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Think Musk can outsmart Zuckerberg?

Musk was audacious enough to take on the entire auto industry. Talk about nuts! Oh, yes Telsa is the world's most valuable auto company.


Then he took on space flight. Space X has now launched over 1,200 satellites and pretty much provides the hardware for 90% of NASA space flights (@ 10% of their former cost).


Did I mention Tesla's home energy business and innovating solar roofing systems?


Now we get to that smug little shit Zuckerberg! Think our society or our children are better off with social media? Facebook is now the largest source of News in the world. Think the gatekeepers at social media sites fairly curate what you see or read?


Think Musk can't do to Zuckerberg what he did to the auto industry? I would not bet against Musk or his ability to completely transform social media into something better.


Do I trust Musk? More than any politician alive and certainly more than Zuckerberg.


A Plan X for Elon Musk’s Twitter

Before creating the ‘everything app,’ he needs to solve the company’s problems.

By Dennis Kneale, WSJ

Updated Oct. 16, 2022 5:36 pm ET


Assuming Elon Musk goes through with his takeover of Twitter, he’ll have to make a real business out of a company that lost almost half a billion dollars on $5 billion in revenue last year and trails TikTok and Snap in audience reach. He envisions something bigger. “Buying Twitter is an accelerant to creating X, the everything app,” he tweeted on Oct. 4.


Imagine a platform for banking, payments, stock trading, crypto investing, professional and personal services, news, entertainment, and retail—an amalgam of the Apple app store, Netflix, the Salesforce platform for app developers, Tradeshift and PayPal.


This vision dates to 1999, when Mr. Musk co-founded X.com, an early online bank. A year later X.com acquired Confinity, a cash-strapped rival that had a more successful service called PayPal, and Mr. Musk was ejected as CEO.


X.com renamed itself PayPal and focused on online payments, selling to Ebay a year later. Mr. Musk bought the X.com domain from PayPal in 2017, saying he had no plans for it. Mr. Musk’s Twitter could bring community to commerce. Influencers and their fans could provide digital word of mouth, tied to membership privileges such as exclusive discounts, secret instant sales and access to new products.


First he’ll have to address three thorny problems: Twitter’s quashing of conservative and nonconforming views, the audience-inflating bots that Mr. Musk cited for wanting to pull out of the deal, and flimflam consumer scams.


He should start by moving Twitter out of Silicon Valley to Texas, Florida or another politically friendlier place. Next up, lift the lifetime ban on @realDonaldTrump. It is unthinkable that a former president is banned for life while the regimes of China, Russia, Iran and Afghanistan tweet lies and anti-American vitriol with impunity.


Twitter also should hire outsiders to conduct an independent audit of all previous company communications regarding censorship requests by any government-related party—a violation of the First Amendment’s prohibition against government-imposed prior restraint on free speech. This litany of past government meddling should be fully revealed to the public. Mr. Musk should create a formal process for logging, disclosing and adjudicating all future government requests and providing targets with the right to object and respond.


Twitter has insisted its fake-audience bot problem amounts to only 5% of total users. Quantifying the real extent is doable, and Mr. Musk should disclose those results too.


Thwarting flimflam will be harder because of the human factor at play. Lately, I am in hot demand and making new friends on Twitter: Scarlett, Una, Vivi, Junia, Cheryl, Ava, Julie, Enron (she must’ve been teased a lot as a kid), Linda, Lucy, Vera, Miranda, Carolina, Jessica, Faye and Wendy.


These names are on 16 accounts that have sent me private messages, all of them adorned with profile photos of women 30 or 40 years younger than I am. This is in just the past two months. They really seem to like me.


Mr. Kneale is a writer based in New York.

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