Reviews | How Elon Musk could change Twitter

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For the editor:

Re “Making Twitter Worse Makes No Business Sense” (Guest Opinion Essay, April 28):

Elizabeth Spiers’ valid anxiety about what a Wild West version of Twitter might look like reminds parents of their days of “honey, if Sally and Donny are bullying you on your playdates, maybe you should get over it. new friends”. Fortunately, his lament also contains the seeds of an adult response.

As with any forum, Twitter users proceed at their own risk. These risks may well change in the Musk era. But Ms Spiers’ comments suggest that in the marketplace of ideas, an unconstrained Twitter may turn out to be such a mess that smart, decent people of all persuasions will simply avoid it by opting out. Maybe they’ll even launch a competitive forum — Twitter’s rules of engagement will be free — and find a market for dialogue between those who listen respectfully and respond civilly.

Anyway, if you don’t like that boy Elon, maybe you should make some new friends.

G. Andrew Lundberg
Pacific Palisades, California.

For the editor:

Elizabeth Spiers writes insightfully about Elon Musk and his acquisition of Twitter, but I would like to challenge Mr. Musk’s basic assumption that, as she quotes: “Twitter is the digital public square where vital issues are debated. future of mankind. ”

The fact that Twitter’s “town square” is owned by one person makes it absurd to think that it can operate with any integrity, neutrality, or beneficial purpose, other than for advertisers. Please admit that while Twitter may be a forum for those who participate in it, it is no more a “public square” than Red Square, Tiananmen Square or any other meeting place controlled by government mandates. or personal biases.

Twitter is a for-profit company, a bogus “public square”. It will continue to be a source of lies and misinformation masquerading as “free speech”, no matter how Mr. Musk describes it.

Victoria Dailey
Los Angeles

For the editor:

Twitter is currently in a state of intellectual disrepair. His effort to civilize discourse on the platform has turned into free-for-all censorship, where guidelines for acceptable tweets have been twisted by moderators who suspend anyone who offends their personal sense of propriety.

I was banned from Twitter for a post that was not hateful, threatening, or beyond what might arise in an ordinary conversation about politicians. I called Senator Tom Cotton “trash.” My account was quickly closed by a moderator. When I asked what rule I broke I was told it was “hate speech”. Beyond the insane!

What Mr. Musk should do to fix this platform is hire free speech consultants to establish reasonable and transparent guidelines for its users, weed out moderators who lack impartiality, and establish an appeals mechanism. simple and fair suspension.

Mr. Musk is an advocate for free speech. It must apply this philosophy to Twitter if it wants to remain the public square par excellence.

Martin W. Schwartz
Henderson, Nevada.

For the editor:

Regarding “Twitter Under Elon Musk Will Be a Scary Place”, by Greg Bensinger (Opinion, April 26):

What’s ‘scary’ is how critics of Elon Musk randomly confuse his defense of free speech with accusations that he or his company defied securities laws, has engaged in racial discrimination and sexual harassment, or violated other laws or regulations, all of which should be investigated. and pursued as much as possible. But if demands that Mr. Musk be more “responsible” or that we need to impose checks on his power are actually calls for Congress or state legislatures to pass laws regulating Twitter and other social media platforms, then we will truly enter a scary place.

Partisan political majorities are already imposing censorship schemes on messages and ideas they dislike, such as critical race theory, banning books and passing laws like the “Don’t Say Gay” law. from Florida. Censorship can be habit forming.

Instead, criticize Mr. Musk all you want. Post messages calling him. Write opinion pieces and letters to the editor. Boycott Twitter. Exercise your First Amendment rights without fostering a climate of censorship.

Stephen F.Rohde
Los Angeles

For the editor:

Re “The subway is the best place to cry in public”, by Qian Julie Wang (opinion guest essay, April 29):

The unexpected explosions of humanity are my favorite part of the soul of New York and the subway.

Once, at the end of a particularly difficult day, I was sitting alone in a mostly empty subway car in Brooklyn, and I started to cry. A woman sitting across from me noticed and started singing a lullaby, beautifully, softly and directly to me.

I thanked her and she simply told me that she knew what it was like to cry alone on the subway. It is a gesture that I will never forget.

Some time later, I noticed a woman crying alone in front of me on the train. It was in a crowded car, and I didn’t want to draw attention to her. I wrote a little note that said something like this: “I don’t know what hurts you, but I know what it’s like to cry on the subway. I hope whatever troubles you will pass soon and the light will return.

I handed it to him just before getting off the train.

Sharda Sekaran
Copenhagen

For the editor:

Qian Julie Wang’s essay reminded me of the time I was sitting on the 6 train, lost in my own thoughts, when I looked up to find that the young artist sitting across from me was drawing me on his art book.

I tried to be a decent subject until I reached my stop, where I took a look at his drawing. It wasn’t that bad.

Lisa Greenbaum
New York

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