Is Elon Musk’s Twitter a tool in the service of the alt-right?

Elon Musk has become a major political and media attraction in the United States since the official $44 billion takeover of Twitter on Oct. 28 after months of procrastination. almost as strong 120 million subscribers In one of the most important social networks, the billionaire makes so many controversial announcements and releases that his forced use of the platform is reminiscent of the most famous former tweet – Donald Trump, and worries Tesla shareholders.

A few weeks ago, the person who explained that he was making this purchase to help humanity as a good messianic techno-solver is gradually revealing another purpose: to fight and promote confusion about everything directly or indirectly related to progressivism. bottom-right circles.

If all this was to be expected, the speed of execution is surprising, considering the evolution of the character. This online hyperactivity, combined with chaotic management, seriously tarnishes the visionary genius image he has managed to build over the past fifteen years.

Twitter left positive, intentional parsing error

One of Elon Musk’s first statements a political neutrality On Twitter, he has so far considered himself plagued by wokism and far-left views. If the political affinity of tech workers with the Democratic Party is true enough, his caricature postulate is contradicted by the network’s extensive research in 2021 across seven countries and millions of tweets.

This indeed shows that the algorithm inadvertently favors right-wing political content and conservative media in all countries studied except Germany (USA, Canada, UK, France, Spain).

Twitter’s new owner is clearly free of those consequences, preferring his own perception and turning an idea into fact to justify a sudden change of course, even if it jeopardizes the stability of his new toy.

This deliberate error of analysis, which could easily be described as manipulation, has guided Elon Musk’s risky and biased strategy for almost two months. It also explains why all the announced measures seem so favorable to the radical right.

From restoring banned accounts after an online survey, to wanting to reduce moderation to a strict minimum, to paying $8 a month for certificates without ID verification, and suspending journalist accounts. Twit,” as he puts it, gives extremist and/or conspiratorial movements all the tools to fully flourish on the platform and reinforces disinformation (already present in the past).

An impartial leader

The political position of Elon Musk, who spoke in favor of the presidential candidacy of Ron DeSantis, the Republican governor of Florida and a former defender of Donald Trump, is no longer in doubt. A change of camp for someone who claims to always vote Democratic but says he’s disappointed by the far-left anchor of the Biden administration and is repelled by vocisma portmanteau word he never defined.

His attitude can be explained, at least in part, by the fact that the White House ignored Tesla at an August 2021 event promoting electric cars, and that one of his daughters no longer speaks to him. “According to the ‘neo-Marxists’ in universities”.

This support and these criticisms are questionable, and Elon Musk daily attacks the old management for their supposed bias. While pursuing policies that are quite favorable to the reactionary sphere and supporting an ultra-conservative candidate, the billionaire seems to welcome anything that could have a negative impact on the Democratic Party.

For example, recently welcomed the label change the highly controversial Arizona senator Kyrsten Sinema became an independent after being elected with the Democratic logo in 2018 and in the positions listed on the left, then resigned to satisfy her donors. Decision “in the interest of the people”, that is why.

“Twitter Files” is a tool in the service of narrative

But that’s not all. The so-called “Twitter Files” saga, the so-called transparency operation aimed at releasing the former administration’s internal documents on moderation, also appears to have been designed in part to destabilize Democrats. If they don’t reveal anything directly that could get them in trouble, the serialization, promotion, and direction of these “Twitter files,” as well as Elon Musk’s allusions, make them political tools. the story of left-wing censorship.

On closer inspection, they reveal all the challenges moderate groups have faced during the 2020 presidential campaign, in the context of unprecedented conspiracy, disinformation, threats and attacks. If one can legitimately question or criticize the decision-making process and moderation architecture of the post-Musk network, the silence of events that led to certain censorships, by the journalists selected by Twitter’s new boss to publish this series, questions .

It should also be noted that workers are still in place after a wave of layoffs threatened to take legal action If they provide information to the press about the management of Elon Musk. Full transparency, yes, as long as it’s not about the current leadership.

Conspirator positions

Check back regularly for an overview of Elon Musk’s report on information, press and disinformation. “tweets and replies” from his profile. So we quickly see his disdain for mainstream American newspapers and journalists. Instead, he seems very sensitive to the narrative of many controversial political influencers and sometimes favors alternative facts.

The most glaring recent example of this is the publication of an article by the Santa Monica Observer, an avowed conspiracy blog, in response to Hillary Clinton’s tweet about the attack on the husband of Democrat-elect.. Nancy Pelosi, conspiracy theorist. San Francisco.

In it, Paul Pelosi is described as an alcoholic who often uses male prostitutes, and is said to have had a fight with one of them. A counter-narrative straight from the imagination of an author known for his penchant for creating grotesque disinformation worthy of the QAnon movement. The relay of this article resulted in tens of thousands of shares, contributed greatly to the rise of conspiracy around this case.

“To allow misinformation to spread like this is madness.”

Elon Musk 2018

Elon Musk, who has been under fire for months, if not years, for his troubled relationship with facts, has accelerated the mutation of obfuscation since taking the reins of his new company. His latest target is none other than Dr. Anthony Fauci, former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and health advisor to President Trump and Biden.

Fauci, who has been scorned by conspiracies and the far-right since the start of the pandemic, has received regular death threats and lives under police protection. By sharing questionable photo montages with his 120 million subscribers, tweeting that he deserves to be hauled before the courts, and using extremist language, Chief Twitt is stirring up the most radical edge of the American right a little more. Above all, he gives her the green light to continue her campaign of harassment.

This method was also used against Twitter’s former security director. Joel RothElon Musk was forced to move after his university thesis implied he advocated the sexualization of children, which is not true.

In conclusion, let’s remember that in 2018, the protagonist of this article said that he was in favor of regulating social networks to fight disinformation: “Normally I’m not an advocate of regulation and control, but this is a case where there is a very serious threat to the public. When something affects the public welfare, there needs to be some form of public control. It is madness to allow misinformation to proliferate in this way.”

While wine is said to improve with age, the same can hardly be said for Elon Musk. Since he picked up the checkbook to acquire Twitter, the platform has gradually become the new Eldorado of American extremist conservatism, with a well-established appetite for misinformation and hate speech.

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