Billionaire founder of Tesla and SpaceX Elon Musk touched off a firestorm recently with his suggestion that social media giant Twitter has failed to observe basic principles of free speech and should probably be replaced by a better platform. Many observers have speculated as a result that he is considering launching a competing platform or simply buying Twitter and reforming it.
Musk has shown immense social media power in recent years, with a single tweet from him capable of causing wild swings in Tesla stock prices or the value of Bitcoin. Meanwhile, Twitter has become infamous among conservatives and all true defenders of free speech by protecting far-left and even openly communist speakers while banning accounts of any commenters who step even slightly out of line with accepted progressive narratives.
When Musk questioned the current direction of Twitter, his 17 million followers reacted in a mostly positive flood of comments. If any single person has the capital and ingenuity to take on Twitter, Musk is probably the most likely candidate. Although conservatives are not likely to align with all of his political views, they will do well to recognize where he can be a very productive ally to have in the war for freedom of thought.
Musk posted a poll on Twitter a week ago asking if respondents believe Twitter rigorously applies the principle that “free speech is essential to a functioning democracy.” He told users that the poll will have important consequences and asked them to vote carefully. Of more than 2 million respondents, over 70 percent answered “no.”
In the weeks before the 2020 presidential election, Twitter suppressed reporting from the New York Post regarding the evidence of Joe Biden’s involvement in son Hunter Biden’s questionable international business deals and possible influence peddling. Twitter went so far as to ban sharing of the Post’s reporting between users and suspended the paper’s account on the platform.
Twitter based its decision on claims that the evidence had been obtained by hacking Hunter Biden’s laptop. Then the corporate media ran with the assertion that the contents of the laptop were Russian disinformation meant to harm Joe Biden’s chances against President Donald Trump.
Twitter’s suppression of the laptop evidence, since proven to be accurate and authentic, undoubtedly had a substantial impact on the outcome of the 2020 election.
Competitors including GETTR, Gab, and Trump’s own Truth Social have tried to gain a foothold in the social media marketplace against Twitter with little success so far. Time will tell whether Musk actually has a plan to fight Twitter that can get off the ground.