Elon Musk put Twitter ‘Free Speech’ under fire

The world we live in today is more liberating than it was in the times that came before. A certain freedom to do as we please under the protection of free speech and human rights. Or at least that was what business magnate, Elon Musk, had to say when he took over Twitter. A business acquisition that concluded on the 27th of October, 2022.

While people may have a rather cynical reaction to the way Musk has conducted his billion-dollar dealings, acquiring Twitter took the cake. The social media giant has been a hub for journalists, activists, politicians, celebrities, and social media influencers to broadcast their views. According to Musk, the purpose of this acquisition was to promote the concept of ‘free speech’. An aspect that wasn’t in any danger as things already stood.

With Musk now leading Twitter without a board of directors and shareholders, the new Twitter environment has already begun to show the cracks. After all, what did we all expect would happen under the leadership of eclectic billionaire, Elon Musk?

The recent developments showcased the business tycoon under fire for certain remarks and authoritarian agendas. Leading to decisions made that didn’t sit right with the public at all.

Elon Musk: Sabotage or Salvation?

The future of Twitter was put into question under Musk’s leadership. Questions were raised concerning how a free speech platform would fare if all posts and their moderation were controlled by one individual.

What exactly does free speech even entail? Is it just one person’s truth and any alt opinions in the negation of that truth be shut down? If that is the case then who is the judge of facts and fiction? With the power of one of the biggest social media platforms like Twitter under the dominion of one person, whose truth will we see? Is Elon Musk the judge for what defines the limits and provocations of ‘free speech’?

The biggest question anyone could bring up was whether or not Elon Musk was the cause of Twitter’s decline. Whether he was the platform’s salvation or was he the cause of its own demise?

Elon Musk: Free Speech Absolutist?

A self-proclaimed Free Speech Absolutist, Elon Musk has been quite vocal about what direction he wants Twitter to take. Stating that all opinions have a right to be heard. And that the Twitter moderation and screening process of the past, made it so that voices were being silenced. That it is people’s right to be heard.

Of course, all of this was for the purpose of stating how right-leaning politics and conservative views were oftentimes ratioed. Leading to intense debate about every political ideal having a platform where they can be heard.

While commendable his concerns may be, how Elon Musk goes to choose which posts fall under the free speech banner. And which ones he deemed fit to be taken down, was the real cause for concern.

Elon Musk: Impersonation is banned?

Public celebrity figures Kathy Griffin, Pete Sommers, and Ethan Klien, all stated that their Twitter accounts were banned after they impersonation the new owner of Twitter in a comedic bit. They changed their display name and profile pictures to that of Musk, and as a result, they found themselves locked out of their accounts.

This motion caused quite a stir with the public going after Musk and questioning him about his proclamations about free speech. Or is impersonation now banned as it does not fit Elon Musk’s ideals?

All of this was on the brink of the billionaire magnate already having made the changes to the Twitter verification feature which allowed certain users to have a verified account with a blue tick mark. The new policy asked them to pay a monthly fee, which angered quite a few.

Along with that came the concern that if only a monthly fee is required to get a verified account, anyone can get their own. This can lead to a whole other form of impersonation that isn’t comedic in any sense but a felony.

With these growing tensions in the air, Elon Musk has his work cut out for him. And any new policy changes just might make or break the future of Twitter for good.

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