Elon Musk is a hero of our times. Risking his personal safety and fortune, he bought Twitter and pushed back against the Left’s repugnant effort to shut down Americans’ freedom of expression. In addition, he has exposed the dangerous collusion between our social media giants and the FBI, which appears to have subverted our elections.
Now Musk is threatening to call it quits. This must not happen.
In an online poll, Musk asked the Twitterverse whether he should “step down” as head of Twitter, and promised to abide by the outcome. He tweeted soon after the launch of the referendum: “As the saying goes, be careful what you wish, as you might get it.”
The bad news for Musk fans is that 57% of the 17 million people who participated said he should indeed quit his post; 43% said he should not.
Will the quixotic entrepreneur follow through, and abandon his $44 billion undertaking? Will he allow the Leftist thought police to resume their control of what Americans can see and read?
We can only hope he changes course, or somehow accedes to the letter of his self-imposed plebiscite without actually abandoning the fight. Nothing could be more important.
For several years, conservatives have railed against the impenetrable liberal coalition of academia, Hollywood, media, social media and, more recently, corporate America, that joined in effectively suppressing opposing opinion. But in the past few years the threat to freedom of speech has become a threat to our democracy itself, as the Left squashed damaging reporting about the nefarious business dealings of Hunter Biden and possible involvement of his father Joe Biden.
The Left didn’t just want to protect Joe Biden, they wanted to elect Joe Biden and colluded to do so. Worse, they were successful.
When Musk took over the reins at Twitter, promising to make it a more open and honest platform, liberals were insane with rage. Before he made any changes, and even as he promised to be “more aggressive than ever, using technology to reduce the reach of hateful Tweets and prevent their amplification, liberals accused him of creating a safe space for misogyny and racism and transforming the platform into a cesspool of hate speech.
Now we know why. Maybe they were worried that Musk would invite a torrent of vile opinion on Twitter; but for sure they were terrified their dark secrets were about to be exposed. And, they were right.
With the release of the “Twitter Files,” which document how the social media giant shadow-banned right-wing voices and elevated those on the Left, conservatives’ worst fears have been confirmed. Communications from former company officials showed that conservatives like Dan Bongino were placed on “search blacklists”, limiting their reach; the account of Charlie Kirk, for instance, was tagged “do not amplify.”
Twitter officers denied their odious attack on free speech. As Bari Weiss reported, “In 2018, Twitter’s Vijaya Gadde (then Head of Legal Policy and Trust) and Kayvon Beykpour (Head of Product) said: “We do not shadow ban.” They added: “And we certainly don’t shadow ban on the based on political ideology.”
As deplorable as these efforts were, more recent revelations that Twitter’s censorship was being directed by agents within the FBI are truly horrifying. As reporter Matt Taibbi has documented, dozens of FBI agents flagged information they preferred to keep hidden and to censor even “low-follower accounts belonging to ordinary Americans”, some of whom were simply posting jokes unflattering to Democrats.
As Musk began the lengthy task of revealing these twists and turns, asking journalists to help sort through the mountains of damning company emails, it turned out that one of the people “vetting” what got released to Matt Taibbi was none other than Jim Baker, who had previously been at the FBI and who was up to his neck in promulgating what former President Trump has rightly deemed the Russiagate hoax.
There is no more frightening revelation than that one of our most powerful law enforcement agencies has been in league with one of our top social media platforms to direct what citizens can read or hear. This is no longer just a left-wing company trying to direct public opinion; the New York Times and the Washington Post have been at that (legally) for years.
This is about a branch of the government censoring information with the express purpose of putting their preferred candidate in the Oval Office. Even some Democrats are now alarmed.
Ro Khanna, Democrat congressman from California, has criticized the censorship practices of Twitter’s former management, correctly writing in an op-ed that “Free speech is a foundational value of our democracy.”
It is astonishing that so few supposed liberals, who traditionally have embraced free speech, have joined Khanna. It is even more worrisome that our great newspapers are mute. The New York Times has ignored the link between the FBI and Twitter; they are focused instead on Musk’s brief suspension of the accounts of journalists who have shared the CEO’s personal location – what Musk called “assassination coordinates.” Having ignored Twitter’s banning of the New York Post, the Times is suddenly shocked that Twitter might ban reporters.
Elon Musk spent a fortune to buy Twitter, but that is not the sole cost to the brilliant South African. Joe Biden’s White House is aggressively investigating his business interests, suddenly worried that long-standing foreign investment in Twitter could prove a security threat or that his SpaceX is somehow pro-Russian (though Musk’s supply of satellite communications to Ukraine’s defenders has proven invaluable.)
Biden, asked if Musk’s purchase of Twitter should trigger a security review, answered, “I think that Elon Musk’s cooperation and/or technical relationships with other countries is worthy of being looked at,” a not-so subtle threat the White House subsequently walked back.
Make no mistake, Musk’s ownership of Twitter is a game-changer. It has opened a portal between the American people and the truth that did not exist before. That is why he, and the company, are under attack. And that is why Musk must continue as CEO, poll or no poll.