To understand the elite media reaction to what Elon Musk is doing at Twitter, you need to go back six years. Fortunately, Michael Brendan Dougherty provides the important historical context.
Brexit and the election of Donald Trump were two political shocks that hit the liberal media establishment in 2016. The message went out to leaders in social media to prevent any other shocking events from surfacing. Silicon Valley began talking about “disinformation” and expanded their departments dedicated to “safety and disinformation.”
Twitter, Facebook, and other social media began to censor content. So-called “disinformation experts” arrived to make sure that the public discourse went in the required direction. Anyone straying from that predetermined direction would be peddling in disinformation and even may have posed a threat to democracy.
Elon Musk has begun the disconnection of Twitter from the liberal establishment. He began downsizing the organization which removed those given the responsibility to use “safety and disinformation” to censor discourse that might head in the wrong direction. He has also threatened to make transparent the past political efforts used at Twitter.
That explains the huge overreaction from the press and pundits. Michael Brendan Dougherty documents a few of the unhinged reactions including one writer he said went on a “full anti-Musk jihad.” They have called for advertisers to abandon Twitter and have done all they can to will the destruction of the social media platform.
I admit there may be some reason to question the management style of Elon Musk. But as more anti-Musk articles and editorials pile up over the next few weeks, it’s worth remembering that they are angry because he is trying to construct a platform for free speech they worked so hard to prevent.