Elon Musk demonstrates zero appreciation for the complexities of social network moderating

Musk is in the news because he’s trolling society again he says he wants to buy Twitter and take it private.

Reading between the lines, one might think that he thinks the Newtonian physics of car building, rocket launching, and tunnel digging applies equally to networks of people. It does not.

I was about to write a blog post describing the challenges of moderating in the context of Musk’s ignorance on the matter and then saw that Mike Masnick over at Techdirt had already done the deed nicely enough.

If designing for moderating is your thing, it’s definitely worth reading.

Well it seems as if Musk really wants to do the deal. I understand that if he can’t go through with it for whatever reason, the penalty will be a cool billion dollars, so I guess that focuses the mind!

Nevertheless, as noted above, his utterances about the challenge he’s taking on continue to indicate that he really has very little idea about what he’s doing.

I’ve been reading some of the commentary, and thought I’d share this post by Jim Rutt (formerly CEO Network Solutions and Chair of the Santa Fe Institute, and now Game B and the Jim Rutt Show podcast).

I’m not bought into Rutt’s prescription of a market of financial stakes, and his brief reference to digital identity is too reductionist for someone so immersed in complexity at the Santa Fe Institute. But his distinction between moderating behaviour rather than content is entirely aligned with Dr. Amy Hasinoff’s presentation for our inaugural AKASHA Conversation.

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I’m trying to pick just a few choice comments on the whole Musk-Twitter thing to share here.

BTW, the Twitter thread below references “T&S” which, in case you’re unfamiliar with the term, stands for Trust & Safety. It’s the name of a role / profession / team at the major social media platforms, attending to matters of — no surprises — trust and safety.

Maybe my attempt at a joke right at the top of this thread was right after all. Has Musk just trolled all of us?

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