Twitter boss Elon Musk on Tuesday rebranded his commitment to “free speech” on the microblogging site as a “battle for the future generation”, saying if that was lost then tyranny would make its way. Musk calls himself a free-speech absolutist and has been vocal about bringing in a sweep of changes to remove limitations on the content posted online despite criticism from those who have wondered about the effect it would have on the quality of the content. Concerns have also been raised on the rise of online bullying if fewer limitations that Musk intends to bring also do away with checks to tackle such cases.
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In his latest tweet, Musk was responding to journalist Colin Wright who was criticising the “rabid obsession for complete narrative control” by “left-wing media” and big tech companies. “The massive immune response we are seeing from Left-wing media and Big Tech to @elonmusk’s commitment to free speech on Twitter should frighten you. It has revealed their rabid obsession for complete narrative control,” Wright wrote. He added, “This is a battle they cannot be allowed to win”.
To which, the Twitter boss replied: “This is a battle for the future of civilization. If free speech is lost even in America, tyranny is all that lies ahead.”
In another tweet, Musk speaks about some ‘The Twitter Files’ on “free speech suppression” that he said will soon be published on his recently bought platform, reasoning the public should know “what happened”. He didn’t divulge further.
“The Twitter Files on free speech suppression soon to be published on Twitter itself. The public deserves to know what really happened …,” he wrote.
Musk’s recent statements also come in the backdrop of the White House’s comments on Monday, saying it was monitoring the social media platform for misinformation. “This is something that we’re certainly keeping an eye on,” said White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre, when asked about Twitter becoming a vector for misinformation.
Jean-Pierre said it was the responsibility of social media platforms to “make sure that when it comes to misinformation, when it comes to the hate that we’re seeing, that… they take action, that they continue to take action.”
Musk, who has axed half of the company’s staff strength since taking over the company, recently reinstated several Twitter accounts that had been previously suspended over content violation policies. Former US President Donald Trump and rapper Kanye West (now known as Ye) were among the accounts reinstated. Musk had earlier said new user signups were at an “all-time high.”