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Musk Sparks Reaction After Announcing New Twitter Policy On Scientific Data

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Current Twitter CEO Elon Musk sparked a strong reaction this week after he announced the social media platform will promote “reasoned” skepticism of scientific data.

“New Twitter policy is to follow the science, which necessarily includes reasoned questioning of the science,” Musk tweeted.

Writer Katherine Brodsky tweeted in response, “Also known as the scientific method,” to which Musk replied with a “bullseye” emoji, suggesting he agreed with her response and thought it was accurate.

The announcement triggered a strong response from many users, with some in support of the move and others criticizing it.

Evolutionary Behavioral Scientist Gad Saad joked about the dogmatic way scientific experts were treated amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The science is anything that His Eminence Lord Fauci says it is,” Saad quipped. “His Excellency is science.”

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Musk responded by observing, “Anyone who says that questioning them is questioning science itself cannot be regarded as a scientist.”

Journalist David Martosko tweeted that Musk’s announcement has massive implications.

“Isn’t it remarkable that this is a departure from what we’ve seen for many years?” he asked. “I hope it also means it will be acceptable to examine who’s funding science and what kind of restrictions that places is on scientists.”

Eric Weinstein — an economist and the managing director of Thiel Capital — tweeted that he was hopeful that the change could be a major shift across a variety of subjects.

“This. Changes. Everything. If true,” he wrote. “Is that a 1000% commitment to biologists that they can stop *lying* about biological sex, healthy reproductive development, ‘herd immunity’, genetic differences between geographically separated populations, horse paste, Wuhan Inst. GoF, etc.?”

NASA Earth Cartography and Data Visualization lead Joshua Stevens tweeted, “This is fair and reasonable. And if any scientist tells you otherwise, never let them wax poetic about curiosity and wonder ever again.”

Others took issue with Musk’s announcement.

Some Twitter users appeared to condemn Musk’s statement.

New York Times contributor Wajahat Ali tweeted that Musk’s post was, “Something a really dumb person would tweet.”

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Journalist Ashton Pittman tweeted, “By ‘reasoned questioning,’ Elon Musk means batsh*t clown car conspiracy theorist drivel.”

For his part, Fauci is still under fire from many Republican lawmakers.

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul issued a brutal statement to retiring Fauci, the country’s lead immunologist who declared that he had no regrets about how he handled the pandemic.

Paul was not happy with Fauci’s remark.

“Likely there is no public figure, or public health figure, that has made a greater error in judgment than Dr. Fauci. The error in judgment was to fund gain-of-function research in a totalitarian country — fund research that allowed them to create super viruses that, in all likelihood, accidentally leaked into the public and caused seven million people to die,” said Paul, who frequently clashed with Fauci during Senate oversight hearings into Fauci’s responses and recommendations regarding the pandemic.

“Talk about errors. You think he might apologize to the world for funding research that allowed superviruses to be created in a lab – a lab that was not properly outfitted for safety, that people were already reporting was dangerous – to support that kind of research, and then to look the other way and say, ‘Nothing to see here,’ and to cover it up,” Paul noted.

“For the last two years, he’s been covering his tracks, but we’ve caught him red-handed, and he won’t get away,” the GOP senator added.

He also predicted that Fauci would indeed go into the history books but that he would not be remembered as fondly as Fauci himself may think.

“Historically, he will be remembered for one of the worst judgments in the history of modern medicine,” he said, going on to say he planned to try and hold Fauci “accountable” for funding the research.

“I will not only hold Dr. Fauci accountable, we will finally investigate why your tax dollars were sent to fund dangerous research in Wuhan,” he said.

In December 2021, Paul publicly accused Fauci of lying to Congress during his Senate testimony.

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