Tuesday 7 November 2023

Elon Musk places free speech above financial profit

Elon musk is brave. As you know he owns Twitter X. He is a great supporter of free speech. He says that unless you can accept someone you don't like saying something you don't like you don't have free speech. 

He is obviously anti-the cancel culture movement. And thank God for that. Indeed, free speech is more important than perhaps anything else and is protected by the American constitution. All democracies should have free speech but the woke movement and the cancel culture movement and, in this instance, financial profit curtailed it.

Elon Musk. Image credit see base of article.

But Elon Musk has reinstated a couple of Twitter users who were banned. One is Tommy Robinson who was suspended in 2018 and the other is Katie Hopkins who was banned in 2020. They both thanked him on Twitter and Musk explained their reinstatement in a post: "Why are their account handles on this platform? Free speech is allowed, provided laws are not broken."

He has continued to restore controversial accounts. But this is despite the fact that there was an exodus of advertisers from his platform because of...free speech leading to controversial tweets. This tells me that he places free speech above financial profit. Twitter X is struggling to make a profit.

Tom Robertson is a very controversial figure. He founded the English Defence League which is a far-right group. He stepped down from that in 2013. And Hopkins is also very controversial. She is also a right winger perhaps an extreme right-winger and very outspoken. She has compared migrants to cockroaches and in 2017 said on the platform that "we need a final solution" after the bombings in Manchester.

Perhaps Musk believes that in due course, over time, advertisers on Twitter X will come back as they realise that free speech is so important. It is very shortsighted of advertisers and very stereotypical of them to withhold their business from a platform that advocates free speech.

Image credit: By (U.S. Air Force photo by Trevor cokley) - https://www.dvidshub.net/image/7132411/usafa-hosts-elon-musk, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=134662229

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P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

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