As the Elon Musk—Twitter story unfolds before our eyes, it is impossible, for those of us who lean heavily on the little blue bird, not to take sides. On one hand, the arguments of those against Musk’s eventual purchase, seem somewhat solid on paper: should one single individual own social media? How volatile and erratic would Elon’s decisions be if he got away with his intentions?
However, as it’s usually the case, reality is more complex and richer than that. Truth be told, billionaires already own media —who’s going to own it, otherwise? The state?— and that hasn’t necessarily led to massive, indiscriminate censorship and cancellation, as some suggest. Actually, the latter —which, sadly, does occur— often comes from those who claim to defend free speech.
On today’s Twitter, a bunch of strangers, all members of the board, capriciously decide whose voice is to be heard and whose isn’t. How is that fair? How is that less threatening than Elon’s potential picks?
I don’t know if Elon Musk will make of Twitter a better place, and in all honesty, neither do you. I do believe in his intentions, and he does have a point: Twitter behaves like a prick. Nevertheless, as jeopardizing as this move might look for some, it is frankly insane to imply that Musk will single-handedly bring freedom of speech to ashes. If anything, a lot of people you hated —and you’ve forgotten about— will be back on the platform. But hey, some people hate you as well, right?
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This article originally appeared in El American’s newsletter on April 16, 2022. Subscribe for free here!