Following in Trump, Elon Musk says he might build a new social media platform

In a Tweet on Saturday, Elon Musk said that he is giving "serious thought" to building a new social media platform. He didn't give any specifics about how the social media platform would look or how it would work.

It came after the billionaire said that Twitter doesn't allow people to speak their minds.

In a tweet on Friday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that not adhering to free speech rules "fundamentally undermines democracy." Why not? After that, he asked if there was a need for a new platform.

"Free speech is important for a well-functioning democracy," said Musk in another Tweet on Friday. He asked whether Twitter "strictly adheres to this principle."

Twitter, which says it is committed to free speech, did not answer a CNBC request for comment right away.

Regulators are going to look at what they do

People who work for Tesla don't like it when they look over the CEO's tweets.

Musk was asked by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in November to give them information about how he asked his Twitter followers if he should sell 10% of his Tesla stock, which caused the stock price to fall.

In February, Musk said the SEC was "harassing" him and trying to "chill" his right to free speech.

In the last week, the SEC said that Musk's request to quash the subpoena was both procedurally and substantively flawed.

Musk's tweets about Tesla will be a reasonable thing for the government to look into even if the court throws out a deal that the SEC and Musk made in 2018. The deal says that Musk must get approval from other Tesla executives before he posts about the company.

Following Trump's lead?

A lot of people have set up their own social media sites instead of using the established ones. Musk wouldn't be the first person to do this.

Truth Social was started by former President Trump in February. It was part of the Trump Media and Technology Group. Since January 2021, Trump hasn't been able to use Twitter at all.

Wealthy people who use social media in a way that gets them into trouble often want to start their own platforms, says Matt Navarra, a social media consultant. They must think that by setting up their own social network, they can make the rules about content that they often break on Twitter and Facebook.

A lot of other apps have also been released to get people away from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Rumble, Parler and Gettr are just a few of them.

Parler was removed from Apple's App Store after people said it was used to start fights during the Jan. 6 riots. It was added back in April after the company made some changes that made it easier for it to find and remove hate speech.

Creating a group of friends

Navarra said that it's not easy to build a social network that people want to join. "There's a reason why most of the new social networks that have come out in the last few years haven't caught on," he said.

He said that Musk would need a lot of money and a team of people who know how to make products and build things to build a long-lasting and popular social network. It also needs to have people on it that other people want to talk to.

Most of the alternative social networks want to be the home of free speech, says Navarra. This often means that they're home to people who have the most extreme or politicized views.

The way these alternative platforms work and the content that is shared on them makes it hard for them to get the money and attention they need to stay alive, he said.

Musk has said in the past that he and his companies are working on new and exciting products that will be released years down the road. But often, these new ideas don't come to fruition on time.

During a Tesla "Autonomy Day" event in April 2019, CEO Elon Musk said that the company would have 1 million "robotaxis" on the road by 2020. It still doesn't look like these robot taxis are there yet.


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