‘THE BIRD IS FREED’: Free speech takes flight as Elon Musk reportedly looking at reversing bans

by Summer Lane

Photo: Alamy

Innovative Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk officially closed his deal with Twitter on Thursday following months of legal skirmishing regarding the number of spam accounts and bots on the platform. Musk aptly marked the occasion on the social media platform with a simple tweet: “The bird is freed.”

After almost two years of intense censorship policies on the heels of Twitter’s decision to permanently ban President Donald Trump from the platform in early 2021, the tides seem to be turning for proponents of free speech.

According to an article from Bloomberg, Musk took complete control on Thursday, reportedly firing all the senior management, including CEO Parag Agrawal, Head of Legal, Policy and Trust Vijaya Gadde, Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal, and Sean Edgett, General Counsel.

Bloomberg also reported that Musk is reportedly set to reverse all lifetime bans on the Twitter platform in a move that marks a massive victory for First Amendment rights in the U.S. in the context of social media use.

“Let the good times roll,” Musk posted on Twitter on Friday morning.

Musk’s move to neutralize Twitter as a free speech platform comes just before the 2022 midterm election season. Many conservative pundits and talking heads are hopeful that the dissemination of information will no longer be shadow banned, suppressed, or outright censored.

Turning Point USA President Charlie Kirk tested censorship on Friday by making “controversial” statements.

On Friday morning, it appeared that previously suspended accounts belonging to users like Kanye West and The Babylon Bee had already been restored. However, they were not yet actively in use by the banned users.

Musk further issued an official statement ahead of his Twitter takeover, clarifying his vision for the platform:

“The reason I acquired Twitter is because it is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence….In the relentless pursuit of clicks, much of traditional media has fueled and catered those polarized extremes, as they believe that is what brings in the money, but, in doing so, the opportunity for dialogue is lost.”

Conservative commentator and Editor Emeritus of The Daily Wire, Ben Shapiro, remarked on the shift, “By simply claiming victimhood, the Left leveraged social media into restricting the flow of information.” He added, “Then came @elonmusk.”

It remains to be seen just how rapidly Twitter will change after this week’s massive leadership shift at the social media giant’s headquarters, but free speech supporters are hopeful that may signal the beginning of a new, better era of digital communication.

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