Billionaire businessman turned popular reality TV star, Mark Cuban, took aim at Elon Musk on Thursday over what he sees as the disconnect between the Twitter owner’s self-declared “free speech absolutist” principles and the realities of what is actually happening on the platform.
Cuban’s remarks began with him predicting that Musk is looking to start his own version of the ChatGPT, the artificial intelligence chatbot. “He gets to take the entire @twitter firehose to train or feed any open source model and have a competitor to the big 3. He can weight his own tweets and those of the sources he likes and end up with a consumer facing AI that can be a virtual Elon. Pretty cool. Pretty scary,” Cuban wrote on Twitter.
A Twitter user replied to Cuban, saying, “Think this was always the main play behind his Twitter acquisition and why he’s pushing free speech so hard as it’s a good way to mitigate bias in the models. Also why he’s pushing multimedia on this platform really hard as great for training data.”
Cuban hit back, trashing the idea that Musk is actually “pushing free speech” on Twitter:
He isn’t pushing free speech. When @elonmusk goes out of his way to engage with and promote the accounts and tweets of people who disagree with him, then I’ll believe he is about free speech. Until then, this is just an adventure for him
Everyone has access. But @elonmusk has the ultimate reach and control. Who he supports or denigrates is the Twitter equivalent of State intervention. He owns the platform, he can do what he chooses. But it’s disingenuous to say Twitter is the home of free speech when he chooses to often put his thumb on the scale of reach ..
It’s a difficult position for him to be in. He is opinionated and has every right to be and to tweet what he damn well please. . But rather than saying Twitter is the home of free speech, I wish he would just call it like it is. Twitter is his platform and he is going to use it to support and influence the positions he wants to support and influence.
Musk, in recent days, came under fire for Twitter suppressing content in Turkey ahead of the hotly contested presidential election, a move many critics saw as Musk capitulating to Turkey’s authoritarian incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Musk defended the move, saying, “The choice is have Twitter throttled in its entirety or limit access to some tweets. Which one do you want?”
The New Republic’s Alex Shephard blasted Musk in an article this week, writing, “If Erdoğan instead blocked Twitter, at least his supporters and opponents would have been silenced equally—and such a move would have made his authoritarianism even clearer to voters.”
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