Elon Musk keeps signaling that he thinks Twitter is too left-wing


If you use Twitter regularly, the last week has felt disorienting and familiar as Musk’s role on the platform has changed. He’s always been mega-popular with tens of millions of followers, but now that he’s the soon-to-be owner of Twitter his every thought is newsworthy because it may portend some potential change in policy.

Can we think of anyone else like that? A troll with a gigantic cult following who suddenly attains a position of immense power, obliging you to pay attention to everything he says?

Musk has entered The Trump Zone of Twitter power users. And judging by his tweets over the past few days, he’s enjoying himself tremendously. “Let’s make Twitter maximum fun!” he tweeted last night. He already seems to be having so much fun taunting lefties, I’m not sure how much more “maximum” it can get.

As usual with Musk, it’s hard lately to tell how much he’s expressing his sincere feelings versus how much he’s trolling the libs because he gets a kick out of it, making mischief just because he can. My sense is that he’s tickled pink watching the overwrought progressive reactions to his takeover. In fact, one consistent thread in his posts this week is that he thinks Twitter has gone too far in the past in suppressing information — and that it’s done so because of management’s liberal bent.

On the Musk-o-meter spectrum of sincere or trolling, I think he’s probably entirely sincere with this:

It was inappropriate. No sarcasm required. This one is more in the middle of the spectrum:

That sounds to me like he thinks bringing Trump back is a matter of “free speech” and therefore something he’s inclined to do. Otherwise why not also mention Gab, Gettr, Parler and other Twitter alternatives that arose as right-wing answers to the alleged lack of free speech on Twitter?

The last few days Musk has been in full troll mode. He dropped this yesterday…

…and this earlier today:

That last one is especially annoying to progressives. It’s true that the left has moved further left over the past 15 years but liberals are indignant at the implication that they’ve become more radical than conservatives have. For instance:

Others pointed to this Pew data from March:

Still others dispensed with data altogether and grumbled that the party that nominated John McCain in 2008 but tried to overturn the presidential election in 2020 can’t rightly be seen as an island of moderate stability as the libs go full communist. Either way, Musk is probably delighted to see so many irritated Democrats firing back at him. And those irritated Democrats are probably enjoying having a hugely powerful hate object to pile on — which, again, makes this whole episode feel very familiar.

Musk did sound one serious note last night:

I don’t know what he means by the right being “a little unhappy too.” Presumably that’s him saying that the threshold for banning users will be high on both sides. If a popular conservative passes away and liberals spend the day high-fiving and grave-dancing, righties won’t like it but I assume no one will be banned. But then, that’s how Twitter operates now so everyone should be used to it.

Most of the criticism of Musk on Twitter can be dismissed as hysteria over the changes he might make, with no one having identified any specific change they fear apart from an unlikely “no one can be banned for anything” policy that would turn the platform in to 4Chan. This criticism is smarter, however:

I wrote about that a few days ago. If you’re unbothered by Musk’s extensive ties to China, you’re gambling that either the CCP has too much respect for free speech to try to pressure Musk on how he manages Twitter (giggle) or you’re gambling that Musk is too stalwart a defender of free speech to bow to CCP pressure — even though Tesla is far more valuable than Twitter is and China has plenty of leverage over it.

Speaking of China, I’ll leave you with this. Am I watching a deepfake here or does this guy really resemble Musk this much?

@mayilong0 This is a free bird. I like him and I’m going to go to him right now. Because Elon Musk is my brother#elonmusk #tesla #twitter ♬ dance(256762) – TimTaj





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