Yet another presentation pertaining to the future of our Web.
Mr Musk has long received admiration as an eminent entrepreneur from many people throughout the world including here in China, but it seems that he turns into a completely different person when it comes to internet and his social platform Twitter. Here is another brouhaha which he caused last week.
It is the tweet for which he has drawn a lot of backlash. Mr Musk stirred the pot once again by fervently agreeing with a statement of a Twitter user accusing Jewish communities of hatred against whites.
Later Mr Musk approved of another tweet, strongly condemning perpetuation of the stigmatisation of the white’s history. Of course, those tweets which got him great suspicion of white supremacy immediately made him under scrutiny from all over the platform and the Web.
If you are not yet clear about what he means, here’s the background. Since the Israel-Hamas war began, Isreal’s military retaliation wreaking havoc in Palestine has outraged international communities because of violation of universal values. It’s what their action deserves but, at the same time, it also caused the situation where “antisemitism is exploding in America and surging around the world”. And Mr Musk has taken advantage of it.
It’s not the first time Mr Musk has been meddling with media and opinion. A bunch of crazy agents provocateurs have made their way back to the platform thanks to the mercy of the owner and neither misinformation nor disinformation has been effectively inhibited ever since. Elon Musk promoted the propagation of his own opinion through his influence, and the out-of-the-blue name change has given every journalist no choice but to add after the letter X in every article of them“formerly known as Twitter”.
Considering that a few weeks before, Mr Musk had just rubbished Wikipedia, the world’s greatest online encyclopaedia maintained by ordinary users on the Web, it might be concerning that what’s wrong with him in terms of internet.
“The sight of Elon Musk charging towards Wikipedia with his trademark guile and delicacy was so predictable that it was almost relaxing. He saw a collective resource that people prized and he wanted to hurt it.” Explained Zoe Williams, the columnist at The Guardian.
So you have seen the instability and danger of one-man rule of a social platform, and it makes hardly any difference when it comes to other platforms on the Web today. Over the past few decades tech giants’ brouhaha’s always been going on. Edward Snowden revealed legal request from the American government for data of Google users, while the FBI has never stopped demanding Apple for not implementing end-to-end encryption. The centralisation nature makes the Web doomed to fall under control. Then we may well ask: where’s the future for the Web?
The answer and only answer is a collaborative Web. Wikipedia becomes the most trustworthy source of information because its idea of collaboration leverages the best of humanity. If a mistake creeps in through the gates of human generosity, it gets corrected in the same way. Mastodon, the open-source decentralised Twitter alternative, has been on the rise ever since Musk’s takeover. Mastodon keeps innovating its technology to better balance between tolerance to censorship and convenience of use through collaboration of developers all over the world. The influence of non-commercial and community projects has boomed and is growing rapidly. Even The Guardian is one of them, which doesn’t have a paywall in support of the fundamental human right of access to knowledge. We find ourselves back on the track of the original vision of the Web–open, not for profit, connecting every individual on the planet.
The one that can construct it is not Elon Musk, but every individual user. And ultimately, it’s you. It’s your participation that matters.
The future is in you.