Elon Musk’s lyrics provide a rare glimpse into the Billionaire Boys’ Club

BUT Finding Elon Musk’s Text Messages was released this week as part of a lawsuit Twitter filed against the billionaire, and it’s shedding light on conversations between Musk and celebrities, journalists, the Silicon Valley elite, and even politicians.

The very rich and very famous people with direct ties to the Tesla CEO include Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, Salesforce founder Marc Benioff, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, podcaster Joe Rogan, and TV journalist Gail King. In the reports, super-rich investors casually offer billions of dollars to help Musk. Their sheer enthusiasm for Musk’s attempt to take over Twitter also confirms what many have long suspected. billionaire interest in owning media companies: They are well aware that controlling a company like Twitter means being able to shape the story and make an impact.

Some, like Rogan, praised Musk’s offer to buy the social media platform. On April 4, when Musk announced a 9 percent stake in Twitter but had yet to make an offer to buy it outright, Rogan asked, “Are you going to free Twitter from the censored happy crowd?” A few weeks later, on April 23, Rogan wrote: “I REALLY hope you have Twitter.”

Many of those who texted Musk echoed his public comments asserting the importance of free speech on Twitter. Musk disagrees with the more proactive approach to content moderation that Twitter has taken in recent years, a policy that right-wing Twitter users have condemned as discriminatory, especially in light of Trump permanently blocked on Twitter in January 2021.

A few days after the announcement that Twitter’s board accepted Musk’s $44 billion offerBenioff, who currently worth over $6 billionsent Musk a cryptic text about his vision for the platform, writing on April 27: “Glad to talk about it if you’re interested: Twitter’s conversational OS is the town square for your digital life.”

Musk countered, saying, “Well, it doesn’t belong to me yet.”

The potential for some power and influence on Twitter has also attracted politicians and the media. Reports show that former Republican Rep. Justin Amash wanted to talk to Musk, offering his help on “how to handle speech and moderation.” According to a text message from Palantir co-founder Joe Lonsdale, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is widely seen as a potential GOP candidate for the 2024 presidential race Supported Musk’s offer to buy Twitter. Lonsdale floated the idea of ​​talking to Musk and DeSantis.

Other acquaintances, such as Hoffman, discussed how to help Musk buy Twitter. “2 billion dollars?” Musk swam after Hoffman asked how much he and his venture capital partners could add.

“Big. Probably doable,” replied Hoffman, who ended up not investing in the deal.

The messages were disclosed in court as part of the pre-trial investigation in Twitter lawsuit against Musk for a breach of contract filed after Musk pulled out of a deal to buy Twitter in July, saying the company misled him with the number of spam bots and fake accounts on your platform. Twitter, for its part, claims that Musk pulled out of the deal not because of the bots, but because of Tesla and Twitter shares falling. The trial is due to begin October 17 in the Delaware Court of Chancery.

The texts show that weeks after Musk signed an agreement with Twitter in late April stating his desire to protect free speech on the platform, his friends and colleagues were willing to offer (sometimes unsolicited) advice on the direction Twitter should take. with Musk at the helm. . One person identified as B.L. Lee – it’s not clear who he is – proposed that Bill Gurley, the venture capitalist known as Uber, be named CEO of Twitter. At one point, Musk wrote to television reporter Gail King, “Perhaps Oprah would be interested in joining the Twitter board of directors if my proposal is successful.”

Several people were eager to introduce others, hoping to hear from Musk. Among the most determined to meet Musk was billionaire philanthropist Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of cryptocurrency exchange FTX.

The initial salvo came from Will MacAskill, the Oxford philosopher and co-founder of the effective altruism movement, whose ideas Musk had come up with. match closely with. MacAskill revealed that Bankman-Fried had been interested in buying Twitter for some time and was interested in a “possible collaborative effort”.

Does he have huge sums of money? Musk asked.

“Depends on how you define “huge”!” MacAskill replied. “He’s worth $24 billion, and his first employees (with shared values) push that up to $30 billion.” Musk, the richest man in the world, is currently worth about $252 billionaccording to Forbes.

Several text conversations between Musk and his associates take place in this vein. Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, who contributed $1 billion to Twitter dealtells Musk in the text that he is willing to do “whatever you recommend”.

Bankman-Fried, also an advocate of effective altruism, previously tweeted about how a decentralized Twitter running on a blockchain can function and how it can be monetized. In recent years, he has also become a major Democratic donor and has lobbied Washington for changes to cryptocurrency regulation.

MacAskill, a philosopher, remarked to Musk that it would be “easy” for Bankman-Fride to invest $1 billion to $3 billion, or even contribute up to $15 billion, but that it might require funding.

While the billionaires in Musk’s texts showed nothing but enthusiasm for his bid, many others — including twitter users and defenders of free speech – expressed wariness, if not outright alarm. Twitter is the platform used hundreds of millions of users — although Musk could dispute this — and is notably used by journalists to share and discuss the news of the day. For them, the prospect of Twitter, led by an outspoken billionaire who is frequent critic of the media and journalists was a cause for concern.

But some media moguls didn’t immediately dismiss the idea. Matthias Döpfner, CEO German media group Axel Springer, which owns media outlets such as Business Insider and Politico, has even offered to launch Twitter if Musk buys it. “That would be a real contribution to democracy,” Döpfner wrote in late March, weeks before Musk made an offer to buy the site.

Even the Murdochs, descendants of conservative media mogul Rupert Murdoch, appear in the lyrics. On April 26, James Murdoch — the youngest son of Rupert Murdoch and a member of the Tesla board of directors — told Musk that he would call “when the dust settles a bit.” His wife Katherine Murdoch philanthropist and activist whose politics is different from her father-in-law’sasked Musk if he would bring back Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, who left the company in 2021 focus on other projects. “Jack doesn’t want to come back,” Musk replied. However, Dorsey exchanged several text messages with Musk about their shared vision for an improved Twitter.

These behind-the-scenes conversations show how quickly and easily a relatively small circle of wealthy elites are pouring billions to help buy a public company that used by hundreds of millions of people and serves as a place where people gather to find community around shared passions, beliefs, or goals. It is a powerful tool for spreading news and information. The billionaires’ interest in buying Twitter wasn’t just about wanting a piece of the pie in terms of capital. The texts suggest that it was important for many in Musk’s elite circle to have a say in how Twitter would look like in the future – a “free speech” town square where they would comfortably continue to have the biggest megaphones.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button