- After extensive negotiations, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has purchased Twitter for $44 billion.
- David Schwartz, Ripple exec has expressed his concern stating that Musk would more likely make people dumber with his free speech campaign.
It was recently reported that the richest man in the world, Elon Musk, has Purchased Twitter for $44 billion. His move has been linked to his previous criticisms of the social media giant as he felt Twitter did not do enough to abide by free speech principles. Identifying himself as a free-speech absolutist, Musk tweeted a poll in the past to ask followers whether Twitter was serious about enforcing this democratic principle. Prior to the official announcement of the purchase on Monday, he sent a strong message to his critics.
I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter because that is what free speech means. Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square.
Mixed reactions to the Twitter purchase
This development comes as positive news to free speech activists and those whose account has been suspended for their comments. However, Angelo Carusone, president of nonprofit media watchdog Media Matters for America, believes that this should not be celebrated. According to him, people banned for inciting violence with their speeches would more likely be allowed back on. He further stated that this will be a victory for the people behind disinformation.
A sale to Elon Musk without any conditions will pollute the entire information ecosystem by opening the floodgate of hate and lies. Twitter’s board needs to take this into account now before the deal is done.
Ripple exec believes Musk would make people dumber
In agreement with Carusone’s position, David Schwartz, Ripple’s chief technology officer, expressed his concern stating that Musk would more likely make people dumber with his free speech campaign. On the contrary, he admitted that the Tesla CEO could make Twitter better. He further explained that “free speech can have some counterbalance when it stops the strong from silencing the weak”.
The Tesla CEO has also been labeled as a “hypocrite” after he was found to have urged the Chinese government to censor critics in the past. He was also reported to have canceled a blogger’s order of Tesla in 2016 for giving it a bad review.
Regardless, several crypto influencers including Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano have sent him their congratulatory message. BlockFi, a crypto lending firm, celebrated this news with a photo of the Dogecoin dog and a Twitter logo. MicroStrategy founder and CEO Michael Saylor have expressed his support for Musk by replying with a text of the first amendment of the United States constitution.
Elon "Free Speech" Musk
— Pomp 🌪 (@APompliano) April 25, 2022
In addition, House of Representatives member Jody Hice has stated his support for the move stating that this is a win for the first amendment. Hice was much in the headlines for supporting the false claims of fraud in the US 2020 election.
Musk has in the past re-emphasized his desire to remove “spam and scam bots and the bot armies,” from the platform. With about 83 million followers, it is claimed that he has a high possibility of influencing the behavior of users.
The purchase is pending the approval of certain regulators and Twitter Stockholders. This is expected to be finalized in the near future.