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Pushback: Musk — offended by Twitter censorship — becomes its biggest shareholder

Twitter's censorship a target of Elon Musk
Twitter’s censorship a target of Elon Musk

Defeating the censors: On March 25th Elon Musk — opposed to the censorship of conservatives on the social media outlet Twitter — had conducted a poll on Twitter that asked:

Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy. Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?

The poll results were unequivocal: by 70.4% to 29.6% the respondents declared that the present management at Twitter is hostile to free speech.

In the next two days Musk then tweeted “Is a new platform needed?” followed by “Seize the memes of production!” The rumors all suggested that Musk would start his own competing social media platform.

Musk fooled everyone. Instead, as revealed today he proceeded to buy 9.2% of Twitter’s shares, making him the company’s largest individual shareholder.

What Musk will do with this new power is of course not yet known. It does appear however that he intends to pressure the company to end its censorship policies, as those policies at the least are directly acting to hurt its bottom line. By censoring Twitter’s conservative users, it has encourage the emergence of a number of new competing platforms, all of which threaten to steal Twitter’s dominant market share.

Wall Street apparently agrees with this viewpoint, since almost immediately after this story broke Twitter’s stock value rose by 29%. While some of that increase was probably fueled by Musk’s own purchases, it is also because many investors saw his arrival at Twitter as a positive sign for improving that company’s profits, while also improving its badly damaged public image.

Profits aside, Musk also has another reason for taking this action. The censorship at Twitter is fundamentally immoral, as Musk himself indicated in his poll above. He is now positioning himself to end it.

None of this should make anyone believe that Twitter will now become the home of sane and civilized conversation. Not a chance. The format of Twitter — short quick statements of no depth — still encourages snarky and insulting comments, focused almost entirely on invoking unhealthy emotions. None of that will change.

However, the ending of the censorship of conservatives at Twitter can only be to the good. If Musk does this, Twitter will no longer will be acting as a Democratic Party operative, focused on promoting that party’s politics while squelching its opposition. Instead, the platform will resume being a venue for all points of view, something that “is essential to a functioning democracy.”

For example, when the New York Post published its scoop about the discovery of Hunter Biden’s laptop and the evidence of corruption and payoffs to Joe Biden, Twitter immediately shut down the Post’s Twitter feed so that the newspaper could not promote its scoop. Twitter did this despite the truth of the scoop, claiming instead quite falsely and with no evidence that it was “Russian disinformation.” Since this censorship and slander occurred just before the November 2020 election, it directly helped Joe Biden win the election.

If Musk succeeds in ending such censorship at Twitter, and does so now, prior to the 2022 elections, he will end one of the Democratic Party’s best protective shields for preventing the public from knowing about its corruption. This can only be a healthy thing, and might help clean that party out by getting its dominant but corrupt leaders fired by the voters.

It will also be the biggest victory so far in the war against the intolerant left, which for the past few years has been unwavering in its effort to silence dissent and destroy its opponents. For the first time one of the big social media platforms will be changed fundamentally from a leftist propaganda outlet. Such a change will certainly increase the pressure on others to do the same.

More important, the change will be a starkly public one, making everyone aware of the left’s intolerant zealotry and its desire to censor its opponents. Tyrants never like their evil to be put in a spotlight. Musk appears about to aim one at them.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!

 

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Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.

 

“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.

 

All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

 

Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

29 comments

  • Cotour

    The power of freedom and Capitalism.

    Should be very interesting.

  • Ray Van Dune

    Here’s a perspective that is less sanguine, but chillingly realistic:

    https://www.revolver.news/2022/04/elon-musk-buy-twitter-free-speech-tech-censorship-american-regime-war/

  • Call Me Ishmael

    The best long-term solution is still multiple platforms, none of which is dominant. Elon Musk on a white horse is still “if only the right people were in power” (and that’s assuming he is “the right people”). The system needs to work even with the wrong people in power.

  • Cotour

    I have never really drilled down on Elon Musk. I stated here a while ago that when I listen to him, I want to jump out the window. His style and presentation and the goings on in his brain make me tense. But I guess that is his particular flavor of genius that grates on me.

    The other day I was in conversation with my gay Liberal “Leftist” lady friend and the subject of space and going to Mars came up for some reason. And her Liberal / “Leftist” perspective was that the money that Musk spends in space could be used much more effectively here on earth being that many people on earth are starving and in need. (Yeah, OK blah, blah.) The standard response.

    And my response to her? Never argue with Elon Musk. Just watch him and what he is doing, don’t argue with what is working.

    And that is what I have learned about Musk while observing him from afar. Although he does go off the rails here and there like when those kids were trapped in that cave, and he had to have something to say about it. That must have cost him a few Sheckles. Not good Elon.

    But on balance how can you argue with that kind of success?

    Twitter? Elon will be making some waves I am certain. Two thumbs up Elon.

  • Jeff Wright

    If he ends up running twitter-he can use it to popularize space.

  • wayne

    Call Me Ishmael-
    Excellent point –> “The system needs to work even with the wrong people in power.”

    While Elon may now be the largest individual shareholder, Black Rock, Vanguard, Morgan Stanley, et al, own in excess of 40%.

  • Shaun

    Cotour

    Completely agree with your take.

  • wayne

    Elon Musk & Akira The Don –
    “If You Don’t Make Stuff There Is No Stuff” ?
    (June 2020)
    https://youtu.be/nA4Ya-yKJ0A
    3:23

  • wayne

    The Bernie Sanders Experience –
    Elon Musk
    https://youtu.be/WcsTULLjKYs
    3:44

    “Bernie invites Elon Musk on the pod to talk income inequality, greed, innovation, political revolution, tweets, taxes, and California VS. Vermont cannabis.”

  • wayne

    I’ll drop this in here…

    Anyone remember the ‘bakery incident’ at Oberlin College?
    (See: https://behindtheblack.com/?s=oberlin+college+bakery
    for previous coverage by Mr. Z.)

    Kurt goes over the judgement in detail
    “Get Woke, Go Broke”
    Woke Oberlin College Loses $31 Million Appeal
    Uncivil Law (streaming live at 9:15pm or catch the replay)
    https://youtu.be/hPNmcwObipo

  • John

    How can a stock holder restore free speech? Can he prevent the censorship, canceling, and shadow banning?

    Twitter is a cess pool and always will be. The only solution is a parallel economy.

    They can’t censor or cancel what they don’t control. It’s the only way to stop those people.

  • GaryMike

    I’m not a mind reader. I’m imagining that Musk is taunting Twitter: “Ban me.”

    Gotta love the guy.

  • wayne

    John-
    Ditto on the “cesspool” thought.
    (Personally, I don’t play myself, just not my thing. )
    Not familiar with Twitter’s Board set-up or make-up, but Musk most likely now has a seat at the table, and he can push his case from the inside
    -We still have to deal with Blackrock and all the usual Suspects, but ultimately, they are all greedy-pigs in the worst ways imaginable. You can count on them to exploit the situation.

  • And her Liberal / “Leftist” perspective was that the money that Musk spends in space could be used much more effectively here on earth being that many people on earth are starving and in need. (Yeah, OK blah, blah.) The standard response.

    A standard response, as old as … Judas Iscariot.

    See John 12:1-8.

    And Leftists tell us not to jam our morality down others’ throats …

  • How much more of the Twit can Elon own, without running into roadblocks from the SEC?

    I think it is … 10%.

    It would be rather ironic for him to buy more, and have that trigger anti-trust or similar action against him … after Twitter swearing up-and-down that they are not a monopoly.

  • “Seize the Memes of production!”

    That is a straight slap to the face of the Left. Oh, yeah, buying up your platform; that’s just kickin” you where it counts.

    Who woulda thunk the best American would be from . . .South Africa?

  • sippin_bourbon

    The long term i!pact on big tech censorship will depend not on the changes he is able to make, but if those changes make money. If Twitter profits rise, some of the other companies may drop the wokeness to make more. At least for a while.

    I saw another story if MSM trying to “correct” things regarding the Hunter Biden laptop. They sent to far and a trying the claw their way back to credibility. No one should buy that. It will all go back to normal in October as they try to sway the vote.

  • pzatchok

    Elon can own all of the twit.

    He just has to tell the SEC if he plans on buying more.

    Once he has a seat on the board of directors he can work to fire anyone he doesn’t like.
    If they do not do as he says he just buys up enough to take vote on the board.
    At 51% he becomes unstoppable.

    He can influence the other investors by just saying he is taking his billions out of their investment companies and putting someplace he likes. They will fold and vote with him. they do not want to lose billions just for the politics of that little twit company.

    As for Twitter employees.
    He can fire anyone for any reason except hourly employees. But as soon as they do not do what he says they too can be fired.

    The golden rule. He who has the gold makes the rules.

  • wayne

    “Elon Musk is joining Twitter’s board of directors, the social media company announced Tuesday.”

    Top Twitter shareholders:

    Morgan Stanley MS- 70,157,074 shares
    Blackrock, Inc BLK- 51,858,827 shares
    State Street Corp STT- 36,363,324 shares
    Aristotle Capital Management- 21,112,134 shares
    FMR LLC- 17,641,927 shares
    Ark Investment Management ARKK- 17,245,755 shares
    Clearbridge Investments- 16,733,505 shares
    Geode Capital Management- 14,314,021 shares
    Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings SMFG- 12,467,698 shares

  • Cotour

    You may not be able to see it or understand it or even be able to listen to it, but don’t argue with what works:

    https://youtu.be/wvb-1wXNI4k

    Musk has leveraged his unique thought process and his financial success into freeing himself to be able to move to another level, a paradigm shifting level.

  • Milt

    Per Tucker Carlson’s commentary last night, has Elon Musk officially become an “enemy of the state”?

    If his purchase of shares in Twitter was indeed done in hopes of influencing its censorship policies, then he has become even more of a thorn in the side / threat to the Biden-Ho Administration, and they and their supporters can hardly afford to let this stand.

    How can they punish / cancel him? Hummmm, let’s see. I believe that one of the companies that he owns is trying to get a favorable environmental assessment with respect to a launch facility in Texas. What do you think its chances are, now?

    And, a reminder, do not think for a moment that the Biden-Ho Administrations actually “wants” to have a successful United States manned (personed?) space program, so they can easily do without the services of Mr. Musk in this respect. The SLS / Artemis effort is more like a jobs program with significant opportunities for woke virtue signaling, but whether it is *successful* (not to mention sustainable) in a practical sense is not really the question.

    All of this may change after the midterm elections, of course, and it will be most interesting to see what Mr. Musk does over the next few months. If nothing else, it is nice to see someone of his stature who seems to be willing to actually fight these evil sons and daughters of perdition, and we can only wish him well.

  • Cluebat

    As a “Loki” archetype and a modern force of chaos in our modern international society, Musk is now in position to ride herd on this board.

    When he opens his mouth, stock prices are influenced in double-digits.

    He will either get some cooperation in reforming the platform, or he will seriously hurt their bottom line.

    One thing is for sure- no matter what he ultimately decides to do, he’s going to get his investment back.

    Next? Start planning an attack on META.

  • Cluebat

    Maybe after Musk gets Twitter their edit button, we can get one here as well?

  • Milt asked: ” . . . has Elon Musk officially become an “enemy of the state”

    These days, a title I would aspire to.

  • Alton

    If anyone here or you know anyone that owns Twitter Stock…..you can by proxy sign over your right to vote the stock to Musk and thus increasing his power in the Company.
    The rule by which he was offered the seat on the board — limits any board members from holding more than 15% of the outstanding stock, but it does not limit the number of shares he can vote.

  • Cotour

    THIS is a big friggin deal!

    https://nypost.com/2022/04/14/elon-musk-offers-to-buy-twitter-for-41-billion/

    Elon Musk clearly understands that the “Woke” / “Progressive” “Fundamental change”, “In the future you will own nothing, and you will be happy” in America and the world results in a poisonous world where only actual fascism and real oppression occurs.

    If you don’t have the time to build it or cant fight them, buy them.

    Its the Communist Chinese model of warfare.

    And who ever does not internally like it? Let them find another job.

    Well done Elon.

  • Cotour

    I will even quote myself on this subject of Elon Musk:

    “You may not be able to see it or understand it or even be able to listen to it, but don’t argue with what works:

    https://youtu.be/wvb-1wXNI4k

    Musk has leveraged his unique thought process and his financial success into freeing himself to be able to move to another level, a paradigm shifting level.”

  • Cotour

    IF THE PEOPLE ARE TO HAVE FREE SPEECH (Copy and share with a fellow American)

    If the people of America are to have free speech as per the First Amendment in order that they be able to be informed and have debate in order that they be better able to redress and make adjustments to THEIR government, then should the government be the entity to tell the people what is information and what is disinformation? Isn’t that like the fox watching the hen house? I think so. No, I know so.

    Biden’s Ministry of Truth | National Review

    It seems counter intuitive. Because it is counter intuitive!

    (I believe these extreme actions by those in this administration (D) proposing an official Orwellian type of government disinformation qualifier and censor are desperate strategies designed to cause outrage and chaos in order to keep their political opponents outraged, busy and off balance. Strategy Over Morality, desperate people playing desperate political games in pursuit of retaining their political power. Political power which is about to shift away from them in the extreme. Obviously, this move by the Democrat party machine through this administration (D) is in reaction to Elon Musk, a Liberal who believes in some true measure of free speech, who has the resources to take away from the Left (D) their political weapon of censorship, propaganda, “information” and control in social media, I.E. Twitter. This Twitter issue and “Domestic Terrorism” will be strategically used in the coming elections to try to deny the people the government that they demand)

    The real failure regarding the validity of information that the people have access to is the conscious failure of the so-called journalists in America and the corporations who employ them who have become aligned with the extreme anti and un-American “Politically correct” Left (D). Truly Orwellian.

    https://ecp.yusercontent.com/mail?url=https%3A%2F%2Fres.cloudinary.com%2Fteepublic%2Fimage%2Fprivate%2Fs–8HvnMF4Q–%2Ft_Preview%2Fb_rgb%3Affb81c%2Cc_lpad%2Cf_jpg%2Ch_630%2Cq_90%2Cw_1200%2Fv1602543372%2Fproduction%2Fdesigns%2F14965951_0.jpg&t=1651324954&ymreqid=dc7face7-d905-7706-2f2c-5a01e2010900&sig=pn5U1U0mDgofm4UkYgABLg–~D

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