It turns out that even for Elon Musk’s Twitter feed, the content spread by far-right American Alex Jones is too toxic. The billionaire and new owner of the microblogging platform recently conducted a poll asking users whether the former president and banned user Donald Trump should regain his account and then unblock it.
For months, there has been speculation about which formerly banned users might return to Twitter in a “free speech” shift.
Trump came back, though he himself didn’t seem too concerned, instead using the attention as an opportunity to trumpet the alternative to the social network he had built.
Elon Musk was quick to ask what Twitter should do next, and as many expected, Alex Jones’ name soon reappeared as an account that should be revived. However, the public’s fears in this regard seemed unfounded, as Elon Musk stated flatly that Jones would no longer get his banned Twitter account.
Twitter’s definition of free speech upsets some critics
One of Elon Musk’s biggest marketing claims related to his Twitter 2.0 is that it will be a free speech platform – but as many have pointed out, the concept of free speech is vague and its definition varies from person to person. According to CNBC, advertisers are quick to hesitate when it comes to their future spending on the platform, prompting Elon Musk to complain about reduced ad revenue due to “activists. However, Elon Musk seems to be more responsible for the exodus, as his botched “Twitter Blue” certification tagging scheme was as bad as users expected, with several major brands caught up in a frenzy of fake account parodies.
Freedom of expression on Twitter is not what some expected – that is, it’s not the carefree Internet wasteland that some wanted and others feared. Instead, there are limits to what users can say on Twitter, they need to follow the rules, and even if their tweets are allowed to remain, they may not be seen by many people.
However, it seems that Alex Jones will no longer have that opportunity. Elon Musk simply said “no” in response to a request that he reinstate Alex Jones’ tweets, sparking a new wave of critical and complaining tweets from users who quickly saw their illusions about Twitter 2.0 shattered.