Requiem for a Frenemy: An Elegy for Twitter and the 'Malevolent' Elon Musk
As Twitter censors democratic opposition and encourages disinformation, Heidi Siegmund Cuda laments Elon Musk's open warfare on the truth.
Last year, when legacy media outlets were trying to make sense of Elon Musk’s $44 billion dollar purchase of the social media platform Twitter, Heidi Siegmund Cuda warned our readers that Musk was engaging in open warfare on truth. The warfare is accelerating, but so now is the growing awareness of Musk as a malevolent force.
I wasn’t wrong. I wish I had been, but when I reported last year that Musk’s Twitter takeover was a land grab in an information war and that the platform would be weaponized to deliver anti-democratic propaganda, he quickly proved my point — smashing everything up as he laid off thousands of employees.
To understand what is happening at Twitter, it must be viewed in terms of warfare. From the mislabeling of media outlets to the banning and unbanning of journalists to what I call ‘Operation Blue Check’ — the pernicious removal of legacy verification — the public square has been cratered and in its place is an $8chan cesspool.
“Twitter has degraded into right-wing incel land over the last three weeks,” the writer and activist Wes Clark Jr told Byline Supplement. “When they changed the verification a huge number of the blue checks are now simply chat bots — you can tell by the language they use — we’re entering crazy land.”