Elon Musk set to buy Twitter, sparking conversation about religious freedom and hate speech
In a move that looks like it was ripped from the pages of a Batman comic book, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk is set to buy Twitter.
According to The New York Times, Twitter is close to reaching a deal with Musk after Musk offered to buy the social media giant for $43 billion and take the company private less than two weeks ago. Earlier this month, Musk took a 9% stake in Twitter, making him the largest shareholder. After a failed attempt to join Twitter’s board, Musk opted to try and buy the company outright.
Musk’s express motivation for taking over the social media platform is to promote free speech.
“Free speech is essential to the functioning of a democracy,” Musk said. tweeted on March 25 alongside a Twitter poll. “Do you believe Twitter strictly adheres to this principle?
“The consequences of this election will be significant. Please vote carefully,” Musk added. Of more than 2 million responses, more than 70% answered “No”.
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“Given that Twitter serves as the city’s de facto public square, failure to uphold the principles of free speech fundamentally undermines democracy,” Musk said. tweeted the next day. “What should be done?”
Many of Musk’s followers responded by encouraging him to just buy Twitter. It seems he was listening.
While hate speech and misinformation online have had real consequences in recent years, social media platforms have been increasingly called upon to regulate speech that may be harmful, hateful or likely to lead to physical violence. . The question that arises from this call is what type of speech should social media platforms classify as dangerous.
In the minds of many on the political right, social media platforms like Twitter have disproportionately vetted conservative voices while not applying the same level of scrutiny to leftist speech.
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For example, the former president donald trump was permanently banned from Twitter following the United States Capitol riot for inflammatory tweets containing false information that many believe contributed to the violence that took place on January 6, 2021.