chief twit

Elon Musk’s Twitter acquisition leaves queer users bracing for a hate speech boom

Dragon-level wealth hoarder Elon Musk now owns Twitter. Happy Hunger Games, everyone!

The pedestrian-smashing car baron finalized his acquisition of the social media giant Thursday night, a deal punctuated with a tweet reading “the bird is freed”. This move has left many to wonder what exactly will be freed onto the platform — and at what cost.

Musk recently shared a statement, addressed “Dear Twitter Advertisers”, to explain his reasons for buying the platform:

“It is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence,” he writes.

He goes on to state that he believes that traditional media has splintered society into radical political factions for monetary gain, and that “the opportunity for dialogue is lost.”

He then capitulates that “Twitter obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences! In addition to adhering to the laws of the land, our platform must be warm and welcoming to all.”

Related: Elon Musk finally speaks about his estranged trans daughter and of course he’s gotta be an a**hole

This takeover and its emphasis on a supposed return to free speech leave queer users fearing where the line between free speech and hate speech will be drawn.

Many noticed an uptick in hate speech as soon as the new leadership was announced:

Musk’s own opinion of the queer community and queer identities has proven to be generally negative. The baron previously espoused to his 110 million followers on the platform that he thinks that “Pronouns suck“, seemingly unprompted.

He’s also been known to help disseminate harmful rhetoric towards gender-affirming care under a “just asking questions” guise:

His now-nonexistent relationship with his own trans daughter (and general disregard for her departure from his life) could suggest an even poorer regard of queer identity behind closed doors.

Related: Truth Social can’t find any advertisers and it’s getting embarrassing

Though he attempted to reassure that users will still have to “adhere to the law of the land,” Musk’s first moves as Twitter head suggest that those laws will be rapidly shifting.

The new owner is moving to reverse lifetime account bans, seemingly even for users deemed incredibly rhetorically harmful by the previous heads of the platform.

Said previous heads will no longer have a say, as they were reportedly removed from their posts this morning. Former CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, and Legal Policy Trust and Safety officer Vijaya Gadde have all been fired from the platforms following the new order. Gadde oversaw controversial, socially progressive moves for the app’s safety including the suspension of former President Donald Trump and the banning of overt political ads.

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