Home World What Amazon’s Jeff Bezos said on Elon Musk, Twitter sale and the Chinese govt

What Amazon’s Jeff Bezos said on Elon Musk, Twitter sale and the Chinese govt

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Elon Musk‘s $44 billion buyout of Twitter is the talk of the town with opinions divided on whether the purchase is good news for one of the world’s most (if not the most) influential social media platforms. At the centre of vigorous debates over free speech and the spread of disinformation, Twitter – a megaphone also credited with much good, including helping on-ground relief efforts during times of crisis – is grappling with tough questions on content moderation in India and other countries. However, Musk – a self-proclaimed ‘free-speech absolutist’ – has said he wants to reform what he sees as an over-zealous stance in such matters by a platform that banned former US president Donald Trump.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos chipped in Tuesday morning, flagging a post by a New York Times reporter who pointed to connections between Tesla and the Chinese government, and asking, ‘Did the Chinese government just gain a bit of leverage over the town square?’

The tweet was in response to NYT reporter Mike Forsythe’s message:

“Apropos of something:

-Tesla’s second-biggest market in 2021 was China (after the US)

-Chinese battery makers are major suppliers for Tesla’s EVs.

-After 2009, when China banned Twitter, the government there had almost no leverage over the platform -That may have just changed.”

Bezos re-tweeted and wrote: “Interesting question. Did the Chinese government just gain a bit of leverage over the town square?”

READ: What’s next now that Twitter agreed to Musk bid?

The ‘town square’ reference was to Musk’s first tweet after the Twitter purchase was confirmed; he wrote, “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated…”

Bezos went on to offer some answers for the question he raised.

“My own answer to this question is probably not. The more likely outcome in this regard is complexity in China for Tesla, rather than censorship at Twitter. But we’ll see. Musk is extremely good at navigating this kind of complexity.”

READ: On Musk’s takeover, Twitter CEO tells employees future ‘in the dark’

The latest chapter in Twitter’s history has been backed by founder Jack Dorsey, who tweeted “… Elon is the singular solution I trust. I trust his mission to extend the light of consciousness.”

READ: Dorsey backs Twitter takeover amid concerns: ‘Elon’s goal right one’

The support, however, was tempered with a tweet on Twitter being ‘the closest thing we have to a global consciousness’.

“The idea and service is all that matters to me, and I will do whatever it takes to protect both,” Dorsey, who stepped down as CEO last year, wrote.

Musk’s move for Twitter made global headlines, with much of the speculation now on how he might finance part of the $44 billion offer on the table – $21 billion equity has been personally guaranteed by the firm’s (almost) new boss.

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