MSNBC’s Ali Velshi slammed tech mogul Elon Musk for his “critique” on free speech and the First Amendment after the Twitter CEO spearheaded the release of the “Twitter Files.”
At Musk’s request, Substack journalist Matt Taibbi published a series of tweets and images that revealed collaborations between Twitter employees and members of both political parties to flag and remove tweets deemed problematic. Notably, this included emergency moderation efforts to suppress the New York Post story on Hunter Biden’s laptop, despite internal concerns that there was little to justify censorship.
“If this isn’t a violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution, what is?” Musk wrote in reference to emails indicating that Twitter staff responded “managed” to requests that the Biden campaign review tweets for removal in 2020.
According to the “Velshi” host, this statement revealed how little Musk understood about the Constitution.
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“This is what we in the cable business like to call a hot take. It reveals Elon Musk’s profound ignorance of the First Amendment. The First Amendment regulates contact with the government. It does not regulate public actors like Twitter. And in “In the Musk example, not only was the Biden campaign not part of the government, but the final decision to agree to comply with the request essentially came from a private decision made by a private company. The Biden campaign is not the government,” he said. Velshi.
He continued: “As it stands, social media platforms like Twitter are free to limit free speech as much or as little as they want, barring a few exceptions. Ultimately, the limits imposed will be defined by the company’s own values and the sudden deluge”. of the dangerous hate speech on Twitter arguably reflects the values of a new owner. A toxic atmosphere it has unleashed has already led numerous high-profile figures to leave the site in protest.”
Velshi also attacked Musk for reinstating banned accounts, suggesting they led to a massive increase in hate speech.
“For Musk, a self-described free speech absolutist, restoring previously restricted accounts is something of a crusade to free Big Tech from the imaginary control of the political left,” Velshi said.
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Several reporters criticized Taibbi’s tweets as “PR work for the richest man in the world.”
Fellow MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan tweeted: “Imagine volunteering to do online PR work for the world’s richest man on a Friday night, serving brazen and cynical right-wing narratives, and then pretending that is speaking the truth to power”.
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When the New York Post story about Hunter Biden’s laptop broke in October 2020, it was dismissed and downplayed by several news outlets. It was only after the election of President Biden that some began to verify the report.