Billionaire Tesla, SpaceX, and Starlink founder and CEO Elon Musk generated no small amount of responses on Friday after he took to Twitter to — ironically — float the idea of a new platform aimed at rival Twitter.
According to reports, Musk appeared to indicate that his motivation for founding a new social media app is bias and censorship on the existing Twitter platform.
After suggesting that Twitter “fundamentally undermines democracy” by not defending free speech, Musk went on to conduct an informal poll to ask, ironically, “Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy. Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?”
More than 2 million people responded to the poll with 70.4 percent saying that Twitter did not adhere to the principle, The Daily Wire reported.
“The consequences of this poll will be important,” Musk continued. “Please vote carefully.”
The consequences of this poll will be important. Please vote carefully.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 25, 2022
Musk followed up on the poll on Saturday, noting: “Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy. What should be done?”
Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy.
Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 25, 2022
He asked: “Is a new platform needed?”
Within four hours of posting his question, there were more than 26,000 replies on what Musk should or should not do about the issue of free speech on social media. Many commenters urged the billionaire business tycoon to buy Twitter and stop big tech censorship.
The outlet noted some responses:
BlazeTV host Dave Rubin: “Maybe buying Twitter to clean it up makes sense, but maybe letting it die is best. @rumblevideo has the infrastructure and video capacity, @onlocals has the crowd funding and community building. PT is in on Rumble, I think you started something with him way back when!”
Managing director of Thiel Capital Eric Weinstein: “We need to invent something that fills this space that hasn’t existed…yet. There are, unfortunately, several challenges that have prevented every previous attempt from working. This is very much an analytic problem of a particular kind. It’s not just lack of desire. Good luck.”
Podcast host and computer scientist Lex Fridman: “Yes. I can build it.”
Writer Katherine Brodsky: “The problem with new platforms is a) the alternatives are too political and b) those on Twitter have to start over on building their followings. How can they be moved over?”
Economist Brian Wesbury: “I’m on Twitter and Parler and others, but Twitter is still my go to. It’s established…it has both sides…it just needs to stop canceling people. That’s the problem with it.
Former MMA fighter Jake Shields: “We need a new platform but one that’s not a right wing echo chamber. I want to hear all perspective not one side.”
Stock trader Timothy Sykes: “PLEASE BUY TWITTER AND MAKE IT BETTER!!!”
Radio host Buck Sexton: “Yes. Buy Twitter or please build one. Save the country from these psycho Silicon Valley libs.”
Computer scientist Paul Graham: “That would be a waste of money. A decent team could reverse engineer a version 1 in a month.”
Wall Street Bets chairman: “Just buy Twitter and change the bird logo to a doge,” to which Musk responded, “Haha that would sick.”
Cultural commentator Mike Cernovich advised Musk to purchase Twitter, and added, “If you’re a leftist making death threats against conservatives. or organizing riots, Twitter respects your freedom of speech. Twitter also respects the freedom of speech for media hoaxes like when every major outlet framed an innocent Covington high school kid.”
Musk – who has a net worth of over $270 billion – replied, “Doesn’t sound very balanced.”