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  • Mmusi to Musk: Mmusi Maimane writes open letter to Elon Musk

    Mmusi to Musk: Mmusi Maimane writes open letter to Elon Musk

    Mmusi Maimane and Elon Musk are not two South Africans that normally appear in the same sentence. This time however, the former DA leader has written an open letter to the multi-billionaire. With Musk still trying to complete a takeover deal for Twitter, Maimane has now weighed in.

    Mmusi Maimane sends message to Elon Musk over Twitter deal

    In his open letter published on News24, Maimane insists that some of the suggestions made by Musk for Twitter, are not going to be that helpful on the African continent.

    ALSO READ – DA suspends Western Cape legislature speaker from party activities

    Maimane says that Musk’s determination to buy Twitter has focussed on the American issues of culture wars and the first amendment. Maimane wants to know what Musk will do for the rest of the world that uses Twitter on a daily basis?

    “The issues and context are different especially in places like Africa. Twitter is a very powerful platform because it drives a significant amount of political conversation and sentiment globally. Journalists often check public sentiment on the platform, and information is spread by both known and anonymous accounts, in ways that have disrupted the spread of information.

    Twitter is now a part of agenda-setting. The power of the platform is in the fact that it guides the narrative without gatekeepers. In this way, the platform can be disruptive and revolutionary.”

    Mmusi Maimane

    African Twitter “rife with disinformation”

    Maimane points out how some African leaders have used Twitter to target those who criticise their regimes. Maimane says that anonymity is a crucial part of the discourse in many African countries.

    Musk has proposed all who use Twitter have to be verified and put in their personal information. Maimane has also asked whether abusive regimes should be allowed to Tweet freely.

    Musk has said publically that he would unban former US President Donald Trump from the platform. The question then becomes, where is the line drawn for who is allowed to treat.

    “While there is a need for human users in Africa to have access to anonymity, there is a real need to remove propaganda bots and disinformation networks. Bad actors are drowning out real discourse on the platform and this is something that must be addressed with the same vigour that Twitter has addressed democratic negative externalities in America and Europe.”

    You can read Maimane’s letter to Musk in full here.

    View the full article


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