Twitter owner Elon Musk is raising the alarm about the dangers of losing “freedom of speech.”
Musk responded to an April 24 tweet of a video that included comments from investor, tech entrepreneur, and All-In podcast co-host David Sacks. Sacks said that Musk faces so many attacks from the left because he opposes one-sided censorship and stands for free speech. “Well, on Elon criticizing the woke mind virus, what he's really criticizing is this intolerant agenda that involves censorship, and de-platforming, including economic de-platforming, and this collusion between the state power and the security state, and these tech monopolies and the media,” Sacks said in the re-shared clip of an interview from December of 2022. “This idea that we have all the right answers. This is fundamentally an illiberal agenda.”
Musk appeared to agree with the sentiments Sacks laid out and implied that Twitter would support free speech in a Big Tech environment where it is constantly under threat. “Exactly right,” wrote Musk in a tweet. “If we lose freedom of speech, it’s never coming back. Beware of censorship lest ye censored.”
Musk later doubled down in another tweet on April 24: “Censor not, lest ye be censored.”
“Musk is absolutely right to warn about the dangerous road Big Tech companies and governmental entities have taken our nation down in attempting to squash freedom of speech in America,” said MRC Free Speech America & MRC Business Director Michael Morris. “And his strides toward creating a more free and open platform are laudable, but rhetoric alone will not safeguard our nation’s first freedom.”
Musk’s self-described vision has hit some roadblocks. An MRC Free Speech America study found censorship is alarmingly on the rise under Musk’s leadership, with 293 cases of documented censorship since he took over Twitter and began terminating the previous regime’s employees from Nov. 4, 2022 through Mar. 4, 2023. The study showed the most recent censorship tally is 67 more than the 226 documented cases in CensorTrack.org from the platform a year prior (Nov. 4, 2021 - Mar. 4, 2022).
Musk also stated on April 24, however, that while Twitter was making efforts to end one-sided censorship on the platform, it still has a long way to go:
“We’re rapidly improving transparency & fairness on this platform, but there is still a lot of work to do.”
Indeed, Twitter changed its “misgendering” policy three weeks after the aforementioned MRC Free Speech America study. The policy had previously been used to censor users who oppose transgender ideology on the platform.
But Twitter has taken its policy down another dangerous road as well. In the name of freedom of speech, it is attempting to justify censorship.
Twitter Safety announced that the platform would be rolling out new “visibility” filter labels, euphemized in a tweet Monday, “Freedom of Speech, not reach.” A Twitter Safety blog post last week explained that the platform would soon “add publicly visible labels to Tweets identified as potentially violating our policies letting you know we’ve limited their visibility.”
Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on hate speech and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us using CensorTrack’s contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.