Former Reddit CEO says if Elon Musk takes over Twitter he's 'in for a world of pain' and will be 'forced to censor things' due to difficulty of enforcing free speech
- Former Reddit CEO Yishan Wong said Elon Musk is "in for a world of pain" if he buys Twitter.
- In a viral Twitter thread, he explained why Musk "shouldn't waste his time" on the platform.
Former Reddit CEO Yishan Wong said Elon Musk is "in for a world of pain" if he buys Twitter, arguing that the Tesla CEO doesn't fully understand the challenges of content moderation and enforcing free speech on the internet.
"Elon is not going to fix some problems. I am absolutely sure of this. He has no idea what he's in for," Wong said in now-viral Twitter thread.
At the heart of the thread is Wong's belief that Musk won't actually be able to uphold the free speech ideals of the "Old Internet" because of the how today's internet operates. Since the modern web has grown to the point where anyone can post anything at any time, platforms as large as Twitter are eventually forced into censorship, Wong argued.
"Censorship is inevitable on large social network platforms. If you run one of sufficient size, you will be FORCED to censor things," he said. "Not by governments, or even by 'users,' but by the emergent dynamics of the social network itself."
—Yishan (@yishan) April 15, 2022
According to Wong, it's not politics that determine those dynamics — though that's what both sides of the aisle tend to believe. Instead, he said it's because ideas are innately "powerful and dangerous" and large social media platforms have a responsibility to keep people from going totally out of control.
"And it's not because certain ideas are good or bad, or true or false. It has to do purely with operational issues that arise with humans that disagree in large numbers on digital platforms," Wong continued.
Regardless of the exact reasoning behind Wong's free speech debate, his bottom line was that running a social media network is hard — much harder than Musk may currently believe.
To illustrate this point, Wong went on to say that Twitter cofounder and former CEO Jack Dorsey's extreme lifestyle is likely a result of the trauma and chronic stress that comes with such a position.
"And the worst part, the part that is going to hurt ALL OF HUMANITY, is that this will distract from his mission at SpaceX and Tesla, because it's not just going to suck up his time and attention, IT WILL DAMAGE HIS PSYCHE," he continued.
Musk's response to the "novella of a thread," as he called it, was that Twitter is "way overdue" for a long form tweet feature.
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