The Elon Musk Affair

By buying Twitter for an absurdly high price ($44 billion), a symbol of his excesses, Elon Musk drew the attention of the planet to him. There are, as they say, only madmen and billionaires who believe that they are completely free: like a character in a novel, he manages to be both at the same time.

Billionaire, visionary, reactionary: the disturbing faces of Elon Musk

He is crazy, as evidenced by his whims, for example giving his son the name of a car series: X Æ A-12. California law tried to stop him, because first names cannot have numbers, but he got around the obstacle by using the Roman numeral XII instead. It is insanely proven by his absurd announcements made in 2017 to go to the Moon in 2022 and to Mars in 2024, or his plan to build Teslas in a factory without any humans, a project named “Alien Dreadnought” . On the brink of disaster, Elon M. had to immediately reconsider his plans, summarizing his misfortune in a meaningful formula: “I was wrong, I underestimated people. (“People are underestimated.”) Musk’s madness is also revealed in his peace plans for Ukraine (which earned him a response from the Ukrainian ambassador in Germany: “My very diplomatic response is to flirt with you”), or for Taiwan…

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What is Musk’s response to the spread of fake news?

It would be an understatement to say that the content moderation debate on Twitter got off to a bad start under the aegis of such a character. A study in the journal “Science” showed that. fake news circulated in this network twenty-five times faster than information whose source is certified, and six times faster still when the message is aimed at a political figure. What is Musk’s response to this outbreak? Certainly not to increase the role and the number of mediators: their number will decrease by 15% with the cleaning of personnel. Musk’s idea is to charge for verifying the accounts of the personalities who use it. For 8 euros per month, no one can steal your identity, a privilege once reserved (for free) to recognized personalities. The subscription comes with some additional benefits such as appearing at the top of recommendations…

Billionaire, visionary, reactionary: the disturbing faces of Elon Musk

Given its use by Trump, a major consumer of his era of the instrument, it’s hard to see how it will be enough to stem the flow of disinformation pouring into it. What will be important, at the very least, is to prove not (only) the people but the information itself. A simple rule would be to put a blue banner on those that are sourced, for example those published in a journal with an editor. It will have the merit of being able to attack the latter if the information is slanderous or to hold him accountable. It won’t stop the spread of fake news but it allows users to know what to expect…

Twitter may not be worth the 44 billion cost

As the richest man in the world, Musk can use his personal success to prove that his madness is a source of values. Economic history, however, is full of fake news of financial bubbles. Tesla’s market capitalization is three times greater than that of Toyota, the world’s largest manufacturer, which produces ten times as many cars. Does a Tesla justify a market value thirty times greater than a Toyota? We can doubt it, just as we can suspect that Twitter, whose turnover is no more than 3 billion dollars, is not worth the 44 billion paid by Musk. Fearing the risk of information chaos that could be installed there, many companies have also frozen their advertising campaigns on Twitter, announcing a painful awakening. At a time when the financial crisis has already split Tesla’s share price, also sending cryptocurrency platforms plunging, it’s inevitable that real-world disruptions could devalue digital fictions. and their main characters.

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