News broke Monday that Elon Musk, the world’s richest man at a net-worth over $200 billion, bought 9.2% of Twitter. The social media giant has become the de facto public square in our day, and significant changes are widely expected as Musk will now be joining the company’s board of directors as the single greatest shareholder, owning nearly four times the number of shares as company founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey.
Twitter in recent years has made a lot of controversial decisions to affect and influence the public discourse surrounding the most contentious social and political questions of our day.
For instance, former President Trump is still (at least to my knowledge) banned for life from the platform after having used it with great success for several years to bypass the mainstream media gatekeepers in getting his messages out to the American people, big businesses, and political rivals, as well as other world leaders around the globe.
But I think it’s also important to remember that before banning Trump, Twitter censored him while in office more than once for allegedly inciting violence and spreading misinformation in the midst of BLM and Antifa riots, COVID public health policy debate, and questions concerning fraud in the 2020 Election. How much more contemptuously power-drunk does it get than censoring and banning a duly-elected U.S. President? I mean, really.
Speaking of, there was also that time Twitter suppressed sharing of a New York Post story about Hunter Biden’s laptop scandal in the leadup to the 2020 Election; the bogus pretext was that the story represented possible foreign interference; but Twitter also suspended the account of the Post over the attempted share of said story, promising to only reinstate it if they removed the offending content. Now it turns out that story was not Russian disinformation, and a great many Biden voters should have liked to know it sooner; but the damage has already been done in that regard.
More recently, Twitter suspended the accounts of popular Christian satire outlet, The Babylon Bee. Rachel Levine – a transgendered high-level member of the Biden administration – was announced their ‘Man of the Year,’ and the humorless Leftists at Twitter hold that calling someone the gender they objectively are when they don’t want you to is hateful and bigoted.
Besides these examples, reports from whistleblowers at the social media giant have for years alleged that the company routinely engages in suppressing and manipulating content from critics of the Left both great and small, as well as those promoting traditional values and conservative positions on political and social issues. Meanwhile the official talking point from duly-selected Twitter reps oscillates between vapid platitudes about “hate speech” having no place on their platform and blaming it on algorithms.
But disingenuous suspensions, deletions, and shadow-banning have been broadly utilized at Twitter for years by brazenly partisan moderators to suppress free speech and dissent. And despite several Congressional hearings and routine exposés by the likes of Project Veritas, very little to nothing has been done to check these practices. We’ve all been told to believe that the world just doesn’t like American conservatives in particular. If we would all just shed our traditional values and admiration for Western civilization and Judeo-Christian ethics, then we could talk and be popular. Elsewise, no dice.
So maybe just maybe this move by Musk will lead to a freer and more transparent environment online – not only at Twitter but at several other Big Tech outlets. Dissenters who have for years seen their voices squashed and silenced online may just now have the ability to engage in the public discourse and marketplace of ideas in a way they’ve either never known or else grown unaccustomed to.
Radical Leftists at Twitter, meanwhile, are sick to their stomach – a good sign, if you ask me. Many will doubtless stage walkouts and strikes, and some may even resign. To that I say, ‘Good riddance.’ Let them go if they will; but maybe some of them should be shown the door as well whether or not they want to be, particularly when cases like mine are considered.
If a major shakeup and overhaul at Twitter happens along these lines, I dare say our public discourse and political processes will be the healthier for it. After all, in order for government “of the people, for the people, and by the people” to not perish from the earth, there must be a place to discuss the important questions of our day honestly and openly. Maybe that place can be Twitter after all. Time will tell. For now, this is welcome news to that end, and cause for both celebration and hope.
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