Elon Musk’s actions ‘Incompetent and Dangerous’
Twitter Boss Elon Musk is expected to step down, according to the results of a Twitter poll. Media researcher Kettemann believes this to be true. Elon Musk’s comings and goings were “incompetent and dangerous”.
Elon Musk, owner of Twitter, took a poll on his platform and the result was clear: “Should I resign as president of Twitter?” 57.5% of respondents voted in favor of Elon Musk’s resignation. The result of the vote is a reaction to the constant indecision on Twitter since Elon Musk took power. Lawyer and media researcher Matthias C. Kettemann watches the latest news on the microblogging service and says: Elon Musk is “incompetent” and his decisions are “erratic”.
ZDFheute: Are Elon Musk’s moves cool or confusing?
Matthias C. Keitmann: Personally, I think Elon Musk’s comings and goings are less subtle and more messy and random. This is not how the platform is organized. Platforms need trust, they need clear standards, they need ethical and legal codes.
You don’t need a weirdo at the top who hasn’t heard “No, think about what you’re doing” in 40 years.
Regulating the expression of opinion is very complex. (…) Musk thinks he can approach Twitter like an engineering problem – how to get a human to Mars quickly or how to build a good car battery. But speech cannot be resolved. It comes up every day and can only be addressed with transparency and the rule of law. Not through the turbulent chaos as it is currently on Twitter.
ZDFheute: How do you explain the wave of layoffs on Twitter?
Kettemann: It was because of the narrative, the story that Elon Musk invented. He said he would do it all over again, allow free speech on Twitter, and most of all, he would do away with these middlemen in California, who are very liberal.
And so it makes sense that he would fire all those who defended the old Twitter. (…) He just wanted to design a new world, and he had to realize that it was very difficult. Organizing opinions and managing opinions is simply more difficult than putting people on Mars.
Elon Musk is an incompetent regulator of public opinion, and that’s very dangerous when you have a platform as big as Twitter.
I hope he keeps the word he gave now. He recently tweeted “Vox populi, vox Dei”, which translates as “The voice of the people is the voice that matters”. Well, now the people have voted.
ZDFheute: Did Elon Musk overestimate himself when he took over Twitter?
Keithman: Yes. Which isn’t bad for people with big ideas. If you think about the challenges that Space X or Tesla faced, it’s a good thing Elon Musk didn’t let anyone say no in the beginning.
But we know from other companies that he’s had good teams out there that have advised him and picked him, and poured his ideas into actionable company policies. This does not seem to be the case for Twitter.
We’re seeing him command here and there in real time, and it’s not great, it’s dangerous and incompetent.
ZDFheute: Can Twitter restrict freedom of expression?
Kettemann: Platforms like Twitter cannot censor anything, only states can. What platforms can do is allow and deny content according to certain rules. (…)
Facebook was allowed to deny the Holocaust until 2019. Then Mark Zuckerberg decided you shouldn’t do that anymore. Is this censorship? No, it’s a business decision about what is and isn’t allowed.
In the past, there was very little oversight on platforms. (…) The problem here is that individual voices – especially from the right wing, especially Republicans in America – feel that they have been invaded when their content has been banned for misinformation.
On the other hand, all empirical studies show that platforms do not moderate ideologically, but more misinformation is simply produced on the right side. That’s why they are relatively softer, more silent and prohibitive. And Twitter wanted to do something about it, Musk wanted to do something about it, and he got applause from the right.
I enjoyed it for a while and now I realize it costs billions and isn’t particularly fun either. And this will be one of the reasons why he is now looking for a way out.