On Friday evening, Musk appeared on Bill Maher’s ‘Real Time’ and discussed the importance of free speech within the United States and the First Amendment.
Since Musk’s takeover of Twitter, he has worked to encourage free speech on both sides of the political aisle, much to the chagrin of the political left. Just recently, Twitter rolled back on a policy of punishing users who deadname transgender people on the platform, per AP News.
In Musk’s discussion with Bill Maher, he speaks to the hypocrisy of the modern-day left, stating “It’s bizarre that we’ve come to this point where free speech used to be a liberal value, yet we see from the left a desire to censor.”
Musk goes further in the discussion, talking about how free speech is an extreme concern in modern America, referencing countries that have much more strict speech laws in contrast to America. Musk avoids naming any country, but Maher chipped in, saying “England is quite different” in their speech laws.
During the discussion, Maher brings up a French law where it is illegal to deny the legitimacy of the Holocaust, which is a law that is shared by fifteen other European countries as well as Canada and Israel. Maher states he believes the denial of the Holocaust to be “abhorrent,” but also speaks of how it should still be “part of free speech.”
Afterward, Musk goes deeper into the importance of protecting free speech, stating how it is most important when it’s “someone you don’t like saying something you don’t like,” and free speech you do like is “easy.”
He finishes up the discussion warning advocates of censorship that someday the very censorship they push for will “be turned on you.”
While Musk has largely pushed for more fairness in Twitter’s speech policies since his take over, his time with censorship and the platform hasn’t been unblemished. MSNBC reports that, according to new data, Twitter has been more compliant with government authorities than before Musk’s takeover.
However, the data used in the MSNBC article refers to specific government requests for takedowns of tweets and doesn’t speak of pro-left-leaning policies that were inherently in place in pre-Musk Twitter.
Overall, the discussion with Maher highlighted the importance of free speech that the Founding Fathers of this country fought hard to give to us. Hopefully, in the future, we can see Twitter as an even more free space for users to share their opinions and discuss with one another the important topics in today’s world, but only time can tell.
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