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Why I’m done with Twitter (X) … and Elon Musk

Nov 30, 2023

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X, formerly Twitter, has lost half its value since Elon Musk’s acquisition. The social media platform has witnessed a mass exodus of major advertisers and a substantial departure of users, including numerous celebrities. The mass exit can partially be attributed to the changes implemented by Musk, which some argue have worsened the spread of misinformation.

Straight Arrow News contributor Peter Zeihan explains why he loved old Twitter, why he’s (sort of) leaving the platform, and how Musk’s control led to its downfall.

Excerpted from Peter’s Nov. 30 “Zeihan on Geopolitics” newsletter:

What was once a platform where you could access open-source information that was reliable and free…has now been laid to rest by Elon Musk. Yes, I’m talking about that little blue bird we’ve known and loved for years.

I’m not one for beating dead horses, but at the very least, I’d like to explain my reasoning.

#1 is misinformation: the lax content moderation policies have opened the floodgates of disinformation.

#2 is a lack of meaningful interactions: what was once a breeding ground for stimulating conversations has become a vat of unintelligible sludge.

#3 is Elon Musk: I simply can’t support anything that man does anymore.

While I’m saying goodbye to Twitter (X) for personal use, we’ll still distribute my videos there.

Hey everybody, Peter Zeihan here coming to you from New York. I know normally people don’t like it when I do a video from my hotel room, but I’ve got a view with cathedral right here. So I figured maybe we’d make an exception. Today, I’d stay we’re gonna talk about distribution channels, and specifically why I’m leaving Twitter completely.
So in three things, first of all, I used to love Twitter, because it provided me access to firsthand information in places that the mainstream media for whatever reason couldn’t or wouldn’t go. The best example I can give you is the Ukraine war, as technologies become more important in global media, the number of people who were employed in that space has dropped. And so there’s a lot fewer eyes and fingers touching any particular story that has one of the reasons why we have a lot more opinion in our news than we used to, and a lot less fact checkers, your editors, fewer people to see anything. And so when something new starts up, especially when there’s something new is kind of, you know, violent and dangerous. There just aren’t enough people within the existing media landscape to redirect, in this case to either side of the front line and Ukraine. And so Twitter was where individuals who had personal context in the area could provide information. And sure there’s a lot to vet, but the point is, it was a source of information. Now, when the Ukraine war began, the old Twitter management went through and purge Russian bots from the system, which all of a sudden opened up Twitter to be glorious in any number of venues, because was no longer being spammed by disinformation, at least not to the same scale. But then Elon Musk came in. And as part of his commitment to free speech, he destroyed all content moderation, and allowed encouraged the bots to come back in force. And so now I would say on my feed my curated feed, it’s about 90 95% misinformation. And so I’ve gone from spending an hour or two thumbing through Twitter, getting a feel of what’s going on in the world to spending 12 hours and having no idea what’s going on, because it’s just crap. So I’ve stopped. The second big issue has to do with interaction. Now, part of the thing that was wonderful about old Twitter is the people who were providing that firsthand information were accessible. And you know, not to put too much of shine on it when you’ve got 100,000 or more followers, those people tend to pay attention if you ask them a question. So for me, it became free information gathering. And I could engage with conversations with potential sources, as well as just normal viewers about what was going on. And it gave me ideas of what to do, for example, for these videos, because you guys could interact with me, you could access me and vice versa. Well, that stopped. Basically, the things that are in the for you category are mentioned by you has disappeared from my feed. And over the last six weeks, I’ve had seven interactions with all of you combined. Now, if you want to spam me with porn bot that gets through and if you want to launch a crypto scheme and see if I’ll fall for that gets through and if it’s a porn themed crypto scheme that absolutely gets through, but it’s gone from being one of the most rewarding parts of my job to just complete a time suck and a waste of everything that I do. So that’s gone. And then there’s third is Elon Musk himself on a wanker.
It was one thing when he would blindly parrot whatever piece of Chinese propaganda came across his screen. And another thing when he started doing the same thing for Russian propaganda, and then Iranian propaganda, but of late, he’s gone down the white supremacist road on the anti semitic road. And it’s almost like Musk has revealed to the world that in reality, he’s not a green or a businessman. He’s just an unapologetic Apartheid Era white, South African, which apparently is exactly what he is. And so I’m done.
We’ll still be using Twitter as a distribution channel for the videos for those of you who are somehow able to find some sort of use for it, probably the crypto bros. But for everybody else, I would just underline that the fastest way and the most reliable way to get the videos is to sign up for the newsletter. It’s www.zeihan.com/newsletter design.com/newsletter, which is always the first place that the video goes before Twitter before YouTube before everything else. So just sign up direct, we will never share your data with anyone and the video remains free. Okay, that’s it. I’ll see you around. I’ll still be checking in on Twitter every few weeks to see if anything’s changed, because you know, God, it certainly can’t get worse is my thinking but then it keeps getting worse but who knows, maybe we’ll have a change in management. Maybe we’ll have a change in policy and I’ll be some version of what it used to be but until then, newsletter. All right. Take care.

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