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The Associated Press published a lengthy critique of Elon Musk suggesting his online spats with critics contradicts his free speech aspirations for Twitter.
In a piece titled “Elon Musk, an erratic visionary, revels in contradiction,” the AP claimed Musk’s multi billion-dollar gambit to take over the social media giant shows he “thrives on contradiction.”
“Musk boasts that he’s acquiring Twitter to defend freedom of speech. But he has long used the platform to attack perceived foes who dare to disagree with him,” the AP wrote on Wednesday. “He is supremely confident in his own judgment and abilities. But he has openly acknowledged vulnerabilities, disclosing his angst over a breakup in a 2017 interview with Rolling Stone and telling a Saturday Night Live audience last year that he was the show’s first host with Asperger’s syndrome.”
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“He’s a brilliant visionary, widely admired for reimagining what a car can be, not to mention his ventures in rocket travel, solar energy, computerized brain implants and constructing a network of underground tunnels. But his apparent joy in trashing the conventions of corporate behavior has alienated analysts, regulators, employees and others unsure what to make of him,” the report continued.
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(Photo by Britta Pedersen-Pool/Getty Images)
The AP shared the article on Twitter and tweeted the excerpt, “Elon Musk boasts that he’s acquiring Twitter to defend freedom of speech. But he has long used the platform to attack those who disagree with him.”
That sparked mockery among critics.
“So he both defends and exercises his freedom? That’s messed up,” Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon reacted.
“The Associated Press doesn’t appear to understand the difference between criticism and censorship,” comedian Andrew Doyle tweeted.
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“If you ever think it seems corporate media don’t understand basic and foundational American concepts such as freedom of speech, here is evidence that they have no idea whatsoever,” The Federalist editor-in-chief and Fox News contributor Mollie Hemingway wrote.
“Hey @AP — that’s exactly what free speech is,” attorney Harmeet Dhillon told the AP.
“Lmao journos don’t think people should have the right to disagree with them. Incredible,” Ruthless podcast co-host Comfortably Smug tweeted.
“That’s literally @elonmusk exercising his right to freedom of speech..” Fox Nation host Piers Morgan wrote.
“Lots of people seem to be unfamiliar with the concept of ‘free speech,’ New York Magazine writer Jonathan Chait observed.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk. REUTERS/Joe Skipper and file photo of the Twitter app icon.
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File/REUTERS/Joe Skipper)
The media has launched an all-out war against Musk ever since he announced he had become Twitter’s largest shareholder, which paved the way for him to buy the platform outright.
Liberals fretted at the idea that Twitter abide by free speech principles, as Musk has openly advocated for, blasting the company’s actions suppressing the New York Post’s report about Hunter Biden’s laptop during the 2020 presidential election.
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Musk also made clear that he intends to reinstate former President Trump’s Twitter account after he was banned following the events of Jan. 6.
“I do think that it was not correct to ban Donald Trump. I think that was a mistake because it alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice,” Musk said Tuesday. “I would reverse the permaban… I think permabans just fundamentally undermine trust in Twitter as a town square where everyone can voice their opinion.”
“It was a morally bad decision, to be clear, and foolish in the extreme,” he added.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks during the unveiling of the new Tesla Model Y in Hawthorne, California on March 14, 2019. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP via Getty Images)
(FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
The ACLU announced it supports Musk’s decision to reverse Trump’s permanent ban.
“You’d be hard-pressed to find a more steadfast opponent of Trump and his policies than the ACLU, but Elon Musk’s decision to re-platform President Trump is the right call,” ACLU executive director Anthony D. Romero wrote in a press release on Tuesday. “When a handful of individuals possess so much power over the most important forums for political speech, they should exercise that power with restraint. If Trump violates the platform rules again, Twitter should first employ lesser penalties like removing the offending post — rather than banning a political figure.”
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“Like it or not, President Trump is one of the most important political figures in this country, and the public has a strong interest in hearing his speech. Indeed, some of Trump’s most offensive tweets ended up being critical evidence in lawsuits filed against him and his administration. And we should know — we filed over 400 legal actions against him,” Romero added.