Elon Musk stated on Saturday in a Tweet that he is “considering” creating a new social media platform. He didn’t go into specifics about how or what the fictitious social media platform would look like. The Tesla and SpaceX billionaire made the remark after claiming that Twitter does not allow for free speech.
“Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy,” Musk wrote on Twitter on Friday. “How should we go about it?” He then inquired as to the necessity of a new platform.
In another tweet on Friday, Elon Musk stated that “free speech is essential to a functioning democracy” and questioned whether Twitter “rigorously adheres to this principle.” Twitter, which claims to be committed to free expression, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNBC.
Observation by regulators:
The Tesla CEO is irritated that his tweets are being scrutinised by regulators. Elon Musk was subpoenaed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission in November after asking his Twitter followers if he should sell 10% of his Tesla stock. Shares plummeted as a result.
In February, Musk accused the SEC of “harassment” and attempting to “chill” his right to free speech. Musk has attempted to have the subpoena quashed, but the SEC ruled last week that his motion was “procedurally defective and substantively meritless.”
Even if the court overturns a 2018 agreement with the SEC requiring Musk to seek approval from other Tesla executives before tweeting about the company, the regulator told a judge that Musk’s tweets about Tesla will remain a reasonable subject for government investigation.
Following in the footsteps of Trump?
Musk isn’t the first person to forego existing social media platforms in favour of creating his or her own. Former US President Donald Trump founded Truth Social in February as part of the Trump Media and Technology Group. Trump has been prohibited from using Twitter since January 20, 2021.
“There appears to be a trend for wealthy individuals with polarising social media presences who get themselves in trouble to want to build their own platforms,” social media consultant Matt Navarra told CNBC on Monday. “One can only assume that their logic is that by creating their own social network, they will be able to create the content moderation rules that they consistently violate on Twitter and Facebook.”
Rumble, Parler, and Gettr are just a few of the new apps that have emerged in an attempt to entice users away from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.
Apple removed Parler from its App Store after allegations that it was used to incite violence during the January 6 riots. It was re-added in April after the company made changes that improved its ability to detect and moderate hate speech.
Building a social network
Creating a thriving social network, according to Navarra, is difficult. “There’s a reason why almost every alt-social network launched in the last few years has failed,” he explained.
According to Navarra, Musk would need a lot of money and a team of experienced product managers and engineers to build a long-lasting and popular social network. Above all, it must include people with whom others wish to interact.
According to Navarra, the majority of alternative social networks position themselves as a safe haven for free speech, which often attracts users with the most extreme or politicised views.
He went on to say that due to the nature of these alternative platforms and the content shared on them, they frequently struggle to attract the advertisers and investors needed to stay afloat.
Musk has previously stated that he and his companies are working on exciting products that will be released years from now — but proposed innovations are rarely realised within the timeframes specified.
For example, Musk stated in April 2019 at a Tesla “Autonomy Day” event that the company would have one million self-driving “robotaxis” on the road by 2020. These robotaxis are not yet in existence.
Published By: JAINAM SHETH
Edited By : KRITIKA KASHYAP