Robert Reich — a Berkeley professor who formerly served as secretary of labor under the Clinton administration — argued on Tuesday that Elon Musk’s vision for Twitter is “dangerous nonsense.”
Elon Musk recently became Twitter’s largest shareholder following the purchase of a 9.2% stake in the social media firm. He has promised to “make significant improvements to Twitter” and has polled his followers on whether or not Twitter “rigorously adheres” to the principles of free speech.
In an opinion piece for The Guardian, however, Reich asserted that Musk’s takeover is “just about power.”
“Years ago, pundits assumed the internet would open a new era of democracy, giving everyone access to the truth. But dictators like Putin and demagogues like Trump have demonstrated how naive that assumption was,” he began, calling Trump’s removal from all major social media platforms “necessary to protect American democracy.”
Reich then slammed Musk for telling his 80 million followers “reckless things” — such as the notion that children are “essentially immune” from COVID-19 and his favorite cryptocurrencies — and blocking him on Twitter.
“Musk advocates free speech but in reality it’s just about power,” Reich said. “Power compelled Musk to buy $2.64bn of Twitter stock, making him the largest individual shareholder… What ‘improvements’ does Musk have in mind for Twitter? Will he use his clout over Twitter to prevent users with tens of millions of followers from blocking people who criticize them? I doubt it.”
Circling back to President Donald Trump, Reich bemoaned: “Will Musk use his clout to let Trump back on? I fear he will.”
Again listing Musk’s various controversies spurred by the use of his Twitter account — including his toying with the idea of taking Tesla private and his run-ins with journalists — Reich argued that Musk’s vision for an “uncontrolled” internet would lead to an increase in Musk’s own power.
This is an excerpt from The Daily Wire.
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