Be Ruthless

Advice for Elon: 13 Steps to Free the Bird and Become Great

“So it should be noted that when he seizes a state the new ruler must determine all the injuries that he will need to inflict. He must inflict them once and for all, and not have to renew them every day, and in that way he will be able to set men’s minds at rest and win them over to him when he confreres benefits.”
— Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince

Elon Musk’s net worth is around 250 billion, yet people argue that he overpaid by a few billion to buy the most effective social engineering tool ever devised. The reality is that Twitter is a priceless company not only for its ability to shape the minds of the public, or for the database of blackmail it holds in users’ DM’s, but for the internal records it almost certainly has of explicit collusion between key nodes of the US Government, regulatory agencies, the State Department, intelligence agencies, media outlets, political operatives, and the NGO’s that conspire every single day to control what the public perceives as ‘The Narrative’.

The cast of characters in this vast, interrelated influence network is the ‘They’ we often speak of. To set the stage, here are a few of the public actions and threats that They’ve made against Musk since he first expressed interest in purchasing the social media platform:

The DHS created the (now defunct) Disinformation Governance Board.
The SEC launched an investigation Elon’s conduct in the $44 billion takeover deal for Twitter.
Tesla was removed from the ESG Index by Blackrock.
Proposals were floated to have the U.S. government nationalize and seize SpaceX’s satellite-based Internet system.
Tesla currently faces DOJ criminal investigation over self-driving vehicle claims.

These events do not occur in a vacuum, but are part of a larger game where various entities collude to drive specific outcomes. I am not qualified to effectively advise a billionaire or someone as adept at maintaining such a powerful public position as Mr. Musk. However, I do have extensive experience working for a company very closely tied to Twitter. The following advice is adapted from a viral thread I wrote in April shortly after it was first announced that Elon would make an offer to buy Twitter.

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1. Move extremely fast

Don’t give them time to plan or react. They are still shell-shocked and won’t be able to think clearly. Jump on the offensive immediately. By demonstrating you are capable of independent thought, you have established yourself as a target of the Regime. Understand that there is now nothing you can do to appease them. As Jack Posobiec recently pointed out: “When a prince must commit atrocities, commit them early.”

2. Don’t negotiate with terrorists

There will be terr- I mean, activist employees working from inside the company to undermine your agenda. Identify and elevate your supporters. Keep a close eye on the rest. In a hyper-politicized environment like Twitter, it is friends vs enemies all the way down. You won’t change anybody’s mind. Not only is it a waste of time and effort to try, but your goodwill will be used against you. Remember, you are dealing with individuals who are both the victims and perpetrators of a decade-plus-long psychological operation that they themselves have waged against the public. These people are extremely fragile and volatile and should be dealt with as such.

3. Provoke the woke

Put pressure not only on leadership but on lower-level employees as well. Woke companies are more autonomous than most might initially think. The employees they hired are there because they already ‘know what to do’. Get as many of them to quit as possible. Make it a costly signal for them to display wokeness. They have benefitted from strategically utilizing these signals for years — now it’s time to reverse the incentives. Make it uncomfortable in the office for them. (One giant American flag should do it.)

4. Restore prominent banned accounts immediately

It is unconscionable what they did to the President of the United States, and it cannot stand. Donald J. Trump must be restored, along with all the others who are now too many to name, Alex Jones, Jordan Peterson, Bronze Age Pervert, The Babylon Bee, Steve Bannon, Andrew Tate, Sargon of Akkad… Bring them all back. Quite frankly, I don’t even care what they did. These are public figures and therefore important to the conversation.

5. Do not expect to be treated fairly

There is no chance that you will be treated fairly – and not just by your employees, but by the media, regulatory agencies, politicians, NGOs… the entire swarm. Do not give them the benefit of the doubt. They fully understand the severity of the situation and will do everything in their power to stop you.

6. Show a willingness to leverage Twitter against the Regime

The threat of this alone will change their behavior. Make them fight the same uphill battle that they made us fight for years. From time to time, have the algorithms make ‘mistakes’ in their direction. Use their tools against them, the way they used them against us. They should feel that their accounts can be banned at any moment, and that they’re lucky to have them, just like we’ve been trained to feel. Keep them on their heels.

7. Disassociate with all NGOs, especially the ‘fact-checkers’

Immediately end all relationships with NGOs involved in ‘fact-checking’, ‘hate-speech’, and other types of ‘advocacy’. These are front groups designed to subvert reality and manipulate discourse by laundering specific narratives into public consciousness.

8. Pursue a more human-centered approach to content moderation

While it may be necessary to utilize algorithms in order to moderate content and enforce platform rules at scale, there is no legitimate reason (except in the most egregious of cases) that these tools should be used to ban long-standing accounts with a history of normal interactions. In the event of a ban, there must be a way to contact a human employee to discuss the case and appeal process. For too long social media companies have hidden behind the legal defense shield of ‘AI and ML’ to avoid liability for obviously politically-targeted aggression. “We didn’t do it… the algorithm did.” They repeat this lie in congressional hearings all the time. Meanwhile, the logical follow-up question never gets asked: “Who built the algorithm?”

9. Cultivate a pro-human company culture and develop it into a larger campaign to ‘Restore the West’

In stark contrast to the current iteration of Twitter that seems specifically designed to demoralize employees, users, and the public at-large, tailor the algorithms to amplify content that highlights human flourishing. There are many people who can still be rescued from the slippery slope they’ve been pushed down. They just need something positive to latch on to after what they’ve been subjected to over the last few years. Speak directly to them.

10. Hire high-trust people to immediately secure internal communications and documentation

They will try to adapt by concealing not only what they have done in the past, but what they really do in the present. If there are damning communications between Twitter employees and the US government, release them. Redact names if necessary. Make it clear that anyone caught running cover for past and present criminality will be fired without severance and have lawsuits brought against them. Hire a team to go through Twitter’s internal communication tools to pinpoint the most outspoken and influential political activists within the company, work out what connections they have with outside groups, and determine if they are coordinating with each other. (I volunteer to help in whatever capacity possible with this. I would fly out tomorrow if necessary.)

11. Let the changes you make become the story

When addressing the press, focus on all the positive externalities downstream of excising wokeism. “By focusing less on politics in the workplace, our employees have improved mental health, our product has more positive engagement, and our users are happier.” Even if they frame it dishonestly (they will), you will get the press to write the Twitter turnaround story for you, and provide a model for other companies to copy as the public cheers you on. Remember, the liberal media is one of the most universally hated ‘entities’ in the United States. Do not fear them, use them.

12. Disempower the verified cartel and empower alternative and independent voices

Verified accounts do not deserve to have their signal amplified. (They probably don’t even deserve a special designation either, but we can save that discussion for another time.) The decision to grandfather-in legacy media single-handedly preserved and re-instantiated their control over The Narrative. Create a pathway not only for alternative media, but for independent voices and individual creators to steal attention from the usual suspects.

13. Introduce the ‘No More Fckery Rule’

Everyone knows what this means. Keep it vague. Temporary bans for ‘fckery’. Every individual and organization is subject to this rule.

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Dear Mr. Musk, you have taken a significant risk in this undertaking. If you can revive The Narrative from one of anti-human humiliation to one of pro-human flourishing and achievement, you can cement your place in history as one of the men who revitalized Western society. Don’t let this just be a performative gesture. Make it count.

Present Witness is an investor and threat analyst providing analysis through an economic lens. He can be contacted at j@presentwitness.com.


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