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Twitter is not suitable for this. It’s the Wild West run by bright youngsters with too much power

LAST month, when he started buying Twitter, Elon Musk said something very revealing.

Since Twitter Effectively serves as a “public plaza,” he said, “failing to uphold the principles of free speech fundamentally undermines democracy.”

Last month, before buying Twitter, Elon Musk said:

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Last month, before buying Twitter, Elon Musk said: “Failure to respect the principles of free speech fundamentally undermines democracy.”Photo credit: AFP
We may not like that, but the platform he just bought for $44 billion has become the global marketplace where reputations are built and destroyed

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We may not like that, but the platform he just bought for $44 billion has become the global marketplace where reputations are built and destroyedCredit: PA

He was absolutely right. We may not like the fact, but we like the platform for it musk Just bought for $44 billion (£35bn) has become the global leader. Political and cultural issues are fiercely fought there. Reputations are made and destroyed.

The founders of Twitter may not have expected this, but over the past decade it has become so.

donald trump blazed his way into the presidency by using Twitter to speak directly to the public. But Twitter was starting to worry about it. While everyone was walking around, it started patrolling the town square. At first without telling anyone.

It began by “shadow banning” people, meaning that user accounts were effectively muted, allowing them to speak into the void while thinking they had a voice. Twitter denied this, then denied it again, then accepted it and made it one of its terms of service. It was even scarier when people started to disappear from the platform.

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It started with some ugly flamethrower guys on the far right that nobody missed much. But then Twitter’s definition of “extreme” seemed to get closer and closer to the political center.

It started banning perfectly sane voices on the right. This year, accounts have been banned or deleted altogether if users didn’t refer to an American swimmer who dates girls and still has his meat and two veggies as “she.” Not only was the town square suddenly under very heavy surveillance, it was being surveilled with the craziest rules imaginable. With no right to appeal for someone who had been removed.

Even the President of the United States, the man who helped make Twitter what it was, eventually had his account removed. Donald J. Trump has since been oddly silenced. Quite a thing for a tech platform to do to an ex-president.

No wonder Pier Morgan‘s interview with him for TalkTV caused quite a stir. But it was the hypocrisy that irked the most. While Trump and various other rights have been kicked off Twitter, look at the people who have been allowed to stay there.

Many Islamist terrorist groups still have accounts. A few years ago, I pointed out to the company that it was still providing a platform to the group that carried out the Mumbai massacre. It took years for the company to dismantle it.

But look who’s still there. A former US President may not be admitted, but Iran’s Supreme Leader has a Twitter account. As did the former President of Iran, who called for the annihilation of Israel. Why should the ayatollahs have a platform but an account like the hilarious satirical site Babylon Bee is banned?

The same applies to the Kremlin. Russians are still allowed to spread state propaganda via Twitter.

Just last month, the company even vaguely acknowledged this fact, posting some “warnings” to certain Kremlin accounts.

Too much power

The most charitable thing to say about Twitter is that it was never meant to be here. It was getting too much power too quickly and didn’t know how to deal with it.

The less charitable view (which is mine, by the way) is that it’s not fit for purpose.

And that’s partly because Twitter is being monitored by woke 20-somethings who have more power than they should have and less brains than they realize.

So Musk’s acquisition of the company is an extremely good thing. Musk is eccentric. He’s brilliant too.

Crucially, since purchasing the company, he has demonstrated yet again that he understands the importance of free speech and the need for an open public.

Immediately after buying the platform, he said he hoped his critics would stay there, because that’s what free speech is about.

Freedom of expression is the basis of a functioning democracy.

Elon Musk

And he added: “Freedom of expression is the foundation of a functioning democracy.”

He’s absolutely right. But of course this caused a meltdown for some.

The radical left is currently launching hysterical attacks on Musk before he has even done anything.

They act like Twitter is now becoming an “unsafe place” for minorities.

However, ask any of the women active on Twitter, like JK Rowling, if the platform has felt like a completely “safe space” to them so far.

Twitter isn’t just the public space. It’s also the Wild West. A noisy, argumentative, sometimes fighting place.

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There are things that can be done to improve that. But basically, if you don’t like the city, then don’t enter the saloon. As simple as that.

  • Douglas Murray’s new book The War On The West (HarperCollins) is available now, £20.
Twitter isn't just the public square, it's also the Wild West. A noisy, argumentative, sometimes rowdy place, writes Douglas Murray

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Twitter isn’t just the public square, it’s also the Wild West. A noisy, argumentative, sometimes rowdy place, writes Douglas Murray

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/18384052/twitter-not-fit-for-purpose-woke-elon-musk/ Twitter is not suitable for this. It’s the Wild West run by bright youngsters with too much power

Bobby Allyn

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