December 21, 2022

What Will Musk’s Twitter Resignation Mean?

His choice of replacement will be crucial if the platform is to remain free of leftist collusion and interference.

Never ask a question to which you don’t already know the answer. That’s conventional wisdom among courtroom lawyers, and they ignore it at their peril. An unpredictable witness, after all, can say unpredictable things, and winnable cases can suddenly become unwinnable.

Elon Musk is no lawyer, but we can’t believe he didn’t already know the answer when he asked his 120 million followers Sunday whether he should “step down as head of Twitter.” Further evidence of his premeditation could be found in his promise to “abide by the results of this poll.” He didn’t get to be the world’s richest man by leaving such things to chance.

The poll drew more than 17.5 million votes, with 57.5% of respondents saying he should step down and 42.5% saying he should stay on. The margin, if not the outcome, seemed something of a surprise to us, given his massive following and given his talents as a showman and a provocateur. But Musk is a man of his word, at least insofar as these results are concerned. Yesterday evening, he tweeted the following: “I will resign as CEO as soon as I find someone foolish enough to take the job! After that, I will just run the software and servers teams.”

It was fun while it lasted, though — unless you were a former Twitter senior executive or an FBI co-conspirator.

Much as the cause of free speech has benefited from Musk’s willingness to open the books and expose Twitter’s corruption and its collusion with an equally corrupt FBI, his leadership of the company always seemed more a passion than a vocation. Indeed, he’s been indicating for weeks that his tenure atop Twitter would be temporary and that he’d reduce his time with the company “and find somebody else to run Twitter over time.”

“One name being bandied about,” according to Fox Business correspondent Charles Gasparino, “is Palantir co-founder Joe Lonsdale.” Gasparino says that another potential candidate could come from what he dubs the “PayPal Mafia” — a reference to the online payment company that Musk founded with, among others, Peter Thiel and whose board of directors included LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman.

Our hope — and our expectation — is that Musk will install a CEO who’s as committed to free speech as he is. Otherwise, what was the point of spending $44 billion to purchase the company in the first place?

Meanwhile, The Intercept’s Lee Fang has been tasked with revealing “Twitter Files Part 8: How Twitter Quietly Aided the Pentagon’s Covert Online PsyOp Campaign.” Fang reports, “Despite promises to shut down covert state-run propaganda networks, Twitter docs show that the social media giant directly assisted the U.S. military’s influence operations.”

So much for virtuous Twitter. Emails obtained by Fang indicate that “high-level Twitter executives were well aware of DoD’s vast network of fake accounts and covert propaganda and did not suspend the accounts.” These revelations thoroughly undermine Twitter’s carefully crafted image of impartiality and as an ardent opponent of disinformation.

Evidently, though, it’ll be up to the next guy to sort it all out.

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