Billionaire business magnate Elon Musk, who has reached a deal to buy Twitter and intends to make the platform a bastion for free speech, pushed back against those who have been sounding the alarm.
“The extreme antibody reaction from those who fear free speech says it all,” Musk tweeted on Tuesday.
Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama responded, noting that Musk is “destroying their echo chamber that they believed was real life…and they’re not happy.”
Musk explained in another tweet, “By ‘free speech’, I simply mean that which matches the law. I am against censorship that goes far beyond the law. If people want less free speech, they will ask government to pass laws to that effect. Therefore, going beyond the law is contrary to the will of the people.”
Musk’s tweets sparked significant pushback on the social media platform.
“It’s staggering how smug, arrogant, indifferent & dismissive you are to the concerns over #Twitter turning into a cesspool of unchecked threatening behavior, incitement of violence & deadly insurrections & attacks on our democracy–or “free speech” as you keep calling it,” self-described “Proud democrat” Andy Ostroy tweeted.
“No one fears free speech. We’re talking about the dismantling of HARASSMENT POLICIES on the Twitter Trust and Safety team that allow everyone to speak their mind. If you have to mislead to make your point, it’s because you’re lying,” another individual tweeted.
“Whose law? US law? North Korean law? Putin’s law? Sharia law? You are in way over your head, little buddy,” another person wrote.
“Actual free speech experts have spent so much time and effort exploring the ins and outs and tradeoffs involved in free speech and content moderation and every single one of them knows this is 100% wrong and ignorant. Not a good first look,” another person declared.
Twitter announced on Monday that the company “has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by an entity wholly owned by Elon Musk, for $54.20 per share in cash in a transaction valued at approximately $44 billion.”
Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who Musk dubbed “Senator Karen” last year, sounded the alarm on Monday, claiming that the “deal is dangerous for our democracy.”
But many people who have been critical of Twitter for engaging in censorship are hopeful that Musk will reverse this trend and allow people to speak freely without getting slapped down by the social media company.