We should welcome Elon Musk's buyout of Twitter, officially completed this evening. Of all the social media venues, Twitter is the one used for politics and official government notices. Musk wants Twitter to be open to writers of all persuasions. He wants a viable forum for all of us to use for political discussion and public issues. This is a fine goal. Let's give him a fair chance to show what he can do.
I founded Northwest Citizen over 27 years ago. It was a platform for citizen journalism and a counter to the awful reporting by the Bellingham Herald. I was not trying to compete with the Herald but to identify important public issues they were ignoring and to call them out when they lied. Now, NWCitizen is perhaps the oldest citizen journalism venue in the world. I know a few things about open public venues.
With the rise of social media over the past 20 years, it has been sad to see the trashy job facebook and many other venues did in fostering anger, deleting legitimate content, hiding threads from people, and basically causing chaos. All in the name of profit. Twitter offered some hope and did better than others, but the founders lost their way.
The truth is, no one knows the right way to run a social media platform because we are still inventing it. But Twitter holds the promise of potentially being a worldwide forum for public issues. Musk is eager to try improving it. He has vision and has shown through his other businesses that he is not afraid to try new things, make mistakes, learn, and adjust. We should support his effort to improve it.
Musk is putting his own money into a project he believes will benefit humanity. He is risking billions for a good cause rather than spending billions on yachts, mansions, cars, or islands. His past endeavors have done enormous good for our world but that is another article. For now, I welcome his takeover of Twitter.