In one of the boldest investment decisions of this decade, Tesla CEO Elon Musk purchased a 9.2% stake in Twitter. His position was announced on Monday, with reported holdings of over $3.67 billion. This makes Musk the largest shareholder of the social media company. Twitter stock ($TWTR) surged 27% on the news.
Darren Beattie’s Revolver.News Predicted the Move
Former Trump speechwriter and founder of Revolver.News Darren Beattie predicted Musk’s decision, days before it was announced.
In a front page exclusive piece dated April 1st, the author outlined what would happen if the Tesla CEO took a controlling stake in Twitter.
Beattie’s prediction came with a warning: taking a controlling stake would be dangerous and difficult. Restoring free speech is not something the liberal elites in Silicon Valley and D.C. would appreciate. Musk should prepare himself for “historic backlash” from the liberal regime.
The piece goes on to highlight the specific steps powerful liberals could take to shut down a free speech version of Twitter. These powerful players would enact a diverse playbook: from calling platform users “sexist” and “racist,” all the way to server-level and App Store deplatforming. Beattie wanted Musk to know he is playing at a high-stakes table.
Beattie later mentioned in an interview with Steve Bannon that Elon Musk is rumored to have read the Revolver.News article.
It Started with a Twitter Poll
On March 25th, 2022, Musk asked his followers whether Twitter adheres to free speech.
70.4% of users replied “No” to the question.
While Twitter users may not have known it at the time, they may have had a large influence on Musk’s decision to take a large position in the company.
Musk added that the “consequences of this poll will be important…please vote carefully.”
A day later, Musk noted Twitter is the “de facto public town square”. He said, “failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy”. He ended his thread by asking the world, “is a new platform needed?”
Former CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey owns 2.25% of Twitter, making Musk’s controlling share of Twitter 4x larger than the man who co-founded the company in 2006.
Musk’s Move is Part of a Larger Discussion on Practical Free Speech
Free speech advocates have become increasingly focused on not only free speech in the hypothetical “letter of the law” sense, but also the practical sense of free speech.
Mainstream platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube have been accused of censoring discussion opposed to the “establishment narrative” – especially conservative or right-wing speech. Social media platforms even undertook documented social media purge campaigns, deleting and suspending thousands of users at a time.
These platforms allegedly censor going against the mainstream narrative, especially surrounding COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccine efficacy. One such case was discussion surrounding the Wuhan lab leak theory, which Facebook banned on their platform…only to remove censorious control over the Wuhan lab leak theory on Facebook when it became apparent that the theory was likely true.
Free speech advocates have also attempted to create alternative social media platforms. Startups like GAB, Parler, GETTR, TruthSocial and Minds have all developed independent platforms with varying degrees of success. Parler was removed from the Apple App store and Amazon Web Services servers in January of 2021 as a result of the events of January 6th.
Photo credits: Business Insider, Revolver.News.