Musk, Hoisted by His Own Petard

Ideas and Issues Rights Social Media Tech

            Baja California           In the ongoing saga of Elon Musk’s reputational meltdown at Twitter, it just keeps getting better and better.  The reason lies not in his fall from the richest man in the world to the second richest, but in the ways his arrogance and petulance combine into his own special witches’ brew to bring himself low. Not that even with all of his billions he can buy a clue, but we get to watch the descent in real time.

The list has become too lengthy to recount in detail, but the latest is too rich in irony not to relish.  Often, he has tried this trick of ignoring his critics, that now abound, by polling his fanboys on Twitter about this or that from selling his stock to reinstating Trump to whatever.  In his latest stunt, he gave them twelve hours to vote on whether or not he should step down from running the site.  The results were a landslide that he should step down.  More than 17 million votes were cast and delivered a clear verdict: 57.5 percent said he should quit.  Who knows what he will do, but, if nothing else, the poll bought the rest of us silence in a welcome reprieve from his constant excesses.

Equally enjoyable from the cheap seats has been the way he imploded his free speech pretense for not protecting Twitter users and followers from harm and misinformation.  Everyone knows that without constant monitoring and protection, all of which he curtailed, evil abounds on the site and other social media platforms.  Musk dismantled this façade by suspending the accounts of several journalists from top news sources like the CNN, the Times, and Washington Post, initially he said because he didn’t like what they were saying about him.  Free speech, baloney!  But it gets better, he then reverses field and says that their reporting was putting him at risk of “assassination.”  Isn’t that an admission that without monitoring Twitter can cause harm and provoke violence?  Of course, it is!  He doesn’t care if the violence is racist, ethnic, religious or political, but he does care in his narcissistic way, if it involves him.  This is just too, too rich.

Meanwhile some of his tech bros and others are saluting his Bad Boss of the Year recognition by cheering him on in the name of “bossism.”  I think they may actually be trying to push him over the cliff, but that’s just me.  Nobel Prize winner and columnist, Paul Krugman, riffed on Musk as one of a number of plutocrats acting out in public because the amount of wealth is so obscene that normal boundaries have fallen.  Maybe so, but luckily for the rest of us, Musk may beat the rest of them to the ground.  Oh, how the mighty shall fall!