Free speech advocates in America cheered Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter when he finally completed his acquisition. On his first day as Twitter’s new boss, Elon Musk began to make major changes, including the reintroduction of several high-profile accounts that were previously banned, including one belonging to Donald Trump.
Only one problem.
Musk upset other free speech “purists” when he said he would not reinstate the account of Infowars lunatic conspiracist Alex Jones.
Jones, of “false flag” infamy, exploited for years the horrific massacre by 20-year-old Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, openly dismissing without merit police and news reports about the terrible shooting that left 26 people dead — 20 of whom were 6-7-year-old children. Jones even insisted that “crisis actors” portrayed grieving parents in the shooting aftermath.
Untold numbers of Twitter users protested Musk’s decision, with this common thread:
Alex Jones being banned by Elon on Twitter because of his personal biases is the antithesis of free speech. This is very hypocritical considering what he claimed to be doing with this platform.
Does it actually represent the antithesis of free speech?
Elon not allowing Alex Jones back on twitter because of personal biases is the antithesis free speech, and very hypocritical to what he claimed he was going to do with this platform. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
— Barrington Martin II (@_BarringtonII) November 21, 2022
Is Musk the hypocrite the train of thought portrays him to be? Of course, not.
In response to a similar tweet, Musk responded with a Matthew 19:14 quote from Jesus:
Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
Is it time to let Alex Jones back on Twitter, @elonmusk? If not, why not?
— Sam Harris (@SamHarrisOrg) November 21, 2022
Musk’s personal response to the “uproar” was poignant:
“My firstborn son died in my arms.” “I felt his last heartbeat.”
I will not tolerate anyone who uses the death of children to gain political power, fame, or financial gain.
However, attacks continue.
Alex fucked up with Sandy Hook. He admitted that and apologized. He also got a lot of “conspiracy theories” right. If serial liars like Biden and Trump are allowed on Twitter then Alex Jones should be allowed too. Please reconsider in the interest of real free speech.
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) November 21, 2022
So why did Jones do it?
According to Reuters, Infowars, at its peak, drew millions of followers and sold doomsday supplies and supplements. It made as much as $800,000. Jones’s lawyer countered by saying that the grieving families “exaggerated their harm for political purposes” and that a large damages award was a “weapon” to silence Infowars.
On October 12, Jones was ordered by the court to pay $1 billion to Sandy Hook families. Jones’s delusional conspiracy theories over the years were one thing. But exploiting the deaths of young children for years, and the trauma that he caused to the untold number of their families, was an inexcusable act.
Some people were uninformed about the award’s size, but it was not important, as it is in all these cases. Jones never pays a dime, so final settlements will only be a fraction of $ 1 billion.
The most important point is that, while unlimited freedom of speech may exist in utopian dreams, it is not a reality in real life. It should be. It is flawed to argue that “if one believes in free speech, then he or she should be supportive of all free speech.” It is a flawed argument.
People who support violence, such as the assassination or murder of a president or another political leader, should be allowed to express their opinions on Twitter or other social media platforms. Perhaps the bombing of a federal structure? There are many examples, but the point is that if the answer is “of course not”, then there is agreement that not all speech should remain free. This brings us to the question of how to draw the line.
As they should, there are still differences of opinion about where the line should be drawn and on which side Alex Jones should reside. Let’s be real, shall we? Unknown percentages of Jones’s critics believe the majority, if not all, of Jones’s nonsense.
All things considered, I don’t subscribe to the notion that Elon Musk has somehow violated his “free speech”, by refusing to allow Alex Jones back to Twitter.