What Twitter looks like if Elon Musk buys it
Many unknowns remain if the sale of Twitter to Musk happens, but here's the latest on the situation from a variety of sources.
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With that being said, here’s today’s topic:
Is Elon Musk really going to buy Twitter after all? If he does, what’s Twitter going to look like afterwards?
Here are some takes on this topic you should take seriously.
Did Elon convince Kanye to get back on Twitter? Maybe. It would make sense to have Kanye tweeting again because right afterwards he had an appearance on Tucker Carlson’s show. The MAGA folks made a big deal of that appearance. They wanted to build some hype around their people coming back to Elon’s Twitter 2.0. But it’s hard to see a master plan after Kanye went all in with the anti-Semitism days later. Maybe he just can’t stop himself from the full on crazy stuff.
Kanye got his tweets removed and was temporarily banned from Twitter as a result. Elon’s solution was to talk to him. Herein lies the issue with the “free speech absolutist” philosophy Musk adheres to. Eventually people say things horrible enough that you have to do something about it and “talking to them” isn’t going to cut it.
Perhaps the only plan is that there is no plan.
Who was Elon texting with that calls Trump “the boss himself”? It’s unclear, but it seems to be someone who does or did work for Trump recently.
This about Darren Beattie is accurate.
Beattie is part of the Steve Bannon, Mike Cernovich, Jack Posobiec “Alt-Lite” MAGA troll crew. They had a lot of Twitter friends banned back in 2016, and they want them to all come back. They’re hoping Elon brings them (and Trump) back to make it more chaotic than ever.
Is Elon talking to Steve Bannon? Probably. I’d be more surprised if he wasn’t at this point.
MAGA really, really wants Trump back on the platform.
Anti-Trump Resistance accounts like this guy want Trump back so they can quote tweet and reply to him all day. They’re more interested in appearing to oppose Trump than in actually opposing him. They know Trump is great for growing their brand and virtue signalling as one of the good guys.
Another Resistance anti-Trump Twitter account calls Elon Musk a "Russia-friendly Republican billionaire". This is pretty classic case of a inflammatory and misleading tweet that often goes viral. This isn’t true but it’s also not libelous. Expect more of this if Elon takes over.
It does seem as though the establishment wing of the Republican Party really doesn’t want Trump back on Twitter. This is in line with them repeatedly asking him to wait until after the midterms to announce his 2024 Presidential run. McConnell and McCarthy know that Trump’s crazy tweets turn off voters and will cost them elections.
Similar commentary here from Matt Yglesias. I think he’s right in the short term. Trump’s tweets might help Dems win an election or two, but bringing Trump back along with more “Nazis and bigots” on the platform isn’t going to make another insurrection less likely.
This is a big maybe, but this possibility has been bounced around for years now with the Section 230 discussion.
Sequoia Capital and Binance are still planning on financing Elon’s purchase of Twitter. All of the funding isn’t secured yet, but they’ll probably find the money when they need to.
The market thinks there’s a 60% chance the deal closes by the Oct 28 deadline.
One theory from an ex-employee is that Elon wants to “buy the Twitter name, the completely gut and change it”. Nobody at the company really knows what that looks like in practice.
This is an interesting interview talking about the damage unmoderated or poorly moderated social media platforms can have on the world. The interviewee is Roger McNamee, a former adviser to Mark Zuckerberg who fell out with him over his handling of Facebook's security problems.
This is probably true. Elon doesn’t want Twitter and Twitter doesn’t want him, but it’s probably going to happen anyway.
So why would Elon go through with buying it after pulling out once? Because the Musk v. Twitter lawsuit led a Delaware court to release hundreds of Elon's text messages, and if the sale goes through before October 28th, the lawsuit goes away and the damaging personal leaks stop.
Some personal thoughts to leave you with.
Elon doesn’t really want to buy Twitter.
Elon is probably going to end up buying Twitter anyway.
It’s not clear what will happen to Twitter if/when he buys it, but it could be very bad if Elon keeps listening to the people who listen to Steve Bannon.
Elon’s “free speech absolutist” ideology has been tried on social media before. Jack Dorsey even tried it with Twitter! No one else has made this work, so what makes Elon any different?
One thing that is likely to happen is Trump returning to Twitter.
Trump coming back is bad, but the people who tell you it’s bad THE LOUDEST are often anti-Trump Resistance accounts you should ignore. Quote tweeting or replying to Trump with mean words does not hurt him. In fact, he wants you to.
Good luck everyone. We’re going to need it.
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