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The Daily Planet's Opinion: Elon Musk strikes blow in favor of free speech with purchase, of Twitter, ending its censorship
Thursday, 12 May 2022 12:08

Billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk’s recent purchase of a controlling interest in Twitter, a social networking and microblogging service, was, arguably, the greatest blow to defend free speech since the founding of the United States.

In the meantime, we are delighted that Musk’s elitist critics are playing checkers, while he is playing chess. What’s more, Musk clarified  what he meant by “free speech” on April 26, a day after his Twitter takeover deal was confirmed. 

Specifically, he wrote on his Twitter account the following on April 26:

“By ‘free speech,’ I simply mean that which matches the law. 

“I am against censorship that goes far beyond the law. 

“If people want less free speech, they will ask government to pass laws to that effect.

“Therefore, going beyond the law is contrary to the will of the people.”

Meanwhile, various media sources noted that “free speech” has played prominently in Musk’s plans for the social media giant. 

“Experts said Musk’s $44 billion takeover offer for Twitter could lead to more run-ins with the Indian government and others, due to his self-proclaimed ‘absolutist’ stance in support of free speech,” the website ETtech reported on April 27  

In a separate tweet, described by some in the media as “cryptic,” he said the following in reference to his pro-free speech critics:

“The extreme antibody reaction from those who fear free speech says it all.”

Twitter on April 26 announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by an entity wholly owned by Musk, for $54.20 per share in cash in a transaction valued at approximately $44 billion. 

Musk — in questioning the social media platform’s dedication to free speech and the First Amendment — now owns around a 9.2 percent stake in Twitter, making him its largest individual shareholder, ETteach reported.

Meanwhile, The Associaed Press reported the following:

 “In years past, Twitter and other social platforms have taken fire for allowing harmful speech ranging from incitement to violence to coordinated harassment and racial abuse. More recently, these platforms have made concerted efforts to rein in such behavior, often drawing criticism similar to Musk’s from the political right. Both Twitter and Facebook faced blowback after suspending the accounts run by former President Donald Trump following the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection last year.”

We cheer Musk’s efforts to quash the threat from those seeking to muzzle free speech in a nation that even recently rejected a plan to impose a Disinformation Governance Board.



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