Tag Archives: Musk

Is it time for governments to guard against the collapse of social media – and other online – firms?

The takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk has created a huge upheaval in the corporation, with many financial supporters and users either leaving it or planning to do so.

There are widespread fears that it may collapse.

Other large firms, that similarly dominate our online lives, are at similar risk of takeover and destruction – calamities that would threaten our current way of life.

What is to be done about it?

I copy below a thread by economist Richard Murphy, who believes that governments should act to create similar systems that are publicly funded and free from commercial interference.

Before you read that, consider this: way back in 2020, I published an article quoting an Australian (I think) magazine that said the UK’s mass media had been complicit in lying to the nation about the Boris Johnson government’s efforts to deal with Covid-19.

It stated that the only people questioning the then-government’s behaviour were independent, social media sites (like Vox Political) and called for them to be supported.

Instead, social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have squeezed us hard. This Site’s Facebook page has more than 42,000 followers – but only around 350 ever get to see any single post.

I am shown adverts calling for me to spend £14 to send them to a couple of hundred more readers, but there is no guarantee that they are followers of the page, or even interested in UK politics at all.

On Twitter, I have more than 10,000 followers currently – but, again, only a few of them ever see my tweets.

This is clear interference in the performance of my business, that takes advantage of the need to promote my site via the social media.

So my question is this: is it time to set up publicly-funded alternatives to Twitter, Google and so on, simply to re-establish a level playing field for businesses?

Here’s the Richard Murphy thread:

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.


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