What would Elon Musk do with Twitter?  The answer is in his texts

What would Elon Musk do with Twitter? The answer is in his texts

Musk’s lawsuit against Twitter has already brought some interesting details about the billionaire’s life into the public eye. But first, let’s take a step back. Remember when Elon Musk bought Twitter? He initially seemed very serious about buying the platform and even signed a legal agreement to acquire the company. Eventually, Musk backed out of the deal and is now being sued by Twitter. Then Musk made another offer.

As part of the legal discovery process, Musk’s private texts with family members, CEOs and celebrities have been made public. If you were wondering, “What is Elon Musk going to do with Twitter?” now is your chance to find out. Among (many) other things, Musk’s texts revealed some of his big plans for the platform. You can view the court document containing the full-text exchanges here. Check out some of the highlights from those conversations below.

Person watching Twitter on the phone

Musk wanted users to prove they weren’t bots with crypto payments

Elon Musk claimed the reason for his withdrawal from the Twitter deal was the prevalence of fake accounts and bots. His private text messages with his brother, Kimbal Musk, revealed how he planned to handle the problem: by asking users to verify their messages using blockchain payments.
In his own words, “I have an idea for a blockchain social media system that does both payments and short text messages/links like Twitter. You have to pay a nominal fee to register your post on the channel, which will eliminate the vast majority of spam and bots. There are no throats to choke on, so freedom of expression is guaranteed.

He agreed with Jack Dorsey on an open-source protocol

Musk also exchanged text messages with Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, who resigned as CEO at the end of 2021 and left the board in May 2022. But while still on the board of administration, Dorsey reached out to Musk by responding to one of his tweets. which asked if a new platform was needed. Dorsey (registered as “jack jack” in Musk’s contacts) texted, “Yes, a new platform is needed. It can’t be a business. That’s why I left.”

He went on to say, “I believe it needs to be an open-source protocol, funded by some kind of foundation that doesn’t own the protocol, just pushes it forward. Kind of like what Signal did. It cannot have an advertising model. Otherwise, you have a surface that governments and advertisers will try to influence and control…it just needs to be done right so it stands up to what happened to Twitter.

Musk responded by calling it a “super interesting idea” and saying he’d love to help if he could. Later in the conversation, Musk texts, “I think it’s worth trying to both move Twitter in a better direction and do something new that’s decentralized.”

Other interesting revelations from Musk’s texts

Outside of his plans for the platform, there were plenty of gems in Musk’s texts. Here are some of the most fascinating information.

  • Texts from Dorsey also revealed that he previously tried to get Musk on the board and made up his mind to leave the company when they said no.
  • With a focus on making Twitter a “free speech platform,” some on the right saw Musk’s purchase as an opportunity to reinstate the accounts of some banned conservative figures. A redacted contact texted: ‘It will be a tricky game letting right-wingers back on Twitter and how to navigate it (especially the boss himself, if you’re up for it)’, apparently referring Twitter’s decision to ban former President Donald Trump.
  • CBS host Gayle King has repeatedly asked Musk for an interview. After news broke that Musk was planning to buy the platform, King texted, “Now don’t you think we should sit together face to face, it’s like kids today today say a “gangsta move” i don’t know how the shareholders deny…like i said you’re not like the other kids in the class.
  • Podcaster Joe Rogan reached out to ask, “Are you going to free Twitter from the happy censorship crowd?” and offered to throw a party if he did.

Is Elon Musk Buying Twitter? This story seems far from over. We can only hope that the next reveal of this case will be equally illuminating and entertaining.

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