Zero self-awareness from the Washington ComPost.
The Washington Post published an opinion piece on Friday by the former CEO of Reddit, Ellen K. Pao, who was critical of Elon Musk’s position on free speech and what it means for social media now that he owns a large stake in Twitter and has a seat on the board of directors.
Perspective: Elon Musk’s vision of “free speech” will be bad for Twitter https://t.co/NRN6uXQP2y
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) April 9, 2022
Pao contends that “Elon Musk’s version of ‘free speech’ will be bad” for the social media platform known for its consistent censoring of right-wingers while giving the left and even terrorists a pass. As a reminder, Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei still has an active account and there are Twitter accounts for spokesmen for the Taliban but former President Donald Trump has been banned.
“Twitter made strides to remove hate and harassment and to give users more control over how they share their opinions… It added features that let users limit who could reply to their tweets, created labels for misleading content and banned President Donald Trump’s account. After all that, bringing Musk onto the board seems like a big step backward,” Pao wrote. “He can bend the company toward his preferences, removing reasonable policies on hateful speech and urging people who are harassed to have thicker skins.”
She continued, “Musk’s appointment to Twitter’s board shows that we need regulation of social-media platforms to prevent rich people from controlling our channels of communication. For starters, we need consistent definitions of harassment and of content that violates personal privacy. Most companies, I suspect, would welcome such regulations… If platforms continue to push for growth at all costs — without such regulations — people will continue to be harmed. The people harmed will disproportionately be those who have been harmed for centuries — women and members of marginalized racial and ethnic groups. The people who benefit from unrestricted amplification of their views will also be the same people who have benefited from that privilege for centuries.”
Source: Washington Post
Pao has a dim view of free speech advocates like Elon Musk. She was desperately trying to make the term “free-speeches” derogatory by claiming that all free speech advocates want to do is use racist slurs.
They really don’t care about sharing new ideas or encouraging freedom other than the freedom to harass other people off the platform
— Ellen K. Pao (@ekp) April 5, 2022
Uh… no. Believe it or not, there are some people out there that simply don’t want to be censored because they say things that are against the narrative like say… the definition of a woman has not changed — it still means an adult, female human.
See? No racism there, but radical gender activists and many public school teachers (but I repeat myself) would try to get that statement banned as hate speech.
Actually, saying that a man cannot magically become a woman despite how he feels even if he dresses as a woman, takes female hormones, and lops off his male bits is a bannable offense on Twitter.
As for the racism, well, as a visible minority right-winger, I’ve had my share. Personally, I’m of the opinion that sunlight is the best disinfectant and I’d rather have people saying racist things to me directly and call them out for it than have them hide in the dark where racism can continue to fester.
But many leftists don’t share that view — they’re a rather censorious bunch who don’t like name-calling despite spending the last 6 years labeling anyone who agreed with Trump on any policy position a “Nazi” and “white supremacist.” And if you’re a minority, well, that just invites the racism. Look at how they labeled Larry Elder the “black face of white supremacy” when he was running for governor in California.
The hilarious part of Pao’s opinion piece is that it was published in the Washington Post — which is owned by billionaire Jeff Bezos.
Musk, a very active user of the platform thought that was hilarious.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 8, 2022
WaPo always good for a laugh ??
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 5, 2022
Musk wasn't the only one to take note of WaPo's lack of self-awareness...
— Greta Van Susteren (@greta) April 9, 2022
Progressives love corporate censorship, and corporate power in general (especially tech power), because for them it is the quickest, most efficient and most unencumbered path to re-engineer society.
— Stephen Miller (@StephenM) April 5, 2022
The Washington Post thinks Elon Musk taking a stake in Twitter to fight for Free Speech will be bad because he’s the richest man in the world and we need to “prevent rich people from controlling our channels of communication”.
Zero self awareness. pic.twitter.com/QvjBIsz3rU
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) April 9, 2022
But Musk joining Twitter does indeed mean that there will likely be a shake-up going on over there.
When Jack Dorsey announced that the was leaving Twitter, Parag Agrawal was named CEO unanimously by the Twitter board of directors. Agrawal has made it clear that free speech on the platform isn't his main concern.
In a 2020 interview with Technology Review’s Editor-in-Chief Gideon Lichfield, Agrawal said that Twitter is not bound by the First Amendment, but should serve to facilitate "healthy public conversations" by recommending content and flagging "misinformation."
Our role is not to be bound by the First Amendment, but our role is to serve a healthy public conversation and our moves are reflective of things that we believe lead to a healthier public conversation. The kinds of things that we do about this is, focus less on thinking about free speech, but thinking about how the times have changed. One of the changes today that we see is speech is easy on the internet. Most people can speak. Where our role is particularly emphasized is who can be heard. The scarce commodity today is attention. There's a lot of content out there. A lot of tweets out there, not all of it gets attention, some subset of it gets attention. And so increasingly our role is moving towards how we recommend content and that sort of, is, is, a struggle that we're working through in terms of how we make sure these recommendation systems that we're building, how we direct people's attention is leading to a healthy public conversation that is most participatory.
Source: Technology Review
Saying that a man cannot magically become a woman with hormones, surgery, or clothing and behavior choices is a bannable offense on Twitter... but Agrawal wants to encourage "healthy public conversations."
Shortly after Agrawal took over as CEO, the platform banned two large accounts -- one that was posting information on the stock portfolio of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her husband as well as one that was posting updates on the Ghislaine Maxwell trail.
Twitter also instituted a "downvote" feature that is secret and will help in pushing "relevant" replies to tweets ahead of others.
When pro-censorship Agrawal was named as Dorsey's successor, Elon Musk posted a meme.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 1, 2021
The Twitter board meetings should be interesting...
***UPDATE: April 11, 2022***
Unfortunately, Elon turned down the offer to join the Board.
Parag Agrawal made the announcement late Sunday after this article was published.
Elon has decided not to join our board. I sent a brief note to the company, sharing with you all here. pic.twitter.com/lfrXACavvk
— Parag Agrawal (@paraga) April 11, 2022
That's too bad. It would've been interesting.