Author Topic: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5  (Read 3772 times)

Grant

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#Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« on: April 25, 2022, 01:08:05 PM »
Twitter about to accept Elon Musk's $43 billion offer.  Wherethen Musk will be transfigured into CapitalistGesus and there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth. 

msquared

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2022, 01:12:25 PM »
How long after he buys it before he lets Trump back on and the stock value of Truth Social collapses completely?

Grant

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2022, 01:30:40 PM »
I dunno.  If he lets L'Orange back into Twitter a whole bunch of Progressives and Libs may be heading over to Truth Social, lol. 

msquared

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2022, 01:43:13 PM »
Well no one else is over there, so there would be plenty of room.

Fenring

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2022, 02:31:16 PM »
I was actually irritated with the antics of the Twitter board on this occasion. At first threatening the poison pill maneuver, then finally agreeing to his bid, is not a good way to look like intelligent people. Especially since this all but guarantees they will all be fired once he takes control. On the ethical side of things, I don't see why a board should have any say in whether someone who wants to run the company shouldn't be allowed to buy stock in it. I can see a board sabotaging a stock purchase if, for instance, the buy intends to tank the business or otherwise conduct a pump and dump scheme or some other maneuver that indicates a lack of interest in the well-being of the company. By all accounts, in this case, Musk actually wants to own Twitter and (according to him) run it better than they're doing. So it really boils down to they were screwing over the shareholders to try to protect their jobs and income, which is IMO highly unethical.

Grant

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2022, 03:03:52 PM »
On the ethical side of things, I don't see why a board should have any say in whether someone who wants to run the company shouldn't be allowed to buy stock in it.

Alexander Lebedev wants to buy large amounts of Raytheon. 

Liverpool F.C. wants to buy large amounts of stock in Manchester U.


Fenring

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2022, 03:15:13 PM »
On the ethical side of things, I don't see why a board should have any say in whether someone who wants to run the company shouldn't be allowed to buy stock in it.

Alexander Lebedev wants to buy large amounts of Raytheon. 

Liverpool F.C. wants to buy large amounts of stock in Manchester U.

Yes, I was talking about a private individual with no serious conflict of interest (e.g. someone who is buying in order to sabotage the company, or betray its country of origin). There are not only fiduciary duties involved, but also potentially national security. So the purchase has to, in the first place, be legal in a broad sense. But someone buying stock who the board members just personally don't like - that's not a valid reason.

yossarian22c

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2022, 03:38:32 PM »
On the ethical side of things, I don't see why a board should have any say in whether someone who wants to run the company shouldn't be allowed to buy stock in it.

Alexander Lebedev wants to buy large amounts of Raytheon. 

Liverpool F.C. wants to buy large amounts of stock in Manchester U.

Yes, I was talking about a private individual with no serious conflict of interest (e.g. someone who is buying in order to sabotage the company, or betray its country of origin). There are not only fiduciary duties involved, but also potentially national security. So the purchase has to, in the first place, be legal in a broad sense. But someone buying stock who the board members just personally don't like - that's not a valid reason.

Or someone buying stock to run the company in a way they think will destroy the value of the company or harm society. Because using twitter to rapidly and easily spread lies and disinformation does harm society.

TheDrake

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2022, 03:40:00 PM »
Quote
I don't see why a board should have any say in whether someone who wants to run the company shouldn't be allowed to buy stock in it.

Simple. A board member with a controlling interest, let's say for simplicity 51%, can basically appoint replacements for the existing board members. I don't know why you want to portray that as naked self-interest. Why can't they be protecting the investor's long term interest because they believe Musk will run twitter into the ground? Or that they believe Musk will not uphold the ethical values that they've stood for? Isn't a truly independent board something that stockholders want in order to be able to vote out board members who don't live up to their expectations?

wmLambert

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2022, 09:30:42 PM »
...Why can't they be protecting the investor's long term interest because they believe Musk will run twitter into the ground? Or that they believe Musk will not uphold the ethical values that they've stood for? Isn't a truly independent board something that stockholders want in order to be able to vote out board members who don't live up to their expectations?

Metrics!  The entire enterprise has fallen off a cliff since the Leftist activists began to push Leftwing disinformation as truth and then refuse to apologize or repair the damage when they were proved wrong. That does not happen by algorithm. Such T/F decisions are political - not simple math. By all aspects, the current board should have been fired en masse when they kicked off Trump but kept on the Ayatollah saying he would destroy America. Elon Musk is predicted to salvage a badly damaged product and increase its value.

Metrics again, Trump was the most successful and most transparent Presidency ever. Years of Democrat lies about Russia and character assassination slowed Trumps positive legacy - but even so, eclipsed all earlier Presidents. Why isn't the Biden crime family shunned by all posters here and certainly by the MSM?

rightleft22

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2022, 09:24:30 AM »
My feeling is that those who sold their shares to Musk dropped a hot potato who's best days have passed. I'm probably wrong. I can't help to wonder of the psychology of this need to tweet and own it.
'Musk' 'a strong-smelling reddish-brown substance which is secreted by the male musk deer for scent-marking"

yossarian22c

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2022, 10:10:43 AM »
...

Metrics again, Trump was the most successful and most transparent Presidency ever. Years of Democrat lies about Russia and character assassination slowed Trumps positive legacy - but even so, eclipsed all earlier Presidents. Why isn't the Biden crime family shunned by all posters here and certainly by the MSM?

Welcome back outside your information bubble. Hope you enjoy your stay.

Fenring

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2022, 12:26:55 PM »
Simple. A board member with a controlling interest, let's say for simplicity 51%, can basically appoint replacements for the existing board members. I don't know why you want to portray that as naked self-interest. Why can't they be protecting the investor's long term interest because they believe Musk will run twitter into the ground? Or that they believe Musk will not uphold the ethical values that they've stood for? Isn't a truly independent board something that stockholders want in order to be able to vote out board members who don't live up to their expectations?

It'd end up being a rabbit hole to go into the qualitative feel of whether a board should be vetting stock purchases based on their opinion of the buyer, since they are not actually the owner. But I'm portraying it as naked self-interest in this case because it's my guess that this is the case. It's not intrinsically naked self-interest that would make a board try to prevent a purchase. That being said, as I understand it a 'poison pill' (i.e. diluting the stock to mechanically prevent a majority takeover) is considered to be a really bad sign for an operating board since they are essentially damaging the credibility and solidity of their own company to stop something happening that really has to be bad enough to warrant this.

As for whether Musk would run Twitter into the ground...I guess that's totally subjective? For any buyer the board could argue they 'feel like' he'd run it into the ground. To wit they didn't release an official statement citing their objective financial reasons why they think he can't run the company properly. As for ethics, I personally don't have much faith in the Twitter board being a bastion of honor trying to prevent the scurilous Musk from sullying its good name.

In my view it seems likely the board was acting out of personal self-interest, but YMMV.

TheDrake

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2022, 12:35:14 PM »
The ethical consideration is maybe they don't want their platform to be used as an insurrection planning meetup group. Even if it does cost them eyeball share and money. Stockholder interests aren't always motivated entirely by dollars and cents.

NobleHunter

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2022, 12:39:52 PM »
They might have tried the poison pill to stave off a purchase during a temporary downturn in the stock price. Last year's(?) share price was much higher than Musk's offer and if there was good reason to believe the price would recover when the current market woes subside, then it would make sense to kill the current offer. I think the Board also had to consider non-monetary benefits of being a major shareholder in Twitter. Even if Musk was offering more than the shares were worth, that doesn't mean it compensated current shareholders for the loss of those benefits.

In a perfect world, the Board would address the interests of all of Twitter's stakeholders, which would make the likelihood of Musk destroying the company relevant. I don't think they currently have an obligation to anyone but the shareholders. That Musk seems likely to drive people off Twitter or turn it into a cesspool of Nazis and terrorists doesn't matter to people who no longer have an interest in the company.

Wayward Son

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2022, 12:44:40 PM »
Quote
Metrics again, Trump was the most successful and most transparent Presidency ever.

Ironic how you assert this the day after Trump was held in civil contempt of court for not producing court-ordered documents.  That's Mr. Transparency all right!  ;D

msquared

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2022, 12:56:47 PM »
Or the lawsuits about the documents Trump said were protected by EP when he was no longer the Executive? Or his taking or destroying documents? That seems very transparent.  Maybe in a different way.

TheDrake

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2022, 01:03:11 PM »
Well the tape they used to piece his documents back together was transparent.

rightleft22

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2022, 01:10:27 PM »
I have zero interest in twitter. I imagine it being similar to reading comment sections of news stories. When I participated I found the overall experience a negative one. After a while it got pretty easy to predict how people would react to a story and which type of comments would bubble up to the top like rocks in a field. Viewed without attachment I found very little value in the exercise, attached and I felt the danger of becoming that "uncle". 

Wondering if anyone on this site uses twitter and what their experience has been?     

Fenring

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2022, 01:14:37 PM »
Yeah in theory some of these arguments are possible. But I can't help but feel that their initial (extreme) reaction was essentially "Musk?? No way!!" and not much more than that. It's not like they convened a shareholder's meeting to discuss the pros and cons, or anything like that. I also personally think that they are currently enjoying a monopoly on content moderation which they know he would upend and do differently. In fact that is his stated reason for wanting to buy it. And I suspect not wanting to give away the keys to the censoring device is what made them want to keep him away. It's a major purveyor of opinions and information, and controlling it has a massive effect on public discourse. Groups like Facebook enjoy extreme levels of power in terms of warping (or helping) the public square, and so fighting to keep Twitter from getting into Musk's hands seems to me like the most logical thing to assume they were doing. Where this is subjective (and why I think it was self-interested) is that I don't personally believe their criteria for moderating Twitter were based on good, objective criteria. Now whether Musk would be any better is up for debate. I just don't think they want to give away the megaphone.

yossarian22c

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2022, 01:28:26 PM »
...
Groups like Facebook enjoy extreme levels of power in terms of warping (or helping) the public square, and so fighting to keep Twitter from getting into Musk's hands seems to me like the most logical thing to assume they were doing. Where this is subjective (and why I think it was self-interested) is that I don't personally believe their criteria for moderating Twitter were based on good, objective criteria. Now whether Musk would be any better is up for debate. I just don't think they want to give away the megaphone.

The problem is the outrage and shock value that misinformation can create. It generates views and clicks. Views and clicks are money so the algorithms that recommend content or trending or whatever they call it boost the crappiest most outrageous content. Even if 75-90% of people who see it end up saying BS. That's still a significant group that has become infected with misinformation or negative emotions. I'm not saying their content moderation is perfect or even good. But if we've learned anything over the past couple years it should be that free speech megaphones and online organizing tools shouldn't be handed to people who will use it to lie, sow discord, distrust, and generally harm society.

Also saw a story on NPR about how Musk's other business interests could potentially impact moderation. He has business interests and supply chains in China. Would he force moderation of people calling for free Taiwan or free Tibet under pressure from the Chinese government. Because they have been more than willing to use their economic power against companies in that way. There are concerns with Musk that stretch beyond letting the big T come back and spread his lies to the masses again.

rightleft22

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #21 on: April 26, 2022, 01:44:40 PM »
Quote
I can't help but feel that their initial (extreme) reaction was essentially "Musk??

I saw that as a negotiation tactic. I would be surprise if the shareholder's cared much about how twitter is used or viewed after selling. 

Quote
I also personally think that they are currently enjoying a monopoly on content moderation which they know he would upend and do differently

If Musk takes Twitter private how does that impact the monopoly argument?
If one person gets to control content, even a person with best of intentions... I could not handle that responsibility
« Last Edit: April 26, 2022, 01:52:50 PM by rightleft22 »

TheDrake

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2022, 01:50:28 PM »
Since when have you ever known a board to convene a shareholder's meeting before making a decision? The only time they even put anything out to a vote is when required by law. They are the agents of the shareholders, and when the shareholders don't like their decisions, a stakeholder with a significant position mounts a challenge to board elections.

As for the poison pills, they aren't uncommon.

Quote
In 2012, Netflix was caught off guard. Carl Icahn, a well-known activist investor, acquired over 10% of Netflix’s shares without the approval of the company’s board. Activist investors typically acquire large stakes in companies with the intention of effecting changes in its corporate policies or management. In response to his threatened intervention in the company’s affairs, Netflix issued a shareholder rights plan. Their measures enabled the company to flood the market with new shares if a corporate raider acquired a large amount of Netflix shares. This use of poison pills was successful and Mr. Icahn’s stake in Netflix was significantly reduced.

More recently, in 2016, Pier 1 Imports adopted a poison pill plan to steer away a hostile acquirer. Pier 1 implemented a shareholder rights plan shortly after Alden Global Capital, a hedge fund, acquired a 9.5% stake in the company. The poison pill gave all holders of common stock the right to buy a fraction of junior preferred stock at a discounted price. The plan that Pier 1 Imports adopted made the voting rights of preferred stockholders and common stockholders similar to each other. In effect, this diluted the control rights a large shareholder could exert over the company.

Activist investors don't automatically represent the shareholder's interests. I suspect the main argument, Fenring, is that if you were (or are) a twitter investor, you think Musk would do a better job than current management. But other than "bring conservatives back", I don't see any evidence that Musk has plans that would yield better returns. He's bought them out now, so we'll never know. As a private company, he can lose money like a leaky bathtub and never has to disclose it? So he can run the company as part of his moral crusade, and no one will know the result.

Quote
He wants Twitter's algorithm for prioritizing tweets to be public and objects to giving too much power on the service to corporations that advertise.

That would make me nervous as an investor. That's how twitter makes revenue. If he follows through on plans that would make the platform less valuable to advertisers, I'm going to go out on a limb and say they won't pay the same amount to place ads.

TheDrake

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2022, 01:53:06 PM »
More evidence that Musk doesn't care about returns to shareholders.

Quote
Musk, who is worth $268 billion according to Forbes, has said he is not primarily concerned with the economics of Twitter.

"Having a public platform that is maximally trusted and broadly inclusive is extremely important to the future of civilization. I don't care about the economics at all," he said in a recent public talk.

Crunch

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #24 on: April 26, 2022, 02:12:51 PM »
I have zero interest in twitter. I imagine it being similar to reading comment sections of news stories. When I participated I found the overall experience a negative one. After a while it got pretty easy to predict how people would react to a story and which type of comments would bubble up to the top like rocks in a field. Viewed without attachment I found very little value in the exercise, attached and I felt the danger of becoming that "uncle". 

Wondering if anyone on this site uses twitter and what their experience has been?   

I use it. I’m mean, I don’t post anything really (maybe 2 dozen tweets since 2015). But it’s a great aggregator of news and information. I pick hat is important to me and people create the content along with links and often some insightful comments. Political stuff, travel, pop culture, you can curate the feed to how you want it. It’s very good for that

The issue has been that Twitter was throttling and shadow bannng accounts when it did not like their political stances or contradicts woke pronouncements. It really minimized the value of the site for what I like to use it for. Already I am seeing changes actually

Fenring

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #25 on: April 26, 2022, 02:31:25 PM »
More evidence that Musk doesn't care about returns to shareholders.

Quote
Musk, who is worth $268 billion according to Forbes, has said he is not primarily concerned with the economics of Twitter.

"Having a public platform that is maximally trusted and broadly inclusive is extremely important to the future of civilization. I don't care about the economics at all," he said in a recent public talk.

That does not actually mean that the shareholders will suffer. There are right and wrong ways to look at a business. The wrong way is to do things that will increase quarterly gains and yet cause the company to flounder in its mission statement. Musk could (in theory) take some actions that would cause short-term losses, such as pissing off advertisers, but increase general confidence in the product. That will create much better long-term gains. But when Wall Street only thinks quarterly it makes it difficult to make certain kind of moves that realistically a company should make. So if Musk, by hypothesis, does things to improve Twitter's integrity and even functionality, but this causes a disruption in its normal cashflows, that can definitely be justified from a business perspective. The stock price can even tank for a while, and I think this is what he means about not caring about the economics of it. He's not buying it to immediately reap a financial harvest, but rather to (in his view) fix how it operates. That is not mutually exclusive with it having a better financial future.

Plus there's the Musk train in play, wherein some people might invest in Twitter purely because he's CEO. Look at Tesla stock and tell me that's not because of its CEO.

rightleft22

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #26 on: April 26, 2022, 02:47:28 PM »
Personally I think the good that was possible with twitter has long past. Its too linear to enable constructive conversation acting more on the Id level of consciences .   

I'm not for or against Musk assuming ownership of twitter. I do find it amusing that two of the major social platforms will be own by persons known for their social awkwardness. 

TheDrake

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #27 on: April 26, 2022, 03:18:10 PM »
More evidence that Musk doesn't care about returns to shareholders.

Quote
Musk, who is worth $268 billion according to Forbes, has said he is not primarily concerned with the economics of Twitter.

"Having a public platform that is maximally trusted and broadly inclusive is extremely important to the future of civilization. I don't care about the economics at all," he said in a recent public talk.

That does not actually mean that the shareholders will suffer. There are right and wrong ways to look at a business. The wrong way is to do things that will increase quarterly gains and yet cause the company to flounder in its mission statement. Musk could (in theory) take some actions that would cause short-term losses, such as pissing off advertisers, but increase general confidence in the product. That will create much better long-term gains. But when Wall Street only thinks quarterly it makes it difficult to make certain kind of moves that realistically a company should make. So if Musk, by hypothesis, does things to improve Twitter's integrity and even functionality, but this causes a disruption in its normal cashflows, that can definitely be justified from a business perspective. The stock price can even tank for a while, and I think this is what he means about not caring about the economics of it. He's not buying it to immediately reap a financial harvest, but rather to (in his view) fix how it operates. That is not mutually exclusive with it having a better financial future.

Plus there's the Musk train in play, wherein some people might invest in Twitter purely because he's CEO. Look at Tesla stock and tell me that's not because of its CEO.

Sure, you can argue the other way, but the my point is that it is debatable who better represented stockholder interests. If I'm a stockholder, I might not care about whether he's going to have a twitter with stronger financials three years from now. There are definitely arguments about twitter's performance as an investment - it is unclear if Musk had any answers about that.

We could also note that according to his own admission, Tesla was a month away from bankruptcy. I'm sure part of his desire for Twitter to be private is so that he doesn't have to deal with the SEC when he does his shady activities - something that has already landed his Tesla board in the same vat of hot water that he loves to swim in. All valid reasons to use hostile takeover defenses - called shareholder rights. The tactic is not without its controversy, several countries make it illegal, but it is okay according to Delaware, and that's what really matters.

Grant

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #28 on: April 26, 2022, 03:37:05 PM »
I am soooooooooooooooooooooooooo sorry. 

I just thought it was funny.  I knew some people were going to light their hair on fire and I thought it was humorous.

I didn't know it would CONSUME, like Hungry Mungry itself, all conversation and thought in the "public square". (More like a public urinal, where everybody is doing coke off used toilet paper). 

Cause I just DNGAF. 


Fenring

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #29 on: April 26, 2022, 03:59:35 PM »
We could also note that according to his own admission, Tesla was a month away from bankruptcy. I'm sure part of his desire for Twitter to be private is so that he doesn't have to deal with the SEC when he does his shady activities - something that has already landed his Tesla board in the same vat of hot water that he loves to swim in. All valid reasons to use hostile takeover defenses - called shareholder rights. The tactic is not without its controversy, several countries make it illegal, but it is okay according to Delaware, and that's what really matters.

I agree about his SEC violations, but that's sort of part and parcel of his being generally treated like (and acting like) a rich upstart. First of all I don't think regular business people understand tech people. They are not normal, generally speaking, even putting aside Musk's personal neurophysiological idiosyncrasies. Second, Tesla was in the unenviable position of trying to compete on a national level with established motor companies, which is very hard to do. It's not surprising that such a massive startup came near bankruptcy more than once, and I don't think it particularly speaks to Musk's skills that this was the case. I can only imagine how hard it is to get investor confidence in a business whose CEO is riding on a purely website-based success previously. Buffett gave a speech at some point about the automobile industry's history, and there were tons of automotive companies that even did become successful only to vanish at some point, so it's not like this is an industry where it's easy to succeed in either the short or the long-term. That Musk did it at all is pretty good, just from a "what did you achieve" perspective. At a certain point I think a lot of the divide on him is purely personality-based: you either like him/believe in him, or innately distrust him and his practices. I just think the board was acting out of personal distaste rather than out of strategic consideration for their shareholders. That's my opinion.

wmLambert

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #30 on: April 26, 2022, 06:13:01 PM »
...The problem is the outrage and shock value that misinformation can create. It generates views and clicks. Views and clicks are money so the algorithms that recommend content or trending or whatever they call it boost the crappiest most outrageous content. Even if 75-90% of people who see it end up saying BS. That's still a significant group that has become infected with misinformation or negative emotions. I'm not saying their content moderation is perfect or even good. But if we've learned anything over the past couple years it should be that free speech megaphones and online organizing tools shouldn't be handed to people who will use it to lie, sow discord, distrust, and generally harm society.

... There are concerns with Musk that stretch beyond letting the big T come back and spread his lies to the masses again.

Quote
Robert Reiner, star of 1970s sitcom All In The Family, expressed concern about the possibility of Donald Trump returning to Twitter under Musk’s leadership: ‘Now that Elon Musk is buying Twitter, the question for all of us is: Will he allow a Criminal who used this platform to lie and spread disinformation to try to overthrow the US Government to return and continue his Criminal activity? ‘And if he does, how do we combat it?’

What lies do you refer to? You mean Joe Biden bullying people and claiming he has never talked to his son about business? $5.1 million in undisclosed crime family money? Do real research for once.

You surely don't refer to Trump. His allegations before the election by MSM moderators were stifled then - even the conversation about what now is proven to have been true, and very important to examine before voting. he was not the liar. The moderators were. You cannot deny that, now. Don't refer to Trump as lying. You must refer to him as trying to get the truth out - in the face of those who lied. Stop the obvious unfounded belittling attacks. If you don't have the gravitas and intellect to process truth when it is handed to you, please don't presume to vote in any future elections.

Seriati

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #31 on: April 29, 2022, 12:03:25 PM »
Or someone buying stock to run the company in a way they think will destroy the value of the company or harm society. Because using twitter to rapidly and easily spread lies and disinformation does harm society.

Which of course is why Elon is buying it, to stop that practice.

Seriati

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #32 on: April 29, 2022, 12:09:57 PM »
Simple. A board member with a controlling interest, let's say for simplicity 51%, can basically appoint replacements for the existing board members. I don't know why you want to portray that as naked self-interest. Why can't they be protecting the investor's long term interest because they believe Musk will run twitter into the ground? Or that they believe Musk will not uphold the ethical values that they've stood for? Isn't a truly independent board something that stockholders want in order to be able to vote out board members who don't live up to their expectations?

If Musk was seeking control, you'd have a point.  The Board's first duty is to the Company and considering the interests of the 49% of Shareholders that would be powerless in that scenario is valid. 

However, Musk is offering to buy 100% and honestly, that should eliminate the Board completely as it's up to the Shareholder's to decide whether or not to accept the offer.  The Board can and should make a recommendation about whether it's in their interest to accept the offer.
 While ethically the Board has to tell the shareholders if the offer is for a fair price (which it almost certainly is), there's nothing that stops them from also ethically appealing to the shareholders on the other tenants that you describe.  But it's not the Board's decision if the owners of the company sell.


TheDrake

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #33 on: April 29, 2022, 01:03:31 PM »
Simple. A board member with a controlling interest, let's say for simplicity 51%, can basically appoint replacements for the existing board members. I don't know why you want to portray that as naked self-interest. Why can't they be protecting the investor's long term interest because they believe Musk will run twitter into the ground? Or that they believe Musk will not uphold the ethical values that they've stood for? Isn't a truly independent board something that stockholders want in order to be able to vote out board members who don't live up to their expectations?

If Musk was seeking control, you'd have a point.  The Board's first duty is to the Company and considering the interests of the 49% of Shareholders that would be powerless in that scenario is valid. 

However, Musk is offering to buy 100% and honestly, that should eliminate the Board completely as it's up to the Shareholder's to decide whether or not to accept the offer.  The Board can and should make a recommendation about whether it's in their interest to accept the offer.
 While ethically the Board has to tell the shareholders if the offer is for a fair price (which it almost certainly is), there's nothing that stops them from also ethically appealing to the shareholders on the other tenants that you describe.  But it's not the Board's decision if the owners of the company sell.

His offer to buy the whole company (accepted, by the way) was not what was going on at the time they were offering him a board spot. The poison pill was not built to stop the full buyout option, as it is no longer involved. Should the board have tried to balk at the full buyout by rejecting it, they would probably get toasted when the question was put to stockholders - which Musk probably could have done. Incidentally, the full buyout also takes care of the board member personal gain question, because they get out free and clear and no longer have to care about shareholder value.

Seriati

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #34 on: April 29, 2022, 01:28:41 PM »
The ethical consideration is maybe they don't want their platform to be used as an insurrection planning meetup group. Even if it does cost them eyeball share and money. Stockholder interests aren't always motivated entirely by dollars and cents.

Emphasis added, whose platform?  It's not even remotely the Board's platform.  If the Shareholders choose not to sell your point would have merit, for the Board to decide against selling based on the reasons you suggest would be a failure of their fiduciary duties to the shareholders.

Fenring

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #35 on: April 29, 2022, 02:19:22 PM »
His offer to buy the whole company (accepted, by the way) was not what was going on at the time they were offering him a board spot. The poison pill was not built to stop the full buyout option, as it is no longer involved. Should the board have tried to balk at the full buyout by rejecting it, they would probably get toasted when the question was put to stockholders - which Musk probably could have done. Incidentally, the full buyout also takes care of the board member personal gain question, because they get out free and clear and no longer have to care about shareholder value.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/04/15/twitter-poison-pill/

There was never a point when Musk was trying to buy into 51% of Twitter. He mentioned publicly he was thinking of buying it outright, and his first official bid was to buy it outright. Their response was a poison pill, since they probably assumed he'd try to buy it piecemeal off of shareholders the hard way. It almost seems like they didn't comprehend what he meant when he said he was offering to buy out the entire company.

TheDrake

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #36 on: April 29, 2022, 02:25:08 PM »
Legitimate offers aren't communicated to a board of directors by suggesting that he's "thinking" about buying it. Particularly with his track record suggesting random things publicly that have no basis in reality. We don't know if he would have tried a hostile takeover if he joined the board. They were ensuring that he would have to buy the whole company and not leave 49% of shareholders stuck with it. It's almost like you don't comprehend that.

When he actually did make the offer, they considered it and agreed to it. Note that he didn't have to buy up any percentage of common stock prior to making the buyout offer, so it seems that they buyout was not his only plan or even his original plan. Unless it was to make sure that 9% of the voting shares would be in favor of taking the buyout.

Fenring

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #37 on: April 29, 2022, 02:33:15 PM »
Legitimate offers aren't communicated to a board of directors by suggesting that he's "thinking" about buying it. Particularly with his track record suggesting random things publicly that have no basis in reality. We don't know if he would have tried a hostile takeover if he joined the board. They were ensuring that he would have to buy the whole company and not leave 49% of shareholders stuck with it.

Are you basing the bolded section off of publicly released comments by them? If so I'd like to read it as I didn't see those.

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When he actually did make the offer, they considered it and agreed to it. Note that he didn't have to buy up any percentage of common stock prior to making the buyout offer, so it seems that they buyout was not his only plan or even his original plan. Unless it was to make sure that 9% of the voting shares would be in favor of taking the buyout.

I was following the story quite closely and I did not notice any adjustments made by Musk in between their announcement of a poison pill and them agreeing to Musk's offer.

TheDrake

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #38 on: April 29, 2022, 03:07:39 PM »
No, I'm engaging in similar speculation about the boards motives, in contrast to speculation that their motives were something else.

To the best of my knowledge, the board has never stated why they took the measure, if it was unusual, or if they themselves had such a clause preventing them from buying more than a certain amount of stock. So we can each decide what was more plausible and if the action taken was ethical - all the while it is entirely moot since musk didn't join the board and his later offer was accepted.

Fenring

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #39 on: April 29, 2022, 04:42:07 PM »
No, I'm engaging in similar speculation about the boards motives, in contrast to speculation that their motives were something else.

To the best of my knowledge, the board has never stated why they took the measure, if it was unusual, or if they themselves had such a clause preventing them from buying more than a certain amount of stock. So we can each decide what was more plausible and if the action taken was ethical - all the while it is entirely moot since musk didn't join the board and his later offer was accepted.

Lol, all I said initially was I was irritated with their antics, in replying to his statement of wanting to buy the company with immediately hostile defensive measures, and to then, without any further adjustment from Musk, abruptly change their approach and say they were 'thinking of' accepting his offer, and then finally accepting it. You can certainly choose to read various things into that course of events if you find it plausible, but personally I can't see a stronger interpretation than to assume they were essentially freaking out before realizing it was foolish to freak out (or alternatively, futile). Although afaik Musk himself didn't publicly make any change to his offer, others in the media did opine that Musk had an option to call a hostile intervention against the board by going directly to the shareholders (which apparently an outsider is allowed to do). I believe in that interim Musk did make his comment about his intention to reduce the board's salaries to zero. That made it doubly amusing that shortly after that they agreed to his offer. "How about I will pay you zero?"  "Deal!!"

I suppose if I wanted to be more charitable my #2 guess about their motives might have been, as others have suggested, that they were merely playing games with Musk to try to leverage a better price. Not sure if I believe that, but if that was the case they ended up looking stupid in the process.

TheDrake

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #40 on: May 02, 2022, 12:14:39 PM »
I think it will certainly be interesting to see which people Musk appoints to his board. It's still a corporation, so he has to have one. I doubt he'll retain any of the current board at any salary.

Wayward Son

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #41 on: May 02, 2022, 01:52:24 PM »
Elon Musk said that he would allow legal content on Twitter.  Electoral-vote.com has an interesting article outlining the major problems with such a simple standard.

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Here are a few areas where problems are sure to arise if Musk allows all content that is technically legal.

Election misinformation: It is legal to say that Donald Trump won the 2020 election. It is also legal to announce that due to technical problems, the election has been postponed from Nov. 8 to Nov. 9, so don't waste your time trying to vote on Nov. 8 because the polls will be closed then. But be sure to vote on Nov. 9.

Medical Misinformation: Tweets saying that COVID-19 and polio and measles vaccines cause autism and sterility and ED are legal. Tweets saying that no public health authority at any level can tell you what you can do or cannot do are legal. There is a very long list here.

Deepfakes: The technology for making extremely convincing fake videos is getting better by the day. ...

In a few years, almost anything will be possible. Currently Twitter bans misleading videos. That would end if Musk allows everything that is legal. It will lead to a proliferation of deepfakes like the one above.

Impersonating others: Currently you can't pretend on Twitter to be someone you aren't. If you are impersonating someone else for the purpose of fraud, it is illegal. Otherwise, it generally isn't. If you later claim it was satire, it is very likely protected speech and legal.

Spam: Spam that simply advertises some product or service is certainly legal. Expect vast amounts of spam on Twitter if "legality" is the only test.

Hateful content: Twitter currently has a policy against hateful content. You can't compare Black people to monkeys, fat women to pigs, Jews to Nazis, and a whole range of other outrageous parallels that are perfectly legal to say. Once the Musk rules take over, expect tons of this, aimed at many different groups.

Porn: Pornography is legal is the U.S. Expect large amounts of it in the New Twitter. Some of the acts might be very gross. Revenge porn (naked photos or videos of your ex posted with the intent to humiliate that person) are legal in some places and illegal in others. Expect lots of it from people who live in states that don't have laws against it.

Graphic violence: Twitter currently bans violence that is excessively gory or depicts sexual violence. Some of it might be illegal, but a lot of it is not illegal. Expect loads of it.

Terrorist manifestos: People who commit mass murder or terrorist acts often have some ideological story to tell. These people don't suddenly lose their First Amendment rights to tell their story if they are convicted of a crime. Twitter currently bans this kind of stuff. The new policy would allow it.

The list goes on and on and you can count on people pushing the envelope to see what they can get away with. If Musk really means what he is saying and doesn't start censoring legal content, Twitter will quickly become a cesspool, advertisers and users will leave, and Twitter will shrink to a hard core of libertarians who believe "anything goes." Or he will start censoring it again, only eliminating content he doesn't happen to like.

Then there is the matter of what is legal. It depends on the jurisdiction. There are things that are legal in the U.S. that are not legal in France (e.g., selling Nazi memorabilia) or Saudi Arabia (e.g., saying nasty things about Mohammed). Twitter operates worldwide. Having 200 or so sets of rules, one per country, will be unmanageable. Twitter adopted its current rules after a lot of trial and error and experience with what happens when you allow anyone to post anything.

The bottom line it that, to save his bottom line, Twitter isn't going to be that much different from what it is today, as far as censoring content is concerned.  Otherwise, it will probably disappear as a go-to place for content.

TheDrake

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #42 on: May 02, 2022, 02:25:25 PM »
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Musk then tweeted, “By ‘free speech’, I simply mean that which matches the law. I am against censorship that goes far beyond the law. If people want less free speech, they will ask government to pass laws to that effect. Therefore, going beyond the law is contrary to the will of the people.”

What? There are a lot of things businesses do that go beyond what the law requires. For instance, billboard companies probably aren't going to allow Nazi propaganda. This is a good thing.

And what is he talking about? The government CAN'T pass laws to that effect, they'd largely be unconstitutional. Plus, Twitter is multinational. So it is going to run afoul of many jurisdictions in which hate speech is illegal, and porn, and the list goes on. Going to be hard to make ad money if countries start banning you.

Although on the porn front, I'm pretty sure he can claim the legal exemption thanks to the FOSTA/SESTA draconian move that made consensual naked pictures a subject too hot to carry, resulting in tumblr banning such content.

Fenring

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #43 on: May 02, 2022, 02:25:41 PM »
Elon Musk said that he would allow legal content on Twitter.

FWIW what he actually said is that he'll allow content within the boundaries of whatever local laws are relevant. So for instance Twitter's moderation in Europe will almost certainly be different from that of North America, since the EU has stricter standards and have said they'd ban Twitter there if he didn't meet them. He already had said he's fine with complying with that. What that means in teams of complying with China's standards, for example, I don't know. That's one of the things Bezos was bringing up, about Musks's other economic ties to China, notwithstanding China's current claim that they will not mix up their judgements between various companies just because there is a common owner. We'll see.

Fenring

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #44 on: May 02, 2022, 02:30:03 PM »
And what is he talking about? The government CAN'T pass laws to that effect, they'd largely be unconstitutional.

No, it is totally constitutional to ban certain types of speech, for instance criminal inciting to violence. What he is saying that any legal speech within a country's permitted standards will not be banned. For another example, in theory a country can ban or not ban yelling 'fire' in a crowded theatre as they choose; and Musk would uphold whichever standard is legally mandated, or its equivalent for Twitter.


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Plus, Twitter is multinational. So it is going to run afoul of many jurisdictions in which hate speech is illegal, and porn, and the list goes on. Going to be hard to make ad money if countries start banning you.

I'm not 100% sure how it works but I think there is already multi-faceted curating of online content for various platforms, so e.g. what you see on Facebook in one country may not appear in another country's user's newsfeed. At least I think that's how it works. Twitter already has offices across the pond to deal with these issues.

TheDrake

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #45 on: May 02, 2022, 03:33:01 PM »
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No, it is totally constitutional to ban certain types of speech, for instance criminal inciting to violence. What he is saying that any legal speech within a country's permitted standards will not be banned. For another example, in theory a country can ban or not ban yelling 'fire' in a crowded theatre as they choose; and Musk would uphold whichever standard is legally mandated, or its equivalent for Twitter.

It seems to me that his quote implies that if the voters wanted to, they could get laws that recreated the existing Twitter standards, which isn't true. You can't pass a law making it illegal to compare black people to monkeys, for instance, no matter how much you want to.

Fenring

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #46 on: May 02, 2022, 03:34:39 PM »
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No, it is totally constitutional to ban certain types of speech, for instance criminal inciting to violence. What he is saying that any legal speech within a country's permitted standards will not be banned. For another example, in theory a country can ban or not ban yelling 'fire' in a crowded theatre as they choose; and Musk would uphold whichever standard is legally mandated, or its equivalent for Twitter.

It seems to me that his quote implies that if the voters wanted to, they could get laws that recreated the existing Twitter standards, which isn't true. You can't pass a law making it illegal to compare black people to monkeys, for instance, no matter how much you want to.

I don't see how my quote implies that. It may imply that Twitter's standards will change.

TheDrake

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #47 on: May 02, 2022, 04:28:40 PM »
Musk's quote, not your quote, sorry for the confusion.

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Musk then tweeted, “By ‘free speech’, I simply mean that which matches the law. I am against censorship that goes far beyond the law. If people want less free speech, they will ask government to pass laws to that effect. Therefore, going beyond the law is contrary to the will of the people.”

Emphasis mine. This is disingenuous, unless by saying "ask the government to pass laws" he means "alter the Constitution" and if by will of the people he means a vast supermajority that he knows is impossible in practical terms.

For those interested, there's an in-depth article published by the Brookings Institution.

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Segregating ourselves so we do not have to listen to people who differ from us is not a remedy for the information externalities that make hate speech and misinformation so dangerous even to people who are not exposed to it. People cannot remain indifferent to what other people in society believe because what other people believe affects them. If enough people reject vaccines and other public health measures, we are all at risk from the next pandemic. If enough people become racists or intolerant of the LGBTQ community, significant parts of our community are not safe in their own society. And how are we going to agree on what to teach our children if there is no uniform public platform where we can exchange ideas?

Fenring

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #48 on: May 02, 2022, 04:45:02 PM »
TheDrake, you do know there are many people (not just extremists) who fundamentally do not believe in hate speech, right? As in, they do not believe that there should be such a thing as a legal definition. Naturally speech can be hateful and have awful motivations, but separating 'hate speech' from speech, and trying to moderate that out of existence, is deeply problematic to many people. It's basically right-think legislated from lateral rather than top-down sources. Makes little difference to those without power to oppose it.

TheDrake

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Re: #Tweetstorm 14:1-5
« Reply #49 on: May 02, 2022, 05:08:15 PM »
TheDrake, you do know there are many people (not just extremists) who fundamentally do not believe in hate speech, right? As in, they do not believe that there should be such a thing as a legal definition. Naturally speech can be hateful and have awful motivations, but separating 'hate speech' from speech, and trying to moderate that out of existence, is deeply problematic to many people. It's basically right-think legislated from lateral rather than top-down sources. Makes little difference to those without power to oppose it.

I'm well aware that some people think that its perfectly fine to allow people to make their eloquent arguments about the similarities between monkeys and a subset of human beings. I'm aware of the arguments that its better to let this out in the open. I'm aware that some of those people may not hold the views that they oppose banning. But then those same people get torqued when someone is identified and gets fired for their vile beliefs. We saw what that looked like on 4chan/8chan/8kun and it gets people killed, injured, and otherwise harmed. It's no more problematic to remove those posts than the ones trying to sell boner pills. Reddit and society wouldn't be better if it included r/WhitePower, that's what I believe. That seems a lot more problematic to me.