Seven Suggestions on How Elon Musk Should Manage Twitter

In the end, money spoke. After a tumultuous and bitter courtship period, Twitter announced on Monday that it had dealt a blow to $44 billion deal for enigmatic billionaire Elon Musk to buy the popular microblogging company.

“I hope even my worst critics stay on Twitter because that’s what freedom of speech is all about.” tweeted Musk also promised to add “new features, make algorithms open to increase trust, defeat spam bots, and authenticate all people.”

As Twitter moves towards private ownership, here are seven third-party opinions on how a billionaire should serve as an advocate for free speech rights and security concerns for its millions of users.

David Kaye, director of the International Justice Clinic and co-director of the Center for Fair Elections and Free Speech at the University of California, Irvine Law School

“I would love it if Elon Musk did two things. First, he needs to emphasize the transparency of his criticism by giving Twitter more exposure about how it makes and enforces the rules. Second, he should abandon his narrow school version of free speech, in which the only thing he says matters, in favor of one that understands the unique public role that Twitter plays not only for high-profile speakers, but also for marginalized groups. and for the audience. It should think of Twitter not as a public square, but as a public broadcaster and strengthen Twitter’s contribution to the public interest. Strengthen our commitment to human rights standards, as well as he tweets he loves humanity. If he is the owner, he must step down from the role of managing it – let others make decisions based on human rights standards, the only ones that make sense for a global platform, otherwise he will soon find that every decision made will reinforce the feeling that he is superior. arbiter of speech on the Internet. And that will be bad for him in the long run, bad for Twitter, and bad for public debate.”

Eugene Woloch, Professor of First Amendment Law at UCLA

“I think Twitter should generally view its role as a phone company or an email system: to provide ways for people to communicate with other people (especially when they are actively looking for such conversations) without controlling what people say. We wouldn’t want the phone company to cut off the phone lines that a political group uses to communicate with the public, even if the phone company thinks the group is spreading lies or bad ideas – same for Twitter and @RealDonaldTrump, I think, or Twitter and Babylon Bee named the transgender admiral “Person of the Year” after Time named the admiral “Woman of the Year”.

Danny Spitzberg, Lead Researcher at Turning Basin Labs, Contributor goodtwitter.comorganizer with #BuyTwitter

“We have seen the reactionary right say that [Twitter co-founder and former Chief Executive] Jack Dorsey censored the truth and needed to be held accountable. You also had Valerie Plame, who wanted to buy twitter, dump Trump and avoid nuclear war in the name of democracy. But none of those examples were accountability or democracy – it’s when some higher power serves your purposes, if the interests coincide for a moment. What you think you want from a strong man won’t happen. You lack an average level of deliberative ability. There are many experiments we can do right now. Borrow some time-tested models, simple but not included in the human imagination – like some kind of council or jury. If you’re trying to build real trust and security on a platform, one of the industry standards is that everyone is a stalker. So the logical approach is to weigh heavily the contributions of people who are typical targets of harassment and hate speech. Let them be the ones designing new code of conduct, terms or services. ”

Robbie Soave, Senior Editor Cause

“Elon Musk’s best solution would be to hand over content control to individual users. Many on the right are frustrated by Twitter’s inconsistently enforced rules, whether enforced by algorithms or company employees; many progressives, on the other hand, fear that weak moderation will lead to more misinformation or harassment. The least polarizing way forward is to give users more control over their feeds. If you have a low tolerance for trouble, you should be able to turn on a setting that protects you from the worst that can come to the platform. If you prefer the Wild West, there should be a setting for you too.”

Ellen L. Weintraub, Commissioner of the US Federal Election Commission

“One of Twitter’s missions in supporting democracy is to prevent the spread of disinformation like wildfire. And content moderation is not the only way to slow down the spread of misinformation. A forest fire needs not only a spark to start a fire, but also a wind to fan the flame. On Twitter, algorithms are a breeze. Musk says he wants to open Twitter’s algorithms. But the effects of algorithms do not depend on whether you can find their source code on Github. This is how they are set up. For now, social media algorithms “exploit the basic human compulsion to respond to outrageous material,” as I wrote. in the Georgetown Legal Technology Review 2020.. These algorithms are business practice; they are not a matter of free speech. Musk should take Twitter back to its roots with a chronologically driven timeline that only includes content from the Twitter users you follow. And adding some friction to the mix would be nice too. This can reduce virality and increase thoughtfulness without weighing down speech. This would allow Musk to bring Twitter closer to “a digital city square where issues vital to the future of humanity are discussed” without harming the world’s democracies.” (via twitter)

Derrick Johnson, NAACP President and CEO

“Mr. Musk: free speech is great, hate speech is unacceptable. Disinformation, disinformation and hate speech have NO PLACE on Twitter. don’t let 45 [former President Trump] return to the platform. Don’t let Twitter become a petri dish for hate speech or lies that undermine our democracy. Protecting our democracy is paramount, especially in the run-up to the midterm elections. mr. Musk: Lives are in danger, and so is American democracy. (via statement)

Brianna Wu, Executive Director of Rebellion PAC, Former Congressional Candidate and Software Engineer

“Triple the budget Trust and Security Teamand let the professionals who understand how to deal with Twitter’s inherent harassment problems do their job.”