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X Will No Longer Be a Free Speech Platform

When Elon Musk took over Twitter, I was ecstatic. His mission to bring forward society through open conversation was something I could really get behind. It’s always been my position that speech should be free and that no matter how awful it is, it should be allowed in the public square.

I believe in something like speech-Darwinism. Whatever is said in the public square can be weighed, measured, and people can decide for themselves whether it’s good or bad, worth embracing or ignoring. I truly believe that bad ideas are best expressed in the open where they can be torn down or argued against. Meanwhile, unpopular ideas might find good footing with solid arguments and nuanced applications, and they can then become popular ideas.

It’s through this kind of free speech that our society can evolve and learn from itself. It’s what I thought Elon Musk understood.

Apparently not.

As Bonchie wrote on Friday, X CEO Linda Yaccarino unveiled the site’s new “freedom of speech, not reach” policy which says that you can say whatever you want, but if what you say is considered “awful” then you’re turned down and your post is unable to be shared.

“We’ve introduced a new policy called Freedom of speech, not reach,” said Yaccarino.

“If you’re going to post something that is lawful but is awful, you get labeled. You get deamplified which means it cannot be shared,” she continued. “And it is certainly demonetized.”

Welcome to new X, same as the old Twitter.

Immediately, you’re probably asking the same question everyone else is. Who decides what is considered “awful?” Sure, there are things that really don’t need to be elevated. As Bonchie noted, there’s no reason for pornography to be so available to see on the platform, and indeed there is a whole hell of a lot of it. Moreover, actual calls for killing other people don’t necessarily do anything for society.

The issue here is that what’s considered “awful” is different from person to person. There were a myriad of people who thought speaking out against the vaccines and lockdowns was “awful” not that long ago, and yet the people who spoke out against them were right. On the other foot, there are people who believe that speaking well of transgender activism is awful and for good reason.

Whoever is in charge ultimately decides what is considered “awful,” and Linda Yaccarino leaves very little to be confident about. She has former ties to the World Economic Forum, having served as the Chairman of the WEF’s Taskforce on Future of Work since 2019. This is the same woman who spent $100 million on “social justice and equality.” Given her previous statements, it seems she’s a big DEI fan.

And we all know where the DEI road leads.

(READ: If You Want to Collapse a Civilization, Just Institute DEI Initiatives)

With Yaccarino in charge, we can safely conclude that “lawful but awful” will likely mean invoking the same spirit as old Twitter. Unless Musk has some sort of hard and fast directive about achieving a proper balance and only relegating what is “awful” to what we can all agree is actually awful, then X is done. Once again, the conversation will be controlled and the tilt will be to the left.

This isn’t free speech.

The bottom line is that this shouldn’t be happening to either side. Both sides of the aisle should be allowed to express their opinions freely and without worry of being reduced in reach.

Moreover, no one seems to have learned by now that even if you start with something incredibly small, everything ideological snowballs. What we considered simply impolite or inconvenient to hear 20 years ago is now considered “hate speech” and “violence.” Calling someone “fat” is “fatphobic,” and speaking out against transgender activism is considered hateful towards “transgender” people.

Even if Yaccarino is starting small, there’s no way she stays small. This is going to get worse over time, and X will become as useless as all the other platforms too scared to piss off either the government or the advertisers.

Perhaps you’ve already begun to experience issues. I know I have. My reach has been significantly reduced over the past few months, but perhaps that shouldn’t come as a surprise. With companies like Apple and Disney being two of X’s biggest advertisers and former WEF taskforce leaders like Linda Yaccarino at the helm, perhaps it was only a matter of time before X became the same as everyone else.

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