Well, it’s finally happened. Elon Musk has done that $44 billion deal – at an astounding $54.20 per share in cash. It’s a deal that so many in ‘liberal’ Silicon Valley feared, and the predictable backlash against free speech has already begun.
Last night, the billionaire SpaceX and Tesla boss took control of what is arguably one of the planet’s biggest and most influential online discussion and multimedia forums. He has vowed to return ‘free speech values’ back to a platform that has developed a sordid reputation in recent years as a censorship behemoth which has all but automated the systematic suppression of political speech and news in the virtual global public square.
Twitter’s employee ranks are dominated by left-wing partisans and registered Democrats, who are now in full revolt over Musk’s hostile takeover. Some of the statements are shocking to say the least, although they revealed exactly what kind of biased politicized culture has festered over the years.
Mail Online reports:
Some threatened to head to alternative sites like CounterSocial, which crashed as incensed Twitter users flocked to sign up for backup accounts. Others said it was a perfect time for Twitter employees to engage in collective bargaining.
‘Today seems like a great day for Twitter employees to form a union… After all, the new owner did just spend $44 billion to buy it,’ one user said.
People for Bernie, a group that supports Democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, wrote: ‘Twitter employees, may we introduce you to @CODE_CWA,’ referring to an initiative of the Communication Workers of America union. The union counts the New York Times, General Electric and Verizon among its major employers.
Inside Twitter, employees are reportedly dismayed at the realization that Musk is now their boss.
‘I feel like im going to throw up..I rly don’t wanna work for a company that is owned by Elon Musk,’ one employee told a New York Times reporter.
The Good Place actress Jameela Jamil published what she called her ‘last tweet’ at 3.42pm.
‘I fear this free speech bid is going to help this hell platform reach its final form of totally lawless hate, bigotry, and misogyny,’ she said.
The unidentified Twitter employee added: ‘I don’t rly know what I’m supposed to do…oh my god, my phone’s been blowing up…We have a meeting about it at 5pm…the CEO is going to address everyone about it
‘I hate him, why does he even want this?
‘I feel like he’s this petulant little boy and that he’s doing this to troll…he doesn’t know anything about our policies and what we do…his statement about our algo was f****** insane…
‘Were just gonna let everyone run amok?…nobody knows.’
While left-wing ranks go into full meltdown at the prospect of losing control over this massive social engineering and digital censorship empire, other more moderate and sober voices are slowly emerging within liberal punditry, including this passage by Derek Thompson at The Atlantic, who gingerly admits, “Let’s be honest: Musk buying Twitter could be good for Twitter.” He writes:
Within Media Twitter, there is little social punishment for being relentlessly negative about everything. (When you’re paid to follow a news cycle that ping-pongs among authoritarianism, pandemic, and war, “relentless negativity” comes rather naturally from simply paying attention.) But this glum bias can prejudice journalists against seeing how, sometimes, not everything turns out maximally bad. So, while my entire Twitter timeline is filled with people predicting calamity and threatening to leave the service in protest, I want to spend a bit of time outlining why I think Musk buying Twitter could actually be good.
Can the mercurial CEO hold the fort together under such immense internal political and external media pressure?
Indeed, Musk has vowed to restore free speech on Twitter, and he has also planned to ‘enhance the product with new features’ and to ‘make the algorithms open source to increase trust’. This all sounds well enough, but the DNC, the US government, and Five Eyes intelligence agencies already have their collective hooks sunk deeply into this company, so Musk may be in for a bumpy road.
Time will tell whether he makes good on these promises, or whether Twitter remains top dog as the online forum of choice for media and politics.
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