The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Ja, er ist der Super Man!

Often when I think about Elon Musk, Spike Jones' 1942 hit "Der Feuhrer's Face" comes to mind. Substack, whose links Musk recently banned from Twitter, brings us A.R. Moxon's similar thoughts:

If you were the world’s smartest man, after all, you’d have turned your apartheid inheritance into the world’s largest fortune, and since you haven’t done that, you aren’t the world’s smartest man. Why, you might not even be a man, the definition of which is something the world’s smartest man seems to have some opinions about.

And one other rather minor thing the world’s smartest man is doing …

He has gone and bought himself a social networking platform. It’s called Twitter and maybe you’ve heard about it. I sure have.

[A]fter he bought Twitter, we have all seen what it means. It means insisting on fostering a place for unrestricted free speech while banning reporters who are critical of him, and bringing back the sorts of abusive actors who had been banned for using their hate speech to threaten and harass other people off the platform. It means insisting that the platform should be unbiased while currying favor from far-right extremists and propogandists and even doing their bidding in real time. It means creating a subscription model that demolishes the existing verification structure and claiming that doing so will create a level playing field, even while describing the new playing field as a deeply divided hierarchy based not on value of one’s thoughts, but on one’s willingness to pay. It means firing most of the staff and pulling apart various load-bearing aspects of the platform’s framework and replacing it with a post-it note. It means doing a lot of things that destroy the value of the platform, in other words, which make more and more of the people who gather on Twitter and create its value wonder what the point of continuing to write on Twitter is.

It all makes me think, as you might expect, of Beavis and Butthead.

Heh heh. Heh. Heh heh. Musk as Cornholio? Oh, my, yes.

Oh, I almost forgot: NPR has left the platform and its 8 million followers, on the reasonable grounds that they “are not putting our journalism on platforms that have demonstrated an interest in undermining our credibility and the public’s understanding of our editorial independence:”

"At this point I have lost my faith in the decision-making at Twitter," [said NPR CEO John Lansing]. "I would need some time to understand whether Twitter can be trusted again."

The only surprising thing here is that anyone has faith in the decision-making at Twitter anymore.

(Note: The Daily Parker is a contributor to National Public Radio.) 

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