Save us, Elon
Elon Musk is now Twitter's largest shareholder, and has offered to buy the company — will he succeed in restoring free speech to the platform?
“Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy. Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?”
“Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy. What should be done?”
“Is a new platform needed?”
This hinted at what was to come, as indeed, within a little over a week, the Telsa CEO found a potential solution to his queries, buying roughly 73.5 million shares in the company. With 9.2% of Twitter, Musk is now its largest shareholder. Going even further, he then offered to buy 100% of the company, and take it private. On Wednesday, in a letter to Twitter chairman, Bret Taylor, Musk wrote:
"I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy.
However, since making my investment I now realize the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form. Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company.
As a result, I am offering to buy 100% of Twitter for $54.20 per share in cash, a 54% premium over the day before I began investing in Twitter and a 38% premium over the day before my investment was publicly announced. My offer is my best and final offer and if it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder.
Twitter has extraordinary potential. I will unlock it."
So this all explains why Musk declined to take a position on the board, as it would cap his stock ownership at 14.9%, preventing him from buying the company.
Now, the board has to review the offer (fairly — they can’t just decide they don’t like Musk, as surely the libtard media and legions of Twitter users who believed their bully-power was permanent would prefer) and make a decision to accept or reject the offer.
Best case scenario, they accept the offer and Musk turns Twitter into what it should have been all along: a public square, where free speech reigns — actual free speech. Not the kind that isn’t free speech at all — that is, “free speech” with caveats.
A funny thing has happened to free speech in recent years, in the hands of progressives, which is that people will claim they support it, but. So we will hear things like, “I support free speech, but not hate speech” — not “racism” or “sexism” or “transphobia” or “climate change denialism” or “Islamophobia” or “anti-vax speech” or “Covid misinformation.” These terms are intentional political manipulations, that present opinions the left doesn’t like, and facts they would prefer not to hear as not facts or opinions at all, but as simply “wrong.” This ignores that fact that progressives are not the arbiters of truth, and indeed seem to have a shakey relationship with facts and science, considering their bungling of the Covid response and anti-science mask mandates, for example, as well as their assertion that males are female so long as they say so.
It’s weird to have to repeat the obvious, but apparently progressives’ shakey relationship with the truth applies equally to democratic principles, like free speech, which is (pay attention, now) for everyone. And cloaking censorial positions in safetyism (i.e. we can’t allow ____ speech because it harms ____) may inspire head-nodding in fellow progressive authoritarians, but does not fool those who actually support and understand the principles of free speech and democracy.
Founders Fund VP Mike Solana recently pointed out something I am guilty of, which is that, if you are using terms like “free speech maximalism” or “free speech absolutism,” you are missing the point. Free speech is just free speech — no exceptions, apart from that which is a crime, meaning literal, overt, direct incitement to violence or genocide. So-called “hate speech” — brace yourself — is not a thing, as hate is in the eye of the beholder, and, well, people are free to hate.
Places like Canada, of course, have tried to make “hate speech” happen, but all this means is that the Canadian Liberal government prefers authoritarianism over democracy. In the US, there is no such thing as “hate speech” — a position that should be mimicked by platforms like Twitter, which we can no longer pretend are inconsequential or “not real life.”
Whether we like it or not, Twitter is “real life,” in that what happens on the platform has real-world impacts and consequences, in terms of news, politics, elections, information, what counts as “science,” people’s ability to make a living, and indeed, what passes as acceptable speech. The notion that “misgendering” (that is to say, for example, correctly identifying an individual as male, despite his claims to be a woman or a giraffe) is “hateful” has been solidified on account of Twitter’s invention and application of this rule, namely in response to me, as a defense against their decision to ban me from the platform for life for doing nothing hateful at all.
For those who missed it, Twitter announced that “misgendering” and “deadnaming” was against Twitter rules mere moments after suspending my account, on November 24, 2018. Prior to my permanent ban, Twitter had locked my account down for tweeting, “Men aren’t women, tho” and “How are transwomen not men? What is the difference between a man and a transwoman?” These crimes, apparently, constituted evidence against me, legitimizing a permanent ban for correctly sexing a male predator. Twitter claimed I had been suspended for “harassment,” but provided no evidence to support this libel, because, well, there is none. I did not use Twitter to “harass” anyone, and was banned solely because of my public challenges to gender identity ideology.
Vijaya Gadde, policy, safety lead director and a chief legal officer and general counsel of Twitter, repeated this lie publicly on Joe Rogan’s podcast in 2019, and also claimed I had been “warned,” though I was “warned” of nothing. I was never informed either that there was a rule against questioning gender identity ideology or against “misgendering,” as there was no such rule in place while I was tweeting. Informing an individual they are guilty of “hateful conduct,” without explaining how “hateful conduct” is defined, exactly, does not constitute a fair warning. And either way, no sane person would consider it “hateful” to point out that men are not women.
This is all to say that “hate speech” does not actually mean anything. It can be applied to anything and anyone, at their convenience, depending on who holds power at the time. And the fact that Justin Trudeau and Vijaya Gadde, who I hope Elon Musk fires immediately on account of being a shady-ass liar, believe that telling the truth about biology and material reality constitutes “hate speech” should convince any thinking person that the concept of “hate speech” is illegitimate and can easily slide into authoritariansim a la 1984.
Since Musk became Twitter’s largest shareholder, threatening to buy the company full out and restore liberty to the masses, progressive authoritarians have melted down in hysterics.
Media hacks who spent the last few years fear-mongering about fake Nazis, fake racists, fake transphobes, fake insurrections, fake news, fake anti-vaxxers, and fake science are now in a panic about dangerous Elon Musk, who they fear will continue stealing memes with impunity.
These people clearly have a solid grasp of history and democratic values, and should be taken seriously as such, considering their comparisons of Musk’s Twitter takeover to Nazi Germany, and their claims that political censorship is fundamental to democracy.
Their fears of course, are not rooted in anything more than a fear their power may be impermanent. If Musk buys Twitter and takes it private, then restores free speech to the platform, progressives will still have their free speech. The fear is that their orthodoxy may be challenged, its weaknesses and deceit revealed.
So please, Mr. Musk — restore the banned! We promise to return with a flood of uncomfortable truths, facts, satire, wrongthink, and snark. Let freedom reign. Twitter is a private company, after all, and can make its own rules. If people don’t like it, they can start their own platform.