Two men in the US have a crazy talent for drawing attention to themselves: Donald Trump and Elon Musk, each in their own way. Sometimes their interests converge: Yesterday, Elon Musk, now the proud owner of $44 billion of the social network Twitter, called for voting for the Trump-controlled Republicans in today’s midterm elections.
This political “exit” of the billionaire, when he settles in the center of the global communications system, completes his portrait of the “destroyer” who breaks the codes in his personal interests and the interests of his companies. His political views have so far fluctuated, he said he voted for Joe Biden two years ago, but Donald Trump swears he told him otherwise. He might have been a libertarian had he not relied so heavily on government subsidies.
Elon Musk has been panicking the planet for days now with his drastic measures to transform Twitter: he’s adding another layer with this call to his more than 110 million followers to vote Republican on the eve of a pivotal election in a polarized America. . As such, he heightens the fear of seeing him use his new platform in the service of his very personal vision of the world.
The Tesla boss is a supporter of “freedom of speech,” the absolute freedom of speech guaranteed by the American Constitution. No restrictions, including thus for conspirators, information manipulators, or even for Russian propaganda, which she refused to deny access to her Starlink satellites.
This is what most worries about the future of Twitter, where all the already insufficient regulatory efforts have been weakened by the layoff of half the staff in recent days and the plans of a new “boss”.
This is evidenced by yesterday’s conversation between Elon Musk and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey. Musk writes that Twitter should be “the world’s most trusted source of information, that’s our mission.” Jack Dorsey’s response: “Reliable according to whom? “According to people on Twitter,” the new owner replies.
A problematic exchange, because Twitter is not the media, there are no journalists or information checkers in it. The community as a judge of reliability is demagogy or a very political vision that may have several “truths”.
This is a completely Trumpian approach. We remember the “alternative truth” conceptualized at the beginning of the Trump era. And the former president continues in this vein, demonizing the “mainstream” media, always claiming against all evidence that the election was stolen from him or backing conspiratorial candidates.
And it works. Republicans can expect good results today, paving the way for the announcement of a new 2024 nominee for Donald Trump in the coming days.
This is where Elon Musk finds his place. Musk and Trump don’t get along: the Tesla boss has even said publicly that Trump should step down. But everything pushes them in the same direction, towards even more confusion in public debate, towards alternative information without filters and, in this informational chaos, towards the triumph of demagogues.
By buying Twitter, Elon Musk proclaimed himself the sheriff of the Wild West, which he promises to be.