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CHARBONNEAU – Musk buys Twitter to promote a populist agenda

THE TWITTERVERSE is atwitter after Elon Musk purchased the world’s largest bullhorn for $44 billion. Right-wingers are crowing at the return of Twitter as a platform for misinformation.

Right-wing pundits are recirculating long-debunked conspiracy theories to “test” whether Twitter’s policies on misinformation were still being enforced.

They are tweeting buzzwords such as “ivermectin,” and “Trump won” to see whether they can get away with content they would previously have been flagged for.

Ivermectin is a code word for the populist notion of freedom. It’s a cheap drug that kills parasites in humans and animals. Ivermectin has been inanely promoted by some Republican lawmakers and conservative talk show hosts as an effective way to treat COVID-19. Health experts warn there’s no evidence to support that belief.

Steve Cortes, a former advisor for President Donald Trump wrote in a tweet, where he included a microphone emoji. “THERE ARE TWO SEXES TRUMP WON IVERMECTIN ROCKS.”

How juvenile. It’s like rotten kids seeing how far they can go with potty mouths. Grow up.

Musk has indicated how close to the gutter he wants Twitter to go by saying former President Trump could return to Twitter. Trump is being coy: “I am very happy that Twitter is now in sane hands, and will no longer be run by Radical Left Lunatics and Maniacs that truly hate our country,” he posted on his social media platform Truth Social, leaving no indication of whether he’d return to the platform or not.

Musk repeats Russian propaganda. After meeting with Russian President Putin, he says that Ukraine should remain neutral. Ukraine is already neutral except when invaded by Russia and its territory illegally annexed.

Musk says that “Crimea [is] formally part of Russia, as it has been since 1783.” Not quite.

While Catherine the Great incorporated Crimea into Russia in 1783, much has happened since. On Feb. 19, 1954, First Secretary of the Russian Supreme Soviet Nikita Khrushchev transferred Crimea to the Ukraine.

The Supreme Soviet Decree states that this transfer was motivated by “the commonality of the economy, the proximity, and close economic and cultural relations between the Crimean region and the Ukraine.”

I long for the years when sensible leaders like Khrushchev stated the obvious. A simple look at map will place Crimea in Ukraine.

In the 12 hours after Musk, the self-described “free speech absolutist,” took over, there was a 500 per-cent increase in the use of the N-word according to a social media analysis firm. The use of additional racist, antisemitic and homophobic language also increased.

A Globe and Mail reporter notes that one account called on users to tweet out their “Jew jokes.”

Musk repeats conspiracy theories.

When Hillary Clinton tweeted about the violent attack on U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Musk responded: “There is a tiny possibility there might be more to this story,” he wrote.

At the same time he shared a baseless victim-blaming conspiracy theory from a website that once claimed Ms. Clinton had died and a body-double had replaced her in a debate with Donald Trump.

Musk’s tweet was eventually deleted, but this is the example the new owner of the platform is setting.

Twitter tried to clean up its act but the bird is headed for a nosedive.

David Charbonneau is a retired TRU electronics instructor who hosts a blog at http://www.eyeviewkamloops.wordpress.com.

About Mel Rothenburger (9224 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

1 Comment on CHARBONNEAU – Musk buys Twitter to promote a populist agenda

  1. If one believes there are more than two sexes then another one is free to believe whatever he/she wants in regards to where Crimea belongs or wether the recently retired mayor of our city was a good one or not. A plethora of topics and a plethora of opinions. I am neither a “Twitter” nor a fan of Musk. I am not planning to buy a Tesla nor support the idea that more consumerism of one type will solve the conundrums caused by a previous version of it. And I am now of the idea that a certain version of the “left” is just as lunatic as its opposite one.

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