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


Transcript

The transcript of this podcast will be made available as soon as possible.

Maximillian Alvarez

Editor-in-Chief

Ten years ago, I was working 12-hour days as a warehouse temp in Southern California while my family, like millions of others, struggled to stay afloat in the wake of the Great Recession. Eventually, we lost everything, including the house I grew up in. It was in the years that followed, when hope seemed irrevocably lost and help from above seemed impossibly absent, that I realized the life-saving importance of everyday workers coming together, sharing our stories, showing our scars, and reminding one another that we are not alone. Since then, from starting the podcast Working People—where I interview workers about their lives, jobs, dreams, and struggles—to working as Associate Editor at the Chronicle Review and now as Editor-in-Chief at The Real News Network, I have dedicated my life to lifting up the voices and honoring the humanity of our fellow workers.
 
Email: max@therealnews.com
 
Follow: @maximillian_alv

Mel Buer

Mel Buer is an independent researcher, educator, and freelance movement journalist based in Omaha, Nebraska. She previously reported on local protests and movements during the 2020 uprising and is researching and writing a book on radical media for Or Books. Follow her on Twitter.