Tucker Carlson and Elon Musk Pretend Twitter Isn’t Burning
It was only a matter of time. Tucker Carlson and Elon Musk finally linked up on Monday night for the first installment of what is shaping up to be a two-night self-ingratiating fest on Fox News.
The pair have long been on converging paths. Carlson has been Musk’s number one stan since he took over Twitter, and Musk has taken to boosting the naked propaganda aired on Tucker Carlson Tonight to his 135 million Twitter followers.
While Musk’s takeover of Twitter has failed to produce his promised libertarian renaissance for the app — losing half of the company’s value in the course of a year — the billionaire has been cozying up to right-wing sycophants eager to reassure him that he’s the universe’s gift to the internet in exchange for policies that favor their own priorities. Carlson carried on in the same vein, telling viewers that before Musk purchased the social media company, it had been a “honey trap” run by global intelligence agencies, and that the Tesla billionaire had purged it of the “spies” working in its offices.
The billionaire echoed these claims — that he’s yet to provide evidence for — that intelligence agencies had “full access” to Twitter’s back end, including users’ private direct messages. The explosive allegation was not identified in the various “Twitter Files” reports orchestrated by Musk in collaboration with various reporters critical of Twitter’s relationship with government entities.
In the span of a year, the company has undergone mass layoffs, rollbacks of content safety standards, and an exodus of advertisers. Elon’s Twitter has also struggled to maintain the functionality of the platform and launched a series of money-grabbing updates that barely dented the company’s debts. During Monday’s interview, Musk brushed off the struggles as the result of his “timing” being “terrible.”
The Fox host interjected zealous laughs in response to many of Musk’s comments and effectively congratulated Musk on firing 80 percent of Twitter’s employees, a move that wrought internal chaos upon the company. Carlson informed Musk that friends of his had expressed admiration for his actions. “If you’re not trying to run some sort of glorified activist organization, and you don’t care that much about censorship then you can really let go of a lot of people, it turns out,” Musk replied.
Musk also discussed his concern that AI could reach a point in development where it could take advantage of Twitter to “manipulate public opinion in a way that is very bad.”
Despite his concern over the use of AI and misinformation, Musk began to remove previously free legacy blue checkmarks (in favor of $8 subscriptions), which functioned as Twitter’s system to ensure notable accounts were properly vetted and identified. The CEO has continued to roll back swaths of the platform’s content moderation policies, resulting in a significant rise in instances of hate speech on the platform.
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Musk called for government regulation of AI, and argued that “you don’t want companies cutting corners on safety. And then having people suffer as a result.” Yet his own companies have a long history of reported safety issues, from the production of self-driving cars, to inhumane testing on animals, to disbanding Twitter’s trust and safety council in favor of arbitrary policy changes.
The pair are expected to continue their discussion on Tuesday night. Carlson teased that Musk will be discussing his belief in prolific procreation to save the human species — the perfect opportunity for Carlson’s interest in testicle tanning to come up.
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