When Elon Musk bought Twitter with the goal of making it a platform conducive to free speech, I was psyched. We all know that conservatives were being shadowbanned, denied verification, and even excessively suspended and banned from the platform. I had no doubt that Musk’s changes to the platform would be overwhelmingly positive and that free speech would prevail.
Now, I’m not so sure.
It’s true that I was once banned from Twitter, and thanks to Elon, I’m back. A year ago, I was banned for pointing out that gender dysphoria is a mental illness. Additionally, several months prior, I was suspended for sharing an article I had written about Rachel Levine, Joe Biden’s assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services. The article accurately pointed out Levine is a man and not a woman. Since my account was restored, I’ve been able to tweet without fear that I’d be suspended or banned because of wrongthink.
I guess old habits die hard, even under new management. In the aftermath of the Nashville school shooting on Monday, we’re starting to see Twitter shy away from the free speech ideals that Elon Musk promised.
Prominent conservative politicians, journalists, and activists have been seeing their accounts restricted after raising awareness about the “Trans Day of Vengeance” that radical transgender activists called for before the Nashville Christian school shooting, which a transgender-identifying woman carried out.
Federalist CEO Sean Davis had his account locked for sharing an image of the poster promoting the “Trans Day of Vengeance.”
Twitter Bans Federalist CEO Sean Davis From Tweeting For Factual Reporting On ‘Trans Day Of Vengeance’ Following Nashville Shooting @elonmusk pic.twitter.com/PSe8wNk6UL
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) March 29, 2023
Conservative radio host Andrew Wilkow similarly found himself in Twitter jail for the same offense. Neil Stevens, the CTO of the Daily Caller, also reported that his account was “silently” blocked for sharing the same poster.
Twitter and @elonmusk gaslighted you this morning.
They blocked my account silently, because I discussed the news in a way that Woke Capital dislikes.
I highlighted an insurrection being scheduled to attack the Supreme Court on Friday and Saturday.
— Neil Stevens (@presjpolk) March 28, 2023
Even Rep. Majorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) found herself temporarily suspended.
This is a lie.
My Congressional account was suspended for 7 days for exposing Antifa, who are organizing a call for violence called “Trans Day of Vengeance.”
The day after the mass murder of children by a trans shooter.
Restore my account immediately. @elonmusk @ellagirwin… https://t.co/p9XZLtuuDF pic.twitter.com/svViCYUyhm
— Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@mtgreenee) March 28, 2023
Ella Irwin, Twitter’s head of trust and safety, confirmed that Twitter was automatically removing images of the poster out of fear it may incite violence.
“Correct. We had to automatically sweep our platform and remove >5000 tweets /retweets of this poster. We do not support tweets that incite violence irrespective of who posts them. ‘Vengeance’ does not imply peaceful protest. Organizing or support for peaceful protests is ok,” she tweeted.
Correct. We had to automatically sweep our platform and remove >5000 tweets /retweets of this poster. We do not support tweets that incite violence irrespective of who posts them. “Vengeance” does not imply peaceful protest. Organizing or support for peaceful protests is ok
— Ella Irwin (@ellagirwin) March 28, 2023
Irwin is right; the poster does not imply a peaceful protest at all. Twitter rules may restrict violent speech, but none of these accounts were promoting or advocating violence. They were exposing the violent rhetoric of trans activists, who may have inspired Audrey Hale to shoot up the Covenant School on Monday. The demand to censor the poster, which had been circulating on social media for several weeks prior to the incident, only arose after the liberal media voiced fears that the shooting might generate hostility toward the transgender community.
Prior to Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, the obvious discrimination against conservatives on the platform was creating an echo chamber for left-leaning individuals. Elon Musk, despite not being a conservative himself, valued the importance of free speech and recognized the potential for Twitter to be a digital town square. So I fully supported his decision to take over Twitter and restore the platform’s ability to facilitate free speech. Now I’m starting to worry that things are sliding back to how they used to be.
If we are unable to highlight the violent language used by extreme left-wing trans activists, how can we ensure that the public is informed of the truth?