So far, Musk has branded himself as a defender of free speech, even though he is far from a free speech absolutist. However, for the future growth of the company, Musk has brought back dozens of high-profile accounts, from the likes of Donald Trump to Jordan Peterson to Marjorie Taylor Greene.
“This is a battle for the future of civilization. If free speech is lost even in America, tyranny is all that lies ahead,” Musk tweeted on November 28, 2022.
After purchasing Twitter for $44 billion, Elon Musk has been trying to rebuild the Twitter brand. For years, the company was run by Democrat donors, activists, and spineless executives who kowtowed to the left-wing mob. Twitter was used as a political weapon, to silence and defame conservatives, libertarians, independents, and anyone who challenged the status quo. Twitter was used to suppress the truth and to amplify the Democrat’s narratives, no matter how twisted and deceptive they were.
With Musk taking over, the Twitter experience will improve and there will be some level of open dialogue; however, Twitter will continue to offer the illusion of free speech because Musk isn’t a free speech absolutist. Musk has already stated his disdain for Alex Jones and Infowars; Musk believes his own opinion of Jones is reason enough to continue censoring him and the entire network of journalists at Infowars. Furthermore, Musk warned Twitter users that their “freedom of speech” does not equal “freedom of reach.” This means Musk and his content moderation team will target certain accounts for wrong think, but instead of suspending the entire account, Musk will just shut down the account’s ability to amplify its tweets. This is still viewpoint discrimination. It’s still censorship. Users will be at the mercy of Musk’s personal belief system – their rights held hostage to Musk’s latest content moderation policies.
In truth, Musk will still engage in anti-competitive practices and politically-motivated censorship, but he will do it more slyly, rebranding content moderation to fit his needs, while manipulating conservatives to think their posts are being seen.
As Twitter re-attracts conservatives, libertarians, and independents, the platform will be used to collect more data on its users, to help expand Big Tech’s psychological profile on individuals. With each reinstatement, Twitter must rebuild a social graph. This graph will activate data on who the account follows and who follows the account. When Trump’s account was reinstated, Twitter had to update lists on his 88 million followers.
The reinstatement of 62,000 accounts came after Musk ran a poll. The poll asked, “Should Twitter offer a general amnesty to suspended accounts, provided that they have not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam?” Granting “general amnesty” to suspended accounts implies that the users received due process from the beginning and committed an actual offense. The definition of amnesty is "an act of forgiveness for past offenses." However, the suspended accounts are not the offenders, and should not be treated as offenders, even as they are reinstated.
The only people receiving “general amnesty” right now are the previous Twitter executives, who received generous severance packages for all their years of targeting innocent people and suppressing their voices. Musk should have asked Twitter users, “Should Twitter offer general amnesty to the coward Twitter executives who suppressed tens of thousands of users? Or: “Should Twitter bring justice to the suspended accounts and compensate individuals who were wrongfully targeted for censorship?
If Musk had true courage, he would not leave “free speech” up to the mob’s vote anyway; the inherent right of free speech does not require a vote. In a republic (which is what the United States is), the right to speak is not canceled by an oligarchy of big tech and big government elite; equally true, the right to speak is not at the mercy of a vote or a democratic mob.