#168: Elon Musk vs The Media
Medium.com feels like forever. What happens if it isn't?


Elon Musk vs The Media

Twitter drama is weird even at the best of times, but this week's one was unique at best. Elon Musk tweeted on Wednesday that he is "going to create a site where the public can rate the core truth of any article" and "track the credibility score over time of each journalist, editor & publication."

He went on a tirade for hours into the night, saying the media had "earned this mistrust" and that "the holier-than-thou hypocrisy of big media companies who lay claim to the truth, but publish only enough to sugarcoat the lie."

The reason for the lashing out? Escalating pressure on Tesla from the media, which has been critical of the CEO for missing deadlines for the production of its new Model 3 and issues with its self-driving criticism. 

Essentially, it seems Musk is unhappy that he is no longer receiving fawning coverage of his ventures, and that the media is beginning to ask harder questions. The media lashed back at him, but essentially proved his point and ended up looking holier-than-thou, even if the intent was to debunk his claims.

Unfortunately for the media, they're on the back foot here. People's opinion of the media is at an all-time low, and whenever yet another frustrated billionaire shouts 'fake news' because they don't like a story, it hurts further.

Musk's loud shouting on Twitter doesn't help anyone, because he has a following that aggressively believes every word he says is golden without questioning it. The media, because it's actually doing the hard work of shining light in dark places, doesn't have that cult-like following.

Poynter asked the hard questions about why a 'media rating' service wouldn't work: it's just a popularity contest that will quickly favor those with the loudest megaphones and the strongest opinions. Oh, and it'll be a ton of work.

In my mind, media credibility isn't the problem, but diminishing revenues. Staff are forced to do more work with less money and resources, resulting in the perfect storm of clickbait, fake news and poorly fact-checked content. 

With GDPR's debut in Europe this week, it appears that this will not get any better any time soon. An initial report after the launch of the new privacy-focused regulation said that some ad exchanges have seen a 25 percent drop in traffic; yet another crisis for an industry still struggling to adapt.

🌍 Elon Musk lashes out on Twitter 


Other news

💩 Instapaper 'temporarily' shuts down in Europe due to GDPR regulation

16 years later, StumbleUpon is shutting down

🤦 Zuckerberg avoided tough questions at EU parliament due to odd format

🚨 Amazon is selling face recognition technology to local police

🔇 Instagram got the ability to mute people


Technology moves fast, and it's hard to keep up. RE:Charged is my new weekday briefing for busy people who want to know about the technology industry, but don't have time to read a bunch of news sites.

Join 350 others building a better model for news: Sign up here today. 💌


Picking a career

Choosing a career is one of those life decisions that's fraught with frustration, worry and most of all, confusion for most of us. I loved this piece from Wait But Why on choosing a career, and how to go about it -- as well as the peril of opportunity cost.

🌎 Read on Wait Buy Why


Other great reads

The Bill Gates Line (Stratechery)

I don't know how to waste time on the internet anymore (NYMag)

That flood of privacy policy updates? Read them (NYT)

Pretty please, Alexa (Medium)


BeatsX, but cheaper and better

It's incredible how quickly other companies are either copying, or out-copying Apple these days. OnePlus debuted these cut-price BeatsX in-ears recently that sell for just $69, and have more features than Apple's own.

10 minutes of charging gets 5 hours of playback, they auto-pause the music when the magnet on the back of the buds is connected, and there's native Google Assistant integration.

For the price, these are impressive, and it's great there's real competition in the Bluetooth space now.

🌎 OnePlus' Bullet Wireless


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#168: Elon Musk vs The Media