“Be Afraid, Be Actually Afraid”: Reporters Panic at the Thought of Twitter Restoring Free Speech Protections

Twitter Logo“Be afraid, be actually afraid.” Those words from former Politico Magazine editor Garrett M. Graff captures the hyperventilation in the media this week. No it is not Vladimir Putin’s threat of unleashing a nuclear war or the word that our national debt has reached a staggering $31 trillion. No, it is the news that Elon Musk may go forward with the purchase of Twitter and . . . [trigger warning] . . . free speech protections might be restored on the platform. The pearl-clutching of various media and academic figures shows how engrained the censorship culture has become in the United States.

After Musk indicated that he was going forward, the Twitter stock quickly soared. The news that Musk might bring an end to Twitter’s extensive censorship system had previously drawn people back to the platform. However, the media is in full panic mode that the control over speech could be loosened with Musk. Twitter employees also previously panicked at the thought that they might lose some of their control over the speech of others.

NBC News reporter Ben Collins quickly raised the most immediate concern that the sudden ability to speak freely on Twitter could impact the midterm elections: “For those of you asking: Yes, I do think this site can and will change pretty dramatically if Musk gets full control over it. No, there is no immediate replacement. If it gets done early enough, based on the people he’s aligned with, yes, it could actually affect midterms.”

Consider that for a second: the loss of control over political speech could mean a loss of control over the midterm elections.  There is, of course, no concern by Collins that Twitter (and other social media companies) have long been “aligned” with Democrats and the Biden Administration.

NPR editor Neela Banerjee retweeted and echoed his concern about “the broader implications for the rest of us of a Musk takeover of Twitter.” Others joined in on the collective panic that there could be a loss of control over what people say on social media.

BBC journalist Dickens Olewe warned that “Guardrails will be dropped, misinfo & conspiracy theories will thrive. No functional alternatives available, this is it: a complete destruction of the global public square. Been nice y’all.”  In other words, free speech protections will lead to the destruction of “the global public square” by losing control of who can speak or what people can say.

PoliticusUSA head Sarah Reese Jones seemed to move from the desperate to the outright delusional: “Before 2020, Facebook deplatformed progressives, then it came for mainstream media and elevated only radicalized conservatives. Cut to 2022, we know Elon Musk plans to do same with Twitter. We know how damaging it will be.Tech giants pose ongoing threat to western democracy.”

151 thoughts on ““Be Afraid, Be Actually Afraid”: Reporters Panic at the Thought of Twitter Restoring Free Speech Protections”

  1. In the spirit of truth, this will bring even more supporters to Musk’s side. It’s the democrats with their propaganda media who are really afraid. Which is why they’re engaged in unprecedented schemes to cheat the voters and rig the elections that, by the way, merely serve to show their real colors – deception, lies, breaking the laws, and violating our unique Constitution. They know they’d lose in a fair fight. The majority of voters are not on the left. It’s the squeaky wheel that’s getting the oil, but we hear their squeaks loud and clear.

  2. It just shows that the only principle the left has is power. Get it and keep it. Everything else is subordinate to this.

  3. I guess mental instability affected the ability to speak good, old-fashioned English! “Actually afraid”??????????

  4. Good for Elon. Twitter and free speech in our nation will, obviously, be all the better for this purchase. Next on Elon’s agenda should be ceasing all of his business arrangements with the Chinese Communist Party, which censors, imprisons, tortures, enslaves, and murders many of its own people.

  5. Biden and democrats threaten people all the time.
    The only difference is that you like their threats.

    You are OK with threatening half the country with FBI targeting for disagreeing with you on politics.

    This is common of leftists – ordinary politics is criminal – but only when they are not practicing it.

  6. Trump is sometimes offensive.
    Biden is constantly dangerous.

    The two are not at all the same.

    The only Danger Trump poses is to the left wing nut agenda.
    Most of us call that making us safer.

    With respect to budget deals – we have been in a debt crisis for almost 2 decades.
    The only question is when is it going to blow up in our faces and how big will that explosion be.

    The current inflation that is harming the economy is a consequence of one stupid effort to deal with that debt crisis by printing more money.
    The recession that we are in and is worsening, is a deliberate effort to mitigate that inflation. It is a painful solution, but the only one known to work.

    We should have dealt with our actual debt 20 years ago – when it would have been easy. Standard of living would have been far higher now had we done so.

    Please do not engage is stupid virtue signalling, because many wise people would rather have a smaller crisis now rather than a bigger one later.

    I would note that inflation is just one way of defaulting on debt.

    The debt crisis has been here for a long time.

    The choice congress faces is kicking the can down the road for less pain now and more later.
    Or having the courage to confront the fact that our government spends far too much.

  7. The whole phenomenon of Twitter, and how it rapidly seduced and addicted journalists and political activists, and the size and impact it projects into more traditional media strains our traditions.

    The first principle put at risk is decentralized media. No one media outlet should approach the power of a monopoly. But what growth constraints does a Twitter face? There were none built into the Digital Millennial law.

    Google filters news the same way as Twitter and FB. The platforms hold enormous power to shape opinion, especially with addicted audiences.

    We’re within a month of midterm elections. Just watch how the skilled infowarriors attempt to play you over the next 3 weeks.

    The overconcentration of power in these companies needs to be reversed.

    The way that seems best is to give individuals exclusive ownership rights over personal info. This will break up the biz plans of the giants, and the world can reorganize media with new companies under new rules that keep media smaller and decentralized.

  8. I’ve spent relatively zero time on Twitter, primarily due to their toxic environment and the supreme lack of reality, integrity and honor. What seems more important to the twats there is that they post to be attention hoes and spew the daily talking points relative to the hive they belong. The truth has no bearing upon the “facts” they continue to push down the throats of so many. IF Musk can make a difference in reopening the lanes of cogent discussion, more power to him. As it is, we have little to depend upon the U.S. showing a united front. In Her stead, we can depend upon the old expression, United We Stand, Divided We Fall to prevail vis a vis the Biden Administration’s desire for the latter.

  9. …“reflective of things that we believe lead to a healthier public conversation.” Agrawal said the company would “focus less on thinking about free speech…Where our role is particularly emphasized is who can be heard.”

    Goebbels would have loved this guy.

  10. Left or right, I think we can all agree that Twitter (like Facebook) is a worthless platform that only promotes division.

    1. Partly true. While division is a vital objective of social media, there are other objectives just as important. Spreading Deep State-sponsored disinformation and misinformation are also vital objectives. Conformity with Deep State edicts and propaganda, and compliance with Deep State mandates are also key objectives.

      1. I think you are giving them credit they don’t deserve. All social media companies want is is to know your likes and dislikes so they can sell ads and sell your info to others

    1. I’m not on Twitter – the popup notice says that I may not read it unless I become a member, which I don’t plan to do… Maybe it would be helpful to engage in a critical evaluation of Twitter by performing a compare & contrast process with another social media platform which doesn’t garner as many complaints. For example: reddit. Maybe reddit is handling some issues differently and/or better than Twitter; and maybe there is something of value to be learned thereby. Just a thought.

  11. I always thought Twitter should be renamed to “Chirper” When it comes to political speech folks are like crickets in the night, chirping: “Here I am, here I am.

  12. Perhaps Mr Turley can finally explain to us what “the Hunter Biden laptop story” is. Nobody else has ever done so coherently.

    1. It’s pretty easy to understand. Do you remember all the things that the lying left claimed Ivanka Trump did in China… Hunter really did them. Do you remember all the things the lying left claimed the Trump son-in-law did in the mid East… Hunter really did them in the Ukraine. Do you remember all the things the lying left claimed Trump himself did in a Russian hotel… Hunter really did them (by the way the third thing is not illegal except if Hunter bought the Cocaine himself). We know this because Hunter videotaped himself or emailed himself showing or saying that he did these things

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