Flat White

The Left won’t leave Twitter

2 May 2022

9:00 AM

2 May 2022

9:00 AM

Unless you have been living under a rock, you will have heard the exciting news that Twitter has finally come to an agreement with Elon Musk. Twitter will be sold, and the price is nothing to be sneezed at – a whopping $54.20 a share or $43 billion US total (about $60.1 billion Australian). While the price may be incredibly large for a social media company, the reaction from the Left has been priceless. 

Before the deal was struck, there was a constant back and forth between Musk and Twitter. Musk had seen a problem – the imposition of digital giants on free speech – and sought to solve it. He was running polls and publishing tweets that clearly demonstrated he wanted to bring change to the company. He then bought 9.4 per cent of the company’s shares, becoming the largest shareholder, hoping this would ensure he could start influencing change on the platform. 

In retaliation, the board set a trap for Musk by inviting him to join, which would have restricted the percentage of shares he could purchase in the company to around 15 per cent. Musk strategically rejected the board seat and attempted a hostile takeover. Twitter’s board, clearly not caring about its fiduciary interest to shareholders, threatened a ‘poison pill’ approach to scare their potential buyer off. 

Elon Musk was not deterred. A week or so later, after amassing resources to buy the company at a premium, he filed his official offer which was soon accepted by the board.

Cue the outrage from the Left.

For some time prior to the purchase, there had been growing concerns from left-leaning personalities on Twitter and ‘journalists’ about Elon Musk buying what is arguably their favourite platform for spreading fringe ideologies without fear of censorship while their conservative opponents remain under the boot of Big Tech oligarchs. For weeks they ranted on about how Musk’s purchase would be ‘dangerous’ to certain groups and individuals because it would allow the spreading of hate and misinformation online (something the Left currently do without fear).

After it was announced that Elon had been successful in his bid for the company, the shrills of disdain from the Left grew louder. Under Elon, Twitter could become a real platform instead of a publisher with an editorial line – a terrifying prospect for leftwing Twitter users who declared they would be absconding. ‘Leaving Twitter’ began to trend. The hashtag was full of unhinged liberal wets who could not handle a man at the helm who cares about free speech. It was a rejection of the free marketplace of ideas. 

You would have thought the Left, who constantly preach diversity and tolerance, would have been thrilled that a South-African-American had just bought Twitter. Apparently not…

Here’s the rub – barely anyone announcing that they are ‘leaving Twitter’ will do it. ‘I’m leaving Twitter because that evil free-speech loving [insert woke insult here] Elon Musk bought it!’ is 2022’s ‘I’m moving to Canada because Trump won the election!’ I doubt many, if any, of those who threatened to leave America over the 2016 election actually did. The same scenario will play out on Twitter.

Why am I so sure?

Because if there is one thing we should have learned about the Left by now, it is that they cannot resist expressing their outrage. They are addicted to it. They have been doing it on Twitter for years, and just because someone they do not like bought the platform does not mean they are going to stop, and they certainly won’t stop making rage-filled false declarations of an exodus. It fits their modus operandi perfectly.

That is not to say that some will not follow through. There will be a few who decide to quit for fear of a free speech absolutist controlling their beloved platform. Woke actress Jameela Jamil saw herself out soon after Elon’s bid was accepted. Shaun King, bless him, tweeted an absolutely insane take on how Elon’s acquisition of Twitter was due to white supremacy:

‘At its root, Elon Musk wanting to purchase Twitter is not about left vs right. It’s about white power. The man was raised in Apartheid by a white nationalist. He’s upset that Twitter won’t allow white nationalists to target/harass people. That’s his definition of free speech.’

Not long after, he closed his account. Barely twenty-four hours later he was back tweeting even more nonsense. See? They cannot resist it.

There were also several leftwing accounts complaining about losing followers, while accounts that had previously been subject to censorship and shadow-banning suddenly gained a lot more. It is unlikely this is coincidental. There is a far greater chance that it had something to do with Twitter changing or hiding certain algorithms that were suppressing accounts. Those who lost followers were probably being followed by a number of bots.

Although the changeover is going to take around six months, there is already a noticeable culture shift on Twitter. Conservatives who had been taking caution with their tweets so as to remain on the platform are now tweeting more courageously, emboldened to tweet the truth in the knowledge that a free speech absolutist is taking over the company. A notable example of this was BlazeTV host Sara Gonzales, who began tweeting one sentence facts that would usually result in a stint in Twitter jail at the very least (seriously, go check it out, it’s great). And while the Right have found hope, the Left despair. Or rather, they rage. The great thing about free speech is they will be able to keep doing that without fear of censorship.

And it’s not all bad for the Left, given the Biden administration have now created a Ministry of Truth, what they’re calling a ‘Disinformation Governance Board’, to police speech and information. It’s something straight out of 1984, a tactic that has been employed by numerous oppressive governments, including the Hitler regime, where such a ministry was headed by none other than Joseph Goebbels.

This is why we need more people like Elon Musk in the world, and less government.

When Elon Musk’s offer was accepted, he tweeted something very apt. It read:

‘I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means.’

Elon does not care if you like him or not. You will be free to speak your mind on Twitter regardless of your standing. That is the beauty of free speech. There is no shadow-banning, no censorship of views deemed by certain tech oligarchs as ‘hate speech’ or ‘misinformation’. It is, in the purest sense of the word, free.

Like Elon, I hope that those with opposing views to my own will remain on the platform even after the takeover is complete. I know it is tempting to urge them to follow through on their threats to leave, but we must be wary of turning Twitter into an echo chamber. Instead of encouraging our detractors to leave, we should encourage them to stay and debate issues in the free marketplace of ideas. Because that is what Twitter should be.

 Joel Agius is an independent writer. If you would like to read more of his work, you can do so at JJ’s Outlook or check out his new podcast The Agius Hour.

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