Tech Censorship

Savor the Great Musk Panic

By Matt Taibbi

On drinking the delicious tears of blue-check hypocrites, who’ve suddenly discovered the perils of a privatized speech landscape.

The New York Times earlier this week ran a guest essay by Gawker founding editor Elizabeth Spiers, fulminating about Elon Musk’s effort to purchase Twitter. She wrote:

What exactly does [Musk] believe can’t be said on the platform right now? It certainly doesn’t take long to find discredited race science, arguments that women are intellectually inferior, antisemitism… It is easy to assume that the banned speech that Mr. Musk is standing up for is worse even than that. As the comedian Michael Che put it on “Saturday Night Live,” the $44 billion deal shows “how badly white guys want to use the N-word.”

This is the elite argument against free speech in a nutshell: “If you favor ‘all legal speech,’ you really just want to slander, threaten, and harass. Now please let me tiptoe up to libel myself, as I tell millions of New York Times readers I ‘assume’ you’re a racist itching to use the N-word.”

The hypocrisy of America’s self-appointed culture-protectors this week is breathtaking. They really seem not to realize that what they’ve been seeking for years isn’t an end to speech abuses, but a monopoly on them. They see Musk as a traitor to his class, threatening to upend what they see as a natural order that in recent years placed bluenose squads in deserved roles as vanguards and truth-arbiters. Whether or not Musk ever upends anything is a different question, but critics believe he will, and now they’re panicking, in tones of maximum sanctimony. They’re even pulling out “Who will protect the children?”-style language:

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Categories: Tech Censorship

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