America’s oligarchy is exercising it’s privilege once again as the world’s richest man drops a few of his billions of dollars to add Twitter to the playroom in his ultra-exclusive world. Elon Musk’s acquisition of the social media giant is profoundly significant due to its influence on politics, journalism, and culture.
The debate over how dangerous this is for society in America – and the world – is complex and will unfold in the weeks to come as Musk’s intentions are revealed. However, in the short term we already have some news about a famous former tweeter. Donald Trump didn’t waste any time telling Fox News (who else) what the Musk acquisition means to him. According to Fox News…
“Former President Trump will not return to Twitter, even as Elon Musk purchases the social media company and reinstates his account, instead using his own TRUTH Social as the sole platform for his voice. […] The former president told Fox News Monday that he will formally join his own TRUTH Social over the next seven days, as planned.
“‘I am not going on Twitter, I am going to stay on TRUTH,’ Trump told Fox News. ‘I hope Elon buys Twitter because he’ll make improvements to it and he is a good man, but I am going to be staying on TRUTH.’ […] He added: ‘The bottom line is, no, I am not going back to Twitter.'”
Let’s set aside for the time being that Trump lies far too often to take anything he says seriously. If Twitter were to offer to reinstate his account, it’s ridiculous to suggest that he would rebuff the offer because he’s “staying on TRUTH” Social (TS). How can he “stay” on a platform that he has posted on only once nearly two months ago, and from which he has been conspicuously absent ever since? He couldn’t even get the name straight at his recent rally, calling it “Troth Sential.”
Trump was, and is, a Twitter addict (his spokes-shill still posts for him daily in defiance of Twitter’s own rules). And he isn’t likely to trade access to his 84 million Twitter followers (most of which were bots or fakes) for a fraction of that on TS. Trump went on to say that…
“‘We’re taking in millions of people, and what we’re finding is that the response on TRUTH is much better than being on Twitter,’ Trump said. ‘Twitter has bots and fake accounts, and we are doing everything we can.'”
Actually, TS has assigned a little over a million wait list numbers to people who have tried to sign up. Most of them still have not been able to log on. And as for fake accounts, there have already been a multitude of them on TS. The site even “verified” a Fox News account that Fox denied having anything to do with.
What’s more, there is so little interaction on TS that the users who are online have complained that it is an echo chamber of fellow cultists whose homogeneous agreement is terminally boring. And now Trump is promising that it’s going to get even worse…
“‘This is a platform for my voice. TRUTH is a platform for my voice and for my supporters,’ Trump said. ‘But I want everybody to come over to TRUTH—conservatives, liberals, whatever. […] ‘TRUTH Social will be a voice for me,’ Trump continued. ‘And that’s something nobody else can get.'”
It isn’t an accident that Trump keeps referring to the site as simply “TRUTH.” There is nothing “Social” about it. Like everything else in Trump World, it is about him and only him. And he isn’t shy about saying so explicitly.
The worst part of all of this, from Trump’s perspective, is that the site may never even become viable. The shell company that is serving as its Wall Street proxy (DWAC) declined another 12.9% today. It has cratered 64% since the beginning of March. Reuters is reporting that key personnel are abandoning ship and that…
“Another open question is how TMTG is funding its current growth. The company is planning to go public through a merger with blank-check firm Digital World Acquisition Corp (DWAC) . The deal is under scrutiny by the Securities and Exchange Commission and is likely months away from being finalized. […] Investors have pledged $1 billion to TMTG but they won’t hand over that money until the DWAC deal closes.”
So the the Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG) and DWAC deal is likely another illegal Trump scam that will never go through. And when it fails Trump won’t get any of the money that has allegedly been pledged. More likely it will result in investor lawsuits that will cost him and his accomplices a fortune.
“Musk’s ability to be an accountable steward of this massive online community is questionable at best. […] he has a poor track record of protecting other Twitter users and respecting their free speech. He has used the platform to discredit and disparage those who disagree with him, and he has lashed out at journalists who have written or produced things he didn’t like.”
Musk’s pretense of advocating for free speech is utterly insincere. It is a pathway to tolerating hate speech and disinformation that divides people and incites violence. It would make Twitter unbearable for most decent users, as well as advertisers. And it doesn’t help that Musk has been sued for “racial discrimination and harassment after finding a widespread pattern of mistreatment of Black workers” at his Tesla plant. So look for Twitter to collapse unless its executives and board of directors manage to keep Musk’s worst instincts in check.
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