David Sacks: Elon Musk buying Twitter is just the start
The PayPal co-founder on why his friend is taking on the censors
Technology investor, podcaster and co-founder — with Elon Musk — of PayPal David Sacks is currently at Musk’s side in planning the next steps for Twitter. Sacks has not been given a formal role yet, but internal sources say that he already has a Twitter email address.
UnHerd’s Freddie Sayers spoke to him about how he sees the Twitter takeover, and whether it can represent the start of a “fightback” against censorship and moral bullying. Watch the full interview here.
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“[24:34] It’s ironic that, at the same time we say we are in a global struggle against autocracy and authoritarianism, we are increasingly embracing authoritarian tactics at home. You’re seeing increasing censorship, you see people within the Democratic Party basically say they don’t support free speech anymore. You see financial deplatforming, like what PayPal is doing, based on people’s political viewpoints.”
“[26:49] The hope is that this is the beginning of a pushback against this wave of censorship and deplatforming. I am concerned with this larger movement that is taking place here, which is that our civil liberties are increasingly jeopardised by what Biden has labelled a ‘global struggle’ that he perceives to be both domestic and foreign. It is really scary to think about the ways in which the security state could be applied to domestic political opposition.
“We’ve seen hints of this: you saw that the Homeland Security Department had that attempt to create, basically, a Ministry of Truth, an organisation to define disinformation. This is the part of our government that has all the guns for them to be defining what misinformation is — and they included this idea of misinformation in their definition of terrorism. So there have been these hints, or warnings, that the powers of the state are going to be used to crack down on domestic political opposition.
“And again, it’s framed in this this sort of Manichaean way that it’s somehow part of this global struggle. And of course, anybody who wants to raise a question about what we’re doing in Ukraine is labelled pro-Putin and the domestic opposition is labelled pro-Putin as well. So it’s this scary metastasising of our cultural war into something, I think, much more dangerous. A lot of people thought that the culture war was the sort of the sideshow and wasn’t really relevant to our politics, but now, it has sort of metastasised into something, I think, much scarier.”
“[29:07] This is the big battle. It depends on how the battle is met, and how it is resisted. And I do think that Elon buying Twitter is helpful in the sense that he believes in free speech not censorship, and hopefully that will inspire other people to push back against these authoritarian tendencies in the West.”
I had Homeland Security come and visit me once – all very nice and businesslike and polite, just clearing something up, couple questions… and then just sign this, and it is all now resolved, and goodby Mr…. Not scary because I had done nothing wrong…
only later you realize they could just take you away with them right then and there – and if they did, you were mired in a morass, like any we hear of; where secret police throughout history take someone off…
Jan 6th rioters have sat in their solitary cells almost 2 years now…..
If the Nov 8 does not flip the Congress I worry a dark curtain will close around anyone not towing the agenda line, and over our freedoms – the track they are on now leads to a frightening place.
I’ve just been listening to the Media Show, the entire episode devoted to Musk’s takeover of Twitter. Apparently pre Musk, Twitter was overseen by a beautifully “diverse” group of people, This, the panel on the show didn’t question or criticize, I don’t think there was much diversity of opinion at Twitter or indeed the media show.
Also unchallenged, the bland assertion that American Free speech is different from European free speech, no need to state which is better! I was under the impression that free speech was free speech. Not so! It comes in many forms but only Free Speech But is acceptable.
Here’s hoping. But the extent to which the “big guns” are arrayed on the other side is daunting. During this century, for the first time since at least the Seventeenth Century, the rising global power has been authoritarian and non-Western. And it is the values and influence of the rising global power which travel.
Japan in the 1930s?
It was a long way behind the US, as subsequent events demonstrated. In terms of cultural and economic reach, there was no comparison.
I see no evidence whatsoever of China’s values travelling
Didn’t PayPal cancel accounts for wrong speak
Indeed, but I don’t think the guy is involved with it any longer.
(Musk was a co-founder himself)
He spoke out against PayPal during the recent furore about them planning to “fine” their own customers up to $2500- for “supporting misinformation” …(i.e. in other words steal from wrongthinkers before closing their accounts.)
Thank you Arcadian and Art.
Wow. From one extreme to another.
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