Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Elon Musk would like to be your one-man media watchdog

Illustration for article titled Elon Musk would like to be your one-man media watchdogem/em
Photo: Steven Ferdman (Getty Images)

Real-world Disruption Fairy Elon Musk has set his script-flipping magic wand on yet another moribund, insufficiently future-facing industry this week, announcing that he’s thinking about starting a “credibility site” to allow people to rate and review various media outlets. Musk says he’s thinking about calling his proposed site, which would allow users to assign ratings to individual sites, journalists, and editors, “Pravda,” presumably as a reference to the famed Russian propaganda paper, whose name translated to “Truth”—or, as our own Ignatiy Vishnavetsky pointed out earlier this afternoon on Twitter, the far-more-Musk-appropriate “Actually”.

Musk says he’s solely motivated in this new venture by people saying what he claims are false things about his car company, Tesla, and definitely not all the other mean things people have said about him, personally, over the years. Things like calling him a real-life Lex Luthor, or making fun of his Rick & Morty fandom, or his annoyingly public relationship with his new girlfriend, or his alleged opposition to unions, or his willingness to shoot cars into space instead of helping people on Earth, or his bad snail tweets, or his behavior in his first marriage, or any of the other clearly fake reasons someone might have for thinking Elon Musk was a self-obsessed Singularity humper.


Good news for those old dinosaurs in the media, though: Musk is offering them a chance to save themselves from his giant meteor of Truth, suggesting that he’ll only go forward with his plans if a Twitter poll tells him to. Unfortunately for all the fossils out there, the vote is currently running way against them, presumably representing a split between people who legitimately want to be able to assign an open-sourced rating to editors, writers, and publications, based on how “honest” a source they are—something that sites like Politifact and Snopes already do, albeit in a more curated, regulated way—and those who think the ensuing clusterfuck of complaints, trolling, and online sandbagging will fulfill the satirical purposes Musk has already been promising with his planned online comedy site, Thud!.

For what it’s worth, this doesn’t seem to be an idle threat; per Gizmodo, Musk actually incorporated a company called Pravda last year, presumably just in case he ever needed to launch a company that’s Russian for “Truth” any time soon.

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