Elon Musk has revealed the “new” version of Twitter will seek to push the mainstream media to become more truthful.
Under his leadership, Musk says Twitter will put competitor pressure on the media to “stop toeing the line.”
The comment was made during a live Q&A session on late December 3.
He was discussing the Friday release of the “Twitter Files.”
The documents expose the social media giant’s role, under its former management, in suppressing reports about Hunter Biden’s laptop in the weeks running up to the 2020 presidential election.
Musk told the audience that under his ownership, Twitter’s net factor “should be toward Truth.”
“If the new Twitter is successful in that, then the result would be that people will turn to Twitter to understand what is true, what is real, what narrative matters.”
If successful, the social media platform will then gain a lot of readership and attention, Musk said, noting that this will “put a lot of competitor pressure on mainstream media and other social media company to also be more truthful because otherwise, they’ll simply keep losing people to Twitter.”
Amid reports that advertisers are dropping Twitter to protest Musk’s control of the company, the billionaire asserted that Twitter will “become successful and gain share from other social media and it will force other social media to stop toeing the line.”
“That’s where the competition can be a good thing.”
With mainstream media, the narrative is “controlled by a handful of editor-in-chiefs,” whereas with Twitter, people are able to get the “unfiltered narrative” as well as suggest and emphasize the narrative themselves, Musk argued.
“The Washington Journal, the New York Times, and Washington Post and a few others decide what the narrative is,” he said.
“Even if what they say is completely truthful, the people don’t really get a choice in what topics are covered, whereas on Twitter, they do.
“And it could be something really important to the world and the big news organizations don’t cover it for a reason.”
While the platform won’t be perfect and there could be things that people disagree with, on balance, people will “gravitate toward Twitter,” Musk predicted.
“What happens is when there’s a competition for what the truth [is] and one company steps out of line, it does allow the truth to flourish,” Musk added.
According to internal documents from the “Twitter Files,” in order to suppress the Hunter Biden report, Twitter executives marked the information as “unsafe,” limiting its spread and even blocking it from being directly shared via the platform’s direct message function.
One email, dated October 24, 2020, appears to show a Twitter executive sharing a list of five tweets allegedly identified by people from the campaign of then-candidate Joe Biden, a Democrat.
“By 2020, requests from connected actors to delete tweets were routine. One executive would write to another: ‘More to review from the Biden team.’ The reply would come back: ‘Handled.’”
During the Q&A session, the new Twitter CEO noted that if the social media giant was “doing one team’s bidding before an election” and shutting down dissenting voices, “that is the very definition of election interference.”
“Frankly, Twitter was acting like an arm of the Democratic National Committee, it was absurd,” Musk said.
Asked about mainstream media’ downplaying of the “Twitter Files” release, the Tesla CEO said they are “trying to turn this into a nothing-burger because they’re complicit in deceiving the American public.”
With the release of Twitter’s censorship machinery in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election, Twitter “is the one company that’s no longer colluding and is no longer just going with this NPC group thing,” Musk said. He jokingly added, “[I] should probably increase my security or something.”
The point of releasing the “Twitter Files” is to have everything come clean, the billionaire added.
“Why should the people believe in Twitter in the future if Twitter does not come clean about the past; That’s what it comes down to,” he noted.
“It’s not that people will necessarily agree with everything that Twitter has done in the past or in the future but at least they’ll know that it’s occurring and there’s no shady stuff that is happening that they’re unaware of.
“You can then appropriately calibrate your interpretation of what you learn on Twitter as opposed to thinking Twitter pretending to be unbiased and even-handed,” he said.
Musk tweeted on Saturday night that Twitter would likely release “Episode 2 of The Twitter Files tomorrow.”
He had previously said the company was expecting to release it on Saturday.
“Looks like we will need another day or so,” he said.