Kanye West Gives Elon Musk a Big Win over Mark Zuckerberg

Tesla’s billionaire CEO presents himself as an ardent defender of free speech.

Elon Musk can finally smile. 

The world’s richest man has just had a very turbulent week, marked by a strong repudiation of his peace plan to end the Russia-Ukraine war, which has been going on since February 24, when Moscow invaded Kyiv.

The CEO of Tesla  (TSLA) – Get Tesla Inc. Report proposed to the Ukrainians to recognize as Russian territories regions of their country – the Crimea and the Donbas – occupied by force by Russia. 

He also asked them to no longer seek to become a member of NATO and the European Union. 

A New Rival to Meta?

These proposals have landed him harsh criticism from the Ukrainian authorities and almost most of the opinion in Western countries, who believe that Russia and its President Vladimir Putin are the aggressors and must therefore withdraw from Ukraine.

The tech tycoon also capitulated in his battle against Twitter  (TWTR) – Get Twitter Inc. Report. He put back on the table his offer to acquire the platform for $44 billion, three months after withdrawing it on the pretext that he had been lied to about the number of fake accounts existing on the social network.

The two parties are currently working to finalize the deal by October 28, a deadline set by the Delaware Chancery Court, if Musk is to avoid a trial that was scheduled to begin on October 17.

This saga, which began on April 4, has already had many twists and turns. It seems that this time it is on the right path. Musk is expected to soon become the owner of Twitter, which he promised to take private. 

The mogul wants to use the social network to create a new platform which he called “X, the everything app.”

Ye Back on Twitter

This super app will compete with the giants of Silicon Valley, in particular with Meta Platforms  (META) – Get Meta Platforms Inc. Report, parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, the media empire built by Mark Zuckerberg. 

Musk does not like Zuckerberg and does not hide it. He dubbed him “Zuck the Fourteenth” — an apparent reference to the French king, famous for his hubris and excess, Louis XIV.

He has just won an important and unexpected victory over this nemesis. Rapper and trendsetter Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, has just become active on Twitter again, hours after his Instagram account was restricted for violations of the platform’s policy.

“Look at this Mark,” Ye posted on Twitter on Oct.8, referring to Zuckerberg. “How you gone kick me off instagram.”

“You used to be my nigga,” Ye added, with a photo of him and Zuckerberg in what looks like a music studio.

Musk did not hesitate to respond to this message by welcoming Ye with open arms.

“Welcome back to Twitter, my friend!” the billionaire commented.

Controversies v. Free Speech

Basically, Musk embraces the adage: enemies of my enemies are my friends. Ye’s tweet one of his two tweets posted on October 8. This is the first time the rapper, who is also a businessman and trendsetter, has been active on Twitter since November 4, 2020. 

Ye, who is very influential despite his multiple controversies, could help attract Gen Z and Millennials on Twitter. His post on Zuckerberg has already been liked by more than 760,000 people in less than 24 hours.

The rapper and trendsetter has notably reinvented sneakers with his brand Yeezy. His popularity has pushed struggling brands like Adidas and Gap to partner with him.

But the rapper also likes to provoke controversy. It was anti-Semitic remarks made by him on Instagram that prompted the platform to restrict his account. In a since-deleted post from October 7, Ye accused rap legend Sean “Diddy” Combs of being controlled by Jews. 

The post was denounced by the American Jewish Committee as “anti-Jewish.

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Also this week, Ye caused another controversy by repeatedly showing up in a t-shirt that read “White Lives Matter.” During his fashion show in Paris, models wore t-shirts with a similar message.

The Anti-Defamation League denounced the slogan.

For Musk, who has often criticized Twitter for not being exciting enough to convince celebrities and influencers to be active there, Ye’s return is a huge victory. 

And if Ye could stay active, that would be even better for the tech tycoon, who has already reiterated that his Twitter won’t ban people, unless they make comments that break the law of the country where they’ve been posted.

“I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means,” the billionaire posted on April 25.

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