By Joshua Arnold
One perk of being the world’s richest man is influencing issues you care deeply about in ways others can’t. For years, conservatives have protested Twitter’s ongoing censorship of people and ideas which threaten to undermine their Leftist orthodoxy; Elon Musk just bought the whole company for $44 billion. “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy,” explained Musk, “and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.”
Musk has skewered Twitter for suppressing free speech before. “Having tweets be mysteriously promoted and demoted, with no insight into what’s going on; having a black box algorithm promote some things and not other things; I think this can be quite dangerous,” he noted in a TED talk interview. “Is someone you don’t like allowed to say something you don’t like?” Musk asked. “If that is the case, then we have free speech.” Musk has proposed changes to Twitter including open-source algorithms and transparent content moderation.
“It’s impossible to see this as anything other than good news,” remarked Media Research Center’s Dan Gainor. “It’s not like Elon Musk is one of us (a social conservative). He’s not. He’s more libertarian. But he also has been a big supporter of free speech.” Musk’s concern for free speech extends even to Christian conservatives; he seriously began pursuing Twitter after it suspended the Babylon Bee for satirically naming Rachel Levine as “Man of the Year.”
“Here’s why it matters,” explained Gainor. “Twitter is the proving ground for every major discussion and issue of the day…. Any politician, any tax, any debate, it all gets aired out on Twitter. And because the Left has been able to silence conservatives… they’ve had control.” Raging conflagration or not, what happens on Twitter doesn’t stay there; it often spills over into public policy.
Musk bought ownership — control — of Twitter. “The question is, how much?” said Gainor. Twitter is chock-full of “Left-wing employees who are freaking out right now…. How many of them stay? How many of them try to work behind the scenes to undermine him?” “I guess we’ll find out,” said FRC President Tony Perkins, “if Twitter has a deep state” — and whether Musk can dismantle it. A $44 billion behemoth doesn’t turn around overnight.
Musk’s purchase has the Left panicking harder than any time since the 2016 election. LGBT activist Jameela Jamil predicted Twitter would descend into “totally lawless hate, bigotry, and misogyny” — as opposed to its current condition. Radio host Dean Obeidallah suggested Musk’s purchase was “a dream come true for white nationalists” simply because Musk is from South Africa, thus discriminating on the basis of national origin. Activist Shaun King thoughtlessly agreed, “It’s about white power.” “You can hear the scream from anywhere in the world right now as the left is freaking out about this,” said Gainor.
Most shameless of all, MSNBC’s Ari Melber opined, “you could secretly ban one party’s candidate, or all of its candidates, all of its nominees, or you could just secretly turn down the reach of their stuff and turn up the reach of something else and the rest of us might not even find out about it until after the election.” Sounds like a “right-wing talking point” to me.
It’s almost comical how quickly the Left rediscovers checks and balances whenever they find themselves out of power. According to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, President Biden “has long been concerned about the power of large social media platforms” — except when they help his campaign. Business Insider called Musk purchasing Twitter “a chilling new threat,” while Jeff Bezos purchasing the Washington Post was “a fascinating cultural transition in America.”
Nothing is threatened by Musk’s purchase except Leftist media censorship. “Social media companies have operated in concert on a lot of things, including silencing the Hunter Biden laptop story right before the election,” said Gainor. Musk buying Twitter essentially “breaks that cartel. If you’ve got one member of the cartel who’s not playing, maybe the others are willing to back off.”
Twitter’s new ownership “make[s] the argument for free markets,” said Perkins. Here is “someone who benefited from our free market system being able to purchase Twitter to return it to what it was originally built as, a place where people can have expression and talk about issues of the day.” For all their bluster, Gainor responded, “The Left only uses free markets and free speech as epithets. They don’t really believe in either.” Perhaps sharing ownership of the public forum with the world’s richest man will teach them a lesson about the value of free speech.