Elon Musk just plans to buy and rename TWITTER: In current times, the online space for discussion and news is owned just by a few companies with specific interests. Many common people don’t like that, but neither do high profile individuals like Donald Trump and Elon Musk.
And now, Elon Musk might just be taking a tab from Trump as he just reveals his own social media platform might just be in the offing.
Elon Musk indicated in a tweet that he is giving “serious thought” to creating a unique and new social media platform. He was responding to a Twitter user’s question on whether he would consider creating a social media network based on an open-source algorithm that prioritized free speech and minimized state-sponsored propaganda.
His remark comes a day after he posted a Twitter poll asking users if they thought Twitter upheld the principle of free expression, to which more than 70% responded “no.” “The consequences of this poll will be important. Please vote carefully,” he wrote, prefacing the poll
Despite Twitter being his primary platform and means of communication with the rest of the world, Musk has recently been critical of the social media network and its policies. He claims that the company and the social media platform itself are hurting democracy by violating free speech ideals.
Indeed, it’s not a criticism that’s unheard of. The permanent suspension of Trump’s account in early 2021 has sparked debate in US society over free speech. Twitter has been accused by Trump and his allies of limiting free expression.
They contended that the Constitution forbids the government from restricting citizens’ expression. Despite the fact that Twitter is a private company, its social media platform has become one of the key areas of public dialogue, which is why concerns about free speech are relevant.
It also established a dangerous precedent. In fact, it gets even more ridiculous when you consider the fact that the Taliban are allowed to maintain an official Twitter account, but Donald Trump is not.
Among these examples, it’s also important to note that Spotify was heavily pressured multiple times to deplatform MMA commentator and podcaster Joseph James Rogan.
Complaints have mostly come from left-of-center and far-leftist Spotify employees and public personalities who seem to have an issue with Rogan hosting a wide variety of people with a wide variety of beliefs and opinions for discussions.
In recent years, the hypocrisy and false standards of US democracy have become widely exposed. Consider the right to free expression. For American media outlets and many Americans, those who can speak and enjoy “free speech” are those who share their political beliefs.
For Trump’s friends and allies, banning Trump from Twitter and other social media platforms is an attempt to undermine free expression. It is not acceptable to them.
However, Trump’s opponents see it as an essential step to condemn violence, demolish efforts to glorify violence and safeguard societal order and stability. They are incorrect because it establishes a very dangerous precedent for new thoughts and points of view to be silenced instantly.
If Musk decides to create a new platform, he will be joining a steadily growing cohort of companies that are positioning themselves as champions of free speech in the hopes of attracting users whose views are undeniably being suppressed on platforms such as Twitter, Meta Platform’s Facebook, and Alphabet-owned Google’s YouTube.
Most notable among these alternative social media apps is Parler, which was endorsed by Donald Trump himself. According to an SEC document signed and submitted on January 6, 2022, the anniversary of the storming of the US Capitol, it has raised $20 million in the capital.
Despite claiming to have more than 16 million registered users, the app has historically struggled to achieve widespread acceptance. According to Sensor Tower data, Parler’s mobile app has been downloaded around 11.3 million times worldwide since its launch.
The software has only been downloaded 141,000 times since its relaunch to the App Store in May 2021, however, according to the company. If Parler’s stated statistic of 16 million registered users is correct, this will imply that the bulk of users accesses Parler through its native mobile app.
Parler will also face competition from Trump’s own social network, TRUTH Social, which was launched on February 21st, President’s Day in the United States. While TRUTH Social is yet to reach any viable success, there is palpable disappointment against traditional social media.
Over the last year, governments throughout the world have been scrutinizing the business structures and practices of businesses such as Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook in anticipation of antitrust action.
Users are also scrutinizing Facebook and Google for their privacy practices, especially since Apple is now requiring companies to put privacy labels on all apps that reveal what they do with user data.
As a result, some people are turning to alternative networking apps not only because they hold opposing views, but also because they value their privacy. For example, thanks to a notification, several privacy-conscious users recently became aware of WhatsApp’s data-sharing practices.
As a result of this broader trend to private platforms, encrypted messaging applications like Signal and Telegram are thriving, as is the privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo, a Google.com alternative.
It’s uncertain what the future holds for these free speech alternative apps, as platform suppliers like Amazon (AWS) are already refusing to host them. This could force networks to seek private investment in order to create their own infrastructure and stay alive, as well as explore alternative distribution mechanisms, such as the web or even sideloading, to reach their consumers.
With Meta and Alphabet becoming more or less too big to fail companies now, it’s hard to see how success may be achieved. This is also where we bring up Clubhouse, an invitation-only social media app that Elon Musk is a part of.
It connects users to conduct talks about a wide range of topics, including bitcoin, sports trading cards, local bands, and pretty much anything else you can think of. Users who have been invited can search for topics of interest and join rooms for discussion.
There are no posts, photographs, or videos on Clubhouse and no DMs to slide into. It’s little more than a profile picture and a voice.
Musk’s Clubhouse conversation with Robinhood CEO Vladimir Tenev about the Gamestop GME craze exceeded the platform’s 5,000 person-per-room limits and resulted in over a million new Clubhouse downloads in the next 10 days.
He is a VIP there, along with Mark Zuckerberg and singer Drake, among others. He seems to have taken a liking to Clubhouse as well. So what can motivate him to move toward building his own social media app? Musk is irritated that regulators are scrutinizing his tweets.
The Securities and Exchange Commission subpoenaed Musk in November after he asked his Twitter followers if he should sell 10% of his Tesla stock, causing shares to slump. In February 2022, Musk accused the SEC of “harassment” and made a calculated effort to “chill” his right to free speech.
The regulator informed a judge that Musk’s tweets on Tesla would continue to be fair game for government scrutiny, even if the court overturned a 2018 agreement with the SEC requiring Musk to obtain permission from other Tesla executives before tweeting about the company.
There seems to be a trend for wealthy individuals with a polarizing presence on social media that gets them in trouble, to want to build their own platforms,” Matt Navarra, a social media consultant, told CNBC Monday.
“One can only assume their logic is by building their own social network, they get to create the content moderation rules they often fall foul of on Twitter, Facebook.” Navarra further explained that it’s not easy to build a buzzing social network.
“There’s a reason why pretty much every alt-social network launched in recent years has failed to take off,” Musk stated that in order to establish a sustainable and successful social network, he would require a large amount of financial capital as well as a staff of skilled product managers and engineers.
Most essential, it must include people with whom others wish to interact. The majority of alternative social networks position themselves as safe havens for free expression.
This frequently means that they are home to users with the most radical or politicized viewpoints. Because of the nature of these alternative platforms and the information that is published on them, they frequently fail to attract the advertisers and investors that they require to stay afloat, as previously mentioned.
Furthermore, Musk has already stated that he and his firms are working on intriguing technologies that would be released years in the future. However, the anticipated advances are frequently not achieved within the projected timespan.