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What Elon Musk’s private messages say about the future of Twitter | technology


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Elon Musk wants to buy back Twitter. now yes. Here is the brief chronology of this case: in April it bought 9% of the company. He agreed and then resigned to enter the shareholder meeting. Soon, he signed an agreement to buy it all for 44,000 million. In May it retreated. Twitter took him to court to enforce that agreement, which was due to begin on October 17. Musk was supposed to testify Thursday, but it was postponed.

Tonight it was learned that the trial was adjourned until 28 October so that the parties could negotiate.

It remains to be seen if Musk wants to dance more. But the consensus among journalists with direct sources in Silicon Valley is that Musk chose the lesser of two evils: buy before lengthening the process that would have sucked up energy and had more options to lose. In November, he hopes, for example, to launch a new SpaceX rocket, which should take us to Mars at some point. It’s more important.

In the end, it’s harder for him to spend 44,000 billion and appoint himself as interim head of Twitter than to prepare for a seemingly bad experience.

There is another problem that Musk may raise. Late last week, the court released hundreds of private letters between Musk and a diverse cast of Silicon Valley stars. His reading is wonderful. Yesterday the judge in the case said that not all of them were there. It uses Musk Signal, which self-destructs messages and does not respond to requests from authorities. The default recovery of more messages may annoy Musk and his friends.

The posted messages give a glimpse into the intimate discussions of Silicon Valley’s hard core, which includes mainly billionaires and hard-core businessmen. Among all these messages, some are amusing, others reveal, and even more help to understand what Musk wants from Twitter. This is what came out of it:

1. “I think no one should be anyone’s boss”

Musk appears as the right guy, not too strict: “I hate being the boss.” He says. “I think no one should be anyone’s boss. But I like to help solve technical issues.” He says he is a fan of the Russian network RT: “I really liked their news. A lot of rubbish, but also good arguments.

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He also explains that he hopes to work for a few months without an assistant: “Jane had a son and I decided not to get an assistant for a few months.” A Twitter executive offers to meet him at Airbnb for a meeting and warns him that there are tractors and donkeys on the property: “Haha, unbelievable. The Airbnb algorithm probably thinks you like tractors and donkeys (who doesn’t!)” Don’t use emoji From laughing even though he uses others.

Most of the messages come from people who admire, cheer, or criticize Musk. Nobody coughs from it. It’s a long line of undisciplined fans: “My sword is yours,” says investor Jason Calacanis, the most persistent and running Twitter CEO, “that’s going to be my dream job.” He sends him lists of ideas that Musk misses. Minus the suggestion to significantly reduce the Twitter template, which makes it more fun.

2. “We need a new platform”

At the end of March, Musk tweeted: “As Twitter operates as a public domain, failure to adhere to the principles of free speech undermines democracy. What needs to be done? Is there a need for a new platform?”

Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter and president until November 2021, wrote to him: “Yes. It can’t be a company. That’s why I left.” Musk asks how it should be. Dorsey responds with a long message: It should be an open protocol, like Signal, without ads, and without a central entity behind it. “Very cool idea,” Musk tells him, “I’d like to help.” The absence of publicity satisfies Musk.

3. “Is 1000 million good for you? Better 2000

With tweets from the platform, more messages start arriving. One is from Larry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle: “I don’t think we need another Twitter,” he told him. With Ellison, Musk has one of the craziest careers. A few weeks after that first message, Musk asks if he’s still interested in co-buying Twitter: “How many more or less dollars?” Musk asks. And Ellison: “1,000 million, or whatever you recommend.” Musk responds in the same tone as the rest of us on lottery participation: “Whatever suits you. I would recommend 2,000 or more. It has a lot of potential.”

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“I agree with you, and it’s going to be very funny,” Ellison says to him at the top. In all of humanity, there are probably less than 10 people who, if they had 2,000 million, would find it “very interesting” to invest them in a company.

4. “But why not buy Twitter?”

There are also Europeans with ideas. Matthias Dobfner, CEO of Axel Springer who controls Build s Politician, Musk directly asks for Twitter to buy: “We take care of it for you,” he continues. “We are creating a platform for freedom of expression. It will be a real contribution to democracy.” “An interesting idea,” Musk replies. A little commitment.

Days later, Döpfner is the author of the longest message in the entire database, with a list of points to fix Twitter. The first is “free speech reform”. How? Our Terms of Service “now consisting of hundreds of pages” should be reduced to three things: no spam or scams, no violence, and no illegal porn. The rest are similar ideas for turning Twitter into an open protocol for different algorithms. Musk does not seem attractive.

5. ‘Do something against the liberals’

One of the most commented letters is from an unknown author. (There are letters whose authors have been withheld). “It will be a tough game to allow right-wingers to return to Twitter and how to navigate it (especially the president himself) [presunta referencia a Donald Trump]. I’ll make the rules soon and I’ll have someone with the political and cultural savvy to be the VP of compliance,” he told her. The vice president could be “someone like Blake Masters,” a Trump Senate candidate from Arizona who hails from Peter Thiel’s group in Silicon Valley.

There are several letters asking Musk, for example, to do something against progressives, from someone who is also being censored. Podcast maker Joe Rogan accused of racism and anti-vaccine asks you to “liberate Twitter from the mob of censorship.”

This is the most frequent point: Trump and his entourage seem to be coming back. Most likely: “It would be great if the permanent ban was relaxed, except for spam accounts and those who advocate outright violence,” Musk wrote to current Twitter chief Prague Agrawal. And soon after: “Twitter should move to the middle.”

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But will Musk go back on Twitter’s community standards and allow the law of the jungle? Musk may be many things, but it’s hard to believe spending 20% ​​of his assets on a company to turn it into a bank.

6. “What did you do this week?”

There is only one bad moment in the messages and it is dedicated to Agrawal. In the initial messages between the two they seem to get along well. Speaking from engineer to engineer, Jack Dorsey supports Agrawal’s work. Musk initially says a handful of nitty-gritty details like “I’ve got a lot of ideas, but let me know if I’m pushing you too hard. I just want Twitter to be ‘maximally amazing'” [sic]” or “I would like to understand the technical details of the Twitter code base. This way I can better gauge the stupidity of my proposals.”

Then comes Musk’s famous tweet: “Is Twitter dying?” Agrawal tells him that it does not help. Musk responds with one of the worst questions a future president can ask: “What have you been doing this week?” Admittedly, if Musk buys Twitter, Agrawal goes home. Something happened between them. Even Dorsey admitted with Musk that they could no longer work together.

7. “I have two ideas”

On the hot days of his spring buying, Musk came up with a few ideas. First for its famous superapp, The person who keeps tweeting aboutChinese WeChat: messaging, payments and social networking. “I have an idea for a blockchain social media system that does push and SMS/link like Twitter. You have to pay a small amount to register the message in the thread, which will eliminate most of the spam and bots. There is no bottleneck, so freedom of expression is guaranteed,” he wrote. Or not.

And then: “My plan B is a version of Twitter built on the blockchain. You’ll have to pay maybe 0.1 dogs [una cripto promovida por Musk] By commenting or forwarding this comment.”

Soon after admitting that this model in blockchain It was impossible. From here, it is all speculation.

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