“The real project of Elon Musk is political”
Tesla and SpaceX boss Elon Musk has been increasingly controversial at the top of Twitter since buying the social network from Bluebird for $44 billion in late October. We can no longer count the number of feats: deletion of journalist accounts, ban on publishing links of users to competing networks like Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon…
Olivier Lascar, editor-in-chief of the digital section of the magazine Science and the Future and is the author of the book A study of Elon Musk defying scienceEditions Alisio answers our questions.
RFI: The latest stunt is that the world’s richest man took to Twitter on Monday to ask if he should step down from running Twitter. 57% of users answered yes. What will be the future of Twitter in such conditions?
Olivier Lascar as Elon Musk is done as usual. He is a provocateur. In a poll on the day he was asked if he was leaving Twitter management, he already said a few weeks ago that he would appoint someone to run Twitter operationally. So it’s showmanship, and Elon Musk does a lot of showmanship on Twitter.
He bought the network saying he wanted to make it a banner of freedom of expression. We see with the decisions of the last days, especially with the firing of some journalists who said things he didn’t like, that this story defending freedom of expression was a trick, a cover. Elon Musk’s real project is political.
By buying Twitter, Elon Musk is doing what wealthy industrialists always do, if I may say so, which is to buy the press to gain leverage over the general public and public debate. . We used to buy newspapers. We still get them today. His nemesis, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, bought it Washington post. Elon Musk buys Twitter from him. It takes a social network to be Citizen Kane In the 21st century, being digital is better than paper. But the project behind the Twitter takeover is largely political. This is a lobbying method to encourage the development of other industrial companies: Space X, Tesla and Neuralink.
►Also listen: Media Chronicle – Elon Musk, Editor-in-Chief, Twitter
RFI : Isn’t Elon Musk, the very controversial Twitter boss, hurting Tesla and Space X for tarnishing his image?
Right now, Elon Musk is hurting Tesla and Space X because of the way he handles Twitter, and we’re seeing some sort of character warming. He has always behaved like a mischief-maker, a financial and business swindler, but here one gets the impression that he is losing control.
Elon Musk has always played with two shooters. That is, it turns the debate into distant questions. He talks about the colonization of Mars, for example, which does not allow him to talk about the actual colonization in low earth orbit with his famous Starlink network of satellites. With Twitter, he changed the discourse by talking about freedom of expression, which allowed him not to talk about what became a huge lobbying tool for his other companies.
However, the technique is now reaching Twitter because it feels like it got burned, and Elon Musk isn’t quite used to being in the center of the world arena. He has been a public figure for twenty years, twenty years in industry, technology and, I would say, science – even if Elon Musk’s scientific quality is questionable! But by buying Twitter, he became the main character of this digital agora. He did this on purpose, because he has a very strong megalomaniac side, so he wanted to be in the center of conversations. It’s obviously gotten to his head and it leads to management mistakes.
Musk is more organized than he seems, despite his work style that suggests he improvises day by day.
Is Elon Musk at risk of selling Twitter again?
Olivier Lascar: I don’t believe the scenario that sees him sell Twitter at all. I think he will step back from the day-to-day management of the site. I don’t find the idea of selling or not selling the network we’ve been playing with for a few weeks because Musk is more organized, despite the way he moves, which shows that he’s improvising day by day. it doesn’t look like him. This is also evident when you look at other companies where each technology responds to each other.
►Also Read: Twitter: “It’s been a roller coaster ride for 7 months”
For example, Starlink, the network that allows the network to come from the sky around the Earth, could power Mars tomorrow, because Elon Musk has a project to send people to Mars. With The Boring Company, he developed tunnel boring machines that dug high-speed, inexpensive tunnels on land. For example, he did it in Las Vegas. These tunnel boring machines have a diameter that will allow them to board the Starship rocket that will go to Mars tomorrow.
Tunnel boring machines will be able to dig underground spaces that will allow us to house possible astronauts, since we cannot live on the surface of the planet Mars due to cosmic radiation. So this impression of disintegration that Musk gives is a ruse here as well. That is, everything is arranged quite well, like pieces of a puzzle that fit together.
However, what characterizes me on Twitter is that it reveals how distorted Elon Musk’s perception of humanity is, even though he tweets at length that he wants to work for the betterment of humanity. . He’s in a billionaire bubble, and with the Twitter takeover, he’s coming down. So I think we’re going to see a step back. He will stop taking care of Twitter on a day-to-day basis, but will remain the owner. We don’t buy a social network for $44 billion and burn it for two months.
►Also Read: After many runs, Elon Musk pays Twitter