UPDATE: We have just confirmed that this story has been censored on the r/ElonMusk subreddit and at least one major Elon Musk discord. The irony may be lost on the Elon bros – the very subjects of this piece.
The days since the announcement have been surreal for me. I have alternately bawled my eyes out and wallowed in an almost comatose state, unable to comprehend, to accept what must come next. Jeff Jarvis speaks for all of us when he says it feels "like the last evening in a Berlin nightclub at the twilight of Weimar Germany."
It has now been confirmed that Elon Musk is going to buy Twitter, and he fully intends to revoke vital Terms of Service provisions that protect the marginalized from the type of human that Elon Musk considers valid. These white cis males (and their sycophantic servants) will be let loose to do as they wilt all over the platform.
Because abuse and driving folks to suicide is what it all boils down to. We need to understand that if we are to have a fighting chance at all. We are not dealing with good faith "people" just "looking to exchange ideas freely."
It's laughably pathetic that "I want to be as cruel as possible but the mods won't let me 🥺" is the best argument so many conservatives have for free speech (not that they are known for intelligence), but it's no laughing matter.
And you just have to marvel at the sheer triumphant small-mindedness of it, this flaunting of the worst tendencies in human nature.
So much eloquence has been spoken on the subject of freedom of expression. You could fall back on Milton, on Mill – but no, the best you've got is "I WANT TO BEHAVE LIKE AN ABSOLUTE RAT BASTARD."
If it wasn't already obvious that "free speech" is a dogwhistle (as pointed out by Dr Lauren Hall-Lew), "free speech activists" then turn around and call for the purging from schools of books about sexuality, or the historical facts of race in America. All of it, burned.
They rejoice over their bonfire, but only halfly so, for the crackling of their bonfire is missing the other conservative ingredient: the smell of minorities being burned alive, screaming out.
The only good thing to come of all this is the abundant transparency of these almost not human entities. People are finally beginning to understand they don't want freedom of speech in any academic sense of the term.
You will feel it on your body. And in your soul. Twitter, under the promised new guidelines, will become something far worse than 4chan. It will be a massive concentration camp 2.0, with energized Elon bros joyously torturing minority inmates with gaslighting, doxxing, and harassment brigades.
As CNN points out, "You need regulation. You cannot let these guys control discourse in this country or we are headed to hell. We are there. Trump opened the gates of hell and now they’re chasing us down."
CNN's David Zurawik: "Dangerous" with Elon Musk buying Twitter, we need to look to Europe.
"You need regulation. You cannot let these guys control discourse in this country or we are headed to hell. We are there. Trump opened the gates of hell and now they’re chasing us down." pic.twitter.com/QubyKZwVCQ
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) May 1, 2022
Conservatives writ large have systematically chipped at and now reduced "free speech" to just another sneering excuse for treading down the downtrodden, for whipping the marginalized, for gay bashing the alternative, for incarcerating non-white boys from infancy to grave, for curb-stomping Black people's skulls open, for raping and disappearing transgender Native American women, and for lynching little Black boys for merely looking at a white female.
Free speech isn't the right to speak out against power.
Free speech is a fucking AR-15.
And it's loaded.
And they're pointing it at our heads.
And they WILL pull the fucking trigger.