GUEST COMMENTARY - There’s been a great deal of criticism with tech billionaire Elon Musk’s takeover of the Twitter social media channel.
Some people are genuinely frightened by the changes, thinking that it will simply become the “Wild West” when it comes to people “saying the wrong thing,” causing them to leave in droves. But, honestly, it’s a change for the better.
For several years now, Twitter has gone through a number of crippling changes in silencing those that are speaking on their own terms. Just because, based on their beliefs, that the wrong thing is said, an account is suspended or, in some extreme cases, all-out blocked. Meanwhile, others get to continue saying what they wish to say, with barely even a slap on the wrists.
That’s not how free speech works. Free speech is a God given right, one in which people are allowed to express whatever opinion they desire. Will that opinion be for everyone? No, but it’s theirs, through and through. Some Democrats won’t be happy with what some Republicans have to say, and yell and scream until they’re removed from the platform.
But that way of thinking went out the window when Musk arrived at Twitter headquarters with a kitchen sink in hand. He began to make changes to the channel for the better, firing the executives who were laying on the wrong kind of free speech rules and doing away with employees that had nothing better to do than complain about the system.
And what’s in its place instead? Free speech, as it needs to be.
Again, I’m sure this will be the fodder for complaint and cause some people to attempt to create a social ripple by leaving the channel for something else. But this is a change that Musk has been needing to make. And I don’t just mean allowing former President Donald Trump back onto the channel, but redefining the rules that reflect back on what free speech needs to be.
Every day there’s discussion that needs to be had. The state of the country. What’s happening with our beloved police forces while the “defund the police” rioters scream into their social channels. What’s going on in Washington, with President Joe Biden proclaiming change and doing next to nothing to make it happen.
But, in the past, that discussion was quickly muted because many deemed it “misinformation,” or something that didn’t fit to their standards. Under Musk’s eye, however, everything is fair game. And honestly, that’s the way it needs to be.
Some in Washington believe this will be a “danger,” but free speech has been on the minds of many for several years. Why should it change now that there’s a social platform that allows that voice to be heard by others? This is a time when others should be heard. And what’s more, it should provide them the room to explain their reasoning. (Of course, some won’t do it because they prefer the general tone of the message. But others have a lot more to say than you might expect.)
This allows those to push more towards their beliefs, and, what’s more, connect with those that feel the same. For so many that have been isolated over the past couple of years with the pandemic and everything that inflation is doing, isn’t that important? We need to get more people involved and not as “shut out” as those old Twitter executives would like you to believe.
I know not everyone will be on board with the “new” Twitter. In fact, some people have already left, fearing the worst. But I believe there’s greatness coming with the channel, with millions flocking to it daily to make their voices heard and speak with others on the important things. We’re finally making social movement on the level of free speech again, and getting others involved instead of having the door slammed in their faces.
Now’s the time for good discussion. Now’s the time for free speech to flow freely. Now’s the time for Twitter.
And of course, you can find me on Twitter on my InvestUSA account. Who’s up for a good discussion?
(Michael Letts is the Founder, President, and CEO of InVest USA, a national grassroots non-profit organization that is helping hundreds of communities provide thousands of bulletproof vests for their police forces through educational, public relations, sponsorship, and fundraising programs. He also has over 30 years of law enforcement experience under his belt, hence his pro-police stance for his brothers and sisters in blue. Those interested in learning more about Letts can visit his official website here.)