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OPINION

Twitter Won’t Be Free Until The Covid Dissidents Are

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File

From the moment it hit the news earlier this year, I expressed my belief that mega-billionaire Elon Musk’s stated intention of restoring some semblance of free speech on Twitter was the “most consequential thing” he will do in his life. Given that I was addressing the richest man in the world who could eventually be personally responsible for sending the first human to Mars, that was a bold statement and one which I stand firmly by today. 

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Twitter is, after all, arguably the most consequential social media platform in the world. That’s because its format creates the ideal battleground of ideas, a place where anyone with an email address and internet access can interact with and directly challenge celebrities, politicians, and journalists alike. And though the overall user counts don’t match that of other platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, the fact that people with opinions gravitate towards Twitter as a place to share them - meaning that virtually every newsmaker and journalist is there with an established presence - puts the social media platform at the top of the heap in terms of relevance and importance.

So when Musk promised to return free speech to Twitter, naturally the powers-that-be went apoplectic with rage. That’s because their ideas rely on coercion and making sure enough people don’t dig deep enough to discover the utter vacuousness at their core. Without censorship, the left can’t win in the end, and they know it. They know that as those Gen Z brains start developing and enough start putting two and two together, their stranglehold on mushy skulls will begin to dissipate and their power will begin to wane.

During the first weeks, it initially seemed like the Tesla founder wasn’t going to be as firmly committed to free speech on the platform as some of us hoped he’d be. Major conservative accounts with hundreds of thousands and even millions of followers remained banned while Musk focused on handing out blue checkmarks to anyone willing to pay $8 a month. But then the worm turned as The Babylon Bee, Dr. Jordan Peterson, Project Veritas, and even former President Donald Trump, among others, saw their accounts restored. 

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Some have questioned Musk’s use of online polling to determine whether an account, particularly Trump’s, should see the light of day. Should free speech exist only at the whim of the majority? However, I think the billionaire may have simply been trolling as he doubtless knew what his followership would choose. Still, a legitimate concern quickly became whether an account only merited restoring if it was large or notorious enough. (We’ve already found out this can work the other way as Musk famously declined to restore the account of Infowars founder Alex Jones.)

What about the non-celebrity accounts with tens of thousands instead of hundreds of thousands of followers? What about ordinary people? And especially, what about the hundreds (at least) of Covid dissidents banned for nothing more than telling the truth about some aspect of governments’ atrocious mishandling of the Covid-19 pandemic before that truth became popular and widely known?

Musk finally addressed the issue in another poll last week, suggesting that a “general amnesty” be offered to suspended accounts “provided that they have not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam.” Thankfully, the majority voted overwhelmingly in favor of amnesty, hopefully meaning that among others a whole host of Covid truth-tellers - including Dr. Robert Malone, Dr. Peter A. McCullough, Daniel Horowitz, Michael Senger, Steve Kirsch, Naomi Wolf, and many, many more - may be back to the platform as early as next week.

Looking back, it’s astounding that tech-degreed employees of any widely used social media platform would purport to be able to always distinguish truth from falsehood, especially on matters upon which there is fierce debate and constantly changing science. When you consider the injustices imposed upon the global population over the past almost three years, from lockdowns to school closures to forced masking to mandates of a ‘vaccine’ that never stopped contraction or spread, the fact that these leftist tools of globalist overlords constantly put their thumbs on the scale in favor of one side while effectively silencing the other is appalling and will go down as one of the great injustices of history. Thankfully, however imperfectly, Elon Musk has begun to correct that injustice.

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