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"Opening the Gates of Hell"
The media's hysteria about Elon Musk is beyond parody at this point.
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Elon Musk recently conducted another Twitter poll asking whether a general amnesty should be offered to suspended accounts that haven’t broken the law or engaged in egregious spam. The results were a resounding yes.
Naturally, the same people who were prostrated by epileptic fits due to the reinstatement of Trump’s account — who has yet to send out another tweet, mind you, though that hasn’t put a damper on the histrionics — have been rendered inconsolable by this news.
I can’t help but ponder what would be revealed in a biography of Taylor Lorenz ⬆, the Washington Post’s “online culture” columnist and the epitome of the censorship-obsessed millennial journalist. How does one end up as such a stupendously stupid, fragile person? What’s that linear progression look like? And what kind of intellectual gymnastics are required for one to believe it’s absolutely imperative that voices be shackled lest the “Gates of Hell” be opened? I’m fascinated by this. Truly.1
The gates of hell reference is from some asylum-worthy spaz named Alejandra Caraballo, “clinical instructor at Harvard Law’s cyberlaw clinic,” who judging by her tweets is something of an expert in the insidiousness of heteronormativity in a patriarchal society and makes Lorenz look like a paragon of sanity by comparison:
“Apple and Google need to seriously start exploring booting Twitter off the app store. What Musk is doing is existentially dangerous for various marginalized communities. It’s like opening the gates of hell in terms of the havoc it will cause. People who engaged in direct targeted harassment can come back and engage in doxing, targeted harassment, vicious bullying, calls for violence, celebration of violence. I can’t even begin to state how dangerous this will be.”2
Caraballo, who’s been trying to conjure up Twitter’s demise for over a week now and is calling Musk an “existential danger,” is the same person who called for the targeted harassment and political intimidation of SCOTUS justices:
Her suggestion that Apple and Google kick Twitter off their respective app stores3 is the exact same thing that Yoel Roth, Twitter’s former “Head of Trust and Safety” and the person who led the charge to censor the Hunter Biden laptop story, called for in the New York Times last week. And it shouldn’t be taken lightly: Apple and Google did this to Parler after Democrats like AOC pushed for its removal. The two tech behemoths could very well abuse their monopoly power again.4
When I see things like this playing out in the public forum, these attacks on Musk, these overt, shameless attempts to sabotage a $44 billion investment procured to promote free speech, I feel an intense desire to sit these people down, people like Taylor Lorenz and Ben Collins and Yoel Roth, all of whom should be limited to a firm and neurologically imperative 30 minutes a day on Twitter, and to look them dead in the eye and tell them, “You are pretentious, ignorant, cretinous fucks.” They covet a vision of themselves as morally superior and significant. It is essential to their self-perception, and I would love nothing more than to divest them of this delusion.
As Glenn Greenwald has noted, when word got out that Musk intended to buy Twitter, many people warned that if he attempted any restoration of free speech, every government and corporate weapon would be used to undermine him, and that’s because online censorship has long been the most invaluable tool of the Democratic party, legacy media, and the U.S. security state. But the whole “lives are at risk” shtick takes the hysteria to another level.5
Who greenlights this sort of drivel? What exactly is the function of a senior editor if not to be a detached reviewer tasked with foreseeing whether or not an article will end up embarrassing the publication? The replies to the above Axios tweet suggest that’s exactly what happened here.
Imagine calling yourself an “online safety expert” and not shrinking with shame. What the hell is that supposed to mean? It’s even more ridiculous than calling yourself a “disinformation reporter.” These titles, which are promulgated by the mainstream media and refer to fake expertise, are baptized by the Left as part of their nakedly obvious attempts to dress their censorship agenda up in a neutral, pseudo-scientific veneer.
I’m a big Elon Musk fan and have been for a long time. This is not because I’m some green-energy drum beater and environmental foot soldier. Nor is it because I drive a Tesla, though I know a good deal about the cars and will wax poetic about them if given the chance because they truly are incredible. No, I’ve always liked Musk because he has massive balls, and because I have a deep affinity for underdogs. You might laugh at the idea that the richest man in the world is an underdog, but he is. He’s self-made, people have been betting against him his entire life, and all of his ventures continue to face daunting odds. In my book, that makes you an underdog.
I realize that some people reading this might be on the fence about Elon Musk or even hate him. I’d implore you to read a Musk biography, because I guarantee it would completely change how you see him.6 The truth is he’s not a hubristic supervillain with an insatiable appetite for money, but a sort of madcap hybrid of Henry Ford, P.T. Barnum, and John D. Rockefeller, a manufacturing magnate who has taken industries that America had seemingly given up on, like aerospace and automotive, and completely revamped them.
Robert Zubrin, founder of the Mars Society, aptly described him as a humanist in the sense that, “He wants eternal glory for doing great deeds, and he is an asset to the human race because he defines a great deed as something that is great for humanity. He is greedy for glory. Money to him is a means, not an end.” How many billionaires could be described similarly?
The unbridled hatred of the man that’s now required of everyone on the Left is comical because, as Piers Morgan rightly points out, Musk is on record as being a Bernie Sanders fan and has described himself variously as “moderate,” a “socialist,” and “socially liberal and fiscally conservative.” He voted for Barack Obama in 2012, Hillary Clinton in 2016, and Joe Biden in 2020, and yet he’s being treated like the spawn of Satan himself.
If any of these hyperventilating folx knew anything about Tesla and SpaceX, they would find something else to obsess about and someone else to root against. This is not a man you should doubt. The idea that the greatest entrepreneur and businessman of our generation (and arguably ever) is in over his head now that he owns a social media company is as preposterous as it sounds. This is someone who has personally accomplished things that countries have not; the man taught himself rocket science for God’s sake — as in one day he started reading textbooks and figured out how to do what NASA could not, which is create self-landing, reusable rockets — and he’s the first person to successfully start a car company since Chrysler was created in 1925. More importantly, he knows how to inspire loyalty, and how to get people to accomplish seemingly impossible things.
While it’s true that Musk has thoroughly gutted Twitter and fired thousands of employees, isn’t it revealing that despite all the people who were convinced last week that Twitter would cease to exist given the mass layoffs, the site has continued to function just as it always has?
It appears there’s a method to his madness. An insightful thread referred to it as “whaling and culling.” I think it’s worth posting in full:
Past success is not a guarantee of future success. Twitter may indeed end up failing under Musk. But it’s beyond absurd to claim he’s about to open the gates of hell and put lives at risk because he wants to allow “all legal speech.” While Musk has yet to indicate which banned users will be affected by the planned amnesty, he last week flatly ruled out reinstating the Twitter account of far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, revealing where he draws the line, and I can’t say I disagree with that decision.
Moreover, this doesn’t particularly sound like someone who’s going to let Twitter devolve into any more of a virtual hellscape than it is already:
But the concern and the wildly alarmist claims from the Left are disingenuous. This isn’t a good-faith effort to “protect” people, as if it’s possible to ensure someone only ever has a G-rated experience online, nor is it about weeding out untruths. This is about — gasp! — unfettered discourse and the unfiltered access to a credulous audience that Twitter will provide the Left’s political adversaries now that there’s been a changing of the guard and they can’t censor conservative voices anymore. It’s the assumed influence that’s driving them crazy, the even playing field now that Musk has cleaned house and Twitter is no longer staffed by activist shills who keep their thumb on the scales.
The Left knows how easy it is to get advertisers to genuflect to their bullshit, and so activists have been pressuring them as a shameless ploy to divest the company of revenue. That’s the point of the weaponized hysteria. And it’s working, thanks in no small part to Hillary Clinton, who has unleashed her allies in the corporate world to coerce Musk to restore censorship policies or face bankruptcy. Half of Twitter’s top 100 advertisers are no longer on the website.
Frankly, I don’t see how you couldn’t be in Elon Musk’s corner considering who he’s up against. There’s not a lot of gray area here. If you think the occasional offensive tweet is worse than a Clinton-led consortium of state and corporate power that wants to censor dissent from neoliberal establishment orthodoxy and suppress “problematic discourse” anathema to progressive pieties, you might want to log off for a while, maybe read up on censorship regimes of old.
If I sound mean, know that this individual is not a victim. She is a massive hypocrite and a scumbag of the rankest vintage who makes a living confronting and exposing ordinary citizens for the crime of expressing views declared off-limits.
Musk has said that if Apple and Google were to do this, he would create his own smartphone, and you'd be dumb not to believe him.
Welcome to progressive America, where once anti-monopolist liberals now encourage monopolies to deplatform people and control the flow of information.
Some more examples of said hysteria: CNN says “Users are split over Black Twitter’s chances to survive under Elon Musk.” Former CIA analyst Bob Baer on Musk restoring banned Twitter accounts: ”Putin is going to be all over Twitter if there’s no regulations on this, fake accounts, spoofed accounts … And so when he’s talking about the popular voice, Musk, he’s really talking about Russian intelligence.“