Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk continues to have what some might consider red-pill moments.
The visionary and quirky Tesla and SpaceX billionaire CEO who bought the influential social media platform in the name of free speech has admitted that “Twitter [obviously] has a strong left wing bias.”
In July 2018, Musk tweeted that “To be clear, I am not a conservative. Am registered independent & politically moderate…”
In April, Musk admitted that “I strongly supported Obama for President, but today’s Democratic Party has been hijacked by extremists.”
Despite all that is on his plate, the Tesla CEO seems to carefully watch his mentions. In this instance, he was responding to a tweet from author and filmmaker Mike Cernovich, which called attention to a member of the blue-check brigade who appeared to approve of the alleged fire-bombing of a pro-life group.
“Here you go @elonmusk, when Twitter employees invariably lie to you about enforcement policy, maybe they can explain why a verified account is allowed to incite terrorism without any care in the world about being banned,” Cernovich claimed.
It appears that the account in question was deleted.
Twitter obv has a strong left wing bias
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 9, 2022
Musk, the world’s richest man, followed up by describing his approach to freedom of expression: “Like I said, my preference is to hew close to the laws of countries in which Twitter operates. If the citizens want something banned, then pass a law to do so, otherwise it should be allowed.”
Like I said, my preference is to hew close to the laws of countries in which Twitter operates. If the citizens want something banned, then pass a law to do so, otherwise it should be allowed.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 9, 2022
According to The New York Times, “Mr. Musk, 50, who was born in South Africa and only became an American citizen in 2002, expresses views that don’t fit neatly into this country’s binary, left-right political framework. He is frequently described as libertarian, though that label fails to capture how paradoxical and random his politics can be.”
Cernovich also pointed out the double standard typically applied by ideologically-driven Twitter moderators:
“It doesn’t even occur to this journalist that she would be banned for directly inciting terrorism. 0 to fear as this view is more likely shared by a preponderance of Twitter’s employees. But the Babylon Bee has to wonder if a joke will be what finally gets them banned.”
It doesn’t even occur to this journalist that she would be banned for directly inciting terrorism. 0 to fear as this view is more likely shared by a preponderance of Twitter’s employees.
But the Babylon Bee has to wonder if a joke will be what finally gets them banned. pic.twitter.com/s8syvVEqmt
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) May 9, 2022
Parenthetically, while Cernovich has expressed disillusionment with former President Donald Trump, his Twitter account contains interesting information, with a lot of non-political material relating to personal development, self-improvement, and so forth, in addition to media whistle-blowing.
The blue-check cohort, which is having a meltdown over Twitter’s new management, suddenly appears to no longer believe that as a private business entity, Twitter can implement its own policies.
‘Lovely people’: Elon Musk takes flamethrower to NBC over tired smear against him and GOP https://t.co/FePKrhZR7A
— Jack Furnari (@JackBPR) May 3, 2022
Although free-speech protections embodied in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution apply only to the public sector, the scenario arguably changes if, for example, Silicon Valley operates as an arm of the federal government in pushing a particular narrative or narratives and censoring others.
Musk tweets diagram, calls out new disinformation czar: ‘Dem Party has been hijacked by extremists’ https://t.co/C1YxmQvc8V
— Jack Furnari (@JackBPR) April 29, 2022
At the Met Gala, Musk told an interviewer that he wants to make Twitter “as broadly inclusive as possible and as trusted as possible. And that means providing transparency to the public about how each tweet is promoted or demoted…” He added that he wants the software to be made publicly available.
Elon Musk shares his plans for Twitter at the 2022 Met Gala pic.twitter.com/QmaIDBizso
— Gemma (@Gemkay39) May 3, 2022
In a March interview with Substacker Bari Weiss, tech entrepreneur David Sacks, who supposedly was one of those in the so-called Pay Pal “mafia” who allegedly encouraged Musk to try to buy Twitter, provided a thought-provoking update to how the First Amendment perhaps can apply to contemporary social media:
We need to fundamentally understand that free speech in our society has been privatized. The town square has been privatized. When the Constitution was written, the internet didn’t exist. Back then, the town square was a physical place that you could go to, and there was a multiplicity of town squares all over the country. There were thousands of them and anybody could put their soapbox down and speak, and anyone could gather around and listen. That’s why, if you look at the First Amendment, it doesn’t just protect freedom of speech and of the press. It also protects the right to peaceably assemble.
Well, where do people assemble today? They assemble in these giant social networks that have these gigantic network effects. That is where speech, especially political speech, occurs. And if you are shut out of that digital town square, to what extent do you still even have a First Amendment? To what extent do you have a right to speech? Well, I don’t think you do….
So, I don’t think it’s good enough to say, well, these are private actors and, therefore, they can do whatever they want. Those private actors have too much power. They have the power to decide whether you, as an American, have an effective free speech right in this country. I think that’s unacceptable. I think the Founders, the Framers of the Constitution, would never have permitted that…
At the risk of oversimplifying, the red pill — a concept that has subsequently gained substantial cultural currency — is a callback to the cult film The Matrix (1999), the first installment of the movie franchise, in which the character Morpheus offers either a red (for truth) or blue (ignorance) pill to Neo.
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