Elon Musk traps ‘free speech’ behind a paywall after realising no one likes him

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SpaceX and Tesla owner Elon Musk has recently become the dictator of Twitter, performing sweeping changes across the social media platform. After purchasing the platform for $44 billion, Musk has made a number of unpopular changes to Twitter.

Following his self-appointment as Twitter CEO, Musk’s popularity has dwindled, even among his most devout followers. In a recent poll, Musk asked Twitter users if he should step down as CEO, and the results were not to his liking.

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In the poll, the majority of respondents said the billionaire should resign from Twitter. Musk has also used polls in the past to support huge changes, including reverting the decision to block external links to services such as Facebook, Mastodon, Linktree and more.

Musk’s polls have been a part of his claim that Twitter will support “free speech”. This decision has been an integral component of Musk’s campaign to allow more right wing voices to spread across the platform without censorship. However, those polls are not going in his favour.

Following the public’s decision to remove blocking of external links and push Musk to step down, the billionaire has turned heel on his “free speech” mantra. Instead, he will charge people to engage in his so-called free speech debates.

On Twitter, Musk responded to a Twitter user claiming that only Twitter Blue subscribers should be allowed to engage in important polls. Twitter Blue is a subscription that costs users $8 a month, offering a verification mark for anyone who subscribes.

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Musk’s agreement to leave essential Twitter polls up to the beliefs of paying customers is not “free speech”. It’s the exact opposite; it’s paid platforming. While Musk claims his acquisition of Twitter has resulted in “no more Lords and Peasants”, he’s done the exact opposite. His loyal, paying followers are the Lords, and his treatment of the platform secures him as its dictator.

Essentially, Elon Musk is creating the billionaire’s version of free speech, the one-percent’s idea of what constitutes freedom. It’s egotistical, eccentric and morally corrupt, and it’s one that inherently puts those with disposable income up at the top whilst the “peasants”, as Musk calls them, are left to deal with the consequences.