The 'New Twitter' & Freedom of Speech: the Next Months will be Critical
The 'New Twitter,' it's a bit like with the famous French wine 'Beaujolais Nouveau.' You can't really know what to expect from it until you actually taste it.
With Musk’s handle on the ‘New Twitter,’ what is probably the most important change was announced by him yesterday, as he declared, following the results of a poll that gathered some 3.1 million votes:
“The people have spoken. Amnesty begins next week. Vox Populi, Vox Dei.”
The question was: “Should Twitter offer a general amnesty to suspended accounts, provided that they have not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam?”
The poll received 72.4% of yes.
This means that, next week, all those who were censored, de-platformed, cancelled, for unfounded reasons, will be reinstated.
The list is long and will most probably include: Dr. Peter McCullough; Dr. Robert Malone; Dr. George Fareed; Dr. Brian Tyson; Dr. Mary Talley Bowden; Dr. Stella Emmanuel; Dr. Kelly Victory; Dr. Mike Yeadon; Dr. Naomi Wolf; Dr. Jessica Rose; Dr. Tony Hinton; Dr. Vernon Coleman; Dr. Patrick Phillips; Dr. Kat Lindley; Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai; Dr. Lynn Fynn; Dr. Paul Alexander & others.
Influential analysts such as Steve Kirsch, Edward Dowd, Igor Chudov and “Covid19Crusher” are also expected to be reinstated.
This move by Musk comes after the reinstatement of former president Donald Trump on the platform, even if the latter declined to use it, for the time being, giving preference to his own “Truth Social”.
These moves by Musk did not come without criticisms …
For example, a Washington Post piece refers to “Opening the Gates of Hell” — nothing less — when it comes to reinstating currently suspended / banned accounts!
The details of the new policy have not been announced, yet its spirit is outlined in this exchange.
Tom Fitton: “Please limit content moderation to illegal content (or, at most, a narrow interpretation of moderation under Section 230) and give users the tools that enable the freedom to choose what content they see.”
Elon Musk, replied: “That’s the general idea.”
Another important statement by Musk is that he intends continuing to reduce the reach of certain people, like the previous management did.
“New Twitter policy is freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach. Negative/hate tweets will be max deboosted & demonetized, so no ads or other revenue to Twitter. You won’t find the tweet unless you specifically seek it out, which is no different from rest of Internet.”
This approach seems quite arbitrary. Indeed, what is a “negative” tweet? And it is largely contrary to freedom of speech. What is freedom of speech without freedom of reach? Isn’t it like screaming in a desert, or in a prison?
Those who are / have been shadow banned know how frustrating or even ridiculous it is to be on a social media platform where about nobody sees your contributions. This is something many experience / have experienced on Twitter, Facebook, once the “verboten topics” were approached differently from the mainstream narrative.
So there is a clear need to clarify, and hopefully, the process should be transparent, and those who are deboosted / demonetized / shadow banned need to be precisely informed of the kind of treatment they are being given by the platform, and also be allowed to appeal through a fair process.
In late October, Musk mentioned a new “content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints” would be created, yet it seems that the concept was dropped, bringing Musk to rely instead on “Vox Populi” for deciding on Trump’s fate on Twitter and on the amnesty for those who were cancelled from the platform.
Note that the idea of free speech is to give a voice to those in the minority, so ruling a free speech platform through Vox Populi, i.e. majority voting, is kind of a strange concept …
Twitter v. Substack
An interesting development, that mostly took place this past year, has been the emergence of Substack as a place where there is much more ample freedom of speech and where contributors can derive income.
This has brought the likes of Dr. Robert Malone, Dr. McCullough, Steve Kirch, Dr. Alexander, Dr. Rose, Igor Chudov and others to develop pretty significant followings on Substack - a platform that provides a very different experience to readers than Twitter.
Now Twitter intends to provide the ability to have long-form texts attached to tweets, and how this will impact Substack will be interesting to see.
Yet, the most likely scenario is that Twitter and Substack will co-exist, with Twitter being used by content-creators to direct traffic to their Substack, with the potential of generating income - something that may not be to the liking of Musk, who may counter-attack with a Substack like option on Twitter.
Note that Twitter reacted to the emergence of the audio platform ClubHouse by creating its own “Spaces” - a move that certainly impacted negatively ClubHouse, as Twitter Spaces now host many of the most influential discussions, with large numbers of participants, for example regarding Crypto and FTX.
Actually, it’s not only blog-style posts that Musk intends to introduce on Twitter. The “creator monetization for all forms of content” is also in the pipeline, meaning that platforms like YouTube and Facebook, where censorship remains rampant, may soon be impacted by the new Twitter.
Or could Musk envisage the purchase of Substack? That could be another, interesting, scenario.
Critical Months Ahead
The reinstatement of the heavily censored doctors, who do not follow the official “safe & effective / no ivermectin no hydroxychloroquine” narrative, is to be expected this next week. It is an important development.
Very early in the pandemic, in the winter and spring of 2020, there was much more freedom of speech on Twitter. Well before Dr. McCullough and Dr. Malone came to prominence, it was the late Dr. Zev Zelenko who was mostly leading the way, along a few others, such as Dr. Simone Gold, as well as Prof. Raoult in the French speaking world.
For those who were not following this in detail at the time, Dr. Zelenko developed an outpatient early treatment protocol for C19, very early on, in March 2020, and tried afterwards to get the word out, mostly through social media.
Dr. Zelenko probably became one of the most censored doctors in the world, even if clinical results in the treatment of C19 were shown to be highly effective, reducing hospitalization by some 84%, in a peer-reviewed article co-authored by Derwand, Scholz and Zelenko.
There was much more activity on Facebook at the time, with large discussion groups about early treatment allowed to operate. This included some of the first groups on Ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, actually created or co-created by Covexit. The groups were subsequently heavily censored, or cancelled, one after the other.
When the injections emerged, in late 2020, the censorship was already overwhelming, allowing for the safety and effectiveness issues associated with the injections to be vastly hidden from the population, to avoid “vaccine hesitancy.”
Remember: all the major platforms opted for being guided by the recommendations of the World Health Organization, which were and still are heavily against early treatment with old generic drugs, and in favour of the supposedly safe and effective injections. The positions of the World Health Organization relied on extremely questionable studies, such as the infamous Mehra et al study published in the Lancet and the WHO “Living Guideline” that dismissed Ivermectin not on the basis of reduced mortality and hospitalization, but on a supposed lower quality evidence.
Questionable Twitter Misinformation Policy
Important Update: this statement on Twitter’s website was not much publicized but has substantial implications, especially in view of the expected reinstatement of prominent doctors such as Robert Malone and Peter McCullough.
To this day, the Twitter policies, even if not necessarily as stringent as those of google/youtube & facebook, include paragraphs such as:
“We may require customers to delete Tweets that are found to violate this policy and are severely harmful. We may also temporarily lock you out of your account before you can Tweet or share information again. These tweets will accrue 2 strikes in accordance with our strike policy stated below. We will require the deletion of Tweets that contain, for example:” …
“False or misleading claims about potentially harmful and unapproved treatments or preventative measures … (such as) Povidone-iodine can be used as a prophylactic or in the treatment of COVID-19.”
As Povidone-iodine is now a widely accepted preventative and early treatment drug among the doctors who are soon to be re-instated, one can wonder how Twitter will act. Will the newly re-instated doctors immediately get 2 strikes for claiming such drugs are helpful to prevent and treat COVID?
Regarding the vaccines, Twitter, still today, does not allow to claim:
“False or misleading information regarding the safety or science behind approved or authorized COVID-19 vaccines, such as: The vaccines will cause you to be sick, spread the virus, or would be more harmful than getting COVID-19.”
Reality is that most doctors who have been de-platformed call for the immediate suspension of mass vaccination, precisely because of the numerous serious adverse events caused by those injections and the unproven effectiveness, especially towards the currently circulating strains and vis-à-vis de younger populations.
Note that the YouTube/Google policy is much more specific and very much at odds with what most of the censored doctors assert. For example, you are not allowed to make “claims that Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine are safe to use in the prevention of COVID-19” or make “claims about COVID-19 vaccinations that contradict expert consensus from local health authorities or WHO.”
It’s hard to imagine that free speech can take place with the Twitter’s current medical misinformation policy, as it prevents challenging the official narrative, that is still, to this day, embedded in Twitter’s COVID-19 misleading information policy.
It’s actually surprising the misinformation policy may not be changed before the reinstatement of all these “dissident” doctors.
Let’s hope that Musk will take action and bring changes to this COVID-19 misleading information policy, which actually is a piece of misleading information!.
Dissident Voices Thanked by Dr. Peter McCullough and John Leake
There is a noteworthy contribution, on this Thanksgiving week-end, by Dr. Peter McCullough and John Leake, on their Substack. It’s titled:
“Giving Thanks to Dissident Voices - Third Pandemic Thanksgiving Would Have Looked Much Different without Them”
“Not a single developed country had a national early treatment program to limit the numbers of avoidable COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths. They all adopted mass vaccination programs with novel, unproven, and quickly unveiled, dangerous products.” …
“Voices of persons who saw and heard the pandemic differently brought hope. Their common characteristics included 1) lack of personal fear of SARS-CoV-2, 2) practical, modest expectations of contagion control measures, 3) understanding early treatment had the best hopes of reducing the chances of hospitalization and death, and 4) healthy skepticism of media portrayals, 5) little expectation of being saved by vaccination.” …
“The last three years has witnessed the meteoric rise of independent journalists and podcasters including Malcolm Out Loud, Daniel Horowitz, Stew Peters, Mike Adams, Alex Jones, Del Bigtree, Joe Rogan, Tommy Carrigan, Ivory Hecker, April Moss, Joseph Arthur, Jean-Pierre Kiekens, Xavier Albert, Jan Jekielek, Roman Balmakov, Kristina Borjesson, Daniel O’Connor, Steve Bannon, and Naomi Wolf to name only a few.”
Let’s hope the ‘New Twitter’ will deliver on Musk’s promise to foster free speech and to elevate independent citizen journalism, despite the clear hurdles ahead.
Will Musk succeed in fostering free speech and citizen journalism? We should know within a few months.
Like with the French wine Beaujolais Nouveau, we indeed need to taste it before being able to evaluate if success there is.
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