Elon Musk Joins Twitter Board

Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, approached Twitter’s chief executive Parag Agarwal a few weeks ago with a friendly head-up. He was buying shares of a social media company, Mr. Musk said, and wanted to discuss how to make Twitter better.

Mr. Musk had ideas for reshaping social networks that Mr. Agarwal and Jack Dorsey, co-founders of Twitter, according to their public exchange. The trio have come up with the idea of ​​using technology approaches to radically transfer the power of social networking to users and stay away from behemoth companies, giving people control over what they see in their social media feeds.

In the coming weeks, Mr. Agarwal discussed with Shri. Musk becomes a more active participant in the future of Twitter, according to two people with knowledge of the conversation who were not authorized to speak in public. Mr. Agarwal also welcomed Shri. Musk – who has more than 80 million Twitter followers and sometimes tweets a dozen or more times a day – joins the company’s board, one person said.

On Tuesday, Twitter announced that Mr. Musk, 50, will be appointed to its 11-member board for a term ending in 2024. It follows a revelation on Monday that Mr. Musk had a 9.2 percent stake in Twitter, making it its largest shareholder. Mr. According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Musk has agreed not to own more than 14.9 percent of Twitter’s stock or to acquire the San Francisco-based company.

Mr. Agarwal Tweeted on Tuesday,

Adding one of Twitter’s most powerful users to its board has implications for the social network where world leaders, legislators, celebrities and over 217 million users manage their daily public speeches. Unlike some other members of the Twitter board, Mr. Musk did not sign an agreement that prohibited him from influencing the company’s policies. He may allow her to work with Mr. Agarwal on “Future Vision for Decentralized” Social Networking.

It challenges the way vision is built. With the supervision and input of coders from around the world, key technologies will be made public and transparent. Users can then customize their social media feeds and establish their own rules about what kind of speech is acceptable. It is very different from how social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are set up now, companies decide which posts can continue and what should be removed.

Plan Jibs with Mr. Musk, Mr. Dorsey and Mr. Beliefs in Agarwal’s persistent free speech. Mr. Musk has criticized Twitter for moderating its platform in a very restrictive way and said more speech should be allowed. Mr. Dorsey, too, met with former President Donald J. last year. He spoke in support of the US Alliance, but said that maintaining some independence was important for Trump. Mr. Agarwal said that public discourse provides inherent good for the society.

Their position in the global debate on free speech online has become increasingly outlier, as more and more people are questioning whether excessive free speech enables the spread of misinformation and divisive content.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Mr. Musk, who heads Tesla and SpaceX, said he “hopes to make significant improvements to Twitter in the coming months.” He did not provide details and did not respond to a request for comment. Mr. Agarwal and Shri. Dorsey also did not respond to requests for comment.

A Twitter host said Mr. Musk would not have had a hand in policy-making at the company. He said day-to-day policy decisions would still be made by Twitter employees, and the company would be impartial in developing and enforcing its rules.

Mr. Musk can bring unrest on Twitter. He has long used the service as a jailbreak, trolled Tesla’s short sellers and insulted critics. He has also spread misinformation about the epidemic. He thought about privatizing Tesla in a tweet in 2018 and unequivocally claimed that he had secured funds for the transaction, for which he was fined $ 40 million by the SEC.

His appointment to Twitter’s board was celebrated on Tuesday by some Republicans, who accused the company of political bias and censoring right-wing voices. “Musk. Free speech” Representative Jim Jordan saidRepublicans of Ohio.

(Democrats, who are confused with Mr. Musk’s party’s proposed wealth tax online, were not speaking out.)

David Kaye, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine, who had previously worked with the United Nations on speech issues, warned that Mr. Musk’s vision for free speech may conflict with Twitter’s policies aimed at managing conversations around the world.

“The risk is that his personal and personal business preferences, which are sometimes diverse, are going to influence the rule-making and implementation in a way that is inappropriate for the company, which, in his words, is a version of the public square,” he said.

Twitter’s move toward a “decentralized” social network has angered some of its top leaders over how the platform has become a mediator on how online speech is allowed and what is not. When Twitter users exercise some control over their social media feeds – such as by selecting the people they follow – the service’s algorithm selects which posts are viewed at the top of their feeds and the company can determine if the posts are infringed. Whether or not to ban accounts based on what has happened. Its policies.

Mr. Dorsey, who resigned as Twitter’s chief executive in November, said users should have more control over what posts they view so they can choose their own moderation. Last week, he lamented in a tweet that the centralization of the Internet by corporations has damaged the web.

“I realize I’m partly to blame, and I’m sorry,” he wrote.

In 2019, Mr. Dorsey financed a project called Bluesky, an attempt to develop a new infrastructure for social media that would give users control over their data, curate top tweets with their own algorithms and allow them to move their data to other platforms.

Mr. Dorsey testified in Congress in 2020, calling the concept “an exciting, market-driven approach where people can choose which algorithms filter their content so they get the experience they want.”

At the same time, Mr. Kasturi has used technology to control decentralization. In 2015, along with Silicon Valley entrepreneur Sam Oltman and others, Mr. Musk set up an artificial intelligence lab called OpenAI and said the company would openly share its research with the world. Mr. Musk later split from the company.

It is unclear whether decentralized Twitter can come together. It may take years to emerge as it will involve a complex process of upgrading the entire platform.

By March 14, Shri. Musk, which has a networth of $ 270 billion-plus, accumulated more than 5 percent stake in Twitter, according to the company’s filing. After that, he started giving free speeches on his further thoughts and service about Twitter, in which Mr. Dorsey.

“The Twitter algorithm should be open source,” Mr. Musk Tweeted On March 24, Twitter’s algorithm asked its followers to vote “yes” or “no” to the idea of ​​powering a code that is publicly available. Such “open” algorithms can give people more options to customize their feeds as they wish and to prioritize different types of content.

Mr. Dorsey immediately agreed. “The choice of which algorithm to use (or not) should be open to everyone,” he said Tweeted In response.

Ongoing March 25, Mr. Musk asks his followers if Twitter has failed to adhere to free speech principles. “Functional democracy requires independent speech. Do you think Twitter adheres to this principle?” He asked.

One day later, after feedback from over two million users, Mr. Musk wrote“Given that Twitter actually serves as a public town square, the failure to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy.”

“Need a new platform?” He added.

On Monday, in his first tweet since his stake was announced, Mr. Musk posted another Twitter poll asking people if they wanted to be able to edit tweets, a feature that many have requested in vain.

Mr. Agarwal jumped, Tweeting“The results of this poll will be important. Please vote carefully. “Company later Said He has been working on the Edit feature since last year and will be testing it soon.

Mr. Dorsey said Tuesday that Mr. Musk’s appointment to Twitter’s board was official. Development made it “Really happy“He tweeted.

Cad Metz Contribution Report.

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