It didn’t take long for the racist trolls to return to the platform most had been long banned from. In fact, within what seemed like a few hours after Elon Musk closed his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter and his firing of several executives, the flood of racist, antisemitic bigots returned in droves.
Just before midnight Thursday, Musk tweeted, “the bird is free,” and with that, all hell broke lose—or at least a little bit of fresh hell.
One Twitter user responded with, “Currently belong celebrated by thousands of Musk supporters shouting the N-word all over the platform.” And a simple search of the word proves this, not to mention the responses to this tweet alone.
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CNN reports that Musk, a self-proclaimed “free speech absolutist,” has been transparent about plans to change the platform’s current rules to a more “free speech” approach, and he has said he may allow former President Donald Trump back in. In a conference in May, Musk said, “I do think it was not correct to ban Donald Trump; I think that was a mistake.”
Covering his bases for advertisers, we imagine, Musk recently wrote that he doesn’t want Twitter to become a “free-for-all-hellscape where anything can be said with no consequences.”
“The reason I acquired Twitter is because it is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence,” he said.
Well, that train seemed to leave the station last night as the N-word, as well as a slew of other slurs, were omnipresent in tweet after tweet.
The following tweets contain racial slurs and other language, imagery, and misinformation formerly banned under Twitter’s guidelines.
Although the statement allegedly from former President Donald Trump was a fake, it appeared to thrill his MAGA followers. The Daily Beast reports that Truth Social CEO and former Rep. Devin Nunes called it out as “fake news.”
Musk is beloved by his fans.
Twitter’s more lenient rules on free speech aren’t flying outside of the U.S. BBC reports that Thierry Breton, the EU commissioner for the internal market, tweeted Thursday, "In Europe, the bird will fly by our EU rules.”
But so far, Musk, the world’s richest person at a net worth of about $221.2 billion, hasn’t cracked down on the garbage pit that the platform is at this moment, and Republicans aren’t breaking a stride in embracing him.
Christina Pushaw, press secretary for Gov. Ron DeSantis, tweeted a whole boatload of bogus election bullshit, including this rant, which is divorced from reality on a number of points:
“Since Twitter is allowing free speech now, I’ll say it: The @AP is not a news organization. It is a propaganda factory. American Pravda should not be allowed to “call” elections. That should be up to the Department of State in each state, in a timely & transparent manner.
Former GOP governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, tweeted, “Thank you @elonmusk for cleaning out the totalitarian rats & roaches who hated free speech. The world sings the great @Skynyrd anthem "FREEBIRD!"
Matt Schlapp, the Kansas chair of CPAC, tweeted, “We need you on that wall.”
One of the more terrifying Musk Twitter happenings is that several handles are reporting that they’re losing followers. One comes from the Auschwitz Memorial, which tweeted, “We are observing a strange decrease of number of followers. Almost 2,5k from yesterday evening. Weird things happen here on @Twitter. Help @AuschwitzMuseum & encourage others to follow.”
According to Ross Gerber, a shareholder in both Twitter and Tesla, Musk’s other company, reports about company-wide layoffs at Twitter were “inaccurate.”
"There are a lot of talented people at Twitter, especially on the engineering side, and they want to retain as much of that talent as possible," Gerber told the BBC.
Aljazeera, among several outlets, reports that so far, Musk has fired CEO Parag Agrawal, Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal, and Vijaya Gadde, head of legal, policy, and trust.
By Friday morning, some of the banned Twitter users began flooding back in.
Kanye “Ye” West was among them.
On The Brief podcast, we speak with Way To Win’s co-founder and vice president, Jenifer Fernandez Ancona. Ancona comes in to discuss how grassroots progressive groups are spending money in the hopes of getting as many voters as possible out for the midterm elections. She also talks about which campaign advertisements are effective and which are not. One thing is for sure, though: We are living in historic times, and what that means for these midterms cannot be easily predicted—so Get Out The Vote!
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