Elon Musk explains what he meant by free speech for Twitter: ‘If people want…’

Published on Apr 27, 2022 05:48 AM IST

After championing for a space where his worst critics will remain, Elon Musk said he supports 'free speech' that matches the law.

Elon Musk has already ruffled some feathers as EU officials said Elon Musk and his Twitter will have to comply with EU's Digital Services Act.(AFP)
Elon Musk has already ruffled some feathers as EU officials said Elon Musk and his Twitter will have to comply with EU's Digital Services Act.(AFP)
By | Written by Poulomi Ghosh

A day after advocating free speech on Twitter that Elon Musk has now bought following a $44 billion deal, Musk on Wednesday explained what he meant by 'free speech', as his earlier proclamation left Twitter users high and dry as they did not understand what Musk actually meant by free speech on Twitter. In a clarification tweet, Elon Musk said by free speech, he meant that which matches the law. "I am against censorship that goes far beyond the law, he said hinting that his earlier tweets on free speech led to 'extreme antibody reaction' from those who fear free speech.

On Jeff Bezos' 'Did the Chinese just…' post on Twitter, a response…

"If people want less free speech, they will ask the governments to pass laws to that effect. Therefore, going beyond the law is contrary to the will of the people," he said.

So what does Elon Musk's new tweet on free speech mean?

Elon Musk's Twitter will not go against the law of the land to promote free speech. It will respect what people want and if people want less free speech and their government has laws to that effect, Elon Musk's Twitter will not go beyond the law.

Elon Musk and Twitter free speech

Elon Musk's first tweet after he bought the 100% stake on Twitter was on free speech. "I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter because that is what free speech means," he said.

"Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated. I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans. I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots and authenticating all humans. Twitter has tremendous potential -- I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it," his statement read.

Free speech that 'matches the law'?

Is Elon Musk taking a step back from his earlier free speech promise? Many believe this might be because of the European Union's indirect threat to Elon and Twitter. Thierry Breton, the European commissioner for the internal market tweeted that Elon Musk knows it well that he will have to abide by the EU rules. “Be it cars or social media, any company operating in Europe needs to comply with our rules — regardless of their shareholding,” Breton tweeted.

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