Nearly two years ago Twitter suspended Donald Trump’s account due to his reckless and relentless lies about election fraud. Twitter imposed the ban on January 8th, two days after Trump’s deadly insurrection on Capitol Hill, saying that “we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.” Now Elon Musk has personally intervened to restore the account.
Musk has contradicted his prior promise not to restore Trump, or anyone else, until after his “content moderation council” (whatever that is) met. But this reversal is wrong for many reason: 1) It’s pitifully ignorant. 2) It’s predictably dangerous. And 3) It’s flagrantly hypocritical. Let’s drill down into each of these reasons…
Musk tweeted that Trump’s account would be restored because “The people have spoken.” He was referring to a poll that he previously posted asking whether the account should be reinstated. The results were pretty close, with “Yes” besting “No” 51.8% to 48.2%. However, it is extraordinarily idiotic to take such a poll seriously. For one thing, Musk knows that the votes could be rampant with bots.
In addition to that, it isn’t a scientifically valid survey with a representative sampling of either Americans or Twitter users. It is merely the opinion of people who happened to come across Musk’s tweet and chose to click on a response. And with only 15 million votes, it isn’t even a representative sample of Musk’s 117 million followers. If Barack Obama (who has 5 times the followers of Musk) posted the same poll, you would have a completely different outcome. So for Musk to revive Trump’s account on the basis of this poll proves that he doesn’t have even the most basic grasp of what it means in reality when “the people have spoken.”
When Twitter suspended Trump’s account, they did so in recognition of the imminent threat that his tweets posed to the country and the American people. He was openly and repeatedly inciting violence and encouraging the hostile tendencies of his cult followers. His toxic rhetoric contributed to the anti-American riots on Capitol Hill on January 6th that resulted in more than 140 law enforcement officers being injured.
Trump’s advocacy of such violence continued on other platforms after he was booted from Twitter. Apparently Musk believes that fomenting violence is acceptable free speech and protected by the Constitution. It isn’t. And given Trump’s predilection for sedition and bigotry, Musk clearly doesn’t care who gets hurt.
Musk pretends that his intention is to bring free speech back to the masses by relaxing the moderation policies of Twitter. However, it’s notable that the only accounts Musk has seen fit to restore are those of well known politicians, celebrities, and others in the elite class. He is demonstrating that his true intent is to pander to wealthy right-wingers, like himself. So while he reinstates only privileged conservatives like Trump (and Kanye West, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Babylon Bee, Jordan Peterson, Andrew Tate, and James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas), the accounts of all the non-aristocrats remain shuttered. That’s hardly a restoration of free speech for the masses.
[Full Disclosure: News Corpse is one of the banned commoners. And another appeal to be reinstated was denied just prior to this article being published]
Adding more soap to this opera, is the fact that Trump has stated repeatedly that he would not return to Twitter even if his account were restored. Earlier this year Trump told Fox News that “I am not going on Twitter, I am going to stay on TRUTH.” That’s his shorthand for his own floundering Twitter ripoff, Truth Social. He reiterated his rejection of Twitter as recently as yesterday in post wherein he linked to Musk’s poll and said “don’t worry, we aren’t going anywhere. Truth Social is special!”
Trump’s animosity toward Twitter is complex and extends way beyond his stated reluctance to rejoin the platform. That’s partly because he has an obligation to promote Truth Social. Although it’s hard to imagine that Trump wouldn’t jump back into the Twitterverse where he had 80 million followers. He has only about four million on Truth Social. His ego would compel him to reconcile, despite having previously raged that “Twitter is a disgrace to democracy. They shouldn’t be allowed to do business in this Country.” And he has sued Twitter, albeit without any legal basis or coherent allegation to support his case. Which is why it was so quickly thrown out of court.
- Trump Orders His Cult To ‘Drop Off of Twitter’ and Calls For It To Be Outlawed
- Judge Dismisses Trump’s Loopy Lawsuit Against Twitter for ‘Failure to Plausibly State a Claim’
This is the guy that Musk is going out of his way to suck up to. Perhaps it’s because Musk is so badly managing Twitter that he is desperate for the (intensely negative) attention that Trump would produce. Since his acquisition of Twitter a couple of weeks ago, Musk has fired half its staff. Hundreds more have resigned. Advertisers are fleeing in droves. Hate speech has skyrocketed. And the operation is struggling just keep from falling of its own weight.
Meanwhile, Musk has been posting some bizarre and offensive tweets, including one that promoted a callous conspiracy theory about the attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband. So, good work, Elon. You’re doing a great job of proving how superior you upper-crusters are to the rest of us.
And check out my books on Amazon:
Thanks so much for your support.