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Elon Musk’s Perspective on Free Speech is Likely Different to Your Own, Which is Important to Note



Elon Musk's Perspective on Free Speech is Likely Different to Your Own, Which is Important to Note

So what is Elon Musk’s definition of free speech, exactly, and how does that relate to what you can and can’t say in your tweets?

The question of what should be allowed has become a central point of contention after Musk launched a $43.5 billion takeover push for the social media platform, ostensibly on the back of Twitter’s ongoing restrictions and moderation decisions.

In the lead-up to his Twitter takeover push, Musk noted that free speech is a central element of a functioning democracy.

Musk reiterated the same in his official statement on his takeover offer:

“I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy.”

Musk has, of course, faced several legal challenges over his tweets, from his suggestion that he might take Twitter private at $420 to baselessly accusing a cave diver of being a pedophile. As such, Musk is well aware of the potential consequences of the free speech that he’s advocating for – while at the same time, Musk has also sought to restrict others from saying what they like about him and his company via social platforms.

Last year, Musk tried to stop a Twitter user from sharing details of his travels on his private jet, while just recently, Tesla launched legal action against a car reviewer who criticized the Tesla Model 3’s auto-braking system.

So on balance, Musk has experienced both sides of what ‘free speech’ can bring, in a negative sense. Which makes it all the more strange that he’s so passionately advocating for the same. Freedom of speech, of course, doesn’t equate to freedom from consequence, but Musk knows, or should know by now, that there needs to be some limits to avoid real world harm.

Which is likely the element that Musk is overlooking, because despite these incidents, and the financial costs that have come with them, they haven’t impacted his life in any significant way as yet.

But they have for others. Vernon Unsworth, the cave diver that Musk had accused of being a pedophile, fears that his name and reputation will be forever tarnished through linkage to the false accusation (Musk even hired a private detective to dig up dirt on Unsworth as part of the case). Xiaogang Xuezhang, the TikTok car reviewer who criticized Tesla, says that Musk’s company released his personal information, and paid for social media campaigns that magnify the lawsuit against him, in an effort to discredit and make an example of him.

You can bet that if Musk were in either of their situations, he’d likely have a different perspective on the dangers of free speech. But that’s the thing, Elon Musk doesn’t have to worry about such in the same way, because he’s so insanely rich that the consequences are not the same, and never will be.

Which is why his stance on ‘free speech’ needs to be viewed with a level of caution, no matter how you feel about the basic principle of the matter. Indeed, when Unsworth’s lawsuit against Musk eventually went in Musk’s favor (due to the technicality that Musk didn’t specifically mention Unsworth in the offending tweet), Musk said that his ‘faith in humanity is restored’. Elon Musk sees no fault in labeling someone a pedophile, and broadcasting that to the world, despite having no evidence to suggest such. He believes that this should be his right, which is what he’s pushing for on Twitter.

But there is another side to Musk’s push, which relates to open algorithms, and enabling users to better understand the inner workings of social platforms so that they can make more informed choices about their in-app experiences.

“Any changes to people’s tweets – if they’re emphasised or de-emphasised – that action should be made apparent, so anyone can see that that action has been taken so there’s no sort of behind-the-scenes manipulation, either algorithmically or manually.”

This is an interesting suggestion, which Twitter itself is already exploring through its ‘Bluesky’ initiative. The idea that regular users could have a better understanding of such systems makes sense, though the complexities may well be lost on us non-coders and regular folk (i.e. the vast majority of Twitter users) who just want to check out the latest tweets.

Though there are some more interesting ideas around this. Nathan Baschez recently outlined how, by open sourcing Twitter’s algorithmic parameters, developers could create new, custom algorithms that users could choose from in order to personalize their tweet experience.

“For example I’d want to try an algorithm that attempts to prioritize nuanced conversations about important topics. Maybe someone else would want algorithms to find mind-expanding threads, savage dunks, or thirst traps of hot new snax.”

There are complexities with this too. I suspect, for example, that if TikTok were to open up the black box of its algorithm, you would find some very questionable qualifiers in its entity registration process. The platform has faced criticism in the past over its efforts to suppress posts from users with bad teeth, big bellies, physical disabilities, and more.

That suggests that TikTok actually has these elements as entities within its algorithmic qualifiers, and based on that, you can imagine the potential depth of specific body types, looks, ethnicities and more that it attaches as labels to each video clip.

There’s a reason why TikTok’s ‘For You’ feed is so addictive, but if you found out why that is, I’m not sure that you’d feel as comfortable using the app – and I’m not sure that its systems would stand up to scrutiny when matched against discrimination laws in various regions.

TikTok keeps a lot of these details in-house, and US authorities have noted that getting information out of the Chinese-owned company is not as straightforward as dealing with US-based platforms. But there is a reason why some analysts believe that TikTok will eventually be forced to change its algorithm, the secret sauce of its success.

Open sourcing Twitter’s algorithms could lead to similar concerns, with developers then able to build discriminatory, divisive algorithm systems that could highlight, say, people’s political leanings, essentially targeting them for the same, or could showcase less savory elements of the app in a brighter light.

People should have the choice, as Musk says, but at the same time, I’m not sure that giving users the option to choose an algorithm that eliminates ‘libtard bias’ would actually be good for society.

Which is the key question. Twitter has evolved its moderation systems over time in response to actual, real world harms, and concerns that reach beyond the platform itself. As in the cases of Vernon Unsworth and Xiaogang Xuezhang, these are not just words, such comments and accusations lead to actual, real impacts on their real lives, which could limit their future opportunities, and lessen their quality of life as a result. Elon Musk won’t feel that. He’s the richest man in the world, and even what would be significant financial penalties for anyone else are an anecdote for him, a joke that he can respond to with a few memes.

Even if you’re an advocate for free speech, there needs to be parameters, and if you don’t realize it now, maybe consider what would happen to your life if Elon accused you of being a pedophile, and shared that with his 84 million Twitter followers.

That’d be tough to shake, right? That could make it harder for you to get a job, to coach your kids’ soccer team, Elon setting his army of supporters onto you could cause real world harm, beyond the words themselves.

Elon Musk doesn’t see it that way, because he doesn’t consider such consequences through the same lens as you or I.

The question is, does ‘free speech’ mean the same thing to you as it does to Elon Musk?

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12 Proven Methods to Make Money Blogging in 2024



Make money blogging


Make money bloggingThis is a contributed article.

The world of blogging continues to thrive in 2024, offering a compelling avenue for creative minds to share their knowledge, build an audience, and even turn their passion into profit. Whether you’re a seasoned blogger or just starting, there are numerous effective strategies to monetize your blog and achieve financial success. Here, we delve into 12 proven methods to make money blogging in 2024:

1. Embrace Niche Expertise:

Standing out in the vast blogosphere requires focus. Carving a niche allows you to cater to a specific audience with targeted content. This not only builds a loyal following but also positions you as an authority in your chosen field. Whether it’s gardening techniques, travel hacking tips, or the intricacies of cryptocurrency, delve deep into a subject you’re passionate and knowledgeable about. Targeted audiences are more receptive to monetization efforts, making them ideal for success.

2. Content is King (and Queen):

High-quality content remains the cornerstone of any successful blog. In 2024, readers crave informative, engaging, and well-written content that solves their problems, answers their questions, or entertains them. Invest time in crafting valuable blog posts, articles, or videos that resonate with your target audience.

  • Focus on evergreen content: Create content that remains relevant for a long time, attracting consistent traffic and boosting your earning potential.
  • Incorporate multimedia: Spice up your content with captivating images, infographics, or even videos to enhance reader engagement and improve SEO.
  • Maintain consistency: Develop a regular publishing schedule to build anticipation and keep your audience coming back for more.

3. The Power of SEO:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ensures your blog ranks high in search engine results for relevant keywords. This increases organic traffic, the lifeblood of any monetization strategy.

  • Keyword research: Use keyword research tools to identify terms your target audience searches for. Strategically incorporate these keywords into your content naturally.
  • Technical SEO: Optimize your blog’s loading speed, mobile responsiveness, and overall technical aspects to improve search engine ranking.
  • Backlink building: Encourage other websites to link back to your content, boosting your blog’s authority in the eyes of search engines.

4. Monetization Magic: Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing allows you to earn commissions by promoting other companies’ products or services. When a reader clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase, you get a commission.

  • Choose relevant affiliates: Promote products or services that align with your niche and resonate with your audience.
  • Transparency is key: Disclose your affiliate relationships clearly to your readers and build trust.
  • Integrate strategically: Don’t just bombard readers with links. Weave affiliate promotions naturally into your content, highlighting the value proposition.

5. Display Advertising: A Classic Approach

Display advertising involves placing banner ads, text ads, or other visual elements on your blog. When a reader clicks on an ad, you earn revenue.

  • Choose reputable ad networks: Partner with established ad networks that offer competitive rates and relevant ads for your audience.
  • Strategic ad placement: Place ads thoughtfully, avoiding an overwhelming experience for readers.
  • Track your performance: Monitor ad clicks and conversions to measure the effectiveness of your ad placements and optimize for better results.

6. Offer Premium Content:

Providing exclusive, in-depth content behind a paywall can generate additional income. This could be premium blog posts, ebooks, online courses, or webinars.

  • Deliver exceptional value: Ensure your premium content offers significant value that justifies the price tag.
  • Multiple pricing options: Consider offering tiered subscription plans to cater to different audience needs and budgets.
  • Promote effectively: Highlight the benefits of your premium content and encourage readers to subscribe.

7. Coaching and Consulting:

Leverage your expertise by offering coaching or consulting services related to your niche. Readers who find your content valuable may be interested in personalized guidance.

  • Position yourself as an expert: Showcase your qualifications, experience, and client testimonials to build trust and establish your credibility.
  • Offer free consultations: Provide a limited free consultation to potential clients, allowing them to experience your expertise firsthand.
  • Develop clear packages: Outline different coaching or consulting packages with varying time commitments and pricing structures.

8. The Power of Community: Online Events and Webinars

Host online events or webinars related to your niche. These events offer valuable content while also providing an opportunity to promote other monetization avenues.

  • Interactive and engaging: Structure your online events to be interactive with polls, Q&A sessions, or live chats. Click here to learn more about image marketing with Q&A sessions and live chats.

9. Embrace the Power of Email Marketing:

Building an email list allows you to foster stronger relationships with your audience and promote your content and offerings directly.

  • Offer valuable incentives: Encourage readers to subscribe by offering exclusive content, discounts, or early access to new products.
  • Segmentation is key: Segment your email list based on reader interests to send targeted campaigns that resonate more effectively.
  • Regular communication: Maintain consistent communication with your subscribers through engaging newsletters or updates.

10. Sell Your Own Products:

Take your expertise to the next level by creating and selling your own products. This could be physical merchandise, digital downloads, or even printables related to your niche.

  • Identify audience needs: Develop products that address the specific needs and desires of your target audience.
  • High-quality offerings: Invest in creating high-quality products that offer exceptional value and user experience.
  • Utilize multiple platforms: Sell your products through your blog, online marketplaces, or even social media platforms.

11. Sponsorships and Brand Collaborations:

Partner with brands or businesses relevant to your niche for sponsored content or collaborations. This can be a lucrative way to leverage your audience and generate income.

  • Maintain editorial control: While working with sponsors, ensure you retain editorial control to maintain your blog’s authenticity and audience trust.
  • Disclosures are essential: Clearly disclose sponsored content to readers, upholding transparency and ethical practices.
  • Align with your niche: Partner with brands that complement your content and resonate with your audience.

12. Freelancing and Paid Writing Opportunities:

Your blog can serve as a springboard for freelance writing opportunities. Showcase your writing skills and expertise through your blog content, attracting potential clients.

  • Target relevant publications: Identify online publications, websites, or magazines related to your niche and pitch your writing services.
  • High-quality samples: Include high-quality blog posts from your site as writing samples when pitching to potential clients.
  • Develop strong writing skills: Continuously hone your writing skills and stay updated on current trends in your niche to deliver exceptional work.


Building a successful blog that generates income requires dedication, strategic planning, and high-quality content. In today’s digital age, there are numerous opportunities to make money online through blogging. By utilizing a combination of methods such as affiliate marketing, sponsored content, and selling digital products or services, you can leverage your blog’s potential and achieve financial success.

Remember, consistency in posting, engaging with your audience, and staying adaptable to trends are key to thriving in the ever-evolving blogosphere. Embrace new strategies, refine your approaches, and always keep your readers at the forefront of your content creation journey. With dedication and the right approach, your blog has the potential to become a valuable source of income and a platform for sharing your knowledge and passion with the world, making money online while doing what you love.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos

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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?




Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

In a recent announcement, Snapchat revealed a groundbreaking update that challenges its traditional design ethos. The platform is experimenting with an option that allows users to defy the 24-hour auto-delete rule, a feature synonymous with Snapchat’s ephemeral messaging model.

The proposed change aims to introduce a “Never delete” option in messaging retention settings, aligning Snapchat more closely with conventional messaging apps. While this move may blur Snapchat’s distinctive selling point, Snap appears convinced of its necessity.

According to Snap, the decision stems from user feedback and a commitment to innovation based on user needs. The company aims to provide greater flexibility and control over conversations, catering to the preferences of its community.

Currently undergoing trials in select markets, the new feature empowers users to adjust retention settings on a conversation-by-conversation basis. Flexibility remains paramount, with participants able to modify settings within chats and receive in-chat notifications to ensure transparency.

Snapchat underscores that the default auto-delete feature will persist, reinforcing its design philosophy centered on ephemerality. However, with the app gaining traction as a primary messaging platform, the option offers users a means to preserve longer chat histories.

The update marks a pivotal moment for Snapchat, renowned for its disappearing message premise, especially popular among younger demographics. Retaining this focus has been pivotal to Snapchat’s identity, but the shift suggests a broader strategy aimed at diversifying its user base.

This strategy may appeal particularly to older demographics, potentially extending Snapchat’s relevance as users age. By emulating features of conventional messaging platforms, Snapchat seeks to enhance its appeal and broaden its reach.

Yet, the introduction of message retention poses questions about Snapchat’s uniqueness. While addressing user demands, the risk of diluting Snapchat’s distinctiveness looms large.

As Snapchat ventures into uncharted territory, the outcome of this experiment remains uncertain. Will message retention propel Snapchat to new heights, or will it compromise the platform’s uniqueness?

Only time will tell.

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach



Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

While it is tempting to try to appeal to a broad audience, the founder of alcohol-free coaching service Just the Tonic, Sandra Parker, believes the best thing you can do for your business is focus on your niche. Here’s how she did just that.

When running a business, reaching out to as many clients as possible can be tempting. But it also risks making your marketing “too generic,” warns Sandra Parker, the founder of Just The Tonic Coaching.

“From the very start of my business, I knew exactly who I could help and who I couldn’t,” Parker told My Biggest Lessons.

Parker struggled with alcohol dependence as a young professional. Today, her business targets high-achieving individuals who face challenges similar to those she had early in her career.

“I understand their frustrations, I understand their fears, and I understand their coping mechanisms and the stories they’re telling themselves,” Parker said. “Because of that, I’m able to market very effectively, to speak in a language that they understand, and am able to reach them.” 

“I believe that it’s really important that you know exactly who your customer or your client is, and you target them, and you resist the temptation to make your marketing too generic to try and reach everyone,” she explained.

“If you speak specifically to your target clients, you will reach them, and I believe that’s the way that you’re going to be more successful.

Watch the video for more of Sandra Parker’s biggest lessons.

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