Things are “a-twitter” at the home of the Blue Bird; much of it having to do with Elon Musk, his comments on a variety of issues, and a surge in followers for conservative Twitter users.
On Wednesday morning, Fox News reported that Governor Ron DeSantis has garnered nearly 800,000 new followers while Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has seen her number of followers drop by nearly 21,000. Donald Trump, Jr. has also seen a surge in new followers. Conservative talk show host Dana Loesch tweeted, “Noticing an increase in followers and engagement after losing huge chunks for the past few years. Also seeing tweets from people whose accounts I never see. . .”
An NBC reporter claims that the trend is due to “apolitical” Twitter users “feeling the social media site and right-wingers joining in droves.” The reporter tweeted that Twitter confirmed this was “not bots.”
However, Musk’s comments regarding the way Twitter handled The New York Post’s account when the paper posted regarding Hunter Biden’s laptop have sent the media into a tailspin – and progressive Twitter users as well.
Musk simply tweeted: “(censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop story by the Post) was obviously incredibly inappropriate.”
Conservatives on Twitter swooped in to reply to Musk’s tweet, saying that Twitter’s actions are “blatant election interference.” The Deputy Director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Mike Hahn, replied to Musk: “So was suspending the president’s re-election campaign account 19 days before the election for simply tweeting that article.”
Newsbusters, a spin-off of the Media Research Center, produced a poll result graphic showing that “seventeen percent of Biden voters would NOT have voted for him had they been aware of major news stories the media censored.”
The New York Post posted a story its writers had put together regarding the Hunter Biden laptop. The laptop was written off by many media outlets, and, eighteen months after the election, major media companies such as MSNBC announced that the laptop story wasn’t a hoax, but instead, is very real.
Twitter suspended the Post’s account as a result of their covering the story, and links to the article were swept from Twitter as well.
Musk and Twitter’s Board of Directors both announced that the company had agreed to accept Musk’s $44 billion bid to buy the company. Since then, reports of Twitter employees up in arms have flooded the media. One story in particular, however, is concerning for all those who appreciate free speech.
The Twitter employee who played a major role in censoring the Hunter Biden laptop story – Vijaya Gadde, an attorney who often provided legal counsel for Twitter – was said to be in tears during a meeting of Twitter administration following the announcement of Musk’s purchase. Gadde is reportedly “very upset” regarding the Musk buyout; there are insinuations that Musk is “intimidating” some Twitter employees.
This accusation stems from a tweet discussing Gadde’s role in censoring the Biden laptop story; this is the tweet to which Musk replied was “inappropriate.” Once Musk tweeted, however, many mentions used Gadde’s name and assailed her for alleged censorship.
One journalist blamed Elon Musk for the tirade against Gadde, saying that the “hateful mentions” were the fault of Musk’s response. The journalist tweeted, “Is this how he plans to run the place?” Many opposed to the Musk purchase of Twitter are already saying that they believe he will do more to squash speech rather than promote free speech.
Reporters from The Washington Post and Axios are already claiming that Musk is violating part of the agreement to purchase, which allegedly requires him to refrain from making public criticisms of Twitter executives or the company itself.
However, Musk’s tweet doesn’t seem to “disparage” Gadde or the company, especially since he merely says that the idea “seems” inappropriate.
Musk and his purchase have been the talk of political pundits as well as most media outlets.