With billionaire Elon Musk working through the process of buying Twitter, many are concerned about what the self-proclaimed free speech advocate’s approach could mean for safety on the platform. Among those apparently worried is Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who posted on Twitter: “Tired of having to collectively stress about what explosion of hate crimes is happening [because] some billionaire with an ego problem unilaterally controls a massive communication platform and skews it because Tucker Carlson or Peter Thiel took him to dinner and made him feel special.” Musk, an avid user of the platform, mockingly responded: “Stop hitting on me, I’m really shy.” Ocasio-Cortez shot back: “I was talking about Zuckerberg but ok.” See an image of the interaction below:
— Linette Lopez (@lopezlinette) April 30, 2022
Musk, generally speaking, doesn’t seem to know what he’s talking about. In recent Twitter posts, he said: “The far left hates everyone, themselves included!.. But I’m no fan of the far right either. Let’s have less hate and more love.” If only it was that simple. “Cancel culture” is commonly attributed to interests Musk could be assumed to have had in mind when referring to the far left, but right-wingers also regularly engage in so-called cancellation, which means going after opponents with the eventual result of getting them penalized in some substantive fashion. Characterizing far-left individuals with a broad brush along these lines is ridiculous. What about wanting to expand access to health care? Is that “hateful”? What about wanting the rich to pay more in taxes? Is that “hateful”?
For Twitter to deserve public trust, it must be politically neutral, which effectively means upsetting the far right and the far left equally
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 27, 2022
In another recent post, Musk shared a meme depicting individuals at various positions on a political spectrum demonstrating opinions from the Right to the Left. The image included examples from 2008, 2012, and 2021, and as time went on, the individual depicted as further to the Left got dramatically further away while the person closer to the middle and the one on the Right stayed right in place. The idea is that it’s left-wingers who have driven the political polarization that defines so much of the current political landscape. But the Democrat who was elected vice president in 2008 is now the president, and Democratic agenda items — like expanding health care access and supporting the advancement of personal rights — remain broadly in place. Meanwhile, Republicans have progressed to the point of the then-president’s supporters storming the U.S. Capitol, after which point numerous Republican leaders found it evidently difficult to conclusively distance themselves from the man whose actions incited violence. Senate Democrats are contemplating summoning Musk for testimony about his plans for Twitter.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 28, 2022