Elon Musk knows what he’s doing at Twitter, and it’s making activist journalists panic.
Last week, he announced plans to create a new social media company called Twitter Labs. According to the company’s terms, it reserves the right to use whatever methods it chooses to “increase its ability to offer more opportunities for third party partners to experiment with the platform.”
In other words, Musk and his team of engineers have complete creative control over the company, and they could use it to build a very disturbing social network.
In an email to Business Insider, SpaceX board member and longtime Musk friend Jim Bridenstine called Twitter’s announcement “terrifying.” In the same email, he noted that if Twitter did choose to build a platform that “could be used by bad actors to do anything they wanted, it would have huge implications for society.”
If Twitter did chose to build a platform that “could be used by bad actors to do anything they wanted, it would have huge implications for society.” — Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) April 10, 2017
Since then, there’s been confusion about whether Twitter really is going to build the social network and how it will do it, while Musk has taken to Twitter to explain things. His goal, he said in a series of tweets late Monday night, is to “start a conversation” about what kind of platform they would build.
Now it seems Musk’s goal might be a bit more radical than that. If Twitter’s board follows through with his request, it could spark a global social media uprising that would change how the internet works.
It might also change the world.
If Twitter did choose to build a platform that “could be used by bad actors to do anything they wanted, it would have huge implications for society.” — Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) April 10, 2017
Twitter’s current terms of service allow it to suspend accounts for a variety of reasons, including “accounts the Company chooses to suspend will be reinstated when the account owner opts in.” That’s hardly the same as shutting down the entire account, but it means that if Twitter does decide to shut down the account, the account owner can appeal the decision.
Musk said the same thing two weeks ago (which would