Elon Musk to start 'Pravda' website to rate credibility of journalists

Tesla Inc co-founder and CEO Elon Musk blasted bid media houses and said he would set up a website to rate their credibility. Photo: Wikimedia Commons 
Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk slammed big media companies for what he called their "holier-than-thou hypocrisy". Taking to Twitter on Wednesday, Musk said that media houses laid claim to the truth but published "only enough to sugarcoat the lie", adding that this was "why the public no longer respects them". Going a step further, the business magnate said he was going to create a site where the public can rate the "core truth of any article" and track the "credibility score" of journalists.   

Musk's tirade against media houses started with a tweet responding to an article titled 'Tesla (TSLA) could rally as media negativity is 'increasingly immaterial', says Baird'. Electric car maker Tesla has been hit by a spate of negative news reports in the recent past.   

Musk moots 'Pravda'

Musk said he was going to create a media credibility rating site that would allow the public to rate "the core truth of any article" and to track the credibility score, over time, of journalists, editors, and publications. He added that he was thinking of calling it "Pravda", which is Russian for "truth". 

Pravda is also the name of a Russian newspaper, which was formerly the official newspaper of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.  

In a later tweet, Musk said that perhaps the site should be called "You’re Right".  He added, "I do actually own http://youreright.com, but for the moment I just have it automatically forward to Facebook News." 

Musk also started a Twitter poll asking people to respond to whether creating a media credibility rating site that would also flag propaganda botnets was a good idea or not. 

The holier-than-thou hypocrisy of big media companies who lay claim to the truth, but publish only enough to sugarcoat the lie, is why the public no longer respects them https://t.co/Ay2DwCOMkr

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 23, 2018

Problem is journos are under constant pressure to get max clicks & earn advertising dollars or get fired. Tricky situation, as Tesla doesn’t advertise, but fossil fuel companies & gas/diesel car companies are among world’s biggest advertisers.

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 23, 2018

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

Even if some of the public doesn’t care about the credibility score, the journalists, editors & publications will. It is how they define themselves.

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 23, 2018

Not only needs to be botproof, but seek & unmask anyone operating a disinformation bot army

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 23, 2018

Create a media credibility rating site (that also flags propaganda botnets)

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 23, 2018

Maybe the media credibility rating site should be called “You’re Right!” I do actually own https://t.co/1JqqCF9inA, but for the moment I just have it automatically forward to Facebook News.

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 24, 2018

Musk issues challenge to the media

The Tesla CEO also challenged media houses that if they didn't want Pravda to exist, they could write articles telling their readers to vote against it. "Come on media, you can do it! Get more people to vote for you. You are literally the media," Musk tweeted. 

If you’re in media & don’t want Pravda to exist, write an article telling your readers to vote against it …

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 23, 2018

Come on media, you can do it! Get more people to vote for you. You are literally the media.

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 24, 2018

Musk gets compared to Trump

Musk's broadside against the media drew comparisons to US President Donald Trump's attacks centering on media houses dealing in "fake news". 

Andrew J Hawkins, a senior transportation reporter with The Verge, tweeted that Musk was continuing his "slow transformation into a media-baiting Trump figure screaming irrationally about fake news".  

Musk retorted by saying that whenever someone criticises the media, the media shrieks, "You're just like Trump!" Musk continued his attack, stating that the media had lost its "credibility a long time ago".

Thought you’d say that. Anytime anyone criticises the media, the media shrieks “You’re just like Trump!” Why do you think he got elected in the first place? Because no ones believes you any more. You lost your credibility a long time ago.

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 23, 2018

Donald Trump Jr responded to Musk's tweet at Hawkins, saying, "This... So true!!!"

This... So true!!! https://t.co/O7izlkKWzS

Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) May 23, 2018

Analyst says Tesla shares seen rising despite 'fever pitch' of bad news

According to news agency Reuters, an analyst research report has said that while negative news stories about Tesla have hit "fever pitch", the electric carmaker's stock price is likely to surge as output of its Model 3 sedan improves.   

Baird Equity Research analyst Ben Kallo's note on Wednesday said news reports about factory accidents, employee turnover, and production pauses have contributed to investor pessimism but sentiment would likely recover as the company fixes factory bottlenecks and increases output of its Model 3. "Sentiment is as negative as we have experienced around Tesla, and we want to lean into the fever pitch," wrote Kallo. 

According to Reuters, a series of fiery Tesla car crashes and executive departures have worried the company's investors. After Consumer Reports said on Monday that the Model 3 had "big flaws", including braking slower than a full-sized pickup truck, Musk responded on Twitter that Tesla would fix the car's braking system with a software update. 



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