Elon Musk Buys Twitter in the Name of “Free Speech”

Elon Musk Buys Twitter in the Name of "Free Speech"
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“I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means’

April 25, 2022 – After weeks of speculation, Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter appears to be moving forward. The Twitter board unanimously agreed to sell the platform to Musk for $44bn on Monday, but the deal still requires the approval of shareholders, the social media giant said in a statement.

“I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter,” Mr. Musk tweeted Monday, “because that is what free speech means.”

The free speech argument has been the pillar of Musk’s pursuit of the social media giant. In an era when social media companies like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, have been working to reign in controversial content and items deemed hateful and offensive, Musk feels that such censorship has gone too far.

In a March tweet, Musk observed:

“Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy.”

With a plan to revert Twitter from a publicly-traded to privately held company, Musk will likely face less government regulation and oversight for the platform, allowing him to move closer to his free speech goals. Such attempts on other platforms have failed before. Allowing un-policed content will assuredly bring out the worst-of-the-worst in terms of user-generated content. Soon-after rules begin to be set and the cycle begins again.

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