‘Woke warriors’, their pet Left-wing organisations and Elon Musk’s business rivals have all threatened to quit Twitter over his takeover – but the vast majority are yet to delete their accounts despite some claiming they must leave for their mental health, it was revealed today.
The Tesla billionaire has vowed to let everyone say whatever they want on his social network – as long as they can prove they are not bots – and is even expected to reinstate banned users including Donald Trump with right-wing commentator Tucker Carlson already back.
In the hours after Elon Musk’s $44billion takeover was announced, some of Twitter’s most followed and left-wing users pledged to never tweet again – although the most of their accounts remain active. A group named Libs of TikTok have also put together a montage of people who are quitting Twitter over Musk – but many are keeping their accounts open so they can get more followers on Facebook or Instagram.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has even weighed in to the Musk debate with a thinly veiled criticism of the Tesla boss – but was urged by followers to concentrate on tackling the capital’s problems with knife crime.
He tweeted: ‘Freedom of speech is vital, but free speech does not mean a free pass for hatred. Online hate speech fans the flames of prejudice and leads to appalling and tragic real-world violence. Social media companies must do more, not less, to protect their communities’.
Model and presenter Jameela Jamil, 37, said Musk’s free speech promise will lead to ‘lawless hate, bigotry and misogyny’. Pledging never to tweet again she said: ‘Ah he got twitter. I would like this to be my what lies here as my last tweet. Just really *any* excuse to show pics of Barold,’ she added, attaching a photo of the poodle mix she shares with her boyfriend, musician James Blake.
‘I fear this free speech bid is going to help this hell platform reach its final form of totally lawless hate, bigotry, and misogyny. Best of luck.’ Jamil has since been widely mocked by people in her replies who believe she will not be able to resist staying off Twitter.
The View’s Sunny Hostin also attacked Musk’s emphasis on free speech, suggesting that he was only interested in protecting the ‘free speech of straight white men’.
Meanwhile, actress turned activist Mia Farrow tweeted: ‘Well if Twitter becomes even more toxic- with Trumpy-treasonous lies & all the hatred- it will be taken less seriously, and people like me will quit – for peace of mind’. Amid a backlash from Twitter users, one critic said: ‘Do people who quit Twitter over Elon Musk HAVE TO tell everybody? Can’t they just leave?’
Gary Lineker also tweeted on the issue and said: ‘Does it matter who owns Twitter? It will no doubt continue to be both brilliant and a cesspit’. Tory minister Zac Goldsmith said sarcastically: With Elon Musk in charge, I really worry that Twitter might cease being a place of reason, balance & calm reflection’, although some of his critics missed the irony.
Jameela Jamil (pictured) announced that she was abandoning Twitter – but has not deleted her account as many others pledged to do the same after Elon Musk took over
The Good Place actress Jameela Jamil published what she called her ‘last tweet’ at 3.42pm
Critics of Elon Musk have threatened to quit or have pledged to leave if banned users including Donald Trump was reinstated. Others such as the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan launched more thinly veiled attacks
Others including Gary Lineker and Zac Goldsmith said the platform would be unchanged under Musk
How Musk will put his mark on Twitter: New boss wants to ditch ads in favor of subscriptions, introduce longer tweets, turn HQ into homeless shelter, fire woke staff and kill bots
By James Gordon for Dailymail.com
Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter will see substantial changes implemented on the social media platform with everything from longer tweets and paid subscriptions using ‘joke’ cryptocurrency Dogecoin all within the realm of possibility.
Musk is said to favor temporary ‘timeouts’ for users who break the new rules, rather than permanent bans such as those given to Donald Trump.
Details of his immediate plans are slim, but the Tesla chief portrays himself as a free-speech absolutist.
Other mooted changes include blue verification checkmarks for anyone who subscribes to Twitter’s premium Blue service, which costs $2.99 a month.
Musk is said to favor a subscription-based model over advertiser funding, as it would make Twitter less beholden to advertiser pressure. He has even suggested users could pay with cryptocurrency, including joke currency Dogecoin which Musk has long had an affection for.
He’s also likely to fire many of the firm’s woke staff. Workers have been told the transfer of ownership will last around six months, after which Musk is likely to wield the ax.
The firm’s downtown San Francisco could also be turned into a homeless shelter at Musk’s behest, with the California city engulfed by one of the worst homelessness crisis in the United States.
Musk has also teased at other new features including an ‘edit’ button to adjust previously posted tweets and also making the platforms algorithms ‘open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots and authenticating all humans.’
That would enable people to see exactly why Twitter had chosen to make some tweets more visible to users than others.
A top priority for Musk is to eliminate ‘bots’ which frequently generate spam and run scams.
Musk, who on Monday sealed a $44billion deal for the company just three weeks after starting the process, tweeted: ‘I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means.’
But naysayers, most from the Left, are angry and have said they will quit, although most have not followed through with the threat.
Amnesty International tweeted: ‘Two words: toxic Twitter’ while Rob Reiner, star of 1970s sitcom All In The Family, said he feared ‘criminal’ Mr Trump would now have his account reactivated, although the former president has ruled out a return and says he will stay on his own ‘TRUTH Social’ platform.
Rivals of Tesla have thrown their toys out of the pram, despite Musk insisting his acquisition is about free speech over profits.
Henrik Fisker, the Danish CEO of the electric vehicle maker Fisker, deleted his Twitter account shortly after the company confirmed that Elon Musk acquired 100% of the company.
He Henrik tweeted: ‘Please follow me on IG (Instagram) from now on if you want any updates. Thanks’, using the hashtag #love.
Amazon boss Jeff Bezos has questioned whether his fellow billionaire Musk could be making Twitter vulnerable to pressure from China, as a result of Tesla’s extensive business liabilities in the Asian nation.
‘Interesting question,’ mused Bezos, who in 2013 bought The Washington Post with a view to protecting free speech and supporting journalism.
‘Did the Chinese government just gain a bit of leverage over the town square?’ He commented on a retweet from a New York Times journalist, noting that Musk’s Tesla was extremely exposed to China. China is Tesla’s second largest market, and their manufacturers supply battery parts for Musk’s company.
Twitter is banned in China by the country’s authoritarian communist government, but there are fears the CCP could try and exert influence to stop users from abroad criticizing its government.
Bezos spoke hours after Musk, 50, on Monday sealed a $44 billion deal to take over Twitter, and vowed that he wanted to preserve the platform as a bastion of free speech.
Several hours later, he appeared to moderate his barbed question, and heaped praise on Musk.
‘My own answer to this question is probably not. The more likely outcome in this regard is complexity in China for Tesla, rather than censorship at Twitter,’ he tweeted.
‘But we’ll see. Musk is extremely good at navigating this kind of complexity.’
Bezos and Musk are noted for their rivalry in space, with both men dedicating large chunks of their fortunes to exploration. Bezos dismisses Musk’s plan to colonize Mars using his SpaceX rockets as unrealistic, while Musk has been scathing about the orbiting space station Blue Origin founder Bezos proposes.
And it was not only Bezos questioning the takeover.
‘Now that Elon Musk is buying Twitter, the question for all of us is: Will he allow a Criminal who used this platform to lie and spread disinformation to try to overthrow the US Government to return and continue his Criminal activity?
‘And if he does, how do we combat it?’
Twitter staff immediately began complaining about Musk’s takeover, including software engineer Geraint Davies
Chloe Barnes, Twitter’s lead for global curation standards, added: ‘Totally understand that this is entertainment for some. But please know that this is certainly not entertainment for me’
Gerard Taylor, a senior software engineer, was conflicted: ‘My current sentiment: Stock is up! YAY! But what about our company culture?’
Software engineer Addison Howenstine claimed Musk’s takeover of his employer posed a threat to democracy
Reiner appeared to be referring to Donald Trump, who was banned by Twitter in January 2021 after being accused of stoking the Capitol riot. Many progressive tweeters fear Musk’s purchase of the firm could spell the return of Trump.
Star Trek actor George Takei also voiced his fears over Musk.
But he said he was not quitting Twitter, because giving a greater platform to extremists meant that moderates like him were even more important.
‘I’m not going anywhere,’ the 85-year-old tweeted.
‘Should this place become more toxic, I pledge to strive even harder to lift up reason, science, compassion and the rule of law. The struggle against fascism, misinformation, and hate requires tough fighters.
‘I hope you stay in the fight, right beside me.’
He joked that Musk was setting himself up for a challenge.
‘The problems Elon Musk will face as the owner of a social media company will make him accelerate his Mars escape plans considerably,’ he added.
MSNBC host Joy-Ann Reid was her usual cynical self while responding to Musk’s request for his detractors to stay and debate.
She declared: ‘Translation: if his worst critics leave, Twitter will be as worthless as Gab, Gettr (lol) and Truth Social.
‘He needs y’all to stay on here so his ‘free speech’ people can harass you for fun.
‘Because dude does not ALWAYS believe in free speech…’
Jeff Bezos, 58, on Monday asked whether Musk was dangerously exposed to Chinese pressure, which would complicate his purchase of Twitter
George Takei, Star Wars actor, tweeted: ‘I’m not going anywhere. Should this place become more toxic, I pledge to strive even harder to lift up reason, science, compassion and the rule of law. The struggle against fascism, misinformation, and hate requires tough fighters’
She then linked to an Insider article from March 27, which detailed the stories of several critics and an employee who were retaliated against for criticizing Musk and his companies. Insider reported that a journalist who was critical of a Tesla launch event was personally phoned by Musk, and told their Tesla order had been cancelled.
It was unclear whether Reid was declaring that she too was abandoning Twitter, where she has 2.1 million followers.
She pinned a tweet to her profile with ‘a timely reminder’ that her fans can find her on TikTok, Instagram, Counter Social, Pop Viewers and the Community app.
‘Have a blessed day!’ she concluded.
Podcast host Amy Siskind said she was debating leaving the site, thanks to the ‘absolutely awful’ Musk taking the reins.
‘I am sitting with my thoughts and watching, and haven’t decided if I am staying here,’ she tweeted.
‘I have a huge philosophical issue knowing whatever content I provide here goes directly towards enriching one man, who I think is absolutely awful. Watching. His platform is hemorrhaging users.
‘People need to understand that this is no longer a public company. Every post you make here is free content to enrich one man, Elon Musk. He is completely in control and answers to no one. I don’t view him as a mentally stable person.’
Siskind was mocked for saying she’d remain on Facebook, whose owner Mark Zuckerberg has been blasted for the site’s propensity to start fights and influence elctions.
Robert Reich, Bill Clinton’s labor secretary, said he was troubled by the significance of the deal.
‘Musk and his apologists say if consumers don’t like what he does with Twitter, they can go elsewhere,’ he noted.
‘But where else would consumers go to post short messages that can reach millions of people other than Twitter?
‘The ‘free market’ increasingly reflects the demands of big money.’
Others took a more combative approach.
Rapper Ice-T also found the situation amusing, tweeting: ‘It would kinda dope if Musk bought Twitter and just shut it off…. Lol’
Simu Liu, star of the 2021 Marvel film Shang-Chi, asked: ‘Was there nothing better to do with 44 billion dollars?’
And Kevin Jonas of the Jonas Brothers asked: ‘Will we now get the edit tweet option?’