Will freedom ring on Twitter?


For years, those in mainstream media have laughed at the notion that social media companies muffle conservative voices while amplifying those on the left.

But in 2018, Recode Media, a Silicon Valley business site, reported that “about 99 percent of employee donations” from Netflix and Twitter “go to Dems.”

That same year, Twitter co-founder and then-CEO Jack Dorsey said this during a Recode interview:

“We have a lot of conservative-leaning folks in the company as well, and to be honest, they don’t feel safe to express their opinions at the company.”

Last Month, Twitter suspended the Babylon Bee after it mockingly awarded Rachel Levine, assistant secretary for health, the title “Man of the Year.”

The parody site was apparently reacting to USA Today’s naming Levin as one of its

“Women of the Year.” For those who don’t know, Levine is a transgender woman. More accurately, as those who reject modern gender politics would point out, he’s a man.

I know; this brings up a whole other issue. Those on my side of the debate are told that if we refuse to surrender what we know to be truth, then we are engaging in hate speech.
Of course, it’s hateful to ridicule anyone, including those suffering from gender dysphoria.

We are all called to love each other.

But we aren’t called to surrender truth.

In the case of the Babylon Bee, it refuses to budge. Its Twitter account remains suspended until the offending post is removed.

Or until Twitter changes its mind.

That second option, of course, may be plausible now that tech billionaire Elon Musk — a self-described “free speech absolutist” — is buying the social media giant.

Obviously, even under Mr. Musk, Twitter will stifle some speech, as well it should. Violent threats, for example. Doxing private citizens. Falsely accusing people, particularly private citizens, of crimes.

There will still be content moderation; Musk has never said otherwise. He did say, “If it’s a gray area, let the tweet exist.”

What will Twitter look like a year from now? Who knows?

But here’s what’s fascinating: If Twitter and other social media sites have not been guilty of stifling conservative speech, then why are liberals panicking over Mr. Musk’s acquisition.

Why would they care?

Here’s how conservative commentator and author Matt Walsh described their hysteria:

“They’re panicking not over the possibility that speech will be stifled, but over the threat that it will no longer be stifled. For years they insisted that conservative speech was not being censored or suppressed, now they’re running around like their hair is on fire … because conservative speech will no longer be censored and suppressed. How quickly we went from ‘that isn’t happening’ to ‘that is happening, and actually it’s good, and it has to keep happening.’”

Let’s face it, Twitter can be a cesspool of incivility, if not outright rage. The format seems to strip users of their humanity, reducing them to little more than keyboard warriors.

Elon Musk has accomplished more than most people could ever dream. But if he somehow manages to do the impossible, if he makes Twitter both more civil and more open to diverse opinions, it could well be his biggest accomplishment yet.

Contact Bart Adams at badams@mydailyrecord.com.


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