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Anti-Censorship Purist Elon Musk Censoring Journos Who Report on Elon Musk is a Bold Move, Indeed

Dimitrios Kambouris. Getty Images.

For a more nuanced perspective on this story, here's Tyler Morin's from earlier today. But I'm too far down the rabbit hole on his story to scramble out now.

All year long, I have taken a back seat to no one when it's come to the desire to see Elon Musk buy Twitter. From his own very first suggestion he was considering it to the day he walked into HQ carrying a bathroom sink for some reason, I was all in. 

First, because I want it to be what he promised, which is a platform for the free and unfettered exchange of ideas and information, with no guard rails. Encumbered only by the actual laws on the books. Direct threats, harming minors, revenge porn, and so on. 

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Second, because I assumed Twitter would be wildly more entertaining under Elon than it was under previous management. People freer to speak their minds, sound off, insult each other, make inappropriate jokes. Just a return to the Wild West that it was when it started and before the people in charge decided they needed to Hall Monitor us all. 

That first thing I was hoping for seemed to be on the right track when Musk re-platformed some accounts that had been banned earlier, and started releasing inside information about how the company was being run that had been kept hidden from the public as well as him:

But then, the banning of high profile accounts started. Overseen by Musk, personally. He announced Alex Jones wouldn't be allowed back on since he claimed Sandy Hook was a false flag operation and grieving parents were "crisis actors." Next Kanye West, for being an anti-Semitic, Hitler-admiring loon. But then totally obscure accounts, like the one tracking the movements of his jet:

Despite the fact it's public information, available to anyone. But according to Musk, a deranged crackpot jumped in front of a car carrying Musk's son thinking he was in there, precipitating the ban. 

Fair or unfair, you're not going to get too many of us choosing to die on the hill of protecting the rights of a guy who said parents faked their children's heinous murders, Nazi sympathizers, or a completely unnecessary account that a concerned dad felt put his child in danger. 

But now that Musk has started suspending the very journos who cover him?

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Well that second thing I was hoping for has come true. Very, very much so. Because depending on which side of the political divide you're on or where you get your news from, this move is either an existential threat to our democracy or it serves those Commies libtards right:

And Musk is doing what $44 billion of his own money and complete control over the empire up whose thrown he sits gives him the absolute authority to do. Not give an inch of ground:

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Despite overwhelming public support for him standing down. "Unsuspend accounts Now" currently has 58.5% of the votes.

And here's the one consistent through line in all of this, the one thing that applies to everyone on both ends of the socio-political spectrum when it comes to the subject of censorship on social media. 

Hypocrisy. Rampant, blatant, shameless, widespread hypocrisy. 

The people who are decrying these suspensions were cheering suspensions in the past. The people cheering these ones were screaming bloody murder about the previous ones. Musk said he'd let the law dictate what could and could not be said, and almost immediately is suspending people for saying perfectly legal things he'd prefer not be said. 

Again, none of these people I've cited here are inciting violence or posting slasher films or whatever. They've simply been reporting things or stating their opinions. Under the past protocols, a reporter like Alex Berenson got banned for reporting Covid data and had to sue to get back on. Dr. Jay Bhattacharya is a Stanford PhD and one of the leading authorities on infectious diseases, and he got shadow banned for questioning the CDC. Moves that were celebrated by the very news outlets that are now outraged it's happening to their own. By the same token, the outlets cheering these latest suspensions were outraged by the earlier bans. It's just a tsunami of hypocrisy that they're all drowning in. 

So what's the lesson here? There are several. 

One is be skeptical of everyone and everything. Everybody has an agenda. 

Two, be careful what you wish for. Especially when it comes to giving absolute power to anyone. As Dan Carlin puts it, when you cede total power to Caesar because you admire and trust Caesar, it's only a matter of time before he's replaced and you find that power in the hands of Caligula. 

Three, Free Speech is a mess. An insane, magnificent, glorious mess. It's hard to be totally on board with it because sooner or later you're going to have to put up with stuff you despise. But the only way to counter speech you hate is with more Free Speech. So don't ban it; speak out against it. 

Fourth and final, I have definitely gotten that second wish I mentioned earlier. If nothing else, Musk is right about this:

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