Or How Twitter undermines freedom.
May Doge save us.
There is finally a viable solution to restoring freedom culture online, and his name is Elon Musk. The famous debonair Tesla billionaire, made it clear on Thursday in a TED Talk of his intention to own a majority stake in Twitter, and enact free speech reforms for our unofficial public town square. Users of the platform are overwhelming pleased at this potential development, but the media and the establishment have lost their ever-loving minds. With some claiming that this could be the end of democracy! Of course, like usual, they are wrong. Despite the poison pill plan put up by Twitter’s board and the media conniption fit; Elon should do all he can to buy Twitter, and here’s why.
The madness got going after Musk, who recently bought a significant stake of 9.2% in Twitter, and after refusing an offer to go on the board, announced his intention to own a majority stake in the company. Musk offered to buy the company’s shares at a much higher than market value, at $54.20 per share. However, like we had learned last week with the freakout inside the company, those on the Twitter board do not want to let our favorite South African set the brrr app free. The board has now announced a poison pill plan, and the stock of course is plummeting as a result. Thankfully so far, the Doge King refuses to be denied.
As dumb as the Twitter board is being, the media totally has it outclassed in their level of stupidity. The media establishment went bananas, emoting in major publications, as Max Boot did in the Washington Post, that allowing Musk to buy Twitter would increase real-world violence and be a "threat to democracy." Axios called Musk a supervillain and a goblin. There are hundreds of these awful hot takes from those with power. While silly, they reflect a real threat on social media against truth-tellers on the platform.
In the clutch of the Mob:
The most fantastic thing about this story is how it forced the mainstream establishment: including journalists, politicians, and big money types to finally admit out in the open that what motivates them in their censorship quest isn’t about safety, nor is it about stopping hate; it is now and always been about power and keeping total control.
Over the course of my tenure on Twitter, I’ve watched hundreds of times as my fellow journalists got censored and banned by the platform just for doing great work that went against the progressive narrative. Sophia Narwitz, a fellow independent journalist known for her video game reporting and her excellent coverage of the 2020 Minneapolis riots; recently had to abandon her long-time Twitter account with over 70,000 followers as Twitter had underhandedly put it under a sensitivity warning, the same punishment they give to pornographers and videos of killings.
It's not just journalists. Even comedians like my friend Vito Gesualdi - a progressive yet freedom-loving chap who came to national attention last year for standing up for Dave Chappelle-had his account nuked at the start of this year without warning or explanation from Twitter.
Twitter is no longer the “free speech wing of the free speech party.” We are all familiar with the Hunter Laptop New York Post story that got censored by Twitter. There's also the Babylon Bee and thousands more. The company routinely partners with other big platforms like YouTube or Twitch to help enforce extreme censorship while aiding financial institutions in unpersoning those which refuse to play by the establishment’s rules.
I know of which I speak.
My relationship with Twitter began during an internship for a local radio news station back in 2013. For my un-tech savvy bosses, I became the de facto Twitter guy. Over the years, I slowly built up my profile, hitting over 11,000 followers by the end of 2018. That all ended when in 2019, I published my first national piece with the Federalist, documenting the opioid prohibition against pain and cancer patients.
As if a switch had been flipped; overnight my engagement dive-bombed. I began to seep followers while my audience messaged me that Twitter unfollowed my account without their permission. Once popular, I now had become a target of Twitter's nefarious and invisible shadow bans. I committed the cardinal sins of speaking up for the disability community and doing so at a conservative news outlet.
Despite having one of those coveted blue checkmarks, last month, when a response tweet of mine went viral, accruing almost 11,000 likes in 24 hours, I instead of gaining followers, lost over a dozen. This is normal for me now; I have to work and tweet like crazy just to maintain some sort of equilibrium. Any traffic I get on Twitter today is due to the merciful help from my friends, and the bigger Twitter accounts that like my work. I receive success on this platform despite Twitter, not because of it.
Do the impossible:
Yet, for all its flaws, I still love this platform. Twitter is a literal lifesaver for abandoned pain patients. And as a journalist, Twitter is an excellent tool to promote work and connect with sources. And of course, I love the memes. It's a fun platform at the best of times, and I count it as a blessing.
But there are many in the progressive establishment that would be happy to have people like me never able to access the modern public square. Many of these are journalists. They've jeered at conservatives to develop our platforms for years, except when they do, like with Parler and Gab, they are attacked by the entire political and financial western network. Well, what to do? There are many MAGA and heterodox liberals recommending some sort of giant anti-trust government action or reforming section 230, both of which I think is a bad idea. How about instead of a government solution to save free speech online, we take the viable private one with the Doge guy?
Elon wants to buy Twitter and make it a free speech platform again? I say we let him.