Reddit CEO Claims Musk “Is In For A World Of Pain” If He Takes Over Twitter And Warns “He Has No Idea”

In a viral tweet, former Reddit CEO Yishan Wong claims Elon Musk “is in for a world of pain” if he takes over Twitter.

Wong wrote:

I’ve now been asked multiple times for my take on Elon’s offer for Twitter.

So fine, this is what I think about that. I will assume the takeover succeeds, and he takes Twitter private. (I have little knowledge/insight into how actual takeover battles work or play out)

I think if Elon takes over Twitter, he is in for a world of pain. He has no idea.

There is this old culture of the internet, roughly Web 1.0 (late 90s) and early Web 2.0, pre-Facebook (pre-2005), that had a very strong free speech culture.

This free speech idea arose out of a culture of late-90s America where the main people who were interested in censorship were religious conservatives. In practical terms, this meant that they would try to ban porn (or other imagined moral degeneracy) on the internet.

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He continued:

(Remember when it seemed very important to certain people that we ban things like this?)

Many of the older tech leaders today (@elonmusk, @pmarca
, etc, GenXers basically) grew up with that internet. To them, the internet represented freedom, a new frontier, a flowering of the human spirit, and a great optimism that technology could birth a new golden age of mankind.

Reddit was born in the last years of the “old internet” when free speech meant “freedom from religious conservatives trying to take down porn and sometimes first-person shooters.” And so we tried to preserve that ideal.

That is not what free speech is about today.

It’s not that the principle is no longer valid (it is), it’s that the practical issues around upholding that principle are different, because the world has changed.

The internet is not a “frontier” where people can go “to be free,” it’s where the entire world is now, and every culture war is being fought on it.

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It’s the MAIN battlefield for our culture wars.

It means that upholding free speech means you’re not standing up against some religious conservatives lobbying to remove Judy Blume books from the library, it means you’re standing up against EVERYONE, because every side is trying to take away the speech rights of the other side.

(It’s also where Russia is fighting a real war against us, using free speech literally. But that’s another story too)

Free speech may be noble, but here’s what’s it’s like these days:

All my left-wing woke friends are CONVINCED that the social media platforms uphold the white supremacist misogynistic patriarchy, and they have plenty of screenshots and evidence …

… of times when the platform has made enforcement decisions unfairly against innocuous things they’ve said, and let far more egregious sexist/racist violations by the other side pass.

Woke friends: it’s true, right? You have LOTS of examples.

All my alt/center-right/libertarian friends are CONVINCED the social media platforms uphold the woke BLM/Marxist/LGBTQ agenda and they ALSO have plenty of screenshots and evidence of times when…

… the platforms have made enforcement decisions unfair against them for innocuous things they’ve said merely questioning (in good faith) the woke orthodoxy, and let far more egregious violations by the other side stand.

Right-wingers and libertarians: it’s true, right? You can remember PLENTY of examples.

Neither side is lying.

Mostly, it’s really because enforcement is hard, and there are LOTS of errors. There’s a separate emerging problem (more FB than Twitter) where AI models make inhumane/dystopian judgments that can’t be appealed, but that’s a separate issue.

Both sides think the platform is institutionally biased against them.

“All the top executives and board members are men.”

“Silicon Valley employees are overwhelming woke and left-wing.”

I want you to pause for a minute and think about your political alignment and whether you’re on the left or right of this issue, because you probably think one of those things.

And the old GenX tech titans are right there with you – vaguely left-wing but also center-right – seeing their version of “censorship” – and drawing all the wrong conclusions from it about what’s happening with the management of social platforms.

Elon is one of those, because he doesn’t understand what has happened to internet culture since 2004. Or as I call it, just culture.

I KNOW he doesn’t, because he was pretty late to Bitcoin, and if he’d been plugged in to internet culture he would’ve been on Bitcoin way earlier.

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