How a billionaires boys’ club came to dominate the public square

The world’s richest man, Elon Musk, attacked a publication owned by the world’s third-richest man, Jeff Bezos, last month for reprinting a column published by the world’s 13th-richest man, Mike Bloomberg.

The Bloomberg opinion article, posted by The Washington Post, asked whether Musk’s recent investment in Twitter would endanger freedom of speech. “WaPo always good for a laugh,” Musk wrote in a tweet, with smiling and crying emoji.

The jab underscored an unusual and consequential feature of the nation’s new digital public square: Technological change and the fortunes it created have given a vanishingly small club of massively wealthy individuals the ability to play arbiter, moderator and bankroller of not only the information that feeds the nation’s discourse but also the architecture that undergirds it. —Washington Post