Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, responded with “Lmaooo” to a Washington Post op-ed titled “Elon Musk’s idea of “free speech” will be bad for Twitter.” Musk’s appointment to Twitter’s board of directors demonstrates the necessity for social-media platform regulation to prevent wealthy people from controlling our conduits of communication, it stated. The Washington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, the world’s second-richest man.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 8, 2022
Musk stunned the world last week when it was disclosed that he had purchased a 9.2 percent interest in Twitter, Inc., making him the company’s largest stakeholder. He drew even more attention when it was reported that he will be joining the board of directors of Twitter, implying that he may have a say in Twitter’s policy in favour of free speech ideals.
“Elon Musk’s vision of ‘free speech’ will be bad for Twitter,” The Washington Post wrote on Friday. Ellen K. Pao, a tech investor and former Reddit CEO, slammed the billionaire’s bought-in Twitter “welcome,” calling it “highly disconcerting — even a slap in the face.”
“Like many ‘free speech’ advocates, he willfully ignores that private companies are free to establish some limits on their platforms,” Pao wrote, mocking the tech tycoon for labelling himself a “free-speech absolutist.”
Twitter made strides to remove hate and harassment and to give users more control over how they share their opinions… It added features that let users limit who could reply to their tweets, created labels for misleading content, and banned President Donald Trump’s account. After all that, bringing Musk onto the board seems like a big step backward,” Pao decided to write. He can sway the corporation to his liking by deleting sensible restrictions on hate speech and advising harassed employees to have thicker skins.”
The irony of Pao’s remark advocating for “regulation of social media platforms to prevent rich individuals from controlling our avenues of expression” being published by The Washington Post was not lost on critics, who pointed out that the paper is owned by billionaire Jeff Bezos.
Even Musk was a part of the joke.
Musk responded to the op-ed passage with, “Lmaooo.”
Several media outlets have raised concerns about Musk’s expanding connection with Twitter. Tim O’Brien, a senior columnist for Bloomberg Opinion and a political analyst for MSNBC, termed the move “bad news” for free speech.
There is “anxiety” over Musk becoming a Twitter stakeholder, according to CNN’s left-wing media correspondent Brian Stelter.