Don't Doxx Me, Bro!
Elon Musk redefines "doxxing"
I love when people dislike something and then try to fit it into a bad act. If you don’t like media reports about you, call them “fake news.” If you don’t like someone sharing your private plane’s location, despite it being public information, accuse them of “doxxing” you.
We need to talk about doxxing. Musk has perverted the definition, at least from a legal perspective. You can read my full analysis here and an except below:
Musk recently said on a Twitter Space audio discussion:
“You dox, you get suspended. End of story. That’s it.”
This was in the wake of Musk impulsively banning the Twitter account, @ElonJet, in addition to any journalist who had referenced it. I say impulsively because as you may recall, Musk tweeted this about a month ago:
Instead of informing the actual authorities, Musk took to Twitter. Then banned the @ElonJet account and a number of journalists who had previously referenced it. Without notice. Notably, many of these journalists were Musk critics.
You might ask: how is a Twitter account that tracks Musk’s private jet (based on publicly available data) responsible for a “crazy stalker” who jumped on the hood of a car his son was in?
Unclear. Musk said the journalists were aware of the “violent stalker” but provided no evidence of their awareness let alone its connection to @ElonJet.
Also unclear is how Musk defines “doxxing.” Based on his tweets and Twitter suspensions, it’s anytime someone tweets a person’s location information (no matter how specific) or personal details, regardless of intent or the public availability of the information.
That definition is not only at odds with relevant U.S. laws, but with the First Amendment itself.
As the CEO of a private company, Musk can certainly be more restrictive on speech if he wants. But these forms of censorship are hardly the actions of a self-proclaimed free speech absolutist.
Here are a couple tweets I enjoyed on the topic. The second is from Aaron Rupar, one of the suspended journalists (who had his account recently reinstated). Notably, Rupar and many of the other suspended journalists were Elon Musk critics.
The SBF saga continues
The other story I’m really interested in this week is the latest on the FTX collapse. Recent news reports indicate that Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced former CEO of FTX and likely fraudster, is going to agree to extradition from the Bahamas to the United States. This will allow the Department of Justice to prosecute him.
He’s facing potentially over 100 years in prison.
Is this likely fraud bigger than Enron?
Bigger than Madoff?
FTX’s new CEO, John Ray, who is leading the company through bankruptcy, had some chilling things to say recently. He stressed that the FTX collapse is worse than Enron. And he knows a thing or two about that, given he led Enron through its bankruptcy back in the early 2000s.
I mean, FTX was using Quickbooks! A multi-billion dollar company was using Quickbooks. Forget about fraud. Worry about records!
If there are no organized books and records, it makes proving fraud that much harder. Although I don’t think the U.S. Department of Justice will have any trouble here.
I’m still waiting for CZ’s share of the blame
I have not heard anyone blame CZ, the CEO of Binance, for any part of what happened in the FTX collapse. Even though CZ arguably ignited the fire that exposed FTX’s fraudulent structure and engineering.
The point is: CZ could have acted far more prudently and far less recklessly. I go into it more in this video and in these two articles:
He doesn’t have clean hands and it’s time people recognize it. Including regulators and law enforcement.
For the week ahead:
The changing landscape of the war in Ukraine as we head into the dead of winter
Further FTX collapse analysis, specifically as it compares to other major financial frauds
The continuing chaos at Twitter and how it could destroy Elon’s empire
Book reviews on Putin, Mussolini, and authoritarianism that I’ve finished recently
Year-end wraps - you can check out two I’ve already done here:
Have a good week.
If you are not already a Medium subscriber, you can sign up here.