Dear Elon Musk: Stop spreading fake news


Elon Musk, a billionaire playboy whose mother and father weren’t murdered in entrance of him exterior of a theater (but nonetheless appears to suppose he’s Batman), as we speak stopped rocketing automobiles at the sky lengthy sufficient to rage-tweet his displeasure with journalists’ criticisms of Tesla.

As finest we will inform, it began when Elon tweeted an article from a information supply that quoted somebody saying “regardless of” media negativity, Tesla might “rally.”

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Elon, Elon, Elon. If the general public doesn’t respect us for publishing negativity in the direction of your organization, then they don’t need the reality. I guarantee you that my bosses at TNW had absolutely nothing to do with my negativity when I wrote this article, and stated the next:

For starters, it’s time for Musk and firm to rethink the concept of calling its driver help know-how “Autopilot.” It encourages individuals to do silly issues like ignore warnings. In actual fact, within the struggle for our lives in opposition to human error, it might even be price losing individuals’s time to make the purpose.

My bosses didn’t ask me to criticize his firm, however I selected to out of respect for the individuals who’ve died in accidents involving its merchandise. I’ve personally written about half a dozen articles defending Tesla’s know-how, whereas on the identical time I’ve written a number of asking it to vary the best way it represents its merchandise. That’s not pretend information, it’s accountable journalism.

When reporters point out his firm’s recalls, missed production quotas, and.. you understand… the deaths, they aren’t spreading misinformation – they’re reporting. We receives a commission to do this.

I’ve additionally fawned over Musk in different articles, together with one the place I expressed my real appreciation for him opening up about his mental health issues. Once more, not as a result of I used to be advised to by anybody, however as a result of I felt my readers would have an interest within the thoughts of a genius. That, if I can blow my very own horn, was additionally accountable journalism.

Positive, a few of us abuse our privilege. Perhaps some journalists overlook that they aren’t beholden to these they write about or the individuals who reduce their paychecks, however as a substitute to the individuals who learn their work. Others do lie, however not all of us. It’s unfair to attempt to manipulate the general public into seeing all journalists as individuals who lack integrity.

If a plumber got here and fucked up your pipes, would you be on Twitter decrying all members of the mainstream pipe-fixing industry as liars who are only claiming to be professionals?

So when a rich asshole conflates every single journalist in the industry with “the media,” and then says we’re all under pressure to generate clicks and views, he’s generalizing and stereotyping.

Anybody who dares name themselves a scientist, CEO, or respectable human being ought to have the base-model intelligence and social acumen to know that nobody explicit sentiment represents “the media.”

Let me be particular: you’re an fool for those who equate Alex Jones, Anderson Cooper, and Kara Swisher as being comparable objects (individuals), as a result of they demonstrably aren’t — but all are “the media.” Chances are you’ll as nicely say there’s no distinction between one president of the US and one other, or between Kanye West, Marilyn Manson, and Taylor Swift.

In closing, I’d personally prefer to encourage Elon Musk to review some fundamental synthetic intelligence ideas, equivalent to eliminating bias and utilizing official knowledge to kind rational conclusions, earlier than the following Autopilot replace. He can hate “the media” all he desires, however that gained’t change the reality.

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