Telsa and SpaceX boss Elon Musk confirmed on Saturday night that he is “giving serious thought” to building a free speech friendly alternative to Twitter.
On Friday, Musk polled his Twitter audience, asking whether or users of the platform believed that “Twitter rigorously adheres” to the principle that “free speech is essential to a functioning democracy.”
Musk said that the “consequences of this poll will be important,” and to “Please vote carefully.”
After nearly 1.5 million votes, the answer was a resounding “no.”
This was after Musk stated that Twitter’s algorithm should be open source, to which former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey replied that the choice of which algorithm to use should be a choice for users.
In response to Musk’s poll, prominent Twitter users said he should launch a platform to rival Twitter, one that would embrace free speech.
Others simply asked if Musk was considering buying the platform.
Earlier on Saturday, Musk pushed speculation further by simply tweeting: “Is a new platform needed?”
Prior to Jack Dorsey stepping down as CEO of Twitter, there had already been concerns about free speech on the platform. In the fall of 2020, in the lead-up to the US presidential election between Joe Biden and President Donald Trump, the platform notoriously suppressed reporting from the New York Post that provided evidence of Biden’s involvement with his son’s shady business dealings in Ukraine.
Twitter, and Dorsey, claimed that the information had been hacked. Democrats and their acolytes in mainstream and corporate media claimed that the information found on Hunter Biden’s laptop was the product of Russian disinformation. This came from US intelligence officials, who have now been disgraced after it became clear that they were wrong in their assessment.
The reporting was proven to be true, accurate, and neither the product of a hack nor Russian disinformation. Many Americans said they would not have voted for Biden had they known about the information on the laptop.
Twitter’s suppression of the US free press had a direct impact on the US presidential election, and for this Dorsey later apologized.
When he chose to succeed to his position as CEO of Twitter, in the fall of 2021, that post went to Parag Agrawal. Agrawal has said of Twitter:
“Our role,” Agrawal, “is not to be bound by the First Amendment, but our role is to serve a healthy public conversation and our moves are reflective of things that we believe lead to a healthier public conversation.”
Several platforms have tried to move in and release Twitter’s stranglehold on American social media platforms, notably GETTR, and Trump’s latest Truth Social. Neither has managed to gain the user base or the impact that Twitter has over its time online.