Elon Musk did it! But how long?

The speech appears to have been released on the bluebird social network after billionaire Elon Musk took over Twitter. “Twitter files”, unlocked accounts, visibility… But will there be a limit to the “free speech” claimed by the American giant?

Elon Musk opens a bluebird cage (Pixabay)

Whatever one thinks of Elon Musk and his plans to colonize Mars (SpaceX) or implant chips in the human brain (Neuralink), it can at least be said that Twitter’s new owner has lived up to his reputation. libertarian and fulfilled his promise to unlock the whistling bird.

Back to (almost) normal

Just a month after the takeover of the American social network, many suspended accounts have suddenly reappeared, the most famous of which is, of course, the account of former US President Donald Trump, who was blacklisted from the platform after the attack on the Capitol. January 2021. However, not all accounts recover at the same rate, and some are a bit impatient among censored scientists, media or other personalities. Guess they’ll be opening soon…

Other users, who until now concluded that the community did not follow the rules (especially in relation to the Covid crisis), in turn, were able to rejoice in the return to normality, with new visibility and the number of followers starting to increase again. What the boss of Twitter welcomes.

On the other end of the spectrum, disgruntled Twitterers jumped ship shortly after the takeover, disapproving of the new captain. It’s fair game.

Red card for Kanye West

Elon Musk’s libertarianism quickly hit its limits with the case of rapper Kanye West, whose repeated anti-Semitic or Nazi remarks already earned him a suspension. When it happened to Twitter, the billionaire recovered his account like many others. Only, the American rapper immediately followed up with a vengeance (and not just on Twitter). Her latest post, an image of a swastika intertwined with the Star of David, prompted Elon Musk to step down and wave his red card, immediately suspending the singer’s account on December 2. “I did what I could,” he said in comments. Nevertheless, he [Kanye West] the call to violence violated our rules again.”

This radical decision obviously provoked sometimes very sharp reactions among subscribers, with some criticizing Musk for conducting a double discourse on freedom of expression, allowing him to change the rules at will. In any case, it is proof that it has its limits.

Nevertheless, Elon Musk continues to bet not only on freedom of expression, but also on freedom of access to accounts, and remains convinced that this is in the interest of natural justice, noting that the more users on Twitter, the less hate speech there is notes. , the positive outcome outweighs the negative. The experiment is at least worth doing.

“Vox Populi vox dei”

It is also interesting to observe Elon Musk’s a priori democratic use of online surveys to make certain decisions. “Vox populi, vox Dei” (the voice of the people is the voice of God) he announced to his subscribers during a poll to decide the fate of Donald Trump’s account. The “Yes” vote won with 51.8 percent and the score was restored. That said, Musk promised to restore the platform before he actually took it over, I wonder what he would do if it backfired…
Another survey was recently discussed. The head of Twitter asked his followers if they wanted Julian Assange and Edward Snowden to be pardoned. With over 3.3 million voters at the time of writing, the answer is 80.5% yes! But who knows what to do with this result?

Disclosure of “Twitter files”.

Another promise that Elon Musk has fulfilled: transparency in the “Twitter files”. The revelations began last Friday with a series of tweets explaining how the New York Post’s October 2020 article on the Hunter Biden email case had been blocked by the platform. “Twitter took extraordinary steps to remove the article, removing links and posting warnings that it could be ‘dangerous’. “Even then, extreme cases prevented it from being transmitted through direct messaging, a tool designed for child pornography,” wrote Matt Taibbi, one of two journalists with access to the files.

Without going into the details of this debate, we learn that over time, demands from one or the other of America’s two political parties to remove embarrassing content have become commonplace. However, it’s not very balanced, with Democrats having more influence on Twitter than Republicans and pouring more money into it.

The “Twitter Files” series is far from over and more revelations will follow as the files are hacked…

An inconvenient freedom

With Elon Musk, this era of censorship must end. That’s his intention, anyway. But this beautiful freedom that he cherishes so much is not to everyone’s taste, and certain political figures have already begun to shrink, at least in France and Europe.
On December 1, the daily “Le Monde” published an article entitled “Twitter: Emmanuel Macron thinks that Elon Musk’s decision to end the fight against disinformation related to Covid-19 is a ‘big problem'”. The French president even stated that he is “in favor of more regulation, on the contrary.” This has the merit of being clear.
A day earlier, the European commissioner for the internal market, Frenchman Thierry Breton, said that in order to comply with European rules in the fight against disinformation, Twitter must “significantly strengthen content moderation, fight freedom of expression and resolutely fight against disinformation”. Find the error! When faced with such an antinomian figure of speech typical of “simultaneously” Macronian and current Newspeak, one can easily imagine Musk laughing. And we can bet that his choice has already been made: freedom or nothing.

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