Elon Musk's Signal text messages disclosed in preparation for the trial confirm his intention to make Twitter an open-source free speech platform that contributes to democracy.
The $44 billion offer to buy Twitter came after Elon Musk discussed the matter with some people in an attempt to value the business. Recently, his text messages that he exchanged in Signal with several well-known people in the field of technology and business were published. In one private text exchange, the CEO of Axel Springer, the parent company of Business Insider, Mathias Döpfner, spoke to Musk, urging him to acquire Twitter and offering to “run it” on his behalf.
In a private text message dated March 30, 2022, released Thursday as part of Twitter's lawsuit against Musk, Döpfner urged Musk to buy Twitter, while explaining that he could help to change it qualitatively. He said that he would like to create a true platform for free speech, which will be a real contribution to democracy.
“Why don't you buy Twitter?” Döpfner asks. “We run it for you. And establish a true platform of free speech. Would be a real contribution to democracy.”
Clearly, these words are exactly what hooked Musk by the heart, as he strives to provide freedom of speech in the broadest sense of the phrase. In an era where speech is censored by the ruling sides, people who raise important issues are often left unheard because platforms such as Twitter silence them. Plenty of Twitter users who supported Musk saw their tweets being suppressed. While interaction stats were high (sometimes in the thousands), these tweets received only a few likes and replies. It was also noticed that some tweets, especially those that were critical of Twitter, were not shown to the followers of the person who tweeted, but instead were shown to a completely different category of Twitter users who were not interested in such issues/problems and were not a follower of the account who tweeted.
After receiving an offer from Döpfner, after a few minutes of thinking, Musk wrote: “Interesting idea.”
Döpfner replied: “I'm serious. It's doable. Will be fun.”
Döpfner is also a supporter of free speech, so his interest in helping to improve Twitter should come as no surprise. Text messages between him and Musk indicate that they probably talked on April 6 to discuss all the details. In addition, Döpfner sent Musk a long message listing the current issues on Twitter and the statement that the platform should be made “censorship-FREE” and “censorship resistant” for the future. To do that, he said the platform needed to be “run on decentralized infrastructure” where Twitter would be “one of many clients to post and consumer content.”
Another text exchange between Musk and former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey indicated that Musk was genuinely committed to making Twitter a quality and open platform. According to reports, Dorsey suggested that Twitter use an open source protocol, as is common with the Signal messaging service. This would help ensure the transparency of its work, without behind-the-scenes games that can be observed right now. Musk told Dorsey that he would strive for it if he could.
© 2022, Eva Fox | Tesmanian. All rights reserved.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.