Advocates argue Musk’s Twitter threatens free speech and democracy

Suzanne Nossel, chief executive of PEN America, Los Angeles Times, October 27, 2022, argues that Elon Musk’s plans to go easy on lies on Twitter could hurt free speech. As free speech is essential to open and democratic societies, it is important to keep political lies and propaganda from dominating the nation’s forums lest the public give up on their efforts to determine the truth.

Brynn Tannehill in the New Republic, October 26, 2022, makes the case more emphatically. Tannehill says Musk plans to reduce Twitter’s attempts to moderate content and restore the accounts of people like former President Donald Trump who regularly spread lies and violent messages could hasten the downfall of democracy. There are many instances, past and present, of hateful messages leading to mass shootings. The danger lies in the prospect that the lies, conspiracy theories and hate will monopolize the internet and drive out moderate voices through intimidation and violence.

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