The billionaire and owner of Tesla and SpaceX companies, Elon Musk, said he was “seriously considering” creating a new social media platform, without revealing details.
Musk, the world’s richest person, has criticized Twitter in several tweets in recent days.
Musk surveyed his followers to see if the social network adheres to the principles of freedom of expression, and said he would seriously consider building a new platform.
“Freedom of expression is essential to a functioning democracy,” Musk said, adding, “Do you think Twitter strictly adheres to this principle?”
“The consequences of this poll will be significant,” Musk added, stressing, “Please vote carefully.”
Twitter declined to comment, and the company says on its website that “defending and respecting the user’s voice” is a core value.
Musk, CEO of electric car maker Tesla and rocket company Space Exploration Technologies Corp., better known as SpaceX, is known for his comments on Twitter, where he has nearly 80 million followers, according to the Wall Street Journal.
And in November, he polled users on whether he should sell 10% of his Tesla stock. About 58% who voted in favor of the sale responded.
In December, the Tesla leader also tweeted that he was considering quitting his job and becoming an influencer, and asked people what they thought.
In early 2021, Musk said he was taking a break from the social media platform before stepping in again shortly thereafter.
The newspaper says that Musk’s statements on Twitter caused controversy in 2018, when he falsely asserted that he had obtained funding to turn Tesla into a private company, and the Securities and Exchange Commission claimed that Musk defrauded investors with these statements, a claim that Musk contested.
Earlier this month, a federal judge was asked to overturn a settlement with regulators over the incident.
Musk’s net worth was $256 billion as of Monday, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a daily-updated ranking of the world’s richest people.
Twitter banned some users from its platform. Early last year, former President Donald Trump’s personal Twitter account was banned due to the risk of inciting violence.
Earlier this year, Twitter permanently banned the account of Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor Green, saying the account had repeatedly violated Twitter’s Covid-19 disinformation policy.
The paper says that if Musk takes steps to create a new social media platform, he will join a saturated market, occupied by the big names in social media such as Twitter, TikTok, Facebook and Instagram that have large user bases.
Trump’s company is behind a new social media network called Truth Social, which launched last month.
To create a domain on a social media platform, one needs what is known as the network effect, whereby more users help increase the value that the platform offers by bringing in their followers and contacts.