Twitter Under Elon Musk Seems to Value Free Speech More Than Truth

Twitter Under Elon Musk Seems to Value Free Speech More Than Truth

Recent comments from Elon Musk, along with Twitter’s actions, show a platform that’s promoting free speech even if it’s not the truth. Furthermore, the new owner of the social media network appears more than ready to resort to half-truths or outright lies to promote his own confusing agenda.

Elon Musk Accuses Apple of Being an Opponent of Free Speech for Not Advertising on Twitter

In one of the most recent developments surrounding Twitter, Musk shared that Apple has “most stopped advertising” on the platform. Rather than address or even acknowledge concerns advertisers have expressed all along about continuing to do business with the social media platform, though, he accused Apple of being opposed to free speech.

In mid-November, one of the world’s largest advertising agencies recommended that all of its clients halt spending on Twitter ad campaigns. That firm, Omnicom Media Group, just happens to represent Apple, along with several other major brands.

Musk, rather than try to ascertain and deal with advertisers’ concerns, opted to lash out at Apple. He’s also reportedly called CEOs from other companies to lodge the same sort of complaints, berating them for using their own version of free speech. The dollar can speak mightily, and companies worldwide are financially speaking out against Musk’s version of “free speech.”

Of course, there’s even more to the story here. Reportedly, Musk’s layoffs included almost the entirety of Twitter’s advertising sales contacts. This has made analytics on ad campaigns impossible to come by. Even if a company wanted to book an ad slot on the social media network, Twitter’s loss of most of its engineers has meant various internal systems failing. Among those were the company’s ad-booking systems.

Apple’s Unspoken Concerns About Twitter Are Perfectly Valid

Among the concerns Omnicom laid out in its memo to clients, the ad agency pointed out the layoffs of Twitter’s Trust and Safety Team. It also pointed out a sharp uptick in the number of impersonation accounts on the platform. All in all, Omnicom told its clients there was “evidence that the risk to our client’s brand safety has risen sharply to a level most would find unacceptable.”

The layoffs and resignations continued, and Twitter now finds itself wholly incapable of preventing misinformation or harmful content. In fact, those familiar with the current landscape at twitter say there’s only one staff member left to prevent child sexual abuse content from plaguing the site. This is despite previous promises from the new owner that preventing such material was Twitter’s “priority #1.”

It’s clear in other ways that Twitter is struggling to balance allowing free speech while also preventing misinformation. A policy the social media platform launched in 2020 sought to prohibit “harmful misinformation” concerning COVID-19. Now, however, a note on Twitter’s website says it is “no longer enforcing the COVID-19 misleading information policy.”

Musk Claims Apple Is Trying to Remove Twitter From the App Store

Alongside his numerous other attacks on Apple, Musk claimed the Cupertino-based tech giant is trying to remove Twitter from the App Store. In a series of tweets, the Chief Twit claimed Apple “threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store, but won’t tell us why.”

Since the inception of the App Store, review guidelines have required content moderation to prevent harmful content such as hate speech, misinformation and child sexual abuse content from apps. This has never changed, but Twitter’s approach to meeting those requirements has. In short, content moderation seems rather extinct under Musk’s preference for absolute free speech despite the harm it may cause.

The tweet barrage also took aim at Apple’s 30% commission on App Store sales, totally ignoring the fact that Google and Amazon have similar commission structures in place. Laughably, Musk called this a “secret 30% tax,” which hasn’t been true since … well … ever. It’s never been a secret, not since the iOS App Store was first announced.

If Apple does choose to remove Twitter apps from its App Store, that in and of itself would be the iPhone maker exercising its own right to free speech. It won’t keep iPhone users from accessing Twitter, of course, since they’ll be able to use their browsers.

Someone should point that out to Florida governor Ron DeSantis, by the way. The politician recently declared Apple should face antitrust penalties for violating free speech if it removes Twitter from the App Store. That’s yet another punch line in a horrible joke that keeps getting worse.

7 thoughts on “Twitter Under Elon Musk Seems to Value Free Speech More Than Truth

  • There’s no Constitutional right to truth. You all are big boys and girls and should be able to discern misinformation. The pearl clutching among the tech class is disappointing. You certainly would be decrying “truth” if someone you disagreed with was determining it. That’s certainly how many felt until Musk took over. I don’t want Twitter or Musk determining what “truth” is. I want the freedom of ideas and speech. Otherwise, I’d move to China.

    1. That Constitutional right applies to the U.S. government, not businesses or the governments of other nations. Specifically, it states:

      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

      Apple is free to insist on the moderation/removal of hate speech and misinformation, especially since the laws of other nations require it to do so in those countries.

    2. And for the record, you may want to refrain from trying to stipulate what others may or may not agree with or like. It doesn’t matter if I initially agree or disagree (or even like) what someone else says. If their argument is logical, credible and persuasive enough, I’m open-minded enough to allow that they could be right and I could be wrong.

  • “Elon Musk Accuses Apple of Being an Opponent of Free Speech for Not Advertising on Twitter”

    It is “free expression son, not “free speech. The later is between a citizen and their gubermint. Choosing not to advertise on a particular platform is a form of free expression, Apple, nor any other business or individual, is not obligated to advertise on Twitter or anyplace else.

    Elon, perhaps you should step aside and let someone else run Twitter before you run into the ground.

    1. You’re very right. Musk’s “management” of twitter may cause the ruin of both Tesla AND twitter. I had been on twitter since it started, but a week after his takeover I cancelled my account. The man has serious political and management problems!

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