OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Twitter CEO Elon Musk is not taking any prisoners in who he shreds as the new owner of the microblogging website.
This time he tore into The Associated Press after it published a disparaging story about him and then shared it on his platform.
“New Twitter owner Elon Musk said he is granting ‘amnesty’ for suspended accounts, which online safety experts predict will spur a rise in harassment, hate speech and misinformation,” it said on Twitter.
New Twitter owner Elon Musk said he is granting "amnesty” for suspended accounts, which online safety experts predict will spur a rise in harassment, hate speech and misinformation. https://t.co/aZ0NyUP7Fp
— The Associated Press (@AP) November 24, 2022
The Associated Press reported.
On Oct. 28, the day after he took control, Musk tweeted that no suspended accounts would be reinstated until Twitter formed a “content moderation council” with diverse viewpoints that would consider the cases.
On Tuesday, he said he was reneging on that promise because he’d agreed to at the insistence of “a large coalition of political-social activists groups” who later ”broke the deal” by urging that advertisers at least temporarily stop giving Twitter their business.
A day earlier, Twitter reinstated the personal account of far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, which was banned in January for violating the platform’s COVID misinformation policies.
Musk, meanwhile, has been getting increasingly chummy on Twitter with right-wing figures. Before this month’s U.S. midterm elections he urged “independent-minded” people to vote Republican.
“AP is such an expert in misinformation. Twitter couldn’t hope to compete!” the CEO said.
“But you have piqued my curiosity … who are these ‘online experts’ you speak of?” he said.
But you have piqued my curiosity … who are these “online experts” you speak of?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 25, 2022
Musk provided a major update on the status of the platform this week that is not likely to sit well with everyone.
Musk noted on Monday that the number of users for the day rose by 1.6 million on Monday, a new high since he acquired the social media giant earlier this fall in a $44 billion purchase.
Twitter added 1.6M daily active users this past week, another all-time high pic.twitter.com/Si3cRYnvyD
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 22, 2022
It’s only been weeks since Musk took over Twitter. What’s more, he has since trimmed the company’s workforce by more than 50 percent in his quest to make the company profitable for a change.
Musk’s update runs counter to prognostications on the left about Twitter’s pending demise.
Twitter is ALIVE
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 20, 2022
That said, several left-leaning figures, especially journalists, have fled Twitter for another platform called “Mastodon, only to destroy it with their waves of negativity,” the Western Journal noted in an op-ed.
“Mastodon, a social media alternative to Twitter, has reportedly become the source of woke infighting and journalistic ‘gatekeeping,’ much to the amusement of media critics and Twitter CEO Elon Musk himself,” Fox News reported this week.
Mastodon is hell. And it’s a hell in which every moderator can read your DMs and if they deem you to be talking behind their backs you will get banned. It’s the inverse of Twitter, where people can publicly make fun of @elonmusk and not get banned for it. pic.twitter.com/vZFj6nRVVP
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) November 20, 2022
The infighting on Mastodon led Musk to quip this week as well: “Hope all judgy hall monitors stay on other platforms — please, I’m begging u.”
Hope all judgy hall monitors stay on other platforms – please, I’m begging u
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 21, 2022
The Western Journal’s op-ed noted further:
Journalists are far from the only dyed-in-the-wool leftists who have made a big show of quitting Twitter.
A long list of celebrities also lined up to virtue-signal by announcing their departure from the platform. Ken Olin, Téa Leoni, Shonda Rhimes and Alex Winter all left Twitter. They were soon joined by Gigi Hadid, Mick Foley, Sara Bareilles, Toni Braxton and more.
Then there were the woke corporations that put a halt to their advertising on Twitter to virtue-signal to the left that they are down with the struggle to end free speech in America. Those cowardly companies include General Mills, Mondelez International (maker of Oreo cookies), Pfizer and Audi.
Well bye. pic.twitter.com/kU1ytJGeNO
— Meredith Snow (@MeredithSnow20) November 23, 2022
Earlier this month, liberals reacted negatively when Musk began to reinstate previously banned accounts, including former President Donald Trump, who has yet to actually post a new tweet.
“Elon Musk is letting a man who led a violent Insurrection to overthrow the United States Government back on this platform. Letting the Lies and Disinformation continue to poison the American bloodstream,” he said.
Keith Olbermann added: “Life accomplishments of Donald J. Trump: – 2016: as ultimate political outsider is nonetheless elected president of the United States – 2022: gets account reinstated on free website.”
“Memo to Elon, freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom to incite an insurrection,” former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich said.
“Musk is not exactly Donald Trump. But both represent the emergence of a particularly American personality in the early decades of the 21st century: the wildly disruptive narcissist,” he added.
“People are leaving Twitter in droves but it’s so crucial we stay together. Please follow @CalltoActivism so we can fight back and keep our liberal voice strong,” Billy Baldwin said. “I’m not backing down from Twitter or Elon. Who’s with me?”
I’m not backing down from Twitter or Elon. Who’s with me?
— Billy Baldwin (@BillyBaldwin) November 20, 2022
Bette Midler insultingly added: “A tragic day for #America, which Elon doesn’t understand, because at heart, he’s not American, any more than #Murdoch is. An illegal immigrant, raised in Apartheid SA, he’s just fine with racism & hate. His fake Vox Populi! He was always going to let him back: he needs the eyes,” she said.