Elon Musk’s Twitter purchase has thrust the social media censorship debate squarely into the limelight, triggering the left and elating the right. Celebrities and the liberal media were quick to denounce Musk’s stance on free speech (which is odd, given that those on the left were the advocates of the First Amendment just a decade ago) and some deleted their Twitter accounts. Conservatives, meanwhile, and anyone who cares about free speech, immediately raised the eccentric billionaire to superhero status. Almost overnight, he went from ‘cool rich guy who values free market capitalism’ to savior of the First Amendment. And maybe he will be. But let’s take a moment to zoom out on the bigger picture. Twitter is not Musk’s only darling, and maybe we’re placing too much of a burden on one man.
Understandably, without Donald Trump in the White House, regular middle-class Americans long for a hero to disrupt the leftist elite empire. Someone influential, powerful, and brave and who will actually take substantive action is like a godsend to us. And at least on the surface, it appears Elon Musk could fill that role. He’s straight forward, seems genuine, and thus far, capable of dealing with the backlash from his enemies. However, Musk is, first and foremost, a businessman who loves building things and creating. When most of us were still playing with blocks, he was already writing code. It remains unclear how he’s going to like playing politics in the long term, and social media is inevitably political. While that’s not entirely new to the prolific tweeter, politics isn’t his usual territory.
The billionaire has already walked back his “free speech absolutist” comments, explaining that what he really meant was free speech that adheres to the law. Fair enough, but the tweet came across as making him seem a bit less steady on his feet. And he will have to be plenty steady, because he’s going to need the proverbial fighting skills of Mike Tyson to handle what’s coming next under the Biden regime. After all, the Democrats have made it clear that they want to control all information to Orwellian extremes. Is Elon ready for that? And even if he is, there’s really only so much he can do with Twitter. It may be a private company, but private companies are subject to government regulations. The founder of multiple multi-billion-dollar companies, he knows this better than anyone and is no stranger to working with the US government and even seeking its help.