News that Elon Musk, the serial tech entrepreneur and outspoken Elon Musk offered to purchase Twitter in order to make it private has sparked widespread concern within the knowledge-class sectors that freedom of speech and even social peace could be endangered if the Tesla CEO removes restrictions on journalists’ use of the popular social media site.
“I am afraid by the effects on politics and society if Elon Musk buys Twitter.” wroteMax Boot columnist The (Jeff Bezos–owned) Washington PostFollow us on Twitter. His belief seems to be that social media is open for all kinds of things. We need to have more moderation of content if democracy is going to survive.
Boot is a longtime apocalyptic troll—past lowlights include declaring that “I would sooner vote for Josef Stalin than I would vote for Donald Trump,” and advocating the Federal Communications Commission go after Fox News to forestall “the plot against America.” His anxiety over allegedly free speech is quite common among Silicon Valley’s media and academia as well as the government.
“Tor somebody with a lot of money to just come in and say, ‘Look, I’m going to buy a part of this company, and therefore my voice as to how your rules are adopted and enforced is going to have more power than anybody else’s’ — I think that’s regressive after years of [Twitter]”Trying to make sensible regulations,” University of California Irvine law professor and ex-United Nations Special Rapporteur for the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression David Kaye was quoted. VoxTuesday. Twitter has moved away from the idea that it is the free speech-wing of the party and became a real custodian for speech on the platform.
Twitter’s “realistic” guidelines and its “sensible rules” include the ban of thousands upon thousands of political provocateurs.includingDonald Trump, then-President, in 2021). Suspended entire news agencies for publishing stories that were largely true. Created warning labels for COVID-19 “misinformation.” Strengthened filters for allegedly dangerous speech.
Ellen K. Pao (ex-Reddit CEO) wrote last week that Musk’s inclusion on the board was a “big step backward” The Washington Post. Musk claims to be a “free-speech absolutist”, but, like so many other ‘free speech” advocates, he ignores the fact that private companies have some rights regarding their platforms.
At the core of these objections is the notion (misguided, in my view) that social media platforms, once they achieve a certain ubiquity, should be treated less like private companies, and more like utilities—subject to robust government regulation in the name of both the greater good and the protection of historically disadvantaged minorities.
Pao stated that Musk’s appointment as a board member of Twitter shows how regulation is needed to protect users from being controlled by rich individuals. “For starters, we need consistent definitions of harassment and of content that violates personal privacy….If platforms continue to push for growth at all costs — without such regulations — people will continue to be harmed. The people harmed will disproportionately be those who have been harmed for centuries — women and members of marginalized racial and ethnic groups. People who enjoy unlimited amplification will be those who also have enjoyed this privilege over the centuries.
Unfettered speech is thought to be the worst thing for minorities, so protections from hate speech are necessary. This was proven by both the American history of gay civil rights movements (as described in) and the historical record of America’s gay civil rights movement. There are reasonsJonathan Rauch) and by Jacob Mchangama’s experience in Germany during 1930s, which Jacob Mchangama is the author of the new book. Freedom of speech: From Socrates through Social MediaNick Gillespie explained the basics in February.
However, Hitler analogies are too appealing to be fact-checked. “Today’s Twitter experience feels almost like the final evening at a Berlin club in the wee hours of Weimar Germany.” tweetedJeff Jarvis from City University of New York is a journalist, and has spent most of his life celebrating “death of gatekeeper”.
Musk is a strange authoritarian, whether you love or loathe him. A former pot smoker, Musk was an immigrant that made a fortune in clean-energy businesses. Saturday Night LiveThe host is not interested in running for office and has no interest recruiting jack-booted criminals to uphold his views. Robert Reich isn’t the only one comparing him to evildoers.
“The world’s richest man — someone who used to be compared to Marvel’s Iron Man — is increasingly behaving like a movie supervillain, commanding seemingly unlimited resources with which to finance his mischief-making,” Felix Salmon wrote in Axios.
AddedFormer Chicago Tribune metro editor Mark Jacob: “Elon Musk is bad news. He should create his own platform or Oligarch Social and quit Twitter.
Perhaps ironically, the social-media-as-public-utility mindset is being embraced not just by a growing number of left-of-center knowledge-class professionals, but by some of their antagonists in the nascent trad-con right. Adrian Vermeule, a Harvard law professor said that Twitter should be controlled by a state. tweeted today. “Shorter than that, I don’t care what billionaires are using it for an ideological playpen.”
Populism, regardless of ideological flavor, tends not to view government and constitutional principles as tools. This can be used to brutally attack ideological enemies. Twitter may have had some libertarian, anything-goes roots, but in the Trump era especially the company has become both the professional plaything and ideological piñata of the white-collar left.
Reich, helpfully, laid out the stakesToday’s message: Trump must be banned from Twitter.