On Twitter, Elon Musk and his very right-wing “filter bubble”

On Twitter, Elon Musk and his very right-wing “filter bubble”

There is what Elon Musk publicly affirms (“I support the left wing of the Republican Party and the right wing of the Democratic Party”, he said, in August). And then there is what he does: on his own social network, Twitter, the businessman has multiplied, in recent months, affable exchanges with personalities on the far right of the American political spectrum, while reserving its harshest criticism for the Democratic Party and the media.

Admittedly, the quadruple CEO – he also owns Tesla, SpaceX and Starlink – spends a lot of time on the social network responding to Internet users, sometimes lambda. We saw him respond to a incomprehensible message from a Japanese accountor discuss platform load times with Indian user having only sixteen subscribers.

But the analysis carried out by The world of several hundred “retreat” (the messages addressed to another user on Twitter) published by Elon Musk since he took control of the platform, shows something quite different: with around five hundred exchanges in a month, these interactions draw the profile of a boss who lives, in his own way, in a “filter bubble” of converging opinions and very largely oriented to the right.

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Friendly with conspiracy theorists, sarcastic with elected leftists

Since the end of October, Mr. Musk has thus exchanged, nearly twenty times, with Ian Miles Cheong, figure of the American alt-right, and a dozen times with Conservative activist Tom Fitton, from the organization Judicial Watch, or with the ultra-conservative anonymous account Catturd (literally “cat poo”). Mr. Musk also spoke with several accounts rooted in “gamergate”, an ultraconservative movement born on specialized sites devoted to video games.

“48 hours after Donald Trump's account returned to Twitter, the world still hasn't collapsed.  – “And we discover that Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails [qui a quitté Twitter pour protester contre les choix d’Elon Musk] is a whiner.  »

Several openly conspiratorial figures also benefited from a personalized response. The new boss of Twitter has thus exchanged, on several occasions in recent days, with Kim Dotcom, the former CEO of the Megaupload download service converted into the dissemination of conspiracy theories on the Covid-19 as well as the elections, and under the influence of an extradition warrant to the United States. Dinesh D’Souza, a central figure in the conspiracy theory claiming the presidential election was rigged, also received his approval after claiming that Twitter was censoring conservatives.

Our analysis : LOL League, GamerGate… Twitter, favorite playground for stalkers

At the same time, the multi-billionaire restored the accounts of several very right-wing American personalities and organizations, such as ultra-radical MP Marjorie Taylor Greene and the far-right media Project Veritas, believing that they had been unfairly censored. He also announced, on November 25, after a poll which he usually embellishes in some of his tweets, that the platform would reactivate all of the “legal” accounts deleted under the previous directions. The boss of Twitter has set a single limit: Alex Jones. “Infowars” host, who was recently ordered to pay record damages for denying the existence of the Sandy Hook school massacre, will never return to twittersays Mr. Musk.

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