Can Musk Take on the Anti-Free Speech Leviathan?

(AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File)

Well, that didn’t take too long.

Less than two weeks after Elon Musk took over the reins at social media company Twitter, the anti-speech crowd has launched its opening salvo on the organization. We got a taste of what they were going to do when the Washington Post put out a tweet telling users how they can limit the ads they see to cut into the company’s advertising revenue.

Now, the Marxist crowd is going full throttle in their efforts to attack Twitter’s revenue in an effort to force Musk to keep up the company’s politically-biased censorship regime. 

On Friday, Musk tweeted:

Twitter has had a massive drop in revenue, due to activist groups pressuring advertisers, even though nothing has changed with content moderation and we did everything we could to appease the activists.

Extremely messed up! They’re trying to destroy free speech in America.

Several brands have stopped advertising with Twitter as Musk prepares to determine how to proceed with revamping its content moderation approach. 

BBC News reported:

Almost all of Twitter’s revenue currently comes from advertising and Volkswagen is among the brands that has stopped spending with it since Mr Musk bought the social media company.

“We are closely monitoring the situation and will decide about next steps depending on its evolvement,” Europe’s biggest carmaker said.

On Thursday, food manufacturer General Mills, which owns brands including Cheerios and Lucky Charms, did the same.

It said it was continuing to monitor the social media company’s “new direction” and wanted to “evaluate [its] marketing spend”.

The move comes after 40 different civil society organizations sent a letter on Tuesday calling on Twitter’s top 20 advertisers to suspend their ads if Musk refused to commit to maintaining the company’s censorship practices.

“We, the undersigned organizations, call on you to notify Musk and publicly commit that you will cease all advertising on Twitter globally if he follows through on his plans to undermine brand safety and community standards, including gutting content moderation. This means that Musk must not roll back the basic moderation practices Twitter already has on the books now and must commit to actually enforcing those rules,” the letter read.

The Hill reported:

Amazon, Apple, Meta Platforms, Google and Disney were among the 20 advertisers to receive the open letter, signed by groups including the NAACP, the Center for American Progress, GLAAD, the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, and #Voteprochoice. The effort was organized by Free Press, Media Matters and Accountable Tech. 

Shortly after taking over the company, Musk sent a message to advertisers noting that he bought the platform to create a public square in which users of all political stripes can express their views without having to worry about biased censorship. He also assured them that the platform would not become a “free for all hellscape.”

After Musk took the captain’s chair, there was reportedly an uptick in the number of racial slurs being used on the site. Progressives and members of the activist media rushed to blame the new CEO, even though he had not yet altered the company’s moderation practices. Indeed, Yoel Roth, head of safety and integrity, posted a tweet on Tuesday explaining that the surge in posts with the n-word was done by 300 accounts, most of which were not real humans.

Musk further infuriated the pro-censorship folks on the left when he blocked access to the company’s content moderation tools, meaning that they cannot suspend or ban anyone for the time being. This seemed to terrify those who wished to maintain left-wing supremacy over this public square.

Like I said earlier, this was just the opening salvo. If Musk is serious about creating an environment for free speech, he can expect more aggressive actions coming from the hard left, which feels its grip on the platform slipping away.

There is nothing surprising here. In an environment in which everyone is allowed to express their views without fear of being suppressed, progressives will have a much harder time influencing others on the platform. It won’t be as easy for the woke Sanhedrin to run its cancel culture campaigns using the site. But the ultimate question is: Can Musk survive the onslaught?


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