Is the Bird free?

Well, Elon Musk certainly is.

The man is shaping as the Gordian knot cutter of the age. Or at the very least, the one able to set the most hares running.

This seems unlikely to get much credit from New Zealand’s authorities (read Thomas Cranmer on their differences).

But then not many people could – or would – take over a stagnant global media platform.  Then immediately fire its entire top team.  To be followed by the swift departure of half its workforce. Oh – and end home-working.

Continue reading “Is the Bird free?”

Thomas Cranmer: Twitter and the Monty Python Business Model

Elon Musk continues to develop the new free speech model for Twitter, drawing on comedy for new ideas and as a way of deflecting political criticism. Jacinda Ardern’s approach involves less humour.  THOMAS CRANMER examines the contrast…

On Sunday I asked the question: would Twitter unfollow the Prime Minister given that, on the face of it, Musk and Ardern have very different ideas of how the public square should operate?

As it turned out, it was a question that the Prime Minister was also pondering. When questioned on Tuesday about Twitter’s change of ownership, Ardern observed that “it is fair to say we are in a bit of unknown territory at this point”. They had, it seemed, changed their relationship status to “it’s complicated”. Despite this setback Musk and Ardern both had a busy week, with each of them progressing their own vision of how public discourse should be moderated.

In a previous article, I observed that humour was central to Musk’s view of free and open debate and this week saw confirmation of that. It started on Tuesday with him toying with the idea of asking twitter users to pay $20 per month for a blue check as a means of verification. When the author Stephen King unceremoniously shot him down, Musk’s response was to lower the price:      Continue reading “Thomas Cranmer: Twitter and the Monty Python Business Model”

Privacy Commissioner posts his peeve about the power of private companies (on Twitter) after social media giants gag Trump

The Point of Order team was alerted by the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union to the Privacy Commissioner’s  “crusade” for government regulation, apparently to curb the rights of corporate  giants in the social media game to decide who may post what sorts of material on their websites.

Twitter and Facebook have blocked US President Donald Trump, a serial tweeter, after a mob – apparently incited by his language – stormed Capitol Hill and after years of his persistently posting lies and inflammatory statements.

The Privacy Commissioner, John Edwards, seems to be welcoming the gagging of Trump while pressing for greater state control of their operations.   

Just a few months ago, the commissioner was delighting in the long-overdue passage of brand-new privacy legislation. Continue reading “Privacy Commissioner posts his peeve about the power of private companies (on Twitter) after social media giants gag Trump”