👍 The optimistic case for Twitter under Elon Musk

Under Musk Twitter could become a very large social media that sets a new standard for transparency and provides free speech to millions of people now living behind dictatorial firewalls.

👍 The optimistic case for Twitter under Elon Musk

Fixing a lousy product

Twitter is my favorite social media. I love how I can tailor my feed to my interests and when I find something new I'm interested in, I can add that to my feed.

That is why it has been so frustrating that there has been almost no development of Twitter for many years. 280 characters instead of 140 was good, and last year suddenly several new experiments were launched. No one them very good though. The place is still full of bots. And come on - give us the f-ing edit button!

Under Musk we will see rapid progress, like with all his companies. The users are going to be highly involved in this, sharing ideas and feedback on problems. Like Tesla owners constantly do. Give him a year and Twitter will be much better. Give him five years and Twitter will be very different.

Starlink is SpaceX's global satellite internet. With it, users can bypass their countries' government-controlled firewalls and access the free internet.

Of course, governments can take down the dish communicating with the satellites and punish the users. But if you manage to hide it, you have free internet even in dictatorships.

Add to that a very free speech friendly Twitter platform and we have a strong platform for global free speech.

Setting a standard with open algorithms

At Warp News we want to reach people who are interested in climate change. We write a lot about green technologies and share them in our free newsletter. But if we run an ad for that newsletter on Facebook with anything even close to climate change, we get denied. Why? We don't know. We can guess and read Facebook's very vague explanations, but that is it.

Despite the enormous reach of Facebook and other social media, and the power that comes with that, we know very little about the algorithms controlling what we see and don't see.

Musk has promised more open algorithms and Twitter will likely be much more transparent under him. That could set a standard for other social media.

Twitter will become a huge company

Elon Musk never thinks small. Never. In his vision for Twitter, it is not a platform with 200 million users. He is thinking billions of users.

If that company is bringing free internet to millions or billions of people around the world, and manages to set a new standard in transparency and free speech, that will be very beneficial for humanity.

A fun place to be

When people think of Musk, Twitter and free speech they see him letting people back who spread hate and turning the place into even more of a cesspool. Twitter under Musk will instead work on making it an including and fun place to be. Not by banning people, but with other measures.

With Tesla Elon often talks about having fun in the car. He will bring that attitude to Twitter as well.

Leaving it to a foundation?

When Twitter is profitable and a well-run company, I think there is a real chance Musk will set up a free speech foundation and transfer the ownership to the foundation.

He is not doing this for the money, but wants to ensure that there is a bastion for free speech in the world, even when he is not around anymore.

The importance of free speech

Free speech is a fundamental part of democracy. Democracy is humanity's greatest innovation, because it allows us to freely share ideas and discuss the merits of those ideas.

The spreading of ideas is what has moved humanity forward for a hundred thousand years. The more we spread ideas, the faster and better progress we make.

I've laid out the basic case for this in my TEDx talk.

Mathias Sundin
Co-founder & CEO of Warp News
Co-founder & Executive Chairman, Warp Institute
Former Member of Parliament