Within 24 hours of billionaire Elon Musk officially taking control of Twitter, the biased press began running back-to-back “reports” claiming the social media network was suddenly being flooded with racist, bigoted, hateful comments and memes.
“Racist, antisemitic tweets quickly spread after Musk Twitter takeover,” a headline from The Hill reads.
Below are some more headlines:
- The Washington Post: “Twitter trolls are back with racist, bigoted posts”
- The Wrap: “Elon Musk’s 1st Day at Twitter: N-Word, Pro-Nazi Tweets Go Unchecked”
- The New York Times: “Antisemitic campaign tries to capitalize on Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover.”
- Portland Press Herald: “Musk took over Twitter. Then debunked conspiracies, Nazi imagery, racist tweets appeared.”
- Vice magazine: “Neo-Nazis, Antisemites, and the N-Word: Twitter Just Hours Under Elon Musk”
- Bloomberg: “Musk’s Twitter Roils With Hate Speech as Trolls Test New Limits”
You get the picture.
“An emboldened cast of anonymous trolls spewed racist slurs and Nazi memes onto Twitter in the hours after billionaire industrialist Elon Musk took over the social network, raising fears that his pledge of unrestricted free speech could fuel a new wave of online hate. The flood of racist posts was among the most prominent signs of how Twitter had changed in the first hours of Musk’s ownership,” Bloomberg reported.
“On Thursday night, the billionaire tweeted ‘the bird is freed,’ while also telling advertisers he did not want the platform to turn into a ‘free-for-all hellscape.’ But as Friday rolled out, there was a noticeable difference in what was now allowed on the platform. A tweet with a Swastika-heavy, pro-Hitler video and the caption, ‘I hear that there have been some changes around here,’ was still up on Friday morning and had more than 800 likes,” The Wrap added.
Yet as of Sunday morning, the pro-Hitler tweet mentioned by The Wrap was nowhere to be found, likely because Twitter’s content moderators had had enough time to moderate it out of existence.
But do you want to know what did still remain up? The following blatantly racist, bigoted tweet that was posted by a blue check leftist weeks before Musk’s Twitter purchase went through:
Shut your white mouth when Black folks are talking.
— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) October 16, 2022
Yet incidentally, not a single one of the media outlets that have been complaining about an alleged surge in recent alleged hate speech have had anything to say about Swan’s tweet. Hmm. Weird.
Calling out the media for this double standard, one critic tweeted, “For every ‘tide’ you can point to, I can show you a literal tsunami of disgusting tweets from progressives using every racial slur, epithet, calls to violence, threats, and doxxing that has ‘somehow’ has gone unnoticed under the previous regime for damn near a decade. Wake up.”
Nor have any of these outlets had anything to say about their own brand of hate speech and bigotry:
if you replace the word whiteness with Jewishness pretty much every major news publication sounds like Kanye pic.twitter.com/QMqcDBdVTG
— Jeremy Kauffman 🦔 (@jeremykauffman) October 25, 2022
All this aside, the truth is that nothing has actually changed at Twitter. Nothing at all.
“To be super clear, we have not yet made any changes to Twitter’s content moderation policies,” Musk bluntly tweeted Friday.
He added that changes to policies will only come after he’s formed a “diverse” content moderation council and they’ve had a chance to convene.
To be super clear, we have not yet made any changes to Twitter’s content moderation policies https://t.co/k4guTsXOIu
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 29, 2022
So if nothing’s actually changed, what gives?
Part of the problem, according to Twitter official Yoel Roth, is that a handful of “inauthentic” accounts have actually been posting posting hateful content.
But the key here is that just a few hundred accounts have been doing this versus the millions upon millions of total Twitter accounts.
Over the last 48 hours, we’ve seen a small number of accounts post a ton of Tweets that include slurs and other derogatory terms. To give you a sense of scale: More than 50,000 Tweets repeatedly using a particular slur came from just 300 accounts.
— Yoel Roth (@yoyoel) October 30, 2022
Nearly all of these accounts are inauthentic. We’ve taken action to ban the users involved in this trolling campaign — and are going to continue working to address this in the days to come to make Twitter safe and welcoming for everyone. https://t.co/1hUnb1WYPZ
— Yoel Roth (@yoyoel) October 30, 2022
Critics meanwhile say what gives is that the media are, as usual, simply frothing at the mouth over not getting their way. They would have greatly preferred that Musk not buy Twitter. That way the social media network would have remained an unequal place where the rules are clearly enforced asymmetrically.
A place, more specifically, where actual racists like Swan were allowed to spew bigoted bile without consequence, but conservatives couldn’t state simple facts like a man is a man and a woman is a woman.
Musk’s supporters are hopeful that he’ll change Twitter into a true free speech platform where all speech is tolerated, so long as it’s within the confines of the law.
In this Twitter, Swan would be allowed to continue with his bigotry — bigotry that the left-wing media has purposefully ignored.
But likewise, in this Twitter, conservatives would be allowed to speak currently unutterable truths, even when those truths offend.
Free speech. Liberal tears.
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) October 28, 2022
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