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Tipsheet

After Elon Musk Blasts Twitter For Censorship, Free Speech Lovers Call On Him To Take Action

Britta Pedersen/Pool via AP

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk blasted Twitter for "failing to adhere to free speech principles" in a Saturday afternoon tweet that quickly went viral.

Musk, the world's richest person to the tune of over $200 billion, then asked his 79.1 million Twitter followers whether a "new platform" was needed to replace the social media giant.

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"Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy," the SpaceX founder wrote. "What should be done? Is a new platform needed?"

Musk's tweets followed up on a Friday survey in which, after declaring free speech to be "essential to a functioning democracy," he asked: "Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?"

Of the more than 2 million responses, over 70% voted "no."

Musk has been in the news frequently over the past month, particularly for challenging Russian President Vladimir Putin to "single combat" with Ukraine as the stakes and providing Ukrainian resistance with his Starlink satellite internet and receivers. He also, however, declared himself a "free speech absolutist" in explaining his decision to not censor Russian state media.

Meanwhile, free speech has become a huge issue for Twitter as the social media giant continues to censor conservatives and those who go against mainstream narratives on hot-button issues like Covid-19 and gender theory.

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Reaction to Musk's tweet was swift and mostly approving, including several calls for the world's richest man to do the world a service and make the purchase himself, then run Twitter with free speech as a priority.

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Yes, Twitter is a private company, but Musk is right. It's become the "de facto public square" when it comes to public debate, the only place everyone, from celebrities and politicians to everyday people, can exchange ideas and communicate with one another in a way not seen in human history. But sadly, of late it has also become a tool for leftist tech oligarchs to impose their twisted worldview on everyone by censoring those with whom they disagree. Musk, with his clout and especially his cash, could change that overnight. Does he have the will? We can only hope!

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