In April 2022 I warned Elon Musk would turn Twitter into a hate speech platform. Seems like just yesterday. Now the platform claims to be dying, directly related to its engorged and self-inflicted affirmation of hate.
Hate speech is bad for customers, bad for business, and of course bad for society. Nothing really new there. You’d think a rational business guy wouldn’t dare throw away a business only to affirm and spread hate such as antisemitism, yet that’s exactly one of the hard lessons of Nazism (e.g. Siemens suicidially affirming and enabling Hitler).
Elon Musk took over Twitter with a decidedly anti-business anti-society antagonist standpoint that resembled the obnoxious antisemitic political campaigns of his grandfather, repeating multiple times he was opposed to safety filters and wanted to bring back hate speech.
Elon Musk’s Twitter has dissolved its Trust and Safety Council, the advisory group of around 100 independent civil, human rights and other organizations that the company formed in 2016 to address hate speech, child exploitation, suicide, self-harm and other problems on the platform. […] Those former council members soon became the target of online attacks after Musk amplified criticism of them…
Musk dissolved the safety group that had been setup to stop hate, under his pretense of not caring about anything (not even money) other than increasing unlikable speech online. He then directly targeted those people he had just removed, trying to harm them with amplification of the kinds of online attacks that they formerly would have been able to stop.
African dictatorships have been known for this kind of nonsense, where they jail any former leader on bogus charges after taking control of the courts and firing the judges.
He repeatedly kept making such sad, petty and clownish mistakes while hate speech predictably exploded on the site. His “banana republic” model of platform management quickly began rotting its ability to function, dumping professionalism and talent at Twitter to replace it with lame fealty and immature belligerence, pivoting towards “harm by design“.
Just like racist and corrupt African dictatorships he didn’t see such harm as a mistake, however, because allegedly he so badly wanted to amplify some very specific strains of dangerous racism and antisemitism (the ones he personally agreed with) that nothing else mattered.
For him, “free speech” seems merely a vehicle for his delusional plan to make Twitter into a fawning “digital [Turd Reich]” that he presides over.
Twitter –> X (swastika)
Tweets –> eXcrements
Democracy –> Turd Reich
That’s the best way to explain why the falsely self-titled “free speech absolutist” is crying like a baby now about some speech he didn’t like, saying that he will bombard the legal system until it bends to his will and silences those he disagrees with.
In previewing X’s argument, Musk appeared not to dispute the results of Media Matters’ analysis, instead targeting the group for having created a test account…
Legal experts on technology and the First Amendment widely characterized X’s complaint on Monday as weak and opportunistically filed in a [Trump judge] court that Musk likely believes will take his side.
“It’s one of those lawsuits that’s filed more for symbolism than for substance—as reflected in just how empty the allegations really are, and in where Musk chose to file, singling out the ultra-conservative Northern District of Texas despite its absence of any logical connection to the dispute,” said Steve Vladeck, a law professor at the University of Texas…
“This reads like a press release, not a court filing to me,” said Joan Donovan, a professor of journalism and emerging media studies at Boston University. “X does admit the ads were shown next to hateful content…”
“This lawsuit is riddled with legal flaws, and it is highly ironic that a platform that touts itself as a beacon of free speech would file a bogus case like this that flatly contradicts basic First Amendment principles and targets free speech by a critic,” First Amendment attorney Ted Boutrous told CNN.
The stupidly of the actual filing reveals it is entirely political, not at all about laws. In fact, it’s a sloppy rejection of law and order, full of flip-flopping contradictions characteristic of permanent improvisation to avoid accountability (hypocrisy typical of dictatorships).
Musk didn’t dispute the main report finding, because it’s so obviously true.
Holy shit. If you search HeilHitler, you get a ton of ads. I literally just got the German Government’s ‘come live in Germany’ ad on the search,” wrote independent journalist Erin Reed. “The German Govt is literally accidentally advertising to Hitler searchers to ‘come live in Germany.’ Media Matters was not lying.
Media Matters was not lying. The filing is not about the law.
The basis of the empty and politicized complaint by Musk is that if someone uses the Swastika filled hate platform, its owner Elon Musk wants to politically deny their right to speak about anything they see even if they speak about it anywhere else.
There’s precedent for this in American history, if you study the years just before Civil War. American journalists were murdered if they dared to even speak about hate acts, such as reporting how many innocent Blacks were tortured, lynched, and mutilated by white nationalist mobs.
Does the name Elijah Lovejoy ring any bells? No? What about the name of this other guy?
You might have gathered the police didn’t intervene. You might also have figured out also that nobody, not a single attacker, was held responsible. Officials in Illinois and even newspapers went mostly quiet.
There was one very notable exception by a twenty-eight year old representative of the state who spoke out against lawlessness destroying freedom of speech — vigorously denouncing mobs that “throw printing presses into rivers, shoot editors”.
His name was Abraham Lincoln.
Now does Lovejoy ring a bell? Still no? Here’s what Lincoln said about him.
Lovejoy’s tragic death for freedom in every sense marked his sad ending as the most important single event that ever happened in the new world.
The most important single event that ever happened in the new world! This should come to mind as Elon Musk boasts that he will shove his piles of ill-gotten money at angry mobs and corrupt politicians to aggressively attack and silence anyone who says things he does not like.
Elon Musk clearly is on the wrong side of history. He basically is leaning into old corrupt circles of racist oppression and hate in American politics to drive the country backwards towards its horrible past before Lincoln: destroy freedom of the press while claiming to be the only source of truth.
“When Republicans vow to use state power against critics of Musk, they aren’t merely promising to shield this billionaire’s business interests from his own expressions of antisemitism,” [Washington Post columnist] Sargent wrote. “They’d also wield state power to corruptly protect someone who is marshaling his immense power over our information ecosystem to privilege and elevate that worldview.”
That’s the most 1830s Andrew Jackson paragraph I’ve read in a while.
Republicans are basically testing whether they can end democracy in America like it has been tried and failed before. Missouri and Texas courts seem “unrelated” to the casual law expert, but historians easily can explain why they were chosen by Musk — for racist and corrupt reasons.