The world’s richest man has been making adjustments to the social media platform and has repeatedly solicited advice from prominent users. Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton noted to the multi-billionaire that the left has government agencies, the legacy media, and nongovernmental organizations “focused like a laser” on pressuring Big Tech companies to suppress and censor online speech, while conservatives only “have a few social media accounts and a handful of groups” fighting for free expression.
Musk replied to the social media post by admitting, “That assessment is more accurate than most people realize.”
Judicial Watch’s YouTube channel was suspended for a week after they posted a video about alleged threats to national security posed by President Joe Biden. YouTube, which is owned by Google, claimed that Judicial Watch was spreading “election misinformation.”
Twitter users with conservative viewpoints have faced similar censorship. Libs of TikTok, a popular account that reposts videos from radical left-wing activists, was locked out of Twitter three months ago for a “hateful conduct” warning. Allie Beth Stuckey, a commentator and podcast host, was suspended from Twitter on two separate occasions, once for saying that a transgender Olympic weightlifting competitor is “still a man,” and again for denouncing a Fox News segment that highlighted a family who claimed their child was transgender.
Musk’s decision to purchase Twitter in a deal that was made official last month appears to have been motivated at least partly by the suspension of The Babylon Bee, a Christian satire outlet which mocked transgender Biden administration health official Rachel Levine. Musk launched his shakeup campaign several months ago with a poll for his millions of followers: “Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy. Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle? The consequences of this poll will be important. Please vote carefully.”
However, Musk recently promised left-leaning organizations that he would restore Twitter employees’ content moderation tools. Shortly after taking control of the company, Musk announced that he would create a new content moderation group charged with overseeing all policy initiatives on the platform. “No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes,” he said.
On the other hand, Musk immediately fired several Twitter executives who had been criticized for their statements against free speech, including chief executive Parag Agrawal and legal czar Vijaya Gadde, who pushed for the suspension of former President Donald Trump and suppressed the Hunter Biden laptop story days before the 2020 election.
Musk, who also leads Tesla, SpaceX, and a variety of smaller startups, released a statement explaining that his $44 billion acquisition deal was motivated by a desire to foster open dialogue and free expression.
“The reason I acquired Twitter is because it is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence,” Musk explained. “There is currently great danger that social media will splinter into far right wing and far left wing echo chambers that generate more hate and divide our society.”