Elon Musk's Hypocrisy
Let me start by saying this: sorry, Elon. You can’t censor my website. Yes, you “free speech” absolutist, you shadow-ban people on Twitter/X. You did it to me too (that’s how I know). But you can’t do anything about what I say on my website. I own this platform. It’s mine. So I’ll say whatever I want without having to worry about your revenge.
Now, where were we. Ah yes, Elon Musk. Don’t take me wrong, I don’t hate the guy, not at all. But I, like everyone else, have witnessed his transformation from tech genius into a highly politicized figure, leaning with the likes of Trump, Tucker Carlson Putin, and a horde of misinformation spreaders. Let me start with some good stuff about Elon, because there’s also a lot of positive to talk about.
Disclaimer: ChatGPT content starts here
Elon Musk has been a prominent figure in the tech and space industries for years, and his ventures have led to several significant scientific and technological achievements. Here are some of the most notable ones associated with his companies:
- Reusable Rockets: One of the most groundbreaking achievements of SpaceX is the development of launch vehicles that are partially reusable. The Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets can return to a landing site rather than falling into the ocean like traditional rocket boosters.
- Dragon Spacecraft: The Dragon spacecraft has been used to deliver cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) and, more recently, astronauts as well. This is a part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.
- Starship: SpaceX’s Starship is a fully-reusable spacecraft designed for missions to the Moon, Mars, and potentially other destinations. It’s still in development but represents a significant leap in space transportation concepts.
- Starlink: A satellite constellation being constructed by SpaceX to provide satellite Internet connectivity. It’s one of the largest satellite constellations ever proposed and, once complete, will provide global internet coverage.
- Electric Vehicles (EVs): While Tesla wasn’t the first to develop EVs, the company revolutionized the market by producing electric cars that are both high-performing and desirable. Models like the Roadster, Model S, Model X, Model 3, and Model Y have set numerous records and have pushed other automakers to accelerate their own EV programs.
- Battery Technology: Tesla’s advancements in battery technology and energy storage have been transformative, not just for electric cars but for renewable energy storage solutions.
- Autopilot: Tesla’s development of its Autopilot and “Full Self-Driving” features, while still in progress, represent significant steps towards autonomous driving.
- Neuralink: The company aims to develop implantable brain–machine interfaces (BMIs). Though still in its early stages, Neuralink’s technology has the potential to revolutionize treatments for neurological conditions and facilitate direct brain-to-computer communication.
- The Boring Company: Developed tunneling and infrastructure technology aimed at reducing traffic in cities through underground transportation systems, such as the proposed Loop and Hyperloop.
- SolarCity (now part of Tesla): Promoted the widespread adoption of solar energy solutions for homes and businesses. Developed solar products, including a solar roof that integrates solar cells into roof tiles.
While Elon Musk has been crucial in driving the vision and direction of these companies, it’s essential to recognize that these achievements are the results of the hard work of thousands of engineers, scientists, and professionals who’ve collaborated to realize these innovations.
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Hey, sorry, I was making coffee while AI reminded me of all the good Elon has done (I especially love the last paragraph!)
Anywhoo. I had to ask ChatGPT, because you know, I couldn’t look him up on Wikipedia. Elon hates Wikipedia now, too:
Dickipedia… Oh Elon, you’re so classy, aren’t you.
Elon Musk has descended into darkness. He doesn’t like criticism. He doesn’t like anything that goes against his beliefs, whatever those are. And he uses “the public square” to make fun of those things. But I am not here to judge Musk’s ideals or beliefs, because he’s a free person and I am in no position to tell him whether he’s right or wrong. What do I know? And I don’t say it with sarcasm. I will never know if public Elon is just an act, creating a character that he thinks others will admire. Or maybe that’s his true self. I honestly don’t know, therefore I can’t say much about how I feel about this person.
However, I can call out his hypocrisy. He said, when he bought Twitter, that he wanted to bring back free speech. And yet, there are shadow-bans (aka censorship) in the platform. He also publicly mocks institutions, companies and individuals he doesn’t agree with. This triggers and directs hate towards the victims of the public humiliation (like the example above about Wikipedia). And worst of all, he uses his influence to promote dark figures, misinformation spreaders.
He parrots Putin propaganda, even daring to propose that Ukraine should give up Crimea:
Free speech, according to Musk, is not a free pass. He said there are limits, and the boundary is whatever doesn’t go against the law. If it’s hate, if it’s misinformation (also known as filthy lies), it must be okay then?
If you criticize Elon or X, you can be fired or sued. When he bought Twitter, Musk reportedly had a team sift through Slack and social media posts to identify employees who might be untrustworthy or disloyal to him, according to Walter Isaacson’s new biography of the billionaire. The team searched for keywords such as “Elon” and flagged employees who made “snarky comments.” These employees were then fired.
Musk also has a history of silencing his critics. For example, he has banned journalists from attending Tesla events and has threatened to sue people who have written negative things about him. For example, on September 4, 2023, Musk complained about the platform’s 60% deficit in US advertising revenue. He blamed the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a Jewish civil rights organization, for the revenue loss, alleging that the ADL has been “trying to kill the platform” with accusations of antisemitism. Musk threatened to sue the ADL for defamation.
You know, whenever actors, musicians and artists in general talk politics on social media, they’re often told to “keep in their lane”. Meaning, shut up and only talk about whatever you do for a living and keep your opinions about anything else to yourself. This is said by people who disagree with the artist’s opinion, mostly. If the statement is ideologically okay for both parties, there won’t be a request to zip it. That approach is basically what Elon does, and his fan-bros too. This is the free speech we have on Twitter/X. Which is obviously not free speech, obviously.
Finally, there are still bots on the platform. A lot of them. They spread misinformation, but they are also used to attack and silence people. By engaging massively with someone’s tweets, the algorithm flags the victim as a potential bad actor too. Hence, people migh be targeted to be “canceled”, shadow-banned or even permanently banned. Elon Musk has done nothing to fix this. I remember Elon wanting to walk back on his commitment to buy Twitter because of bots. I wonder what his stance is on this right now. Whatever he thinks about bots influencing the platform, users, or “the truth” itself, it doesn’t seem to be on top of this TO DO list. Because it keeps happening, and it seems to be getting worse instead of improving.
I have been shadow-banned. I suspected this because I had more than 3k followers, but my tweets “engagement rate” was extremely low. It has nothing to do with the quality of my content. I am talking about how many times my tweets are actually “printed” (impressions count). More than 3.000 followers and most of the times I get 10 impressions. 10. Sometimes 2, 3 impressions. What the hell is that. I can’t be that bad at what I say. If I am, sorry Elon, I will close my account myself and jump off a cliff. But I don’t think the low engagement is because of me. So I checked and, turns out, I have been shadow-banned (or ghost-banned):
Even in the two months that I paid for Twitter/X Blue, the engagement was horribly low. I don’t feel particularly bad about this. My social network behavior is mostly consuming news. I read stuff. I don’t post much. I am not pushing any services or even myself as a professional in order to gain anything, not even followers. I comment on posts, and when I was paying for Twitter/X Blue, the engagement of my replies was very high (in terms of impressions, likes, reposts and comments from others). So, I mean, I don’t really suffer from being shadowbanned because I can still read stuff, so it doesn’t affect me like it could affect businesses or influencers. But it bothers me. It’s an unfair, Non-Appealable measure. It’s a gun with a silencer, firing at people from behind for obscure reasons. And it definitely goes against free speech.
I have actually given up on that account, at least momentarily. I might just export a list of accounts I follow and start over. But I also read that “connected” accounts can also be tainted. So if the algorithm finds that I am the same shadowbanned person using a new account, that new one will also be shadowbanned. It’s like a curse spreading through everything you do, but again, there’s no warning or reason so you’ll have to live with that.
You can like Elon Musk for a number of reasons. But the man is far from perfect, and he is definitely very confused about what free speech really means. I understand there’s a balance he must keep, but to his advantage, there is no X Board or stakeholders to appease. It’s his platform, so if he really has a vision or philosophy, it’s on him to put it into practice.
I have focused on free speech, but there’s more to be said. Musk has often criticized government subsidies for other companies, but he is now seeking government subsidies for his own company. That is not cool or coherent. More? Musk’s actions on Twitter/X have benefited him personally because they have increased the value of his company’s stock or his cryptocurrency investments. Not cool either. Not to mention some of Musk’s statements that try to undermine the faith of the public in our institutions. Maybe something to discuss in another post.
Let me just finish with real free speech. This is my website, my platform, and here I can safely say this:
Elon, you’re a hypocrite.
Here. Some real free speech. No consequences.