Why Ripple CTO Criticized Elon Musk’s Free Speech Stance
David Schwartz, CTO at payment solution company Ripple, weighted in on Elon Musk’s attempts to buy Twitter. The CEO at Tesla made a bid to take over the social media platform valued at over $40 billion.
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Musk argues, amongst other things, that Twitter needs to reconsider its speech policies. Over the past years, the platform has removed “controversial” accounts, including that of Donald Trump when he was president of the United States.
Tesla’s CEO wants to transform the social media and remove what he considers censorship. Musk said via Twitter:
A social media platform’s policies are good if the most extreme 10% on left and right are equally unhappy.
Ripple’s CTO directly replied to Musk. He believes that the executive is proposing a “bad policy” that could “work absurdly poorly”.
Musk refers to a balance that could create another set of problems for free speech, according to Schwartz. This could usher in a system where “unreasonable people” are rewarded while “reasonable” users will be punished. Ripple’s CTO said:
Imagine if one side is entirely radical and one side is entirely moderate people. For the side with all radicals, only the 10% most radical of their positions will be prohibited. For the side with all moderates, not even all their moderate positions are allowed!
This could increase the odds of more moderate postures on any subject to be removed from the platform as radicals double down on their views. In turn, this could create a status quo where the users rely on the “ability to offend and annoy the other side”. Schwartz added:
It really looks like Musk has literally never spoken to anyone who has tangled with social media moderation problems at all and is just listing off the top of his head all the policies that sounds good to someone who does not understand the problem at all.
Ripple’s CTO Questions Musk’s Intention, Can He Save The XRP Community?
Elon Musk is a controversial figure. In the crypto space, he is known for his position on Dogecoin (DOGE) which he considers a better alternative to Bitcoin (BTC).
His bid on Twitter has caused extreme reactions from the users. Some defend it, and other users, such as Ripple’s CTO.
Some users replied to his counterargument claiming that Musk is simply trying to improve Twitter in terms of freedom of speech. In that sense, one user asked Schwartz to propose a better solution. Schwartz replied:
He’s not trying to make Twitter a better place for freedom of speech though. He’s trying push Twitter’s moderation policy to give better treatment to political speech he favors and to give worse treatment to political speech he disfavors.
The same users claimed that Musk’s bid on Twitter is entirely about free speech and giving more room to communities allegedly “shadowbanned” from the social media platform. The user believes the XRP community fits this description, and that Musk will “fix” this situation.
However, Schwartz was skeptical and claimed Musk has no “coherent position” on freedom of speech. He added:
(…) Elon Musk who has advocated restrictions on speech using bots and prohibiting extreme political positions, both of which are fully protected by freedom of speech. Elon Musk is not defending freedom of speech but a fascist parody of it.
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At the time of writing, XRP trades at $0.74 with a 3.5% loss on the 4-hour chart.