What will Elon Musk do with Twitter, the blue bird he has just captured?

What will Elon Musk do with Twitter, the blue bird he has just captured?

Posted on October 28, 2022

After months of legal and media battle, Elon Musk wanted to avoid the trial that was to open to force him to keep his promise to buy Twitter at 44 billion dollars. The biggest fortune in the world officially became the owner of the social network. He says he wants to do it in the name of freedom of expression, took possession of the premises and immediately fired the management trio, including the legal director who banned Donald Trump from Twitter. Within hours, she became the target of a hate campaign. The new “Chief Twit” is unlikely to put a stop to this kind of excess.

End of the stock market for Twitter, which Elon Musk officially became the owner on October 27, 2002 after a long media and legal sequence. He preferred to take over the social network from the blue bird at the agreed price ($ 44 billion), than to face the lawsuit brought by the leaders of Twitter to force him to keep his promise on which he had returned. . True to his “cool” style, Elon Musk took possession of the premises by doing a bit of a move.

He claimed to have freed the bluebird and renamed himself on his Twitter profile”Chief Twit” – which could be translated as “cretin in chief”. On the human resources side, the rumor evokes the dismissal of 75% of the 7,500 employees of the group. Elon Musk began by turning on the field the leaders of the social network whose Chief Legal Officer, Vijaya Gadde, responsible for Donald Trump’s ouster, she was immediately the subject of a twitter hate campaign by Trump fans, who are delighted to see the disappearance of the one they call “the grand inquisitor”.

This new campaign sums up most of the fears that the taken over by Elon Musk of Twitter, under the guise of freedom of expression, weighs on the quality of exchanges on the network. As a reminder, the whistleblower Peiter Zatko, known as Mudge, former security director of Twitter, seized the American regulators at the beginning of 2022 to alert them to the network security flaws which allow the proliferation of fake accounts allowing the massive dissemination of disinformation.

The GAFAM are no longer popular

The defense of freedom of expression according to Musk more akin to the American view that anything can be said, including anything! The concern is heightened by the fact that the takeover of Twitter is not a financial boon for the owner of Tesla and SpaceX. Tech stocks are no longer the queens of stock market indices. On the GAFAM side, Microsoft fell over one year with -30%, Amazon 35.6%, Google 36.7% in one year, and Facebook did worse over the period with -70% in stock market value. Apple, which does not operate on the same model, limits its losses: -5% over the same period.

The main consequence of their past stock market performance is to have given spectacularly considerable fortunes to a handful of men – Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg – as well as colossal power. Corentin Sellin, associate professor of history and specialist in the United States explains on Twitter how the latter are able to transform American democracy into plutocracy. He writes: “The almost limitless financial power of these billionaires is the result of a deregulated process (frequent evasion of state taxes for these immense fortunes and/or their firms) and of unequal accumulation of wealth. They have the capacity to reinvest these fortunes in political financing in the United States and/or the takeover of media.The power of billionaires like Elon Musk over the states responsible for the public interest in charge of regulating them is almost unlimited, especially since they are often in a commercial relationship with them like SpaceX with NASA.”

the weight of social networks in democratic elections is increasingly decisive. The extreme right, everywhere in the world, relies on it to progress. Jair Bolsonaro, for example, invested 12 million euros there for his second round campaign. If he is re-elected in Brazil, it will be proof of the results of “freedom of expression” as defended by Elon Musk. It is in fact a boulevard for alternative truths that disrupt the construction of public opinion and, ultimately, lead to the power of Donald Trump clones.

Anne-Catherine Husson-Traore @AC_HT_