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Reblogged:A Caution on Musk's Twitter

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Blogger Francis Menton speculates on Elon Musk's purchase of Twitter. In the process, he raises a couple of considerations I haven't seen anywhere else.

The first of these pertains to why Musk is so interested in Twitter:
Image by The Royal Society, via Wikimedia Commons, license.
I have little doubt that Musk himself has figured out that the value of the Tesla company is ready for a big fall. Musk sold something in the range of $18 billion of Tesla stock at the end of 2021, and now just sold another $8.5 billion in connection with raising equity for his purchase of Twitter. Clearly he is limited in his ability to just walk away from Tesla, but he is certainly doing his best to diversify.

For the diversification project, Twitter is an inspired choice. Twitter has an excellent chance of seriously enhancing its future growth in new hands, for reasons that I think are obvious... [links omitted]
Menton is, to put it mildly, skeptical that Tesla can grow quickly enough to justify its current valuation, as you can see from the earlier part of the post. This would be the good news.

The bad news is that Musk may not have a spotless record of tolerating opinions different from his own:
A colleague relayed the billionaire's [telephone] message. "Elon Musk says that you're a very bad person and you're writing bad things about him," [Montana Skeptic] recalled the colleague explaining. "He's going to have to sue you and he's going to have to drag our boss into it." . . . After the phone call, [Montana Skeptic] told his employer he would stop writing at Seeking Alpha and deactivate his Twitter account. He stated that while Musk had no valid claim, "I'm not going to drag my boss into a lawsuit he shouldn't have any part of." With one weird, but nevertheless heavy-handed phone call, Musk silenced a prominent online critic...
Montana Skeptic was the pseudonym of a writer at Seeking Alpha who questioned Tesla's valuation and had even recommended shorting the stock.

There can be perfectly good reasons (e.g., libel, or violating confidentiality agreements) to sue or threaten to sue people over things they have said, and I have no idea one way or the other if any applies here.

But this does coincide with something that has bugged me from the beginning about Musk -- a global warming catastrophism profiteer if ever there was one -- deciding Twitter's content policy. Sure, the wokeness might get dialed down a notch, but would the "fact checking" on those of us who don't march in lockstep with the left on this issue continue, or even worsen?

I wasn't so sure before and am even less so now.

-- CAV

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