Open letter to Mr Elon Musk
Dear Mr Musk,
We are sorry to learn of your recent acquisition of a stake in what purports to be a US social media company but that in large part is run from a Russian bot / troll factory by the Russian government from a former factory just outside St Petersburg.
It has long been known by persons within the intelligence communities that a substantial proportion of Twitter accounts are run by Russian bots, using sophisticated artificial intelligence routines developed by agencies of the Russian government. The reason the Russian government invests in such things in such measure is a little hard to understand: but the essential purpose of this hugely complex Russian bot structure is to influence western domestic political opinions and thereby, it is hoped, influence the outcome of western (particularly American) political decision making and in particular the way US voters may vote in marginal constituencies in US elections.
You entered into a contract to acquire a limited quantity of Twitter shares; then you would be granted access to Twitter's proprietary data, but under confidentiality undertakings; then you could assess for yourself Twitter's various warranties to you (including a 'no more than 5 per cent Russian bots' warranty); and then, having verified the warranties to your own satisfaction, you would complete the transaction.
Being an intelligent man, your trawl of the proprietary data has revealed to you that the Russian bots warranty has been violated; the proportion of Russian bots is at least several times the warranty threshold you agreed.
We are sure you will agree that it is highly problematic that a major US listed media company has been substantially captured by intelligence agencies of the Russian government. Perhaps the more unsatisfactory element of this is that this fact is not widely known.
Hence you will be withdrawing from the transaction. You have no intention of acquiring a stake in a Russian bot factory. We hope your lawyers can get you back most of your money you have already spent.
Notwithstanding your confidentiality obligations, we hope you will find a way of disclosing to the world just what proportion of the Twitter network is Russian bots. There is a public interest in our all knowing.
By the way, these matters were explained in the Mueller Report; but of course in the febrile political atmosphere at the time, nobody save obsessively forensic people such as our team bothered to read it.
Twitter is an outrageous institution. A quasi-media organisation in substantial part captured by Russian intelligence agencies for their own nefarious purposes, it also restricts US politicians' First Amendment rights to freedom of speech. Irrespective of whether you agree with his political views, Donald J. Trump, a former US President and surely a candidate for future Presidential election, ought to be able to express those views unrestrictedly, save in exceptional First Amendment derogations such as incitement to immediate violence or incitement to immediate government overthrow. The rest of his views, no matter how quixotic, cannot legitimately be restricted. This is a cornerstone of the US political system.
If you were able to expose the extent of Russian bot infiltration of Twitter, then you would be undertaking the most important public service obligation of your career so far. We might bring Twitter to an inglorious but well deserved end.
Incidentally, here are some other social media websites substantially captured by Russian bots:
Facebook and its advertisers
Instagram. Virtually all our followers to our Instagram page thepaladins2 are Russian bots; we bought them for USD9.99.
Good luck; and remember the enormous public service you are doing for the world if you expose what is going on. You might revolutionise or even cause the end of social media; this might be a good thing. You just need good lawyers to get you out of your confidentiality obligations. Naturally we are here to assist you should you feel that our services might be useful.
Very truly yours --