Business expert warns of Elon Musk's ties to China: He dug a 'hole full of vipers and grenades and jumped in'
Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk (pictured December 2020) (AFP)

It has only been a few days and Elon Musk's Twitter is already going downhill fast, indicated CNN on Sunday afternoon. Among his first public moves on the platform was tweeting out a conspiracy theory from a known-fake news website. His new lax rules allowing a free-for-all of language, attacks, and hate speech on the platform has resulted in several advertisers withdrawing from the platform and losing $33 billion on the day of closing alone.

Scott Galloway, professor of Marketing at NYU's School of Business, warned that the real threat Musk would face is that his ties to China will ultimately be his undoing.

"Spreading conspiracy theories, firing senior level executives for cause, which will not hold up in court," said Galloway. "And racial slurs are exploding 14-fold as soon as he takes ownership. As you pointed out, this is day two. In addition, Jim, you and your colleagues, I believe in just a matter of days, will be talking about the fact that he's compromised. You have Xi Jinping, who has demonstrated autocratic power over the markets. Elon Musk's wealth, a huge component of it, is tied up with his business success in China. We've never had someone this powerful, this dependent upon Xi Jinping. It's going to be very interesting. In my view, he's built himself a hole full of vipers and grenades and jumped in."

"Two days in, you know, you want to give him the benefit of the doubt," Galloway continued. "He said he wants bots -- he did put out a thoughtful statement saying he wants to get rid of the fringe or reduce the amount of time on each fringe. So, far that doesn't appear to be the case. And also, just distinctive to threats to our society, the pillars of fascism that seem to be emerging in America."

He went on to say that from a business viewpoint, the most successful and financially lucrative social media sites are the ones that have the heaviest moderation.

"Just looking at it from a business perspective, if you look at all the platforms from the least moderated, which is basically anything goes, to mildly moderated, Twitter, Meta, Snapchat, to the most moderated, TikTok, there is a strong correlation between more moderation and attention and shareholder value," Galloway explained. "So Twitter's success is a function of its moderation, not despite it. So, from a shareholder perspective, a guy who lost $33 billion on day one of closing, because he overpaid for this thing, if he wants to get any of that lost money back, you need more moderation, not less. TikTok is now worth more than Meta, and it's the most moderated platform in social."

While Galloway mentioned China, Musk also has close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Musk has expressed allegiance with Russia after its invasion of Ukraine. Similarly, Musk was able to obtain funding for the site thanks to the Saudi royal family, which also has faced criticism for its lack of human rights. Ties with China, Russia and the Saudis are likely to garner money and power for Musk among those countries, but it's likely to marginalize him from the rest of the world and especially among advertisers. General Motors has already paused its marketing on the platform.

See the interview below or at the link here:

Business expert warns of Elon Musk's ties to China