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TOPIC: elon musk

Ideas

Absolute Free Speech Is A Recipe For Violence: Notes From Paris For Monsieur Musk

Elon Musk bought Twitter in the name of absolute freedom. But numerous research shows that social media hate speech leads to actual violence. Musk and others running social networks need to strike a balance.

-Analysis-

PARIS — Elon Musk is the world's leading reckless driver. The ever unpredictable CEO of Tesla and SpaceX is now behind a very different wheel as the new head of Twitter.

He began by banning remote work before slightly backtracking and authorizing it for the company’s “significant contributors.” Now he’s opened the door to Donald Trump to return to Twitter, while at the same time vaunting a decrease in the number of hate-messages that appear on the social network…all while firing Twitter’s content moderation teams.

But this time, the world’s richest man will have to make choices. He’ll have to limit his otherwise unconditional love of free speech. “Freedom consists of being able to do everything that does not harm others,” proclaimed the French-born Declaration of the Rights of Man in 1789.

Yet freedom on social networks results not only in insults and defamation, but sometimes also in physical aggression.

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Some Historical Context On The Current Silicon Valley Implosion

Tech billionaires such as Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg have lost far more money this year than ever before. Eccentric behavior and questionable decisions have both played a role. But there are examples in U.S. business history that have other clues.

-Analysis-

BERLIN — Life isn’t always fair, especially when it comes to business. Although he had already registered dozens of patents, during the global economic crisis of the 1930s, tireless inventor Nikola Tesla found himself struggling to put food on the table. Sure, investors today associate his name with runaway wealth and business achievements rather than poverty and failure: Tesla, the company that was named after him, has made Elon Musk the richest man in the world.

Bloomberg estimates the 51-year-old’s current fortune to be $185 billion. While Musk is not a brilliant inventor like Nikola Tesla, many see him as the most successful businessperson of our century.

And yet, over the past month, many are beginning to wonder if Musk is in trouble, if he has spread himself too thin. Most obvious is his messy and expensive takeover of Twitter, which includes polarizing antics and a clear lack of a strategy.

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Ukraine Cities Targeted, Xi v. Trudeau, Lego Eiffel

👋 Բարև*

Welcome to Thursday, where Russia continues major airstrikes of Ukrainian cities, the Republicans win control of the U.S. House of Representatives with a slim majority, and Lego releases its tallest set ever. Meanwhile, Global Press Journal zooms in on an unlikely leading candidate ahead of next year’s presidential election in Zimbabwe.

[*Barev - Armenian]

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Is Elon Watching? How Chaos At Twitter Could Impact Iranian Protesters

Two anonymous Iranian Twitter users spoke about their hopes that Iran's protests could hasten the end of the unpopular regime, and what Elon Musk's takeover of the the platform could mean for them.

The world has been paying special attention to the scope and endurance of anti-state protests in Iran that erupted in September after the death in police custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. A key to maintaining momentum and attention has been social media, with users and activists eager to stay in contact and communicate around what many in Iran hope will be the movement to end the 40-year Islamist reign.

Social media's role in resisting oppressive regimes dates back to the protests of the Arab Spring, and more than 10 years later, Twitter in particular (with the option to have an anonymous account) is being used again in Iran.

However, since Elon Musk's takeover of the platform, serious concerns have been raised about whether the platform will survive. Ciaran O’Connor, senior analyst at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, said in an interview that "If Twitter was to ‘go in the morning’, let's say, all of this—all of the firsthand evidence of atrocities or potential war crimes, and all of this potential evidence—would simply disappear."

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eyes on the U.S.
Alex Hurst

Eyes On U.S. — No 'Vague Rouge,' No Final Results: How The World Makes Sense Of Midterms

While some breathed sighs of relief that the Republicans' predicted "red wave" sweep didn't happen, others chuckle at how long it takes to count the votes. And then there's Senõr Musk...

PARIS — Three full days later, and there's still no real clarity on the U.S. midterms — but the world has gotten used to American elections dragging out for days or even weeks, for both political and technical reasons.

One French journalist wondered if there’s a simpler way.

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In The News

Le Weekend ➡️ Ghibli Park Opens, New Zulu King, World Ballet Day

November 5-6

  • Welcome to Listenbourg
  • Peru’s Avengers police
  • France’s funeral cargo bike
  • … and much more.
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In The News
Renate Mattar, Sophia Constantino, Laure Gautherin and Anne-Sophie Goninet

North Korea Fires 23 Missiles, Bibi’s Comeback, Lions On The Loose Down Under

👋 Ahoj!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where North Korea fires an unprecedented barrage of missiles, Benjamin Netanyahu looks set for a comeback in Israel, and Twitter’s coveted blue tick now comes at a price. Meanwhile, in Egyptian media Mada Masr, political scientist Fatemeh Sadeghi looks at the mass protests shaking Iran and their long-lasting effects on society.

[*Czech]

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In The News

Le Weekend ➡️ Musk’s Bird, Rescue Rats, Soulages Back To Black

October 29-30

  • Kadyrov's long game
  • Musk’s Twitter, to leave or not to leave
  • Rescue rats in the rubble
  • … and much more.
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In The News
Sophia Constantino, Laure Gautherin, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Bertrand Hauger

Ukraine Gains & Putin Signs, Musk-Twitter Saga Back On, Chemistry Nobel

👋 Hei!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where Ukraine continues to advance on the ground while Putin officially signs annexation, Elon Musk’s Twitter bid is back on, and the Nobel in Chemistry goes to three “click chemistry” scientists. Meanwhile, Argentine writer Ignacio Pereyra has a different take on the meaning of Federer and Nadal’s recent PDA that the whole tennis world was gushing over.

[*Finnish]

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Countries
Cameron Manley and Bertrand Hauger

Kyiv’s Advances In The South Could Cut Off 25,000 Russia Troops

The southern advance in the Kherson region is closing in along the west bank of the Dnipro River to cut off Russian supply lines.

Ukraine’s military breakthroughs in the south and in the east of the country in the past couple of days is being hailed as the biggest advance Kyiv has made since the start of the Russian invasion.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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In particular, the southern advance in the Kherson region is closing in along the west bank of the Dnipro River to cut off Russian supply lines. If successful, as many as 25,000 Russian troops could be isolated, after Ukraine had destroyed the river's main bridges, forcing Russia to use makeshift crossings.

"The fact we have broken through the front means that [...] the Russian army has already lost the ability to attack, and today or tomorrow it could lose the ability to defend," Oleh Zhdanov, a military analyst based in Kyiv, told Reuters on Tuesday.

During his nightly address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed that Ukrainian forces are pressing ahead, liberating more towns in a number of areas, adding that “more and more occupiers are trying to escape, more and more losses are being borne by the enemy army, and there is a growing understanding that Russia made a mistake by going to war against Ukraine.”

The recently re­cap­tured ter­ri­to­ry in two of the four Russian-occupied regions form a large front that is forcing Moscow to retreat from areas it conquered only days ago. The military wins in the south echo similar breakthroughs in the east in recent days and weeks, which some say signal a shift in the war in recent weeks, prompting Russia to mobilize hundreds of thousands of reserve troops.

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Ideas
Nolan Higdon

Elon Musk Wants Twitter For The Big Data, Not The Free Speech

Oligarchs of the ‘Second Gilded Age’ in the like of Elon Musk are already able to influence the public's minds through media ownership. But getting a hand on Twitter means having access to its users' data and exploiting it for financial purposes.

During the Gilded Age of the late 19th century, and the early decades of the 20th century, U.S. captains of industry such as William Randolph Hearst and Jay Gould used their massive wealth to dominate facets of the economy, including the news media. They were, in many ways, prototype oligarchs — by the dictionary definition, “very rich business leaders with a great deal of political influence.”

Some have argued that the U.S. is in the midst of a Second Gilded Age defined — like the first — by vast wealth inequality, hyper-partisanship, xenophobia and a new crop of oligarchs using their vast wealth to purchase media and political influence.

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