|The only thing Elon Musk understands about Twitter is how to kill it.
In early November, as mass layoffs started at Twitter and blue-check parodies began to nuke the company’s advertising business, Elon Musk tweeted, in part: “Twitter can be thought of as a collective, cybernetic super-intelligence.”
This was a pretty wild thing to be thinking about, given all the potentially company-ending chaos that Musk was getting ready to inflict on Twitter. But he had stumbled on a rich theoretical vein.
To a degree, he was right: a group of seemingly random-acting individuals turns into a collective when it follows a set of simple rules. All the likes and faves, the follows and retweets and shares, turn individual users into something bigger, smarter, and weirder.
But even as he grasps that, he’s gone on to get everything about that theory wrong.
Musk doesn’t truly understand what he bought or how it works, senior tech correspondent Adam Rogers writes. And whether he manages to hold Twitter together or spin it into shards, his deeper misunderstanding should make all of us even more worried about the future of social media than we are.
Here’s what Elon Musk is getting wrong about his new plaything.