Leftists who have benefited for years from the suppression of conservative voices by social media – including Twitter – now are alarmed that social media could be used to suppress their chosen opinions.
The abrupt change has come about because of Tesla chief Elon Musk’s purchase of all of Twitter in a multi-billion dollar deal that will take months to finish.
But for years already social-media corporations like Twitter, Facebook, and others have been in the business of calling conservative opinion “disinformation” and suppressing it.
Social media, and specifically Twitter, did just that with the New York Post’s revelations of the Biden family’s international business scandals just days before the 2020 election.
A subsequent survey revealed that had that information, now widely regarded as true and very damaging to the Biden empire, been more widely distributed, Joe Biden would have lost the election.
But it wasn’t distributed. It was suppressed.
One of the leftists now experiencing a meltdown because Musk, who has stated his advocacy for free speech, might be in the mood to apply that standard to Twitter as he takes control, is Ari Melber on MSNBC.
He complained, “If you own all of Twitter or Facebook or what have you, you don’t have to explain yourself, you don’t even have to be transparent, you could secretly ban one party’s candidate or all of its candidates, all of its nominees. Or you could just secretly turn down the reach of their stuff and turn up the reach of something else and the rest of us might not even find out about it til after the election.”
And that, more or less, brought a chuckle from constitutional expert, commentator and law professor Jonathan Turley.
Melber’s comments, he explained, “seemed almost a clinical (if not comical) example of transference. Melber warns that Elon Musk might actually use Twitter to ‘secretly ban’ or ‘turn down the reach’ of a political party or candidate.”
He continued, “That is apparently worse than Twitter openly banning candidates and suspending accounts of conservatives for years. Melber is warning the left that Twitter could be used against them . . . the way it has been used against their opponents.”
Turley pointed out such a “secret ban” on conservatives is “precisely what Twitter has been doing without a whimper of objection from most pundits on the left.”
Turley added, “Melber actually warns that Musk might secretly ban political figures while warning that Donald Trump will have his ban lifted by Musk. While Trump said that he will not return to Twitter, Melber is worried that he could be allowed to tweet again.”
But he commented, “None of this was a threat to democracy when Twitter was suspending dozens of political figures and commentators, including the president of the United States. However, now it is dire as Musk threatens to restore free speech protections to the platform.”
When Melber complained that while there are regulations concerning the joint ownership of television or radio stations in a single market, there’s no rule against owning “ALL of Twitter,” Turley explained, “So media figures are calling for government regulation of media after the first major victory against corporate censorship. Musk may prove a fraud or he prove a champion of free speech. Yet, it is hard to see the downside given the massive censorship system now imposed across social media. There remain media figures who would prefer censorship to the outbreak of free speech.”
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