It's been a busy few days for Elon Musk. He got himself booed by a crowd of 18,000, which is an achievement all its own. He boosted far-right COVID-19 conspiracy theories with a demand to "prosecute" government infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci.
All of that is a backdrop to Elon's bigger show, an ongoing effort to discredit and faux-scandalize Twitter's 2021 decision to suspend Donald Trump from the social network a day after Trump sought to overthrow the government of the United States in an attempted coup that saw his supporters viciously attacking police inside the U.S. Capitol in a seditious attempt to capture and/or force lawmakers into nullifying the results of the United States election that Trump lost.
To you or I or anyone who isn't an absolute crapsack of a person, the news of that day was "Donald Trump organized a mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol." To conspiracy theorists and sedition backers themselves, however, the real outrage was that Twitter, a private company, blocked Trump from using their platform after he used Twitter both to assemble his crowd of violent supporters and when the crowd turned violent and was breaking into Capitol offices to search for lawmakers thought to oppose Trump, tweeted again to direct the mob at Vice President Mike Pence in specific.
You can put Elon Musk in the "planning a violent coup should not result in even the most trivial of social consequences" department. And he's now spelled that out specifically.
That's Musk's promotion of another truly interminable Bari Weiss thread, a thread that pretends to argue that mounting a goddamn violent coup against our nation’s government was not a specific violation of Twitter's policies and that Twitter acted rashly or unfairly in booting him. That Trump had a long history of violating Twitter policies against spreading hoaxes and disinformation before the final Twitter suspension is, of course, left unexplored. Trump's use of Twitter to focus the anger of an already violent mob at Mike Pence, who was still hiding in the building, is of course glossed over. This is Bari Weiss we’re talking about, somebody facing a societal consequence for being a horrible dirtbag of a human being is always the Weiss story of the day.
No, the real drama of Jan. 6 is not that a mob of Trump supporters invited to "march" on the U.S. Capitol by a hoax-promoting Donald mounted violent attacks on law enforcement in an attempt to erase the results of a United States election. It's that a private company decided they didn't want to host a malevolent seditionist on their platform and that whether or not he violated any specific rule was irrelevant compared to, quote, the "risk of further incitement of violence."
Just to put an emphasis on this, if you're the person who watched Jan. 6 unfold and came away from the day thinking that Donald Trump losing access to his favorite social network is the Big Story here, you are a terrible person. Just a gawdawful boil of a pox of a dumpster of a person. You Suck, and you are the reason evil exists in the world.
Which brings us back to Elon Musk. Elon Musk continues to hobnob with far-right conspiracy theorists, anti-LGBT hate accounts, white nationalists, and other extremists on his new hobby platform, but he's devoted specific attention to restoring the accounts of COVID-19 hoax promoters and the promoters of election hoax-premised insurrection. Unless you are The New York Times, Musk's personal extremism is self-evident.
Musk eventually explained his tweeted demand to "prosecute" Anthony Fauci by referencing a far-right conspiracy theory—a manufactured hoax—that claimed COVID-19 was manufactured in a lab by researchers using "gain-of-function" methods. Fauci "funded gain-of-function research that killed millions of people," Musk asserted.
This claim isn't just false, but nonsensical. The notion that "gain-of-function" research was responsible for COVID-19 is absolutely evidenceless. It is a fiction. That Musk is willing to hitch his wagon to a theory pulled up from the same depths that gave us "Bill Gates is putting computer chips in vaccines" and "I got the vaccine and now spoons and forks stick to me because I am magnetic, except only when people aren't looking."
Musk repeating such a statement puts him on the side of same pandemic hoaxers he's so eager to welcome back on the platform. His insistence that election hoaxes intended to undermine democracy must also be allowed to return for the next presidential election ... gosh, whatever should we make of that?