Twitter: 'Elon Musk's real project is political'

The latest stunt from Elon Musk is that the richest man in the world asked on Twitter on Monday whether or not he should leave the management of Twitter.

57% of users answered yes.

AP - Patrick Pleul

Text by: Ariane Gaffuri Follow

6 mins

Elon Musk, boss of Tesla and SpaceX, has been increasingly controversial at the head of Twitter since his acquisition of the social network from the blue bird for 44 billion dollars at the end of October.

We can no longer count the number of brilliant strokes: deletion of journalist accounts, prohibition for users to publish links to competing networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Mastodon...


Read more

Olivier Lascar, editor-in-chief of the digital division of

Sciences et Avenir

magazine and author of the book 

Survey of Elon Musk, the man who defies Science

, at Éditions Alisio, answers our questions.

RFI: The latest stunt is that the richest man in the world asked on Twitter on Monday whether or not he should leave the management of Twitter.

57% of users answered yes.

What future for Twitter in such conditions?

Olivier Lascar: Elon Musk

is doing as usual.

He is a diversion.

The poll of the day when he asks whether or not he should leave the management of Twitter, it is already decided since a few weeks ago, he had said that he was going to appoint someone to run Twitter operationally.

So it's showmanship and Elon Musk has been doing a lot of showmanship from the start on Twitter.

He bought the network saying he wanted to make it the banner of freedom of expression.

We see with the decisions of recent days, in particular the banishment of certain journalists who had said things that displeased him, that this story of defending freedom of expression was a decoy, a screen.

Elon Musk's real project is political.

By buying Twitter, Elon Musk is doing what the wealthy industrialists have always done, if I may say so, that is to say, to buy the press to have a lever of influence on the general public and on the public debate. .

In the past, we bought newspapers.

We still buy them today.

His nemesis, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, bought out the

Washington Post


Elon Musk buys Twitter from him.

He buys a social network because to be the

Citizen Kane

of the 21st century, it is better to have digital than paper.

But the project behind the takeover of Twitter is eminently political.

It is a way of lobbying to push the development of its other industrial companies: Space X, Tesla and Neuralink.

►Also listen: Media Chronicle - Elon Musk, editor-in-chief of Twitter


: Is Elon Musk, being a very controversial Twitter boss, not harming Tesla and Space X, because his image is tarnished?

Right now, Elon Musk is hurting Tesla and Space X because of the way he handles Twitter and we're seeing kind of a character warm-up.

He has always behaved like a troublemaker, a filibuster of finance and business, but here, one has the impression that he is losing control.

Elon Musk has always played the two-shot gun.

That is to say, it shifts the debate to distant questions.

He talks about the colonization of Mars, for example, which prevents talking about the actual colonization he does in low orbit of the earth with his satellites of the famous Starlink network.

With Twitter, he shifted the discourse by talking about freedom of expression, which made it possible not to talk about the fact that it was becoming a formidable lobbying tool for his other companies.

However, this technique is now catching up with Twitter because it seems to have caught on fire and Elon Musk was not used to being so much at the center of the world arena after all.

He has been a public figure for twenty years, twenty years in the field of industry, technology and, I would say, science - even if Elon Musk's quality as a scientist is questionable!

But by buying Twitter, he became the main character of this digital agora.

He did this on purpose because he has a very strong megalomaniac side, so he wanted to be at the center of conversations.

This obviously went to his head and this leads to management errors.

Musk, despite his way of doing things, which suggests that he improvises from day to day, is much more organized than it seems

Are there any risks that Elon Musk will resell Twitter?

Olivier Lascar:

I don't believe at all in a scenario that would see him selling Twitter.

I think he's going to step back from the day-to-day management of the site.

This idea of ​​sale or not of the network with which we have been playing for a few weeks does not seem credible to me because Musk, despite his way of proceeding, which suggests that he improvises day by day, is much more organized than he doesn't seem like it.

This is also visible when you look at the rest of its companies where each technology responds to each other.

►Also read: Twitter: "We've been living the roller coaster for 7 months"

For example, Starlink, this network which allows the web to come from the sky around the earth, could tomorrow equip Mars, since Elon Musk has the project to send people to Mars.

With The Boring Company, he developed tunnel boring machines that drill high-speed, low-cost tunnels on land.

He did it in Las Vegas for example.

These tunnel boring machines have exactly the diameter which would allow them to be embarked on the Starship rocket which the day after tomorrow would go to Mars.

The tunnel boring machines will be able to dig the underground cavities which would make it possible to accommodate possible astronauts since we will not be able to live on the surface of the planet Mars because of cosmic radiation.

So this impression of dispersion that Musk gives, here too, is a decoy.

That is to say, everything is quite well organized like pieces of a puzzle that fit together.

Nevertheless, what strikes me as characteristic with Twitter is that it reveals how Elon Musk, although he tweets at length that he wants to work for the well-being of humanity, has a perception of the distorted humanity, because he lives in a bubble.

He's in the billionaire bubble, and with the takeover of Twitter, he's coming down to earth.

So I think we're going to see a backpedaling.

He will stop taking care of Twitter on a daily basis, but will remain the owner.

We do not buy a social network at 44 billion dollars to burn it in two months.   

►Also read: After many escapades, Elon Musk pays Twitter


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