Musk took over Twitter, immediately fired most of the executive staff, and has seemingly lowered the restrictions on some of the more notorious Twitter offenders (of which sadly pathetic but proud killer Kyle Rittenhouse is one).
Musk’s own tweets would seem to support our worst fears of his impact on the site. This screenshot of a Hillary Clinton tweet and a Musk reply is a good example. Instead of joining with Clinton to condemn what was a heinous attack on Paul Pelosi, Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Musk decided to jump onto the most-cringeworthy, fringeworthy conspiracies.
What’s worse is the despicable and disgusting lie about Paul Pelosi is being allowed to flourish on Twitter. So much so that I’m wondering if Musk has told the people that handle moderation to cease their activities.
Good-bye Good Twitter
To celebrate Musk’s take over, the right burst forth in hate speech, including an astounding 500% increase in the use of the N word.
Tom Fitton, that miserable excuse for a human being who wants to destroy the quality of life we still have, is claiming that Twitter is censoring a report on illegal ballot harvesting in Florida. The above-mentioned Rittenhouse is looking into it.
The reality is: there is no illegal ballot harvesting in Florida. The claims are a lie. A fact-checked lie. So Twitter is preventing an election lie, and that has the right so very unhappy. Which says a lot about the right.
But how long will the lies be caught and tossed? Already, the appalling and ugly-as-hell rightwing-generated myth surrounding the Paul Pelosi attack that Musk tweeted is dominating the service.
Meet Evil Twin Twitter
All the ugly activity—the Pelosi attack myth, the racism and bigotry—will end up driving sane people off the site. Many folks have quit already; moving on to singular writing or other social media sites. This leaves the toxic and the even more toxic to control what happens at the site.
Normally, folks who want to stay with Twitter would have a solution: just block everyone who is toxic. And in a way this would work. We could resurrect Good Twitter, and float it above its evil twin.
The problem, though, is the media. The media is used to examining Twitter trends to figure out what stories to cover, and for how long. If extremists on the right have excessive influence on these trends, and the media continues it’s lazy, click-bait behavior, Musk and Evil Twin Twitter could have a profound impact on what news is published.
Twitter and other social media sites have already had a wrongful impact on how news is covered—with major news organizations determined to normalize extremist rightwing activity in order to appear to be ‘balanced’ in its coverage based on loud howls of protest on social media.
I shudder to think how much worse this will all get with Musk in control.