back to article Twitter faces existential threat from world's richest techbro

Elon Musk is many things. The richest man in the world with over $200 billion in his back pocket. An instigator of PayPal. CEO and chief engineer of SpaceX, the biz that restored the US's manned space capabilities. Owner of the most valuable car company on the planet. And as of April 14, he says he wants to be the owner of …

  1. AMBxx Silver badge

    Do what?

    Someone's been inhaling this morning.

    1. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge

      Re: Do what?

      I'd like to see the SEC go after Musk since he violated the disclosure requirements one has to file when amassing large amounts of stock, as well as for violating his settlement with the SEC about using tweets to manipulate markets.

      Bottom line is this is Musk wanting to be able to engage in intellectual masturbation by stroking his ego via tweets worshiped by his millions of sycophants unencumbered by Twitter's ethics rules. The fact that he'll also unleash Trump to continue destroying the democracy that allowed Musk to create his wealth is just icing on the cake for him. He's the classic rich guy who's wants to behave any way he wants and wraps himself in a shroud of libertarianism.

      1. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

        Re: Do what?

        The fact that he'll also unleash Trump to continue destroying the democracy

        Not that I particularly like the orange baboon, but he should not be censored.

        You're essentially claiming that censoring people is good for democracy... of course only if the 'bad' people are censored.

        Censorship is only used to shape the narrative of the one doimg the censorimg.

        Bad speech is not fixed by censoring, it's fixed by more speech.

        1. Snowy Silver badge

          Re: Do what?

          Yes and no Shouting fire in a theatre is not fixed by someone shouting there is not a fire if a large number only hear the person shouting fire.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Do what?

            Musk actually addressed this in an interview with Chris Anderson last week (of which the author of this piece does not seem to be aware) and funnily enough, the theatre example came up.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Do what?

              Here is the interview:

              The bit where he talks about Twitter is towards to beginning. I think it's fair to say that this opinion piece does not address any of Musk's statements as to his intentions and motivations.

          2. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

            Re: Do what?

            Being held accountable is not the same as taking away soneone's platform to speak out their mind.

            I know a good solution to the shouting fire in the theatre 'example'. Let's force everyone to wear a ball-gag and hand-cuff them to their seats, just in case they want to do a Will Smith.

            Nobody compells you to listen to the orange baboon.

            What's happening is the equivalent of someone standing on his soap box in the park proclaiming things you don't like and instead of walking away and not listening, you decide to destroy his soap box and rough the guy up a little bit, with people who also don't like this speech standing on the sidelines cheering you on.

            1. Headley_Grange Silver badge

              Re: Do what?

              But what if it's the equivalent of a bloke in the park proclaiming things I don't like then telling his listeners to beat me up when he notices me walking away and not listening?

              1. SundogUK Silver badge

                Re: Do what?

                That's not what's happening. To stretch your ludicrous analogy a little further, the left have monopolized the soap box for the last ten years and are having a tantrum because some one else wants a turn.

                1. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

                  Re: Do what?

                  This not an issue of left vs right.

                  This is an issue between people with an authoritarian streak and people who prefer freedom (with the risks inherent of having freedom).

                2. genghis_uk

                  Re: Do what?

                  The analogy is incorrect - the soap box is not in the park i.e. in a municipal space. Twitter is not a public forum - no, it really isn't despite how often people think it is!

                  Twitter allows you to come over to their place where they give you a soap box if you agree to play by their rules. Break the rules and they have every right to remove your soap box and send you on your way.

                  Both left and right have idiots and those idiots will get banned for rule breaking - generally though, the more Trumpian types bitch and whine about it more to play the victim card. "I've been censored" they say on Gab, Facebook, Parler, Truth Social (well they would if they could get on), Fox News, OANN, Breitbart etc... This 'censorship' rubbish is just another thread in the culture war tapestry.

                  Free speech in the USA is the right to be free from Government censorship i.e. banning you from saying something anywhere. If you want to get a soap box and stand in a park spouting rubbish, then you are more than free to do so but why should Twitter allow bigots a platform and host potentially dangerous misinformation?

                  1. Eric Kimminau TREG

                    The problem is that the rules are inconsistent

                    If we stay with your analogy, i.e.:

                    "Twitter allows you to come over to their place where they give you a soap box if you agree to play by their rules. Break the rules and they have every right to remove your soap box and send you on your way."

                    They have chosen to eliminate some, who they dislike their message claiming they broke the rules.

                    Yet they still allow Vladamir Putin, The Ayatollah Khomeini, Members of Hamas and Hezbolla and any other number of world wide criminals, murderers and terrorists to maintain their account and their voice.

                    Do we get to hold the "platform" accountable for the crimes of the voices they allow to remain? Most say no because "they are a platform that allows free speech".

                    You wither need to be a platform, allow free speech for all OR you need to consistently protect the platform from the crimes, either perceived or real, of the voice.

                    Trying to have it both ways is hypocritical censorship.

                    1. genghis_uk

                      Re: The problem is that the rules are inconsistent

                      Unlike some, the likes of Putin, Khomeini, Hamas, Hezbollah (is there a thread to those you call out?), they have not directly broken Twitter's rules of posting.

                      They are undeniably horrible people but if they stick to the rules why should Twitter remove them? Who gets to decide if someone is horrible enough to remove them? It rapidly becomes deplatforming or 'cancel culture' that the right keep harping on about...

                      Trump, MTG, Alex Jones etc. broke the rules (call for violence, Covid misinformation and abusive behaviour) - no soap box for them, but if Putin tweets about fly-fishing and butterflies should he be banned? (I'm sure he doesn't but you get the point). Nothing hypocritical there as far as I can see.

                      None of this is 100% though, mistakes happen and with the sheer quantity of tweets, mistakes will happen often - the goal is to get a balance though

                      1. Eric Kimminau TREG

                        Re: The problem is that the rules are inconsistent

                        You are just like the original author, choosing to ignore reality while focusing on your Trump derangement syndrome.

                        First they choose not to ban the Ayatollah

                        Then they choose to ban it as a fake account

                        But Hamas is staying within the roles. Showing people rioting, waving weapons, rioting, attacking tourists, etc.


                        Hezbollah posts videos of riots, firing rockets, and thousands of accounts with Hezbollah in their name allowed to flourish:


                        The Ayatolla allowed to post anything he wants as well as thousands creating accounts in his name::


                        Since you think these are all fine and the Twitter platform has every right to retain them but block others, you obviously only want censorship of those you disagree with. Right?

                        1. genghis_uk

                          Re: The problem is that the rules are inconsistent

                          Unfortunately, when discussing Twitter and free speech, it is hard not to include the cult of Trump. They have been the ones shouting censorship (I see you fall for it too) when it is nothing of the sort.

                          The 1st amendment gives Americans the freedom from Government censorship, it does not give you the right to an audience on a private platform (here come the downvotes again). Sorry if that is not the way you want it to be but that is the way you wrote your constitution - take it up with SCOTUS.

                          Other than a somewhat biased set of examples, I can probably find dozens of others from all over the world given the motivation, I agree that much of this should also be taken down but "Whataboutism" does not excuse the fact that the bitchy, whiny arm of the GOP (I note not all Republicans), complain more loudly when they have clearly broken rules - and have been warned on several occasions. It has almost become a badge of honour to be banned (like dear leader) There is probably a bitchy, whiny arm of the Liberals that complain too but, ironically, they don't seem to have as many places to moan about 'censorship' while clearly not be being censored

                          Again, moderation of a platform of this size is guaranteed to produce mistakes, miss things and block things that shouldn't have been. They cannot get it right 100% of the time which means you will always find examples, it does not mean that the platform is biased (reports and analysis have shown little bias, here is one:

              2. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

                Re: Do what?

                If that happens, there are laws and courts that can decide if what that person is doing is unlawful or not.

                It's not up to a private entity, not a corporation, nor a natural person, to make that decision.

                1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

                  Re: Do what?

                  And what happens when the laws and courts are effectively 50-60% owned by that person?

                  Anyone who doesn't realise we are witnessing a group trying to smother American democracy on behalf of an angry white minority (hint its not the left) and mostly succeeding is delusional.

                  Freedom of speech requires democracy, sometimes freedom of speech has to come second to the needs of democracy.

                  Frankly it's only American's that put freedom of speech on such a ridiculous pedestal. Rather like not flag burning.

                  1. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

                    Re: Do what?

                    And what happens when the laws and courts are effectively 50-60% owned by that person?

                    Then you're already living in a dictatorship and you can kiss your @ss goodbye.

                    But in case you're referring to Trump, it seems that the very fact that he was removed from Twatter, means that if you *are* indeed living in a dictatorship, that he was not the one *really* in charge.

                    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

                      Re: Do what?

                      Thats hilarious. Just because he lacks total power over Twitter doesn't mean he has not garnered significant power elsewhere. The exception does not prove the rule.

        2. IceC0ld

          Re: Do what?

          Twitter did not censor tRump, he broke the rules, he signed up and accepted the TOS, and then blatantly ignored them, Free Speech is there to stop GOVERNMENT from blocking your point of view, Twitter is a PRIVATE Co, they set their rules, you follow them, you remain on their servers.

          to watch him implode once he was denied access to 'his' service was amusing, but the reality IS that as a PRIVATE Co, Twitter followed their own rules, and, like so many others before him, it removed them for the site.

          At what point WOULD you think to remove him then ?

          how bad would it have to get ?

          he actively planned to subvert the democratic process, to try and remain in power, where he only appeared to be looking for love from those much richer than he is, looking at a several TRILLION $ tax break to MILLIONAIRES - so yea, tell me again how he was censored, he always has 'Truth' Social doesn't he ?

          and as always, there is XKCD to check to get a proper understanding of the issue

          1. badflorist

            Re: Do what?

            " but the reality IS that as a PRIVATE Co"

            If a parking meter is owned privately and makes all money via public streets, does that private meter company have the power to stop you from using their meter? Then again, is a website REALLY public....?

            - Not OK - Twitter might be private but their entire operation is in the public domain.

            - OK - Linkedin can't stop scraping because they are in the public domain.

            - Not OK, but also OK :-/ - Google vetting public search results

            Nobody has clue what free speech is or isn't on the internet, confusion and misdirection is profitable.

            P.S. I agree with everything you imply/stated, but it's really blurry when you analyze the entirety of anything that is "free"+"public"+"legals".

            1. Screwed

              Re: Do what?

              All a meter company has to do is have in their T&Cs that non-functioning of a meter does not allow anyone to park there without charge.

              Then, if you find a broken meter, they are stopping you from using that meter for as long as it is not repaired. Which could be their decision for any reason - arbitrary or real.

              1. badflorist

                Re: Do what?

                No, by law if a meter is in public space and isn't functioning parking is free. At least in the USA and probably most places because if all meters were broken, then nobody could park anywhere (that would be nuts).

          2. IceC0ld

            Re: Do what?

            and as always there is XKCD .............

            and as always, I forget to attach the bloody link FML :o)


    2. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Someone's been inhaling this morning.

      All of us have been inhaling this morning.

      How do you think breathing works?

  2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

    The correct analogy for Twitter isn't the rainforest; it's a rancid, fetid swamp inhabited by predators and parasites, and fed with a continuous stream of sewage and effluent from the Big $ interests surrounding it.

    Fixed it for you.

    1. Headley_Grange Silver badge

      Yes, but, as the article asserts, it's a "self-curated experience" so none of the sewage and effluent gets through.

      (We need a Sarcasm icon)

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge

        a sarcasm icon

        will this do?

    2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      I think you are describing most examples of social media.

    3. Don Dumb

      @Lord Elpuss - regardless, it is still important. Whether we like it or not, it's difficult to argue that it doesn't have a signifant effect on today's world.

      1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

        It’s important in the same way Donald Trump’s various social media excretions are ‘important’. Certain groups of people will always be bored and/or stupid enough to listen comment and regurgitate, but that doesn’t make it worth keeping. The world would be on balance a better place if it quietly disappeared.

        1. Sixtiesplastictrektableware Bronze badge

          While I understand and agree with your point, I'd rather have all the idiots localized and not roaming freely without a semblance of purpose.

          I believe that stupid people doing stupid things is slightly better than stupid aimless people. In my view, the potential for stupid tops out once the idiot is engaged in an activity. From there, you can try to guide stupid to as close to benign as possible.

          Though highly unlikely, it still remains a possibility that a group of twitdiots could be swayed toward reason.

          However, my views tend to live in hope and die in despair.

          1. AMBxx Silver badge

            Go back 25 years. If 0.1% of the population believed the world was flat, chances are that they would never meet someone with the same stupid opinion. Now, with Twitter, they find millions to agree with them.

            Combine that with some sort of social angle, and those millions can shout down anyone who disagrees with them with the rest of us too scared to intervene.

            1. Terry 6 Silver badge

              It's not so much about "too scared" it's that rational people use rational means and look for rational explanations, which may be nuanced. The flat Earth/conspiracy nut jobs and the like have no need to behave in that way. They are impervious to such trivialities as evidence and logic. And psychologically a strongly held, confident opinion will be more powerful than a rational "on balance" one. We see this with vaccine reluctance. The rational arguments that vaccines are massively much safer than the virus and have been extensively tested and billions of people have used them doesn't convince some people nearly as much as being told confidently that the vaccine is an evil ploy by the politicians and those terrible big pharmers ( why's there no tractor icon?) to put them under mind control.

              1. AMBxx Silver badge

                That's why I mentioned the social angle. "Can a woman have a p3n1s" would have been a music hall joke 10 years ago. Now the question scares labour politicians.

                1. tiggity Silver badge


                  It was certainly a joke in 2004 when Goldie Lookin Chain charted in the UK with "Your Mother's got a P...."

            2. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

              And somehow it's better to let these ideas fester somewhere in the an eccho chamber in one of the corners of the internet?

              Please explain.

        2. Don Dumb

          It’s important in the same way Donald Trump’s various social media excretions are ‘important’.
          Yep, that was what I was getting at, 'important' doesn't mean 'good' but we would be naive to ignore the power of the platform (politicians don't use it for fun) and that Elon might wish to exploit it for more than he is currently able to.

      2. Khaptain

        Yes definitely a significant effect, that I agree with..

        It's just that it's a negative effect....

      3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        it's difficult to argue that it doesn't have a signifant effect on today's world.

        It is very easy to do just this. While the media love the shitstorms and the sense of immediacy, they're just part of the echo chamber: quotes on Twitter are easier to get than interviews.

        For millions of people who do, sigh, take social media serioulsy, Twitter has long been replaced by the more visual media of Instagram, YouTube and TikTok, which is why that's where the money is: why bother risking money on advertising when product placement is possible.

    4. Len

      I’m sorry but I have to disagree. If Twitter was only ‘a rancid, fetid swamp inhabited by predators and parasites, and fed with a continuous stream of sewage and effluent from the Big $ interests surrounding it’ then it would be easy. Just delete your account and never go back.

      The problem is that it’s also amazing in certain corners. I’m not an archeologist as mentioned in the article but I’m sure eminent archeologists have very useful disclosures and debates on Twitter that us mere-mortals can listen to and learn from, if we wanted.

      I’m some times active on Twitter because in my area it just so happens that 90% of the experts are on Twitter and it’s a great way to read swift and well-thought through analysis of recent developments. Straight from the horse’s mouth without a journalist in between who may not fully understand the matter or needs to dumb it down for their general audience.

      If you stay away from popular culture and politics (seriously, 99% of people have an opinion that is not worthy of being heard by anyone else) then Twitter can be amazing.

      I now only dip into Twitter when there is a relevant development and I want to gauge expert opinion. I occasionally stick around for a week or so but invariably get very depressed about the state of the world. I have largely switched from Twitter to Mastodon and follow a bunch of the same media on there. On the whole Mastodon is a much nicer experience than Twitter but the big problem is that most of the valuable experts are not on Mastodon. So, even though it’s technically at least as good as (if not better than) Twitter, it lacks some of the value that Twitter has. And until a major exodus from Twitter to Mastodon (perhaps with a bit of help from Musk) I suspect it will remain that way.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        I'm sure it must be the cesspit of social media that has led to the use of this way of beginning a comments with "I'm sorry but...".

        If you feel you need to apologise for your comment then what is it worth to anyone else? Have the courage to comment without a whimpering apology at the beginning.

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          re: Have the courage to comment without a whimpering apology at the beginning.

          What a pointless, stupid little comment, showing no thought for the idiot receiving the message.

          Are you so thick you think people like to be spoken to like this?

          1. SundogUK Silver badge

            Re: re: Have the courage to comment without a whimpering apology at the beginning.

            You're on social media. How do you think this is supposed to work?

          2. hayzoos

            Re: re: Have the courage to comment without a whimpering apology at the beginning.

            So instead of "I'm sorry but," it would be better to start with "Spoiler alert snowflake, this is gonna hurt your feelings."

        2. lbgr

          He's being polite, that's why he starts his comment with an apology for disagreeing.

          In my world, politeness does not diminish the worth of a comment; and a lack of politeness or outright rudeness is not the same as courage.

          Have a great day.

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        it’s a great way to read swift and well-thought through analysis

        In 140 characters? I think not! Anyway, it's not as if Twitter has a natural monopoly on expert group discussions.

        1. Screwed

          140 characters? I think not!

          It is 280 now, I believe.

          1. The Axe

            And you can create threads which are multiple tweets of upto 280 characters each.

            1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

              Oh great. So "reasoned analysis" can be done in 280 characters, can it?

              I don't mind message limits to encourage focus, which in turn might stimulate interest, but they are not suitable for serious discussion. Not that you can't thrash ideas out over a thread. But, again, this is hardly something Twitter has a monopoly on, which is possibly why it's struggling to generate sufficient revenue from advertising.

      3. Persona Silver badge

        I’m sorry but I have to disagree.

        Why? As in why are you sorry you have to disagree? There is nothing wrong with having an opinion and hence disagreeing, though very few people will believe you actually were sorry about having to disagree. You should perhaps be sorry about fibbing about being sorry.

    5. The Axe


      "it's a rancid, fetid swamp inhabited by predators and parasites, and fed with a continuous stream of sewage and effluent from the Big $ interests surrounding it."

      That pretty much describes normal human behaviour and what happens in normal society.

  3. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Twitter's job is to be Twitter – not to make people rich

    The myth of big tech altruism rears its head again. Of course twitter's job is to make people rich - they just aren't quite expert enough at that yet.

    1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: Twitter's job is to be Twitter – not to make people rich

      I think plenty of tech companies start with altruistic intentions. The problem is that sooner or later big $$$ rears its head, and then the noble ideals inevitably start to become corrupted.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: Twitter's job is to be Twitter – not to make people rich

        If censoring [read: banning, silencing] everyone who disagrees with "the woke" is "altruistic" or a "noble idea" over which a tech company were founded, then that company DESERVES to "go broke" and SHOULD abandon such "noble ideas" or "altruism" in favor of WHAT THE CUSTOMERS WANT.

        Then again, if the original altruism were "do no evil", they'd be like GOOGLE...

      2. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Twitter's job is to be Twitter – not to make people rich

        At least part of which is that to grow, even to the point of survival, the money bags have to be brought in. Beancounters and professional investors. And all they see is money. That's assuming that there was genuine altruism to start with. I'm pretty sure that Amazon always had a game plan beyond flogging cheap books. And Gates' Microsoft was always about commoditising tech. Anyone think Apple was different?

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Twitter's job is to be Twitter – not to make people rich

      Accepting a financial loss over the altruism of being "woke" is what Big Tech is often about, these days... or like what many have said, "Get Woke, Go BROKE!"

      I prefer the TRULY open platform WITHOUT the woke-style "moderation" [read: censorship], that we all probably assume Musk wants for it, minus the "woke hysteria" about Nazis and hate speech (which is how 'the left' tries to MANIPULATE people into FEELING, not thinking, that Musk wants Tw[a,i]tter to become 'that').

      icon, because, facepalm. the purpose of a company is to MAKE MONEY.

      1. Norman Nescio Silver badge

        Re: Twitter's job is to be Twitter – not to make people rich

        icon, because, facepalm. the purpose of a company is to MAKE MONEY.

        Making a profit may well be an ancillary purpose of a company, and not its primary purpose. The continued existence of a company might require that it makes a profit, but that existence can be directed towards other ends, as used to be documented (before the Companies Act 2006) in the 'Object clause' of Memoranda of Association.

        The primacy of making a profit, or maximising a profit has long been debated.

        Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance: The Purpose of the Corporation

        William Cohen, reporting on Peter Drucker's view: The Purpose of Business Is Not To Make A Profit

        [Drucker] considered profit (as opposed to profit maximization) even more important for society than for an individual business.


        Profit and profitability are absolute requirements.


        However, this does not mean that profit is the basic purpose of a business. Profitability really is an essential ingredient by itself which might be better spoken of in terms of an optimal, rather than a maximum size. In support of this thesis, Drucker noted that the primary test of any business is not the maximization of profit, but the achievement of sufficient profit to allow for the risks of the financial activity of the business, and thus to avoid catastrophic loss leading to failure.

        The issue is not whether businesses require profits to assure long-term survival (evidently they do), but whether profit maximization is the primary purpose of a business, and there are good arguments for it not being.

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: Twitter's job is to be Twitter – not to make people rich

          The historical difference seems to be the new need for maximisation of profits. A business that makes enough money to pay its expenses and give its owners/shareholders a nice fat income is no longer considered adequate, at least not if institutional buyers take an interest. The institutions will buy any company which has a share value that is potentially underachieving. Then ratchet up that share value by any short term means it can. Long term strength or even the existence of the company has no relevance if its assets can be milked. It is the slash-and-burn approach to business.

      2. M.V. Lipvig Bronze badge

        Re: Twitter's job is to be Twitter – not to make people rich

        I read a story where they lamented just that - "Musk will destroy Twitter by not censoring anyone!"

      3. FelixReg

        Re: Twitter's job is to be Twitter – not to make people rich

        As others have noted, "purpose of a company is to MAKE MONEY" is false.

        Due to the nature of money and also the existence of "gambler's ruin", companies *must* make money. But is your *purpose* to breath, as you must? Or to eat? Or to sleep? Or is a rat-in-a-maze's purpose to stay inside the walls, as it must, or to get to the cheese?

  4. Persona Silver badge

    Existential threat.

    Clearly the author of this opinion piece "cares". Most of us don't give a toss.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Most of us don't give a toss.

      Perfect. As someone who gave the finger to MySpace when it was the latest 'big thing', Fecalbook, Twatter and the rest could do the mental health of the world a big favour by shutting up shop today.

      His holiness Musk will f'up Twitter and allow "TheRealDonald' and 'MTG' back on it just to prove to the Right wing loonies in the USA that he's a good ole guy (really).

      If he takes over Twatter then it will be doomed. Millions will get peed off and move to other platforms.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: Most of us don't give a toss.

        Explain to me, please, why was banning Trump a GOOD thing for Tw[a,i]tter?

        And, why is ENDING (apparently) POLITICALLY MOTIVATED BANS *BAD* for them?

        Without opposing ideas, there really is NO discussion. If Tw[a,i]tter wants a platform that has actual DISCUSSION on it, instead of being an echo chamber for "the left" and "the woke" (which really IS boring), they will HAVE to end their (alleged) "high school clique group" and "this is OUR country club" EXCLUSIONARY and DISCRIMINATORY policies.

        Signed: "The Kind of Riff Raff" they do not want on their golf course

        (this is another way of saying that they just might be SNOBS, in case that was not obvious, heh heh heh)

        1. renniks

          Re: Most of us don't give a toss.

          Exactly the reason that Trump's 'Truth Social' failed to get off the ground - no discussion, just an echo chamber for Trumpists

          1. Piro Silver badge

            Re: Most of us don't give a toss.

            As far as I can tell, it didn't get off the ground because it's technically poor. iOS only and huge queues to get in. People love echo chambers, so it's not that.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Most of us don't give a toss.

              people might like echo chambers, but they get stale and boring really fucking quick.

              1. SundogUK Silver badge

                Re: Most of us don't give a toss.

                Looking at the twitter wokerati, that is patently untrue.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Most of us don't give a toss.

          Rich white men - the world's most discriminated against and censored minority, and also the most sensitive little plants ever discovered. Not allowed to shout 'fire' in a theatre. Can't lie without getting fact checked. Can't get their tik-tok based research published by 'mainstream media'.

          Remind us all who owns 'the media'? Is Rupert Murdoch really a deep-fake put up by the worker's socialist anarchists' people's collective of Tooting?

        3. Khaptain

          Re: Most of us don't give a toss.

          "And, why is ENDING (apparently) POLITICALLY MOTIVATED BANS *BAD* for them?"

          It's not bad for Twitter as such, it's only bad for those that want to push their ideologies unchallenged or those with political gains to be achieved...

          True democracy gives everyone a voice regardless of how stupid, evil or disagreeable that that might be.

          1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

            Re: Most of us don't give a toss.

            True democracy gives everyone a voice regardless of how stupid, evil or disagreeable that that might be.

            I though that was anarchy's goal?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: true democracy

            Surely the issue at hand is not one of 'voice' it is of amplification? True democracy should (arguably?) give everyone an equal voice. The problem comes when some voices are able to shout loudly and drown out the quiet [majority?]. Any publishing/media allows ideas to be amplified, and with it comes the inherent danger that the person behind the media is pursuing their own agenda (or Vladimir's), and an existential danger that their end-game is the abolition of democracy and it's replacement by oligarchy/dictatorship/theocracy/one party rule etc. So limits on 'free speech' might be a necessary inoculation against loss of democracy.

            1. Dr Scrum Master

              Re: true democracy

              "Free Bwian!"

            2. FelixReg

              Re: true democracy

              "True democracy should (arguably?) give everyone an equal voice"

              Maybe that's why democracies don't scale. At all. And notably come to bad ends. And the US was explicitly designed not to be a democracy.

              "Arguably"? :) Yeah, would we want a 5 year old to have equal voice in policy?

              But you've laid out some basic objections to the US's First Amendment. Anti-First Amendment is certainly the most natural, intuitive, and easy side to take. Same could be said for others of the Bill of Rights. Or, why it's hard to run an American style government. Doesn't come natural. Lotta training and tools and culture needed.

              Anyway, it's unfortunate that the words "loss of democracy" have been down-cycled to mean "loss of the next election".

        4. genghis_uk

          Re: Most of us don't give a toss.

          Can't be bothered to argue as I know when I'm 'talking to the hand' but have a read of Yishan Wong's (ex reddit CEO) take on social media

        5. Def Silver badge

          Re: Most of us don't give a toss.

          I don't think many people have a problem with genuine adult discourse and discussion. In fact, I'm pretty sure most people would welcome it. There was no discussion with Trump though, just an endless stream of infantile rants and lies.

          Ultimately, however, he was banned for inciting violence which is not only against Twitter's policies, but also illegal in the US.

          As for discriminatory policies, an internal audit did find that Twitter was discriminating by unfairly promoting right-wing tweets over those from the left:

        6. Cav Bronze badge

          Re: Most of us don't give a toss.

          A tolerant society does not have to tolerate that which threatens its existence. Trump is an idiotic, dangerous traitor who used the worst dregs of society to try to overthrow a democratically elected government. He used Twitter to engage in vitreolic attacks on individuals and the government, and those attacks stoked physical harms.

          Complete freedom of speech should not be permitted. By all means state your case and question those in power particularly. But dangerous behavior should not be tolerated. The problem is that there is no reasonable discussion. You either follow Trump and accept any garbage he spews or you are the enemy subject to his vitreol and the physical dangers of his moronic followers.

          Allowing Trump on Twitter would be bad for Twitter in the long term, because the silent majority of at least minimally sane people would convince advertisers (whose ads make up 88% of Twitter's income) to leave or face boycotts. And yes, boycotts are just as acceptable expressions of freedom as speech is. No, I don't just want to avoid hearing Trump; I don't want him to have a platform on which to spout lies and hatred that cause direct harm to people. No, his right to spew danger does not take precedence over lives of the capitol police offices killed and injured on the day, and shortly after, of his traitors attack on government.

          Trump belongs in the sewer. He wants to be on Twitter\Facebook etc, because he can't reach the millions he wants on other apps. Dedicated free-speech, Nazi-leaning platforms never succeed because the majority of people are not extremists.

          1. Cynical Pie

            Re: Most of us don't give a toss.

            Complete Freedom of speech should be permitted, if it isn't 'complete' then it isn't truly freedom of speech is it.

            What shouldn't be stopped is freedom from consequences as a result of that speech.

            Case in point being the Donald who used his free speech and suffered the consequences when he incited violence.

            See also Nick Griffin's appearance on Question Time several years back. The BBC got heavily criticised for giving him a platform but by doing so it exposed his total lack of credibility to the masses and saw him and his bunch of racist thugs, at least in the guise of the BNP fracture and disappear without a trace.

            I did read somewhere after it happened that he was warned what would happen if he went on QT but he chose to believe his own hype and went on anyway.

        7. DS999 Silver badge

          Republicans are not being silenced

          Without opposing ideas, there really is NO discussion

          There are plenty of opposing ideas on Twitter. Just not threats of violence. Sorry that your political party has been co-opted by conspiracy theorist Q morons who believe violence and insurrection is the only way they can force their views on the rest of the country.

          The myth that "conservative voices have been silenced" is laughable. Show me where someone has been booted from Twitter for advocating for a flat tax, saying we need more conservative judges, that abortion needs to be banned nationwide or outlawing school prayer was a mistake. You can't, Twitter and Facebook prevent no one from promoting those and other ideas many conservatives and republicans have been pushing for years. They won't stop you from promoting even more extreme ideas like ending social security, bringing back the draft and requiring two years of military service from everyone, or stating that giving the vote to women was a mistake.

          Trump should have been booted years ago, Twitter carved out a special exemption for his violent bile because he was president. Hopefully he'll soon be too busy trying to avoid spending the rest of his life in prison for being the leader of a conspiracy to overturn a lawful vote of the people and illegally install himself for a second term for the rest of us to ever have to pay attention to his incoherent screeds ever again.

        8. cmdrklarg

          Re: Most of us don't give a toss.

          Trump was allowed to do his thing on Twitter for a long time because he brought in the eyeballs, and that meant his presence there was an asset that made money for Twitter. He would have been banned long ago if he were not POTUS.

          After January 6th, 2021 he suddenly became a liability. There was no consideration of "woke" or "the left" involved; it was a purely financial decision. His demagoguery touched off a nasty riot at the US Capitol, which exposed Twitter and any other business involved in his messaging to possible legal and financial liability.

          If you think that Twitter or any other of the giant corporations are going "woke" for the sake of politics you are very mistaken. The old adage "follow the money" is still very true.

          1. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: Most of us don't give a toss.

            See icon. Nuff said.

        9. Chris 15

          Re: Most of us don't give a toss.

          It was good for twitter because they get to actually have their terms of service adhered to.

          Ancillary to that it's good for everyone else because the orange buffoon is a dangerous individual that should not be able to freely (further) subvert the society from which he has benefitted (ie manipulated and damaged) over the years. Bad actors don't get a free pass to act badly on other peoples' platforms just because you think that he should.

        10. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Most of us don't give a toss.

          And, why is ENDING (apparently) POLITICALLY MOTIVATED BANS *BAD* for them?

          At a guess, because they were being pressured by companies that advertise with them, but also by some of the "opinion leaders" that make the platform popular in the first place. Twitter doesn't offer the kind of granular demographic data that Facebook does that attracts the kind of niche (and political) adverts for whichever self-selecting minority is out there: "woke", Nazi, whatever.

  5. BoysOnTheLoose


    This is a delusional and fear driven article. The people like this that are are afraid of musk owning twitter are simply afraid of free speech in the “town square”.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wow

      Anyone who doesn't fear Musk's brand of Free Speech is a fool - or Elon Musk.

      1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

        Re: Wow

        There’s nothing wrong with Musk’s brand of free speech; as long as it doesn’t become the only brand of free speech.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wow

      BoysOnTheLoose: Account created on 04/19/2022, and only one post. This one.

      I would've thought that Elon's PR minions would've hired a less stupid Rent-A-Troll company.

      Or maybe we're already in the Web 3.0 Trolls-On-Demand JIT era: stupid, obvious and proud of it.

    3. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Wow

      The only delusion is the claim that Twitter is the "town square" and should have to conform to your idea of the first amendment. See how you like it if I stand on your lawn and shout whatever I like. Bet you'd call the cops pretty quick, and they'd remove me because I'm not allowed "free speech" on your property. Twitter, Facebook and every other site has a right to determine what people are allowed to shout from their property.

      1. SundogUK Silver badge

        Re: Wow

        No one has said this is about the 1st amendment. Half the commenters are Brits.

  6. MemeCrusader_2

    It would be great if Musk was able to scoop that dump up and turn it into an ethically moderated, free speech platform. Poorly educated people see "free speech" and immediately think something will become an unregulated far-right landfill, when we all know popular social media platforms are quite the opposite. The far-left is afraid their precious grooming ground is going to be regulated and their insane ideas and arguments questioned. Musk leveling the playing on Twitter is a safer alternative to Antifa and the Proud Boys yelling at each other, attacking private citizens, and burning down private businesses.

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      grooming ground

      Qnut detected!

      1. captain veg Silver badge

        You seem to have reversed the u and n.


    2. captain veg Silver badge

      Antifa and the Proud Boys

      One of those groups is anti-fascist (the clue is in the name). The other is fascist.

      There is no equivalence. Being anti-fascist is not in any way the same as "far-left".


      1. SundogUK Silver badge

        Re: Antifa and the Proud Boys

        Do you honestly think what an organization calls itself has anything to do with their program? Does the term 'Committee for Public Safety' mean anything to you? Or how about the 'German Democratic Republic'? (Actually, I'm guessing you'd fit right in with the latter.)

        1. captain veg Silver badge

          Re: Antifa and the Proud Boys

          > Do you honestly think what an organization calls itself has anything to do with their program?

          It has published no program. It's not an organisation.


          1. Eric Kimminau TREG

            Re: Antifa has and does constantly publish


   - 263 refrences, hundreds and hundreds of edits. They even have their own logo.





            "An intimate history"



            Whats this? A PUBLISHED HANDBOOK?


            “Bray’s book is many things: the first English-language transnational history of antifa, a how-to for would-be activists, and a record of advice from anti-Fascist organizers past and present … Focused and persuasive.” — Daniel Penny, The New Yorker

            1. captain veg Silver badge

              Re: Antifa has and does constantly publish

              You make the same point for me.

              From your cited

              "Antifa is [...] a highly decentralized array of autonomous groups". First para.

              "Antifa is not a unified organization". Under "Movement structure and ideology".

              I have no connection whatsoever with anyone identifying as "antifa", but I'm certainly anti-fascist. Are you?


      2. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: Antifa and the Proud Boys

        The anti-fascists are only anti in name. By way of how they operate and how they enforce their particular brand of "anti-fascist" they are imho indistinguishable from the other group of people who like to wear all black and enforce their opinion on "the wrong people" with violence.

        Antifa, imho in practice, is not far left but extreme left. And indistinguishable from fascists.

        1. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: Antifa and the Proud Boys

          Fascism isn't a right or left thing, like its close cousin authoritarianism it comes in both flavors.

          And the proper counterexample to people who claim the name of something is what it is (popular among those on the right claiming Nazis are "socialists" and thus found on the left not the right, so it isn't just those on the left trying to use something's name to lie about what it is) is the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. No one on either side of the right/left spectrum believes North Korea is any of those first three words.

  7. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    As with others, I can't see Twitter as being comparable in any way with a rain forest. It's true that when a brand gets taken away from its originators it's apt to go down the tubes. And, do you know, in the case of Twitter, I couldn't care less.

    1. TDog

      You couldn't care less

      I can think of nothing that would make me care more...

      And can we please have a sarcasm icon, and perhaps a think about it icon?

    2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Think of it as static vs dynamic. Or myths vs reality. Clear cutting rainforests is somewhat bad from a biodiversity or bioprospecting PoV. But a while ago, some Bbc chap bought a chunk of rainforest to preserve it. He wasn't exactly an outdoors type, and took a while to notice trees were growing rather evenly, and a local pointed out his 'pristine, virgin rainforest' was only 100 or so years old and man-made.

      There's been other fun stuff, like forest clearing exposing archaeological remains. Pre-Spanish conquest, natives had large popoulations & cities, which had extensive agriculture to support that. Then a combination of conquest, forced resettlement and disease lead to those cities being abandoned and nature reclaiming the farmland.

      Which gets interesting from a climate perspective, ie if those land use changes had any impact on climate. Which was probably changing anyway given famines across S.America and Mesoamerica.

      And like Twitter, depending on ideological stance. Both can be pretty toxic, so banning people with the wrong views, or satellites like OCO-2 showing the rainforests are very large CO2 emitters. Which I guess are both signs of extensive biological activity, but rainforests are arguably more useful than 97% of all tweets.

      But such is politics. It's popcorn worthy to watch Twitter defenders claiming Musk is a threat to 'free speech' because Musk might not let them ban people they disagree with.

  8. VoiceOfTruth

    Twitter - the pinnacle of soundbite crap

    One does occasionally find older documentaries on YouTube where people were interviewed at length, without much interruption from the interviewer, and these people would often, and sometimes unexpectedly, speak intelligently. The comments from YouTube viewers on these videos are generally very positive, and they often 'long for' these past times. These old documentaries and news articles are not from the self-appointed 'gold standard' of television and documentaries - the BBC. These are older American programs.

    Compare that with now. I occasionally look at news clips on YouTube. American news is unwatchable nonsense: two people presenting, one saying a sentence then the other. 2 to 3 second soundbites from a person pertinent to the report. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut. They must have a mantra: do not give the viewers more than 3 seconds without a cut.

    And this leads me to Twitterland. I have never visited the Twitter web site. I have seen references to Tweets, of course. But so what? The idea that complex ideas can be expressed in a few words used to be called a simplistic view. Some things are easy, but they are usually of no consequence. I breathed some air today. Well thanks for telling me. You have enriched my life. What makes some people think that we hang on a sentence they or their speech (is one sentence a speech?) writer cobbled together. Twitter is the pinnacle of soundbite crap. It is grease in the wheels, it is gruel for the stupid masses. I wish that people would wake up an throw Twitter in the bin.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Twitter - the pinnacle of soundbite crap

      Twitter allows "threads", a chain of sequential Tweets. So there's no such limit really. Long rants, and even well thought through arguments can and do exist there. Sadly writing isn't the same as reading. When I did twitter it was hard not to notice that as a thread progressed the number of people interacting ("likes" etc) diminished. It would appear that for many people reading a single Tweet represented a major effort. Following a thread to its conclusion was just too far beyond them.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Twitter - the pinnacle of soundbite crap

        Is the problem the medium or the consumer? My kids will rarely sit and watch a film or tv program without having their phone/tablet on hand. They just don't do long-form media anymore. It's all about rapid interaction which implies short messages.

        1. VoiceOfTruth

          Re: Twitter - the pinnacle of soundbite crap

          I agree with the point you are making - a lot of people are glued to their phones doing who knows what.

          While I do meet people who are prepared to put in the time to learn something or do something well, I am occasionally shocked (shocked, I tell you) at how limited some people are with their knowledge. We seem to be growing a crop of numbskulls.

      2. VoiceOfTruth

        Re: Twitter - the pinnacle of soundbite crap

        Thank you for your reply. But see my point about the two presenters above - one sentence, one sentence, one sentence, one sentence. In such a format there is always the intention to make a soundbite. It's a ludicrous and stupid way to present something. I am definitely not waiting out for the next pearls of wisdom from Musk to be expressed on Twitter. But no doubt what passes for the 'free press' in the west these days will let me know anyway.

      3. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: Twitter - the pinnacle of soundbite crap

        Brevity can be 'the soul of wit'. I actually remove a LOT from my own posts and try to keep this in mind. So I'll edit out the examples I COULD have said and keep it short. As an example.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Twitter - the pinnacle of soundbite crap

      " I have never visited the Twitter web site" - yet you still feel qualified to comment on a public forum about twitter? 10/10 for the weirdly apposite way you have reinforced the point that I guess you wanted to make.

      1. VoiceOfTruth

        Re: Twitter - the pinnacle of soundbite crap

        If you had read a little further you would have seen my very next sentence: I have seen references to Tweets, of course.

        Alas so-called news organisations and supposed reporters report on these tweets as though they are the new divine wisdom.

  9. Terry 6 Silver badge

    But the bad, crass and inappropriate can be screened. Great for users, terrible for revenue.

    Which does rather beg the question as to why those types of ads exist.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Twitters only value

    seems to be to get companies with shit customer service[*] attention.

    [*]More than 50%

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He wants his own personal F*ckUbook operation. Nurture echo chambers of any dis-information he can profit from.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      see icon

  12. Alpharious

    Same old trick?

    A long time ago, back in the dark ages of the 80s and the 90s, General Electric bought a network so that they could prevent the news from talking about all the GE product flaws, and the illegal things GE had done. I wonder if Elon is doing something similar: buying a social media platform then forcing them to squash any bad publicity for his brands? Or maybe he does not want people talking about emerald mines?

    Then again i often wonder how many of those tweets are organic. 4chan will have threads from time to time of a bunch of politicians or random "people" saying the exact same thing, and then there is that meme of "russian bots" all over the platform. So is it really a social media platform or a bot net masquerading as one?

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Same old trick?


  13. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "Twitter is a rainforest ecosystem of creatures interacting and feeding off each other"

    Oohhh. What a revelation.

    I feel the urge to join the rainforest and prance about in virgin lands.

    Then I remember we're talking about Twitter.

    Ok, I'll pass.

  14. TonyJ

    Musk doesn't want to "fix" twitter

    He wants his own platform where he can have his own version of "freedom of speech" i.e. a world where his view is the only one and no one can challenge it.

    Too many people (especially monied and/or powerful) people equate freedom of speech to mean freedom to say whatever I want without consequence. And they aren't the same thing by a country mile.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The 2nd handwringing article about Musk's potential twitter takeover

    At least we know which side of the fence El Reg sits, if ever there was any doubt!

  16. Nathan 6

    Terrible idea!

    The whole idea of bring more freedom of speech to twitter would be equivalent to allowing people to yell fire in crowded theaters with no consequences. From the 2016 US election to Covid, its clear that twitter can easily be used to convince a significant amount of people to do things against their best interest. Just look at where you see a bunch of fools sharing the same garbage to feed their antivax stance which leads to their deaths. Take twitter and other social media platforms out of the equation, most of these people would not have such views (unless they has such views before) and would still be alive more than likely.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Terrible idea!

      I have a friend who has become almost a different person after following too much conspiracy crap on social media (and YouTube).

      At least she got the first vaccines so probably has a good chance now, but she already had asthma issues and is in her 50s so heading in to the risk group already. The amount of utter bollocks she now talks about COVID and related medicines is truly depressing :(

  17. MajDom

    Musk, on the one hand, wants to be a champion of free speech.

    On the other hand, he once said "China rocks," and implicitly endorses and empowers a totalitarian regime that is as ant-free speech as it gets.

    I'm a SpaceX and Tesla fan, less so of his abilities to solve social problems.

  18. Jonathon Green

    Does it really matter?

    If a thing’s worth saying it probably won’t fit into 280 characters, let alone the 70-100 characters which is (apparently) the optimum as measured by retweets…

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Does it really matter?

      I disagree. Most of what is worth saying can be condensed down to 280 characters or less. If one truly needs more words there is Twitter threads joining 280 character tweets together. Human nature being what it is though, if you want full attention threads will probably need to be limited to no more than 3 or so tweets.

      Twitter is perhaps not the right platform for long form discourse (I still prefer "old fashioned" forums/BBS for that, such as for instance these El Reg forums) but there is always the option of linking your long form discourse on Twitter to get the message out.

      The writing style one uses is different for each platform. Writing on a forum like this with a much more generous character limit one can be much more verbose and prosaic in ones choice of words and verbiage. Twitter is limiting in that regard and certainly it will have an effect, but I think in general there can be a place and a time for Twitter. It should never be the only source of information or discourse, but it can play it's role in guiding people to finding new places to find more in-depth information or keeping at least partially up to date on current affairs. It is saddening however that not many people seem capable of recognizing the limits and advantages of each of the available options and while I would support something like this being taught in schools, I've yet to encounter a teacher actually fully capable of grasping the nuances themselves and convincing me they can actually teach such skills to youngsters.

  19. msobkow Silver badge

    If you think ANY big tech business isn't in it for the money, you are woefully delusional. Despite your blathering about "ecosystems", it is a business, and it will be monetized or it will die because no one is going to pay to prop it up forever.

    But you're right; I don't consider the number of blathering lemmings on the platform to be relevant to any measure of value or success. Freeloaders are many; those willing to pay or even to click on an ad are rare.

    Not that I think Musk taking over is a good idea. He is just a whack-job with too much money for the world's own good...

  20. JDX Gold badge

    Does he care about making money?

    I'm not keen on Elon acquiring Twitter as his personal plaything/mouthpiece (sees at odds with the free speech mantra).

    BUT it's entirely possible he doesn't care about making money from Twitter. He is rich enough to buy it for idealogical reasons (good or bad as they may be) and not need it to turn a profit. As El Reg points out, happy shareholders and happy users are somewhat antagonistic and going private eliminates the former.

    Just as a counter-point really. Elon does genuinely care about doing some things for their own sake.

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Does he care about making money?

      But it is still a risk for him if he borrowed money against his Tesla stock. If Tesla's stock price falls a lot either because it becomes sane (i.e. not a P/E at 200+ like currently) or the market as a whole takes a big hit due to expansion of Putin's war or whatever then the margin call could conceivably bankrupt him. That may not be likely, but it is for sure possible.

      I've never seen any evidence he's altruistic like you claim. Everything he's done is to make himself richer or gain more attention on himself.

    2. captain veg Silver badge

      Re: Does he care about making money?

      Rich people don't get to be rich by throwing their money around on unprofitable ephemera.

      Well, except for the many examples of inherited wealth frittered away on unprofitable crap.


  21. Sir Loin Of Beef

    You mean world's biggest arsehole,

  22. 9Rune5


    The choice of which algorithm to use (or not) should be open to everyone

  23. DrXym Silver badge

    Musk modus

    Elon Musk will big something up when he stands to profit and knock it down when he stands to profit. Most obviously he is doing this with crypto currency but he has done it with stock too. I still remember that laughable "funding secured" tweet.

    I'm sure in his mind it doesn't hurt that Twitter is an "enemy" because he and his buddies say unfiltered stupid shit and sometimes Twitter actually bothers to enforce their own rules.

  24. Trigun

    Twitter needs reforming or erasing

    If the former then it needs to be done carefully and transparently, with a view to being less biased and more freedom of speech (save for threats / encouraging violence - by any group). It needs a cool down period such as the one used by The Register and possibly or an edit button - to stop people blurting out horrible takes prompted by emotional reactions that they then not only regret, but get destroyed & cancelled for publically.

    Put another way: Fair rules applied evenly and more Human psyche friendly controls. It should encourage good discorse and the best in people - not the very worst.

  25. captain veg Silver badge

    Good advertising – lively, well thought out commercial Twitter accounts – are welcome. But the bad, crass and inappropriate can be screened. Great for users, terrible for revenue.

    If the first part of that sentiment were true, then the second part would not be.

    Advertisers want impressions that engage the impressees and will pay a premium for that. If Twitter doesn't realise that they have this supposed trump card and up their rates accordingly, then they are fools. Or perhaps...

    Journalists and politicians love it, of course, so news Twitter and politics Twitter give the platform genuine importance.

    ... or perhaps non-journalists and non-politicians don't, in fact, welcome one kind of advertising over another.

    I don't. I wan't none of it. So I'm not on Twitter. Never have been. Never will be.


  26. Aquatyger

    We need some balance

    There appears to be a huge amount of misinformation in these threads, most likely from CNN watchers. Anyway, my opinion is that we need some balance. We need a social media platform that censors left wing opinion and encourages conservative opinion. After all, why pander to the left. The Nazis and the Italian Fascists were paragons of socialism and Marxism and, along with communism, these left-wing philosophies and activities have been responsible for over 200 million deaths word wide. So good on Elon.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Trump, Musk, et al

    The less I hear of these blow-hards the better.

    Social media can just crawl off and die somewhere.

  28. Sirius Lee

    The Twitter PR starts

    Whole article could have been written by the Twitter board. C- They will need to do better.

  29. Eric Wiltsher

    Oh please - someone eating magic mushrooms for breakfast.

    I can't recall the last time I was prompted to comment as whilst I sometime disagree with The Register, it's the publication opinion. In the same way my listeners may not always agree with me -- just the way it goes.

    Twitter is a business, it cannot continue with hand-outs or being a loss making company - it has to change or eventually die.

    Many in Twitter will not like a new management structure as it will surely remove there being assistants, to assistants to assistants.

    Twitter is a bloated as other organisations such as the BBC - I know the later well, I once worked there.

    Twitter IS NOT some form of global nature reserve, nor is it a political home.

    They have T&Cs - end of. Not that they are followed and in my view only applied when it suits.

    Twitter needs new T&Cs - the free users need to understand they can't hide behind a keyboard full of hate, fake news, political stance. Twitter needs to be a neurtral platform

    1. R Soul

      "Twitter needs to be a neurtral platform"

      Nope. twitter needs to disappear - forever.

  30. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Twitter's job is to be Twitter – not to make people rich

    Twitter is a private company. Therefore, its _primary_ goal is to make money.

    If it doesn't, it will disappear. Capitalism is hardly compatible with idealism.

    1. captain veg Silver badge

      > Twitter is a private company. Therefore, its _primary_ goal is to make money.

      If it were, then its _ONLY_ goal is whatever the owner wants it to be. But its not. It's publicly listed. That's how Musk was able to acquire a piece of it.


  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Actually, it is the "world" who faces the existential threat from Twitter. Musk is going to fix that.

  32. James Hughes 1

    When you have errors in the first few lines of an article...

    He doesn't have $200B in his back pockets. That implies cash. It's all paper money, tied up in shares. This is such a common mistake, but even for an opinion piece on El Reg, one would hope that the writer would understand this.

    1. captain veg Silver badge

      Re: When you have errors in the first few lines of an article...

      $200B in cash? How big do you think his pockets are?

      Shares are an asset. They can be traded (e.g. for other shares) or borrowed against. For the imaginationally challenged, they can also be sold for cash.


  33. Snowy Silver badge

    Sign up or see nothing

    Seeing that you can not view a tweet without signing up Twitter can jog on and do one.

    1. captain veg Silver badge

      Re: Sign up or see nothing

      I must be doing something wrong. I've definitely never signed up to Twitter but I would have sworn that I've seen loads of tweets, usually linked to from independent web sites.


  34. SouthernLogic

    Twitter rainforest is no Utopia

    To read this article you would think that twitter is a brilliant utopia of free speech and ideas bouncing around harmoniously. Nothing could be further from the truth. When you suppress the speech of 78 million people and ban people for their ideas because they do not match yours speech is not free anymore. What you are left with is censorship in the ugliest form. It is akin to what the best dictators have done when someone disagreed with them. Intelligent people realize that truth lies somewhere between two sides, but twitter blocks one side entirely. For what reason? Now that is a question I would like the twitter board to answer.

  35. YetAnotherXyzzy

    People are angry because someone does NOT want to censor them. SMH.

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