Elon Musk clarifies Twitter ‘free speech’ definition; reactions from Jack Dorsey, Jeff Bezos, Joe Rogan and others pour in
Most of the reactions came in at 280 characters or less
Reactions to the big Elon Musk news yesterday are in, now that he has bought 100% of Twitter for $44 billion (prior to that he had a 9.2% stake in Twitter at the top of the month, and prior to that, the SpaceX founder and Tesla CEO only invested in memes, trolling and chronicling ambitious rocket launches on the platform).
A lot of the reactions came in 280 characters or less. Let’s start with Musk’s latest tweet – just in – that attempts to further clarify his stance on “free speech” and censorship (or lack thereof) on Twitter.
Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey gave a bit of an endorsement to having Elon Musk as the new owner of the platform, and also still threw his weight behind current Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal. In another tweet, Dorsey said “I love Twitter. Twitter is the closest thing we have to a global consciousness.” This lines up with Musk’s stance that Twitter is a “digital public square.”
Podcaster Joe Rogan, who has twice interviewed Elon Musk, hasn’t tweeted about Musk buying Twitter yet, but he gave a reaction during The Joe Rogan Experience.
Rogan said: “He believes that free speech is important, not just important, but vital for a functioning democracy.” He then dove into the idea that shadow banning on Twitter has caused certain accounts to see less engagement.
Amazon founder and former CEO and, important in this context, Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos did a bit of Musk-like trolling in a series of tweets about Musk’s reliance of China:
Mike Forsythe 傅才德 @PekingMikeApropos of something: -Tesla's second-biggest market in 2021 was China (after the US) -Chinese battery makers are major suppliers for Tesla's EVs. -After 2009, when China banned Twitter, the government there had almost no leverage over the platform -That may have just changed
While everyone saw this tweet above, Bezos admitted that his first tweet was likely untrue. It has far less engagement.
Bezos ended with a compliment about Musk. I’m sure Amazon sells something for that whiplash effect you’re feeling right now.
Silicon Valley venture capitalist Marc Andreessen tweeted a meme that spoofed a clip from the US TV show The Office (among a lot of other Elon Musk-headed memes).
Finally, Mark Cuban, the billionaire entrepreneur, Dallas Mavericks owner and investor on the US television show Shark Tank, had a wait-and-see approach.
In fact, one of my Twitter followers had a similar take and I think said it best: