Less than two weeks in, Elon Musk’s $44 billion purchase of Twitter is already mired in a web of controversies. The CEO of multiple taxpayer-subsidized companies moved quickly to fire Twitter’s board and crown himself the company’s supreme authority. Mass layoffs, a half-baked plan to start a subscription service, and a witch hunt for any users who dare impersonate him have been on the top of the new Twitter king’s agenda. The regime has been hit back by a class action lawsuit, spooked advertisers, and the razor-sharp commentary of a bewildered Twitterati. While some may take satisfaction in beholding the spectacle of a man entangled in his own hubris, the implications of Musk’s takeover of one of the most important and centralized media platforms in existence are wide-reaching. What happens once we can no longer verify Twitter sources? Who benefits from an algorithm reconfigured to boost subscribers over regular users? How will these changes to the platform shape the ability of independent journalists to communicate to the public, and ultimately affect our politics? Tech critic Paris Marx joins Maximillian Alvarez and Mel Buer to discuss the debacle unfolding before our eyes.
Paris Marx is a Canadian technology writer whose work has been published in a range of outlets, including NBC News, CBC News, Jacobin, and Tribune. They are also the host of the acclaimed podcast Tech Won’t Save Us, and the author of the book Road to Nowhere: What Silicon Valley Gets Wrong about the Future of Transportation (2022), published by Verso Books.
Post-Production: Jules Taylor
The transcript of this podcast will be made available as soon as possible.