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Elon Musk, Twitter, Free Speech vs Moderation. Jim Rutt & Aaron Rabinowitz

April 30, 2022

In one of the most important developments in the dynamic between big tech, free speech and media in many years, Elon Musk is buying Twitter for $44bn.

Much of the commentary online has devolved into the predictable political shouting matches, and there has been very little engagement with the key questions that this brings up about the nature of moderation, of how to create healthy dialogue and what problems Elon will have to wrestle with in taking Twitter forward.

Jim Rutt is the former head of the Santa Fe Institute, and has been involved with online communities since the birth of the internet. He believes that Elon has not fully wrestled with the problem of moderation that he will be taking on with Twitter, a view he explained in his new piece for Quillette, 'Musk & Moderation': https://quillette.com/2022/04/27/musk-and-moderation/ 

This is a sometimes robust debate and disagreement with Aaron Rabinowitz, a moral philosopher and host of the Embrace the Void podcast. Aaron has spent time wrestling with these same issues, in particular in a famous experiment he ran during the Trump election of 2016 when he created a completely unmoderated discussion group, called Monster island: https://www.skeptic.org.uk/2020/10/monster-island-free-speech-experiment/ 

Check out Jim's podcast, the Jim Rutt Show: https://www.jimruttshow.com/ 

And Aaron's podcast Embrace the Void: https://voidpod.com/podcasts