Elon Musk will implement MORE censorship on Twitter? Really?
Elon Musk taking over Twitter is a positive development, but this may not be as big of a win for free speech as conservatives think.
A columnist for the Washington Post is very worried about Elon Musk buying Twitter. This particular criticism is new: Musk will make it more difficult to challenge the powerful and will therefore silence the reach of smaller users trying to hold the powerful accountable. In short, Musk buying Twitter will increase censorship on the platform.
Well, that is new. For months I was hearing Leftists fret that a Musk regime would allow rampant "misinformation" without fact checks, allow unrestrained "hate speech" and - worst of all - allow Donald Trump back on the platform. The Orange Man is Bad, and he must not be allowed back on Twitter!
Of course, the argument that Musk will implement more censorship is dishonest. Musk has been saying for months that he wants less censorship, and that he would restore the accounts of many bad users. He has consistently said he would loosen moderation standards, not increase them or implement new rules. For months, that has been the primary criticism, until Perry Bacon fabricated a completely new argument out of thin air that is in direct conflict with everything that has been said before. It appears that the wannabe censors are now throwing everything at the wall hoping something will stick.
Musk's regime does present some problems, as he said he would have Twitter follow the laws in various countries. Twitter could well get more repressive outside of these United States, depending on how Twitter interprets those laws or how aggressive foreign bureaucrats demand censorship. A Musk regime might be good for Americans, but not Twitter users around the world. Contrast this to Gab, which is an American company and complies with American laws. Andrew Torba has said that Gab will not comply with demands by Germany, the European Union or anyone else to censor content that complies with U.S. law or Gab's terms of service.
Overall, Musk taking over Twitter is a welcome development and the future of Twitter looks brighter than it has been in the past. Musk will have a lot of work ahead of him implementing policy changes opposed by Twitter's internal bureaucracy, and there will be a lot of pressure on him personally to back away from his promise of more free speech. Will we actually have more free speech on Twitter? The wisest course of action should be to say "I will believe it when I see it."
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