Does Elon Musk really think everything is about freedom of speech -- regardless of the truth, or whether speech is responsible for stoking the flames of dissent and mistrust?
In a move that is contrary to the Twitter owner's self-proclaimed position that “free speech” is everything, Twitter has bowed to a request by the government of India, removing all links to videos from a BBC documentary that is critical of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The two-part documentary focuses on the role and impact of Modi in feeding the fires of prejudice against Muslims in India.
The documentary examines the 2002 riots in the Indian state of Gujarat, where Modi was chief minister at the time. Those riots resulted in over 1,000 casualties -- mostly Muslims.
It wasn’t just Twitter that bowed to pressure from India, but YouTube as well -- banning all video links to the film within the country.
YouTube, Twitter and Meta have relented to Indian government censorship requests before -- when content on those sites that was critical of how the government of India was handling the pandemic was removed.
This comes as Twitter -- and more recently, Meta’s Facebook -- have allowed former President Donald Trump to resume using his account. Trump’s social media posts have been tied to the events around the January 6 insurrection -- using the platforms to drive attendance to the event, where attendees ended up storming the U.S. Capitol.
But is Donald Trump a journalist -- or does he have a strong record of telling the truth and disclosing and reporting on key important information?
The U.S. government never asked Twitter to take down specific content. But, for sure, TV news networks' job -- then and now -- was to dive into separating facts from fiction.
The ongoing questions persist for many -- regardless of Section 230, passed in 1996, which says social media “platforms” are distributors of content, not “publishers” responsible for posts violating U.S. laws.
But what should they do when it comes to outright lies?
What would happen if Twitter refused to take down those video links about India? Would India stop all operations to the social-media service -- going to their 1.4 billion citizens?
That would put a major kibosh on business. So.. not so much free speech.
Ultimately, Twitter gave the former president a platform to speak. But not the BBC, a reputable TV news organization that produced documentaries.
We ask the question again about Musk’s caving in. Do these decisions have anything to do with business?
Just ask yourself soon after Trump's first tweet or post on Facebook what Musk might do when a message offers up an obvious lie.
Hey -- it's free speech! But to those in India, not so much.
Nothing like a so-called news organization that purposely misleads, even in matters of business. Newsmax and other nets/producers from the right or left (i.e. Allen Media?) want special consideration without putting in the actual work of putting out a decent product that enough viewers value to make it go. When Fox News Channel first debuted in the mid-90s, they had to pay for carriage. Right, Left, or Center - put out a good, HONEST, product that people trust, and I guarantee you success. Do otherwise - mislead, omit, confuse, all while claiming to be an objective or journalistic news channel, and you get what you get.. which is just another whining, and failing media executive who's a footnote in the long history of failed television startups and incompetent wanna be media moguls.