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lee-pace.jpg

Petty Elon Musk Only Suppresses 'Free Speech' When It's About Him

By Dustin Rowles | Social Media | December 15, 2022 |

By Dustin Rowles | Social Media | December 15, 2022 |


lee-pace.jpg

It’s been a few days since we hit the Elon beat, and I’m sure you’ve missed seeing Lee Pace (substituted for aesthetic reasons). Here’s a quick rundown of the business side of Twitter. According to Platformer, Musk’s attempt to rid the site of bots was a massive failure. Musk thought that, instead of playing whack-a-mole with bots, he could outsmart them by simply cutting off access to Twitter to around 30 mobile carriers around the world responsible for a large number of bots. He cut off access to hundreds of thousands of accounts in Asia, including Russia, Indonesia, India, and Malaysia, and had to quickly reverse the decision when Twitter began receiving numerous complaints from legitimate users cut off from access. Having fired thousands of employees, Musk is learning the limits of automation and shortcuts.

Likewise, Platformer is reporting that Musk’s new gambit to improve the ad situation is to force “all Twitter users to opt in to personalized ads in order to keep using the app” and is “considering forcing users to share their location, let Twitter share their data with its business partners, and use contact data phone numbers used in two-factor authentication for ad targeting purposes.” Google and Apple also use personalized ads but give users the option of opting out. Twitter reportedly intends to force users to opt in or lose access to the service and “once users have agreed, they won’t ever be able to opt out, sources said.” That’s a big yikes.

In other news, you may remember this tweet from last month:

Screen Shot 2022-12-15 at 11.23.44 AM.png

Musk is now tired of upholding his commitment to free speech and has suspended accounts that track private jets, including that of @ElonJet, which tracks Elon’s private jet. That account was created by 20-year-old Jack Sweeney, whose personal Twitter account has also been suspended. The information about private jets is public, so it’s not like Jack Sweeney was doing anything illegal.

After Musk incurred a ton of backlash for suspending Sweeney’s accounts, he tried to connect Sweeney’s account to a stalker harassing Musk’s son.

There is no record yet of legal action taken, nor should there be. Again, the information is public, it’s not real-time, and Sweeney’s bot hasn’t Tweeted since December 12th, which wasn’t last night when the stalker harassed the car his son was in. Elon is clearly using an unfortunate situation to justify his decision to, uh, suppress free speech.

It’s also worth noting that Tesla stock continues to fall — 61 percent this year, and 28 percent in just the few weeks in which Musk has owned Twitter. He also sold another $3.6 billion in Tesla stock this week, likely so that he can continue to prop up Twitter. From the Times:

“The Twitter nightmare continues as Musk uses Tesla as his own A.T.M. machine to keep funding the red ink at Twitter,” Dan Ives, a stock analyst at Wedbush, wrote in a note to clients on Thursday. Some investors are also worried that Mr. Musk’s divisive and incendiary statements on Twitter could be damaging Tesla’s brand and putting off customers, especially people who are buying electric cars to reduce the emissions responsible for climate change.

Courting MAGA users on Twitter is not going to help Musk sell electric vehicles to the typical EV buyer, especially as more alternative EV options become available.

via NBC News