Elon Musk has already created controversy by tweeting a conspiratorial article on Twitter on October 30, 2022.
SOCIAL NETWORKS – Is the new “chief Twit” already crossing the line? Sunday October 30, only two days after the formalization of the takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk, the latter shared on his platform a conspiratorial article on the attack on the husband of Nancy Pelosi. This while its recent acquisition of the platform raises fears of a resurgence of misinformation or problems related to the moderation of content.
To understand the origin of this tweet, you have to go back 48 hours. On the night of Thursday to Friday, Paul Pelosi, the husband of the leader of the American Democrats in Congress, was attacked at their home in San Francisco by a man armed with a hammer. After breaking into the home, the assailant searched for Nancy Pelosi but only found her husband, whom he beat with a hammer. Paul Pelosi, 82, has been operated on for fractures to his skull, arms and legs, but his life is not in danger.
This violent attack moved all politicians, right and left. President Joe Biden has denounced the political violence in the country and made a thinly masked reference to Donald Trump, who has been claiming for two years that the 2020 election was “volley”. A theory that has many followers among Republicans, some of whom are running in the mid-term elections on November 8.
Musk advertises conspiracy website
Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State, also reacted on Twitter and denounced the “hate and delusional conspiracy theories” relayed by “the Republican party and its spokespersons”, which cause real drama. An article from Los Angeles Times detailing the course of the assailant David Depape, follower of conspiracy theories, accompanied the words of the former First Lady.
The Republican Party and its mouthpieces now regularly spread hate and deranged conspiracy theories. It is shocking… https://t.co/SWW95ycY5n
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton)
“There is a small possibility that appearances are deceiving,” him However, replied Elon Musk, who completed his comment with an article referring to the site Santa Monica Observe. The title of the paper presented an alternative version of the facts: “The terrible truth: Paul Pelosi was still drunk, and had an argument with a prostitute on Friday morning. »
The billionaire unleashed an avalanche of criticism after this tweet. the Santa Monica Observe is indeed known for relaying sometimes eccentric conspiracy theories. In 2016, the site for example claimed that Hillary Clinton was dead and that a double was campaigning in her place against Donald Trump in 2016.
Freedom of expression, at what cost?
Elon Musk’s tweet was deleted hours after it was posted. But the event did not escape several respected media, including the New York Times who reported the facts in an article titled: “Elon Musk, in a tweet, shares the link of a site known for its false information” The billionaire with 123 million subscribers has shifted in a new controversial double-read message: ” It’s wrong. I *not* tweeted a link from the New York Times! – implying that the American daily regularly posted false information.
This is fake – I did *not* tweet out a link to The New York Times! https://t.co/d6V6m5ATW2
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk)
The whimsical boss of Tesla and SpaceX, who sets himself up as a defender of freedom of expression, has repeatedly affirmed that he wants to make Twitter a kind of digital agora, where all opinions are free to express themselves. He defended a too strict moderation of the contents, however concentrating the majority of his attacks against the supposed censorship of the voices of the right and far right.
However, seeking to reassure his advertisers, Elon Musk promised after his acquisition of Twitter that the social network would not become “ hellish” and that he would endow it with a “ content moderation advice ».
Concerns two years before the presidential election
However, shortly after the takeover of the platform, Elon Musk quickly reintroduced Kanye West (Ye), whose account had been suspended for anti-Semitic remarks. In the past, he has also promised to reinstate Donald Trump, also banned from Twitter. While waiting for his hypothetical return, the former American president was delighted with the takeover of the social network by Elon Musk.
With his latest controversial messages, is Elon Musk already going back on his promises of moderation by trolling his platform himself? In any case, there are many concerns in a busy political context in the United States, 8 days from the midterm elections, and two years from the presidential election in which Donald Trump wants to return to politics.
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