Musk Defends Defiance to Advertisers over Free Speech

News & Politics

Tech mogul Elon Musk has defended and softened his previous comments refusing to crush free speech to please advertisers.

Last November, the owner of X (formerly Twitter) had told anti-free speech advertisers to “go f— yourself,” The Hill noted, but during a conversation with the CEO of a multi-national ad company, Musk walked this back a little.

“It wasn’t to — to advertisers as a whole,” Musk told WWP CEO Mark Read on Wednesday at the Cannes Lions advertising festival. “It was with respect to freedom of speech. I think …it is important to have a global free speech platform, where people from a wide range of opinions can voice their views.”

He explained that some companies, including Disney, Paramount, Apple, IBM and Warner Bros., were “insisting on censorship,” and he objected to it. If it’s between “censorship and money or free speech and losing money, we’re going to pick the second.” After those companies suspended advertising on X last year Musk had crudely bid defiance to the censorship-obsessed companies, The Hill reported. 

“We’re going to support free speech rather than agree to be censored for money, which is, I think, the right moral decision,” Musk vowed. He agreed that advertisers “have a right to appear next to content that they find compatible with their brands. That’s totally fine.” He added, “But what is not cool is insisting that there can be no content that they disagree with on the platform.”

Musk returned to his of argument that X is an online public square. “In order for X to be the public square for the world, it really got to be a free speech platform,” he insisted to Read. “Now, that doesn’t mean people can say illegal things. It’s free speech within the bounds of the law.”

Yet free speech concerns remain for X. Not only did X CEO Linda Yaccarino openly brag of censorship on X to please advertisers, but both she and Musk have espoused a policy of “freedom of speech not reach.” This means content deemed objectionable is suppressed.

Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on so-called “hate speech” and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us using MRC Free Speech America’s contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.

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