Musk’s Twitter takeover has instigated a global debate on the dichotomy of “free speech”. His emphasis on free speech elevated fears that zero content control on Twitter would mean. He opposes any censorship that goes above and beyond the law
Recently, Elon musk shared, “The far left hates everyone, themselves included!” but replying to his tweet, he added, “But I’m no fan of the far-right either.”
For an epoch, conservatives have criticised tech giants’ power over platforms to suppress conservative views. Their grumbles have not received much sympathy outside the crusade. But feasibly, they will now that Elon Musk is taking over Twitter, and the Left is nervous at the panorama of an owner hostile to its strategies — specifically, an owner promising less belligerent moderation policies, possibly reinstating Donald Trump to the platform.
Does Musk’s Twitter takeover will impinge the Left by what Kimberley Strassel stated in The Intimidation Game: How the Left Is Silencing Free Speech. Kimberley Strassel broached the Left’s drive of retribution and intimidations against conservatives, all for the namesake of good governance.
Musk’s Twitter takeover has instigated a global debate on the dichotomy of “Free speech”. In the US, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) stated, “This deal is dangerous for our democracy,”. Howard Dean – an Ex Democratic presidential candidate, and Charles Blow- New York Times columnist, swore to delete their accounts. And Clinton administration labour secretary Robert Reich criticized: “Musk and his apologists say if consumers don’t like what he does with Twitter, they can go elsewhere. But whereelse would consumers go to post short messages that can reach millions of people other than Twitter?”
The Left is hijacking conservatives’ narratives, as conservatives are supposed to endorse private property. In the past, Republican senators grumbled that Big Techs governing over the parley were a risk to US democracy. Meanwhile, the Left solemnly elucidated that Twitter is a private company and has a legitimate right to establish of any kind control policies it desires.
Interesting and unconventional personalities partnered for this deal. This, further, make it thought-provoking! As investors, Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison and Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Tala joined Elon Musk in the takeover of Twitter. Suddenly, “private companies can do whatever they want” might not be quite enough to safeguard a healthy, democratic debate about the essential matters of our times — and “go start your own social media platform if you don’t like it” seems a somewhat derisory rejoinder to those who moan.
There is an amusing historical causticness to the datum that today, conservatives are the ones who claim most vehemently that the verdicts by private companies to “deplatform” certain orators portend what Donald Trump defined in 2020 as the “bedrock” American right to freedom of speech. Until now, this was a narrative mastered exclusively by the Leftists.
Big Investors Line Up for Big Deal
Investment commitments up to 7.1bn will allow Musk to reduce his own risk in the deal
Cult Billionaire Elon Musk is reported to have lined up 19 new investors to rake up $44bn to purchase Twitter. According to a report, the commitments, totalling 7.1bn, will allow Musk to reduce his own risk in the deal which has been approved by Twitter’s board but not completed. Although Silicon Valley venture firm Sequoia Capital and crypto exchange Binance are in the queue, Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison is the single biggest contributor with $1bn. Musk, the world’s richest person, is tied to the value of his stake in Tesla. According to him, he has plans to finance the purchase through a mix of loans, investments and cash.
Even as reports about more investors coming out to join Musk bandwagon, there is a suspicion that Musk withdraw at the last moment. In recent weeks, he sold about $8.5bn worth of Tesla shares, money that is expected to be used to fund the deal. He has lined up $13bn in loans from banks and is also borrowing against his Tesla holdings.
Massive investment firms such as Fidelity, Sequoia Capital which has backed technology firms Apple, Google and Airbnb might also join forces with Musk to buy out Twitter. Besides, there are other investors.
Larry Ellison who is worth more than $100bn is reported to have agreed to invest $1bn. Dubai-based Vy Capital is putting in $800m. Binance chief founder Changpeng Zhao shared news of the deal on the social media site, casting it as a step toward “Crypto Twitter”. He will be investing to the tune of $500m. Qatar Holding, a sovereign wealth fund, is contributing $375m, while Saudi Arabian investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who had initially opposed the buyout, also confirmed he would retain his $1.9bn stake in Twitter, writing that Mr Musk would be an “excellent leader” for the site.Musk will hold talks with existing shareholders of Twitter, including the company’s former chief Jack Dorsey, to contribute shares to the proposed acquisition.
That still leaves the discussion that conservatives — and Musk — are mistaken that social media arbitrators were methodically “de-platforming” conservative ideas rather than struggling through the messy, complicated process of controlling any large-scale platform. Yishan Wong, Ex-CEO Reddit, said this after Musk declared his proposal to buy Twitter.
The unanimous verdict by Twitter, Facebook, and a host of other social media channels to ban Trump from their platforms after the January 6 attack on the Capitol exaggerated conservatives’ age-old apprehensions that the powerful tech industry is disrespectful of their free-speech rights. Trump fortified and augmented these urgings; when he announced a (principally emblematic) executive order in May 2020 affirming that “free speech is the bedrock of American democracy.” Trump asserted that “in a country that has long cherished the freedom of expression, we cannot allow a limited number of online platforms to hand pick the speech that Americans may access and convey.”
When you veto a book or block an orator, you’re stating that you want to shield people from thoughts you discord with. You don’t believe people contextualize, historicize, or evaluate evidence. And if they do fall, you don’t trust yourself to pull them out. They will sojourn there endlessly. You can claim forever that there is no such thing as “cancel culture,” but people recognise when their intelligence is being insulted.
The libertarian band in American culture is rightly answerable for many US problems. It is what permits people who hate atheists (or anyone with a different religion) to counterattack the religious bullying. It is what consents American socialists to envision socialism that conserves personal freedoms, including freedom of speech.
In the UK, Ruth Smeeth, EX-Labour MP, said, “The Left has let conservatives hijack freedom of speech”. Further, Smeeth elaborated, “We should really embrace the power of speech and the power of free expression as part of the argument for change,”. Though she recognizes that there’s a vital distinction between active debate and abusive or threatening communiqué, she senses that “we’re nowhere near having that conversation yet”.
In India, it appears uncontentious to state that the Left has lost all wisdom and become properly inconsequential. It might be a public datum that the Indian Left is waning.
Even as it perishes, the Left gets no empathy, but it provokes revulsion and contempt among many. Surprisingly, hatred from large segments of Dalit leaders and parties – regarded as troubled and marginalised. The upsurge of Majlis-e-Ittehadul Musilmeen (MIM) displays that “minorities” also likely have similar defiance towards the “Left and so-called secular forces”.
A noted Dalit-Bahujan thought leader, Kancha Ilaiah, recently stated that he desires the Left to fade and die out. The Left provokes contempt since it engrosses in endless preaching. It does not drain of acting as the self-proclaimed custodian and defender of “democratic values” and “constitutional norms”. It focusses in arbitrating others as “fascist” or “opportunist” but never contemplates itself. For ages, Left stifled free speech yet became champions of free speech.
The question is who chooses what is permitted and beyond the limit. And who, as the Latin proverb, will guard the guards? It’s easy to envision that the people in charge would be like oneself, but the history of books outlawing in Western democracies advises else. The same types of people always grab power when notions are up for conquest: fanatics, obsessives, careerists, apparatchiks. And thoughts get out anyhow: Mein
Kampf was barred in Germany until recently, but there have been adequate neo-Nazis and actual Nazis there for decades.
Leftists devote a lot of time criticising liberalism and trusting it to guard them, like children who think they can say terrible things to their parents and their parents will still be there for them. That’s correct of (most) parents, but politics doesn’t work that way. If you force a bookstore not to stock your adversary’s book or celebrate when a tricky classic is taken out of print, your rival will do the same. Then it just emanates down to who has more power. You won’t have a widespread code to appeal to.
Musk simplifies ‘free speech’ posture
Musk’s emphasis on free speech elevated fears that zero content control on Twitter would mean. But, he explained this stand, saying he opposes any censorship that goes above and beyond the law. He stated, “By “free speech”, I simply mean that which matches the law. I am against censorship that goes far beyond the law. If people want less free speech, they will ask the Government to pass laws to that effect. Therefore, going beyond the law is contrary to the will of the people.”
Corporate users and Governments might have to pay for Twitter
Musk tweeted that while the platform will always be free for casual users, there may be a slight cost for “commercial/government users.” He wrote in, “Ultimately, the downfall of the Freemasons was giving away their stonecutting services for nothing,” followed by a tweet talking about imposing costs for tweeting.
The question is who chooses what is permitted and beyond the limit. And who, as the Latin proverb, will guard the guards? It’s easy to envision that the people in charge would be like oneself, but the history of books outlawing in Western democracies advises else
There are explanations to be sceptical that self-regulation will be adequate. Perhaps the prime motive is the fact that Twitter is a for-profit company; they may not withstand the paying customers’ pressure to maintain a sincere commitment to freedom of speech. Will they protect expressive freedom even when it conflicts with corporate profits? On the contrary, outside the extraordinary situations of the Capitol invasion, will they take down honestly harmful language that fetches readers to their platforms? History advocates that the response to both of these questions will be no.
In conclusion, the commoners should never forget
उदकान् हि नयन्ति नेत्तिका
उसुकार नमयन्ति तेजनम्।
दारुं नमयन्ति तच्चका
अत्तानं दमयन्ति पण्डिता॥
English Translation of Sanskrit Quote:
Irrigators direct the water, Fletchers fashion the shaft, and Carpenters bend the wood, The wise control themselves.