Is Elon Musk Ready for All-Out Twitter War?
Is Elon Musk Ready for All-Out Twitter War?
Is Elon Musk ready for the fight of his life? He'd better be, because the forces of liberal bigotry and censorship are already gearing up to stop him restoring free speech to the giant public town square that is Twitter.
Musk has described himself as a "free speech absolutist" who has been critical of Twitter's policies of moderating content on the platform. He has said Twitter needs to become a genuine forum for free speech. In a statement after securing the deal on Monday, Musk described free speech as "the bedrock of a functioning democracy."
The liberal-left are frantic at the possibility that Twitter will reverse their censorship drive and restore a chunk of the online free speech which they have worked so hard to destroy since 2017. Needless to say, they are dressing up their enthusiasm for censorship in the guise of concern for human rights.
"Regardless of who owns Twitter, the company has human rights responsibilities to respect the rights of people around the world who rely on the platform. Changes to its policies, features, and algorithms, big and small, can have disproportionate and sometimes devastating impacts, including offline violence," Deborah Brown, a digital rights researcher and advocate at Human Rights Watch, told Reuters in an email.
"Freedom of expression is not an absolute right, which is why Twitter needs to invest in efforts to keep its most vulnerable users safe on the platform," she added.
"While Elon Musk is an ACLU card-carrying member and one of our most significant supporters, there’s a lot of danger having so much power in the hands of any one individual," Anthony Romero, executive director at the American Civil Liberties Union, told Reuters after the deal was announced.
Amnesty International says it is concerned about any potential decision that Twitter may take after Musk's takeover to erode enforcement of the policies and mechanisms designed to moderate hate speech online.
"The last thing we need is a Twitter that willfully turns a blind eye to violent and abusive speech against users, particularly those most disproportionately impacted, including women, non-binary persons, and others," Michael Kleinman, director of technology and human rights at Amnesty International USA, said on Monday.
A major thrust of the liberal efforts to stop Musk turning back the tide of tyranny is going to be pressure for even more of the laws allowing leftist-run states, including the European Union, to impose massive fines on companies which "do not adhere to our values". Another attack is sure to come via the companies which provide essential services to Twitter and other Elon Musk operations. Twitter depends on third party infrastructure. Preparations are already being made to pressure the company into staying censored - or to lose the services that it needs to function.
Gab founder Andrew Torba explains more: "Twitter has legacy problems that Gab doesn’t. They are fully dependent on third-party infrastructure. We are not. We “built our own,” everything. Hosting, email services, analytics tools, ecommerce, payment processing, all of it. We built it all.
"You also have to consider that bringing free speech to Twitter isn’t as simple as buying it. Apple and Google do not allow free speech, so if you stop the censorship they will kick Twitter from both app stores. We already solved that problem and overcame it.
"Twitter operates in countries where mass censorship is required by law. They have offices in these countries. They have no choice but to comply with the censorship demands of those countries or risk being shut down, fines, etc.
"We understand this very well and have dealt with it, telling those countries to get lost."
Torba went on to offer Musk a Gab Board seat along with equity in the company in exchange for you selling your Twitter position and investing $2B into Gab. He said that the money would allow for the creation of a Gab ISP and other advances needed to "unlock the extraordinary potential of Gab". Whether Elon Musk yet knows it or not, in the months ahead he may well wish he had taken up the offer. He is certainly about to face the fight of his life to restore freedom to Twitter. He will either lose, or be dragged in to using his billions to establish a whole new ecosphere of inter-locking service providers as dedicated for free speech as he is.
We wish him God speed and good luck, but we're not going to hold our breath!