Tesla boss Elon Musk is fed up with Twitter. Musk earlier today asked whether a new social media platform should be created to challenge Twitter because it doesn’t encourage freedom of expression. His question has sparked speculation that the world’s richest person might be the one to do so.
It all started with a series of tweets on Friday, when Musk asked his 80 million fans if it was time to replace Twitter with a new social media platform and if users thought the company was “holding out.” to the principles of free speech”.
Musk also said that a failure to promote free speech on the app would undermine democracy, as Twitter serves as a de facto “public marketplace.”
“Given that Twitter serves as a de facto public marketplace, failure to uphold the principles of free speech fundamentally undermines democracy. What should be done?” Musk tweeted.
In a reply to his own thread on Saturday, which sparked speculation that he was planning to launch his own social platform, Musk later asked, “Is a new platform needed?”
Is a new platform needed?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 26, 2022
In response to Musk’s question, a Twitter user named Cernovich urged Musk to buy Twitter. “Buy Twitter,” Cernovich tweeted.
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) March 26, 2022
Musk also polled the Twitter audience on Saturday, asking if the company “adheres to the principles of free speech.”
“Freedom of expression is essential for a functioning democracy. Do you think Twitter strictly adheres to this principle?” Musk tweeted.
The consequences of this survey will be important. Please vote carefully.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 25, 2022
So far, over 70 percent of over 2 million respondents said “no” to Musk’s Twitter poll. In a follow-up tweet, Musk said that “the ramifications of this poll will be important,” and he had urged respondents to “please vote carefully.”
Meanwhile, it all started on Thursday, when Musk first claimed that “Twitter’s algorithm should be open source.” Twitter founder Jack Dorsey responded immediately, saying that “the choice of which algorithm to use (or not) should be open to everyone”.
The choice of which algorithm to use (or not) should be open to anyone https://t.co/o2DkSTWW0O
— jack⚡️ (@jack) March 25, 2022
Given that Twitter has a history of censoring opposing views from conservatives and high-profile figures like former President Donald Trump, many on the right are hoping Musk would build an alternative free speech social platform to share their views without fear need to be censored or pushed off the platform.
Update (11:35pm EST): Good news for Dogecoin fans. We now have an idea of some of the features Musk will be adding to his new social platform if he decides to go ahead with the rollout. In a tweet tonight, Steven Steele suggested that Musk’s platform would come with a “top-of-the-line Dogecoin jar.” Musk replied, “100.”
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 27, 2022