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FLOWERS: Musk’s Twitter Stock Stake Brings Hope Censorship Will End

“Elon’s coming, You can tweet, girl

Elon’s coming, You can tweet, girl

Girl, Elon’s a coming no need to hide

Girl, Elon’s a coming no need to hide

Girl, Elon’s coming, Trump might tweet too…”

I’ve been singing this to the tune of “Eli’s Coming” by Three Dog Night ever since I heard the Tesla founder just bought a sizeable stake in Twitter. It’s not that I think things are going to change overnight, or that President Donald Trump will be gracing us anytime soon with midnight commentaries from the golden bidet.

However, the fact that an accomplished capitalist has decided to look in the face of censorship–and call it what it is–fills me with a hope I haven’t felt since the initial days of the Black Lives Matter riots. I suppose I should call them protests, because “riot” was one of the words that used to get you banned from social media platforms back when Orwell was just an old, dead White guy with no current relevance.

But, Elon’s coming, and with him the possibility that people will actually be able to express themselves without fear of using the wrong word, an improvident letter, an offensive pronoun. Musk may not be the sort of change agent we need in these censored times, but he’s a start.

The thing that seemed to push him over the edge into action was Twitter’s decision to suspend the satirical site, Babylon Bee, because it had the audacity to point out the fact that Rachel Levine is a biological male. Yes, she is a trans woman who spent the vast majority of her life as a man. Yes, she was praised by USA Today as one of its “Women of the Year,” (Unlike Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the newspaper can at least propose one definition of the term.) And yes, it’s not nice to make fun of people.

But, um, that’s what satire is, and really good satire can sting. The Babylon Bee has an exquisite sting (hence the name), and there are many of us who need our daily dose of what I like to call “uncommon nonsense” from some of the best writers in the business. Its sharp, perceptive, sometimes cruel but always entertaining, and intelligent commentary is water in the ideological desert, at least for thirsty conservatives.

Twitter, however, wasn’t amused. When Elon Musk saw this technological megalith was selectively silencing people who violated the accepted standards of woke virtue and secular sacrament, he did what any good entrepreneur would do: he bought himself some power. I love the fact that, in this case, money really did talk. Or rather, tweet.

Of course, progressives are apoplectic. They started out pretending that it was no big deal and that Musk’s share of the company wouldn’t change its direction. Then, when he was asked to sit on the board, they started talking about how Twitter wasn’t a governmental entity and the constitutional principles that they usually venerate (choice, equality, fairness) didn’t apply to the marketplace of ideas.

Fortunately for them, Elon has, at least temporarily, decided that he won’t join the board. This might be because he would have been limited to only a 14.9 percent stake in the company as a board member, and could exercise greater financial control if he wasn’t on the board.

Regardless, his decision not to assume an official leadership position hasn’t stopped the apoplexy.

The thing that these triggered Twittorwellians don’t understand is that the marketplace is not just composed of government actors.  If a private company reaches such mammoth dimensions that it essentially “becomes” the marketplace. It is a quasi-governmental entity, and I think that Justices Brandeis and Holmes would agree that the First Amendment has at least some relevance.

Watching progressives sweat is both a delight and an inspiration. I don’t have the billions that Elon Musk does, but I think I will start using my own limited wallet to make my voice heard. I’ll cancel my subscription to WHYY because it no longer welcomes conservative voices. I already canceled my subscription to Disney Plus because of its support for inappropriate content for toddlers. The Inquirer, which seems to think White people killed Christ and did a lot of other things to destroy the universe, is now lining my lizard’s cage. Elon is an inspiration.

But beyond the money, it’s good to see a public figure step up and defend speech, all speech, regardless of content, against the ideological Stalinists. And it’s really great to know that Elon’s coming, and we don’t need to hide our tweets, anymore.

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HUTTON: When Will Twitter Delete Putin’s Accounts?

U.S.-based Twitter (and a host of other social media platforms) deleted accounts months ago of former President Donald Trump simply because they did not like his politics. The site is owned by a commercial company and its owners exercised their right to censor speech.

Trump did not order the killing of innocent civilians or an invasion of Canada or Mexico. The leaders of Twitter just did not agree with his speech.

Twitter has not taken a similar approach toward Russia’s leader even as that nation, while aggressively attacking Ukraine, feeds a steady dose of propaganda about Ukraine on its various Twitter accounts.

The big tech company is apparently not offended by a tyrant who has started an aggressive war based simply on his megalomania.

As of March 2, and as civilians are being slaughtered by Putin’s forces, Twitter’s official page for Russian President Vladimir Putin is fully operational with 1.5 million followers.

One tweet is a seemingly inoffensive posting.

“Vladimir Putin discussed the special military operation to protect Donbass with Prime Minister of Israel Naftali Bennett…”

There are also links (which I advise against trying to access) to readouts of phone calls to various world leaders and photos of Putin sitting very close to Russian politicians. He does not sit at the giant table as he does with foreign visitors and his own generals.

Of course, since the whole world knows what’s happening it certainly is offensive. Nobody really believes Putin is protecting anyone. But this one passes through Twitter’s censors unimpeded.

On the Russian embassy account in the U.S., there are propaganda messages that are demonstrably bogus and other retweets including one from the Chinese embassy in the U.S. blaming the U.S. most of the world’s wars. (Of course, they were careful to leave off World War II, the war in which the intervention of the U.S. saved both Russia and the Chinese).

Want to read about Russia’s statement recognizing the so-called “independence of Donetsk and Lugansk,” both of which happen to be in the sovereign nation of Ukraine? Just click on the official “Russia and NATO” page.  There’s plenty of more propaganda there for you to view as well. Still, not banned by Twitter.

If an international flavor is for you, click on the Russian embassy account in the UK. On this page you will be fed a dose of anti-Ukrainian falsehoods and even a tweet condemning a “media censorship (presumably from the west) on an unprecedented scale.” Yes, Russia is suddenly a pro-free speech country.

On the same page, you will learn from Russian foreign minister, Sergeĭ Viktorovich Lavrov, that “it is the policy of the Washington-led ‘collective west’ which is to blame for the fact that the Kiev (Russian spelling) regime has been at war with its own people since 2014.”

Never mind that 2014 was the year Russia last invaded Ukraine, installed puppets in the eastern part of Ukraine. and stole Crimea.

On the Russian Mission in Geneva page, you can read of how Russia wants you to know “neo-Nazism, nationalism, and hatred towards Russia (represented by a Russian flag emoji) was forced on the Ukrainian society and eventually led to the #DonbassTragedy.”

The Russian embassy in Australia asks that you kindly “communicate in a decent manner. In accordance with our moderation policy (the) embassy reserves the right to remove any derogatory or obscene content…” Presumably they could be offended.

Yet, the page contains graphic postings related to alleged “war crimes” by Ukraine and is replete with much of the same propaganda appearing on other Russian official Twitter accounts.

On Russia’s United Nations account, there is a mention of “10 years” of “aggression” by Ukraine, and denunciations of Ukraine’s “violation of fundamental rights of people in eastern Ukraine.”

One striking tweet denounces Ukrainian actions about keeping women and children from being safely evacuated.

“(Ukraine) Armed Forced (sic) do not let civilians out of #Mariupol, keeping them, including women and children, in one of local schools. They force back all those who try to leave the city via the established #humanitarian corridors.”

The question for the Twitter censors who find offenses everywhere is will a threshold be met when they are sufficiently offended and moved to eliminate these propaganda bulletin boards or at least label horribly false or misleading postings?

Twitter chose its method of handling those whose free speech they do not agree with by deleting them. When will Russia feel this pain?

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Senate Candidate Dr. Oz Decries Facebook Censorship

Dr. Oz is off Facebook, and he says it’s censorship.

Even before Facebook and Twitter nuked former President Donald Trump’s accounts, there were instances of Big Tech censoring conservatives, Republicans, and right-leaning media outlets.

A case in point is the New York Post’s bombshell report about Hunter Biden’s salacious laptop, which was suppressed by Twitter before the Nov. 2020 presidential election. Later, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey admitted the social media company should not have censored that article, but the damage was done. Facebook also put restrictions on the news article, whose accuracy has never been challenged or disproven.

Now, as celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz enters the 2022 Republican race for the Pennsylvania Senate seat being vacated by GOP Sen. Pat Toomey, he is accusing Facebook of returning to its old tricks.

“I just got some disturbing news,” Oz said in a press release on Tuesday. “Facebook has restricted my account – and is not letting me advertise to you. It could hurt the momentum that we’ve been building with this campaign. Now, we’ve asked them what’s going on and they say they’re looking into it, but it’s been more than 24 hours. I need to get my conservative messages out. They matter.

“I don’t want big tech putting their thumb on the scale to shift the balance of power here,” said Oz. “You need to learn about strong families and how to protect your individual freedoms. We’re not going to be canceled. We won’t be censored. We won’t be shut down.”

Oz spokeesman Casey Contres said, “Big Tech and the political establishment are trying to stop Dr. Oz’s campaign to empower Pennsylvanians, but it is not going to work. We are seeing incredible energy and enthusiasm at every stop and that will only continue to grow.”

Oz, a cardiothoracic surgeon and star of the television show, “Dr. Oz,” has entered a crowded field. It includes Republicans Montgomery County businessman Jeff Bartos, author and television commentator Kathy Barnette, Sean Gale, a Montgomery County lawyer, and Carla Sands, who served as ambassador to Denmark for President Trump. Democrats include doctors Val Arkoosh, chair of the Montgomery County commissioners, and Kevin Baumlin, a Philadelphia ER doctor; U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb; Lt. Gov. John Fetterman; and state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D-Philadelphia).

Libertarian Erik Gerhardt is also a candidate.

Facebook, meanwhile, did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding Oz’s complaint.

 

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