Elon Musk: Smasher of elites or self-serving pragmatist?

29/4/2022 6:17:00 AM

Elon Musk: Smasher of elites or self-serving pragmatist?

Yet smoking marijuana during interviews, courting the Hollywood set with movie cameos and musing about nuking Mars make him an improbable talisman for political traditionalists.Yet he has aggressively pursued government support himself, taking billions in handouts for his own companies.

Other analysts have suggested that, as inconsistent as his political philosophy appears, Mr Musk rarely diverges from his own business interests.His political donations do not particularly cleave to one party or point of view either.Other donations have gone to Democratic grandees Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, right-wing House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and the Republican Party itself.

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Copy to clipboard https://str.TWTR Elon Musk Twitter is usually awash with topics for discussion, but over the past couple of days one has stood out on the platform above others - what does the future hold for Twitter itself? With Elon Musk set to purchase the site - subject to shareholders' approval - for $44bn (£35bn), tweeters across the world have been offering their opinions.Politico reported, citing “three people familiar with the meeting”.Read full article 27 April 2022, 1:52 am · 3-min read A photograph of Musk in a cowboy hat and sunglasses Reaction among current and former Twitter employees to news that the firm may be acquired by Elon Musk has been mixed.

sg/w8yW WASHINGTON (AFP) - He has scorned organised labour, mocked political correctness and espoused small government, so the deluge of tweets from conservatives congratulating Elon Musk on his move to buy Twitter was hardly a surprise. Yet smoking marijuana during interviews, courting the Hollywood set with movie cameos and musing about nuking Mars make him an improbable talisman for political traditionalists. But the world's richest man has given some clues. In polarised America, the 50-year-old triple divorcee's opposition to Covid-19 restrictions is often taken to demonstrate Republican sympathies, although his occasional disdain for draconian immigration control has suggested the opposite. While Twitter has sought to be a platform where hate speech and harmful content are censored, Mr Musk suggested the platform should only remove content if it is required by law. The world's richest man has berated President Joe Biden for proposing a tax credit for electric cars produced by unionised workers. Loosen content rules Mr Musk has long been vocal in his criticism of the platform's content policies, and there is speculation he could tweak Twitter's moderation rules and allow suspended accounts to return - such as that of former US President Donald Trump. He has also gone much further, calling for an end to all US federal subsidies. Jack Dorsey, the platform's co-founder, tweeted: "Elon is the singular solution I trust.

Yet he has aggressively pursued government support himself, taking billions in handouts for his own companies. Musk company graphic Mr Musk has previously described himself as a "free speech absolutist", but his exact view of the concept is unclear. If people want less free speech, they will ask government to pass laws to that effect. International investor James Hickman, founder of the libertarian-leaning Sovereign Man newsletter series, sees Mr Musk as a check on the"tyranny of the minority" - a supposed cabal of elites in tech, media and academia who make decisions for the rest of us and yet"consistently get it wrong". Mr Hickman said:"What makes someone a true libertarian is an outright rejection of labels and being completely independent in one's thinking. If the billionaire does loosen Twitter's content moderation rules, he could be in for a "rude awakening", says Jeffrey Howard, associate professor at University College London. Musk clearly qualifies in this regard across both politically and professionally.." Other analysts have suggested that, as inconsistent as his political philosophy appears, Mr Musk rarely diverges from his own business interests. "I think Elon Musk is relatively naïve on the actual challenges involved in content moderation. He said Twitter had at one point been the "free speech wing of the free speech party" but the result had been that many people, particularly women and those in the public eye, had been subject to abuse: "So that free speech angle has definitely been tried.

Yet even that thesis needs some finessing. If it is all about money, why has the Tesla chief executive - with his extensive green business interests - called for increases in fossil fuel production? His political donations do not particularly cleave to one party or point of view either." Elon Musk wins 'pedo guy' defamation case The UK government and European Commission have both reminded Mr Musk of his duty to protect the rights of Twitter users. A self-styled"moderate" independent - although he has unironically described himself as a"socialist", too - Mr Musk ostentatiously moved to deeply conservative Texas from ultra-liberal California in 2020. He has given donations to the governors of both states, despite criticising Texas anti-abortion laws and a"complacent" business environment in California. Story continues News of the takeover has already split political opinion in the US. Other donations have gone to Democratic grandees Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, right-wing House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and the Republican Party itself. Staff meeting On Monday, chief executive Parag Agrawal and chair of Twitter's board of directors Bret Taylor, attempted to answer employees' questions.

Like a recent former president, he is not averse to lashing out on social media at Washington establishment figures, from one-time presidential nominee Elizabeth Warren ("Senator Karen") to Mr Biden himself ("Sleepy Joe" - a co-opted Trumpism). Those on the left have been more critical, with Democrat Senator Elizabeth Warren calling it "dangerous for our democracy". And then there is the issue of free speech, which he has called"the bedrock of a functioning democracy". Mr Musk has complained that Twitter is too censorious in its regulation of speech, simultaneously illustrating and undermining his point in a tweet depicting the company's CEO Parag Agrawal as brutal Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. Elon Musk pictured leaving the courtroom in LA after winning a defamation case 2. Critics say his passion for unfettered conversation has often appeared less profound when his own interests have been at stake. Some media outlets have raised questions over Mr Musk's reaction to journalists writing stories critical of Tesla. "The power of corporations to dictate policy is greatly enhanced if Twitter depends on advertising money to survive," Mr Musk wrote.

Accused of unleashing his army of supporters on individual reporters, he once mulled creating a website for the profession as a whole called Pravda - presumably a tribute to the Soviet propaganda outlet. "Going to create a site where the public can rate the core truth of any article & track the credibility score over time of each journalist, editor & publication," he tweeted in 2018. Elon Musk In results for the three months to the end of December, Twitter said its revenue reached $1. Nothing came of it. Former Hillary Clinton campaign staffer Judd Legum, who produces the"Popular Information" politics newsletter, pointed to a tweet - also in 2018 - in which Mr Musk appeared to threaten to rescind employee stock options at Tesla if workers decided to join a union.41bn - both up 22% year-on-year. Each of these posts on its own can be explained away as a robust defence of his work, but critics say they are part of a pattern of suppressing less powerful voices that has also included forcing workers to sign notoriously restrictive non-disclosure agreements (NDAs).

"Popular Information" reported that the Tesla NDA warned employees that"they were not allowed to speak with media without explicit written permission" - but the company neglected to add that labour laws protected them from reprisals when discussing work conditions. He has also stated he wants to reduce its cost. Mr Baruch Labunski, an Internet marketing expert and web consultancy CEO, says that, amid the sheer volume of"contradictory evidence", it is safest to describe Mr Musk's politics as"pragmatic". Mr Labunski said:"He is frequently characterised as a libertarian but that designation doesn't accurately describe the man whose businesses have benefited from government tax breaks and business subsidies. But analyst Rachel Foster-Jones at GlobalData says that Elon Musk might need to "balance his dreams of a free debate space unfettered by advertising with the harsh realities of Twitter's core business model"." The consultant sees Mr Musk as a"fundamentally self-interested" celebrity. "We don't talk about his politics because he's particularly politically astute or because he shines a light on issues that matter to ordinary people," Mr Labunski added. Twitter log in page 3.

"Musk gets to play in and around politics because he's rich and he's outspoken." Join . Twitter has long had an issue with automated, fake accounts being used to relentlessly post unhelpful or misleading content.