Billionaire Mark Cuban has been offering fellow billionaire Elon Musk free advice since the latter’s tumultuous takeover of Twitter. Cuban has couched his counsel to Musk as “from one entrepreneur to another” and also purely as a “Tweep” — just an avid user of the social media platform.
Recently, Cuban even offered to pay some of Musk’s bills — that is, if he took Cuban’s suggestion and appointed a medical board for Twitter who could vote on the veracity of the information shared there, hopefully helping more reliable information surface more readily.
That suggestion drew an interesting response from Stanford Medical School’s Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, who wrote that Cuban’s suggestion of a 1000+ physician medical board parsing information for Twitter users “if followed, would be the death of science, in which truth is not determined by democracy.”
This suggestion by @mcuban, if followed, would be the death of science, in which truth is not determined by democracy.— Jay Bhattacharya (@DrJBhattacharya) December 4, 2022
It would nevertheless be better than Twitter 1.0, which designated lockdown advocates as experts and censored experts who knew better. https://t.co/OG1Gz6baNu
Yet in a nod to how difficult the medical misinformation situation is on social media, Bhattacharya concedes in the same quote that Cuban’s idea “would nevertheless be better than Twitter 1.0, which designated lockdown advocates as experts and censored experts who knew better.”
Cuban responded to Bhattacharya.
Mark, I made no claim that I know better, just that Twitter 1.0 experts were disastrously wrong and experts who were right were censored. Your idea is bad because polls of ‘qualified experts’ are a bad way to determine scientific truth.— Jay Bhattacharya (@DrJBhattacharya) December 4, 2022
Cuban told Bhattacharya, in part, “I’m guessing that you are a better expert than the “Twitter 1.0 lockdown advocates”? And it’s interesting to know that you think any Twitter poll “would be the death of science” How could a Twitter poll have that much impact?”
It stands to reason that a 1000+ polled doctors making up Twitter’s medical board could hardly augur the “death of science,” Cuban claps back. How could it? Indeed, it might be helpful. (Note: In a sense they agree on the need for a fix, even if they don’t see eye-to-eye on the solution, as Bhattacharya admits in his response that Cuban’s prescription is at least better than Twitter 1.0.)