A million views on X is nothing says Musk

  • Elon Musk is being sued by a person who he allegedly accused of participating in neo-Nazi brawl.
  • In a deposition about the suit, Musk admitted to several things including that his posts have a financial impact on X’s bottom line.
  • The billionaire also says that a million views on X is hit or miss.

Professional lawsuit baiter, Elon Musk, is currently being sued by a 22-year-old Jewish man after the billionaire allegedly promoted a conspiracy that the man was a participant in a neo-Nazi brawl.

That man is Ben Brody and in October last year, he filed a lawsuit against Musk after the X owner amplified conspiracy theories about Brody’s involvement in the aforementioned brawl. But Brody wasn’t even in the same state at the time of the brawl and yet his world was sent into a tail spin when Musk amplified conspiracies about his involvement.

“Looks like one is a college student (who wants to join the govt) and another is maybe an Antifa member, but nonetheless a probable false flag situation @CommunityNotes,” Musk posted to X.

On the back of this and posts from other users, Brody reportedly fled his home. The man’s information was shared on X by far-right conspiracy theorists and Musk seemingly amplified these conspiracies.

Last month Musk was deposed about this lawsuit and it paints the billionaire in a terrible light. For one, Musk spent considerable time arguing with Mark Bankston, Brody’s attorney, about who launched the lawsuit. The billionaire accused Bankston of launching the suit to get a payday but the attorney seemingly brushed this off.

The deposition is a mess and difficult to read given Musk’s attorney, Alex Spiro, constantly interrupts the proceedings with objections that rarely stop Musk from answering the questions posed by Bankston.

But amid the personal attacks, there were some interesting revelations.

For one, Musk is well aware that his posts have a detrimental impact on X.

“The – and going back to the sort of self-inflicted wounds, the Kevlar shoes, I think there’s – I’ve probably done – I may have done more to financially impair the company than to help it, but certainly I – I do not guide my posts by what is financially beneficial but by what I believe is interesting or important or entertaining to the public,” said Musk.

This is problematic and not because of the potential financial damage to X. If Musk is being guided by what is “interesting or important or entertaining” that means accuracy is taking a backseat. The billionaire admits as much in the deposition conceding that he didn’t check the bona fides of the accounts he was amplifying but justifying it by saying that isn’t how the platform works.

However, the billionaire also concedes that he is perhaps the most interacted with account on X. One would think that this would give him pause before amplifying anything that happens across his timeline but that’s wishful thinking.

By far the most interesting revelation though was that, according to Musk, a million views on X is “hit or miss”.

Answering a question about whether X stood to profit from engagement, Musk said that his tweets about Brody weren’t an attempt to generate advertising revenue.

“So that’s, you know, if – in this specific case, if I wanted to have it be – receive a lot of distribution, I would have made it a primary tweet or a quoted tweet, which I did not. It was simply a reply. The relies get 100 times less attention than a primary tweet. So this was certainly not any attempt to generate advertising revenue. In fact generally advertisers will not want to advertise with content that is contentious,” the billionaire told Bankston.

Bankston continue by highlighting that,”… the amount of people who saw this, who have viewed this tweet is equivalent to all 30 major league baseball stadiums filled to capacity. You wouldn’t dispute that? I mean we’re talking over a million people.”

Musk: Yeah that’s actually – that may seem like a large number, but it is not compared to the fact – I believe there are something on the order of five to eight trillion views per year so a million is really –

Bankston: Not a big deal?

Musk: – hit or miss yeah.

As we know, “views” on X are simply impressions which means that a post happened upon a user’s timeline. This doesn’t mean a user engaged with the post, only that it appeared on their timeline. The fact that a reply, which per Musk means fewer people saw it, received a million views and that is classified as “hit or miss” is incredibly disingenuous. Sure, it’s not as big as the tens of millions of views Musk garners daily, but a million people seeing a conspiracy being spread has an impact on a user’s opinion.

Those interested in battling through this deposition can find it here thanks to Huff Post. Alex Spiro reportedly wanted the deposition sealed but his request was denied.

While this is just a deposition, Musk’s responses don’t do him, or X, any favours. Not that this will matter as his fans and sycophants will twist this into the mainstream media scrounging for relevance or lawyers abusing their power.

We do find it humourous that when Musk isn’t concentrating, he reverts to calling his X platform Twitter or posts, tweets. As much as he loves that letter X, it seems that even Musk can’t escape the fact that Twitter, will always be Twitter to users, and that includes himself.


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