On Thursday night, normal human and free speech hero Elon Musk decided that a few people he didn’t like couldn’t play with his new toy, Twitter. Over half a dozen journalists suddenly found themselves ejected from the platform. Their crime, it seems, was writing about an account that tracked the voyages of Musk’s private jet using publicly available data, or about some other thing that Musk decided was simply too personal. (The @Elon’sJet account has also been banned, even though Musk recently made a big show of saying he wouldn’t ban it. Weird!)
Musk described all of this as a form of posting “basically assassination coordinates.” This is despite the fact that, again, his flight information is publicly available, and that there is literally no evidence that any of the journalists were sharing private information about the location of either Musk or his family.
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Now, some of these banned people do good work, and some are very annoying, but just being annoying is not really grounds for getting ousted from a platform. Nor is “the baby who owns this platform decided to change his rules specifically so he could ban you” a particularly good reason for losing your access. Hey, it’s almost as if such an important tool of communication should not be in the unaccountable private hands of a single doofus!
Anyway, it now appears to be verboten to even mention on Twitter that Elon Musk has a private jet. Saying “Elon Musk’s private jet” three times is like bringing Bloody Mary around or something. Spoooooky things will happen!
Luckily, we here at Discourse Blog are an independent entity with our own website, where we can tell you that Elon Musk’s flight movements are still readily available to you. Just click here! And here’s a picture of the cool plane info.
We know that this is Musk’s plane because—stop us if you’ve heard this before—this information is PUBLICLY AVAILABLE. As in, Musk had to register his plane with the government, and anyone who wishes to can find that information, and all of the stuff about the plane and where it is gets put into some computers or whatever and people can find that too. This is not some Elon exclusive thing. People are tracking flights from all sorts of people, all of the time…because the information is publicly available. You can probably see what a bunch of other billionaires are doing if you want to. Go nuts!
PS: We’re really looking forward to the huge Twitter Files investigation that the world’s biggest consortium of Free Speech Icons is surely putting together about the haphazard and entirely unilateral decision-making process that led to the controversial banning of several individuals from the platform. That’s definitely coming, right????
+1 for the link to Defector. Subscribe to both!
As with many things, right-wing ghouls don't >really< understand what is meant by "free speech" and "censorship", but Musk had stumbled across an actual factoid that many don't think about: Freedom of speech does not automatically mean freedom to broadcast. Of course, this is cloaked in his "FREE SPEEECH UBER ALLES!!!! <except when it personally affects me, then go pound sand on Telegraph>" hypocrisy, which is entertaining in a "You Goddamned Grifter--go con someone else for a change!" kind of way, and I would probably have a different perspective if I used Twitter. Of course, the >not dumbass< way of banning folk you just don't like is to sotto voce change the TOS (which is always liable to change without notice) at about 0400 EST on a Saturday then quietly ban each of the reporters over a week or two on spurious violation of TOS grounds. JESUS CHRIST, ELON--THIS SHIT ISN"T DIFFICULT!!! HARDEN UP, YOU CREEPY FUCKER!!!
Concur about Defector. I could not care less about sports, but I'm appreciative enough of the writing that I'm an Accomplice. Or whatever that yearly level is...