Elon Musk and Freedom of Speech: The Space Cowboy in the Western Saloon

Is Elon Musk turning into the ultimate Space Cowboy in this modern-day Western Saloon? Here’s the answer to this bizarre question.

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What else could Elon Musk have done with 44 billion US dollars: build 1.6 million schools in the world’s poorest countries, for example; save two-thirds of the rainforest in South America; end homelessness twice over in the USA; or vaccinate the entire human race against covid.

At this point, at the latest, Musk would now have become skeptical. “Some extreme shenanigans going on,” the 50-year-old tweeted when, out of four rapid Covid tests on him, two came back positive and two negative. The Tesla boss spurned vaccination, calling lockdowns to protect the public from infection “fascist.”

No wonder: Elon Musk, the richest person on the planet with 260 billion U.S. dollars, for example, is fundamentally opposed to the current reality of public transportation. His solution? Underground hyperloop tubes in which people are shot through the area at over 1000 km/h, beautifully contactless and pandemically safe.

He sees himself as the Renaissance genius of the 21st century and the last pioneer in the American sense. 

Limits of what is feasible must be pushed as a matter of principle. That’s why the man born in South Africa as the grandson of a Canadian aviation adventurer also wants to colonize Mars with his Space X company.

An Absolutist of Free Speech

Currently, Elon Musk bought the social network Twitter. And since then, investors with Binance API and the offline world have been puzzling over what he intends to do with it. 

Musk cited his desire, indeed his need, to save nothing less than freedom of speech and democracy as the impetus. He is an “absolutist” when it comes to free speech. 

And since social networks such as Twitter have, after a long struggle, begun to label “fake news” and curb hate content to some extent, this has come under massive pressure.

Donald Trump, whose Twitter profile was suspended after the Capitol storm he fueled, and a presidency filled with lies euphemistically called “alternative facts,” could return, according to Musk. 

Musk prefers temporary cooling off periods to a permanent suspension. But while the Republicans in the U.S. are rejoicing over the supposed liberation blow and the gun lobby is waiting in the wings to be able to serve right-wing extremists (again) with targeted advertising, it is by no means clear where Musk will take the platform.

A social medium does a lot right, he said, if the most radical ten percent on both the left and the right are equally unhappy with it. Is that enough? Perhaps, if Musk, as announced, also gets to grips with the problem of the discourse-destroying bot and troll armies, behind which there are not infrequently Russian attacks.

The Lone Crypto Cowboy

It is to be feared that Musk, the genius who claims to have read the entire Encyclopædia Britannica and gets his ideas directly from science fiction novels like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, is pursuing a rather archaic understanding of freedom of speech that corresponds more to the manners of a clichéd American Western saloon. 

In Musk’s case, it might be the cantina on the planet Tatooine from Star Wars, where the winner is always the one who burps the loudest and shoots faster. 

Then, when the Han Solos of this world have finished off an adversary, they casually flip the bartender a coin and go outside for a bit of fresh air to cool off. The fact that Twitter has a male surplus of 66 percent fits into the picture.

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