Elon Musk’s first few days as the head of Twitter have proved rocky, with advertisers leaving in droves after he spread a conspiracy theory about the attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband, followed by a round of firings and rehirings, all in the service of a murky agenda. Whether Musk will be able to make Twitter an ongoing concern is an open question.
The question of why the world’s richest man wants to control an influential social media platform is more urgent. To solve this riddle, I talked to Jacob Silverman, who profiled a group he calls “the Paypal mafia” in The New Republic. This group consists of leading Silicon Valley plutocrats like Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, and David Sacks, as well as sundry hanger-ons. Jacob and I talk about how this group is reshaping US politics on a host of issues including hate speech and criminal justice reform.
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