Elon Musk tweets that the social media platform he’s buying is important to civilization

This harkens back to the first time he spoke about Twitter as a town square.
Stephen Vicinanza
Elon Musk and Twitter
Elon Musk and Twitter

Getty Images 

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, has now confirmed he is buying Twitter. The billionaire has tweeted a letter of sorts addressed to the advertisers who use Twitter. In the letter, Musk explains why he bought Twitter and that most of the speculation surrounding the purchase has been wrong.

Twitter is important to civilization

In the letter, which is separated into three parts, each a tweet, he starts off by saying right away that he feels Twitter is important to civilization because it provides a "town square" where a wide range of beliefs can debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence. This sentiment has been a staple of Musk's feelings about the social media platform, as he has stated before in interviews.

Advertising can delight

In the second portion of the letter, he makes reference to how advertising can "delight, entertain and inform" the public. Where Twitter users can be shown relevant ads, rather than irrelevant ads. How he will go about delivering "highly relevant ads" is unknown. But he likens the highly relevant ads to actual content.

Buying Twitter helps humanity

In the third portion of the open letter, he plainly lays out that he feels he bought Twitter to "help humanity, whom I love," and recognizing that failure in pursuit of helping humanity, despite the best efforts, is a very real possibility. The caution here is not having any kind of plan in place. It seems he is speaking on a whim, or a desire to do good, without knowing how that good will be achieved.

He makes a bold statement that "Twitter cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences." But uses a vague adherence to the "laws of the land," as the method he will use to make sure Twitter does not become a free-for-all hellscape, which is exactly what critics feel it will become sooner or later.

In the end, he uses a vague and fuzzy statement that Twitter will be warm and welcoming to all, "where you can choose your desired experience according to your preferences."

All done before

This sentiment has been the founding principal in all technology-related pursuits when it comes to media. The societal model he is referencing could be anything from choosing a restaurant to picking out a television program. But social media, and much of our political life can be found on Twitter. The reporting by journalists and influencers and many times average people, is split second news on what politicians are doing. This is the bread and butter of Twitter.

It all comes down to free speech

Whomever owns Twitter will need an even hand, as its prospects for continued dominance in the social media industry looks grim. The company lacks a balanced method of defining free speech.

Musk has dreams of fixing the world, but is lacking some of the most common methodologies for doing that. Money will not do it, and he must come to a point of defining free-speech that many a knowledgeable person could not.

Helping all of humanity is a gargantuan task, but even Elon, the richest man is the world, might not have the money to meet that challenge. Twitter is about to find out, if he can.

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