The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Chief Twit

Elon Musk has acquired Twitter, and with typical Musk wit, has decided that his title should be "Chief Twit." The Left, as only the Left can, has decided that Musk now represents a significant threat to ... well, to everything, and has launched a Tsunami of vitriol* that is intended to demonize and cancel him. Their problem, of course, if that under its previous ownership and management team, the left had staunch allies within Twitter, and as such, influenced outright censorship, deplatforming, and shadow banning that shut down opinions that differed from their narrative.

That's why the Hunter Biden laptop scandal was effectively banned in October of 2020. It conflicted with the pro-Democrat bias the pervaded Twitter's leadership and hall monitors. That's why comments on COVID policy and treatment were censored or outright banned if those opinions differed from the blue, catastrophist narrative of the time. BTW, the catastrophist narrative has now been proven to have been a disastrous mistake and/or an outright lie at virtually every level. 

Satire coming from the Right was banned. Condemnation and name calling from Leftists was allowed as "righteous indignation" while condemnation and name calling from those on the Right are quickly labeled as "dangerous incitement" and summarily banned. I could go on and on, but it's pretty hard to refute the reality of a left-biased approach to "free speech" within Twitter.

In the Leftist worldview, "free speech" is heavily qualified. Pre-Musk, Leftists argued that "privately held companies" should be allowed to violate the foundational tenets of free speech (as long as those privately held companies enforce the leftist narrative). Post Musk, Leftists take an entirely different view of the role of privately-held companies and free speech. They worry that "hate speech," "conspiracy theories," "misinformation," and "dangerous incitement" (all coming from the Right, of course) will pervade the social media platform and MUST be stopped. 

Alex Berenson is a true journalist who was repeatedly banned by Twitter for his accurate reporting on COVID related issues. He writes:

Like all social media, it’s addictive. Its format drives pointless fights and intemperate responses. And even if you learn to avoid those - and I have - it’s often frustrating.

But what people ON BOTH SIDES seem to have forgotten is that Twitter is frustrating because it works. It’s frustrating for everyone because whoever you are and whatever you think, the world is filled with people who don’t agree.

We forget this fact, because in real life, we don’t see people who disagree with us every minute of every day. And if we do, we don’t go out of our way to antagonize them by saying so unprovoked. Even politely. Doing so is bad manners (and potentially dangerous).

But on Twitter, we do. Twitter is MEANT to allow its users to offer their views, politely or not, to everyone - stranger or friend.

So, as a Twitter user, I go out and make my (hopefully) thoughtfully considered, well-researched points to the world. And some people agree. Good for me! But lots of others respond in ways making me realize they’ve entirely missed my point. Or “strawman” me by responding to an argument I haven’t made. Or just shout back, GRIFTER! Or worse.

Unlike the trained hamsters in the mainstream media, the majority of politicians in blue states, and democratic party operatives across the board, Berenson has been proven right repeatedly as he reported on COVID. His reporting was labelled by catastrophists on the Left as the stuff of conspiracy theory. He was labelled a "murderer" and dismissed as a "misinformation monger." He was banned by Twitter.

Except he was invariably correct and factually accurate, and ... They. Were. Wrong—on just about everything associated with the virus and the blue state policies applied to it.

People like Berenson on both the Right and the Left won't be banned on Post-Musk Twitter. And that's a very good thing.


Because a Twitter that encourages free speech allows those of us who disagree with the edicts, the opinions, and the policies proposed by political elites and their "expert" enablers and government functionaries to voice that disagreement. To contradict their arguments, and their presentation of "facts" (that aren't facts at all).

Will there be obnoxious tweets? Of course, and they can be contradicted and figuratively shouted down. Will there be "misinformation?" Of course, and it can be vetted and dissected to show its failings? Will there be craziness and even hate speech? Yes, but those who believe in free speech would argue that rationality and truth will ultimately prevail.

Berenson summarizes all of this when he writes:

The core of Twitter remains messaging, the written word. Its advantage, its differentiation, came from its philosophical commitment to free speech - to being a site where people could report and debate on complex topics without censorship or even too much algorithmic involvement, where ideas could rise and fall on their own.

In other words, in losing its commitment to free speech, Twitter began to destroy its business model. A public square where huge numbers of the public are not allowed to speak freely will ultimately hollow out and die. And in the last two years, Twitter was on its way to becoming a leftist monoculture, Truth Social in reverse, protected only by its first-mover advantage.

Now Elon is about to return Twitter to its roots as a First Amendment haven. That doesn’t mean no censorship. Twitter must have censorship - of child pornography, of specific incitements to violence, of doxxing and harassment and the kinds of speech the First Amendment doesn’t allow online or off.

Bottom line. You're only against this approach to free speech if your ideas, your policies, your arguments, and your philosophy are so fragile that they can't stand up to critique and debate.

Glen Greenwald summarizes nicely:

Obviously, the definition of "danger" varies dramatically between the Right and the Left, but history indicates that a centralization of government power with the resultant corruption of the powerful and the institutions that they control, an authoritarian mindset that dictates to the many based on the false "virtues" of a few, and the concurrent embrace of insanity, NEVER leads to good things.

I think Elon Musk understands this, and that's why his reset for Twitter is a very good thing.


As an example of the vitriol, we have this tweet from celebrity spokesperson for the Left, Jimmy Kimmel, a late night comedian who demonstrates repeatedly why his audience share is tanking.

Kimmel, like the vast majority of Hollywood glitterati, seems to equate a presence on TV (or the movies) with actual accomplishment. Elon Musk, on the other hand, makes things that actually matter—to the hundreds of thousands of people he directly and indirectly employs, to a cleaner planet that progressives like Kimmel tell us they care sooo much about, to real life communication (via SpaceX Starlink), to transportation (via Tesla), and now (via the acquisition of Twitter) to free speech. 

Kimmel has accomplished almost nothing that really matters, unless you think that making inane, snarky jokes late at night are somehow a 'contribution' to the human condition. As his shrinking hipster audience laughs at Kimmel's insults, we should all remember that in 20 years he will be remembered as just another has-been Hollywood type—slightly pathetic but mostly just unimportant. That will never happen to Musk, no matter how many contemptible tweets Jimmy posts. Maybe that's why Jimmy seems so angry.