Elon Musk’s Plan For Free Speech On Twitter Is Allowing Users To ‘Say What They Want’
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Tesla CEO Elon Musk has revealed his free-speech plan to Twitter employees on a company call on Thursday (June 16).
It was the first time the tech billionaire had addressed the social media platform’s employees since agreeing to buy the company for $44 billion (AU$62bn) in April.
‘Free speech’ has been a major component of Musk’s takeover of the company, but what that exactly means to the owner of Twitter has been up for debate.
Following the announcement of his Twitter takeover, Musk released a statement in which he said: "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.”
Now, we have a better understanding of what that will entail, with The New York Times reporting that Musk explained: “We should allow people to say what they want.”
The SpaceX CEO later clarified that users should be allowed to say ‘pretty outrageous things’, as long as it doesn’t ‘violate the law’.
Certainly a fine line between ‘free speech’ and saying insulting and misinformed comments.
However, Musk clarified that he didn’t want users to be ‘harassed or uncomfortable’ and that freedom of speech didn’t mean ‘freedom of reach’, meaning the platform could potentially limit the reach of harmful tweets.
The Washington Post reported that Musk compared Twitter to other social platforms such as YouTube and TikTok, saying: “The standard is more than not offending people, the standard should be they should be entertained.”
He noted that on other platforms users often didn’t see ‘boring’ content, unlike on Twitter, while also saying that Twitter had a monetisation problem for content creators.
As for the Twitter employees themselves, unsurprisingly one particular topic was raised - the issue of being allowed to work from home.
Twitter introduced a full-time working from home policy two years ago, however, with the recent news that the richest man in the world stamped down on remote work for Tesla employees, there was cause for concern.
By “free speech”, I simply mean that which matches the law.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 26, 2022
I am against censorship that goes far beyond the law.
If people want less free speech, they will ask government to pass laws to that effect.
Therefore, going beyond the law is contrary to the will of the people.
In an email sent out to Tesla employees, Musk said: “Everyone at Tesla is required to spend a minimum of 40 hours in the office per week.
"If you don't show up, we will assume you have resigned.
"There are of course companies that don't require this, but when was the last time they shipped a great new product? It's been a while.”
Unfortunately for Twitter employees, Musk is having a similar stance, making it known that the priority would be for people to work together in person.
However, he was a bit more lenient, explaining that if someone is ‘exceptional at their job’ then it would be possible for them to work from home.
Seems like a lot of incoming change for Twitter.