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Re: What does Elon Musk say about free software?

From: Akira Urushibata
Subject: Re: What does Elon Musk say about free software?
Date: Fri, 6 May 2022 07:57:37 +0900 (added by address@hidden)

Thomas Lord wrote:

> This is an opportunity to greatly expand the number
> of people who use free software, and to help them
> learn why it - and why resisting untrustworthy
> websites - is valuable.  Thus, it is the FSF's reason
> for existence, writ large.


Pretending that there is a distinct line between Twitter users and
non-users distracts us from the anxieties certain people now harbor
and what we should be doing to assist them.

People who are officially registered, who have the right to send out
tweets, are definitely Twitter users.  However they are not the only
users.  Many of our contemporaries get information from tweets not
directly from the official Twitter site, but in embedded form in blogs
and media sites they visit.  We must not ignore the fact that people
who never sign up for the platform see the information conveyed in
this manner as reliable and valuable and are in a position to be
affected by policy changes.

Twitter has spawned derivative sites and services beyond count.
Numerous blogs are constructed around a collection of tweets by
others, a common subject being "tweets of the week."  Third-party
service sites offer conveniences such as keyword search and thread
unrolling, often alongside to and in competition with similar features
available in the official Twitter site.

News of Elon Musk's buyout plan has made people with a stake in these
sites and services noticeably anxious.  It appears to me that they are
now waking up to the fact that the tweets were "free", but that was of
the "free beer" variety rather than the "free thought" one.  It should
be possible to help them, not only by suggesting alternative platforms
but also by introducing them to free software philosophy.  Showing
sympathy toward people's worries is likely to work better than
promoting advocacy literature suggesting that they contain a good

If we strike the iron while it is hot, our efforts will ultimately
succeed and people will show interest in free software.  We should be
prepared for the question: "What does Elon Musk say about this?"


Twitter No Longer Free: Elon Musk Will Charge for Features

Elon Musk suggests charging governments and corporations a
`slight cost' to use Twitter


No dose of free speech can overturn reality.  Many people consider
Elon Musk's bid to purchase Twitter a fait accompli, but stock prices
indicate otherwise.  Musk claims he is willing to purchase all
outstanding Twitter shares at $54.20.  When such offers are made
markets respond.  Recently Twitter shares are trading at around
$49.  This indicates that many investors are not totally confident
whether the offer will be honored. (*)

Investors are aware that Elon Musk needs to borrow money for the
purchase.  As borrowed money carries interest Musk must find some way
to make Twitter, once under his supervision, generate sufficient
profit for payment thereof.  We know that this is not simple: new
restrictions intended to make members pay more are likely to shove
them away into the welcoming arms of rival platforms.  Thus the market
people are watching attentively whether he can come up with a good
plan.  Musk has suggested reforms that may make certain people
anxious, but most investors are standing by for now without stating
faith in his designs with their money.


(*) Whenever a purchase offer is made which market participants take
as serious, the market price for that stock (or for that matter, any
commodity) rises to the buyer's declared price.  This is easy to
understand.  If someone (Elon Musk in this case) is soon to buy stock
you happen to own at a fixed, favorable price ($54.20), you would not
sell it to someone else at any lower price.

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