected by flat share price.
Goal: Make Twitter the global backbone of free speech, an open market place of ideas that truly complies with the spirit of the first amendment and shift the business model to a combination of ad-supported and paid to support quality
1.) “Solve Free Speech”
- 1-a) Step 1″ Make it censorship-FREE by radically reducing Terms of Services (now hundreds of pages) to the following: Twitter users agree to:
- (1) Use our service to send spam or scam users,
- (2) Promote violence,
- (3) Post illegal pornography.
- 1-b) Step 2: Make Twitter censorship-RESISTANT
- Ensure censorship resistance by implementing measures that warrant that Twitter can’t be censored long term, regardless of which government and management
- How? Keep pushing projects at Twitter that have been working on developing a decentralized social network protocol (e.g., BlueSky). It’s not easy, but the back-end must run on decentralized infrastructure, APIs should become open (back to the roots! Twitter started and became big with open APIs).
- Twitter would be one of many clients to post and consume content.
- Then create a marketplace for algorithms, e.g., if you’re a snowflake and don’t want content that offends you pick another algorithm.
2.) “Solve Share Price” – Current state of the business:
- Twitter’s ad revenues grow steadily and for the time being, are sufficient to fund operations.
- MAUs are flat, no structural growth
- Share price is flat, no confidence in the existing business model
While many of these concepts came from Musk, Elon’s conversation with his brother Kimbal about his vision is where things start to get truly “insightful.” Because commenting on Musk’s “vision”—some strange hybrid of social media, blockchain technology, a direct messaging software that keeps communications indefinitely—is well outside the scope of our expertise, we won’t add any remark to them (why not dogecoin).
Here Jason Calacanis also chimes in with some ideas. His comments on De Sasntis are amusing.
It continues a few days later, where Calacanis reveals he may be the next Twitter CEO, and Musk is receptive:
And some more ideas from Calacanis:
Finally, some encouraging news for liberals everywhere:
Read the full messages below: