Elon Musk is famous for his visionary ideas – Tesla, SpaceX and The Boring Company are all the products of his great ideas. However, on Wednesday in a tweet, he suggested an idea that doesn’t sound so visionary and creative for the world, suggesting a new website, “Pravda,” that would measure and rate the credibility of media.
His idea is to create “Yelp for Journalism” in which users would be rating the credibility and truthfulness of reporters and media outlet companies.
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“Going to create a site where the public can rate the core truth of any article & track the credibility score over time of each journalist, editor & publication. Thinking of calling it Pravda . . .” Musk wrote in a tweet. Soon after, he followed his initial tweet with a poll in which he allowed his followers and other Twitter users to vote and see whether his idea should come to realization or shouldn’t exist. The first option says “Yes, this would be good” while the other option says it shouldn’t exist because “No, media are awesome.”
Going to create a site where the public can rate the core truth of any article & track the credibility score over time of each journalist, editor & publication. Thinking of calling it Pravda …
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 23, 2018
The idea for his new website came likely as a result of his dissatisfaction for how the media has covered one of his companies lately, particularly Tesla, due to production delays as well as crashes that involved Tesla vehicles using Autopilot technology. Such articles resulted in various investors betting whether Tesla stock would lose value.
His rant went on directly at tech reporters, like The Verge’s Andrew Hawkins, for whom Musk said in a tweet that he lost his credibility “long ago,” after Hawkins made accusations of him of Trump-like anti-media rhetoric.
He also called out Reveal, the publication that was established by the non-profit Center for Investigative Reporting. “Just some rich kids in Berkeley who took their political science prof too seriously.”
Last month, according to a report by Reveal, Tesla didn’t report serious injures on a legally mandated report. Back then, Musk also talked about the current state of journalism.
“Journos are under constant pressure to get max clicks & earn advertising dollars or get fired,” he tweeted.
It’s also worth adding that there already is a publication called Pravda, which is a communist paper from Russia which was established by Vladimir Lenin and the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in 1912, it says on its official site, “discussed the most important problems of workers’ lives, inspired them to strike strikes and political protest actions, conducted open discussions about the role of proletariat and the peasantry in the upcoming reorganization of society, was the school of Marxist theory and practice for the readers.” The publication used to be the backbone of communist propaganda during the Soviet era. However, today it is still a paper targeted for the Communist Party of the Russian Federation.
But the Elon Musk-based new website Pravda could still come into realization. The company seems to have been incorporated in California in October last year, in a filing by The Boring Company Director Jared Birchall. A later filing in November stated it as a “media” business.
If that’s true, soon we could see a “Yelp for journalism” created by Elon Musk. But, will his new website make journalism more credible in the future? We’ll see.