Elon Musk can be a force for good. But...
The world's richest man, an infamous Twitter troll, buys the service.
Sree’s newsletter is produced w/ Zach Peterson (@zachprague). The tweet by Ashton Pittman (@ashtonpittman) captures the hypocrisy of conservatives, who claim to care about “life,” but do little to help sustain it after a child is born. I’ll have more to say about the Supreme Court and abortion in future newsletters. For now, I’ll say this: If you think the current earthquake is only about abortion, you are wrong. Many other rights are at stake.
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MANY OF YOU asked for my thoughts on Elon Musk buying Twitter. Here are my off-the-cuff thoughts and predictions. SEND ME YOUR THOUGHTS!
This will be bad overall for folks around the world who care about truth and fighting disinformation.
Expect harassment of women, minorities and the disadvantaged (already at terrible, awful levels on the platform) to increase dramatically.
For all his talk about free speech, Musk has a history of retaliation against employees and critics.
Musk can’t be trusted about issues around transparency and race at his companies.
It’s bad for the world’s richest man to fully control, with impunity, one of the world’s most important and most invaluable communications tools.
Many of us thought it was wrong for New York’s richest man to be mayor of NYC. But Michael Bloomberg did a great job overall as mayor.
But Musk is no Michael Bloomberg. Elon is a troll at heart, who has been wrong on so many, many things big and small for years now, including the famous prediction that Covid would go away by April 2020.
Trump will get his account back. Soon. The troll who became president meets the troll who became a billionaire.
Twitter will renege on its pledge to ban ads that spread Covid lies.
Twitter will renege on its promise to allow its people to work remotely forever (if they want).
Many prominent people have announced they're leaving Twitter or have already left. One of my favorite photography voices is already gone.
But I won't be leaving, as I've not left Facebook. I want to stay and fight from the inside. For now. Here's what I wrote about FB last year: "It’s a utility. We don’t boycott our local power company when it screws up - we force it to get better, more useful and safer for everyone."
If you don’t think Musk uses Twitter like a troll, please follow him for a few hours. You will see him share and reshare things that show up on the feeds of Joe Rogan fanboys.
In the two tweets below, he shared a meme that has no base in reality and expanded on the same incorrect idea. Just see all the way right-wing folks have become more extreme.
Rogan’s fan base aside, the dire consequences of economic inequality are, once again, on display here. Musk is struggling-but-not-struggling to get the $44 billion together to acquire Twitter, but it’s still just 17% of his net worth.
As for the idea that Musk, who loves shutting down critics, is doing this to “save free speech,” here’s Michael Che on SNL.
My final thought, for now: Maybe, just maybe, things won’t blow up the way I fear - especially if he gets bored and moves on. But I doubt it.
On April 27, Upstate Capital hosted a conference for investors and entrepreneurs on startup formation in New York State. The focus was on forging and growing investor and startup connections upstate and downstate. International business journalist Elizabeth MacBride and Seth Levine, Co-founder and partner of Foundry Group, attended and presented findings from their book, “The New Builders.”
Armory Square Ventures (ASV) Managing Partner Somak Chattopadhyay moderated a conversation on venture and philanthropy with Meg O’Connell and Eric Allyn, both with the Allyn Family Foundation. ASV Partner Pia Sawhney was on one of the judging committees assessing student-led teams in 6 categories at the New York Business Plan Competition. Photonect, founded by Juniyali Nauriyal and Sushant Kumar at the University of Rochester, won last Wednesday’s Grand Prize.
On Tuesday, April 26, prior to the daylong conference, Armory Square Ventures partners Somak and Pia hosted a dinner for attendees at the Skaneateles Country Club. Our team enjoyed meeting entrepreneurs and investors and introducing them to the new ASV office in town.
To learn more about Upstate Capital and the Venture NY program, visit the group’s event page here. Elizabeth published a piece in Forbes on her trip to Upstate New York — read that here.
Republicans are always harping on about voter fraud and other BS when they trot out some new voter suppression law. As we’ve known for some time, elections in the US are run pretty well, and there is very little fraud. Turns out, what little fraud there is, is usually committed by… Republicans.
Tech Tips Are Back Next Week
Our own Robert Anthony is taking the week off from his column. He’ll be back next week. Read his weekly tech tips in our archives.