In light of today’s Musk/Twitter news this is a good time to remind you that if you really care about your online identity, then you need to own it. You have no control or ownership of the content you generate for Facebook or Twitter — all of it can be gone in an instant. My Tweets will only ever exist on Twitter. This website though, is mine. I own the domain and I control the content. If necessary, I can move to another web server (even one in another country!) if necessary. I have absolute control and no one can stop me from publishing my trash opinions here.
Musk now has that kind of control over his Tweets, and the freedom to continue shitposting as much as he, or the SEC, wants. I think Musk’s bloviations about “free speech” are nonsense, but I don’t think he’s going to do anything to make the platform necessarily worse. Twitter banned Trump, a move which I supported, but it didn’t really make the platform less toxic. Political reporters still breathlessly re-post his insane and incoherent press releases to their own Twitter accounts, so it’s like he never left. Should Musk un-ban him in the name of “free speech”, it just maintains the status quo and was probably inevitable whether he purchased Twitter or not. Not that this deal was about Trump, but it is the biggest question in the content moderation/free speech debate.
On the business side, it will be much easier for Twitter to figure out how to actually (finally?) make money as a private company and that will be a good thing for their long-term survival. I do think Musk will discover that running Twitter is going to be a lot harder than he has envisioned. Content moderation is hard, even when you are resistant to doing it.
Here at thomasjpr.com, I will continue to do whatever the hell I want. It’s the only good platform.