UPDATED 5:53 PM PT – Friday, November 4, 2022
Multi-billionaire Elon Musk sheds light on the direction he plans to take Twitter.
The world’s most interesting man is looking to protect free speech on the internet’s biggest town square.
On Friday, while speaking at a conference in New York, the self-proclaimed “Chief Twit” disclosed that left-wing activists have been working to censor Conservatives. Groups such as Media Matters and the National Center for Transgender Equality have sent letters asking major corporations not to advertise on the platform.
“But nonetheless activist groups have been successful in causing a massive drop in the Twitter’s advertising revenue, and we’ve done our absolute best to appease them and nothing is working,” Musk said. “So this is a major concern and I think this is frankly an attack on the first amendment”.
Additionally, large corporations such as Pfizer, General Mills and Audi have pulled advertisements from Twitter in reaction to the recent change in leadership.
Musk made it known that the entire industry is suffering due to advertising shifts and that Twitter is particularly vulnerable. However, encroachments on free speech are not coming from just the outside, as the platform has only policed accounts of a certain viewpoint.
Dr. Jordan Peterson, the Babylon Bee and Libs of TikTok have all been locked out of their accounts for violating Twitter’s undisclosed user guidelines. Additionally, the New York Post was penalized for releasing the “Hunter Biden Laptop Story” on the platform. It was labeled as misinformation.
While Musk has stressed a need for open discourse, the billionaire claimed he will not let Twitter become a hotbed for extremism.
“So um, we have had, like actually, like big, targeted attacks where temporarily people put some hate speech on Twitter, but those were taken down immediately,” Musk said.
The business magnate went on to promote his proposed verification program which he has presented as a turning point for the company.
“Um so now, part of what I am trying to achieve with this enabling everyone be payment verified with Twitter blue is to try to get as many people payment verified as possible,” Musk said. “It’s only eight bucks a month, although uh, some people were complaining about that”.
Democrat Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-N.Y.) got into a Twitter spat with Musk over the eight-dollar per month subscription. Her complaint comes despite her raking in more than $170,000 per year of taxpayer money. The Democrat largely uses social media to promote her policies.
The verification service may provide a much-needed stream of revenue to Twitter, as the platform was slated to lose $700 million next year. Despite the volatile situation the company is in, Musk expressed his optimism for the future of Twitter.
“I think there is a tremendous amount of potential, that will be very difficult to achieve,” said Musk. “But I think possible, and I think ultimately, it could be one of the most valuable companies in the world.”