The SpaceX/Tesla founder and billionaire has articulated lofty free speech ideals. Can he make them reality?
Musk has panned the site’s existing content moderation policies, saying they are too restrictive and encroach on people’s ability to speak freely without being censored. Some liberalization of these policies and the re-platforming of controversial figures like former President Donald Trump—who was banned in the wake of the January 6 riot for inciting violence among his fans—seems likely, though unpopular with droves of users.
At the mid-April TED conference in Vancouver, Musk talked about his interest in making Twitter’s algorithm open-source. The Diff’s Byrne Hobart took this a step further, outlining how “Twitter should monetize a protocol rather than run an app,” and explaining the tension between Twitter as a consumer product and as “a way for individual users to update a universal shared database, which can then be filtered based on who’s interested in what.” Hobart claims that it’s possible that Twitter has been “radically miss-monetized,” and that Musk could potentially realign its priorities. However, little of the online discourse has focused on the technical possibilities.
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