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Elon Musk Buys Twitter: The Big Picture | #socialmedia | #hacking | #aihp

jolted the social-media world last week by agreeing to sell itself to entrepreneur and self-described “free-speech absolutist”

for $44 billion. The

chief executive has indicated a desire to loosen the site’s content moderation policies, which some see as unduly targeting conservatives, and unlock value that the company’s current leadership can’t. The Opinion pages of The Wall Street Journal look at how the deal came about, why it matters, and how it might change the way we communicate online.

Colin Wright: Elon Musk Tweeted My Cartoon

I was out for a walk last Thursday when Elon Musk tweeted a political cartoon that I created in August 2021. It received hundreds of thousands of retweets and more than 1.5 million likes. The stick figure in the middle depicts me, a center-left liberal in 2008, and how the ground had shifted under my feet by 2012 and 2021.

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Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.: As We Speak, Elon Musk Rebrands Twitter

It’s worth recalling just how fanciful and arbitrary was Twitter’s decision to ban President Donald Trump from the site in 2021 after the Jan. 6 riot.

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Daniel P. Lefler: Twitter’s Board Handled Elon Musk Well

Let’s hear it for Twitter’s board of directors. Given the considerable drama surrounding Elon Musk’s bid for the company, it is easy to overlook the board’s skillful handling of his approach.

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The Editorial Board: More Hilarious Wailing at Elon Musk

My, what a progressive panic Elon Musk’s $44 billion purchase of Twitter has inspired. MSNBC host Ari Melber warns that Mr. Musk could hack the political debate by having the website “secretly ban one party’s candidate” or “turn down the reach of their stuff, and turn up the reach of something else, and the rest of us might not even find out about it until after the election.”

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The Editorial Board: Elon Musk, Twitter and Free Speech

With his typical enthusiasm for viral high-jinks, Elon Musk once formally titled himself Tesla’s “Technoking,” and now perhaps he will take a similar role at Twitter. After a speedy love-hate business courtship that lasted two weeks, the social-media website agreed Monday to accept Mr. Musk’s buyout offer of $44 billion.

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Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.: Elon Musk Can Fix Twitter Culture

Elon Musk has said he wants to run Twitter because of its importance as a free speech “town square” and not to make money, but the deal he just signed requires him to make money, and that’s fine.

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Vivek Ramaswamy and Jed Rubenfeld: How Elon Musk Can Liberate Twitter

Elon Musk wants Twitter to “adhere to free speech principles.” That’s easier said than done. Porn, racial slurs and spam are all protected under the First Amendment, but few users want to see them. Even for the narrow categories of speech that aren’t protected, nearly all content blocking on social media goes against the first principle of free-speech jurisprudence—the ban on prior restraint, or censorship without judicial review.

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Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.: Elon Musk, Twitter and the Ghosts of the 2016 and 2020 Elections

The law of scarcity applies to Elon Musk. Whatever his paper wealth, he is as impoverished as the rest of us in the time and attention he can devote to his many interests, which is one reason his Twitter bid is likely to fizzle out.

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Bradley A. Smith: 10 Things for Elon Musk to Do at Twitter

I wouldn’t dream of telling Elon Musk, who recently became Twitter’s top shareholder, how to turn a profit. But I do know something about free speech. If Mr. Musk is serious about making the social-media behemoth a force for free speech, here are 10 things he can do.

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