Billionaire Elon Musk, Twitter’s presumptive future owner, took a public swipe Monday at what he called the platform’s “left wing bias,” when asked to weigh in on censorship decisions.
“Twitter obv has a strong left wing bias,” Musk wrote on Twitter.
Musk’s comment came in response to alt-right conservative commentator Mike Cernovich, who accused Twitter of turning a blind eye to tweets from liberal accounts that incite violence.
Chernovich had highlighted a tweet from Rewire News Group reporter Caroline Reilly, who responded to a recent New York Times article about an arson attack on an anti-abortion group by calling for more violence.
“Here you go @ElonMusk,” Chernovich wrote along with a screenshot of Reilly’s tweet.
“When Twitter employees invariably lie to you about enforcement policy, maybe they can explain why a verified account is allowed to incite terrorism without any care in the world about being banned,” Chernovich wrote.
Musk later followed up by sharing more thoughts on speech on the social media platform.
“Like I said, my preference is to hew close to the laws of countries in which Twitter operates. If the citizens want something banned, then pass a law to do so, otherwise it should be allowed,” he wrote.
When Musk announced his intention to buy Twitter in April, the world’s wealthiest businessman laid out grand plans for turning the platform into a place of “maximum fun,” although he has been largely vague on the details.
He has acknowledged that his plans to transform Twitter into a “politically neutral” online town square that allows as much free speech as each country’s laws allow could anger the left and please the right.
Musk hasn’t ruled out suspending some accounts for peddling hate speech or harassing others, but he opined that such bans should be temporary.
His recent criticism has centered around what he described as Twitter’s “incredibly inappropriate” 2020 blocking of a Post article on Hunter Biden, which the tech company has said was a mistake and corrected within 24 hours.
Musk also has promised to make Twitter’s algorithms that rank content to decide what shows up on users’ feeds “open source to increase trust.”
Right-wing politicians, among them Sen. Josh Hawley, a Republican from Missouri, have long been talking about “shadow banning” on social media, referring to a supposed invisible feature for reducing the reach of misbehaving users without disabling their accounts.
In a letter addressed to Musk last month, Hawley urged the businessman to look into Twitter’s censorship practices and identify the person who was responsible for suppressing The Post’s now-vindicated reporting on Hunter Biden’s laptop.
With Post Wires