Elon Musk’s free speech absolutism knows no bounds! On Monday, it was reported that the recently renamed Twitter parent company X Corp. is threatening legal action against a nonprofit that researches hate speech online. According to the Center for Countering Digital Hate, Musk’s legal squad sent the organization a letter in mid-July accusing it of publishing misleading information about the social media platform. Specifically, Musk took umbrage at eight research papers the group put out highlighting the rise of accounts promoting hate speech, and Twitter’s subsequent lack of moderation.
But whereas some of Musk’s early moves to censor critics were frequently seen as the whimsical impulses of a fragile egotist, this new move makes it clear these are the well-worn calculations of someone trying to crush any and all competition in a sociopathic search for profits. Imran Ahmed, the CEO and founder of the Center for Countering Digital Hate, told The New York Times, “Elon Musk’s actions represent a brazen attempt to silence honest criticism and independent research.” Ahmed pointed to the flailing social media company’s desperate need to entice advertisers other than online casinos.
RELATED STORY: Report says Elon Musk plans on firing 3/4 of Twitter's workforce
Musk’s epically disastrous tenure as owner of Twitter began with the firing of almost three-quarters of the site’s workforce. This didn’t help the social media giant in the one area Musk claimed it would: profits. Loosening control over the moderation of content on his new toy allowed all of the bad actors, misinformation, and hate to run amok, which jeopardized the social media platform’s social contract with its consumers. Along with Musk’s general unlikeability and erratic actions, advertisers ran away from the platform in droves, taking with them the lion’s share of revenue being generated by the company.
Musk subsequently did what passes for business PR: hiring a new CEO. But just because the richest man in the world stepped aside as CEO didn’t mean that his bad managing style and negative influence waned. In the months since this change, Musk’s platform has made deals to allow anti-LGBTQ+ propaganda to flourish, and let strange Chinese and Russian propaganda go unchecked.
Most recently, Musk reinstated a QAnon influencer account that was banned for posting images of child exploitation. Musk subsequently tried to play down the violation and lied about how many people the images reached before they were deleted.
Twitter is on its last legs, and there is really no way to save it. Maybe that was Musk’s intention all along, or maybe it was an outcome he didn’t care about one way or another. When you are as wealthy as Musk, you can waste billions of dollars destroying things and face no repercussions.
Elon Musk employees fired for speech Elon Musk doesn’t like
Twitter is dying and nothing is going to replace it
Musk bans journalists, lies about the reason, and storms off in snit during Thursday Night Ass-acre