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Letters to the Editor: Elon Musk, Twitter and the crazy amount of power billionaires have

Elon Musk talks while holding out his hands
Elon Musk, the world’s wealthiest person, will buy Twitter for $44 billion in a deal that was announced Monday.
(Susan Walsh / Associated Press)
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To the editor: Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter once again puts the wealth of one person on display. The amount of wealth concentrated in so few hands leaves the world in peril.

Online forums have changed from friendly discussions to outright attacks on those who have different views. These forums have made lying easy and more pernicious.

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have given a forum to hate. They all say the same thing about not being able to control all their content. What is Musk going to do to stop hate that is spread on Twitter?

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I think of the saying, “With great power comes great responsibility.” I don’t know what he will do, but I hope Musk considers any changes with care.

Linda Shabsin, Diamond Bar

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To the editor: Consideration of the consequence of Musk’s Twitter purchase should start with recognizing what Twitter is. Musk’s characterization of Twitter as “the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated” is flawed.

My Twitter environment is completely defined by my choices of who to “follow.” Therefore, Twitter is simply a vehicle for me to build my own echo chamber, tailored to my biases. Twitter itself deliberately exacerbates this feature by presenting me with unsolicited posts “based on my likes,” adding fuel to the fire.

My Twitter feed shows me a degenerate form of “debate” where views opposing mine are usually presented as objects of ridicule. At best, Twitter is a mechanism to collect and sort facts and opinions that support my point of view.

Brian Masson, Harbor City

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To the editor: The country, perhaps the world, learned the hard way what can happen when a wealthy, rude, not particularly bright, narcissistic, egotistical individual gains enormous power.

One can only speculate on the potential consequences when an even wealthier, highly educated, charming, narcissistic, egotistical genius obtains the means to become even more powerful.

May God help us all.

Marshall Barth, Encino

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To the editor: I get aggravated when people who have their social media accounts shut down claim that their 1st Amendment rights and their free speech are being violated.

In fact, the 1st Amendment is a prohibition on the government, which may not implement any law or regulation that would restrict our speech. It doesn’t apply to a private company or publicly traded corporation in even the slightest way.

When a social media company shuts down a user’s account for violating company policy, it’s no different than my neighborhood restaurant posting a sign on the door that says, “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.”

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What’s really happening to right-wingers is that they’re being confronted with the consequences of remarks that much of the public finds objectionable. Unfortunately for them, there has never been, and never will be, freedom from consequences for the awful things we say.

Cheryl Holt, Burbank

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