Column | Twitter cannot be a toilet wall

Complete freedom of speech is a beautiful thought, as is eternal peace. Neither will happen because there are bad people in the world ready to take the hammer.

Last on Friday, 42-year-old David DePape broke into Congressional Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s home in California. The Democratic leader wasn’t home, so the man smashed her 82-year-old husband Paul Pelosi’s skull with a hammer.

The attack was not a surprise, there is so much anger in the US right now. The man who invaded Pelosi’s home was a delusional individual deeply immersed in various far-right conspiracy theories such as Qanon, the denial of the coronavirus, and the hoax that Donald Trump won the 2020 election.

In many other countries, such an attack would shock people deeply, but Americans are already so used to angry lies that the incident has been commented on in a cynical style. Immediately after the attack, allegations began to circulate that Paul Pelosi had gotten into a drunken fight with a male prostitute. The tweet was also shared by the richest person in the world, Elon Musk, who is the new owner of the instant messaging service Twitter.

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Musk promises to expand free speech on Twitter. It can mean, for example, that Donald Trump’s pan is taken off. Former Russian President Dmitri Medvedev already had time to congratulate Musk for “defeating the political bias and ideological dictatorship of Twitter”.

You can understand Musk’s point of view. If you believe in free discussion, you can’t help but hate censorship. And it doesn’t help, even though censorship is said to target only extremist opinions, because sometimes extremist opinions are the most important opinions. Musk’s own thinking probably runs along these lines, after all, he himself is a very exceptional human individual – and that’s how he became the richest man in the world. Another equally strange guy may soon be the president of the United States again.

Musk and Trump are trailblazers who not only think outside the box, but also think outside the boxes of others. The fact that such extreme people are rising to the top of the world now says something important about this time. They are a mirror you have to look into, even if you do bad things.

Musk’s point of view can be understood.

Oddly enough, such characters are called “conservatives”. Of course, real conservatives don’t want everyone to be able to say what they think, because that’s where the crumbling of basic values ​​starts. Musk and Trump are not conservatives but radical individualists and big narcissists.

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In its 16 years of existence, Twitter has not been able to decide whether it is media or a toilet wall where you can write anything. Toilet walls do have their merits, but Twitter must evolve towards order or die. Total freedom is a beautiful idea, as is eternal peace, but neither will come true because there are bad people in the world ready to take the hammer.

Musk since its rise to power, many advertisers and users have begun to consider leaving Twitter. I am one of them. I started on Twitter in 2011. In just over ten years, I have sent 9,661 tweets. That’s three novels worth of text. I have more than 131,000 followers. It wouldn’t be easy to throw all that away like that.

That’s what I’m thinking about now though. Not just because of Musk, but because Twitter is such a heavy place. For every serious conversationalist, there are nine nags and ten skunks. Instead of swarming, the service is too often herd stupidity. It’s no wonder that many stay away from Twitter – the young on Instagram and Tiktok, the old on Facebook.

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But that’s not the whole truth about Twitter. Some can still talk and listen. Twitter has offered excellent expert analyzes of the war in Ukraine. President Volodymyr Zelenskyi tweets. So maybe I’ll hang around and see how the blue bird is doing.

The author is the person responsible for the editorial and opinion editorial.

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