Billionaire tech mogul Elon Musk hasn’t let up on his promise to create ‘Pravda’, a website aimed at rating the credibility of specific journalists and media outlets.
The SpaceX and Tesla boss tweeted on Friday that he registered the domain name ‘Pravduh.com’, a play on words of the state-run Russian news agency, Pravda.
‘Game on…,’ Musk added, continuing a Twitter tirade that has gone on since Wednesday.
Billionaire tech mogul Elon Musk (pictured) hasn’t let up on his promise to create ‘Pravda’, a website aimed at rating the credibility of specific journalists and media outlets
Musk took ‘big media companies’ to task in a series of tweets earlier this week, particularly over the headlines surrounding his electric car company, Tesla.
He said the public doesn’t respect the media anymore because of their ‘holier-than-though hypocrisy’ and because they ‘claim to the truth, but publish only enough to sugarcoat the lie’.
After a reporter from the Verge retorted by calling him a ‘media-bating Trump figure,’ Musk sharply replied by saying President Donald Trump was elected because no one believes the media anymore.
He rounded out the spectacle by saying that he plans to create a site called ‘Pravda’, a reference to the state-run Russian news agency, where people can rate journalists.
Now, it appears Musk is doubling down on his promise to create the site.
After discovering that Pravda.com was already a domain name purchased in Ukraine, he went ahead and registered Pravduh.com.
Musk was asked whether the site, which would rate the ‘core truth of any article and track the credibility score over time of each journalist, editor and publication’, was just a joke.
The site itself seems to be serious, but Musk acknowledged that the ‘Pravda’ name is satire.
‘It is named after the most pernicious propaganda machine in history specifically to highlight what we want to avoid,’ Musk explained in a tweet.
‘It’s called satire…,’ he added.
Still, that didn’t seem to satisfy some members of the media, who said the Pravda website would be ‘an attack’ on the profession.
And again, Musk defended his move by saying the website is necessary to protect truthfulness in the media.
In a separate tweet on Wednesday, Musk agreed with it being akin to a ‘Yelp for journalists’.
‘If you’re in media and don’t want Pravda to exist, write an article telling your readers to vote against it,’ he added.
Coincidentally, the SpaceX and Tesla boss incorporated a business by the name of Pravda Corp. in California last October, reporter Mark Harris pointed out in a tweet.
Musk seemingly acknowledged this by replying to the tweet with an emoji.
The rant, which totaled 19 tweets, was ignited by a report from electric vehicle-focused news website Electrek, which cited a recent report from Robert W. Baird analysts.
Baird analysts noted that ‘increasingly immaterial’ headlines had been flooding the news media, but that Tesla may still be able to recover from the ‘negative coverage/sentiment’.
Tesla has been hit with a number of hurdles in the past few months, as it has struggled to meet production goals for the Model 3 and continues to burn through cash.
Additionally, concerns have continued to grow around the safety of Tesla cars, as well as the working conditions at the firm’s Fremont, California-based factory.
Musk continued to defend his move to create ‘Pravda,’ a website to rate journalists and media organizations in a series of tweets on Friday. He said he registered the website ‘Pravduh.com’
Coincidentally, the SpaceX and Tesla boss incorporated a business by the name of Pravda Corp. in California last October (pictured), reporter Mark Harris pointed out in a tweet
Just this week, Consumer Reports decided not to recommend the Model 3 sedan after it determined that it had the worst braking distances ‘of any contemporary car’.
And Musk has repeatedly complained on Twitter that media organizations dedicate more attention to covering crashes related to Tesla’s self-driving cars than it does to crashes from regular automobiles.
Wednesday’s tirade also isn’t the first time Musk has voiced an interest in creating some kind of media-related entity of his own.
In the recent past, the SpaceX boss poached several writers and editors from satirical news publication The Onion to work on a secret project he’s funding,according to The Daily Beast.
Possibly giving credence to the report, Musk sent out a pair of cryptic tweets early Wednesday, beginning with one that simply said ‘Thud!’
A reply to that tweet said: ‘That’s the name of my new intergalactic media empire, exclamation point optional.’
Unsurprisingly, Musk’s cheeky statement to the Daily Beast provided little indication as to whether or not the rumors were true.
‘It’s pretty obvious that comedy is the next frontier after electric vehicles, space exploration, and brain-computer interfaces,’ Musk told the Daily Beast.
‘Don’t know how anyone’s not seeing this,’ he added.
Musk is said to have ties to the Onion that span several years.
In 2014, Musk considered buying The Onion, but the talks never became official, possibly because he wasn’t interested in purchasing the outlet’s entertainment news vertical, The A.V. Club, the Daily Beast noted.
Consumer Reports also said it got a record 350 miles of range per charge with a long-range version of the Model 3 when it’s set on a high mode to recharge batteries with energy from braking
WHAT IF TESLA MISSES ITS MODEL 3 PRODUCTION GOAL?
Tesla’s released its new Model 3 electric car in July 2017 with a batch of 30 vehicles sold exclusively to members of staff.
The affordable £25,000 ($35,000) five-seat vehicle travels 215 miles (346km) on a single charge and accelerates from zero to 60mph (0-100kmh) in under six seconds.
Although the eco-friendly car is one of Tesla’s more affordable models, those looking to buy the vehicle may be waiting months before they can get behind the wheel.
Tesla had struggled to meet the impressive demand for its vehicle, with a reported 500,000 pre-orders put in so far.
Tesla has repeatedly missed production goals for Model 3, meaning those who have put down a £712 ($1,000) deposit for one of the vehicles may still have to wait until the end of 2018 to get their hands on it.
Tesla missed its production goal for 2017’s third quarter, producing only 260 vehicles compared to an earlier estimate of 1,500.
As a result, the company’s shares fell 5.4 per cent in after hours trading on November 1.
Tesla said it delivered 26,150 vehicles total in the third quarter, a 4.5 per cent rise on the same period of 2016.
But the company added that ‘production bottlenecks’ had left it behind on its planned ramp-up for the Model 3.
In November it said it hoped to achieve a production rate of 5,000 per month by the end of the first quarter of 2018, pushing back what was originally a target for the end of 2017.
He’s also shared articles from the Onion and commented on their work in a Rolling Stone article last year.
Now, it seems that former members of the Onion, including editor-in-chief Cole Bolton and executive editor Ben Berkeley are working in Los Angeles on a secret project funded by Musk, according to the Daily Beast.
Bolton and Berkeley are said to have brought on other Onion staffers to work on the project.
Twitter users took turns offering their own theories as to whether or not Musk is actually launching a satirical news website.
It’s unclear whether or not Musk is serious about launching his own ‘intergalactic media empire.’
However, Musk has been known to tweet things out at random that eventually turn into real ventures.
In January, the tech mogul tweeted that he would create the ‘safest flamethrower ever’ after selling 50,000 Boring Company hats.
Most people seemed to assume that he was joking.
‘I know it’s a little off-brand, but kids love it,’ Musk continued in a tweet.
Within hours of the flamethrower becoming available, orders flooded in by the thousands.
In total, Musk’s tunneling company has sold 20,000 flamethrowers and raised $10 million in the process.