Leftists are decrying free speech as a threat to democracy after Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced Thursday he offered to buy Twitter.
Liberals, reporters and tech billionaires have leaned more heavily on censorship since the 2016 election in order to enforce their views on everything from race and gender to what memes users are allowed to post. If Musk is successful in his business venture and returns Twitter to the free speech ideals espoused just years earlier, it will weaken elites’ capacity to arbitrarily enforce thought.
So, obviously, his move must be denounced as a “threat to democracy.”
The Washington Post opinion columnist Max Boot tweeted he is “frightened by the impact on society and politics if Elon Musk acquires Twitter.”
“He seems to believe that on social media anything goes. For democracy to survive, we need more content moderation, not less,” Boot added.
I am frightened by the impact on society and politics if Elon Musk acquires Twitter. He seems to believe that on social media anything goes. For democracy to survive, we need more content moderation, not less.
— Max Boot 🇺🇦 (@MaxBoot) April 14, 2022
MSNBC political analyst Anand Giridharadas compared Musk to an “invader” and criticized Musk’s promise to “unlock” Twitter’s potential.
Every invader in history has promised to unlock the potential of what they were invading. https://t.co/vVfjSdrBKT
— Anand Giridharadas @ The.Ink (@AnandWrites) April 14, 2022
Salon writer Matthew Rozsa said while he cares about freedom, he also cares about “factual precision” and said that Musk’s “attempted takeover of Twitter is a threat to the free world.”
The USA Singers, who describe themselves as musicians who “stand with Democracy,” suggested Twitter should tell Musk to “go fuck himself, then delete his account.”
“That’s how you deal with an out of control narcissistic bully.”
Duty To Warn, a group that describes themselves as mental health professionals warning about so-called “TrumpISM,” said Musk would “delete democracy.”
Who cares if you threaten to delete Twitter if Elon Musk’s hostile takeover succeeds?
Musk will delete democracy.
If narcissistic right-wing billionaires control media, they control minds, elections and the world.
— Duty To Warn 🔉 (@duty2warn) April 14, 2022
“If narcissistic right-wing billionaires control media, they control minds, elections and the world,” the group tweeted.
Democratic operative Jon Cooper urged Twitter users to “start a GoFundMe REAL fast to outbid Elon Musk.”
Whitney Dawn Carlson, who works in communications for the National WIC Association, tweeted a simple “fuck you @elonmusk.”
Axios, which styles itself as objective news, outright called Elon Musk a “supervillain” for attempting to bring free speech to Twitter.
“The world’s richest man – someone who used to be compared to Marvel’s Iron Man – is increasingly behaving like a movie supervillain, commanding seemingly unlimited resources with which to finance his mischief-making.”
The world’s richest man — someone who used to be compared to Marvel’s Iron Man — is increasingly behaving like a movie supervillain, commanding seemingly unlimited resources with which to finance his mischief-making. https://t.co/V0hL78zHrq
— Axios (@axios) April 14, 2022
Meanwhile, Jeff Jarvis, a professor at CUNY’s Newmark Journalism School, said Twitter “feels like the last evening in a Berlin nightclub at the twilight of Weimar Germany.”
Musk offered to buy Twitter for $43.4 billion after rejecting a seat on the board. (RELATED: REPORT: Twitter Employees Are Worried Elon Musk Will Unleash Free Speech, Possibly Paving The Way For Trump’s Return)
“The company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form,” Musk said in his offer. “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.”
“Twitter has extraordinary potential. I will unlock it,” Musk continued.
Musk has questioned whether Twitter “rigorously adheres to” the principle of “free speech,” with a poll he posted to Twitter finding 70.4% of respondents agreed Twitter does not adhere to free speech principles.
“Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy,” Musk then tweeted. “What should be done?”