A company takeover rarely hits the front page, but for Twitter, the biggest celebrity social media site and Elon Musk, the biggest celebrity tech entrepreneur, it fills volumes. (Wondering why does little good in the fervent political atmosphere, but that stifling atmosphere has something to do with it.)
Tesla and SpaceX are utterly brilliant: we have to ask then whether Twitter can become as brilliant too.
The gossip has concentrated on how freely one may speak on the platform. It is a private company and can make its own rules. I know that if I ran a social media platform I would be worried about what people were saying on my site, effectively (to my mind) in my name. I would want it to be respectable, and to ban way-out material like Holocaust-denial, race-hatred, loony conspiracy theories and socialism.
My forum, I think, would not last long, turning away so much custom
The value of Twitter, financially, is in the volume and variety of commentary and bile spewed out on it, which produces data which can be sold. In the old days, a company with a product to sell might hire a marketing consultant to go round knocking on a hundred doors: now fora like Twitter have the unfiltered brainspills of millions of customers available to analyse. In a decade or so, marketing departments might learn how to read the data properly. Bans and threats of bans will skew the data. Liberating speech is a most noble motive: it should also be a profitable one.
The new owner might just leave Twitter ticking along with a few adjustments to its policies, and commentaries have made that assumption, with perhaps too a few tweaks like adding an an ‘edit’ button. It works as a business model at the moment. That is thinking very small though, and Twitter is shrinking so business-as-usual means decline.
At the moment it works on the surface with simplicity. You might think that no revenue stream goes untapped, but it looks flat, suggesting that there is more that could be done to expand the Twitworld in more dimensions and bring in more facets than ever before. I would not know where to start, but I am not Elon. It is only a petty sideshow for him, but if he shows that vision for which he is famed, his new sideshow may become something so good that even I might be interested in it.
- Is Twitter evil?
- Fifty years and the frontier is open
- Closing the web; Closing the web – 2
- Oh the things we said in dark corners
- Hobbes and the Libertarian – 1
- We cannot win on social media
- Politics makes screaming madness
- Man to Man is an arrant Wolfe
- By Jordan Peterson:
- The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity by Douglas Murray
- Woke: A Guide to Social Justice by Titania McGrath
- By Thomas Hobbes
- By Anthony Burgess:
- By others:
- Philosophy, Rhetoric, and Thomas Hobbes by Timothy Raylor
- Thomas Hobbes: Political Ideas in Historical Context by J P Sommerville