Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said he was giving “serious thought” to creating a new social media platform, the billionaire tweeted on Saturday. Musk was responding to a question on if he would consider creating a social media platform consisting of an open-source algorithm and one that would prioritise free speech with minimal propaganda.
A prolific Twitter user, Musk has regularly criticised the platform and its policies. He has even said the company was undermining democracy by failing to uphold the principles of free speech.
Musk’s tweet comes a day after he ran a Twitter poll, asking users if they believed the company adhered to free speech principles, to which an overwhelming 70% voted “no”.
“Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy. Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?” he had captioned the poll.
Musk had said on Friday: “The consequences of this poll will be important. Please vote carefully.”
In another tweet, he asked: “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?”
If Musk does go ahead with his plans to create a new platform, he would join a growing portfolio of tech companies positioning themselves as champions of free speech to draw users who feel their views are being throttle on platforms like Twitter, Meta Platform’s Facebook, and Alphabet’s YouTube.
However, none of these companies, including Donald Trump’s Truth Social, video site Rumble, and Twitter competitors Parler and Gettr, have come close to matching the popularity and reach of the mainstream platforms.
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In 2020, Twitter’s then CEO Jack Dorsey spoke to Musk in front of thousands of employees and asked for feedback and suggestions to fix the platform. Musk had suggested a way to identify bots if the user was authentic or part of a “troll army”.