Journalists stand guard outside Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters. Suddenly, two men appeared with cardboard boxes and their belongings inside. Someone shows a book by Michelle Obama, as if the reason for her dismissal. When a journalist asks him his name, he tells him his name is Rahul Legma. But no, they are not workers who were fired by Elon Musk. They are trolls who deceive reputable media outlets like CNBC or Bloomberg, who report on them without falling for the idea that Ligma is a dirty meme. Musk laughs at them: “They asked.”
The land has been paid. Not only has he stated that he plans to make major cuts in staff, but the first decision of the 51-year-old billionaire born in Pretoria (South Africa) was to fire the main managers of Twitter. Among the first four beheaded Musk was chief legal officer Vijaya Jade, who is responsible for Twitter’s content modification policy, which Musk has been highly critical of.
Musk declares himself “absolute freedom of expression.” Some users are already testing it. The day after the operation is closed, use the floor nigger, The derogatory and racist way of referring to African Americans has skyrocketed. Far-right users have started posting QAnon messages, which is a great generator of conspiracy theories. The Anti-Defamation League revealed a coordinated campaign to spread anti-Semitic messages After the process is over. This Friday, he condemned the spread of more than 1,200 tweets and tweets in this regard. The origin of the campaign came from fringe 4chan, which is widely used by extremists due to its virtual absence of controls, and has spread across Telegram channels to transmit this hate speech to Twitter. “Other users have posted long lists of phrases and topics that Twitter has removed in the past, such as election disapproval, COVID misinformation, and defamation of public figures,” the association added.
The billionaire buying of Twitter launched a message Thursday to try to reassure advertisers who can flee the social network if it becomes a jungle of racist content, deception, insults, hate messages and incitement to violence. “It is clear that Twitter cannot become a free hell for everyone where you can say anything without consequences. In addition to respecting the laws of the state, our platform should be warm and welcoming to everyone, where the desired experience can be chosen according to the preferences of each one.” He relayed them in a Twitter message.
General Motors withdraws
Right now, he had already suffered his first setback. General Motors, the largest US automaker (and a competitor to Tesla, which is controlled by Musk), announced Friday that it will be pulling ads temporarily: “We are working with Twitter to understand the direction of the platform under its new ownership. As usual with the notable change in the system We have paused our paid advertising and said in a statement that customer service interactions on Twitter will continue.
Content moderation is necessary for advertisers to engage with a social network. Companies don’t want their ads to be accompanied by messages that may tarnish their brand image. Musk decided to give himself some time. this friday Announced, again through the social network, that “Twitter will form a content moderation board with very diverse views.” “Before the board meeting, no major decisions will be made about the content or the accounts will be recalculated.” Perhaps he is trying to expel ghosts as the reason for this boom in the contradictory messages , Later added: “To be very clear, we have not made any changes to Twitter’s content moderation policies.” It was not necessary to change it in order for the feeling of an open bar to spread.
With the formation of the council, whose composition and duration of opinion is unknown, Musk can postpone any decision until after the November 8 legislative elections and avoid being accused of meddling in them. Overall, Republicans were satisfied with Musk’s purchase of Twitter. Elon Musk has indicated that he will oppose Big Tech’s censorship and will support freedom of expression. Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn tweeted. Some Democrats expressed discontent and the loss of followers suffered by the accounts of some progressive leaders, apparently due to the departure of many of them from the network.
The most famous decision made by the recently dismissed person responsible for moderation policies, Vijaya Jade, was the expulsion (“permanent suspension”) of Donald Trump from the social network on January 8, 2021, two days after the attack on Capitol Hill by insurgents who wanted Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election prevented from ratification. Twitter She claimed “the risk of further incitement to violence”.
Trump has no plans to come back
Musk has made it clear that he intends to bring Trump back once he takes control of the social network, but the former president is giving him the pumpkin for now. “I am very happy that Twitter is now in good hands, and will not be run by lunatics and lunatics from the Radical Left who truly hate our country,” Trump wrote yesterday on the Truth Social, the Twitter alternative. But after throwing flowers at him and saying that he must now get rid of bots and fake accounts, he clarifies that he sticks to his own social network: “It will be much smaller, but better. I love the truth!”
The fact is that the Truth Social belongs to the Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), which is headed and founder by Trump. According to a brochure registered with the supervisor, the former president has contractually agreed to use that social network for all of his messages and can only repeat them in others after six hours. The Trump Corporation would lose all of its value without him as a troublemaker.
Without waiting for the creation of the board, billionaire I’ve already left instructions: “Anyone arrested on less suspicious grounds will be released from Twitter prison.” How this is explained is another matter. The Anti-Defamation League has already drawn up a list of people whose return to the network is considered dangerous, in addition to Trump: “white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, white nationalist Nick Fuentes, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, former Trump adviser Steve Bannon and misogynist Andrew Tate.”
It is clear that the test of the rhetoric of absolute freedom of expression for the new owner of Twitter is not limited to the United States. Just a few hours after Musk announced the closure of the operation, tweeting “The bird is free,” the European Union Internal Market Commissioner, Thierry Breton, replied: “In Europe, the bird flies according to our rules.”
However, the biggest problems will not happen in Europe. Tesla, the company that made Musk the richest man in the world, has a very important presence in China, where there is no free speech and suspicion that the businessman will challenge Chinese censorship on a large scale. The same goes for other countries. Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal became the second contributor to Twitter, By transferring its previous stake of $1.89 billion to the offering price, as previously announced. Among the partners accompanying Musk are also a sovereign fund from Qatar and another from Dubai for venture capital. Freedom of expression is not absolute in these countries.
In his message to advertisers, the billionaire said he did not buy Twitter to make money. For now, according to Bloomberg’s calculations, which together with Forbes He is the reference in measuring huge fortunes. With the closing of the Musk process, he lost $10,000 million, which is the extra price for his investment in the company. On the other hand, Vijaya Jade will receive compensation of 21 Million for her dismissal.
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