Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s Twitter purchase yesterday has sent shockwaves throughout the world, with questions still lingering over how Musk might twist the social media platform and company in his image.
Though Musk is more in line with an “utopian anarchist” (re: libertarian) philosophy, he has previously both caught flak and gained support from politicians on both sides of the aisle for various statements and projects. However, his $44 billion purchase of Twitter has many Republicans rallying and Democrats grinding their teeth over the idea of Musk promoting “free speech” on the platform. The Tesla CEO has called the platform “the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.”
Many right wing figureheads and politicos have previously complained of silencing, suspensions, and bans for breaking Twitter’s terms of service over hate speech and misinformation. More than that, active conspiracy theorists are celebrating the buy, hoping they might be reinstated onto the platform.
But while the few Democrats to speak publicly about the purchase have focused on fears of more misinformation being spread on the platform, Republicans who have previously run afoul of Twitter’s (rather lax) rules about misinformation and hate speech were jumping up and down at the thought of being able to post whatever they want without being hamstrung by any private censors.