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Elon Musk gets Twitter: A Grandmaster Chess move for Free Speech, or a high stakes bet against Monster Funds?

The deal everyone is talking about, that has just gone through:

Elon Musk taking Twitter private in $44 billion deal

Reuters

Big Tech, Twitter, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook

NEW YORK, April 25 (Reuters) – Elon Musk clinched a deal to buy Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) for $44 billion cash on Monday in a transaction that will shift control of the social media platform populated by millions of users and global leaders to the world’s richest person.

It is a seminal moment for the 16-year-old company that emerged as one of the world’s most influential public squares and now faces a string of challenges.

“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk said in a statement.

Sundance explained the bind the Twitter Board might have been in:

Keep in mind that Twitter is slated to report first-quarter earnings this Thursday, and originally the board was going to wait until after that earnings announcement to respond to the bid. Something changed.

My suspicion is the financials of the Q1 earnings report will not support the $54.20 high end evaluation offer originally proposed by Musk. If the low Q1 earnings rumors are accurate; and if Twitter had declined or fought the offer; the board would have been in the position of declining a deal that was substantially higher than the company market value, a tenuous position legally. Thus, a deal was made.

Which raises the question of how Twitter makes money?

Twitter has struggled to be profitable. Will it become profitable and maintain the high shareprice, and pay off the debts Musk is taking on to buy it? Does Musk expect to make it profitable, or did he just buy it as an act of philanthropy “for free speech” or as a challenge because he damn well could.

Twitter is obviously a political tool, as the one sided censorship shows. Like all forms of media, it’s more about the power than the shareholder returns — which raises the question of why the current sellers would sell. Speaking of which, the four current largest shareholders of Twitter are the infamous Vanguard Group, Morgan Stanley, Blackrock Inc, and State Street, — the who’s who of dark asset managers. As Wikipedia describes Blackrock — it’s the biggest of the big, and with tentacles in every pot:

“BlackRock is the world’s largest asset manager, with US$10 trillion in assets. …[it] has sought to position itself as an industry leader in environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG). The company has faced criticism for worsening climate change, its close ties with the Federal Reserve System during the COVID-19 pandemic, anticompetitive behavior, and its unprecedented investments in China.

Arguably, these monster fund managers could “afford” to lose money on Twitter in order to boost profits in all their other areas. Like, for example that Blackrock owns 7% of a certain pharmaceutical company called Pfizer, and Vanguard owns 8% of the same company. If they were using (or rather abusing) Twitter to suppress any news that hurt their other investments, or elect governments that help them, that rather raises the stakes. They wouldn’t sell Twitter for the profit of selling it unless they thought they had no legal choice, or they thought they could neutralize or sabotage the Free-Speech-Twitter after the sale.

What would stop the Octopus-Funds from abusing their social media pet corporations? Corporate Law.

Arguably, the Twitter Board are accountable to the Twitter shareholders, and are supposed to be making profits for them, not for other shareholders. It’s a legal bomb that Ron De Santis, Governor of Florida has pressed the button on. As he sees it, the Pension Fund of the State of Florida owns shares of Twitter, and the way the Twitter board was behaving looks like an injury to the fund.

“We’re going to be looking at ways that the state of Florida can hold the Twitter Board accountable for breaching their fiduciary duties...”


….

It’s a very big game of chess. Has Elon Musk just outsmarted the Twitter Board and caught them at their own game, or will the same machine that used Twitter, sell it, and then sabotage it with cancel culture, and leave him holding the debt?

Because, let’s face it, the Haters are not coping well already

It won’t be impossible for Groupthinker cults to poison-the-well. Here’s one projecting his hate already for fear that Elon Musk might let people like Donald Trump back on Twitter.

Plenty of Musk Hate on Twitter

….

Soon, supporting Twitter or being seen on it, might be a crime people lose their job for.

Not to mention that Musk may face visits from the IRS, spurious legal cases and general harrassment of all kinds for getting in the way of someone’s narrative.

h/t RicDre

 

AUSTIN, TX—According to the latest reports, inflation has hit a 40-year high affecting the prices of many consumer goods. However, one consumer staple is actually at an all-time high. Speech, which as recently as earlier this year was free, is now valued at $43 billion.

“The free exchange of ideas has been under attack, causing massive inflation under the Biden presidency,” explained Joe Squawk of CNBC. “It used to be that people could argue about all kinds of things on Twitter, a bastion of free speech. Then liberals started saying a lot of dumb things, and conservatives started making fun of them. So, the liberals started crying a lot, and the people working at Twitter just started kicking the conservatives off so no one would laugh at them for being dumb.”

 

The background to the deal on Bloomberg

Musk, who has more than 83 million followers on Twitter, began amassing shares in the company in January, disclosing a 9% stake earlier this month. That position got him invited to join Twitter’s board, an offer he ultimately rejected, only to turn around on April 14 with an unsolicited bid to buy the company and take it private.

Late last week, Musk gave more details on his financing plans, saying in a securities filing that he had lined up Morgan Stanley and other lenders, which were offering $13 billion in debt financing plus another $12.5 billion in loans against his stock in Tesla, as well as pledging to contribute an additional $21 billion of his own money through equity financing. It’s unclear whether Musk, who heads Tesla and Space Exploration Technologies Corp., would consider selling part of his stake in one of his prized companies to acquire Twitter.

He has said his main motivation in buying Twitter is to ensure the principles of free speech, which he says is “essential to a functioning democracy.”

Elon has also talked about making Twitter’s algorithm open source … meaning we’d be able to see why things trend the way they do, and why exactly we’re seeing certain tweets on our timeline versus others. Essentially … more transparency on how Twitter operates internally.

The financial implications on The Wall Street Journal —

Elon Musk debts to buy Twitter means it will needs Ads to Stay Aloft

… Mr. Musk, who said of his own Twitter campaign that it “is not a way to make money” in an onstage interview at the Ted conference, on the same day of the filing describing his financial support. But more than half of that backing comes in the form of debt, from Morgan Stanley and “certain other financial institutions,” according to the filing. That means Mr. Musk will need to preserve Twitter’s cash flow—and ideally grow it—to service the debt. Some of that debt is in the form of margin loans backed by Mr. Musk’s Tesla shares.

Twitter Revenue:

Twitter Ad Revenue

From Ronin:

Jeff Bezos buys Washington Post = good,

Elon Musk wants to buy Twitter = heaps bad. LOL

From  Catherine:

Seen on Substack:
‘Media figures everywhere are openly complaining that they dislike the Musk move because they’re terrified he will censor people less.’

“For democracy to survive, it needs more censorship”! A professional journalist who opposed free speech was not long ago considered a logical impossibility.

 

h/t Catherine, another Ian, Scott of the Pacific, Rick Dre. Old Ozzie, Jill.  Forrest Gardiner. David Maddison.

9.7 out of 10 based on 68 ratings

96 comments to Elon Musk gets Twitter: A Grandmaster Chess move for Free Speech, or a high stakes bet against Monster Funds?

  • #
    David Maddison

    This is fantastic news!

    Well done for this African American.

    Elon believes in freedom and free speech.

    Hopefully he will bring back all the conservatives who were banned from Twitter, such as President Trump.

    The Left are in meltdown at the prospect that one of their most useful propaganda assets is out of their hands.

    Also remember that Elon is NOT a member of the Elites’ Club like most of the other billionaires. He wasn’t even invited* to a White House meeting on electric cars.

    Let’s get things back on track!

    *Ref: https://www.businessinsider.com/tesla-wasnt-invited-to-white-house-electric-cars-summit-2021-8

    451

    • #
      PeterPetrum

      Re his lack of invitation the WH, the Biden (Obama) administration is only supporting electric cars that are made by union labour. The Teslas are made in Musk’s non-unionised factories and do not qualify for the subsidies. He sure is persona non grata.

      71

  • #
    Jojodogfacedboy

    He may be a bit flaky but I like him!
    He gives the ‘Woke’ clan heartburn and has a good sense of humor.

    532

  • #
    David Maddison

    Tim Pool, who describes himself as a political centrist, comments.

    https://youtu.be/6xJAT4LgbDQ

    80

  • #
    David Maddison

    List of US elected officials who were banned from Twitter and other socialist media WHILE in office.

    https://ballotpedia.org/Elected_officials_suspended_or_banned_from_social_media_platforms

    100

  • #
    David Maddison

    Twenty one famous people banned from Twitter.

    https://www.thewrap.com/people-who-have-been-banned-from-twitter/

    91

  • #
    Broadie

    Twitter may be a small price to for a pool of world wide users for his Starlink Satellite network

    70

  • #
    Penguinite

    My naive pick is that the share price will jump back up to $70+ a share and thereby alleviate some of the debt? We’ll just have to wait and see what the public thinks of the ‘new’ platform???

    100

    • #

      He’s taking it private, so the share price is mostly irrelevant unless there’s another IPO.

      130

      • #
        Penguinite

        Very true! Thanks for qualifying but whom ever owns it some value will be attributed even as just a book value and Trump or no it will be worth more than the $50 billion expended to take control?

        30

        • #

          It will probably stay at about $44B for a while, which is already way too high based on the companies financial performance and its pre-sale triple digit PE. Any change from there, up or down, is done by the board for valuing employee stock options and adjusting the share price for any pending public offering. He paid a steep premium and I’m pretty sure that if he wanted to flip the company, he would be lucky to get $20B.

          31

  • #
    Ed Zuiderwijk

    Free speech: will it make a comeback?

    110

    • #
      David Maddison

      I believe that’s the plan!

      90

      • #
        James Murphy

        Don’t count your chickens… but it may depend where you live.
        The Digital Services Act is another European attempt to control internet content that is, in my opinion as a non-lawyer, covered by existing laws.

        The DSA follows the principle that what is illegal offline must also be illegal online. It aims to protect the digital space against the spread of illegal content, and to ensure the protection of users’ fundamental rights

        Then, of course….more vague language…

        The DSA introduces an obligation for very large digital platforms and services to analyse systemic risks they create and to carry out risk reduction analysis.
        This analysis must be carried out every year and will enable continuous monitoring aimed at reducing risks associated with:
        – dissemination of illegal content
        – adverse effects on fundamental rights
        – manipulation of services having an impact on democratic processes and public security
        – adverse effects on gender-based violence, and on minors and serious consequences for the physical or mental health of users

        More here, from the European Council:
        https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2022/04/23/digital-services-act-council-and-european-parliament-reach-deal-on-a-safer-online-space/

        90

        • #

          Twitter is already in violation by adversely affecting fundamental rights, manipulating its services to affect democratic processes and adversely affecting the mental health of its users. Sounds like Musk wants to stop this malfeasance, not make it worse.

          91

  • #
    David Maddison

    They tried to stop the takeover but failed.

    https://thehill.com/opinion/technology/3270514-twitter-faces-the-nightmare-of-being-forced-into-free-speech/

    Twitter faces the ‘nightmare’ of being forced into free speech

    BY JONATHAN TURLEY, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR – 04/16/22 11:00 AM ET

    Twitter’s board of directors gathered this week to sign what sounds like a suicide pact. It unanimously voted to swallow a “poison pill” to tank the value of the social media giant’s shares rather than allow billionaire Elon Musk to buy the company.

    The move is one way to fend off hostile takeovers, but what is different in this case is the added source of the hostility: Twitter and many liberals are apoplectic over Musk’s call for free speech protections on the site.

    SEE LINK FOR REST

    240

  • #
    James Murphy

    If employees resign because of this, then they are not worth employing.
    If the Twitter Blue check-marked brigade complain, they can always learn to code, and build their own platform…
    If users rage-quit Twitter, then it will increase the average user-base IQ, perhaps even allowing it to reach double figures.

    341

    • #
      Tel

      If users rage-quit Twitter, then it will increase the average user-base IQ, perhaps even allowing it to reach double figures.

      Twitter was useful as a way to keep such people all in the one place … imagine what it will be like when they spread out all over the Internet.

      141

  • #
    David Maddison

    The following reveals Bill Gates’ true beliefs. Unlike Elon Musk, Gates is a member of the Leftist Elites.

    https://www.foxbusiness.com/business-leaders/elon-musk-confirms-turned-down-bill-gates-climate-change-philanthropy-shorting-tesla

    Elon Musk confirms he turned down Bill Gates on climate change collaboration over shorting Tesla

    Elon Musk confirmed Friday that he rejected working with Bill Gates on climate change via text because the Microsoft co-founder was shorting Tesla.

    In the texts, the two billionaires appear set to meet somewhere before Musk asks Gates if he still has a “half billion dollar short position against Tesla.”

    Gates replies, “Sorry to say I haven’t closed it yet,” adding in another text: “I would like to discuss philanthropy possibilities.”

    Musk replies that he can’t take Gates’ philanthropy on climate change “seriously when you have a massive short position against Tesla, the company doing the most to solve climate change.”

    SEE LINK FOR REST

    211

  • #
    RicDre

    Twitter Employee Undergoes Therapy Over Elon Musk Takeover

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFNCsSBnYVg

    160

  • #
    PeterS

    Very interesting. Let’s see how it pans out once the dust settles. Does this mean the ban on Trump will be lifted?

    90

    • #
      el+gordo

      Unlikely, he has his own platform called Truth Social.

      30

    • #

      It sure sounds like all of the banning and shadow banning that’s driven by political bias will end, and this includes Trump. I also suspect that the many bad actors already allowed on the platform will be allowed to remain.

      21

  • #
    RicDre

    Moving to Canada: ‘Leaving Twitter’ Trends Amid Reports of Musk Deal Talks

    “Leaving Twitter” began to trend shortly after the reports of Musk-Twitter talks. Observers quickly noted the similarity in sentiment to loud declarations from prominent leftists that they would move to Canada if Donald Trump won the election in 2016 (few, if any, did).

    https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2022/04/25/moving-to-canada-leaving-twitter-trends-amid-reports-of-musk-deal-talks/

    70

  • #
    David Maddison

    The Left told conservatives to “build their own platform”.

    Instead, a conservative BOUGHT the platform. In fact, Elon is probably the ONLY conservative rich enough to do so. It was even beyond Donald Trump’s financial capacity.

    Admittedly there were noble attempts to build an alternative free speech platform such as by Donald Trump, Parler etc. but they were up against huge obstacles by the Elite Establishment. I hope those alternative platforms remain and are successful, however.

    221

    • #
      David Maddison

      President Trump says he won’t leave Truth Social, despite Musk’s Twitter takeover

      https://www.theverge.com/2022/4/25/23041703/trump-truth-social-twitter-elon-musk-free-speech-platform

      “Twitter’s become very boring”

      By Makena [email protected] Apr 25, 2022

      Even if Elon Musk could reinstate former President Donald Trump’s Twitter account, Trump will not be returning to the platform — at least that’s what he told Fox News on Monday.

      Rather than tweeting from his formerly favored platform, Trump assured Fox that he would officially start posting “truths” to his new social media app, Truth Social, over the next few days.

      “I am not going on Twitter, I am going to stay on TRUTH,” Trump told Fox News on Monday. “I hope Elon buys Twitter because he’ll make improvements to it and he is a good man, but I am going to be staying on TRUTH.”

      SEE LINK FOR REST

      100

  • #
    Mark Allinson

    Here’s a point made by Sundance recently:

    “If my hunch is correct, Elon Musk is poised to expose the well-kept secret that most social media platforms are operating on U.S. government tech infrastructure and indirect subsidy. Let that sink in.

    The U.S. technology system, the assembled massive system of connected databases and server networks, is the operating infrastructure that offsets the cost of Twitter to run their own servers and database. The backbone of Twitter is the United States government.

    There is simply no way the Fourth Branch of Government, the U.S. intelligence system writ large, is going to permit that discovery.”

    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/blog/2022/04/14/elon-musk-make-a-massive-proposal-offers-to-purchase-twitter-for-41-billion-with-plan-to-take-company-private/#more-231743

    200

    • #
      David Maddison

      If get’s cut off from the US Government (Deep State) part of the infrastructure, he’ll just use his own, Starlink.

      https://www.starlink.com/

      70

      • #

        Indeed, it’s hard to see how Amazon would not axe the Twitter account asap. I find Sundance’s theory very interesting but I’m not convinced, I need the numbers that show that it’s “too big” to work privately.

        It can still be a co-dependent wing of Big Gov without needing Big Gov infrastructure. What it needs is Big Gov protection legally, which it may have just lost. Crooked institutions need crooked governments. So I have no problem believing Big Tech and Big Gov are joined at the hip. But Sundance takes that much further.

        60

    • #
      RicDre

      According to one article I read, at least parta of Twitter’s infrastructure is hosted on Amazon’s Cloud and Google’s Cloud infrastructures ( https://www.datacenterknowledge.com/twitter/twitter-gets-deeper-google-cloud ). If true and Amazon and/or Google don’t like the “New Twitter” they could just kick them off their platforms the way they did for GAB, Parlor and others.

      120

      • #
        David Maddison

        That’s a concern.

        Twitter will have to disconnect itself from the Google data mining operation.

        This article is over a year old, I hope they haven’t gone too far.

        https://www.datacenterknowledge.com/twitter/twitter-gets-deeper-google-cloud

        Twitter Gets Deeper into Google Cloud

        The social network is moving more of its Hadoop clusters to the cloud, adopting Google’s data analytics and machine learning tools.

        Yevgeniy Sverdlik | Feb 04, 2021

        Twitter is expanding its use of Google Cloud, moving more of its computing infrastructure from its own data centers to the cloud platform and using more of Google’s data tools to empower more of its staff to innovate.

        Google announced that the two are taking their few-years-long relationship to a new level Thursday.

        SEE LINK FOR REST

        40

    • #
      Tel

      I seem to remember that both Microsoft (i.e. the “Azure” cloud services) and AWS (the main cloud service competitor) have simply directly taken money from the US government on military contracts.

      https://www.nextgov.com/it-modernization/2021/08/nsa-awards-secret-10-billion-contract-amazon/184390/

      Microsoft got some other contract, the one where Pelosi suddenly became an excellent call-options trader and got the timing just right before the contract was announced. You can look that one up.

      There is simply no way the Fourth Branch of Government, the U.S. intelligence system writ large, is going to permit that discovery.

      Well it ain’t exactly a secret, with it being on the news and all that. There may be even more money flowing through some other channel for all I know. One of the early investors in Facebook was Peter Thiel who got his money from a business called “Palantir Technologies” which took government money and tracked and profiled people … it just so happens that having all the people conveniently on Facebook makes them a whole lot easier to track and profile.

      If you search out “Operation Narwhal” … the Obama election campaign in 2012 was making very good use of their Facebook data collection (combined with other sources), which is something that got tightened up a lot after 2016.

      https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2012/02/project-narwhal-how-a-top-secret-obama-campaign-program-could-change-the-2012-race.html

      Nothing secret about that either, they were proud of their success at the time.

      20

  • #
    RicDre

    Victor Davis Hanson: Musk Twitter takeover has the left, Silicon Valley ‘terrified’

    https://video.foxnews.com/v/6305093768001#sp=show-clips

    110

  • #
    Honk R Smith

    If we wait for Elon Musk or some other ‘authority’ allow us to speak freely, freedom will be lost altogether.
    I’ve been thinking lately about simply being my own bipedal mobile carbon based free speech platform.
    It’s good way to ferret out cowards and morons.
    They are intent on impoverishing us anyway.

    131

    • #
      PeterPetrum

      You don’t have any leftie close relatives then, that will ban you from family functions?

      30

  • #
    Neville

    I wonder if Musk is the genuine article or is he just a contrarian poser?
    But time will tell and I’ll reserve my opinion for a few months, but I hope he quickly allows sceptics to strongly criticise, useless, clueless, TOXIC EVs and ditto the S & W disasters.
    We should know more in a month or two and by the end of the year we’ll understand whether he really believes in free speech or not.
    Here’s hoping for the best.

    131

    • #
      PeterS

      As some are saying, it’s just out with the old gatekeeper and in with a new one. Whether it’s better or worse only time will tell as you say. I will wait and see too.

      51

  • #
    PeterS

    Don’t forget that Elon Musk takes climate change seriously with his Tesla and other businesses. He is likely to push the climate change crap even harder now.

    81

    • #
      Dave in the States

      If he really believes in free speech then he will allow skeptics to also present their case. And we all know how well the alarist aruement holds up. That’s why the skeptical arguements were banned.

      101

    • #
      GlenM

      I don’t care what Musk’s attitude to climate-change or any other matter. What does matter is that he allows freedom of thought and ideas to flourish on the platform. Personally, I won’t be on it.

      60

    • #
      RicDre

      “Don’t forget that Elon Musk takes climate change seriously…”

      Well, we know he takes climate change Subsidies seriously since Tesla would be less profitable or perhaps not profitable at all without them.

      90

    • #
      Forrest Gardener

      Takes climate change seriously?

      Nothing says taking climate change seriously like launching rockets into space for fun and profit.

      80

    • #
      PeterPetrum

      I suspect his “seriousness” is all to do with money, as is the seriousness of almost anyone who is financially involved in intermittent energy or ev vehicles.

      50

    • #
      William

      I prefer to believe he has been fleecing the Woke and Tesla is not premised on climate change. I have been following him on Twitter and he is very entertaining.

      51

  • #
    David Maddison

    I am no great believer in electric cars. Their only use is as virtual signaling shopping trolleys or toys for the Elite.

    But think about what Elon is doing in the EV business.

    All he’s doing is relieving rich Leftists of their money in exchange for his virtual signaling toys. Normal people don’t tend to buy EV’s.

    202

    • #
      Grogery

      If it was mandatory for EV’s to be charged only by “renewables”, I wonder how many “virtue signallers” would continue to use them?

      90

  • #
    Peter Fitzroy

    Elon for president, he now has the mouthpiece he needs

    412

  • #

    Free Speech on twitter “Global Warming is a Hoax”.
    Your comments do not meet our Terms of Service.

    61

  • #
    James Murphy

    Those of the “left” who are not very bright, should be reminded that Elon is an African-American, so any complaints about him are, by their own rules, racist and offensive.

    101

  • #
    ian

    “So, the liberals started crying a lot, and the people working at Twitter just started kicking the conservatives off so no one would laugh at them for being dumb.”

    That sentence perhaps could have been phrased rather differently

    319

    • #
      b.nice

      You could of course have used the full quote

      Then liberals started saying a lot of dumb things, and conservatives started making fun of them. ”

      As you are well aware, Ian, it is very much the leftists, that you represent, that are laughed at for being so dumb and ignorant.

      291

    • #
      paul courtney

      Mr. Ian: How perceptive of you. It should read, “So, the liberals started crying a lot, and the people working at Twitter just started kicking the conservatives off so no one would laugh at the crying liberals for being dumb.” Loose pronouns jump out at me too.
      P.S. Using fancy words like “perhaps’ and “rather” really impresses people, you think folks at this site are ready for such highbrow palaver?

      01

  • #
    Serge Wright

    This is the biggest news of the decade for free speech and democracy. Thump has indicated that he’ll not join Twitter and will stick to his own platform, which is a bit disappointing, but having multiple free speech outlets is not a bad thing. This moves now creates an interesting situation, where Musk becomes the chairman of free speech, rather than the leftist elite oligarchy, who were obviously managing that role in coordination with Jack Dorsey. The famous saying “He who controls the narrative controls the people” is so applicable in today’s digital world. Twitter and the rest of the social media outlets & MSM have taken control of the narrative and allowed left wing government to run amok and drive its authoritarian and socialist agenda. The Democrats and other left-wing authoritarian leaders will be very worried today because their grip on control just took a really big hit, as their entire world relies on censorship and control.

    With censorship now dead on twitter, the sins of the leftist elites will be exposed and they will fight back, because they are in charge. They will try and hold Musk hostage to tax and criminal investigations and freezing him out of government contracts. Musk will be under intense pressure to retain the status quo of censorship or risk losing everything. Grab the popcorn because we have a wild ride ahead.

    151

    • #

      Unfortunately, Musk is not the arbiter of Free Speech. Big Government can and does make all kinds of speech illegal. And they will be coming for Musk now.

      101

      • #
        Serge Wright

        I hear you and I saw Jen Psaki’s response, but he’s protected by the 1st amendment and the Dems would struggle to bring in any new legislation in that space, especially without a majority. All Musk needs to do is to stick to a 1st amendment line and ensure moderators take action to remove anything that is inciting violence or falls under discrimination and civil laws.

        I think the loony left will possibly try and attack twitter by setting up fake accounts and pretend to be white supremacists, making derogatory racist tweets to create negative press on Musk and his free speech drive.

        21

  • #
    Ronin

    How is twitter worth $44b US, has the man gone mad.

    40

    • #
      Neville

      I agree Ronin, but then again how is Musk worth 500 billion $ or about 0.5 trillion $?
      I know if you add up all his net assets he’s supposed to be worth that much but it’s still very hard to understand or believe it.
      He makes Trump or Twiggy Forrest or Clive Palmer etc look like paupers.

      80

      • #
        Ronin

        He is an expert at siphoning subsidies.

        90

        • #

          Musk may be worth 200+ billion US, but Larry Fink controls a $10 Trillion asset management group. And there are other billionaires and other asset management funds of similar caliber.

          Musk is by no means unopposed, especially when the others collude.

          71

    • #
      GlenM

      A boggling amount of wealth. I could control the world with such resources. Ha ha ha ha.

      30

  • #
    Richard+Ilfeld

    Mr Musk will, likely, prove many wrong again.
    In the bad old days of three networks (US) monopolizing news, the nightly half hours were very profitable. Twitter, with freedom, and debates, and interesting threads, and a genius manager will monetize the interesting threads. Political debate can ride along (nobody ever sponsored the Sunday morning shows). The best of Twitter, from an audience point of view, was forced to places like substack, and found subscribers, as in pay for. The mass media (Twitter) can make money on a penny on content for which the niche market charges a buck; their algorithms have already proven they can sort people, who can also self sort by following. This is the next form of media; as in so many fields the founders have foundered for one reason or another but it is likely the second guy in will make a lot of money. There was an established auto industry when he started Tesla, an established Space Agency when he started SpaceX, and he won’t be the worlds first media mogul. But, given the principle that you can turn eyeballs and Advertisers into cash flow if you deliver the former to the latter in reliable measured doses, the very thing Twitter has failed at, I guessing Elon will do good and do well at the same time.

    51

    • #
      RicDre

      “…nobody ever sponsored the Sunday morning shows…”

      I remember there were several commercial breaks during those Sunday morning shows on those three US networks, so somebody was sponsoring them.

      20

      • #
        Richard+Ilfeld

        I filled out more logs than I want to remember. PSA’s and ROS’s…Public Service Announcements “Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires” and Run of Schedule (75% off if we run your ads at random times & they are pre-emptable without compensation)

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    Hope that Bill Gates still has that short position on Twitter. He stands to make a large loss on it…

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    Neville

    Certainly Musk is very difficult to understand or to fit into a known category.
    Here he talks about the need to increase the global birthrate and warns we’ll be sorry if we ignore this message.
    But he’s correct that global fertility has been dropping since the mid 1960s, but whether that’s a problem or not is debatable.
    Certainly the idea that we will soon face an extinction of the Human race is absurd and the evidence proves we are living in the very best time ever and Humans are thriving.
    But then again L W idiocy knows no bounds and who knows what these loonies have in store for us in the decades ahead?
    https://www.dailywire.com/news/mark-my-words-elon-musk-bucks-leading-smart-people-with-warning-about-birth-rate

    But we could face the threat of a very large piece of space junk in the future and then anything could happen. Who knows, but the dinosaurs disappeared very quickly and a number of scientists maintain that Humans were reduced to only a few thousand just 70,000+ years ago.
    Could the Lake Toba explosion have caused that most recent near extinction of our race and could it happen again and when? It’s all debatable, but I will not be losing any sleep over it.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toba_catastrophe_theory

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    Old Goat

    My take is this: Elon is looking to make money on this . Free speech is his selling point but profit is his aim . He has been making a lot of money off crypto currencies by buying in and then publicizing this and watching the value rise because of it (and I wager he sells at the top). The same will happen with twitter – the fact that he bought it will increase its value , and as long as he manages it properly it will be way more profitable than it is now . Follow the money…

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      Tel

      Pump and Dump in crypto is not strictly speaking illegal because they are (mostly) unregulated … however in US stocks there are a heck of a lot of rules that can leave you in trouble if you quietly sell at the top while talking up your position.

      Musk can always pay off the fines, but as Martha Stewart discovered, sometimes the key people take a dislike to you and then all of a sudden the rules get interpreted much more strictly.

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    Forrest Gardener

    In my book there is a little too much enthusiasm for this announcement.

    I’ve never used twitter. I don’t see the point of twitter. I have absolutely no idea if or how twitter makes money. All I see is a cesspool of deeply antisocial people doing their best to make two year old temper tantrums look like reasoned discourse.

    There is something I don’t like about the idea that if only the good guys (us) had all the power the bad guys currently have (them) then all would be sunshine and happiness and the bad guys would stop their silliness and evil. And now that Musk has bought one of the bad guys favourite tools of suppression maybe the rest of the evil will fall like dominoes.

    So the new dictator promises he is nothing like the old dictator? We’ll see.

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      Kalm+Keith

      Right on!

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      Ross

      You’re right in a lot of respects. Twitter is mostly a sewer – or as someone pointed out more correctly a septic tank that only gets pumped out every few years! Maybe this is one of those pump outs? I joined for work purposes, because I could see a great communication device for up to date scientific knowledge using # searches. I liked it better when it was only 140 characters per tweet. People than had to be creative to construct a tweet, make their short comment and move on. Literally a “tweet”. Then it changed to more characters and people now almost write sermons as tweets. Also, there is the problem of threads- when again people almost write novels on the platform. You could improve the whole platform by maybe enforcing some easy rules. Perhaps a character limit again. Users also need to not be anonymous. That’s a huge problem. Somehow ban threads. Then you have retweets. Without retweets, Twitter wouldn’t exist. The only way to maybe fix some of those problems would be to place limits on number of tweets/ day / user. Or charge $ for extra tweets- one way of increasing income. Offensive language is a problem which could be moderated more. I’m no prude, but language moderation ( swear words?) could be somehow contained on the platform. I think the language moderation is one of the best aspects of Jo’s blogs. It keeps the conversation civil. I wish Elon Musk lots of luck and I hope he changes Twitter to be better.

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        Despite the censoring, I find Twitter useful still, though frustrating as more and more the best commenters were tossed off, and I always follow them to other platforms like Gab or substack.

        I think the fewer rules the better. We don’t need to limit the number of tweets. IF someone retweets 50 things a day, they have to be very interesting retweets or I drop them from the feed. So there are natural brakes on mindless retweeting. I prefer to follow those who don’t waste my time.

        Shorter tweets will be retweeted more.

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          Ross

          It’s hilarious Jo- was back on Twitter this afternoon and a number of people are “ back”. Looks like EM already having an effect.

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      Andrew McRae

      Nobody complains about the benevolent dictator.

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        Forrest Gardener

        … except those who don’t benefit sufficiently from the benevolence and would prefer a different benevolent dictator.

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    dnaxy

    To have truly free speech is going to be strange. We’ve never had platforms like this, have we? It’s like trying to define randomness mathematically….almost impossible unless we bring quantum phenomena into play. If he allows nearly every speech in, will we be swamped with Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, National Socialism, Postmodernism, Sophistries of every variety, profanity, rude offensive language, military secrets…on and on? Maybe we have to define it as “anything that could be written in the Congressional Record”?

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      Forrest Gardener

      Dnaxy truly free speech is a difficult concept because some free speech is actionable in the forms for example of defamation and incitement to riot.

      By all means speak freely in the brave new world but always be ready for at least the natural consequences.

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        I assume section 18C still applies to twitter comments. If I offend a race or ethnic group and I live in Australia twitter doesn’t protect me from that.

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    Grogery

    I don’t use twitter (or fb, instagram, etc).

    It may take a while for him to get rid of the bots and reduce paid manipulators, but if and when that happens, it will be interesting to see a more accurate representation of tweet “likes”. Maybe he might implement “dislikes”.

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    John Smith

    I wanted to find a link to this blog on a new computer so I did a Google search for “joanne nova”. First listed was Wikipedia, with its ‘climate denialist’ BS, then page after page of climate activist web sites. Couldn’t see a link to the blog in the first few pages.

    Then did a DuckDuckGo search and the link I wanted was first on the list, as it should be.

    Google, Twitter and the like are pure evil. Anything that can be done to promote free speech and simple fairness should be done, and if this is Musk’s intention then I for one applaud it.

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      And yet, when I search for my own pages using joannenova and say “electricity grids” Google works much better than DDG or Brave.

      But I remember a time when I didn’t need to write “joannenova” and I could find my pages on the front search page on some topics.

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    Kim

    It’s Individualism versus Collectivism. Individualism has won this battle. Let’s help it wins the war.

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    Brian the Engineer

    Out of the frying pan and into the fire.
    Probably an EV fire, or whatever Musk wants.
    Same problem difference deity/ubermensh

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    roman

    “Which raises the question of how Twitter makes money?”
    I worked at Santos some years ago. They fund this bike race/event whatever called the Santos Tour Down Under. There was an info session for employees about this event. Turns out they pay twitter to make them ‘trending’. It was clarified that it wasn’t via some third party click-farm, it was a service provided directly by twitter.

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    David Maddison

    Video: Why they hate Elon Musk

    https://youtu.be/sb2J9s_202w

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    UK-Weather Lass

    The Babylon Bee message isn’t just razor sharp, it is telling us that BIG money controls the discussion, the participants, the messages and the memes. All the stakeholders believe they have control of all the important assets and technology, including the secrets and patents ‘sold’ to the very enemies of free speech which now number very powerful groups right at the very top of western political influence. It is all massively corrupt and disingenuous because the many bit part players are not too bright but do have lots of easy money that just happened their way. They don’t seem to realise they are disposable and will be disposed of just as soon as their use is served.

    It is the dystopia we have warned about so many times by such as Orwell et al. There are ways forward but, as Trump has intimated, they require independent and free thinking people to exercise without servitude to any misguided or deluded other. We need plain speech as well as free speech but, most of all, we need intelligent debate and proper electoral process.

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    Phil O'Sophical

    Do not be hoodwinked by wishful thinking, or joy at the screams of the woke at this development. That Morgan Stanley helped him buy it, alone is enough warning bells for me. Musk is dangerous. He has winged it through life on the back of his family’s fortune from emeralds. Fact checkers bother to say this is a myth; Google promotes this ‘debunking’ to the top of any search on him, so it must be true. He used the money to take over a succession of other people’s work and turn a profit. Agreed that takes something (like, say, money) but he is not an original thinker and doer, like, say, Dyson. He is also developing his neural-link idea; minds linked to the cloud; which is the WEF wet dream. Digital authentication is not free speech, it is control and will play into this perfectly. The excitement over his deal sounds to me very like the twittering [!!] of turkeys voting for Christmas.

    The British Government’s (I use that term loosely) Orwellianly named (as it does the very opposite) Online harms and safety Bill quietly slips through parliament, and the EU makes it’s Covid Green Pass (yes it’s an embryo digital identity) mandatory for all 27 countries by July 1st. Why would something they sell as beneficial need to be mandated?

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