Hahahahaha fine. Long-time shitposter Elon Musk, who has a side job as Tesla’s CEO, sits on Twitter’s board, a newly minted meme-stank after he filed the wrong form with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Enormous contents†
A billionaire of a different style might choose to buy a national newspaper with a storied past and reinvest in it, just as he might secretly test his cock-shaped rocket for years before riding it publicly. . But despite owning Amazon, Jeff Bezos is somehow… fewer internet poisoned then the meme lord of Dogecoin. The Real Brain Worm Platform Isn’t The Washington Post, despite the best efforts of its opinion writers. It’s Twitter.
Now of course Musk has a long and storied history with Twitter, from SEC violations to defamation lawsuits to threatening journalists to stealing memes. Do you think Twitter will ever successfully moderate its largest shareholder and board member? Like, sure, Twitter spokesman Adrian Zamora say they are “committed to impartiality in the development and enforcement of policies and rules” and that “our day-to-day operations and decisions are made by Twitter management and employees.” Practically, we’ll find out if our friend Adrian is telling the truth, won’t we?
Because here’s the thing: I notice Musk is I’m already trolling about Twitter products, with a handy help from Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal! Musk in particular polling to ask if Twitter should add an edit buttonand Agrawal has said the poll will have important consequences† I mean, that’s not tweeting disinformation or someone’s home address or anything that’s a clear ToS violation — but it does suggest that some operations and decisions can, er, be made by Musk. The platform’s best shit poster already has the keys to the castle, and he’s gotten them in a way that’s specifically a thumbs up from the SEC. We love to have fun on Twitter dot com!
Let’s talk about that form for a moment. If you, shall we say, Elliott Capital Managementand you bought into Twitter to start something shareholder activism, fill out a form 13D, stating the purpose of your purchase (e.g. kicking out Jack Dorsey, making Twitter more profitable). But if you’re a large institutional investor in, say, the imaginary company Ride the Lightning Capital, and you’re just going to passively own a portion of Twitter, you fill out a Form 13G. Musk’s purchase was disclosed on a form 13G he filed the same day he signed the paperwork to join the board.
Now I cannot speak of Musk’s intent. Maybe that was a genuine mistake, I don’t know! I do know that he tweeted that SEC is an acronym and the E stands for “Elon’s.” He is not above adjust the SEC – he’s gone 60 minutes to tell us he doesn’t respect it, you know?
If Musk is trolling, though, it’s sharp. Like, maybe he will be fined or something, but it’s the SEC’s job to protect shareholders, right? That’s why Musk and Tesla were fined for his “funding guaranteed” tweets, but Musk stayed on as CEO — removing him would do more harm to shareholders than letting Musk vent. Musk is valuable! Revealing his interest in Twitter sent shares up 27 percenta cute lil doll for a social media company coming up absolutely confused by TikTok and the company formerly known as Facebook. So when the SEC says “haha, you are” Surely won’t be on Twitter’s board,” it’s probably wise to assume the stock will fall! And shareholders will get hurt!
Look, Twitter now has a fandom: Musk’s. Musk has invaded Twitter long after it became a publicly traded company, is a prolific – you might even blatantly – user of his product, and presumably has some small investors on his tail. It’s not just that. CNN reporter Brian Fung noted: that Musk also has the freedom to argue with the enemies of Twitter under the guise of “Elon being Elon.”
Well, I expect Twitter to be twice as much Twitter. Spaces has been a huge success especially with the cryptocurrency curious. There are also the NFT profile pictures. Musk is, of course, known for being enamored with Dogecoin, not to mention Tesla’s brief foray into Bitcoin payments for its cars. Perhaps now that Dorsey is no longer CEO, Musk can get Twitter to accept Bitcoin as payment for ads. Perhaps this is the incentive Twitter needs to get rid of Musk-related cryptocurrency scam spam!
I wonder if Twitter will now consider cryptocurrency users its main constituency, especially if they are more inclined to pay for its products. Instead of focusing on acquiring more users, Twitter may just be trying to monetize the most lucrative users. This is not Which weird of a strategy – actually, Musk’s old company, PayPal, outlined something similar on his latest earnings call†
On a practical level: Musk has said so too he wants less moderation on Twitterwhich may not be good for shareholder value, Platformer’s Casey Newton points out. (Most users like moderation, it turns out.) But now that Twitter is a meme stock, traditional measures of shareholder value may not apply. It’s possible that Musk’s involvement will cause journalists are less likely to use the platformgiven its history of online sparring with journalists† I’m sure some are wondering if Musk’s position on the board means he might be able to access their DMs.
What’s kind of the crux of the thing, I guess? On the one hand, Musk has a fandom, and now Twitter has a fandom too. On the other hand: Twitter is notorious as a platform for harassmentand Musk has indicated that he wants even less moderation† On a theoretical third hand: the SEC looms in the background. Regardless of whether people’s worst fears come true, this is revolutionary new territory for shitposters everywhere. Musk doesn’t just have the CEO’s ear – he gets to do his performance reviews!
But if you make your hobbies your job, you run the risk of something that was once fun becoming boring. One possible outcome is that Musk’s position on the board makes him refrain from shitposting for exactly the reason many people spend a lot of time on Twitter in the first place: he wants to avoid work.