3 Ways Musk Can Support Free Speech

Back in Paleolithic April, Elon Musk seemed excited to buy Twitter and said he wanted to change the site to promote free speech.

A lot has happened since then: Musk He speaks he no longer wants to buy Twitter, and the company suing to get him to go through the acquisition. Was court hearing Today.

The deal could still go through. In today’s newsletter, I’ll take a look at three suggestions for what Musk could do if he eventually owns Twitter and is serious about pushing the boundaries of online expression.

Provide more transparency to the inner workings of Twitter

Moderating online conversations can be difficult, and Twitter and other social networking sites get confused with some regularity. Moderators make questionable calls and people sometimes don’t know why a post was deleted or why Twitter took or didn’t take action.

Freedom and trust on the Internet would be greater if people could understand the decisions made by Twitter, Facebook and YouTube and were able to voice their grievances. This calls for more investment and openness from Twitter and its peers to explain their sometimes difficult judgments about online expression, as well as easier ways for users to challenge those decisions.

Human rights activists also suggested changing laws so that journalists and scientists can analyze what is happening under the hood of sites like Twitter. Jameel Jaffer, Executive Director of the Knight’s First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, proposed last week on Twitter that Musk could commission an independent review of the company’s content moderation policies and practices.

Making the inner workings of Twitter transparent doesn’t change what people may or may not say there. But it could build public confidence if there were more answers to important questions such as: suppress conservative views? How often does Twitter make the mistake of keeping posts that violate its rules or deleting erroneous posts? How Twitter Computer Systems Work enhance political content?

Allow more political expression

Several online speech experts have told me that Musk can build Twitter’s credibility as a place that encourages the active exchange of ideas by ensuring the site allows messages from U.S. elected officials and candidates and only restrictions on discussion of political topics in extreme cases.

Deciding when Twitter and other sites should step in and remove political posts or ban accounts is a complex task. We saw this discussed when many people felt that Donald Trump and other officials had too much leeway to post false allegations of election fraud on Twitter before and after the 2020 presidential election.

But the Knight’s First Amendment Institute said that it is important for sites to give “a strong presumption in favor of not political speech” and to “respond in a balanced manner to violations” of community standards.

In essence, experts say that people benefit from appreciating what their elected leaders say and from talking about their government and its policies, even if some of the talk contains misleading information or even bigotry. It’s not far from what’s on Twitter. politics are already talking.

There are limits to non-interference in political speech on the Internet. Twitter has experimented with adding misguided but worthy context information to potentially misleading political positions. And most online expression experts believe that Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have been justified in Downloading Mr. Trump from his websites after the Capitol riot last year. (Some of them believe that his suspension should now be lifted.)

Challenge governments that restrict citizens’ freedom of expression

Rarely in the US, American Internet companies are forced to protect ordinary people from online censorship, harassment, or violent incitement from their own government. But what happens regularly outside in US.

Twitter has at times been a strong advocate for citizens who use the service to criticize their own leaders. it sued India this month to challenge the government’s interpretation of a law that restricts publications related to civil liberties, protests and freedom of the press. He could do much more.

If Musk was serious about giving voice to people far less powerful than him, he could fight back when governments try to stifle free speech and call on the US government to support internet companies when they do.

We need to keep discussing how the relatively new means of communication and persuasion should work to improve our understanding of the world.


  • Anonymity is the ultimate double-edged sword. NGL is the latest application for allow people to post anonymous questions and comments, writes my colleague Valeria Safronova. Previous anonymous messaging apps like ASKfm, Secret, and Yik Yak struggled to contain bullying and threats of violence and eventually crashed.

  • Need for inventions is cunning: The Verge writes fascinating story blind programmers who created two generations of screen readers, programs that read out loud text on a computer screen. Inventors, including two who met as children at an Australian music camp, have filled a technology gap that was largely created by sighted programmers.

    Connected: Some blind and visually impaired people say that automated tools that were supposed to make websites more accessible to them have instead. harder use screen readers, said my colleague Amanda Morris.

    Formerly from On Tech: “Disability drives innovation”

  • Nepal is tired of your TikTok videos: Some tourist and religious sites in the country have tried to ban people from recording online videos on their premises. “For them, getting all the likes is fun, but for visitors like us, it’s unsettling.” – Frequent visitor to the sacred garden in Lumbini. said The rest of the world.

Don’t bother telling a story a dog that growls at a statue.


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