When Elon Musk made his offer to buy Twitter in April 2022, the tech billionaire bragged that he was bringing “free speech” back to the social network. In a statement, the self-proclaimed “Free Speech Absolutist” claimed that, “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.”
However, Musk has repeatedly demonstrated that he is actually very much against free speech, and may not even fully understand the concept. Here is a list of examples of Elon Musk and his companies acting like free speech hypocrites, especially when it comes to anyone criticizing him, his business interests, or his personal life.
Tesla Asks China To Censor Critical Comments About The Company
Tesla fell into a PR disaster in early 2021 when the company was hit with a barrage of negative Chinese social media coverage relating to its braking system. In one famous incident, a woman climbed on top of a car’s roof at the Tesla booth to protest her brake malfunction at the Shanghai auto show.
According to Bloomberg, to help curtail the negative media coverage, the electric vehicle maker requested that Beijing to “use its censorship powers” to block online criticism of Tesla.
So, how can a self-proclaimed “free speech absolutist” have his company actively use government-level censorship to silence free speech? The level of hypocrisy at work here by Tesla, is nothing short of baffling.
- Why Elon Musk Is A Free Speech Hypocrite: Musk is supposedly a free speech advocate, but Tesla uses censorship when it benefits them.
- How A “Free Speech Absolutist” Could Have Handled This Situation: Doing business in China is different from the rest of the world. Musk’s celebrity and the Tesla “halo” will only go so far in places like China. Musk needs to be more focused on providing a solid product that beats Chinese electric car manufacturers and tells a better story. Censorship won’t win the long game, but an army of consumer advocates will.
Elon Musk Bullies Thailand Cave Rescue Diver After He Calls Musk’s Involvement A “PR Stunt”
In 2018, a rescue attempt to save a young soccer team in Thailand captured the world’s attention. The boys and their assistant coach were trapped deep inside the Tham Luang Nang Non cave after heavy rains flooded the cave’s entrance. Unable to swim out of the cave on their own, a massive international rescue operation consisting of over 10,000 people began working on solutions to free the twelve boys and their coach.
Seizing the moment, Musk offered to help with the rescue. He had engineers from several of his companies, including SpaceX, Tesla, and The Boring Company, design a small submarine that could be used to transport the stranded soccer team to safety. Musk was called a real-life Tony Stark as media from around the world jumped on the submarine story.
Ultimately, it was easier for divers to shuttle the stranded soccer team through the underwater cave system on stretchers, and Musk’s miniature submarine was never used for the rescue effort.
“Although his technology is good and sophisticated it’s not practical for this mission,” said Narongsak Osatanakorn, the head of the joint rescue command center, told reporters.
Frustrated with media’s focus on Elon Musk, one of first experienced divers to join the rescue effort, Vermon Unsworth, called the submarine a “PR stunt” with “absolutely no chance of working.” In response, Musk called Vermon Unsworth a “pedo guy” — falsely implying he was a pedophile.
You know what, don’t bother showing the video. We will make one of the mini-sub/pod going all the way to Cave 5 no problemo. Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 15, 2018
When Twitter user @GossiTheDog confronted Musk about the pedophilia accusation, Musk replied:
Bet ya a signed dollar it’s true
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 15, 2018
In fact, the Silicon Valley mogul bet much more than $1. He weaponized his wealth by paying a questionable private investigator $50,000 to dig up dirt on Unsworth. Musk even doubled-down on his pedophilia accusations and later called Unsworth a “child rapist” in an e-mail to a Buzzfeed reporter.
Ultimately, Musk’s private investigator, James Howard-Higgins of Jupiter Military and Tactical Systems, was unable to find any evidence of pedophilia, and Musk deleted the offending tweets. However, Musk had made his point: anyone who dares to castigate him, will be met with an arsenal of bullying tactics designed to censor and silence their free speech.
- Why Elon Musk Is A Free Speech Hypocrite: If you use free speech to criticize him, Musk might bully you with false accusations and hire private investigators to harass you and needlessly dig into your life.
- How A “Free Speech Absolutist” Could Have Handled This Situation: Taken the insult in stride. Unsworth was just exercising his free speech. Musk should have moved on without trying to bully a member of the rescue efforts.
NERD NOTE: In 2020, the movie studio, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), acquired the rights to the Tham Luang cave rescue story. The studio attached director Ron Howard (Splash, Willow, The Da Vinci Code) to the project with William Nicholson (Nell, Les Misérables, Everest, Unbroken) writing the screenplay. Production began in March 2021 with actors Viggo Mortensen, Colin Farrell, and Joel Edgerton all in starring roles. The film, titled Thirteen Lives, is slated for release in November 2022.
Musk Tries To Stop Florida Teen From Tracking His Private Planes
When Elon Musk first announced that he wanted to buy Twitter, I immediately thought about @ElonJet and wondered if Musk was just buying Twitter just to silence or delete this user.
The @ElonJet Twitter account uses public aircraft ADS-B data to tweet the arrivals and departures of Musk’s private planes. The automated bot account (another target on Elon’s hit list) is a major annoyance for Musk, and the billionaire even offered the account owner $5,000 to shut it down.
The teenager who created the account, Jack Sweeney, refused the $5,000 and instead asked Musk to pay for his college tuition. Negations fizzled out and Musk’s attempts to censor the Florida teenager’s free speech only resulted in the account becoming even more popular.
In fact, since his encounter with Musk, Sweeney has grown his efforts to provide transparency into several globe-trotting billionaires. Sweeney now manages Twitter accounts that track the jets of Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and even several of Vladimir Putin‘s Russian oligarchs.
After hitting a dead end with Sweeney, a frustrated Elon Musk then unsuccessfully tried to get Twitter to intervene. He claimed that the automated account was a security risk and that it was unfair for Twitter to share the data.
However, the location data (ADS-B) of all aircraft whereabouts is public information. Every plane in the world is required to have a transponder, even private jets. That means that Sweeney is just taking public data and sharing it on Twitter.
Even if Musk does delete the @ElonJet account, Sweeney has a backup plan. He says he will just move his jet tracking accounts to sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Telegram.
- Why Elon Musk Is A Free Speech Hypocrite: Elon Musk claims to be a “free speech absolutist,” but he is firmly against free speech, especially when it comes to people sharing information about him.
- How A “Free Speech Absolutist” Could Have Handled This Situation: Elon Musk is rich enough, he could always have multiple jets take off at the same time, so users would never know which plane he was on.
Tesla Employee Fired For Informing Shareholders Of A Major Factory Theft
In 2018, Tesla security employee, Karl Hansen, says he uncovered a major theft at the Tesla Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada. Not only had thieves reportedly stolen tens of millions of dollars in raw materials from the factory, but the crime was never even reported.
According to Hansen, after he raised awareness of the heist and several other illegal activities at Tesla, he was fired from the company. Why? Hansen claims that if the value of the stolen materials was ever exposed to shareholders, it could impact the company’s valuation.
Hansen filed a complaint with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for wrongful termination.
- Why Elon Musk Is A Free Speech Hypocrite: Musk’s employees are forbidden from expressing their free speech, even when raising ethical or legal concerns in the workplace.
- How A “Free Speech Absolutist” Could Have Handled This Situation: Thanked Hansen for exposing the cover-up and promised to be more transparent with shareholders in the future.
Elon Musk Actively Hinders The “Free Press”
Musk is notorious for banning journalists from attending events, berating reporters with critical comments, or even requiring the media to submit story drafts for approval. In Musk’s world, freedom of the press only applies to his collection of sympathetic journalists.
Musk is very selective when it comes to which members of the press get invited to company events. After just one negative story, reporters may find themselves dis-invited from future opportunities. For example, bloggers at Electrek, the electric vehicle blog, were blacklisted after publishing a story on how Tesla is charging owners $1,500 for hardware they already paid for. The humiliating piece earned Electrek a permanent ban from attending all future Tesla events.
Musk also has a bad reputation for restricting media access to various Tesla events, like the March 2022 opening ceremony of their Gigafactory in Berlin. There can’t be any bad press… if there’s no press.
In 2018, the Tesla CEO berated an analyst on an earnings call after a question about the capital requirements of his company. The incident was so embarrassing that Musk rarely participates in earnings calls anymore.
Musk’s conflicts with the media go beyond restricting access and verbal harassment. He also wants to be their information gatekeepers. Musk and Tesla have asked reporters to sign NDAs or show story drafts to the company for approval.
This type of censorship behavior is common where the media is state-controlled, such as Russia and China, but not in countries with freedom of the press.
- Why Elon Musk Is A Free Speech Hypocrite: Elon Musk’s actions have obstructed the free press.
- How A “Free Speech Absolutist” Could Have Handled This Situation: Embrace the free press and stop trying to control their stories. Instead, work harder at turning negative situations into positive stories. It’s easier than fighting, and produces better results.
Elon Musk Threatens Members Of The Press With A Credibility Tracker, Called Pravda, After A String Of Critical Tesla Stories
In May 2018, Elon Musk went on a Twitter rant against the media. The rant was in response to a series of captious press reports about the electric car company, including the company’s labor practices, ongoing production delays, and a fatal autopilot crash.
Musk’s rant claimed that journalists only write negative stories about Tesla to generate ad revenue from the oil companies.
In an attempt to bully the press, Musk said he was going to create a site called Pravda where the public can rank the credibility of journalists and their news outlets.
The scary thing is, he was serious. A member of Musk’s team incorporated Pravda back in October 2017. How would Pravda work? If Musk didn’t like an article, would his fame influence how others ranked that story’s credibility on Pravda, regardless of its actual journalistic credibility?
- Why Elon Musk Is A Free Speech Hypocrite: As someone with extreme wealth, Musk has the ability to weaponize that wealth and buy or create companies just to extract revenge on his critics.
- How A “Free Speech Absolutist” Could Have Handled This Situation: At Musk’s level, criticism is part of the job description. Musk needs to grow a thicker skin and realize that freedom of the press is part of freedom of speech.
Tesla Employee Fired After Posting YouTube Video Of A Tesla FSD Mode Accident
In another example of Elon Musk lashing out against people using free speech to chastise his business interests, in February 2022, Musk fired a Tesla employee, John Bernal, after Bernal shared a YouTube video of his Tesla Model 3 running into a bike lane pylon in downtown San Jose, California. The vehicle was using “FSD Beta,” Tesla’s controversial Full Self Driving mode software.
“We hit that,” Bernal said, just as his Tesla Model 3 collided with the bike lane pylon. “It’s the first, for me, to have actually hit an object on FSD.” Luckily for Bernal, the pylon impact only caused minor scratches and damage to his bumper.
Even though the accident happened in Bernal’s personal car and was recorded during his personal time, Musk didn’t appreciate the negative FSD feedback being shared online, and fired him.
Ironically, just days after terminating Bernal for expressing his free speech, Musk would go on a free speech rant on Twitter and even proclaim himself as a “free speech absolutist”.
Confused by Musk’s hypocritical definition of free speech, Bernal tweeted, “Seems @elonmusk is a free speech absolutist… unless it involves safety concerns IMO.”
- Why Elon Musk Is A Free Speech Hypocrite: Elon Musk has no tolerance for free speech from his employees. If you criticize him, or his business interests, then he will fire you.
- How A “Free Speech Absolutist” Could Have Handled This Situation: Thanked Bernal for doing extra FSD Beta testing in his off-hours, exercising his free speech by posting the video on YouTube, and then offered to pay the repair costs for his Tesla.
Tesla Whistleblower Fired For Raising Solar Safety Concerns
In November 2020, Stephen Henkes said he was fired from his job at Tesla after raising several safety issues. Henkes first voiced his concerns internally at Tesla, but after a lack of attention, he filed formal complaints with US government offices.
Tesla failed to fix and communicate accurately with customers over what he said were unacceptable fire risks in the company’s solar installations. As a result, the CPSC and SEC are considering Henkes’ concerns as evidence.
It seems like Tesla is not always willing to listen to its employees when it comes to safety concerns. This raises serious questions about the company’s commitment to safety among its employees.
- Why Elon Musk Is A Free Speech Hypocrite: Musk’s employees don’t have free speech. Any concerns or criticism expressed by employees usually results in their termination.
- How A “Free Speech Absolutist” Could Have Handled This Situation: Thanked Henkes for helping identify safety concerns that could help save lives.
Tesla Customers Asked To Sign Non-Disclosure Agreements Preventing Them From Talking About Their Vehicles
Imagine buying a product from a store, and then being asked to sign a legal document banning you from discussing that product. Sound strange? Not if you own a Tesla.
In 2021, Tesla asked customers to agree not to post critical comments about their new FSD Beta technology on social media. The non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) specifically ask customers to “keep your experiences in the program confidential” and not to “share any information about this program with the public.” This includes creating blog posts, sharing screenshots, or posting on social media sites including Reddit, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat and YouTube. Customers who refused to sign the agreement were denied access to the FSD Beta technology.
Tesla’s effort to limit information-sharing by FSD beta users drew scrutiny from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The agency has opened multiple investigations into possible defects involving Tesla’s FSA autopilot software.
“Given that NHTSA relies on reports from consumers as an important source of information in evaluating potential safety defects, any agreement that may prevent or dissuade participants in the early access beta release program from reporting safety concerns to NHTSA is unacceptable,” NHSA stated in an October 2021 letter sent to Tesla.
Musk later lifted Tesla’s terms for access to FSD Beta saying nobody was obeying the non-disclosure agreement anyway. After the news broke, Musk jokingly tweeted that the customer NDAs would be available in “perforated rolls.”
- Why Elon Musk Is A Free Speech Hypocrite: Even Tesla customers have been legally repressed from freely expressing their thoughts about their own vehicles.
- How A “Free Speech Absolutist” Could Have Handled This Situation: Even though this policy was later lifted, it should never have existed in the first place. Restricting people from talking is censorship, the complete opposite of free speech.
Elon Musk Hires Hackers And Spies To Harass A Tesla Whistleblower
Here’s yet another example of Musk using bullying tactics to suppress the free speech of one of his employees.
In June 2018, concerns were raised by an anonymous Tesla employee about the “jaw-dropping” amount of raw material being wasted at the company’s Nevada Gigafactory. According to Business Insider, Tesla production efforts were so sloppy, that up to 40% of the raw material used to produce batteries and other vehicle parts, was eventually scrapped.
In response, Musk personally hired a team of investigators to find the person behind the leak. After narrowing in on junior Tesla engineer, Martin Tripp, Musk’s team hacked Tripp’s phone, and read his messages.
Musk didn’t just leave the bullying to his investigators. He personally took to Twitter to make accusations against Tripp, including claiming Tripp accepted bribes from reporters. Musk also alleged that Tripp shared sensitive Tesla data with “unknown third parties.” Evidence supporting either of these claims was never found.
If this level of harassment wasn’t already bad enough, a tipster then claimed that Tripp might “come back and shoot people” at the Tesla factory. But when a sheriff’s deputy investigated the tip, they found that Tripp was disarmed and posed “no credible threat.”
On 06/20/18 the Storey County Sheriff’s Office received information of a potential threat to the physical security of the Tesla Gigafactory. Deputies responded to investigate the potential threat. After several hours of investigation deputies were able to determine there was no credible threat. Further investigation into the threat’s origin continues. No additional information concerning the ongoing investigation will be released until it’s [sic] conclusion to protect the investigative process. The names of all involved parties are being withheld pending the completion of the investigation.
Authorities contacted Tesla informing them that the threat wasn’t “credible.” However, Tesla chose to send out a statement anyway.
The Tesla statement said:
“Yesterday afternoon, we received a phone call from a friend of Mr. Tripp telling us that Mr. Tripp would be coming to the Gigafactory to ‘shoot the place up.’ Police have been notified and actions are being taken to enhance security at the Gigafactory.”
This helped further “hype” the narrative against Tripp and discredit him.
However, Musk’s intimidation efforts to bully and suppress Tripp’s freedom of speech eventually failed. Tripp later blew the whistle on Tesla’s environmental credentials by filing an official tip with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
In response, Tesla sued Tripp for $167 million, claiming that he had “unlawfully hacked the company’s confidential and trade secret information.”
Tripp moved to Hungry in an effort to escape Musk’s continued harassment, but he was ultimately on the losing side of this David vs Goliath conflict. Tripp lost a 2018 lawsuit filed by Tesla alleging that Tripp shared trade secrets when he spoke to the Business Insider reporter.
- Why Elon Musk Is A Free Speech Hypocrite: Nothing angers Musk more than his own employees criticizing him. His employee free speech suppression tactics typically include a termination and a lawsuit.
- How A “Free Speech Absolutist” Could Have Handled This Situation: Making environmentally friendly electric cars shouldn’t be an environmentally damaging process. Having an employee brave enough to use their free speech to call out the wasteful production efforts at a Tesla’s factory should not be punished, but instead rewarded.
Elon Musk Exposes Blogger For Criticizing Tesla Stock, Then Threatens To Sue The Blogger’s Employer
In 2018, an anonymous Tesla critic at the website Seeking Alpha, really got under Musk’s skin. Musk became enraged after the blogger, who used the handle Montana Skeptic, posted a negative stock analysis of Tesla.
According to Fast Company, Musk used his investigative team to identity Montana Skeptic’s employer. Musk then personally called the employer and threatened to sue them over Montana Skeptic’s blog posts. After the call, the panicked blogger deactivated his social media accounts and stopped posting about Tesla altogether.
- Why Elon Musk Is A Free Speech Hypocrite: Musk’s support for free speech does not allow any comments about him or his business dealings.
- How A “Free Speech Absolutist” Could Have Handled This Situation: If Musk disagreed with Montana Skeptic’s opinions on Tesla stock, then he could have engaged with him in the comments section of the blog post. Healthy debate can often lead to mutual respect, and even advocacy.
Elon Musk Personally Cancels Tesla Model X Order, After Customer Posts Critical Review Of Tesla Launch Event
Elon Musk only wants good press, even when it comes to his product launches.
After the September 2015 Tesla Model X Launch Event started almost two hours late, frustrated venture capital investor Stewart Alsop wrote a critical blog post on Medium.com titled “Dear @ElonMusk: You should be ashamed of yourself“.
After reading the article, Musk called Alsop and said that he was “not comfortable” with Alsop owning a Tesla. Musk then personally cancelled Alsop’s pre-order for the Tesla Model X.
- Why Elon Musk Is A Free Speech Hypocrite: Compared to most of the items in this article, this one is probably the most petty. Elon Musk is so against free speech that even the smallest piece of criticism gets attacked.
- How A “Free Speech Absolutist” Could Have Handled This Situation: Take the high road. The evening event did start late, and Alsop probably wasn’t the only person who was frustrated. Musk should have thanked Alsop for his feedback. Personally cancelling a customer order should be beneath the behavior of the world’s richest man.
Musk Fires Tesla Employee After He Tries To Organize With The United Auto Workers
Elon Musk is also very anti free-speech when it comes to labor unions.
In an effort to suppress Tesla factory workers from organizing, the company began “coercively interrogating” workers, using legal tactics to prevent them from discussing labor unions with the media, and even fired Tesla employee Richard Ortiz for trying to organize with the United Auto Workers. Musk also threatened to cancel employee stock options if they unionized.
Tesla’s attempts to prevent workers from organizing and discussing working conditions were found to be illegal. The labor bored ultimately declared Ortiz’s termination to be illegal, and he was given his job back. Musk also had to delete a tweet criticizing Ortiz.
- Why Elon Musk Is A Free Speech Hypocrite: Labor unions would force Musk to negotiate on worker’s issues. In response to this “threat,” Musk bullied employees to suppress their free speech and open discussions about labor unions.
- How A “Free Speech Absolutist” Could Have Handled This Situation: It’s illegal to prevent workers from expressing their free speech, discussing labor conditions, and unionizing.
Tesla China Sues Chinese Customer For Sharing Safety Issues On Social Media
Issues with Tesla’s braking system have been a major PR headache for the auto manufacturer. But the company isn’t letting the criticism go unchallenged.
In January 2022, Tesla China filed a lawsuit against a Chinese social media influencer known as “Xiaogang Xuezhang Ao” for allegedly infringing on the company’s reputation.
Xiaogang Xuezhang Ao, who has over 880,000 followers on the popular Chinese social media service Weibo, posted a video showing the automated emergency braking system from a Tesla Model 3 failing to stop before striking a simulated pedestrian made out of paper.
In comparison, Xiaogang Xuezhang Ao also tested the emergency braking system from a P7 vehicle produced by the Chinese electric car maker Xpeng. Unlike the Tesla, the P7 was able to successfully stop before impact.
In the lawsuit, Tesla cites its “Good” marks from professional safety tests conducted by official organizations including the CIRI Auto Technology Institute and The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and Euro NCAP.
The reason the Tesla Model 3 failed the test may have something to do with how the vehicle’s radar reflection system classifies different barriers. For example, Weibo user Xiaote Shushu suggested in a comment to Xiaogang Xuezhang Ao’s video that a Tesla may consider materials like plastic and metal, typically used in car bumpers, to me more of a collision threat than a large piece of paper. “Xiaogang Xuezhang Ao” acknowledged the critical feedback of his test and replied “OK, I see.”
But instead of Tesla also joining this conversion on Weibo, or even offering to help Xiaogang Xuezhang Ao retest his experiment, the company instead launched a lawsuit against the Chinese social influencer.
Just imagine if Apple tried to sue every social influencer who posted a bad video comparison between iPhone and Android phones.
- Why Elon Musk Is A Free Speech Hypocrite: Musk doesn’t want to have a critical conversation with social influencers. Those who are critical are often bullied into silence.
- How A “Free Speech Absolutist” Could Have Handled This Situation: Worked with the influencer to retest the scenario. Maybe even have Elon Musk participate in the new test video with Xiaogang Xuezhang Ao. A stunt like this would have surpassed the original video’s views and spun this negative event into a stronger and more positive message for the company.
Musk Repeatedly Blocks Twitter Users Anytime They Criticize Him
Musk is famously sensitive to criticism, even from average Twitter users. But as Twitter’s new owner, he’s now inviting a whole new volume of feedback from users on the social network. It will be interesting to see how he handles it.
So far, he’s been on an account blocking rampage. Every time that someone posts something critical about him, they get blocked. But by doing this, Musk is slowly creating his own Twitter information bubble where only people who agree with him are part of his feed.
Musk is notorious for blocking Twitter users that exercise their right of free speech. Any Twitter accounts that put the tech billionaire under a microscope will get blocked. This is not the behavior of a “free speech absolutist,” but rather a selective censorship utilitarian.
- Why Elon Musk Is A Free Speech Hypocrite: How can you be a free speech advocate but censor who gets to have a voice with you?
- How A “Free Speech Absolutist” Could Have Handled This Situation: Unblock everyone. Listen to all Twitter users equally and respect their right to free speech.
Musk Lashes Out At A Twitter User For Their Comments About A Bolivia Coup, And How It Helps Tesla Obtain Lithium
In a since deleted tweet from July 2020, Elon Musk angrily posted a message supporting a 2019 coup that overthrew the democratic Bolivian government, a nation known for its lithium deposits used in electric car batteries.
When Musk tweeted, “We will coup whoever we want! Deal with it,” was he making a confession, or just a horrible joke?
He’s known for sharing crude jokes on Twitter. Like tweeting misogynistic things about Senator Elizabeth Warren, or wanting to start a university called the Texas Institute of Technology and Science (TITS), a boob joke.
But those offensive tweets were never deleted. The Bolivian coup tweet was.
Why did Musk delete it? Too offensive? Too close to the truth? Even if it was just a joke, he’s trivializing a nation’s right to democratically express their free speech through voting.
- Why Elon Musk Is A Free Speech Hypocrite: Even if he was just joking about a coup to overthrow a democratic government, it trivializes an entire nation’s voice on who gets to be their leader.
- How A “Free Speech Absolutist” Could Have Handled This Situation: Support the freedom of speech of all nations. Voting is a form of speech and should also be protected. An advocate of free speech shouldn’t be joking about a coup in a democratic country.
Elon Musk’s Questionable Free Speech Record Proves That He’s Anything But A “Free Speech Absolutist”
With his bid to buy Twitter, Elon Musk is attempting to rebrand himself as a global advocate of free speech. He’s gone as far as critiquing Twitter for “failing to adhere to free speech principles,” and even labeling himself as a “free speech absolutist.”
Starlink has been told by some governments (not Ukraine) to block Russian news sources. We will not do so unless at gunpoint.
Sorry to be a free speech absolutist.
Then at an April 2022 TED event, Elon Musk made this comment on free speech: “A good sign as to whether there is free speech is: Is someone you don’t like allowed to say something you don’t like? If that is the case, then we have free speech.”
However, his personal track record does not align with his statements on free speech, at all.
Elon Musk is nothing more than a free speech hypocrite. His actions show that he is too fragile and intolerant to handle even the slightest criticism (see item #11 above).
Musk’s warped ideas around free speech only apply to what he deems favorable. In his mind, free speech is only allowed if that speech does not criticize him, his personal life or his business dealings.
The thinned-skinned CEO has proven time and time again that he will weaponize both his celebrity and wealth to bully anyone who chastises him. Any “free speech” comments that he finds unfavorable are aggressively attacked and/or silenced by his lawyers, hackers, investigators and even his personal Twitter account.
Musk’s self-anointed title of “Free Speech Absolutist,” will likely be a puzzling chapter for historians to explain.