CNN Terrified of Free Speech on Twitter: Would You Go to Elon’s Dirty Party?

With Elon Musk’s deal to acquire Twitter finalized on Monday, CNN Newsroom was left shaken by the idea that free speech would be allowed on the platform that they’ve used to gaslight the public and boost their egos. This fear ranged from concerns about former President Trump’s return to analogies suggesting Twitter would become a debauched and dirty party that will chase away users.

“This means that the world’s richest man is going to effectively control one of the most influential platforms in the internet,”CNN’s Matt Egan worried near the end of the segment.

After co-host Victor Blackwell read a statement from Musk about how “[f]ree speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy,” chief media reporter Brian Stelter noted Musk was “approaching this in the same way he approaches Tesla and SpaceX. It’s his mission. He wants to save the digital planet and in his mind, Twitter is critical to that.”

“Except we’re all more affected by this than we are SpaceX and Tesla,” co-host Alisyn Camerota screeched. “This affects all of us in terms of misinformation. What will it do to our lives? And when he says open it up to free speech, does that allow more misinformation on the platform?”

 

 

Stelter said we’ll need to wait and see “exactly what rules he decides to follow and not follow” because “local and state and federal laws all around the world that apply to these platforms. He’s going to have to follow at least some of those rules I would expect.”

Blackwell brought up the question of Trump being allowed to return on the site. Stelter seemed to defend allowing Trump back because Musk had the “right spirit” of allowing evening his critics to stay on Twitter in the name of free speech.

This triggered a bit of a contentious back and forth between Stelter and Camerota, who vehemently didn’t want Trump back on Twitter (click “expand”):

STELTER: It’s a different question if it is a positive thing for him to return on Twitter.

CAMEROTA: Why? CAMEROTA: Why? It would be a positive.

STELTER – To see him in the news around the world again?

CAMEROTA: For him to be – No. Meaning for him – Why wouldn’t it be positive for him to be back, to have a huge megaphone, to maybe run for president with his huge megaphone, this would be a plus for Donald Trump.

Stelter wasn’t buying the idea that Trump being allowed back would be a political boon for him because it would remind voters how terrible he was. After that, Stelter went on a short and strange rant in which he compared allowing speech on Twitter with Musk throwing an out-of control party.

Who knows what the future holds? I think that’s an example of a broader question for Twitter, which is if you – If you get invited to something where there are now rules, where there is total freedom for everybody, do you actually want to go to that party or are you going to decide to stay home?

This is a question that Twitter users can answer. Others might be excited by the notion that there will not be any moderation or rules. Some might be uncomfortable with that idea.

This is a similar sentiment he shared on his now-dead CNN+ show where he compared free speech on Twitter to people sending their kids to “play in the gutter.”

CNN’s aversion to free speech was made possible because of lucrative sponsorships from Cadillac and Dell. You can find their contact information here.

You can find the transcript below. To read it, please click on “expand”.

CNN Newsroom
April 25, 2022
Eastern, 3:08 p.m.

ALISYN CAMEROTA – Let’s begin with Matt. This wasn’t – it was on, it was off. You don’t know what it was, but it was off.

MATT EGA: It’s happening. It’s on. The internet’s most powerful platform is now in control of the world’s wealthiest man.

(…)

Eastern, 3:10:02 PM

BRIAN STELTER: He does say in a statement here, “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.” So, in his mind, this is very serious and has been all along.

He says he wants to make Twitter better than ever by, quote, “enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open, open sourced to increase trust, defeating the spam bots,” he says, “and authenticating all humans.”

He approaches this mission in the same manner he approached Tesla and SpaceX. It’s his mission. His mission is to save the digital world and Twitter plays a crucial role in that.

CAMEROTA: But we all are more affected than SpaceX or Tesla. In terms of misinformation, this affects us all. What will it do to our lives? What happens if the platform is opened up to free speech?

STELTER – I believe we will have to watch what he does and what rules he chooses not to follow. These laws are applicable to all platforms, and they include both local, state and federal laws. I’m sure he will need to adhere to at least some of these rules. It remains to be seen, I believe.

EGAN. It is. He hasn’t released much information, or any particulars, but he doesn’t have to. Is that possible? We are not sure.

BLACKWELL:  He said in his offer letter that Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company. There are a lot of people on the right, Brian, that believe as he talks about free speech, and he says he “hopes even his worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means,” what does this mean for the former president who’s been kicked off of the platform?

STELTER: And that spirit, which is on screen right now, that is actually – that’s the right spirit. Right? Even his most fervent critics should be involved in the discussion and be available on Twitter to make their voices heard.

That leaves Donald Trump’s future and the fate of other politicians who are kicked off this platform. This is going to be a huge question from day one. When he enters his office, he will take control over this platform. The theory is that he could rewrite these rules.

It’s important to note that I don’t refer specifically to hate speech laws or platforms porn. There is no law which prohibits Twitter having Donald Trump as a user. This was an option for the company, it was possible as a policy choice. I believe those policies will change.

After reading all the words in this press release, it was clear that the board had to accept this offer. This offer was not something the board wanted to accept. They searched for buyers at every opportunity. They now must hand the keys over to Elon Musk. And unless there’s a snag, I do suspect we’re going to see politicians who were booted off get back on.

This is an entirely different question. It is an entirely different question whether it is actually positive that he has returned to Twitter.

CAMEROTA: Why? CAMEROTA: Why? It would be a positive.

STELTER – To see him in the news around the world again?

CAMEROTA: For him to be – No. Meaning for him – Why wouldn’t it be positive for him to be back, to have a huge megaphone, to maybe run for president with his huge megaphone, this would be a plus for Donald Trump.

STELTER: You could also make the case that Donald Trump suddenly being back in the news, very visible in a way that he hasn’t been would remind people of exactly why he was – why he lost his election. Why he was removed from office.

Who knows what the future holds? I think that’s an example of a broader question for Twitter, which is if you – If you get invited to something where there are now rules, where there is total freedom for everybody, do you actually want to go to that party or are you going to decide to stay home?

This is a question that Twitter users can answer. Others might be excited by the notion that there will not be any moderation or rules. Some might be uncomfortable with that idea. Am I crazy Matt?

EGAN: No, no you’re right. What happens to advertising? Is there no moderation of any kind, or is it minimal, does that mean advertisers will not continue to advertise on Twitter? How does this affect the Twitter business prospects?

STELTER: I think that’s very much an open debate. We don’t know the answer yet and we’re going to find out from Elon Musk.

BLACKWELL – We’ll watch and see what happens, Brian, Matt.

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