Elon Musk Completes $44 Billion Deal to Own Twitter

Oct 27, 2022 · 840 comments
Amazing (Troy, NY)
If he is a crazy pro Trump neo fascist, God help us all! This is especially tue if he is helping Trump get elected in 2024.
Phil Dunkle (Orlando)
“Twitter aspires to be the most respected advertising platform in the world.” What does Musk have to say about the vast amount of porn on Twitter? Do major advertisers like the idea of advertising on a site filled with porn?
I think Musk is generally on the right track on this with respect to free speech and the need to remove fake accounts.. That said, I think he overpaid for it and the departing executives were grossly overcompensated for the pitiful way they managed twitter ( turned it into a cesspool of fake news / fake trends ) with zero accountability.. those fired execs including ceo are getting $40 million!!! Hopefully they don’t get paid a dime for their shoddy work.
Larrea (Los Angeles)
As others, I just deleted my account.
Lazza May (London)
It’s one thing to be way right of centre politically but this (brilliant) maniac’s something else. He’s a Libertarian Jihadist - and he’s dangerous.
Rashawn (Atlanta, GA)
A sad day for a restricted biased forum populated by myriad bots moderated by opaque algorithms, undisclosed censors and government sources. Only those that enjoy group think must be crying. Will Rachel Levine win Man of the Year a second time?
Julie E (Okla-homie)
Elon buying Twitter = Ye walking into Sketchers Wednesday, and should be met with similar feelings and results. He’s a proven egomaniac and his motivation is to amplify his views, and the views of those who agree with him, and to make money off of and manipulate Twitter users. Now that we all know the rules and who makes them, we can choose if we want to play.
Jomi (Pennsylvania)
As a liberal I welcome this news as a confirmation of free speech. I am not afraid of opinions that I do not agree with. In knowing other views I can better understand these positions, other people, and myself. I am glad that you have the freedom to agree or disagree with me and your right to share it both in writing and in speech.
Citizen (RI)
@Jomi Twitter has always had free speech. It just came with responsibility and consequences, which is what happens in the real world. It remains to be seen if we can take Elon at his word and he won't turn Twitter into a free-for-all hellscape. The red hats are acting out today, making it seems as though they lost free speech somewhere along the way and just got it back. That's because they want the liberty to lie without consequences. THAT's the Twitter I expect to see under Musk.
matthew.fiori (here)
Now is a good time for everyone looking at reality and listening to nonsense to put a dent in the wallet of the musky odor permeating the atmosphere all the way to Mars and beyond... When subscription count is zero the hero will be nero
Blandino (Berkeley, CA)
Musk is in over his head, and I expect that he will lose a lot of money. Tesla and Space X are both the consequences of his engineering vision and genius. Twitter is another kind of business entirely. What's likely is that newer platforms will replace older ones like Facebook, and Twitter will be left behind. It won't happen immediately, but Musk will discover that he can't manipulate the world in all the ways his giant ego tells him he can. Fortunately for him, he can lose $40 billion or so and still be humongously rich.
independent (US)
What is the definition of free speech? In my understanding, free speech means know your limitation before you say any word. I am tired of so called "social media(un)" which is actually making people sick and obese in the long run. Talk less , act more should be right way to live our limited life in this world. Do some thing good to your family, to the neighborhood, to the local community, to the nation, and to the world at large. That will bring back humanity, honesty, integrity. I am not a fan of Social Media, it is harmful for our next generation, that I can tell for sure. Why people are investing so much money on platform that will bring more harms than any measurable benefits. We, the consumers, have the power to change everything. We are making some people billionaire, some people poor. Think before your action; it is still true and will remain true forever. Wake up people, don't spend your precious time on dumb thing, and do some measurable outcome to yourself and others.
J (California)
Deactivated my Twitter account just now and will not be looking back. Elon Musk's political views are disgusting. I hope the platform dissipates quickly because it will obviously be a breeding ground for Russian and right wing propaganda in a matter of days.
mbl14 (NJ)
@J But it wasn't disgusting that Twitter allowed violent and sexually violent content against women, children, and animals to proliferate on their platform. You were good having an account then. Got it!
James Osborne (Vernon)
Elon Musk is living proof that being smart and rich do not guarantee knowing how to behave like a responsible grown-up.
Steven (NYC)
Musk is going to turn twitter, already a sophomoric rat hole, into a full blown chess pool. This guy is drunk on his own ego.
judith Rael (left coast)
@Steven ...loved "rat hole"!!! you made my day. thx!
Amanda Bonner (New Jersey)
Never underestimate the stupidity of the people who use Twitter and now the guy who owns it-- the Chief Twit.
pat knapp (milwaukee)
Shows up at Twitter headquarters carrying a sink. Says he wants the fact that he's now the boss to "sink in." Disrespectful and really, really stupid. Run, people, run.
John (Denver)
Uncensored free speech wins out in America! Socialist fascists lose, big time! Just in the nick of time! Thanks, Elon!
IZA (Indiana)
...thrusting Twitter into a new era as yet another billionaire-owned far-right propaganda tool. FIFY.
Kath (Denver)
Here comes Trump!
Stephen (Chicago)
In 2000, AOL merged with Time Warner for $180 billion in stock and debt. The deal went south from the day it closed and AOL, the dominant internet provider at the time, is barely visible on the internet. My guess is that the same thing will happen to Twitter with Elon Musk in charge.
Yodagirl (AZ)
Nothing good will come of this. A ping-pong ball like Musk will bring nothing but chaos to a divided country already consumed by it.
M. P. Prabhakaran (New York City)
Donald Trump couldn’t have asked for a more heartwarming gift than Mr. Musk’s decision to reverse his permanent ban from Twitter. The decision means that the former president will once again have the largest social media platform in the world at his disposal. We can expect him to use the platform once again for his venomous propaganda against all those he disagrees with and for spreading misinformation. Musk’s lifting of the ban on Trump shouldn’t surprise anyone. Both have many things in common. Both are hypocrites and bundles of contradictions.
Nice (One)
@M. P. Prabhakaran Twitter is not the largest social media platform.
CC (San Francisco)
We'd still be, would have been, and are, better off without Twitter. Ugh!
Rashawn (Atlanta, GA)
Wonderful news - now The Babylon Bee can continue to bestow "Man of the Year" awards!
TK (Texas)
I am curious about what sort of "free speech" censorship people think has been happening. I'm only aware of a few high profile bans, but those were for serious things like degrading marginalized groups of people, sharing dangerous medical disinformation, or trying to incite political violence by knowingly spreading consequential lies. What harmless speech has been getting censored?
George S. (NYC)
Not sure why this commands headline billing on the NYT website today -- but there it is. Given the current market tanking of various internet stocks and Tesla's own share price decline consequently reducing Musk's net worth, one wonders how the bankers who helped finance this takeover are feeling today? Stuck with loan lock-ins agreed to over six months ago they had no exit ramp and are now watching as Musk drives out almost all of Twitter's senior management. There's a good chance that this is a train-wreck in the making as Musk's ego crashes into his hubris and the bankers are left holding a portfolio full of bad loans.
Avery (NYC)
At a bare minimum, Elon Musk will certainly turn Twitter into his personal market-manipulation machine. How many people, companies, and organizations will finally leave the platform, now that every tweet is an implicit endorsement and abetment of this oligarch's corrupt media strategy?
justagirl (brooklyn)
The only people who care about this are the people who have made the mistake of investing too much of their lives into Twitter. The best-case scenario here is that Twitter ceases to exist, the world would be a better place.
Jerry Mander (Ohio)
I have friends and family who love love love Elon Musk; everything he does is brilliant When he said he wanted to buy Twitter ... BRILLIANT MOVE When he said he didn't want to buy Twitter ...BRILLIANT MOVE When he trashed the company he was going to buy, thereby tanking it's stock ... BRILLIANT MOVE When he got sued for backing out of the deal ... BRILLIANT STRATEGY When he decided once again to buy Twitter ... BRILLIANT MOVE I do not understand his appeal.
Glimmer Twins (Philadelphia)
@Jerry Mander These friends and family appear to lack the ability to think for themselves.
George S. (NYC)
@Jerry Mander I wonder if these friends and family of yours are also fans of DJT? Some folks are just easy marks for hustlers and scam artists. Sorry.
Darlene (San Diego)
@Jerry Mander I have never liked the guy, am shocked at how many people thing he is the smartest business person on the planet. He has some strange ethics and everything is about him. He has many children that don't even see him, he just pays for them, because he "can". He says our demise will be due to lack of population. Who is buying this bunk? The ultra rich, do ultra stupid stuff.
Susan Godorov (Florida)
Never good to come in and clean house. He will be rudderless...
John (Denver)
The hypocrisy of those crying for controlled speech while whining about threats to our democracy is noted and will be noted in spades on November 8th.
Rocket (Canada)
@John Lies and disinformation are the principal threat to democracy. For free speech to be a meaningful concept, there must be a strong sense in which truthfulness and honesty matter more than the "right" to say, for instance, that Trump really won in 2020, or that vaccines are bio-weapons, etc. & so on.
Glimmer Twins (Philadelphia)
@John threats to democracy aren't free speech
mbl14 (NJ)
The comments here are nothing short of hilarious. Twitter has allowed all manner of violent and sexually violent (including illegal) activity on their platform for years. Guess that was fine with all the commenters here! Now that Musk bought the company, uh oh time to leave! Give me a break.
Todd Stultz (Pentwater, MI)
Nothing is more dangerous than a rich liberal who wants to virtue signal a guilty conscience. It's tough to break through this blockade in social media. Hopefully this change in leadership will open up the digital public square to a wider range of opinions / philosophies that will have to stand or fall on their own merits based on peer commentary rather than opaque administrative "Content Moderation". Such administrative activity represents the tyranny of policing "Thought Crime" under the guise of protecting the public good. From C.S. Lewis - analogous wisdom from about 80 years ago... “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” Speak fearlessly, but be prepared to defend your position in the arena of ideas. The remedy for speech you don't like is more speech, not less speech.
Revelholic (TX)
@Todd Stultz Your optimism is beyond funny.
Todd Stultz (Pentwater, MI)
@Revelholic It's up to the public users to make Twitter into what they want. Personally, I find it a general waste of time. I have an account for one reason - the real time Twitter feed from the Ohio Turnpike so I don't get trapped by a problem I could have avoided had I checked.
Rocket (Canada)
@Todd Stultz There is a strong sense in which you are right, but how then to react to people like Alex Jones, people who lie about elections being stoles, about the nature of vaccines, that Fauci is a "mass murderer", and so on. There are no easy answers to any of this. For instance, Jones may have faced stiff consequences, but the well has been poisoned. He has, unbelievably, millions of followers...people who actually believe him.
Strand (Brooklyn)
This takeover is welcomed by the 94% of Americans who do not identify as progressives (according to Pew Research progressives make up 6% of the population). And so of course the loss of twitter as the townsquare where all views that do not conform with the progressive agenda are deemed to be in violation of the terms of service or removed based on other baseless excuses, such as the Hunter Biden laptop story right before the 2020 election, is being mourned as the loss that it is for progressives. "Misinformation" that is deemed as such by the progressive establishment aka the Democrat establishment, such as questioning whether Covid vaccines will prevent infection, will no longer be barred, which is the end of an era for those who identify with the agenda and ideology of that establishment. And the only way to ensure this change is to get rid of 75% of Twitter's work force along with its leadership and replace them. This is how Twitter can transform from being the town square of the progressive establishment, which represent 6% of the population, to one where all Americans are welcome to express their views and opinions.
Bruce Maier (Shoreham, BY)
@Strand Yes, we need to transform the distribution of disinformation to make it more efficient.
Cheri Murphy (Alaska)
@Strand can you provide the PEW article that states only 6% of the population identify as progressives? I cannot find any information with such low numbers. Thank you.
styleman (San Jose, CA)
@Strand If only 6% of the population identify as progressives, then how did Joe Biden win the election in 2020 (or maybe he didn't)?
David H (Northern Va.)
Lots of concern about the possible return of Donald Trump to Twitter. I’m not a fan by any means, but if his presence on the platform means the Democrats will have to broaden their appeal to centrist conservatives like me and start focusing on the issues that matter to the vast majority of Americans, then I’m for it.
Ann Onymous (The Untied Status of America)
@David H You greatly overestimate the stamina of Democrats. Since 2016, we have struggled even to get most Republicans even to recognize simple matters of provable fact. Failing that, there is no basis for discussion. It's like trying to bluetooth a misassembled abacus to a smartphone. Completely different facts and communications protocols.
David H (Northern Va.)
@Ann Onymous Apologies, I should’ve been a bit more specific. What I’m suggesting encompasses two dynamics. 1. A commitment by the Democrats to the hard work of grassroots organizing, mobilization and fundraising. As things stand, the Democrats appear to believe that heaping opprobrium on the GOP is an adequate substitute for the sort of political work. 2. Refocusing by the Democrats on issues that it is willing to go to the mat out to defend. Existential issues… healthcare, abortion access and gun control will suffice. Right now, the Democrats try to appeal to everybody, and they end up appealing to nobody. Like them or not, the GOP has cornered the market on “traditional American values,” have managed to lock in America’s religious, and command an impressively large and highly dedicated following. The Democrats need to do the same. Never mind dialogue with the GOP.
dressmaker (USA)
This is your lead headline? For shame!
Claire Adcock, MD (Charleston, SC)
Please stop using twitter. Do it both for your mental health and to spite Elon
Jerry Mander (Ohio)
@Claire Adcock, MD I have never used Twitter Wouldn't even know it existed if the media wouldn't post everyone's tweets
NewsReaper (Colorado)
What a clown.
styleman (San Jose, CA)
Now we'll be bombarded with Alex Jones, Kanye West (oh, excuse me "Ye") and that ilk. This is irresponsible of Musk. He needs a lesson in civics and civility.
styleman (San Jose, CA)
@Ralph Schwartz Oh yeah? What about the "patriotic" riot at the capital on January 6, 2021 led by The Proud Boys and Oath Keepers? Besides, Twitter is a private company, not a government institution, so the First Amendment doesn't apply to it. As such, they can ban misinformation, hate speech, uncivil discourse, Trump and Marjorie Taylor Greene nonsense.
Bob The Grouch (NC)
sick of this putz
Brilliant. Hopefully people will stop getting banned for saying truthful facts instead of being required to pretend that lies are true.
Sheila (3103)
Bye Twitter.
Dana Pico (Estill County, KY)
Remember; The New York Times provided OpEd space for New Yorker writer Andrew Marantz to publish "Free Speech Is Killing Us," on October 4, 2019, and for 'Parker' Malloy to publish "How Twitter’s Ban on ‘Deadnaming’ Promotes Free Speech", on November 29, 2018. On April 25th of this year, NYT Editorial Board member Gary Bensinger published "Twitter Under Elon Musk Will Be a Scary Place". The NYT was always a great supporter of freedom of the press, winning their case in New York Times Co. v. United States, 403 U.S. 713 (1971), when publishers like the Times were the "gatekeepers" who could keep out the riff-raff. Now that the internet has effectively removed that gatekeeping function, the support of the Times for freedom of speech and freedom of the press seems to have diminished. Freedom for me, but not for thee.
jimfaye (Ellijay, GA)
I am not a communist, but it is frightening to me that a single person can have so much money.....it is dangerous for everybody else, because what if that rich person is also an evil person? Elon Mush scares me to death. May somebody save our democracy from people like him.
DC (Bucks Co)
@jimfaye I agree that it is terrifying that a single person can have so much money. Along with that comes too much power for a single person. I include people like Gates, etc.
Dadof2 (NJ)
1st Step: Fire the people who made Twitter what it is. 2nd Step: Ban from Twitter anyone critical of Musk in any way. Yeah, that's Elon's definition of "Free Speech"! Never joined Twitter. Never saw ANYTHING positive about it. It brought us the worst and most treacherous President in the history of the USA, the one who may YET bring it down! And Musk wants to open it up to him again, as well as Putin, and other liars.
Tom Booth (Jersey City)
@Dadof2 Preaching to the choir doesn't change anything.
Claudia (San Francisco)
@Dadof2 Twitter is toxic. Friends don't let friends Tweet
Dominic (Astoria, NY)
If you thought Twitter was a cesspool before, just wait. Musk is like most of his techbro brethren: megalomaniacal, impulsive, emotionally immature, right-wing, inexcusably wealthy, and destructive for the sake of destruction. These individuals believe their form of destruction is a form of creative disruption, when in reality it's about as enlightening as a five year old smashing a vase on the floor. In real life, what really gets broken is the social contract, healthy public discourse, objective fact-based reality, and the functioning of democracy itself. Oligarchs are bad for democracy and human freedom at all levels.
Mandalas (Usa)
@Dominic Musk also allowed female employees to be harrassed while working at Tesla. Of course there were no consequences for the male employees. What a hella free for all.
Ralph Schwartz (Marquette, Michigan)
@Dominic Except they are all left wing democrats. Sorry Dominic- but this is the truth.
Darby (WV)
“The acquisition has been celebrated by some Republicans, who have argued that Twitter censored conservative viewpoints. Researchers have said Twitter’s rules have been essential to countering online hate speech and disinformation. Some advertisers have worried about allowing their brands to appear alongside controversial tweets.” This paragraph says it all for me. Conservative Republicans equal the majority of online hate speech and disinformation. And advertisers are worried-but are they worried enough to drop “the twit”?
Ralph Schwartz (Marquette, Michigan)
@Darby Just remember- there are a lot more conservative Republicans then there are liberals,
Matthew (Avalon)
We know how “free speech” will go under Musk: thugs will be allowed to harass the marginalized. When the marginalized push back, we’ll suddenly see policies about “civility” that fall disproportionately on the people suffering most from harassment. The powerful always consider themselves the victims, and Musk is the avatar of that mentality.
@Matthew You are right that the powerful always consider themselves victims. The LGBTQIA2S+ community is emblematic of this.
Minneapolis mom (Minneapolis, MN)
Advertisers are key to The Big Twit's success, and they are already leaving this toxic "hellscape" of misinformation in droves. It hard to understand his strategy, but he has all but promised that things will be worse under his information free-for-all plans.
Jason McDonald (Fremont)
The Left has run Twitter for years. Now the shoe seems to be on the other foot, and oh how the whining and gnashing of teeth begin.
jimfaye (Ellijay, GA)
@Jason McDonald As far as I am concerned, all of social media, including Twitter, is a horror and an abomination..... and has destroyed our World as we knew it! You people addicted to Twitter or social media or even cell phones are complete ignoramus idiots as far as I can see....a bunch of Zombies falling into the Canyon while trying to take a " selfie." May God help us all. I do not even own a cell phone and never will.
Nii (NY)
This guy is so full of himself.
HOUDINI (New York City)
I can't wait for Donald Trump's tweets from Guantanamo Bay Cuba, "Gee, the food is not bad here. Bit of a view. Why hasn't Michael Flynn visited? That rat owes me."
Distraught Disaster (Los Angeles)
HistoryRhymes (NJ)
Nothing good will come from this. Twitter will go from bad to worae
Andy (San Francisco)
I can only hope this makes Musk a much poorer man, that Trump stays with his own social network, Lies or whatever, or it will surely die; that people leave in droves and save democracy from the fascist GOP.
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
Elon Musk has changed his Twitter name to "Chief Twit". Ok, he has a sense of humor. I like to say God created a sense of humor to keep people from killing each other. It's a word to the wise.
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
Now folks, enough of the knee jerk reactions. Now we will know what crimes Trump's chumps are planning. You know they always have to vent like radio baloney artists. Now we are going to know the Play by Play of Trump's crimes.
ABC (Flushing)
Effect of a Republican owning Twitter? Tweet others the way you want to to be tweeted. But that means what to doctrinaire Progressives? There are realistic Democrats who are not antiAmerican. Excise the tumor, Progressives. I voted for Biden b/c he’s not Trump. With Trump gone, I will not support endless loony liberal ideas nobody thought through (defund the police, open borders, my life doesn’t matter, decriminalizing to fool people into thinking Dems lowered crime, coddling criminals, men in sports as women). Progressive policy is No photo of criminals in media — unless the criminal is white. It’s similar to the liberal all-points-bulletin to be on the lookout for a criminal on the loose. But they give you a description of the perp’s clothes not the perp — as if the clothes committed the crime! GOP is trying to get rid of its nutcases. Remember in November— vote for moderates
John (Denver)
Old Twitter headline on November 9th: “Dems Don’t Achieve Goals in Elections”. New Twitter headline on November 9th: “Red Tsunami of Biblical Proportions, Voters’ Backlash Could Spell Demise of Modern Democratic Party”.
Deactivated and deleted.
Adnan (Birmingham)
Elon, now that you own it, please close it.
Jessica M (Portland, OR)
Deactivate. Delete. Done.
FRoberson (Dallas, Texas)
Please stop putting this jerk’s picture and name on almost every edition of your paper. This is getting as bad as Trump. I’m so tired of hearing constantly about the latest mischief of these two and I’m not sure that I want to continue a subscription to a publication that donates so much time and free publicity to these two. Enough.
MikeB (San Diego)
Good Lord! What will we do without Twitter execs to protect us from scary misinformation? How will we ever be able to distinguish truth from lies? What if people start thinking for themselves. How will we know how many boosters to take? It's all over now.
GFE (New York)
@MikeB Do you know how many social media addicts believe the utter insanity of QAnon, Mike? Did you miss that little conflict at the Capitol on January 6th?
Cowboy Marine (Colorado Trails)
Bezos may be a threat to small businesses and fair commerce, but Musk...like Trump, Putin, Kim Yung-Un and Xi...is a threat to the world.
jimfaye (Ellijay, GA)
@Cowboy Marine Yes, I agree and I wish somebody would pass a law that prohibits a single person from getting this rich. It is frightening.
JT (Texas)
It took Musk buying Twitter to make the left recognize what Twitter has always been: a sewage pit topped off with industrial toxic waste.
HOUDINI (New York City)
Why me, a non-Twitter user is reading so much about this? Why do I care? Why does this man do these things? And then I figured it out. He reminded me of someone. A character in the Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies (1997). The tech king silent super villain on the yacht starting wars via his global publishing empire. Played enthusiastically evil by Jonathan Pryce. Right—?
GFE (New York)
Here's a thought. How about you Times reporters and your colleagues in the news media stop bolstering this destructive platform and cancel your Twitter accounts? Checking in on the bios of both the reporters who authored this article, I note that both furnish their own Twitter links. While it's good that both of them also allow us to contact them via email, it's increasingly the case that reporters and other media professionals only allow the public to reach them via Twitter and/or Facebook. You're part of the problem, folks.
Dr. John (Seattle)
In two weeks will Twitter be blamed for the Republican victories in the midterms?
Immigrant (Texas)
Free speech is priceless. Mr. Musk needed to fire these Twitter executives, the proponents of: "how dare you speak what you eyes see, you must pretend with us or else it is 'hate speech' against our community standards." Take your censorship Orwellian standards out in the real world and let’s see how well they stick. Good riddance to each of you: "The Twitter executives who were fired on Thursday include Parag Agrawal, the chief executive; Ned Segal, the chief financial officer; Vijaya Gadde, the top legal and policy executive; and Sean Edgett, the general counsel, said two people with knowledge of the matter. At least one of the executives who was fired was escorted out of Twitter’s office, they said."
Peter (Albany. NY)
All the Lefties are crying their eyes out today. They cannot censor Conservatives anymore. Well too bad.
Susan (Lighthouse)
@Peter Consider who is -banning books in schools and libraries -passing "don't' say gay" laws -restricting how slavery, Jim Crow, and other unfortunate aspects of American history can be taught in schools -advocating for abstinence-only education -trying to stop young trans kids from authentic self-expression and I think you will see who loves censorship.
Mask Of Comedy/Tragedy (Northeast)
@Peter No one is crying their eyes out over a stupid social media platform. True Oligarchy is coming under the guise of free speech. It is the constant assault against democracy that is the issue. Allowing hate speech is not going to protect democracy. But almost every authoritarian government has relied on media control and hate speech to gain control. History shows us where this leads and it is not pretty. No need to argue with those of us who see what’s coming. Point me to one example from history where hate speech has made a democracy stronger.
jimfaye (Ellijay, GA)
@Peter Cruelty, making fun of people's disabilities and the way they look, pushing violent rhetoric, lying, cheating, suppressing the vote, not accepting the results of our election, etc etc. etc. What is it gonna take to make you Republicans see that Republicans are a bunch of dangerous lying A wholes? They will destroy Social Security and Medicare and take away all social programs for the less fortunate. Why any single soul in America wants to vote Republican is beyond my comprehension. I think they are totally evil. They did not used to be like this.
Robert L (RI)
. Somewhere somehow Kurt Vonnegut must be writing this stuff...
Freelancer (Brooklyn)
Let’s see how long it takes the authors of this article takes to remove themselves from twitter!
brentcox (Sturgis, SD)
Time for tens of millions of people to dump twitter.
mbl14 (NJ)
@brentcox But it wasn't time before, when Twitter allowed violent and sexually violent content to be shared freely on their platform? Got it!
bnc (Lowell,MA)
Just one more reason for me to boycott Twitter.
joe (syracuse ny)
Putin grabbed control of the media. Zucker has CNN which is being silenced. Musk has grabbed Twitter. The rule of the Oligarchs is picking up speed.
GFE (New York)
@joe Jeff Zucker, Trump's old buddy who did so much to elect him, is out. His replacement at CNN is Chris Licht.
So Twitter has moved from being a place where comity goes to die, to being some rich guy's plaything, where comity goes to die.
Don (Connecticut)
If Musk lets people like the Insurrectionist-in-Chief and his unsavory supporters on the far right back in en mass and lets them tweet whatever they want whenever they want, how long will decent people and corporate advertisers with even just a modicum of moral fiber choose to associate with a company that in effect now exists to further enrich and puff the already bloated ego of someone so willfully destructive of the common good?
Jim Glionna (Naples Florida)
Elon Musk is not the richest man on Earth; It is the 7th Duke of Westminister
jimfaye (Ellijay, GA)
@Jim Glionna I heard that the new PM in Great Britain is richer than King Charles!
susan (nyc)
I don't use any social media sites whether it be Twitter or Facebook or the rest. I am reminded what William Shatner said in an SNL sketch when he showed up at a Star Trek convention. He walked up to the podium facing all of the enrapt Trekkies and said "Get a life, people!"
jimfaye (Ellijay, GA)
@susan Yay! I'm with you, Susan. Sometimes I think the computer has destroyed everything we knew about being good, kind, and polite!
Matt (Maryland)
@jimfaye Facebook too is full of hate. People that say they are for free speech won't like what you say even if it's benign. They make a post about cupcakes, you comment on cupcake icing, they'll say post was about cupcakes. Far right folks I know.
SA (01066)
Let’s hope that after Musk makes a few billion profit off being the chief Twit, he buys Fox News. And I thought Orwell’s 1984 was scary…..
Monk (North East Kingdom, VT)
@SA: 1984 isn't as scary as this: The rabble saying Twitter's ban of Trump is like 1984. Real Orwell experts.
Dr. John (Seattle)
The NYT is highly moderated and does not ban Conservative reader comments. The WSJ is highly moderated and does not ban Progressive comments. Neither ban comments or opinions critical of our politicians. They do ban hate-filled, racist and personally threatening comments. Why think Twitter cannot thrive by doing the same?
@Dr. John Yes, the NYT actually does ban any comments that point out its misinformation.
Jim Madison (Philadelphia)
Scary. The mainstream press (mostly, and especially in the past) had ethical standards so that good papers had to confirm their sources or have two sources so some modicum of truth would stand out from news-selling scandals and emotional stories. Twitter and other social media developed some control when it became evident that lies, propaganda, conspiracies and influence operations were creating hate, division and chaos in our society. I guess now that is gone for twitter. Scary.
Antoinette (Indianapolis, IN)
Musk plans on making Twitter a "free speech" platform to mimic the "free speech absolutist" he claims to be, so he SHOULD be held FINANCIALLY LIABLE for any and all criminal cases that are sure to follow this genre. FREE SPEECH IS NOT FREE!
@Antoinette The 1st amendment does not protect certain types of speech (including terroristic threats) if that’s what you’re concerned about. But it also does not protect left wing echo chambers with new private owners.
AK (Hastings NY)
@Antoinette just because “Free” is free don’t inundate us with bold Upper caseFREES. Very annoying.
Phoebe (Havertown, PA)
I dumped FB about a year ago. I guess I'll have to dump Twitter now, too. Probably healthier in the long run.
Ben (Miami, Fl)
Another haven for Russian disinformation. Which seeks to polarize and dispel confidence in Democracy. The world's two richest men are, consciously or not, working together to destroy us.
David H (Northern Va.)
@Ben If our democracy falls, it will be the fault of the complacent Democratic Party. NOT the fault of those who seek to take away our system of governance.
Monk (North East Kingdom, VT)
@David H: The hearings were not an example of complacency. Ignoring them and the facts they so abundantly and irrefutably places fault on Deniers.
Si Seulement Voltaire (France)
I love the expression "offensive comments" .... when average Americans are under constant attack for simply daring to think for themselves rather than "follow the Thought Police". Let everyone have a go at taking their equal fellow citizens for the bad guys, no? After all, offence is taken. The expression is not "give offence" but "take office" which is after all .. a free choice a person can make for themselves, no?
barbara (nyc)
@Si Seulement Voltaire Think for themselves? The 'one up' mindset of the bot crowd has nothing to do with content, truth or well being as disinformation has become entertainment or entertainment disinformation. It is more $, class wars and control....hardly freedom. How is the defeat of Roe vs Wade free choice? How is leaving issues to the states reflective of inclusivity? Interesting how you perceive offensive comments. Perhaps thinking skills are not required.
Pat Beulah (Summerland BC)
@Si Seulement Voltaire ...free thought or gaslighted?
Patricia Caiozzo (Port Washington)
With Musk at the helm, Twitter will indeed become a hellscape of misinformation, conspiracy theories and other sewage. My fervent hope is that advertisers will flee. It is likely to become a refuge for radical and fringe views that are destroying civility and rational public discourse. It will be Musk’s kingdom and we will all be the lesser for it. Former Guy is celebrating with a giant cheeseburger.
TexMex (On The Border)
Agreed, however, rather than a refuge, Twitter is a high flying and broad reaching no fee, digital platform which will present the radical and fringe thoughts to a public devoid of critical thinking.
mbl14 (NJ)
@Patricia Caiozzo It's already been a hellscape. Guess it wasn't a problem for users and advertisers that the platform allowed violent and sexually violent content that included women, children, and animals to proliferate for years! No problem there! But jolly gee don't let Musk take over! If my eyes rolled any harder I'd be permanently blind.
Peggy (Sacramento)
Look out, another wack job in control of media. This is a bad omen.
Pawel (Massachusetts)
Another reason to walk away from social media...libertarian cesspool...
DMV Heights (San Francisco)
Republicans will be happy if they can lie all they want and promote Russian propaganda.
Cindy DiMattia (North Carolina)
“Twitter obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences,” Really, Elon? Because it looks like you're hell-bent on making it just that.
WalterZ (Ames, IA)
What a waste of media real estate by putting this over-baked story at the top of the NYT digital page along with an adoring photo of the man himself. Clearly, this shows that clicks are what is important and that manipulating people is the name of the game. And sure, I was sucked in, but only to wag my finger and roll my eyes. Twitter what a perfect name.
Cynical (Knoxville, TN)
Shhh... he may purchase the Times next...
mbl14 (NJ)
It's hilarious to me that NY Times censors my comments on the FACT that Twitter allows violence and sexual violence towards women, children, and animals free reign on their platform! Guess it wasn't a problem for all these Twitter users before! But now that Musk is taking over they need to leave?? NY Times comment moderators should do some RESEARCH instead of censoring facts!
Dave 🇨🇦 (Toronto)
The Twitter saga sucked up more air than it should have, simply because it is a big part of most journalists’ lives. It’s safe to say that the silent majority doesn’t care nearly as much.
Patty (CT)
Um, okay. But, honestly, in the real world, I'm still not sure why I need to give a damn about this. Isn't this just another eye-rolling example of the self-absorbed superrich flaunting their excesses in a pecuniary peeing contest?
shimr (Spring Valley, NY)
Now the question is whether Musk's control of this segment of the media will make it easier or harder for the truth to prevail. Up to now, we have fought a battle with misinformation and downright lies. Do we now have a better chance for the truth to be told? If yes, this was a good development. If not, God preserve our democracy!
Michelle J (Mississippi)
At one time I had considered using this platform. Glad I never did, doubt I ever will.
Cabal (Fr)
It is time for revenge. Musk is mean, savage and collects grudges for the pleasure of getting his revenge by destroying people.
Mag (Wisconsin)
Why doesn’t Musk go to Mars and be done with it? On the other hand, by the technology is perfected to make such a trip Musk will be dead.
Christian (Manchester)
Well it’s been a decent 12 or so years for me but think I’ll be using it a lot less now.
KM (Sweden)
@Christian Don't worry! There are plenty of echo chambers to choose from.
What a ruthless hack. Those people he fired did nothing wrong. He is in my opinion not a saint...in fact he may even have mental health issues. That does not stop many like Kanye West from getting to where they are. But the stability of such a large enterpise especially with Russia and China to contend with is to me very important and almost to be guarded like our secrets. I blame Twitter first for selling to him and him so far I dislike intensely.
David H (Northern Va.)
@JHM We are locked in confrontation with Russia and China in large measure BECAUSE differing viewpoints are not permitted on places like Twitter. Which is of course a sad commentary on the foreign policy making process in general.
NickBCN (Barcelona)
@David H Exactlynehat differing viewpoints are being blocked on Twitter? Like, what kind of specific comments? I see conservatives and liberals going at each other all over Twitter.
The Constitution Matters (missouri)
@David H That's simply not true... in fact, it's exactly the sort of thing a Kremlin/CCP bot would say. Xi and Putin's terribleness predated Twitter; and are actually uncorrelated to its policies. Things like the Cold War antedated Social Media.... So no need to carry the water for totalitarian regimes, here, David... I'm confident, you can do better!
Stacy (Santa Monica, CA)
We are in an undeclared war with the Russian govt. Please consider reading Craig Unger's books regarding that govt.
z (fl)
Time to get off of Twitter, boycott advertising on Twitter, and dump the stock too. Musk is going to promote extreme viewpoints that are unhealthy: MAGA, Russian propaganda, etc.
David Baldwin (Petaluma, CA)
This is bad news for Americans who believe in democracy. Mr. Musk shows no commitment to democratic values, just to power and self promotion. Election deniers and their like will flock to the platform like flies to honey.
Huh 👻 (Upstate)
And he just bought a passport from Malta.
LosingHope (OH)
@David Baldwin Power and self promotion? Who does this remind us of? Hint: Think of 45.
Mattie (Western MA)
@David Baldwin Aren't there already a bunch of renegade social media platforms full of lies and disinformation- i.e. parler, (oh- maybe they went broke) telegraph, reddit, youtube, etc. and those on the dark web? So Twitter will have to compete with those- and become another one, even worse than it already is? Let it join the dustbin of history.....
J Hagen (Sacramento)
Really nice to see Musk rid Twitter of its top executives. These individuals destroyed the credibility of the company by allowing it to continue to provide a voice for the worst offenders of human rights on the planet while de-platforming the former President. The past few years have been some of the darkest in the country's history for free speech. This is a turning point back towards the liberal values that have made us so prosperous.
J Hagen (Sacramento)
@J Hagen I just want to make one note to my comment above. I mean liberal values as in the liberal values that all Americans embrace. I do not mean woke values, mainly fighting battles by canceling the ideas of others that you cannot counter.
Ethan Strickland (Los Angeles)
@J Hagen Trump was the protector of "liberal values"? These comments are evidence of what's to come.
Ann Onymous (The Untied Status of America)
@J Hagen Sure, let's not cancel the promotion and organization of sedition and insurrection. And let's continue to have robust discussions about a delusional parallel universe. Because after all, are these not the most essential threads of the fabric of America?
HAL (Jupiter)
Time for the company to change it’s name to reflect its new mission: MyPillow Talk
Jim (NY, NY)
Twitter is already a Cesspool, its only going to get worse under Musk's leadership.
Barbara (USA)
Where is the coverage on President Biden's speech yesterday in Syracuse. Where are the headlines on the latest economic news? Why is the media obsessed with such figures as Musk, Ye, and Putin?
Auntie Sue (In The Wilderness)
I have yet to understand the popularity of Twitter. Seems like the modern day version of the National Enquirer. Lurid gossip to increase profits.
AKJersey (New Jersey)
Musk is an ally of Trump and even Putin!
Eccles. (Washington DC)
May it fail spectacularly
Mike (Peoria, AZ)
A fool and his money are soon parted. Twitter will dilute Musk's attention from running real businesses to running a tower of babel.
RJ (Mount Vernon Ohio)
Hoping the entire left-wing censorship puritans (aka "Content Moderation") of Twitter are told to pack their bags. I might even rejoin after fighting endlessly with them for years! Musk is right - anything "Legal" should be allowed. You don't like something? Fine - there's this thing (you may not of heard of it) called "blocking". Hit that one little button and the snowflakes who find me offensive never have to hear from me again. I realize that many folks may seem incapable of curating their own online experience - they should feel free to disengage.
Anonymously Anxious (NYC)
What a waste! He could have done some good to the world and really helped people in need. Who cares about Twitter?
an other (UK)
This can only end badly. Like giving the presidency to a man-baby.
Christopher (Chicago)
Musky Business Freedom of political speech is meaningless under a Constitution that allows every dollar a demagogue spends to promote himself, to amplify his voice, like a gigantic bull horn. A speaker's wealth - not the value of what he has to say - determines the range of his voice, who can listen, who can hear. Followers, tweets, retweets - these are all the bitcoin of "free" speech: the currency that gives the speaker more power than you or me. Musk didn't invest in Twitter to make himself poor or stifle his voice. People who see this as a victory for freedom of speech are deluding themselves, dreaming of their own power expanding, their own voice growing louder.
Sajid Khan (Ridgefield Park NJ)
As Twitter will become an everything app, I hope Elon will also make Twitter the vehicle to optimize human consciousness. As he has said, his top aim is to improve human life. I suggest that he go full throttle for making the world wise. Elon needs to focus on the most effective path to optimizing the world. He needs to establish an Emotional Health Industry. It will generate another trillion dollars of income. Create massive new jobs and, above all, optimize the world. It will bring happiness, health, peace, and prosperity. Wisdom is the smoke, whereas emotional health is the fire. Elon can establish the world's first emotional health/wisdom/upbringing department and hospital. The world is emotionally challenged, and the emotional health of the world needs to be fixed. As long as the brain/emotional health mess is ignored, American/world society will remain as messed up as ever. Why is it that women live longer and thrive while it is men who are a drain on social standards? It is because we bring up our daughters humble and our sons macho. Machoness is an emotional sickness, while humility is wisdom. So we bring up our sons sick and our daughters wise. Just imagine the sea change when we start bringing up our sons humble. The world is trapped in an emotional health mess; no one is addressing the leading cause of emotionally challenged brains. This mess can be solved by creating a brain education industry. http://www.einpresswire.com/newsroom/4th_r_foundation/
John Wallis (at me desk as always these days sheesh!)
Not a bang, but a twitter
Someone (Somewhere)
I wish this news was getting less airtime and front page status. I wish there was coverage on and awareness of the hundreds of millions of people facing acute hunger and famines from severe droughts. Imagine having Musk’s money…and buying Twitter. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/10/28/somalia-famine-climate-change/
Refugio Enriquez (Los Angeles)
@Someone .... If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride. But there is a bell curve for greedy power, and both Musk and Trump are sliding down the far side of it.
Joe B. (Center City)
Public enemy #2 — right behind trump.
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
Here's some reliable intelligence for you; Elon Musk has tweeted "The bird is free" and Boebert said "The GOAT is free". It's Bastille Day in America.
H. Clark (Long Island)
Why don't the really smart, uber-wealthy from the coasts start a competing platform? Call it "Critter" or whatever, and let it be a sanctuary for good rather than evil. Tim Cook, Bill Gates, Steven Spielberg, Oprah... Are you listening?
Tre (LA)
All of the free speech advocates praising Elon are all the white people that are never at the receiving end of their own hate speech and intolerance. I deleted Twitter when Trump became a voice for hate, came back when Trump left, but almost never go on anymore. It is a sickening, headache inducing cesspool. Maybe it’s time to permanently delete.
Zeke (NYC)
The is how the end begins
Eddy (Oakland CA)
I never used Twitter. Glad I didn't. And Musk is an idiot for buying this on a whim. A lot of people are about to lose their jobs because of his decision.
Ted (Philadelphia)
Glad I never got into twitter
Kathy Vossler (Houston)
Great. Now we have a full-time narcissist (who doesn't have a four year term), who loves attention, loves headlines, loves seeing his picture in the media, who has no filter, no self control, no self respect, enjoys being a bully, thrives on drama, will be accountable to nobody . . . If this doesn't make you appreciate the billionaires who choose to be benevolent, who give back to society, who work to solve big problems, who try and leave the world a better place, then take a minute to think about it. We are very fortunate to have more of those than these. As for this guy, we will all be forced to sit back and watch him implode in utter chaos with great bombast. It won't be fun. And it won't be good for any of us. I feel like sending a heartfelt thank-you to some of the good billionaires.
David Liebtag (Chester Vermont)
Let's be clear. Elon Musk may be the richest man, but he is not the smartest, nicest, most spiritual, most intelligent, most beautiful, or most deserving in any substantive way. He's been fortunate. If you can call it that. And that's all. No single person, or even any small group of persons should have such wealth and power. All our governments need to be improved to restrain the influence of these people.
Flyover Country (Anywhere)
Guess he has the means to find out what the real numbers are for propaganda generated by bots and troll farms. Sunlight is the best disinfectant right?
srwdm (Boston)
So what if he’s the richest man in the world. That alone doesn’t impress me one iota. [We shouldn’t have any billionaires in this country.] The reality is that he is an erratic megalomaniac who is also a fabulist and a fanatic futurist.
GM (Pittsburgh, PA)
Facebook only allows its leftist agenda, television destroys morals and values with its indoctrination of every aberration it can find. Maybe, Musk will offer a fair playing field.
Jeffrey Fischer (Sebastopol)
Oh, there is plenty of right wing heat on Facebook. Also remember that these are non-government companies. They can do what they want.
Ardyth SHAW (San Diego)
What fascinates me is the rush to elevate the “richest man in the world” to god-like status because he represents what a select group of his own kind want to aspire to, regardless that we all eat, sleep and die.
Charles Rolph (Texas)
The censoring that occurred under Twitter's management was real and thoroughly disgusting. The blocking of the New York Post's article on Hunter Biden was pure politics. Censoring of any voices contrary to the state line on Covid were summarily blocked. Can't wait to see the new Twitter.
Monk (North East Kingdom, VT)
@Charles Rolph: Can we clean up Twitter? I've seen how bleach does a number on infections. Is there any way to treat social media with Clorox? Like a cleaning or an injection? Have you heard about the heat and the light? Ivermectin?
Cowboy Marine (Colorado Trails)
I think Musk and Bezos should have a competition where they each hop on their own company's spacecraft to Mars and see who gets there first.
Manny Pedi (Depends Upon The Month)
If I can paraphrase Captain Kirk of Startrek, “Well, here's one thing you can be sure of, Elon, leave any bigotry in your quarters, there's no room for it on @Twitter.” “Ahead warp factor one Scotty. We need to get away from Twitter.”
Jerry (Maine)
Why bother with any of these rabbit holes? I'm out.
Alex (Dallas)
The bird has been set free!
Jim (New York)
Let’s hope Twitter goes the way of MySpace…..
Christopher (Chicago)
Freedom of political speech is meaningless under a Constitution that allows every dollar a demagogue spends to promote himself, to amplify his voice, like a gigantic bull horn. A speaker's wealth - not the value of what he has to say - determines the range of his voice, who can listen, who can hear. Followers, tweets, retreats - these are all the bitcoin of "free" speech: the currency that gives the speaker more power than you or me. Musk didn't invest in Twitter to make himself poor or stifle his voice. People who see this as a victory for freedom of speech are deluding themselves, dreaming of their own power expanding, their own voice growing louder.
Matt (Maryland)
Trading paper for paper Mr Musk now owns something that he knows nothing about. He stumbled into riches in 90s by sleeping in a lecture hall at Stanford, bumping in to Mr Andreessen. Musk's idea for a cellular phone app to transfer money never took hold, but the demo app grew interest from Ebay Sellers desiring an easy way to get paid, eventually Musk's succumbed to user requests and the app became Paypal. It wasn't a plan ... an accident of time. Selling his Paypal stakes got him real wealth and the ability to take chances. Electric cars were wide open, and space open too, which feeds on the teet of the taxpayers. This is a whole new adventure. He can go and turn Twitter loose. Yet in doing so, he may infuriate his user base. This comes as his competition at Facebook is loosing ground quickly as people bore of it, and FB lose focus believing people want to spend their real lives living fake lives - the Metaverse, where you can spend real money on things that don't exist.
Hugh (Charlotte, NC)
These execs had already quit and were not fired. They knew if they didn't he'd fire them.
Dr. John (Seattle)
Yesterday President Biden literally claimed gasoline was $5 per gallon when he took office. How will the new Twitter handle this?
Mike_Drop (Louisville)
“Twitter aspires to be the most respected advertising platform in the world.” That’s it? That’s his big plan? Ads? Trump followers and ads. I thought this guy was supposed to be some genius. What does $44billion in ad sales look like on Twitter? Every other tweet in your feed is an ad? Or is the ratio more like 3 ads for every legitimate tweet? I’ve not joined Twitter, ergo I have no skin in the game. But this seems as “genius” as his earlier stance that the only way for mankind to survive is if we colonize Mars. NYT this is not news. He just spent $44 billion on what is essentially a supermarket flier. Twitter is nothing more than the supermarket flier that gets sent to your home that you immediately toss in the recycle bin.
Eve (Swingiest Swing state)
This comment section looks like Twitter itself. Elon Fanboys vs. Longtime users. He is reminding me more of Ye or maybe a real life Charles Foster Kane--odd, bellicose, completely self-serving. I don't understand why so many people worship this type of person.
Thomas Aquinas (Ether)
Best news of the year, perhaps the century. The Lefts monopoly on the truth my be over.
Molly Bloom (Tri-State)
Musk and Ye, perfect together...
Ray (Northern NH)
Never use twitter. Never buy a Tesla. Never use his solar/battery setup. NEVER. Just another spoiled man-baby with money.
Fernando (brazil)
Although Musk does think outside the box, social media is a saturated market and who knows where he will take Twitter, especially when he rids the bots. For better or worse, Twitter is the best tool we have for transnational debate and the closest we have to a global public sphere of ideas and information. Builderall
Anush Apetyan (Look me up)
Who knew we have so many people who hate freedom.
AACNY (New York)
"The world will end with free speech." Heckuva position.
Matt (Maryland)
@AACNY A couple troubles here, one is I guess you think everyone on Twitter is your friend, especially those with names like "Tom Smith" and with picture of a farmer in a straw hat with a real name of, for instance, Kim John-un. It's not the free speech part, it's that 1) most people aren't going to care how you vote, 2) what you think about pig farts, 3) Your gall stone. It needs to broadly appeal to a wide market. Since us private (vs government) folks are bound by #1, the way to do this (and get rich) is to appeal to the center. Now, if that's not Mr Musk's interest (getting his investment back), he can preach to the choir and limit the audience. Free speech doesn't guarantee your right to be heard. The designated protest areas at RNC Conventions are miles away from the venue.
XXX (Somewhere in the U.S.A.)
All this talk of "free speech" makes me think of Alan Dershowitz. It's been a while since we heard much from him. I hope he's been spending some time with grand juries and the J6 committee.
XXX (Somewhere in the U.S.A.)
@GMooG I did not say he was a criminal. I meant as a witness. He is intimately involved with Trump, is closely associated with Trump's current legal team, especially David Schoen, and probably knows a good deal about January 6. I wouldn't be surprised if he has criminal liability, but he might be too smart to have gone quite that far. His deep involvement with Trump shows that his supposed reverence for the Constitution is little more than a pose.
Joe Smith (Chicago)
Time to repeal Section 230 once and for all. These platforms are actually publishers and need to be held liable for their content just like the NYT is.
Happy Liberal (Lost)
Everyone thinks the Liberals are up in arms about losing the ability to censor any opinion they don’t like. The reality is, they are petrified that Musk will expose the extent to which they have been censoring Americans’ free speech. When your arguments and your “science” are so weak they they cannot be subjected to critical analysis, you have already lost.
John (Denver)
When you argue for your own limitations (censorship, for instance), the government and socialist fascists love that and will readily comply. This is what modern day progressives see as their goal, better to herd Sheeple along to meet their ends. Musk has knocked down the barriers, fired the shepherds, and told us that it is okay once again to express ourselves! And, still, there are those who would argue for their own limitations and who need to be told what to think and how to act.
Better times ahead for Twitter. I'd buy this stock on a dip.
Matt (Maryland)
@BB No stock to buy ... if you read the article you are commenting on you would know this. It's a private Musk owned entity now.
Steve S (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
Social media is the bane of the world. I left a couple years ago and my peace of mind expanded exponentially.
Susan (Lighthouse)
@Steve S You are using social media in this comment section though.
Steve Singer (Chicago)
@Susan “Sauce for the goose …”.
Dr. John (Seattle)
I remember when Mr. Musk was a hero greatly admired by Liberals. Twitter already allows comments and opinions from both Conservatives and Progressives. They no longer suppress info negative towards either party. Exactly what has changed because of Musk acquiring Twitter?
Matt (Maryland)
@Dr. John Twitter, and Facebook, for that matter need to suppress "fake folks" from a broad range of entities. What I mean here are people employed by Kim Jong-un, terrorists, foreign governments, all trying to make a mess of things. Since it's a global entity, this is complex, and even more complex in that there is no proof at all of who you are when writing there. Just like here. i.e. my comment here isn't news, it's just food for thought. Disagree as you like. I'd guess the NSA watches things at The Twitter.
John Bartel (Dallas)
We used to enforce antitrust laws. No one should control too much of anything. We now have the situation whereby truth and opinion are being monopolized and ultimately weaponized to benefit an oligarch in waiting. Sadly, the education of our people has declined in quality such that people will believe anything they see on a screen . They lack the ability to do research, nor do are they inclined to do so. We have literally bred curiosity out of our children. If Trump is placed back on Twitter, we will see what Mr Musks true intentions are. Nothing good can come from the "Public Forum" that Musk so grandly proposes.
SpikeTheDog (Marblehead)
@John Bartel Yes, free speech is soooo dangerous. FJB
Steve (NJ)
I've removed all social media from my phone months ago and I've never felt better. I suggest everyone else do the same. I read books, the NY TIMES, and listen to Podcasts. That's it.
Rain Parade (San Francisco)
This is great news. Musk is an exciting leader. The world has benefited greatly from his genius and drive. I wish him the best in his latest media venture and look forward to his other initiatives. I love driving my Tesla Y (or it driving me!). Have a great people and don't forget to smile!
Ed Joseph (Michigan)
While I had been impressed by the companies he founded, the innovations those companies created and his support of Ukraine via Starlink availability, I no longer trust Mr. Musk. I've deactivated my Twitter account. I'm out.
denise falcone (nyc)
I still wouldn’t go out with him.
David J. Krupp (Queens, NY)
"Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Lord Acton
H. Clark (Long Island)
Time to boycott every advertiser on Twitter. Let Musk see that his soon-to-be reconstituted hateful platform will go down in flames when there is no revenue to keep the lights on.
Geneva 9 (Salem)
He has assured his advertisers that no one has carte Blanche to day anything.
Dre (Anywhere, USA)
Mr. Musk exhibits strong megalomaniac and sociopathic tendencies, a particularly bad combination to say the least. Elon needs to be ignored and eventually he will implode.
Mathew Goodrich (Portland Or)
End your Twitter account. It is just that easy.
GFE (New York)
I stopped wading in the digital cesspool of Twitter years ago and would urge anyone with common sense to do the same. Unless, of course, you want to be immersed in rancor and disinformation, and want to be manipulated by sophisticated psyops agents from the Kremlin, Beijing, North Korea, Iran, and fifth columnists in our own country and among our allies, such as when the Mercer-funded British firm Cambridge Analytica employed Steve Bannon as their director of U.S. operations before the 2016 elections. As for Trump, who declared that he wouldn't return to Twitter, I have every expectation that the pathological liar will be back very soon, and the damage to our tottering democracy may be irreparable. This is, in some ways, analogous to the drug addiction problem in our country. A "War on Drugs" wouldn't be necessary if drug dealers had no willing customers. All that's needed for Twitter to collapse, shrivel and disappear is for people of good will to stop using it. But, realistically, one might as well hope for people in the U.S. to stop using drugs. I suppose there's a sick irony in that our nation, which pedestalizes billionaires, might be substantially undone by a billionaire from South Africa.
KarlMay (San Francisco)
Musk has set lofty subscriber and revenue goals for an app that has been stagnant through a succession of leadership teams. Furthermore, there is an extraordinary contradiction in the statement that the company needs to be scaled down with the ambition that it needs to grow 5x in revenue in the coming few years. It would be more believable had he said he would cut now to grow with a different team going forward. It will no doubt be a bumpy ride in the coming quarters, but as others have commented here, Twitter is the global public square and is relatively effective as such, bots notwithstanding.
Eric Lee (Beaver Valley, Ontario)
This website has such an outsized influence on our culture and politics due to the fact that nearly EVERY media member feels they need to be there, yet only 20% of the public does. Some are clearly addicted and become deranged by what they see there. Mr. Musk has people on edge b,ut some form of drastic change is needed there. Perhaps it will benefit us all.
XXX (Somewhere in the U.S.A.)
1. One might have thought that very wealthy men would seek the stability of society rather than its destabilization, but I guess not. 2. Think about Musk and Trump. Musk can't be President. But he could be Secretary of Defense. And you know that he and Trump must have talked plenty about his acquisition of Twitter. 3. Wealthy businessmen never seem to grasp that once the dictator is in power, they cannot control him; he will do what he wants, not what they want. The German businessmen of the 1930s learned this. The Russian oligarchs have learned it this year. Not only can they not control the dictator, but the dictator might cause them to die from...an accident. I guess the American billionaires trying to buy the White House for Trump have not learned the lesson from those experiences of others.
Tim (Silver Spring)
I seriously dislike Twitter and closed my account after Elon made his offer. That said, the only way to stop misinformation is to have well-educated people. Education is no longer a higher priority in America. Instead, it's all about "the economy", which is one way of saying "It's all about me". In other words, we're screwed.
Monica (Saint Paul, MN)
I don't use Twitter - I shut my account down years ago. I felt like I was in a room with a bunch of screaming lunatics. We can hope for the best - in a worst-case scenario, Twitter might become the next myspace. Remember that space?
Dennis (McDonald)
I absolutely positively guarantee that Twitter (which I no longer use) is currently the source of much inflanmmatory speculation and misinformation about the attack on Speaker Pelosi's husband. No thanks.
Latoya (Brooklyn)
The poster child for why no single human being should control so much wealth or resources.
Swamp Fox (Boston MA)
An unmoderated Twitter will be like swimming in a sewer and not coming up for air. It might also be a dangerous location for misinformation that causes serious problems/events.
supereks (nyc)
I used to go to Twitter for my news, movie and TV advice, literature advice, newest scientific results. The last 24-36 hours there was nothing to see any more. Everything that made me go to Twitter first in the last few years has been removed. Only boring and pointless posts remained in my timeline. Nothing interesting or enriching whatsoever is left. For me Twitter has lost its soul in one single day.
Monica (Saint Paul, MN)
Sounds like it might be time to DELETE (unlike) your account.
XXX (Somewhere in the U.S.A.)
@supereks Really??!! You gotta be kidding.
Terri Gold (USA)
Just another day in the progression of the destruction of our world.
Kouzina (mid west)
The press was wondering , what was the significance of Musk walking into the Twitter office building carrying a kitchen sink? Really? It was plain as the nose on your face. A metaphor for cleaning house, as several men found out lickity split. The jury is still out. Will Twitter become an arbiter for good or one more outlet disseminating course hate, bigotry and destructive conspiracy.
BT (world)
Maybe he will allow differences of opinion. That will be novel.
Geneva 9 (Salem)
He’s already reassured advertisers that people will not be able to just say anything if it’s inappropriate which is something.
Monk (North East Kingdom, VT)
@BT: No, he will allow differences in facts. Alternatives to them. That's getting old.
Kathy S (San Diego)
I quit Twitter last year and I have no intention of ever going back on it. I don't miss it and I'm glad to no longer have that negativity in my life.
KeninDFW (DFW)
“Pride goeth before the fall.” We saw it in 2020 and we’re witnessing it again.
eTech (Nashville, TN)
Twitter's policies have long favored the left. I'm looking forward to being able to express my opinion without it being labeled hate speech. For example, I once said that I hoped Putin would die. I got banned for a week. I got permanently suspended for suggesting that protesters damaging art get tasered. Come on. At the same time I'd rather that Trump remained blocked.... my feelings are mixed.
Mask Of Comedy/Tragedy (Northeast)
@eTech I find prayer (or meditation if religion is not your thing) helps manage negative or violent thoughts.
Monk (North East Kingdom, VT)
@eTech: He who lives by the taser... Oh, I'd better not say it. Liberal Space Tasers might storm Graceland.
John (Denver)
Those wringing their hands and clutching their pearls fretting the demise of “our fragile democracy” should wake up this new morning understanding that our democracy is neither fragile nor under attack as long as free speech, free thought and free expression are allowed to reign and to run untethered, unmoderated, uncensored, unbridled and free.
D. Jones (Decatur, GA)
@John Good grief, there's a straw-man born every few seconds in this comments section.
Stephanie (Boston)
There goes the world. And we will be consumed again by Trump’s 100 or so daily proclamations inciting all the hatred that have contorted this country beyond recognition.
green mountains (Vermont)
It is time for Congress to act now to lift the shield social media companies have against being held liable for the real world physical and mental harms to individuals that occur inspired and/or organized by liars, scammers, haters, and insurrectionists of these platforms.
Musk is too self-absorbed to read the room. Most Tesla drivers are now embarrassed, regretful progressives. Muskovite Republicans drive Ford pickups and hate the environment. So there goes Tesla. Twitter is next, competing with Parler and Truth Social for whatever MyPillow ad revenue they can peel off from each other.
Jerome (Vermont)
Now that it’s a fair platform, I’m signing up immediately.
Mask Of Comedy/Tragedy (Northeast)
@Jerome Enjoy selling your data for free and having them make money off of your for very little that’s truthful or useful in return. I have streaming services for my fictional Game of Thrones type content. Don’t need fiction or social media masquerading as news. Not useful
Monk (North East Kingdom, VT)
@Mask Of Comedy/Tragedy: Don't forget to send money to TFG.
JustJeff (Maryland)
Reading Musk's statements, it seems like he's trying to convert Twitter into 8-chan, but with a larger audience. I use neither 8-chan nor Twitter, but honestly, the creator of 8-chan tried to have his own outlet shut down claiming it had become too vile (it too is a place where you can say anything you want without consequence), so Musk appearing to want to pattern Twitter after it will just mean Twitter will eventually enter the dark web and stay there, losing him billions. He'll get everything he deserves.
Mask Of Comedy/Tragedy (Northeast)
@JustJeff Well, this is our hope
Richard (New York)
Disinformation = any information that lessens the chance a Democrat will be elected to a given office. Democracy: an election cycle where only Democrats win
AACNY (New York)
@Richard Threat to democracy = threat to Democratic Party power
mbl14 (NJ)
@Richard I do find it odd Dems screech on here about Republican wins equaling the end of our democracy. But somehow the alternative (which they never articulate) of only Democrats being elected from now until eternity means we have an open and free government.
Banjokatt (Chicago, IL)
One of the worst things about Musk’s acquisition of Twitter is his plan to immediately lay off 75 percent of the company’s employees. How can he make such a drastic decision before taking full ownership of the company? Layoffs, of course, are inevitable, and I have seen it happen when the company I worked for (Columbia Pictures) was acquired by Coca Cola in the early 1980s, I survived but not everybody in our small public relations department in NYC was so lucky. It also happened when I worked at Verizon in Newark NJ in the 1980s and 1990s as the company transitioned from providing landline service to becoming the country’s largest provider of cell phone service. Once again, I survived. Both companies I worked for put a lot of effort and thought into making these decisions. (At least most of the time!) Musk, however, seems to be making massive cuts in the number of Twitter employees before he even had started working there. He didn’t even make an effort to meet with management and non-management employees. It is my experience that most employees are committed to providing the best service possible. They will have suggestions about ways Twitter can become a better company. But he isn’t even trying to communicate with them. Musk obviously hasn’t thought about what Twitter will be like when the remaining employees will be forced to work long hours as they try to keep up with customer demands. Does he really want to have angry and hostile employees?
Caryn (Massachusetts)
Just IGNORE Twitter! Simple! If no one pays any attention to what the uglies and criminals post, they will stop! I’m looking at you, NYT and all the media (except, of course, Rupert Murdock’s crazy publications). I do not use Twitter and never plan to, and I would greatly appreciate those in charge of publishing and broadcasting what is important every day, to stop as well. What goes up on Twitter is NOT worth any of our time or attention.
Khaablaab (Ny)
@Caryn Twitter is as you want it to be. I check a bunch of tweets concerning electronics, Diy'n, technology and entertainment. Constructive non political sites. Its only when I check in on whats going on in politics do I find myself needing to reply. You can find threads that are non political. Even comedic, you just have to look for them.
D. Jones (Decatur, GA)
@Khaablaab "Twitter is as you want it to be. I check a bunch of tweets concerning electronics, Diy'n, technology and entertainment. Constructive non political sites." I'm a techie and I'm able to find all of that without Twitter and without supporting the political toxicity that it spews into the public commons.
Mike (Rochester, NY)
Given Musk's erratic behavior, his dislike of limits on speech and Twitter's role as a forum for hate speech, I see nothing positive in his purchase of this huge communications platform.
Hugh Massengill (Oregon)
Can he declare bankruptcy after driving it into the dirt, then divide it and sell the parts for profit? No way is he devoted to the free and fair give and take of political discourse. At this point in his career he can only be about running things from a position of well, dictatorship. Problem for me is that, while I don't belong to Twitter, I often go over there to read stuff, as American has some insanely talented and funny people posting there. Oh Apple, I so wish you had gone against your tradition and had bought Twitter.
Atticus (Elsewhere, UP)
The sad thing about Twitter is that it is so deeply utilized by news media people that their work products have begun to resemble a tweet: opinion supported by links to supporting opinions unsupported by detailed analysis. It’s the tar baby of news.
Michael Thompson (Rising Fawn, GA)
Converting Dollars to Sense The thickness of a penny is 1.52 millimeters. 44B pennies stacked would stretch 41,521 miles. The circumference of the earth is 24,900 miles.
Elon, enjoy. I still won't use Twitter and facebook, two utter wastes of time and effort.
oldBassGuy (mass)
re: “ The acquisition has been celebrated by some Republicans, who have argued that Twitter censored conservative viewpoints. ” Republican do NOT hold any “conservative viewpoints”. The GOP is the party of the “Big Lie”, violent insurrection, theocracy, lack of any party platform other than the various upward wealth redistribution mechanisms such as privatize Social Security, voucher Medicare, flat tax, tax cuts for millionaires/billionaires, deregulate SEC, elimination of estate tax, etc.
Holler (NYC)
Could have ended world hunger but chose not to. This is his legacy.
Trent (Pittsburgh)
God bless Elon Musk! Congratulations!
H. Clark (Long Island)
Musk is dangerous and poses a palpable threat to society and to the entire world. We will rue the day this was allowed to happen. It’s like giving a toddler the keys to a tractor-trailer and sending him off alone to drive it across country. It will not end well.
Cindy (Canada)
Don’t use Twitter. Now that Musk owns it, I never will as I never will drive a Tesla!
DR (Arizona)
Deactivated. No need for that melodrama in my life. Twitter was what it was...it was always misunderstood. Loved it....but.....no thanks...not anymore. One less app on my phone.
Edgar (NM)
Gluttony for control is all we have now. Musk, Zuckerberg, Trump, Murdoch, Bezos, etc. What do these people get in return? Access, control, influence are the real kickers for fake "freedom of speech". "Great men have always manipulated the media to save the world." Elliot Carver in Tomorrow Never Dies. Save the world? Look at Murdoch and see the mess we have now.
ninbus (Manhattan)
Unless I missed it, this article fails to mention ‘the elephant in the room’ – i.e. will Elon Musk allow Donald Trump back onto Twitter? Also, if Trump is allowed to resume his previous activity, how will that impact Truth Social and the investors who poured money thereto?
Andrés (Chile)
I'm honestly amazed and bewildered by the dramatic overreact over this situation. People deceive themselves into thinking that Twitter is some sort of all powerful mind-controlling tech giant that can pretty much doom humanity through and endless strip of mediocre and forgettable comments. If you don't like it (Wether we're talking about Twitter, the fact that Musk owns it now or both) just don't use it. The world will keep moving and honestly, you'll be better off. I've been thinking about creating an account for a while now but I just can't convince myself to actually follow through. My life is great without it and I don't see it getting any better with it.
AV (Seattle)
You’re not missing much because other media, including the NYT, gets its leads from Twitter.
Sherry Wacker (Oakland)
@Andrés Many Americans view Twitter as the platform that allowed Trump to be president and that created deep division within our country by giving weight to lies and conspiracies.
C. M. Jones (Tempe, AZ)
Commenters here are suggesting Elon Musk is some Trump-like charlatan. As if anyone could build a rocket company from scratch. ‘Oh it’s just government subsidized.’ So is NASA, and last time I checked NASA doesn’t have self-landing rockets that decrease the cost of space flight by an order of magnitude.
AACNY (New York)
@C. M. Jones Elon Musk insulted the Left so now progressives refuse to acknowledge his technical accomplishments and contributions to climate change. Fickle and foolish.
Monk (North East Kingdom, VT)
@C. M. Jones: Using your logic, Wernher Von Braun should have chaired the FCC. After all, he could build rockets.
Sk8 (Cambridge)
Another example of how our government has failed to protect us from oligarchy. Why is a service that is used as a public utility to broadcast information to the masses not regulated as such? Twitter is where federal, regional and local government post regular, daily updates. It is the town hall and more; a broad and deep source of information dissemination and it is now privately owned by a malevolent narcissist. Anyone that thinks Bezos, Musk and the like deserve to have essentially unlimited wealth and power over society is either deeply misinformed or must despise democracy.
Nathan (Idaho)
Well hopefully this means that the news media will go back to true reporting rather than just amplifying tweets.
No Favor (US)
For better or worse, Twitter is the best tool we have for transnational debate and the closest we have to a global public sphere of ideas and information. — This is a Tweet today from a European journalist who deals with climate change policies and the Russian invasion. Twitter is powerful worldwide tool and will continue to be.
Dennis (McDonald)
@No Favor I unsubscribed several weeks ago. Too much misinformation and too much "debate" about Trump. I don't need to have Trump thrust in my face 24/7 as is the cae with Twitter -- I already know he's a threat to democracy, free elections, and the rule of law. But I must say that giving up Twitter has made me much more comfortables as I scan many other sources for news.
Joe (NY)
@No Favor it only has the power people give it. I realize this would mean putting down one's phone for 3 seconds. Or even not using Twitter! Oh my god - the horror. Twitter is a platform for narcissists that like to hear themselves talk. It provides zero value.
AK (Hastings NY)
@Dennis not at all if you keep telling it - it will adjust. That’s the beauty of Twitter - you can customise who you follow and what you want to see. Somehow you seem to be following Trump;)
Nancy (Earth)
Although Musk does think outside the box, social media is a saturated market and who knows where he will take Twitter, especially when he rids the bots. His ego may not be enough to save Twitter since likability is not in his favor. If he is thinking of a platform for free speech - free speech is not the problem with Twitter or any other social media site. The problem is those who have little to no compunction in writing incendiary speech to get attention or make money and obviously, Musk does not believe in social controls.
AK (Hastings NY)
@Nancy likability not in his favour? Your subjective analysis? He has the third highest followers worldwide. Most admired man easily.
Dr. John (Seattle)
Musk already has Tesla engineers examining the code and logarithms screening Twitter content. If those decision making tools are found to demonstrate current or past bias and discrimination of conservative thought, opinions and content what will the reaction be?
Dan (Southwestern, Ut)
@Dr. John But many forget that many forums, this forum included, are monitored for civility and we agree to abide by those rules-which means there is no expectation of “free speech” in many forums. So, with that platform now privately owned the owner can set any rules he wishes and those who complain about the loss of “free speech”, which was never protected in private enterprise, can I guess go elsewhere. Basically, his company, his rules.
Dr. John (Seattle)
@Dan You don’t believe his statement that he wants everyone to be heard?
AACNY (New York)
@Dr. John They will be defended. Progressives now support censorship and discrimination.
XXX (Somewhere in the U.S.A.)
There are many, many things that I like about the Biden Administration. One of the big ones is that he does not use Twitter himself and has apparently prohibited all Federal officials from doing so, except for such things as weather warnings and similar announcements. This policy has been an important one in restoring dignity and gravitas to the Executive Branch.
Account (US)
President Biden has an official account. Maybe his regular tweets are written by someone else, like speechwriters, but his account is active and he tweets regularly.
Jane Conrad (Maine)
@XXX The Biden Administration has several Twitter accounts promoting policy accomplishments, among them @WhiteHouse, @BidensWins, @WHCOS (Chief of Staff's account), etc.
glennmr (Planet Earth)
To think about this...Twitter, and other silly media platforms, have become very important. Yet, the vast majority of its content is not exactly "rocket science." Or even interesting. The fac that a "soundbyte" of information can have this much influence on people is mind boggling. It would be nice if the end of twitter was nigh...
Paul King (USA)
Never use Twitter. But, I do take a nice walk each day. Meet other walkers, say hi, pet dogs. And, I see, hear and delight in actual birds twittering. You'll grow in beautiful ways, you'll take in the real world beyond looking constantly at your hand and you'll be absolutely fine. Free to fly.
H. Clark (Long Island)
@Paul King Nicely expressed. Twitter is not all garbage; there are some very intelligent and visionary people who opine on Twitter. Now that this monster is in control, it's time for a walk.
LD (Dobbs Ferry NY)
In the end its always about money. Twitter shareholders could not turn down the money. Advertising is Twitter's key source of money. Without ads it hard to imagine how Twitter could succeed. So now the "free speech" policy, whatever Mr. Musk determines that will be, is up to the advertising industry to endorse or not. What a mess. If only the writer(s) of the First Amendment could see how things turned out.
Jane Conrad (Maine)
@LD I agree that monitoring speech is a tremendously challenging proposition in today's environment, but the First Amendment does not apply in this context since it does not apply to companies like Twitter, only government officials.
Corey Hollis (Los Angeles)
I hope twitter crashes and burns, rather than becoming a tool for politicians to mislead and incite people.
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
Yup! Free Speech. What the hey folks, we missed radicals incriminating themselves all that time.
Seth (Westport, CT)
Absolutely thrilled. I would like to offer my congratulations to Elon for retaining the first amendment in the United States of America and anyone else who doesn't want that and I know many of you are in the New York Times comment section, I suggest pull up a beach chair get yourself comfortable because election season is coming
Eccles. (Washington DC)
@Seth the First Amendment, as is so often ignorantly warped in these arguments, pertains to the govt's ability to censor speech. It does not pertain to a private internet platform's ability. There is absolutely no First Amendment issue involved in this transaction, just more lies and distortions, which Twitter, or any other private business, has every right to censor.
Brian (Scottsdale)
@Eccles. Thanks for that reminder about the First Amendment.
wjs (usa)
@Seth $44B fiasco.
Christopher (Chicago)
Elon Musk is a God. It's official. For the Caesars, that meant absolute wealth and absolute power. He has proven that he has both. It also meant having temples of his own, where worshippers would have to pay a temple tax. That tax went into Caesar's coffers. Twitter is The Great God Elon's temple. If he ever dies, Elon will become a star in the sky, to be worshipped by all. And his temples will still collect the tax.
John Doe (Anytown)
Musk will do to "Twitter", exactly what he has done to all of his other financial takeovers. He will run it into the ground.
Steve Dougherty (Aloha Oregon)
@John Doe - Huh? Tesla and SpaceX seem to be doing OK. What "financial takeovers" are you referring to? I don't tweet so I really don't care about it.
Dale (Saint Charles, Il)
The article should have read: “Citizen Musk follows in William Randolph Hearst footsteps as he attempts to reshape the world to best serve a corrupt ruling class”
Ess (Earth)
@Dale well put.
Carol (Chicago and Rome)
I don't use Twitter. With space allotted for a blink of a thought, how is intelligent dialogue possible?
David H (Northern Va.)
@Carol It’s not. And that is why we are currently in the collective condition we are in.
Hal (New Jersey)
I wonder how much criticism Mr Musk will tolerate on Twitter. He has a habit of retaliation. As owner will he continue to use the platform as a weapon?
AACNY (New York)
@Hal Elon has no problem with criticism. In fact, he welcomes it.
Margo Channing (Nw York)
@Hal He'll tolerate about as much as TFG, apparently on his Untruth Social all comments disparaging whatever he says is banned and censored. So much for free speech. All hail the phony prophets.
lehomme (marin1950)
I quit Twitter about a year ago because I realized it simply made me angry. Not only is it a complete and utter waste of time - but it also brings out the worst in people. Twitter is not "social media"; rather - it's a social pathology.
DickeyFuller (Boston)
@lehomme Stopped using the day he announced in April. Deactivated 13-year old account last night. I never want to see or hear anything about it or him again. There is something horribly wrong with Musk.
@lehomme Well perhaps Musk will make it better. I agree it’s primarily fueled by one-sided anger. A more balanced approach and a welcoming of broader opinions may help.
Katharine (Minneapolis)
@lehomme Exactly. I deleted it from my phone about three months ago and I don't miss it. It is an absolute cesspool, in both directions.
Horace Fundt (Planet Rayon)
Considering the jails and bankruptcy Trump supporters go to in thrall to their cult leader, I suppose it's remotely possible he is buying it as an offering to Trump, his cult leader, so that he can destroy it and exact revenge. In any case investors in other Musk companies might like to price in the Republican insanity risk-premium when valuing their shares. Just remember Howard Hughes was a genius innovator, until he took an interest in growing out fingernails. Musk isn't that much of a genius, but he was an innovator, before he took a fancy to Trump.
Paul King (USA)
I'd advise the majority of Tesla customers - who are probably liberal - to look elsewhere. Plenty of good choices these days that are not owned by Musk.
Todd Konhoe (Palo Alto, California)
@Paul King I just bought an EV. There was no chance I was buying a Tesla, primarily because of Musk, and secondarily because of the garbage build quality.
No Favor (US)
Former Twitter executive decisions — kick off Trump but keep the Iranian supreme leader. Stop scientists and physicians questions on school closings. Stop scientists and physicians questions about possibility of transmission of virus after vaccination. Twitter was arbitrary. I don’t know what will happen now, but Twitter was arbitrary and powerful.
Info Fedajeen (US)
It should be enough to say "Rosebud" but it ain't. Twitter driven by ego mania is far more dangerous than traditional news media, even more dangerous than the ego driven "entertainment" media powerhouse FOX. The reason is the sheer number of ego maniacal drivers given free hand at the wheel to spew vile delusions filled with misanthrophy and craven political ambition. And an audience of ignorance. The horror.
Bach (Grand Rapids, MI)
Be careful Elon. When the Gods want to punish us, they grant our wishes.
Dan (Southwestern, Ut)
Regardless of ownership and rules, or lack of, concerning hate, lies and allowing TFG back into the fold, I still don’t and haven’t found any compelling need to subscribe. So, Musk, I hope your purchase was prudent.
Joy Mars (Provence)
I never took Twitter seriously after clicking on a post which turned out to be gross pornography. That was at Twitter’s inception. So no, not a fan. I hope Musk spells the demise of Twitter’s outsized power. The zeitgeist is healthier with lots of outlets.
Dr. Juvenal Urbino (Fictional, Columbia)
In a classroom of 30 young students, all it takes is one disruptive student who bangs the table, shouts, talks and makes noise incessantly, to infringe on the rights of 29 others to learn. He's in the minority, speak for no one but himself, but eventually, because he uses his rights to quash the rights of others, he brings other boys and girls to his side. They're still in the minority, but they dominate because they're the loudest. This is no longer a class; it's a toxic, lawless playground that used to be a learning environment. It's now a place where the rights of the loudest, most obnoxious minority rules. Time to find another classroom, children.
PGLondon (London)
I joined Twitter a few weeks ago in order to communicate with one person who only listed it. But I have zero interest in following Twitter. It’s always looked chaotic but it’s bound to go bonkers with Musk as the boss. He’s such a mess.
Paul G Knox (Philadelphia)
Meet the new boss . Same as the old boss. Musk is no savior. He’s just another oligarch consumed by self interest.
John Powers (Seattle)
Censorship is bad and our world was doomed once the media began deriding statements as false and or as hate speech. Enhancing crimes based on hateful intent and even making the harboring of hateful thoughts criminal are incompatible with a free society. Now that Musk and his mom are in charge, the clock may be turned back to the classical notion of the free expression and interchange of ideas without boundaries, other than good taste.
Matt (Maryland)
@John Powers The trouble is that there are places, and people that don't play fair. Say Russia, Iran, North Korea, etc get a room with 100 people to ferret out news, write fake news, share as "your friend" that you think you know because, say they are a 'insert favorite color here' American (only by their photo) and have say, 100 "American" close friends (fellow creeps). For a few million a year they can cause a lot of discontent elsewhere in the world. On the apps can't tell one of these fake "friends" from real friends, so you don't know anything about them. People friend everyone naively, then will get this junk in their feed and believe it. You can say this doesn't matter, yet, I say, people think that in our free market economy that the government is in charge of gas prices and inflation. The free market is self correcting. The government should stay out.
wjs (usa)
@John Powers You must be joking. Bad taste is the norm.
Misha38 (Portsmouth, NH)
Regardless of who is running Twitter it will remain a hellscape and is best avoided at all costs, as is true of most of social media.
NewsReaper (Colorado)
I'm glad to see we have no priorities as the planet and society collapse before our eyes. Ignorance has no limits.
Charles Rolph (Texas)
Nothing seems to terrify those on the left more than allowing people with whom they disagree speak.
Katharine (Minneapolis)
@Charles Rolph I love a good debate with someone with whom I disagree. I do not love outright lies and conspiracy theories. Curiously, the right seems to engage in those things more often than not.
Kate (Brooklyn)
@Charles Rolph I read yesterday that a woman in permitless-carry TX shot at another woman in a parking lot over a social media video. Is that the kind of thing you mean?
Dheep' (Midgard)
Disagreement ? Hardly. It's about outright lies
Bodhisattva (New Mexico)
Our fragile democracy has been placed even closer to the precipice. Too many people cannot discern the difference between freedom of speech and lies.
David H (Northern Va.)
@Bodhisattva Sir: If our fragile democracy has been placed even closer to the precipice, it is because of the Democratic party’s limitless complacency.
@Bodhisattva A wealthy man bought something in the United States. The purchase was lawful. under the laws of a democratic country. Democracy is doing just fine.
SAShepExPat (Canada)
Twitter probably matters more to journalists, but I'm not sure regular people use it that much. I know people under 30 don't. It is a tool to express sound bites. I can see why journalists will mourn its inevitable demise. Sort of how some business people mourned the loss of the Blackberry. However, useless sound bite information can be expressed through and copied from many other apps, push come to shove.
Matt (Maryland)
@SAShepExPat Yes, Twitter doesn't seem to have a place. It's a nifty idea that you can subscribe to many notifications in one place, but easier to do at the place of interest in the first place.
Phoebe (Havertown, PA)
@SAShepExPat Most of my kids' friends (under 30) have migrated to Tiktoc or Instagram.
Mask Of Comedy/Tragedy (Northeast)
If decent people are smart they will delete their accounts. Maybe someone will develop an alternate platform. My immediate family is not on Twitter and never has been. It is actually possible to live and work without it. Any type of job that currently relies on such a platform to actually work needs to be rethought. If your whole value add to society is based on Twitter this should give one pause. And for the record, old fashioned email still works for keeping in touch with those you really care about
Tom Booth (Jersey City)
@Mask Of Comedy/Tragedy It's a conundrum. You and your family might become irrelevant. Deleting Twitter does not necessarily do anything to change its power unless done on a massive scale. But that, in turn, just makes discourse more polarized, not less.
Mask Of Comedy/Tragedy (Northeast)
@Tom Booth Haha. You do realize Twitter is a platform designed to make money off of ad revenue and by collecting data on its users. My absence on Twitter has not made me irrelevant in the past and will not do so in the future. I am glad Twitter is not making money off of me. A lot of businesses don’t make money off of me if I don’t buy their stuff. Doesn’t make me irrelevant. Twitter is not where real information is even today. This is the real problem. People equating social media presence with relevancy.
DickeyFuller (Boston)
@Tom Booth Deactivated 13-year old account last night. It was actually interesting + fun before August 2015 when Bernie Bros / Russian bots came on the scene, followed by Toxic Former Guy.
Erick (Chicago)
Just deleted my twister app on my phone and planning to close All my business Twitter accounts. The man is a trouble maker and can’t seem to keep his thoughts to himself. I bought an electric BMW and waited for a year and half instead of buying a Tesla from a crazy nut job like this creature.
@Erick You did all this because you’re that afraid of other people being able to express their opinion on Twitter? Seems very extreme.
Mask Of Comedy/Tragedy (Northeast)
I’m sure it was a typo but I like the word Twister - it is a good signifier of what is to come on this platform in terms of information
Fantastic news. Hopefully it will become a more balanced space that caters fairly to all people.
Someone Else (In NJ)
@DVR You mean like Truth Social? Can we hear more about how the election was stolen and the democrats are satanist baby eaters now that Musk is in charge? Twitter catered to people who don't broadcast things that would end in perjury if said in front of a judge. It's not all that complicated.
Phoebe (Havertown, PA)
@DVR Balanced? Have you been on Twitter? Every wing nut in the world is already on the platform. As is every journalist and every politician. I hardly think that allowing TFG back is going to make Twitter more "balanced".
Tony M (Lo Angeles)
Mr. Musk's pipe dreams of being a "free speech absolutist" will quickly fade as the first acts of violence are planned on his new toy, and carried out in real life, and legal, if not moral, consequences start to get too heavy to tolerate.
@Tony M You must be conveniently forgetting all the violent BLM riots planned, coordinated and publicized on social media - like Twitter. I don’t recall you objecting to that at the time.
Phoebe (Havertown, PA)
@Tony M Do you really think he will care? The only speech that Musk will block is any and all criticism of him.
Bocephus (Houston, TX)
To all you Twitter users - Even a fool appears wise when he does not speak. Fools' names like fools' faces are seen in public places.
phacops1 (superal)
If Musk bought this using his Tesla stock as collateral he will have to disclose how many shares were pledged. Normally it would require two shares pledged for every dollar borrowed with a maintenance covenant. Lets see what is disclosed.
wjs (usa)
@phacops1 Two shares pledged for every dollar borrowed? I don't think so.
N (DC)
I’m very concerned about who is controlling social media. Zuckerburg - Facebook, Musk - Twitter, Kanye wants the far right platform Parlor. Be concerned.
David H (Northern Va.)
@N The only people who should be concerned are those who support the Democratic party. The issue is not Twitter but grass roots mobilization, organization, tactics and strategy, and financial commitment, all fueled by a burning desire to defend whatever it is that is important to the Democratic party. Does anyone know what that is? I loathe the GOP but I know what the GOP represents and what is important to the party and its constituents; the right in this country is laser focused and has a fire in the belly. But I have no idea what the Democratic party seeks -- other than to constantly complain about how awful the GOP is.
Katharine (Minneapolis)
@David H Huh? The Democratic party regularly hauls out platforms and ideas, good or bad, supported or not. I have yet to see any of that from Republicans.
wjs (usa)
@David H You must be joking. Should we start by discussing Obamacare? (Who is doing the complaining?)
Brody (NYC)
These comments are filled with consternation and handwringing. Why? With Musk now at the helm, the long-running advantage that Democrats have enjoyed with partisan Twitter censors has just evaporated into thin air. The liberals' social media megaphone is no longer a rigged game.
Bonnie Huggins (Denver)
Stopping the spread of lies is not censorship. Trump didn't win the 2020 election but now Musk is going to let that LIE become truth again.
Eddy (Oakland CA)
@Brody Uh.... Twitter is a privately owned, non-government business. And a business has a right to show what they want. And when Trump went on there making bogus and dangerous claims about Covid treatments or claiming he won an election he lost They had a right to ban him. No matter. I never used Twitter anyway so have fun reading the nonsense.
@Bonnie Huggins Correct. The election was not “stolen” from Trump. Biden won. What was stolen from him were the first two years of his presidency by corrupt partisan Democrats who lied about Russia in order to bog down his agenda in an endless series of fraudulent hearings and “bombshells.” That we won’t forget.
mbl14 (NJ)
The comments here are nothing short of hilarious. Twitter has allowed all manner of violent and sexually violent (including illegal) activity on their platform for years. Guess that was fine with all the commenters here! Now that Musk bought the company, uh oh time to leave! Give me a break.
I (East Of Philly)
Why is this platform worth 44 billion dollars ?
Louise (USA)
Can we stop giving press to these horrible guys, I know he's a billionaire but can't we get more news about "real people" than these egotists?
Mary (Maryland)
Bravo to the Twitter board, and congratulations on its shareholders who can now exit a sinking ship. Twitter under Musk will become Parler - a useless cesspool. I hope other channels will benefit - it will be interesting to see how TiKTok and YouTube fare now.
C. M. Jones (Tempe, AZ)
It’s a free country. Mr. Musk can do what he wants. The negative press from the NYTimes is so obviously transparent because Musk represents a challenge to their power. Unlike Trump, Musk actually reads and understands science. He must be dangerous. I’m just happy Mark Zuckerberg is losing.
Anne (Phoenix)
@C. M. Jones Do not be naive! Musk is dangerous too!
Mask Of Comedy/Tragedy (Northeast)
If it’s a free country and Musk believes on free speech then why has he just fired e trying who disagrees with him? Doesn’t seem like he has a high tolerance level for dissent from his viewpoint. The best CEOs keep good people even if they don’t always agree on things. It is not good to be surrounded by yes people
Bonnie Huggins (Denver)
The only power NYT has is 150 years of credibility. Twitter is a tool for white supremacists to spread their lies about their corrupt leader - Donald Trump.
Gray Jay (IL)
Elon Musk paid $44 billion for Twitter, a company is only worth about $12 billion. That in itself is amusing, given his massive ego, but it's going to be bad for America and bad for the world. And we can expect the MSM to be reporting breathlessly about Trump's every Tweet very shortly.
HLW (Phoenix)
Twitter is not the Town Crier. Twitter is the guy on the soap box in time square screaming crazy. Elon has found his true calling.
Patrick (Jersey)
The fate of democracy is now in the hands of a 51 year-old man child who gets his jollies by slagging Bill Gates, smoking weed with Joe Rogan and tweeting poop emojis. We’re gonna be fine folks…
David H (Northern Va.)
@Patrick The fate of democracy is in OUR hands and always has been. Tweeting will never, ever be an adequate substitute for the hard and grueling work of grass roots political mobilization and strategizing -- the Achilles heel of the Democratic party.
AACNY (New York)
@Patrick "Let's cancel Twitter because it's a threat to democracy." Say what?
John (Denver)
Freedom of thought and expression, even if it offends some, is paramount. You do not have to believe what you read or hear, nor should you. But everyone should be free to think and express whatever he or she wants to think or express. This is freedom.
Christine (Philadelphia)
@John Unfortunately,, people are believing everything they read and hear - including Trump's and the GOP's stolen election lies - and it is affecting us all. That's not freedom. That's abuse.
John Davis (Austin TX)
@John Is there no requirement of responsibility for this “freedom” you seem to understand so well? Is there no requirement of truth, or at least honesty? Is there no requirement that others are not harmed by irresponsible speech? You and Alex Jones are of one ‘mind’ on this topic, but not with those who have actually put their lives on the line - and not just their mouths - to defend this freedom of which you speak.
cec327 (odenton)
@John - even if it slanders people. sound s great no rules for anyone. No rules just print whatever you want. Sure.
Stumpy Dowd (NYC)
Filings show Vijaya Gadde’s total compensation was more than $16.9 million last year. That seems like an awful lot of money to pay the executive in charge of censorship. She oversaw the team that suspended the Twitter account of the 5th largest US Newspaper in the weeks preceding a Presidential election; who knew that squelching free speech paid so well? 'Free speech' is a foundational principle (arguably THE foundational principle) of the American social contract. Over time, the coming changes at Twitter will make participants rely less on systemic censorship to defend their arguments. Rejoice!
Khaablaab (Ny)
@Stumpy Dowd again: Free speech isnt really free but thats the tome that people want to think. Try swatting your neighbor and then found. Try threatning a person of some position. Threaten the FBI or threatening a head of state. What are libel, slander or harrasment? All are situations where the words you choose can hurt you as most in a bar fight will tell you. Your speech can have consquences so to think that it can go unchecked isnt rational. Anybody ever heard the words: Seditious conspiracy? Rabble-rousing? Means that you can get up on your free speech podium but if you go too far you may wind up in jail. I contest the idea of giving DJT free reign back on twitter for this reason. Musk said that he would consider it and its a bad idea
John Davis (Austin TX)
@Stumpy Dowd Why rely on logic and verifiable evidence when you can win every argument with a gun? This ‘censorship’ you seem to despise is likely no more than the ‘editing’ of your poorly considered positions throughout life. Unless you can learn to learn from the past - recent past at that - your position leads to predictable chaos, where any actual good thinking will be lost among the many vocal vainglorious. Edit yourself, if you can.
Step (Chicago)
Musk is taking us back to space. He’s bringing us electric cars on a mass scale. He’s soon to help plan a new, more efficient, system of transportation. And Twitter - a public square that yesterday could pick and choose who could be and not be heard, based on Twitter’s own definition of “inclusion” and “disinformation” that only they could define - was just a roadblock to all of our creativity and entrepreneurial spirit, as they shut down so many those with whom they disagreed.
Eric (Ohio)
@Step No, they shut down people who were advocating for killing one another in the streets over our politics. Free speech has never meant you can say whatever you want with no consequences, it means that the government can’t control what you say. Newspapers have been carefully curated since they started. Twitter has the same rights of editorial review as a newspaper. You can still say whatever you want. You just can use Twitter to do it. Geez, people need to read the constitution more in this country.
John Davis (Austin TX)
@Step Truth required, please, and we’ll all agree. Otherwise, you’re advocating chaos based on lies, and an enemy to civil society.
@Eric The Ayatollah was allowed so this sudden concern about violence perplexes me.
HAL (Jupiter)
Reading the tweets to come will be like looking at the sun during a solar eclipse without wearing protective eyewear. Time to repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
Sam (Hawaii)
I remember when Ted Turner bought AOL. This seems similar and I don’t think things ended so well for Mr. Turner.
Cemal Ekin (Warwick, RI)
He will sell Twitter in two to three years and move on. The attention will have shifted from him and he will seek other attention-getters.
Matt (Maryland)
@Cemal Ekin I think he's put up 100% of his available paper assets to buy Twitter. A yuge risk for him. He doesn't understand the Constitution either. Does anyone think a Tesla employee can call him a fool and he will praise them for their vocalization?
Cemal Ekin (Warwick, RI)
@Matt agreed. That risk will make him sell Twitter to reduce it and gain a little more exposure and attention. Very expensive hobbies!
Essiecab (Seattle)
I am in the process of downloading my data from Twitter and will delete my account when it's finished. I want nothing to do with Musk and finally I have a direct way to express that by leaving. I will definitely miss the birding and art community there, but it's not worth it for my own sanity.
mbl14 (NJ)
@Essiecab But it was okay when Twitter allowed sexual violence against women, children, and animals to proliferate on their platform? Perfectly fine to have an account then? Gotcha.
DickeyFuller (Boston)
@Essiecab I was sad to lose all the contacts but the ignorance, hatred, and inability to properly use apostrophes was more than I could take.
@mbl14 The hypocrisy is strong with them
Randy Savage (Colorado)
I de-activated my Twitter account yesterday. I signed up to better follow the war in Ukraine but Twitter is such a mess, it’s more trouble than it’s worth. eBay became super weird, Amazon now sells really cheap stuff you wouldn’t buy in person (books are just as expansive as Barnes and Noble now), etc., etc. Instead of being a net positive, tech advances seem like a real mixed bag at best, trending towards the extreme negative.
Fred (Queens)
Good luck with that, Elon. Time to start building our own rockets. Once he starts losing a few billion, he'll be skimping on a lot more than Tang.
Paul Dejean (Austin)
What's the big deal if hate speech finds it's way on to Twitter? There's hate speech watched by millions every day on Fox News. There's hate speech all over Facebook. I don't think Twitter is going to substantially change our society whatever Musk might dream of.
Dan (Southwestern, Ut)
@Paul Dejean I tell many that who complain about hate speech or blatant lies from politicians on social media to self-censor. Don’t read the nonsense and succumb to the same hate many posters attempt to spread.
John Davis (Austin TX)
@Paul Dejean A step toward Truth would be innovative, wouldn’t it? Shocking, but good.
Paul Dejean (Austin)
What's the big deal if hate speech finds it's way on to Twitter? There's hate speech watched by millions every day on Fox News. There's hate speech all over Facebook. I don't think Twitter is going to substantially change our society whatever Musk might dream of.
HAL (Jupiter)
Rumor has it Musk will be naming Ye as head of posting restrictions. Posts about the tracking of Musk’s private jet is likely the first and maybe only thing on the list.
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
Could have bought a lot of scooters, electric bikes, and motorcycles with 44 Billion Dollars. Lighter, much cheaper, more fun.
John Davis (Austin TX)
@PATRICK Or a high-speed train system, health care that works, education, maybe patch the road in front of my house…
Eug (Illinois)
I’m so happy for Musk and really for our country. Hopefully finally all of the atrocities that are going on in this world will start to be exposed without the fake apologies afterwards as happens nowadays in the corporate world. Hopefully Musk can handle the pressure that is going to come at him from so many groups once they don’t like what’s allowed. Time will tell. Best of luck to him.
Matt (Maryland)
@Eug Most people don't like riots ... and won't be there. Those that like riots will stay. Preaching to the choir won't let Mr Musk earn back his $44 Billion
Eug (Illinois)
@Matt do you really think it’s about money for him? He’s going to be remembered 100 years from now like Einstein is today for all that he has accomplished for mankind. I for one take him at his word.
B Fuller (Chicago)
I have no interest in Twitter, but was intrigued by his choice to buy it. I can’t help but remember something I heard once, that if all you want is money, all you will have is money. No wisdom, no grace, no love. Only money. I guess the question remains, if he will make money off this or not.
AK (Hastings NY)
@B Fuller the ignorance is shocking here. He didn’t do it for money - he did it because he cares. Keep an open mind and it will click someday.
Matt (Maryland)
@AK Cares about what? 1st Ammendment Free Speech is that "the Government" can't tell you what to say or what you can't say. Anyone else can. In your own home you can kick anyone out that says something you don't like including your son-in-law.
Harley (Houston)
@B Fuller Do you drive a Tesla?
Haley (CT)
Advertisers will flee and if he isn’t making money he will as well. I was a former stock holder and never would have voted for this sale. Unfortunately the shareholders were about the dollar.
Dan (Southwestern, Ut)
@Haley Investment in companies has become a game of chance for many “investors” seeking the quick buck.
Tom (Pennsylvania)
Freedom of speech returns to America! This is a moment that will be remembered for millennia.
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
@Tom Yup, especially by the cops.
Dan (Southwestern, Ut)
@Tom You do realize that many social media outlets and publications such as this publication and others are not subject to the “free speech” issue and can establish rules that we must agree with in order to make comments. Free speech has never been affected. Don’t like the rules, then go elsewhere.
HLW (Phoenix)
@Tom Nothing emulates Ronald Reagan's morning in America like a rant of grievances by Mr. Putin's personal sock puppets.
Mkm (Nyc)
Mr Musk is a true visionary, and one of the greatest leaders, in the world of Climate change mitigation. He built from scratch Tesla, which will sell 1 million electric cars this year globally. That is where the bulk of his fortune comes from. Mr. Musk's success with Tesla has allowed several US States and other countries to announce the ban gas powered cars in the coming decade. More will follow as more car companies are now selling and refining electric cars. If he wants to buy and retool Twitter, I say good luck to him.
Dan (Southwestern, Ut)
@Mkm Rather than sink $44BN into a “chat room” imagine how that money could have been used for further innovation in say vehicles, power generation for the masses.
pat merkes (appleton wisconsin)
@Mkm Musk did not build Tesla from scratch, he bought his way into the company.
Sadie (Maryland)
@Mkm Musk did not build Tesla "from scratch' without help..... he built Tesla (and his fortune) by using gov financing. The Obama administration is a big factor in his success. He received a 'fortune" in gov subsidizes. And now he is in a feud with Biden..because Biden isn't backing Musk & Tesla which is not what Musk expected. Biden has been promoting Ford & GM. Why is that? Well... in part because Musk is against Unions, something Biden is pushing unionization... It's complicated. But one thing if for sure... Elon has a huge ego ....and he does what's good for Elon Musk. A visionary? Maybe. A great leader. Well...that remains to be seen.
David Ricardo (Massachusetts)
Twitter is not nearly as influential as it is portrayed. Politicians and journalists are the primary users and, as a result, its influence is often overstated. I hope that Elon allows a lot more in the way of speech and content. I don't care if some "hate speech" creeps in, nor do I care if some so-called misinformation is allowed. For me, Twitter lost all its credibility when it censored the NY Post story about Hunter Biden's laptop. Twitter acted without any evidence that the story was Russian disinformation, and the tweets should have been allowed.
david (Florida)
The far left and far right never happy with anything not perfectly aligned with their embedded biases. The “fars” want to shut down any speech they dislike. The rest of us take a wait and see attitude with a strong bias toward free speech. Being a successful business person Musk likely will support free speech as moderates and independents are the majority of the US. Just as the WP has since Bezos took control.
glennmr (Planet Earth)
Unleash the Law of Unintended Consequences. The ego for this is...well...obvious.
ernesto (vt)
during the early days of the pandemic, twitter was one of the few places healthcare professionals from around the world could share knowledge literally emerging moment to moment. during the early days of the war in Ukraine, reporting by Kyiv Independent & local journalists on the ground was frequently 72 hours ahead of reporting by MSM in the US. I opened an account in the wake of tropical storm Irene (2011) that ravaged western MA & VT. it was, for a time, the only place to get updates in real time, and to request or offer volunteer assistance in the week that followed before FEMA showed up. so it has been possible to monitor or engage with accounts selectively. after today, who knows??
John (Denver)
Those crying over recent events could stand to catch up on their Orwell when decrying “the end of democracy.” Free speech is a good thing; pass it on.
Sweetbay (Gainesville, VA)
@John, Clearly, free speech is a "good thing", or the Framers would not have made it a priority.
John (Denver)
@Sweetbay — Yes! And, free speech is under attack as a “threat to democracy” is my point. Orwellian, indeed.
Gray Jay (IL)
@John Social media giants amplifying and spreading disinformation is a bad thing. Pass it on.
Vince (NJ)
Elon Musk left South Africa to avoid mandatory military service for its citizens. I don’t understand the right’s obsession with supporting the military while falling all over themselves to worship men who avoid service. Bizarre.
joes1960 (Commack NY)
@Vince ...I'd like to know what percentage of Republicans who serve in congress or the senate have military service.
David H (Northern Va.)
@Vince So he opposes war. That's a good thing in my book.
Harley (Houston)
@joes1960 I'd like to know the percentage of Democrats who serve in Congress that have military service. I'll bet it's lower than your number.
Bobbo (Erie)
If he lets it go wild, people could start logging off to avoid all the annoying alerts and weird opinions. He will probably go back to some kind of regulation if it starts to lose money.
Saluda (SC)
@Bobbo Right wing social media platforms (Parler, Truth Social) all have moderators, although they mostly exist to purge opposing viewpoints. The far right's free speech digital revolution is, in reality, a safe space for right wing extremists.
D.DeMarco (Joppatowne)
We don't have to use Twitter. It's a choice. Myself, I don't tweet or read Twitter. Can't see a reason to start.
Dan (Southwestern, Ut)
@D.DeMarco Also with me. I do have an account with another platform and my list of blocked persons is lengthy to keep others from going berserk over my postings and beliefs.
eTech (Nashville, TN)
@D.DeMarco If you have never used it then you don't know the value of it. It is a wild place, full of disinformation, and valuable timely information.
@D.DeMarco Too many in the MSM have made Twitter and gaining followers a big priority, including quite a few high profile NYT reporters.
john clagett (Englewood, NJ)
Two points First, shouldn't the scale of such a business classify it as broadcasting, and so fall under FCC regulation? Secondly, having certain segments of the twitter follower-ship disinvest their time from Twitter will not solve the likely harm a Musk-era network. The communication platform will still be viable as a platform for extremism.
Seth (Westport, CT)
@john clagett that is hilarious - that's the entire argument the right has been making for years and the lefty response is it's a private company just like Facebook. It's still incredibly ironic to see the boundless hypocrisy
Nina (NY)
Just woke up to the news and deleted Twitter from my phone. I refuse to work for Elon Musk and that’s what Twitter users are doing — donating time and skill to a billionaire with repulsive politics and a plan to upend democracy with demagoguery and disinformation. I’m reclaiming my time for more worthwhile pursuits.
Errand Boy (NYC)
@Nina Regardless of his politics, Musk stepped up and as tried to help climate change. Electric cars are now being adopted by most major car manufacturers. That would not be the case, if Musk had not made the first move. He also is a big proponent of solar energy. Free speech is something to be welcomed on Twitter or any other platform. No one forces anyone to read Twitter of have the app on their phone. It's a person's own choice to interact with this platform.
@Nina “Up end democracy with demagoguery and disinformation” You mean provide counterpoints to your rigid dogmatic views? A tool of fascism is to label all opposing viewpoints as “disinformation.” Read Orwell. Musk is making democracy better.
Retired Fed (Northern Westchester)
Other than LinkedIn, I have no social media involvement. Musk did not acquire Twitter for altruistic, humanitarian or philanthropic purposes. I say he did it to feed his ego. With no background in ethical journalism or broadcasting standards my concern is that he will permit this platform to get even worse than it is.
Ralph Petrillo (NYC)
My name is Elon and I just lost $38 billion in a takeover of a company that loses money every day. Lol Coukd be worse coukd be Facebook or Meta.
lolly (PA)
The next thing we know, Musk will be running for president, and win. Money not only buys big companies, it buys high office - and our votes and shame on us for playing along. The thinking is that if a guy is extremely wealthy, he must be very smart. Therefore, he can do all things well. But just because he can buy the New York Philharmonic doesn't mean he can conduct it or play a violin in it. Mehmet Congiz may well buy a senate seat (God, forbid), but no one's heart in the Republican Party is going to be better for it.
Phil Dunkle (Orlando)
@lolly Since was was born in South Africa, he would not be able to run for POTUS himself. He could finance someone to run who would promise to cut taxes on the very wealthy. I'm pretty sure that has already been done by other billionaires, like Musk's associate Peter Thiel and every other billionaire who finances election campaigns. Of course, these days, if a candidate looses an election, they can go on Twitter and claim they won.
Dorothy Wiese (San Antonio)
@lolly He can’t, unless the Federalist Society SCOUTS succeeds in declaring the Constitution unconstitutional.
Phoebe (Havertown, PA)
@Dorothy Wiese Don't give them any ideas.
Hal (Chicago)
If John Barlow Martin thought television was a "vast wasteland" imagine what he would have made of Twitter. Newton Minnow is still alive. I wonder what he thinks. Nah, I already know.
Fair Shake (Katonah NY)
Unmoderated speech is a clear evil and Musk’s laissez faire attitude to truth is disturbing. Naturally, if we object, we may quit the platform. If enough people do it, Twitter will become worthless. A second alternative is to immediately stop buying Teslas. Let’s show this billionaire self-impressed megalomaniac that some things are more important than driving one of his cars.
Si Seulement Voltaire (France)
@Fair Shake The question is still "Who gets to decide?". Who is ordained to tell a nation of free people what is right and wrong and how they should perceive the world. Who in the US are the infallible Popes today?
Ryan (Elise)
I mean that’s already happening. Tesla did “well” when they were the only allelectric on the market. Now there are cheaper, better, safer, more versatile options in the market. I give the company 5 years.
John (Denver)
@Fair Shake — War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. Unmoderated speech is a clear evil.
Jon (DC)
I don’t remember the meltdown from the Left when Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post.
JBT (New York, NY)
Big difference here: Bezos bought the Post and left it alone. Musk intends to reshape Twitter.
Murray (NYC)
Qualified reporters write for the Washington Post. It’s not a free for all of lies.
Bach (Grand Rapids, MI)
@Jon Because even Bezos knows that imposing his control over some of the most gifted journalists on the planet will blow up spectacularly.
Perry J.G. (Toronto, Ontario Canada)
Money foolishly spent. In a few years, Twitter will go bankrupt and handicap Musk's future ambitions, a footnote in history and a warning to those who have overblown egos of their importance. Twitter provides nothing of value to humanity. If it ceases operations, hardly anyone will notice.
David (Chicago)
Twitter never has been the world's town square and even the daring of someone as smart and driven as Elon Musk won't change that. It is interesting however to see how all those who have benefited from Twitter's strong anti conservative bias are now cowering and hand wringing that their "content moderation" monopoly is now over.
Jerry (NYC)
@David Claiming there's "anti conservative bias" doesn't mean it's true.
Jim (Texas)
God help us if he lets people use this without any restraints. The autocrats, the election deniers will have a field day.
Ska (NYC)
@Jim And what, you'll believe it because you read it on Twitter? That's probably the most positive thing about this - people will be reminded that they should be skeptical of what they read and hear, especially from others who can actually be influential. Maybe journalists will stop circularly linking to each other's tweets as if that is some form of rigorous reporting.
The wealthy and corporations have an excessive ability to shape public opinion through unlimited campaign contributions and numerous platforms to shape public opinion while escaping the burden of maintaining society.
Sven Svensson (Grebbestad)
Elon is a genius. And I'm so happy that a boy born in Africa is now the richest man in the world.
Jerry (NYC)
@Sven Svensson Some of us think Elon is a buffoon.
Big4alum (Connecticut)
It is now OK to yell "Fire" in a crowded movie theater
david (Florida)
@Big4alum Of course not and any sane person knows that having alternative political perspectives different from the far right or far left in not the same as yelling fire.
Si Seulement Voltaire (France)
@Big4alum Liberals have been doing that for some time now ... not many have listened.
Ajay Seed (NY)
now all undereducated,nefarious people who spread misinformation can speak freely on the platform,good news!
Ska (NYC)
@Ajay Seed So... nothing has changed.
Carla M Reid (Tallahassee)
We can choose to not use twitter. Believe it or not, you can exist without it.
sms (ohio)
@Carla M Reid I have never used it and never will. I have no idea why anyone really cares about what other people say/think about the minutia of their lives. Such a waste of time!
Dorothy Wiese (San Antonio)
@Carla M Reid We can and I do. However “influential people” like trump and his mob will use it to spread lies and conspiracies. Media will eat it up and report continuously on them. Free publicity for trump.
DickeyFuller (Boston)
@sms It's pure id. Just think it and then blurt it out. No filter.
CTBlue (USA)
I do not have any social media account and do not intend to have one. Am I missing anything? I doubt it and definitely not now. As a physician, I often hear very strange from my patients which they read on social media ......in response I prefer to give dumb looks. Most of the social media addicts including Twitter, seldom know current world affairs. I'm a firm believer that most these addicts have very poor analytical thinking.
MHG (Philadelphia, Pa.)
@CTBlue Unfortunately, they have a say in how this country is being run.
I don't know anyone personally who uses Twitter except one friend. She only has an account to monitor posts about changes to public transit schedules where she lives because they happen frequently. None of the younger people I know use it. Makes me wonder who these 200 million people are and why companies think advertising to them is worth the money? Has anyone ever bought anything because of an ad they saw on social media? I suppose some have, just not me. Twitter is not the problem; craven liars and greedy capitalists are the problem. They, of course, are the cause of most problems. There are now so many tools to reach the masses, if one dies it doesn't matter. Now, if advertisers, the defacto owners/investors, would walk away from all the platforms they would all disappear. That won't happen but it sure would be nice. Heck, I would be okay with living without commercial TV if that's the price I would pay. I suspect in 2028 Musk will be lying about why his buying Twitter was not a bad idea.
Susan (NY)
Fix the tax laws and put the reins of these privileged CEOs. He obviously has no respect for anyone else's opinion or safety. Didn't America learn from the behavior of the last President about self-appointed "geniuses?" Cut these narcissists down to the size they really deserve.
david (Florida)
@Susan I would agree if you also include the far left narcissists.
Dr. John (Seattle)
If one of the brilliant and productive people on the planet simply acquiring Twitter is causing so much angst and anger, how will these same people react if Republicans win the House and/or the Senate just 11 days from now?
AACNY (New York)
@Dr. John Soon they'll be too many people to cancel.
Edith James (London)
“Buying Twitter is an accelerant to creating X, the everything app”. Seems like a perfectly reasonable strategy for a man with such extraordinary ambition. I expect he will succeed on many levels. It also seems inevitable many new online apps will wind up catering to groups with a specific political / cultural outlook, and one can only assume Twitter will enable users to screen for apps that match their political / cultural outlook. Radicalized, discriminatory text is dangerous enough. Radicalized purchasing power is another thing altogether. Regulators, en garde.
Sam X (New York)
Gave up on Twitter 6 years ago. Except this will go even worse for Musk than Meta for Facebook.
Canada Has Faith - Do The Right Thing (Montreal)
The solution is easy - unsubscribe from social media all together. Social media is largely a black hole waste of time with little use or merit. Just delete it and don’t look back. Empty platforms cannot yield any power. Unsubscribe.
Seth (Westport, CT)
@Canada Has Faith - Do The Right Thing of course. Cancel your Facebook cancel your Twitter. Come on people put your money where your mouth is. Oops you can't
Rob (Davis, CA)
@Canada Has Faith - Do The Right Thing Absolutely! Either quit now, or (like me), don't sign up in the first place. Twitter, as someone said, is the "AR-15" of social media. Read Jaron Lanier's Book, "Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now".
Phoebe (Havertown, PA)
@Seth Why can't they? I deleted FB. It had become a sewer. I am on Twitter for about ten minutes a day and won't miss it if I delete it. I've come to the conclusion that it's probably less dangerous to my mental health to take up drinking or gambling.
Jonathan (Brooklyn)
That the global information utility is now wholly controlled by an individual is a modern horror. He can talk about "openness" but the core facts are these: - Some people have upstream access to a much wider pipe on Twitter than others do - and that includes not just subscriptions but also the "coverage" by public-facing media of what high-subscriber-count providers put out. - On the receiving end, each user experiences their Twitter information inflow in isolation, with no built-in fair discourse and with no way to determine if what is coming out is poison. - The overriding motivation for how the utility will be run is financial return on investment. We can prophesize and prognosticate about what he has in mind but it's all just guessing and hoping by a highly dependent yet powerless constituency. This is an obscene state of affairs.
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
Elon Musk will have to warn users of "Twitter" to not incriminate themselves in any crimes and if he doesn't, we can warn Twitter users that he is trying to catch them. Trust me on this one.
nolongeradoc (London, UK)
Only minutes in and the EU has already warned Musk (on Twitter, no less) that, in Europe, he flies by EU rules. This could be interesting...
Si Seulement Voltaire (France)
@nolongeradoc Twitter is no more at risk than any other social media. Europe in not as "woke land" as parts of the US and yes all companies must comply with rules.
Dorothy Wiese (San Antonio)
@Si Seulement Voltaire What does “woke land” mean?
AgnosticGirl (USA)
The consumers also known as the users have the power now to make sure Twitter does not become a cesspool of misinformation and hatred - all in the name of free speech. Freedom is not free and comes with a cost and who better than Kanye West to realize how you can go from being a Millionaire to walking around LA to sell your shoes. In Ye’s case, the consumers spoke and the corporates listened. We need to make sure Twitter does not become a become a place to plan violence, threats and riots and every leader that incites violence on Twitter needs to be held accountable.
Si Seulement Voltaire (France)
@AgnosticGirl I'm not sure a lot more hatred of equal fellow citizens will be found in future than already exists on Twitter ... Maybe the "hatred of those who dare think differently" will be more balanced/shared. That would at least allow for choices which is never a bad idea except for thought authoritarians of all stripes and all sides.
Twitter will become even a bigger and more disgusting cesspool than it already is. It is unneeded in our world today, it’s the root cause of the majority of the world’s problems. We would all be better without. I’ve deleted my account and I enjoy life so much better. Please consider doing the same.
Edie Clark (Austin,Texas)
Not looking forward to the return of the constant stream of misinformation filled hateful, toxic tweets from the former POTUS.
La Mec (Austin)
Dear fellow Austinite, then close your account. I have avoided the toxic atmosphere of Twitter (joined for a workplace social media account), however deleting the account altogether last night felt fantastic. It is a cesspit that is destroying decency and commonality.
lehomme (marin1950)
@Edie Clark "Not looking forward to the return of the constant stream of misinformation..." Who's making you read it?
AACNY (New York)
@Edie Clark Because Joe Biden is such a truth teller?
John Apel (Montrose, Colorado)
Musk often promises more than he can deliver. I have never used Twitter and don't plan to start now.
jim (Orono, ME)
In the US, "Freedom of the Press" means that those with the means own the press. This is nothing new.
DickeyFuller (Boston)
@jim The difference is they are bound by US laws against knowingly publishing false information.
jim (Orono, ME)
@DickeyFuller That is funny.
Adk (NJ)
The best reward for a megalomaniac like Musk would be for Twitter users to stop using the medium and engage in honest, conventional face to face or voice to voice communication outside of their self fulfilling cells. The same for Facebook. Anti social media is accelerating the downfall of civilized, democratic cohesive societies everywhere and its addiction does nothing to benefit the human condition or advance civilization.
beyondgravity (Sudbury, MA)
I deactivated and deleted my Twitter account, which saves me my precious time and I don’t want to be a foot soldier to prop up the cesspool it would become. I would also stay away from Twitter advertisers.
Seth (Westport, CT)
@beyondgravity that also means stairway from all customer service representative for companies s-this is pretty much howl companies do their business now.. Good luck
Clint (Sun Prairie, WI)
Over/under on when Trump's twitter account is re-activated? I am guessing around 10 am eastern time. Then watch the other extremist follow. Musk is the modern day authoritarian using social media tools to help him dominate. Even Putin should be scared!
Marlon S. (Chicago)
@Clint It is going to happen on Monday.
gtuz (algonac, mi)
I wonder when the first country will be bought?
bill mullis (charlotte,nc)
Twitter reminds me of a football stadium where you purchase a seat either on the home team side or the visitors side and you scream for your favorite using multiple methods of encouragement for your favorite side. Musk owns the stadium and makes money on participation. There are rules re: obnoxious behavior . These folks can be kicked out of the stadium.Some folks prefer to watch on tv and cheer privately.This is all fine until the owner of the stadium introduces rules and devices that favor one side or another. If the fans don't like the atmosphere, they can sell their season tickets and watch on tv or move on to another sport that excites them.
Jeanne 357 (MA)
God help us. Musk will turn twitter into parler. Facing a barrage of insane tweets from TFG is bad enough but The NYT and other news entities will publicize them so there will be no escape from this unmoderated hate. We are watching the downfall of civilization.
Johanna❌🅾️ (Florida)
If musk lets trump back on Twitter I foresee this platform becoming just like Fox or Breitbart “ news” stations- one big hate-filled conservative echo chamber. Hopefully people with integrity will leave in droves.
Ska (NYC)
@Johanna❌🅾️ The irony of this comment.
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
The C.I.A. likes Billionaires. Did you know that? Republicans are serious about trouble. Communications are always the first go. I remind everyone C.B. Radios require no license.
NP (New England)
He paid $44B for that?!
Mark So (Jacksonville. Florida)
Am I the only one left who's never been on Twitter? This newspaper constantly quotes people on Twitter. That's enough for me!
Hal (Chicago)
@Mark So There are at least two of us, Mark, and you've just become my new hero.
Typeminer (Pennsylvania)
@Mark So I have occasionally read things on Twitter, when they are linked on other sites. But I have never, and will never, open an account. By the time I had a computer and bandwidth suitable for Facebook, I knew better. I have never been on Facebook. The closest I get to social media is comment threads like this one.
Bad for democracy? It appears the only people upset about an egomaniac spending $34B on a has been social media platform are the news folks. He dropped $34B to take it private, get his name in the “news”, and start charging for the privilege of letting the world know how dumb we really are as a nation.
RickyDick (Montreal)
So glad when shopping for an EV that I avoided Tesla. Musk is a menace.
teeceenyc (NYC)
If you own the town square you own the hive. it is like owning a brain farm where the users waive their intellectual property rights. Use the platform and you are this man's dinner.
hey nineteen (usa)
If twitter disappeared tomorrow, would anyone suffer?
Sue (Massachusetts)
I think it's a shame that we all have to live the consequences of Musk's midlife crisis.
Dominique (Branchville)
Just in time for Trump's presidential run.
Jeff (Brooklyn, NY)
I'm confused as to why the would be an above the fold top headline in the paper of record. Twitter is vastly over-covered and posseses not even a scintilla of the level of importance or reach in the real world than the media in general bestows upon it. it's the equivalent of many old people screaming at clouds. Also, can we all start to wrap our heads around the fact that Elon Musk is a dangerous actor? He's been using his new toy to bellow CCP and Russian talking points of late. There are so many better and more effective places for advertisers to put their money.
Harpoon (New England)
@Jeff you're confused why a $50 billion purchase is on the front page? Musk was the darling of the left until he took positions that suggested content moderation by faceless Silicon Valley workers wasn't appropriate. It is amazing how fast the worm has turned against him.
Phoebe (Havertown, PA)
@Harpoon Musk is a man child with an outsized ego. And the purchase price was $44B. $6B is not chump change.
Jonathan Janov (Shameful Of America)
There’s only one person in America who’s as much a narcissistic sociopath as he his and that man was recently president. Another reason to avoid Twitter altogether. Elon Musk isn’t a champion of free speech, he’s a champion of “I’ll say what I like even if it offends people and ill make billions doing it”. He only cares about himself and his bottom billions of dollars. Disgusting.
DickeyFuller (Boston)
@Jonathan Janov As a grown man, he's a disgrace.
8theist (Vermont)
Musk, love him or hate him, is one of the most successful change agents of our time. It was clear to see the opportunity of Tesla, but without someone like him, with his money and tenacity, wouldn’t have moved nearly as fast as it did. However…Twitter is a tired ‘anti-social’ cesspool of useless opinions and celebrity canned one liners. The only winners here are Jack Dorsey, the Twitter board and hate speech.
Zeke (NYC)
@8theist - Contrary to common beliefs, change is nto always a good thing. And Musk owning Twitter, will be one example of that. I guarantee that he will reinstate Trump back onto Twitter ASAP
crankyoldman (Georgia)
I've never been on Twitter. I don't see the appeal. A 140 (or is it 280 now?) character limit seems like an arbitrary way to cater to the low attention span crowd, and designed primarily to create catchy sound bites without adequate context or explanation. I guess that makes it perfect for the modern United States.
Meow (Maine)
TwitterX’s could now provide in-house ‘first amendment’ bots to anyone rich enough to force their opinions on the masses. How else can you influence on a platform overrun with them.
A2Dave (Ann Arbor, MI)
So, if you are on Twitter, (I am not), now would be a good time to get off. Leave it to Musk and the trolls.
Jane (Boston)
It’s amazing how much people really know nothing about Elon yet hate him because the herd says to hate him.
Jerry (NYC)
@Jane It doesn't take a lot to think poorly of Elon Musk. There's more than enough information readily available to support a negative opinion. No herd necessary.
Anon (Atlanta)
Do enlighten us, then.
Zeke (NYC)
@Jane - No, people "hate" him because he is a jerk. SImple as that
Lee Siegel (Newport, Oregon)
The fall of civilization is upon us.
RS (Hong Kong)
Instead of just mouthing off all the time with no consequences, Elon has been forced to literally put his money where his mouth is.
Marc Panaye (Belgium)
And what is extremely funny is the fact that the E.Musk trolls have had intructions to pay tribute to and glorify the guy carrying a sink. Funny..... and sad......
John (Hartford)
The fired are crying all the way to the bank. Musk has paid twice as much as it is worth for an asset that is going to be more trouble for his wider business interests than it is worth.
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
And wasn't the name "Twitter" kind of a warning in the first place?
Jk (Cambridge)
The ill will directed at this man is beyond comprehension. Do you care about global warming and knew Big energy and Big automotive was killing the elect car. This dude did what no one thought thought was possible and broke them. Do you drive or have the option to buy an electric car that doesn't look like a golf cart ,this dude. High speed internet to rural where the memories wont to spend money for infrastructure this dude brought is bringing it to them . Internet were a authoritarian lunatic has cut off access, again this dude
Sbar21 (Dallas)
Henry Ford was a famous for his antisemitism. Talent as an entrepreneur does not insure moral decency.
Bruce Maier (Shoreham, BY)
Twitter was in a difficult position, trying to balance competing interests that cannot be balanced. No one had, or has, any idea on how to keep the company afloat with all the challenges it is under. Musk suffers from the same delusion that many of the wealthy have, that somehow 'THEY' are able to fix that which others have not. No Elon, you have just sunk your fortune into a venture that will drain your wealth. A company's profit = income - expenses. Musk focused on reducing the expenses. He KNOWS they are way too high, without a plan that includes understanding of why the expenses are present. HE must know that income is declining, and if he destroys the guardrails that are tied to expenses, then participation will decline, lowering income. There is no simple magic bullet, else Twitter executives would have already done most/much of it. Wait until the GOP takes over the house and decides that Twitter is still unfavorable to GOP, because as Colbert said, Reality has a well known liberal bias.
AACNY (New York)
Free speech has never been so despised. A real departure from what liberals used to stand for.
Susan (Lighthouse)
@AACNY Are liberals the ones banning books? Are liberals the ones passing "don't' say gay" laws? Do liberals advocate for abstinence-only education?
Kim B (North Carolina)
So glad I dumped Twitter a few months ago.
TommyB (Upstate NY)
Yesterday I heard a lady on MSNBC expounding that there is nothing Congress or the President can do about Twitter as it is a private company and we/they have a right to free speech. Since then I've wondered if that was really true? Private speech is restricted by slander and defamation laws. It sure seems to me that we could apply those same rules to an individual spouting off on Twitter and also to apply those same rules to Twitter itself. I realize we have a law that says companies which extend rights to access the internet should be treated as a public carrier and therefore they should be exempt from lawsuits deriving from behavior of their subscribers. However we can change that law and if we find that the actions of Twitter subscribers is too outlandish then such a change would seem appropriate.
h king (mke)
Twitter is the scribbling on the loo wall at a train/bus station.
C (Alaska)
Everyone is tired of Twitter.
Bookish (Darien, CT)
When it was new, I joined for updates after a power outage. I stayed too long after that, interacting with people on to express positive feelings (though saw few real friends made)or converse about a hobby or creative work. I also noticed how women in Darien, who I’m sure would act very righteous and concerned about bullying, mental health of teens, participated in an online clique together that amplified my sense that I couldn’t expect children to always behave better than adults who raise them. So that was Twitter at its “best.” I rejoined pre- 2016 election, which was so stressful and quit after noticing a person I followed seemed to be in critical mental health distress to a point where I called police near her town overseas. Twitter had no clear way to help without locking her account. She was alone late at night in her time zone and, despite careful pleading to hold on and be safe, she said goodbye to me and completed suicide(it was reported in her local papers). I contacted Twitter, asking them to please help others w a better toolbox to offer aid and never got a reply. No one should feel that alone in public on her part or helpless on mine. Last year, I peeked again, curious about a few sweet people I had “met.” Many had abandoned it, leaving a more sour space, reflecting addiction over affection. Just like FB deliver to social performance over constructive connection, it’s proven to be a mostly negative waste of time now branded as “must see” freedom of speech.
Bookish (Darien, CT)
@C I say this as someone who also has what Musk suggests is his own diagnosis of Asperger’s and a family to raise: He has many children and business ventures that he could be giving attention to and feel more fulfilled by. Instead, he is acting no different than a manipulative man telling a woman uninterested in him that there is some cool/high minded reason to participate in something she doesn’t want to do with him. Like the other platforms, Twitter has not turned out to bring people together in lasting, constructive relationships or notably help over hurt our society and every day stress. However, when people are uninterested or want to disengage, he insists that they are rejecting some high minded participation in freedom of speech or valuable connection. It feels straight from the playbook of the way a man can “neg” a woman with a right to turn him down physically or for any relationship. Musk wants conquest and attention and it’s ultimately his problem if, with his riches and blessings, he is so desperate for an audience.
Randy (Pa)
Twitter is now extremist pornography.
Seth (Westport, CT)
@Randy what was it before ?
H. Clark (Long Island)
There goes the neighborhood.
Charles (Florida)
I’m not a twitter user and never have been! I’m at issue with the comments. Elon Musk has done what people have said could not be done. Became a successful car manufacturer with various spinoff’s. Build a company which manufacturers rockets for space travel. Build the Starlink Satellite system which was extremely useful for those in Florida after the hurricane and the those without out access to the internet throughout the world. I see these as all useful and helpful to society. Yes, the guy is at times unpredictable but could that be the genius of Elon Musk? I’d say this let’s give the guy a chance and see what he does with Twitter it’s actually possible something good can come out of it. I’m now going to prepare my self for the whiplash of my comment here.
Dan (Terra)
@Charles If we have seen one very evident thing lately..billionaire's are inconsistent with a truly Democratic society. The US right now though is more like a corprotocracy slowly sliding into an authoritarian quagmire. Just remember one simple rule, Musk never does anything that doesn't augment his bottom line at the detriment to others. He is not alone though..we need to tax billionaires into oblivion to restore some semblance of reality.
Charles (Florida)
@Dan …… I’m not to sure we should tax them into oblivion Dan. This wealth scenario has been in existence since the beginning of time and I for one don’t have a solution as most people commenting here don’t. History can support this, some of the most wealthiest men and women have made our lives better, stop and reflect upon that. I have no right to own or take away something that someone has earned nor would I want a government doing that to me. I’m struggling to find his work detrimental in anyway other than some Twitter people are now needing to look for a new job or they can retire on the wealth that was accumulated due to the sale of Twitter. Look for a solution!
Cozmot (Washington, DC)
@Charles Twitter rightly banned Trump for life after using the platform to summon his army of insurrectionists. Musk has already ditched lifetime bans, and has previously said that he'd let Trump back on (and others who also fomented hate, bigotry, and violence). That alone will tell you if something good comes out of it, unless you're a MAGA (not saying you are). If Trump gets back on, I'm dumping Twitter.
AKJersey (New Jersey)
The key word is “antitrust.” In the early 20th century, it was understood that a competitive marketplace was essential for an efficient economy with a minimum of corruption. That idea seems to have been lost, and we need to bring it back. The laws are already available, or can be updated. Facebook, Twitter, Apple, Amazon, and Alphabet (Google) are among major companies that should be subjects of antitrust laws. They should all be broken up into multiple, competing companies. None of this happened under Trump, but perhaps it will start under President Biden.
Newfie (Newfoundland)
American's billionaires - revered and worshipped like royalty.
Demosthenes (Chicago)
Elon Musk will wreck Twitter and ensure his investors lose their shirts. Good.
Pete (Melbourne , Australia)
Just and Australian text message exchange: Pinko: I suppose trump will be back on Twitter soon. So tedious! Pete: And the Reds have it it I'm afraid. My short lived fascination for American politics has become void. I had so much more belief in the nation to do the right thing, but alas no. The hard MAGA / GOP are no better than Taliban and other foreign extremists, but are actually dumber. So bloody sad.
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
Well, if Musk bought Twitter with a political goal, just like I avoid businesses who put out Republican campaign signs, Musk may lose half his Twitter subscribers leaving him with millions of legal liabilities of thousands of cases and maybe a lot less electric cars sold. He may have ovedextended himself.
Todd (Pittsburgh, PA)
Twitter has been a cesspool for years. It literally add no value to society. I've always had a fantasy that if I ever got super rich I would buy Twitter and shut it down. Unfortunately Elon cannot afford to just shut it off. Everybody of consequence quitting would be almost as good.
MikeInChi (Chicago)
My Twitter account was suspended over a comment that was downright vanilla compared to many of the tweets one scrolls past on any given day. I wonder if all suspended accounts will be reinstated at the same time as the account of the twice-impeached, failed-insurrection-plotting, loser of the 2020 election. “Free speech,” and all.
Smyrna (Brattleboro)
@MikeInChi mine was suspended permanently for quoting black crime statistics directly from the law and crime journal which is the number one nationally regarded police journal. It was deemed to be hate speech. Really. Not kidding. Literally quoting a statistic from a trade journal is hate speech. Yet you go on Twitter and people are calling for the murder of people or for the beating down of people. The hypocrisy of the bleeding left and I say bleeding because they are on their deathbed right now- is more than welcomed to go away Ahmed NEVER come back.
Mark (Midwest)
I left Twitter years ago and never felt better. It's a digital snake pit. It's such an annoying tether that never stops. Twitter was terrible for my mental health. YouTube and Instagram are about all I need for engagement these days. I think it's critical that people do not rely on Social Media for their news because it's completely unreliable. But I'm also convinced that's exactly what Elon Musk is after, to spread lies that benefit himself and his friends. I'm also certain that getting Trump back in the Oval Office is his top priority. Really dystopian stuff.
Kunal Bajpai (New York)
Now ousted people will start a new company with the remaining money & lose it all
Tamal (Paris)
No one person, who is not a fairly elected representative, should have this much power and influence over such a wide swath of human civilisation (economics, industry, future-tech, politics, social debates, etc.) I am not againt Musk himself per se, I am against the position he holds. This is "soft-autocracy".
Cozmot (Washington, DC)
@Tamal more like plutocracy.
Rob (NYC)
Obviously Twitter was only silencing conservative viewpoints and positions counter to the government narrative on COVID. Also suspending the NY Post for weeks over reporting that the computer was Hunter’s. You’d be suspended for claiming masks don’t work, that natural immunity existed, that the vaccines were failing in front of our eyes, seasonality was a real thing, or that Covid was man made. Almost anything that was misinformation last year is now accepted facts. This is why open dialogue is crucial. If this even levels the playing field a little bit, it will be a net positive for society.
Bill (Queens, NY)
@Rob Twitter was being responsible, now with this bad purchase, the fickle winds of the internet will shift. Who want's Elon musk reading their personal info. No one. Twitter is now the next MySpace. TikTok drove the first nail, this will be the second.
Sweetbay (Gainesville, VA)
@Rob, I disagree (for the most part). Many will cling to the views they already believe as true. Only some will apply critical thought.
News Runner (U.S.)
@Rob Lies are not conservative viewpoints. There. Fixed it for you.
Bos (Boston)
Easy come, easy go! Elon and his investors got rich on the stock market unprecedented run and they just give back some. So no need to cry for them overpaying Twitter! People said they will flee Twitter now that he owns it sound to be as extreme as the people who use it for nefarious purposes. There is a lot of real experts on the platform to be had. Unless it is changed substantively, people should keep an open mind. If it becomes bad, there will be another network replacing it.
Usok (Houston)
Very good move by Elon Musk. If Jeff Bezos can buy Washington Post with a ton of information and journalists at his disposal, Elon Must should have a similar loudspeaker. Just hope that clash of the titans won't happen too soon.
Sweetbay (Gainesville, VA)
@Usok Really, no one (that I can find) has said that anyone should be denied a "loudspeaker".
Cozmot (Washington, DC)
@Usok Bezos has no editorial control over the Washington Post, nor any "journalists at his disposal." He's totally hands off, hence no loudspeaker. Musk, on the other hand, is now Twitter's CEO. There's no equivalency here.
Cheri Murphy (Alaska)
@Usok how do you compare a 44B megaphone to a 250M small newspaper? No comparison whatsoever. But keep believing in Fox News and Republican talking points.
G. Jakeson (Philadelphia)
I find it interesting that that the majority age group on Twitter is 25-34. I’m 24 and have never used Twitter (and don’t have any friends I know of that use it either). Am I missing something, or are there truly many younger users on this platform?
poslug (cambridge)
No sense of being a contributing adult contemplating deep human issues. Why do these tech bros seem so "under educated" about history and the biological sciences? They have the intellect. They stop exploring the limits of their judgement?
Perry J.G. (Toronto, Ontario Canada)
@poslug I can offer some insight because of my atypical professional background. Techies tend to be libertarians rather than liberals. They do not explore or consider literary classics or the humanities as worthwhile pursuits. When I was in engineering school way back when, arts students were considered dumb. Yes, amazingly shallow and superficial. Engineers, by dint of their professional training and personal temperament, tend to hold dichotomous views. Something either works or does not. It extends to personal relationships. Someone is good; someone is bad. I did not hold such a view, and after years of working as an engineer, I pursuded a degree in the arts, a double major in journalism and English literature. It posits that life and people are more complex. It offers a more nuanced view, which resonates deeply with me.
Tarsus (New York, NY)
@poslog They don’t study ethics in engineering school.
Perry J.G. (Toronto, Ontario Canada)
@Tarsus I certainly did not way back when. In addition, I was allowed only one elective outside enginerring school. I trust the requirements for graduation have changed.
Peter (CT)
An everything App called X. I love it. My 6 year old daughter had the idea first. Sure, her idea was an everything tablet that could turn you invisible and fly, but exact same spirit of ideation.
Dr. John (Seattle)
As anyone acquiring a new firm would do, Musk will conduct an exhaustive zero-based review of the entire operation of Twitter. This will include reviewing the policies, practices, management structure, HR, etc.. He will review all personnel to determine their contribution to the firm and the bottom line. He will even examine previously made decisions to include those that demonstrated bias when suspending or canceling accounts, as well as why certain content was not allowed to be posted or shared. Expect some accounts being reinstated. In the end Twitter will be a platform with improved balance and transparency.
Bruce Maier (Shoreham, BY)
@Dr. John Really, surely you jest. It is all about profit, and that entails income and expense. The idealist goals you suggest are unrelated. Yes, he could reinstate old accounts, but not for reasons of integrity, but because he hopes that will generate more income. It is a business. He sunk so much of his fortune into this that this is truly make or break. Musk has hired young, enthusiastic and gifted engineers in SpaceX and Tesla. He is no engineering genius, but was an inspiring leader. Twitter is a whole different thing. Now that us liberals know him, we no longer flock to his EVs. He should have been quiet, but like many with wealth, he confuses the accumulation of wealth with superior capacity in unrelated domains.
KeninDFW (DFW)
His EVs have always been way to expensive anyway. He pushed other makers to compete and they have and will take the middle class market. Luxury brands are also competing. Maybe that’s why Tesla’s stock is down?
AACNY (New York)
@Dr. John Yes, the progressive busybodies working at Twitter who feel they have to "save the planet" and "defend democracy" by combatting the right will all be forced to actually do their jobs or find another. Their job will no longer be about defending progressivism.
jh (dc)
Well Twitter can't be run any worse you get banned for every little thing , then they won't delete your account or info so they can count you as a user- when you can't - no customer service just canned responses - so yes the house need to be cleaned of these lazy, arrogant, overpaid techies with more sane leadership- I got banned for agreeing with Pelosi on Trump- so the banning is arbitrary at best
thetingler5 (Detroit)
I hope the investors lose every dime.
Opinioned! (NYC)
(Nobody tell Musk that by taking Twitter private, he can no longer unleash his market manipulation technique to score himself a few millions once in a while.)
Loyd Collins (Laurens,SC)
Perhaps we should all test Musk's commitment to free speech and be as critical as we like in critiquing Twitter, Space X, Tesla, and even Elon himself! For some reason I think that he will have a problem with that, given his past intolerance for his own employee's critical speech.
Deb (Blue Ridge Mtns.)
Another bored, obscenely rich captain of the universe (narcissist) stakes his claim - for amusement, self gratification, attention and power. And rather than use his position for something positive, something that would improve this only planet we must all share, he buys a megaphone for his ego. Some days I wish the asteroid would hit. The misery of watching these types destroy so much of the better parts of humanity for their own selfish desires is becoming unbearable.
John Smithson (California)
@Deb How can you think Elon Musk bought Twitter as a megaphone for his ego? He was already one of Twitter's most prolific users, with a following topping 80 million people (or I should say, people plus bots). He didn't need to buy Twitter to use it. Elon Musk has don more for the planet than any other rich man I know of, with Tesla leading the charge for electric cars and Solar City for solar power. Twitter may not help with that but it is hardly world-destroying. Unlike most moguls Elon Musk lives simply (for the most part) and puts his money into building companies and improving the world. Hard to criticize that.
Dan (Terra)
@John Smithson but I do criticize it..and if you did some basic homework yourself, you might too. Just look at how he became so insanely rich; and it wasn't about altruism. He did it by exploitism and by taking government handouts along with Peter Thiel (barf) to form PayPal. Musk is a loose cannon but as I've mentioned before Billionaires are not self made..they are what weak governments have allowed them to become. Proper taxation on this insanity will resolve that, but it may be too late now as they have encroached into high levels of many governments, changing rules to suit their needs.
john (Canada)
@John Smithson Elon Musk ... A Straight-Shooting, Honest, Outstanding, Laudable, Excellent mogul, who has done more to the planet than anyone else.
Jax (Providence)
I really don’t care. I’m so tired of hearing about rich stooges like him, and Ye, and on and on. Please, let’s all ignore Twitter and maybe it will crash and burn. I survive every day without it.
Peter (The belly of the beast)
@Jax Unfortunately, Musk has vowed to let the former guy have his Twitter megaphone back and that should worry everyone who cares about Democracy. We need to care about this. Hopefully people will get a clue and abandon Twitter in droves and not support it any longer if the MAGA master and his minions are allowed to spew their lies on it.
Hope Is Still Alive (Atlanta)
I eliminated my app yesterday. I cannot bear the thought of contributing to the empire of musk.
Bronco Pete (Great Midwest)
Classic, the super rich controls a part of the media. Interpret free speech as meaning what ever it is Mr. Musk feels like saying. Twitter will become the new yellow journal of the day.
Laura (Forest Hills, NY)
Am I missing anything important? I don’t have a Twitter account.
George (Rochester, NY)
@Laura Expect a return of Donald Trump on Twitter any day now spewing his lies.
Peter (New York)
If you don’t think there is anything important here, more than not having a twitter account, you have your head in the sand
John Smithson (California)
@Laura No, you're not missing much by not having a Twitter account. But I bet you see a lot of tweets anyhow. I know I do, including here in the New York Times. And this New York Times comment section is just as much social media as Twitter, and I see you've deigned to have an account here.
joe Hall (estes park, co)
Once again our pre-bribed so called "justice system" stay fast asleep behind the wheel. Twitter like Fecebook are toxic substances.
Nino H (Germany)
Ripe time for other social media platforms to rise, hopefully open source.
Steven G (NYC)
Wow, what a waste of money. Just think about all the real good he could have done with that money.
PH (New York)
Everyone needs to stop jumping to such extreme conclusions, breath, exhale. I’m glad this day has come. I welcome thoughts that differ regardless of how it’ll make me feel. The key is to process not react harshly. It’s healthy to hear a difference of opinion, maybe I’ll learn something new. To hear the same messages from people who only think one way doesn’t expand my mindset. The echo chamber is about to fall and I’m here for it.
Doug R (Michigan)
Just another reason not to use Twitter
Dr. Zucker-Conde (Medford, Ma.)
I wonder when Americans will tire of celebrity leaders and rich white men with tunnel vision and draconian views using their money to tell everyone else what to do, believe, buy, or die for whether it's pillows, election lies, or forced births. Much as as I deplore censorship, checks on "free" or very expensive speech are needed. I wonder if Musk will also welcome the Anti-Semitic screeds of Trump liars. Essentially rich tax cheats have bought our country a little more smoothly than old Vlad, but bought. They win, you lose.
Plato (CT)
Technical visionary but an arrogant sociopath who thinks the world should be controlled by "genetically well endowed" rich people. He says as much. And now he has Twitter under his thumb. Two ways we can react to this : 1. Let Twitter absolutely smash into smithereens. 2. Ignore Twitter and let it collapse and in the process buy back our sanity.
Jim (Toronto)
@Plato I think 2 leads to 1 and is more likely than not. And I think visionary is generous. He's a good operator who benefited from some inherited wealth and luck early on. To be fair, he's invested well, and made the right bets on Tesla. But this will be the test of his vision.
Anne C. (Monterey, CA)
I'm not sure I even understand a world where someone would spend $44 billion on... anything. Or would have a spare $44 billion just hanging around. But I am pretty sure I'm going to cancel my Twitter account, which I never use anyway. That'll sure show him!
shira-eliora (oak park, il)
@Anne C. That $ could have transformed lives for good. This is not it.
jaygee (philly)
OK, let's acknowledge that he's the richest person in the world and therefore very smart and very good at business. Let's also acknowledge that he's a neophyte wading into the world of social media, by acquiring a less-than-successful company. Let's also acknowledge that for the life of me, I can't figure out why the average person joins or uses Twitter. Anyway, my uninformed prediction is that Twitter is going to become an even worse dumpster than it is now, a haven for extreme right-wingers to shout their lies at the world. Can someone make money catering to that crowd? I guess we're about to find out.
shira-eliora (oak park, il)
@jaygee it's not that he is a neophyte but more like the person who occupied the white house prior to Biden. Equally egotistical. And likely narcissistic. And more problematic because he is smart.
jaygee (philly)
@shira-eliora I don't see that as problematic, not for the rest of us anyway. Twitter will become just another right-wing echo chamber. (I am somewhat encouraged by the successful lawsuit against the less-than-human Alex Jones and how that might affect what's posted on Twitter.) If Musk sees that as the savior of free speech, he should go for it. The rest of us can live happily ever after without Twitter.
Steve (Washington)
one of the internets biggest trolls now owns one of the internets biggest platforms, what could possibly go wrong. the possibilities are endless and i shudder to think.
Belgian Chocolate With Almonds (Kansas City)
It’s immoral for one single person to own billions while others die from hunger. We are living under a plutocratic regime.
Steve Singer (Chicago)
He’ll either turn it into a marketing juggernaut like Meta is or he’ll crash and burn. He grossly overpaid for the hard assets and intellectual property. Unless he can invent new business forms to better monetize both it will become his albatross, like invading Spain became Napoleon’s.
Just Say Nocial Media (Wisconsin)
I'd stick needles in my eyes before I'd ever have a Twitter account. Still, for my entertainment dollar, I'm glad everybody else does.
Ehab (Mpls)
It is a private company they can do as they wish.
Robin Underhill (Hinesburg, VT)
@Ehab - not even an individual human being can do anything they wish.
ScottC (Fayetteville, NY)
How many homes for homeless people could be constructed for $40 billion? How many mouths could be fed with $40 billion? How many job training programs could be funded with $40 billion? How many people could go through rehab with $40 billion? What a waste to spend it on twitter.
Joe W (Chicago, IL)
@ScottC Scott - now you have those 40 billion dollars spread out among hundreds of thousands of shareholders. Isn't that what people like you want? How many mouths have you fed with your money? Start fixing the world yourself, rather than complain that someone else is not.
Dan (Terra)
@Joe W he never said he didn't but you obviously missed the point.
Doug (Chicago)
@Joe W - someone who still believes raw capitalism helps everyone but the already rich and the few lucky mongrels they feed from the table.
Sri (New Jersey)
Great for shareholders who never made any money , the company never made money ! Bad business model, bad management, biased algorithm, both machine and human, did I mention entitled and entrenched management and employees? Seriously, how bad can it be with Musk taking over? The bar is pretty low
Scott Hollander (Albany)
@Sri How bad? For one if he uses the platform to encourage anti-democratic and pro-authoritarian rhetoric. To forward his political agenda and become another Peter Thiel
Peter (Albany. NY)
@Scott Hollander But all the Lefties pushing their extreme views and shutting down anyone they disagreed with, that was just fine right?
John Levin (Los Angeles, California)
There was a time when mass media was regulated for many reasons including the abuse of power. Reagan took care of that and here we are.
Paul wright (Wellesley ma)
Great. One weapon the left had against free speech is now freed.
K (NJ)
@Paul wright I don't think twitter is a weapon - its a platform and only those who are interested in twitter subscribe. I gave up on it years ago - it was too much - we have better things to do with our time besides read a bunch of tweets of other people's opinions. I wouldn't trust a thing on it now that Musk has it. He's so........Musk-y! People in this country need to go to a legit news source. That's not twitter. Or facebook. Or tik tok. *big sigh* Now I really don't regret my decision to stop using twitter. May it get the quick death it deserves.
Si Seulement Voltaire (France)
So many hate disruptive innovation or thinking that doesn't "toe the politically correct line" ... or is it that they fear being exposed?
Robin Underhill (Hinesburg, VT)
Si Seulement Voltaire- Politically correct posts aren't the issue now with Twitter's new Wild West ethic. Factually correct posts are.
Sweetbay (Gainesville, VA)
@Si Seulement Voltaire Pretty narrow view, my friend.
Miss Marple (New Zealand)
I think Mr Musk has a different vision for twitter as he has replaced one of the sacked people with a robot. I notice the Tesla Al Robot has had a name change on twitter from, Optimus, to Chief Executive Optimus.
Steven Clark (Campbell Hall, NY)
For anyone having doubts about weaning oneself off of the Twitter addiction, I deactivated my account this week and found it quite easy to bear.
Jax (Providence)
I deactivated in 2015 along with FB Among best things I ever did in my life. Haven’t missed any if it. You feel cleansed in fact. Free your soul. Just say no to social media.
Philippe Egalité (Le Monde)
Elon Musk and his billionaire pals are bad for American democracy.
Jack Connolly (Shamokin, PA)
I closed my Twitter account months ago, when I first heard that Musk was looking to buy Twitter. He's an egomaniac, he will be bad news for the company, and I don't want him anywhere near my personal information.
Shamrock (Westfield)
@Jack Connolly Yea. Twitter banned the Babylon Bee. And people think free speech should be protected? I get it. Just liberal speech should be allowed. If Musk allows the Babylon Bee he should receive an award from the ACLU.
SC (england)
I flushed Twitter almost 3 years ago and my life is better for doing do. It turned into a total toxic land, devoid of anything of use populated by angry screaming people. I cannot say how little I care if it changes or not as I'm better off not being on it.
Thick Brick (Glen Cove, NY)
Just to clarify, Elon may be listed as the owner of Twitter, but there are other financiers providing him funding to close this deal. Over the last several months, I heard sporadic reports in financial news channels that the Saudi’’s were involved. Could this be Jared’s new gig? Buying media companies for foreigners?
Moderate voices will leave Twitter when it inevitably becomes a cesspool. Like any parasite, toxic speech needs moderate voices to thrive, so the platform will eventually fade away. It had a nice run. I’m sure we’ll soon see the collective creative minds of ex-Twitter and ex-Facebook engineers inventing the next best social media platform that everyone will run to.
hawk (New England)
A billionaire advocate for free speech buys Twitter and the liberals go apocalyptic, they claim it is the end of Democracy. Free speech. 1st Amendment. Destroys democracy. When another billionaire advocate for everything liberal buys the WAPO, Conservatives shrug their shoulders
Cheri Murphy (Alaska)
@hawk no comparison buying a 250M newspaper to buying a 44B megaphone.
Randy Watson (Atlanta)
I applaud Musk's decision to allow Trump back on the platform. Let the former president tweet himself into oblivion.
alan (MA)
While Tesla flounders Elon has a new toy.
Anonymous (Georgia)
On the plus side, I can scratch "figuring out how to use Twitter" off the ol' to do list.
bill mullis (charlotte,nc)
@Anonymous exactly
Claus (Germany, Hamburg)
The downward spiral of social media goes on. More Outrage = more Attention = more money. It’s going to be worse.
Buck (Flemington)
A close look at Tesla’s revenue streams reveals more than few weaknesses. While profitable now it lost money for 19 years. There is a reasonable probability that Twitter will atrophy under the new owner. If it becomes only an echo chamber for conspiracy theory cranks it could wither on the vine.
Vijay (St Paul)
I consider myself a liberal, but the meaning of a liberal has changed a lot in the last few years. Liberals including NYT not only opposed views but tried to quiet the opposing views or views that did not conform to their ideology on the pretext of political correctness, equity or any other woke term they came with. When I migrated to US, a couple of years after 9/11, it was Republicans who tried to quiet free speech in the pretext of patriotism, and I hated Republicans for it. College campuses used to be beacons of free speech but now nothing can be uttered that does not fit their ideology. The same thing happened during medieval times, opposing opinions were thwarted and punished. It took several centuries until Renaissance until people were allowed to challenge established opinions. “I may not agree with you but defend will defend to the death your right to say it”.
John Smithson (California)
As a lawyer and then entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, I've followed Elon Musk's career since I first heard of him when he sold Zip2 to Compaq in 1999. I'm not a fan of Elon Musk -- in fact, I'm an antifan. But he earned his money and has demonstrated a tolerance for risk and a genius that few people have. Maybe Steve Jobs is the closest person in terms of style. With cars in particular, I can tell you that Tesla would have gone nowhere without Elon Musk in the driver's seat. I've been working on electric and autonomous cars since 2002, and that has given me a front seat to watch Elon Musk in action. Again, I don't admire him as a person, but he is the reason why electric cars have come so far so fast. Nobody else. It is true that Elon Musk had his JB Straubel just like Steve Jobs had his Steve Wozniak and Jon Ive. That doesn't take away from his genius. And intellectual property has nothing to do with the success of a high-tech startup. Business is all about products and markets, not ideas
Sven Svensson (Grebbestad)
@John Smithson Why do you feel the need to let us know how much you don't like him?
John Smithson (California)
@Sven Svensson Because my dislike for Elon Musk makes, I think, my opinion that he is a genius who has tremendous talent more weighty.
Thanks for nothing allowing DT back on Twitter. If I didn't like the platform before, now I'm definitely staying away. What's your next plan? Giving pyromaniacs free gasoline? You're not a "free speech absolutist." Didn't you refuse to sell a Tesla to someone who criticized the car? You concoct high-sounding phrases about yourself, but you're really no different than anyone else in disliking those who do not wholeheartedly endorse your actions.
PN (Maine)
I cancelled my account the moment he first purchased it months ago. Musk is not a nice guy.
Plubius (Annandale, VA)
I never had an account with Twitter and now I am sure I never will!
Sabo (Newton)
I don’t have Twitter or Instagram and have also set websites like the NYT, CNN to not receive notifications. I have managed to lead a happy, contented and successful life without the constant interruptions. I suggest you try it.
Randy Watson (Atlanta)
@Sabo Well said, Sabo. Social Media is a useless echo chamber.
John Smithson (California)
@Sabo. This comment section is as much social media as Twitter. And just as heavily moderated.
Susannah Allanic (France)
I made an account on Twitter way way back when and closed it after reading it for 3 hours. That is my testing time for any form of social media. That is because of myself after realizing that after 3 hours I become aggressive to bullies making me some sort of bully too. Second, Musk is a bully. Whether he has an outrageous IQ or not, he is way out there in space. Following him and his activity for a while I realized his is unlike the vultures circling in the sky. Not the smartest of birds but always in for feed. Since that time I've shut Musk and anything he is invested in out of my life and my life has been better for it.
JD Gold (Brooklyn)
“He will destroy Twitter” - here’s hoping! Why we needed an online equivalent of millions of random people yelling fatuous nonsense out their windows all at once always escaped me. Maybe all the screen heads and scroll addicts will finally look up for a moment if they really lose interest in these handheld slot machines.
Andrew (KY)
Some censorship should still occur -" can't be a free-for-all". Maybe just censorship he agrees with. I hope Twitter doesn't turn into Fox News.
jaygee (philly)
@Andrew It won't turn into Fox News. It will be worse than Fox News.
Peter (Albany. NY)
@Andrew But you were fine with it being MSNBC ?
alocksley (NYC)
Lots of complaining here from Twitter users (I'm not one BTW). Isn't Twitter the product of its users? Surely someone must be clicking on the ads or the advertisers would pull them. Surely salacious stories attract views and that's not new: tabloid newspapers and magazines have been at it for years. Musk is free to do what he wants with Twitter and you are free to unsubscribe. But you wont. You know you wont. You'd much rather complain about it than do something about it, even when doing something about it is so simple. So either log off Twitter or stop complaining.
jaygee (philly)
@alocksley If you haven't seen the multiple posts by people saying that don't or won't use Twitter, you're obviously missing something. I don't think I've seen one post where someone admits to being a Twitter user.
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
You do realize this could be a military takeover of a national democratic function, don't you? The communications are always the first to go.
Jax (Providence)
Only if you consider Twitter “communicaty”. I got rid of it in 2015. And hardly used it the short time I had it. I communicate just fine - oh, and I’m a journalist.
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
@DJS Your opinion is a misconception of Democrats. We fight for free speech. We also jail criminals.
Neil (VA)
Nitpick on the phrase “uncertain outcome” at trial. The trial did not present an “uncertain outcome” for either Musk or Twitter. It was a legal certainty that Musk was on the hook to purchase Twitter. While there was marginal uncertainty about the remedy, there was never a question that Musk would lose at trial - his legal arguments were frivolous and the Chancellor’s preliminary rulings made clear that she would accept none of them.
Hope (Pittsburgh, PA)
Free speech? What exactly does that mean? It seems lying, propaganda, bullying, misinformed opinions are all part of the mix. And it seems the algorithms that feed humanity’s worsening capacity for civility run rampant like an infection in that platform for “free speech”. One self absorbed, sickeningly rich person in control of this platform sounds like a big mistake for our global community.
dca (CT)
So, the big question here is what type of company is this going to be, disinformation or scientific method-based. With all those dedicated hours to making space travel real and possible. my guess is not disinformation to support typical corporate 'greeding'. -dca
Richard (New York)
1984 lexicon for the new century: free speech = speech with which I agree; hate speech = speech with which I disagree; democracy = my preferred candidate wins the election; fascism = my preferred candidate loses the election.
GW (New York)
I see lots of My Pillow ads in twitter’s future.
Johnny G (Indiana)
Sounds like a great way to to make your other business ventures grow more.
rich (hutchinson isl. fl)
Time to switch. Musk's new toy is is now a danger to democracy everywhere. Boycott Twitter now.
Steve S (Denver, CO)
Now, dump about 5,000 of the 7,500 employees and finally focus on making the service better. There’s a lot drama in these comments. Terrible.
MJXS (Springfield, VA)
So now Murdoch, Bezos and Musk control what 90% of what people see and hear? Three Bond villians?
M (US of A)
Spending $40 billion for a company worth less than $20 billion…..brilliant.
Plato (CT)
Musk bought Twitter to indulge in trips of egoistic fancy and to benefit from the chaos he can create. We can ignore Twitter and buy back our sanity. How we react to this mess is really up to us. We don't need to bemoan that there is a big messy gutter in front of our homes and that we are all going to fall into it. We can build a ring fence around it or simply close it up.
Sara G2 (NYC)
I wish I had a Twitter account so I could delete it, like so many of you here have done.
It’s a Mad Mad World (Florida)
@Sara G2 You can’t delete it, only deactivate it. Twitter still has all.
Sara G2 (NYC)
@It’s a Mad Mad World: I did not know that! So that means they can count a "deactivated" account as a user to inflate their numbers?
DanielMarcMD (Virginia)
Now there will be something to balance the hypocritical left mainstream media that does the exact type of reporting that the liberals are accusing the new Twitter of doing.
gwholmes (Pennsylvania)
@DanielMarcMD I thought that was what Truth Social and Fox news was for.
P McGrath (USA)
Oh no, free speech at Twitter. What's next, cats and dogs living together?
c (Pennsyltucky)
@P McGrath "free speech* is a canard, a talking point to get people on the right who don't understand who the first amendment applies to whipped into a frenzy. Musk is doing this for his ego.
Jack Ross (Chicago)
Just another reason why I don't subscribe to Twitter. For me, this has no social redeeming qualities. But than again, do any of these social media websites really have anything to offer to the public other than through my observation, they do attract the eye to that contraption called a smart phone? Which in itself is a contradiction.
Rose Farm (DC)
What is an “everything app”? Isn’t the point of an app to do one or two things really well?
Gordy Thomas (Vietnam)
Why so much angst about it. He's just a Twit. (his word; not mine)
Chris (USA)
Goof for him...and us. Musk saw a major source of news and commentary veering into left-of-center political correctness, and he had the nerve and resources to do something about it. One person's "toxic content and misinformation" is another person's opinion. It's messy, sometimes ugly. It's supposed to be.
Jerry (NY)
This is great news for Americans. Now let's see if the liberals really like free speech rather than just the flavor they approve of.
buddhaboy (NYC)
@Jerry Gee Jerry, why not ask Ron DeSantis how much he likes free speech. Just one more reason to not be on twitter as it becomes a platform for the intellectually challenged and every dimwit with a phone who is convinced the earth is flat and Pelosi eats babies. It's all yours.
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
Democrats and fellow intellectuals; This is a gift to us. Musk doesn't know the Twitter Business as much as he thinks. He fired those who do, the CEO and the CFO. That means they were loyal leaders of Twitter. They know the business. Perhaps they can't go to work for others due to agreements, but they can write a book and sell a copy for a few million dollars to an investor group to start up another business, with more character length, to compete with twitter. Either way, I'd snatch up those fired leaders. If Musk fired them it means they were good loyal employees he fears. Hire those guys or quickly aid them to write that multi-million dollar business book.
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
I'm an admirer of Democrats who may not pander to churches but they serve the Interests of Jesus while Republicans take from the poor and deceive the churches for votes and appearances. I'm "Going Out For Business", the honest ones.
A very sad day for truth and faxts. I shudder to think about what America will be like in the future.
Neil (Scotland, U.K.)
I think it will be a good thing as long as the loonies on the left don’t try to “ Wokify” the platform further
Edward Beazley (New Smyrna Beach Florida)
Twitter is a website. You can buy a website from GoDaddy for $16.99. This is the problem, Musk buying twitter turns twitter into Myspace.
JC (Pennsylvania)
Social media has mostly had a negative and destructive impact on society. It rarely serves a good purpose and politicians should be banned from all forms of social media. In many ways the use of social media is leading us to a world where normal people don't even enter politics and you have celebrities or people wanting to push extreme personal agenda's (without proper qualifications) running and turning politics (and America) into a circus. The number one thing is for parents these days is to not allow kids and preteens access to social media, take responsibility for what kids today are exposed to and limit screen time. Many adults have abandoned the likes of Facebook and Twitter and in the process regained dignity and productivity.
Mike (CO)
What exactly are the qualifications for pushing a personal agenda?
Alan R Brock (Richmond VA)
You paid $44 billion for what?
Belgian Chocolate With Almonds (Kansas City)
Timing. If TFG and the rest of the violent-haranguing mob is allowed back to Twitter a couple of weeks prior to the election, we will know there’s nothing “centrist”nor “independent” about Musk. This would be the action of a right wing extremist and Twitter would become one more cesspool of fascism like “Truth”? Social, Telegram, etc. In which case Musk can say goodbye to his 44 Bn -and we can all rejoice.
c (Pennsyltucky)
@Belgian Chocolate With Almonds trump invested a lot of money in his failing truth social. If he comes back to Twitter he's essentially saying he failed in that business venture. I'm not so certain trump or his loyal minions will come back to Twitter until truth social is buried 6 feet underground.
Sara (PA)
@Belgian Chocolate With Almonds - It's hard to imagine TFG would deign to tweet again for some time. He's probably been composing just the right tweet but really... I'll wait to see the front-page photo and story about it here.
Ray R. (Altamonte Springs)
Birth of the new Twitter - a place where you make your delusions, misinformation and conspiracy theories more public than before.
Calico (VA)
Well, today I tweeted to my small number of followers that I would be closing my Twitter account. Wanted to give them a heads up before my account vanishes.
AACNY (New York)
This comments section is like a case study in cancel culture. NYT readers are canceling their Twitter accounts because they cannot tolerate the idea that Elon Musk will allow Twitter to air viewpoints they believe to wrong, dangerous, etc. Fascinating to watch the canceling in real time.
Pistolpete (Philadelphia)
"Only I can fix it". Sound familiar?
FxQ (Cincinnati)
Twitter is a mosh pit of free speech. Don't enter it if you can't handle it and don't want to get your feelings bruised. But that is exactly what free speech is all about. For those that want it to be a "safe space" and will censor, clutch their pearls and stoop to wrapping themselves in our so-called "democracy" to accomplish that, well, that's not going to happen so let that sink in.
Sweetbay (Gainesville, VA)
@FxQ Who said "safe space"?
Toni (Europe)
A rich sociopath buys himself a very dangerous toy that he’ll likely use to wage war against democracy. In the process he exposed himself as both a bully and a fool. His fans admire him as a bully and don’t care about his being a fool. We must hope that our gullible press takes notice and learns from the episode but I won’t hold my breath.
Melissa (Massachusetts)
@Toni This reminds me of all of the Batman villains!
Semi-retired in Florida (Miami, FL)
A very important fact is no unclear....What exactly will be the new revenue model ? Just saying changing from adverts to subscribers is unclear and lacking disclosure. But I guess as a private company the public will never know. Also, another question is, how will this acquisition divert Musk's energies and money from Tesla. Notwithstanding, he is innovative and a leader, who clearly knows how to make change. In any event, I hope this acquisition is accretive and makes sense for all.
Marc Panaye (Belgium)
44 billion wasted on tweeter. Great job Musk!!!! Thanks for saving the planet Elon!!!!
Kate (Paris)
America knows how to breed monsters. We are cooked worldwide. I wonder if we will be done first by climate disaster.
Bonner (NYC)
Elon should stay in his lane
Arman (Richmond, CA)
Terminated!! Those 4 top Twitter Executives got what they all deserve. Good riddance to bad rubbish. I bet these incompetent individuals profited from this purchase by Musk.
Sweetbay (Gainesville, VA)
@Arman: Of course "they profited". You call them incompetent (based on what?) and here we go, the mid-slinging. Have fun. Wallow at your own risk.
Diamond Joe (New England)
He’s the richest man in the world, but at heart he is just another Twitter troll. Glad I deleted my account years ago.
Victorious Yankee (The Superior North)
Now is the winter of our discontent Made glorious summer by the uninstalling of Twitter; And all the clouds that lour'd upon our house In the deep bosom of the ocean buried. Twitter uninstalled. Done and done.
Compos Mentis (Little Pike)
Isn’t Musk needed on Mars?
rrb (Chapel Hill NC)
@Compos Mentis Thank you so much for your comment, Compos Mentis! You gave the breakfast crowd a good laugh.
Victorious Yankee (The Superior North)
@Compos Mentis, Musk isn't stupid enough to crawl inside one of his own rockets. Musk rockets have a tendency to explode.
Sweetbay (Gainesville, VA)
@Compos Mentis: Indeed. Oh Mr. Musk, it's London Calling!
ana (california)
Not to mention (U.S.A.)
Amazing Amen
Stephanie Wood (Bloomfield NJ)
Why is this clown allowed to own anything? He's going to become like Trump, destroying whatever he touches. And Tesla is supported by taxes, then he complains when we ask him to pay his. I see no redeeming features in this whining egotist. A total waste of space.
Molly (Mali)
Also eagerly anticipating meta’s demise! So much for Section 230 aka “the internet decency act” (US Code, Title 47)… these narcissist psycho/sociopaths gotta go now!! And my oh my, how relatively benign and innocuous MySpace was… gone is our innocence (and privacy….). All the ills, animosity, hatred and worse all amplified on (anti) social media… quick! Someone pull the plug!
JC (Montreal)
Personally I think all politicians should be banned from Twitter forever because they all use it for their own personal gain, not for the benefit of society, least of all when they blather on incessantly about falsehoods and prejudices. Right wing freaks crying about "repression" are correct. We're all sick of your rude loud mouthed nonsense.
EPPH (New Jersey)
Was Twitter ever meant to benefit society?
JimInNy (NY)
Vive la revolution
Patrick Shull (PA)
Nothing good is going to come of this>
Janet (Planet earth)
It’s past time to delete your Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Victorious Yankee (The Superior North)
@Janet, Done and done.
Khaablaab (Ny)
@Janet Understand your concerns but isnt thats what the rebble rousers want? An unrestrected platform where everyone will hear one side? Noone to challenge their mainly hateful views? A worldwide room of devotees? Instead of rooms in the darkweb with antisocietal hate, a popular and public platform that they want to change into a dark version? Democracy needs to be there to provide a contrasting POV. One persons opinion isnt an opinion at all. Its an autocracy. POssible to be complicit it it, by inaction.
Delete (PA)
I deleted Twitter and Instagram a year ago. My company still grew. Imagine that.
SeaBeeUK (London, UK)
Of course he fired them. Now owners like to have their own people running the show. It will be good to see them drive Twitter into the dirt.
Gerry (Devon UK)
With Musk in charge and he now inviting Trump back then you have to wonder where Twitter will go now, for sure with Trump bellowing and Musk also throwing in his opinions on what the World should do next instead of looking forward to Father Christmas zooming along in his sledge over the frosty clouds we will probably find him replaced by Trump and Musk flying side by side Good God !
Rob (Canada)
Why not charge a membership fee? Advertisingshould not be necessary.
alocksley (NYC)
@Rob Millenials and genZers expect everything to be free.
Red Lion (Europe)
I have no personal Twitter account, although I am responsible for one in the name of a tiny non-profit group with which I work. The non-profit's presence there has been useful in helping to raise awareness of our projects, but we have avoided participating in political threads. I've thought of setting up a personal account, less to argue politics (I have enough places to do that), but to publicise projects of my own which are outside of the non-profit and to engage with others involved in similar things. Now that Twitter is Musk-y, I think I'll wait and / or seek out a different and as-yet-unpurchased-by-a-narcissistic billionaire platform. And, yes, I know 'narcissistic billionaire' is a tautology.
tro -nyc (NYC)
so, job one, let's gets some clarity on the actual number of users after deleting the spam accounts! oh, wait, privately held, no need for transparency.
Madge (NE)
I have to admit I find this Musk/Twitter thing bewildering. All I see is a guy who likes power and attention and has the money to generate both. He’s like Trump in the way he operates, maybe a little bit smarter. But essentially just trading on media attention and shilling for more. It’s no healthier in business than it is in politics.
CFXK (Alexandria, VA)
Twitter is composed wholly of hot air - empty hot air blown around cyberspace 24 hours by its legions of enablers. It is a sign of our deep cultural and societal sickness that we give this purveyor of hot air such power and influence. But it could all end instantly - right this very minute - if everyone just stopped tweeting. Right now. It would be over. Curing this cancer is that simple. And then we could turn to ending the pile of hot air that is Meta. Instantly. Just by stopping. Another cancer cured. What a far better world we would have. Nearly instantly.
HdA_Cal (Rio de Janeiro)
This is the end of democracy. No one will stop Trump and the likes of him now.
Geneva 9 (Salem)
Elon has already walked back some of his promises as he doesn’t want to lose advertisers.
Sweetbay (Gainesville, VA)
@HdA_Cal: Hoping he's lost his force (TFG). He may rise, and enable the inevitable mid-term results for which he will take credit, but the excitement will quell. Many are sick and tired of this drivel.
Chris (MA)
There were rumors about firing 75% of the twitter employees. The world would be a better place if 100% were fired and the doors to twitter were shuttered forever. These people should find jobs doing work which is useful to society, not destroying society. There are plenty of companies hiring good workers.
Geneva 9 (Salem)
Twitter doesn’t destroy society! Goodness. People share a lot of decent, informed comments, talk about books, movies and art. It’s a great way to get an audience for meaningful things.
c (Pennsyltucky)
Now Musk has found a way to keep himself in the news on a daily basis. Mission accomplished! For a famous workaholic who expects the same from others, he'll have to find a way now to run many billion dollar companies. I struggle to see how he'll do that without cutting corners somewhere.
John Ranta (New Hampshire)
I expect that many will abandon Twitter, given Musk’s politics and bias. It will become another right-wing echo chamber, worth much less than it is today. Which is fitting.
Londoner (London)
In the last paragraph of the article, more or less contradicting all that has gone before, Musk is quoted as saying, “Twitter obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences.” It's going to be an interesting experiment. There are clearly classes of misinformation where laws have not been carrying the heavy load in policing free speech. Instead, social media platforms have maintained a common front in saying that they will police themselves and "please don't make us publishers liable for the consequences of what our contributors say." A deliberately crafted loophole (Section 230) is in force stating that internet platform providers are not publishers. It might no longer be deemed acceptable. How will lawmakers respond? Is it too late to fix past mistakes?
Sweetbay (Gainesville, VA)
@Londoner: Yeah, he's hoping that little tidbit gets missed; or that it's meant in a sardonic way (the "hells cape") comment, or, that some will read that, believe it, and go on glibly following knowing that Musk has spoken the "truth", from which they will find comfort. I find this to be the definition of Nihilism.
PhillyExPat (Bronx)
I just uninstalled from my phone. Which is fine, I was getting a little addicted anyway
Martin Steinmetz (Germany)
New methods to annoy Elon Musk: Finish every tweet with negative comments, cursing his company. If billions do it this narcissist guy will learn a lot.
Marie (BOSTON)
I can't help but see Elon Musk as the embodiment of a Bond villain. A single man who has more money than some countries and is a country unto himself doing as he pleases in the world.
Si Seulement Voltaire (France)
@Marie He has more money because he had better ideas, more stamina to find groundbreaking solutions despite many devastating setbacks and losses working day and night with the best in every field towards totally innovative solutions. That make the "average" folks feel their difference. Some can deal with the realities of our differences and admire special talents, others can only attack the brighter, more successful folks for their own reasons.
@Si Seulement Voltaire I thought it was because he had a massive trust fund and stole other’s ideas and claimed credit for products already created.
Marie (BOSTON)
@Si Seulement Voltaire What you call an attack I write as a warning. I don't automatically ascribe qualities of intelligence and benevolence to wealth and power. You may not believe, it doesn't matter, but I've met some of the most wealthiest and creative world changers in technology. Was part of the computer revolution. Many in business have to follow my words and ideas. So my opinion of Musk is because of those experiences, not in spite of them.
Den (Palm Beach)
Remember Jack Welch. When he becomes CEO of GE he was called neutron Jack. Although he was praised for the initial growth of GE it turned out that what he actually accomplished at GE caused its current demise. Will Musks policies actually cause the demise of Twitter? If Trump were allowed to have access to the site my company would stop advertising on the site. I am sure I am not the only person who would in control of corporation would do so. Time will tell.
Mark Crozier (Johannesburg)
Interesting times ahead. I confess to being addicted to Twitter and its concerning that Musk is now running things with absolutely no-one who can tell him otherwise. That said, he paid $44bn for it so I would assume he doesn't want to completely wreck his expensive new toy. It remains to be seen if he can make it work. If he's wise he'll move gradually but that doesn't seem likely. Who really knows with this character?
MainLaw (Maine)
We need a federal statute subjecting large privately owned corporations to the same regulatory requirements as publicly owned corporations.
Si Seulement Voltaire (France)
@MainLaw Too bad that most of the authoritarian "socialist" (government controlled) countries have found their freedoms... One might ask why centralised, bureaucratic control always loses in the end. Humans are not usually willing robots.
Stephanie Wood (Bloomfield NJ)
Canada, with strict regulation, was one of very few countries that weathered the 2008 meltdown without any adverse consequences. By the way "regulate trade" is a duty of the US government in the Constitution, so deregulation is unconstitutional.
Mark Cutler (Cranston, RI)
No one should be this rich and have this much power. Look at what’s happened and watch what happens. Lordy…
Rickie Webb (Tennessee)
@Mark Cutler Musk received almost 5 billion dollars in federal subsidies for his companies and is wanting more for Space X. However, now Musk doesn't support federal subsidies, except for himself. Really? He used those subsidies to build his companies and subsequently, his fortune. America is now, Of the billionaires, for the billionaires and by the billionaires!
Craig M (Ohio)
@Rickie Webb Per Business Insider, they and I guess you consider a contract with NASA and Space X to lift humans into space a "subsidy". They have a list that very closely matches your dollar amount, many of them are contracts to perform a certain service. What I find the strange part is how a certain segment of our population calls a transaction for a service a "subsidy". Does this mean when I buy canned fruit from Dol I am subsidizing their operation or just making an informed purchase?
Stephanie Wood (Bloomfield NJ)
I want my money back.
Rashawn (Atlanta, GA)
Hopefully this means I can now post about Jim Eagle / Jim Crow 2.0 voter suppression. We will not be suppressed among record minority voter turnout here in Georgia.
Jerry (NY)
@Rashawn It appears that you are able to sign up for internet service, and a NY times account and have the tech. savvy to sign up for Twitter by providing them with your expensive Iphone number, but you are unable to obtain a voter ID so now you are "suppressed?" Stop
Rashawn (Atlanta, GA)
@Jerry Huh? Joe Biden and Stacey Abrams as well the CEO of Coca Cola say there is rampant and pervasive voter suppression under our new Jim Crow 2.0 voting laws - that's how! Ignore the minority voter turnout records - these people are being suppressed! Vote Abrams!
CT Resident (CT)
I hope musk will end the ban on Trump Twitter account and end the political repression carried out with the help of a private company like twitter. Some argue that Twitter is a private company and hence can ban people like trump. But the fact is that our government puts sanctions on private companies from overseas if they are aiding their governments in suppressing free speech. Why shouldn’t we apply the same rule for our private sector? Twitter was engaged in suppressing conservative and independent voices. If they don’t change their ways, they should be subjected to economic sanctions as well.
Belgian Chocolate With Almonds (Kansas City)
Twitter has not suppressed conservatives. It has suppressed people who hide under the 1st amendment to spew dangerous lies that affect the lives of millions. And that includes Mr Trump. If he’s allowed back I am certain to delete my accounts and I’m sure millions others will too.
Si Seulement Voltaire (France)
@Belgian Chocolate With Almonds Still not free speech. Of course people can choose to only hear what they want to hear, only see what they want to see, only read what they want to read. This is a free country (in theory these days)
Samuel (Brooklyn)
@CT Resident Donald Trump's speech was not "suppressed". He was free to write a book, produce a television program, publish a newspaper, star in a movie, create his own social media network to compete with Twitter in the Free Market, or even stand on a street corner to scream his message to the masses. Telling someone "you may not use my property to spread your message" is not censorship. If it is, then you're censoring me by not letting me have a Bernie Sanders rally at your house. Because my right to spread my message is unlimited and I'm entitled to use other people's property to do so, right? Why are you trying to suppress my speech in that way?
C M E (Springfield, MO)
I’ve long had a love-hate relationship with Twitter. But I get timely news from it, hear from experts found there, and find marginalized voices I don’t find elsewhere. But I hated when the former president was bellowing there. I didn’t follow him but everyone retweeted him or talked about his tweets. And he used a tweet to incite harm against the former Vice President. So if he comes back, I’m out. Instagram is pretty good; I can use it more.
Si Seulement Voltaire (France)
@C M E Isn't freedom of choice and speech great for everyone?
Peter Aterton (Albany)
I found out a way to circumvent linking of social media accounts to specific phone numbers. Now I can have as many social media accounts as I want.
NorthernVirginia (Falls Church, VA)
Never used it; never read it. It is dIfficult to imagine a scenario where I would care about the most up-to-the-moment utterance of anybody. It is my impression that Twitter is like Junior High School students passing scandalous notes in class, chattering excitedly about the notes during lunch, and then passing more notes concerning the reaction to the previous notes. A sort of self-reinforcing echo chamber, but with — er — advanced technology. That must do wonders for the productivity of its users.
Stephanie Wood (Bloomfield NJ)
rarely use it - an ex-boss wanted us all to get social media accounts - only read tweets from Ai-jen Poo, and would rather hear from her on another platform.
NickBCN (Barcelona)
@NorthernVirginia If you’ve never used it and never read it, you should really think about how accurate your impressions are.
Leslie (Arlington Va)
@NorthernVirginia Hi! I was wondering who that other person in NOVA was who still was not on Twitter. Nice to finally meet you and continue not to share!
David H (Northern Va.)
It's amazing to read the comments on this development. I thought that we Americans treasured freedom of expression. I heard Samuel Alito the other day telling an interviewer that the "worst speech" was the most important to protect. Justice Louis Brandeis made the same point eloquently in Holmes in Whitney v. California (1927). I recommend his concurrence -- one of the greatest defenses of free speech ever penned. As currently constituted. Twitter is NOT a welcome place for even what used to be regarded as centrist views. I was heartened to see that Mr. Musk fired the Twitter "leadership." The content moderation, bots and other forms of harassment on Twitter have made it useless other than as a megaphone for phony kumbaya. Let's give Mr. Musk a chance. He's trying to do great things for humanity. That's more than I can say for 99.9 percent of homo sapiens.
Leslie (Arlington Va)
@David H Justice Brandeis also said that all men had a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And Justice Alito agreed!
Pat Beulah (Summerland BC)
@David H polluting the skies with his countless satellites doesn't help humanity...his carbon footprint is frightening..
Sweetbay (Gainesville, VA)
@David H: Seriously? Musk is greater than 99.9 percent of Homo sapiens?
Andrew (Isle of Skye)
No one has to be on Twitter and I would suppose a new site will open up for the WOKE crowd. AWOKEN ? In the meantime, I would be quite glad to work as a Moderator for the new Twitter.
abj slant (Akron)
@Andrew "In the meantime, I would be quite glad to work as a Moderator for the new Twitter." I imagine anyone would--it sounds like it would be an easy job. Clock in every day and do nothing.
NickBCN (Barcelona)
@Andrew You’re volunteering to join the Thought Police so you can suppress free speech? I have to admit, that’s not where I thought your comment was going.
BlueIsle in a RedSea (NC)
@Andrew Thanks for an example as to why I do not use the twit. That's in addition to the fact that jumping into a bottomless dark hole would be more productive
Carmela Sanford (Niagara Falls, New York)
This feels like some kind of comic book story about a rich guy trying to be more important than he deserves to be, or needs to be. I’ll compare Mr. Musk to the blustering, meddlesome, wealthy Scrooge McDuck. What he should have be doing with his vast amounts of money is perfecting the troublesome Tesla automobile or making sense of the on-again, off-again multi-million dollar solar panel factory in Buffalo, N.Y. Search for and read the history of that place, which will give you clues as to Musk’s weak capabilities as an everyday boss. It seems he has difficulties focusing on corporate minutia. As with all business takeover stories, there are the typical tales of woe. The people who will suffer the most are the average workers at Twitter HQ in San Francisco. 7,500 people face the loss of their jobs in a very expensive, high-rent city. Regarding Twitter, don’t forget that it’s not reflective of reality. All social media companies are a house of cards, successful only because of the whims of its users. They are starting to lose money, and will continue to lose money. The bubble will burst, and everyone will move on to the next big thing.
Calico (VA)
@Carmela Sanford My take on it is that Musk gets bored with all the details and wants to get off onto the next new thing for him which currently is Twitter. He’ll probably get sick of running it within a year or two especially if he gets called into Congress a few times to testify about the platform the same way Jack Dorsey was called in. And if he lets Twitter become a toxic platform filled with hate speech and people advocating taking up arms and attacking government, it will backfire on his businesses because the far right doesn’t seem particularly interested in electric cars and everyone else who is interested will decide they’d rather buy from one of Tesla’s competitors than buy a Musk company product.
Strand (Brooklyn)
This takeover is welcomed by the 94% of Americans who do not identify as progressives (according to Pew Research progressives make up 6% of the population). And so of course the loss of twitter as the townsquare where all views that do not conform with the progressive agenda are deemed to be in violation of the terms of service or removed based on other baseless excuses, such as the Hunter Biden laptop story right before the 2020 election, is being mourned as the loss that it is for progressives. "Misinformation" that is deemed as such by the progressive establishment aka the Democrat establishment, such as questioning whether Covid vaccines will prevent infection, will no longer be barred, which is the end of an era for those who identify with the agenda and ideology of that establishment. And the only way to ensure this change is to get rid of 75% of Twitter's work force along with its leadership and replace them. This is how Twitter can transform from being the town square of the progressive establishment, which represent 6% of the population, to one where all Americans are welcome to express their views and opinions.
AACNY (New York)
@Strand Twitter's moderators lost sight of the fact that their job wasn't to disrupt, oppose or change viewpoints with which they disagreed but rather to create a profitable business. Imagine the hours they spent regulating speech? Why would anyone want to pay for that?
abj slant (Akron)
@Strand That is an extremely simplified generalization. I would not peg myself as a progressive, so that means by default I fall into your single only other category?
Madge (NE)
@Strand Just curious, what percentage of Americans actually use Twitter? I’m doubtful it’s 94%. I also wonder how many “users” have Twitter accounts they don’t use.
David H (Northern Va.)
Fantastic news! Twitter cannot possibly get any worse, and as far as I can tell any change in ownership can only improve the platform. Elon Musk's recent statements on Ukraine and Taiwan tell me that he has a realistic appreciation for geopolitics and it is conceivable that Twitter might actually be of some use in educating the American and broader public.
The Constitution Matters (missouri)
@David H Musk's comments on Ukraine/Taiwan are exactly what Putin/Xi wanted... ordered right up on a menu! Silver platter and all. You, too, I've noticed, always approve of ceding territory to totalitarian regimes. White flag up the flagpole; without even a whiff of an attempt at a defense of democracy... slipper-slope appeasement and all, be damned. How coincidental.... Given that there's a neat 1-to-1 overlap between your wishlist and Putin/Xi's.... I have to ask (for a friend).... You don't happen to work for either of them, do you? It's just so oddly coincidental.
Animales Espirituales (Fantasyland)
How do you know he has pure intentions? Because he said so?
Arizona slim (Queens)
@David H God help us. An American profit driven corporation led by a leader dedicated to chaos as the decisive voice concerning anything would be a hellish nightmare,
andy (east coast)
"Republicans, who have argued that Twitter censored conservative viewpoints. Researchers have said Twitter’s rules have been essential to countering online hate speech and disinformation" At least its good to see that researchers and Republicans agree!
Rose Farm (DC)
Just what we need: more speech for the richest guy in the world. It’s high time Congress made social media companies accountable for content.
David H (Northern Va.)
@Rose Farm What we need is more speech from the political center -- which is currently disallowed on Twitter. I may even set up an account there.
TexMex (On The Border)
While it does serve Musk, he could muster a megaphone much less expensively without investing $44 billion. The upshot is the re-opening to the liars and conspiracy crowing crowd.
Sweetbay (Gainesville, VA)
@David H: When I hear this, I'd like examples of what, exactly, has been "dis-allowed".
Liv (Dallas)
I’m really sad as, while dealing daily with the many misfortunes I have in my family, Twitter was a bit of brain excitement every night and now I’m leaving it. I’ll miss the people I’ve virtually gotten to know, who have brought so many new information and perspectives to my life, but I simply cannot support anything despotic. Goodbye, dear Twitter.
Thomas (Europe)
@Liv A brain excitement, really? Have you really ever found anything relevant on Twitter?
See also