Free Speech Absolutist...Or Opportunist?

Spoiler alert, he’s an opportunist.


He was never for free speech. And he’s proven that over and over again since buying Twitter.


Oh, I don’t know. He’s all about dirtbag free speech. Seems ironic that he complains so much about censorship, when he actively censors content he doesn’t agree with.

Dime con quién andas y te diré quién eres…


Tut tut. That’s not censorship. That’s private property rights.

1 Like

Can you please explain? I think I understand your point, but I don’t feel like EM is playing by a consistent set of rules.

He is not the Government, which most people think of as the only real “censoring” agent although they freely make the accusation to TV networks etc. As the owner/ operator of Xitter he is not bound by any law (that I’ve heard of thus far) to not censor other people under some sort of penalty, and as a -not-a-newspaper- he is not bound, no matter how weakly, by any set of ethics regarding fair play and balanced viewpoints. No, he is not consistent but he doesn’t have to be. His platform His rules. And nobody is entitled to know what they are anyway. It’s just: “It’s my g/d platform I can do and allow and forbid whatever I want just you are free to ban cheerios from your breakfast table and eat cornflakes.”

He only talks about free speech as a non-serious facade to claim a moral high ground. And, I believe simply to wag his middle finger at everybody else. He’s not the only one who engages in this behavior. He’s just currently the most visible, recognizable and most impactful.


Agreed, this is precisely my point. He’s censoring content he doesn’t agree with. I understand he has a right to do this, it’s his platform…until he runs it into the ground. As a self-described free speech absolutist, he’s clearly acting in a hypocritical way when he seeks to censor others.


Free Speech is a restriction ONLY on government as set out in the First Amendment to the Constitution

The First Amendment provides that Congress make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting its free exercise . It protects freedom of speech, the press, assembly, and the right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. The Second Amendment gives citizens the right to bear arms.

Speech by other entities and people are governed by various laws such a libel, perjury, slander, copyright, trade marks, etc.

The Captain


Thanks for the recap. Does this mean you don’t think EM is an opportunist?

I’ve never had a reason to think about this. Long before I invested in Tesla I dismissed Elon Musk as a showman when he touted Tesla battery swapping. In theory the batteries could be swapped but the car was not designed for quick swapping. Does this make him an opportunist?

My philosophy diverges from the “standard American morality.” I accept that man is not perfect by any means. Why should I care whether anyone is or not an opportunist? As long as people are not harming others I can’t object to their behaviour. I find the love/hate some people have for Elon Musk silly, childish, to be polite.

I’ve often said “Look out for Number One!” What relationship do I have with Elon Musk? He runs Tesla, a company I’m invested in. Having been a management consultant I find his leadership extraordinary. I would sorely miss him were he replaced by a Tim Cook or the guys at Boeing.

The rest is a waste of time and effort.

The Captain


Having been a safety manager, I find his leadership awfully lacking.


By claiming to be FOR “free speech”, and then not applying said “free speech” to your own private property–which is usable by the public at the direction of the private owner–publicly documents the blatant hypocrisy of the private owner.

Which then raises another major issue: On which other matters/issues is that private owner also being a hypocrite? IMO, pretty much ALL OF THEM.


Correct. In this case however, one of Musk’s stated reasons for buying Twitter is he wanted it to be a free speech platform, claiming he was a “free speech absolutist.”

As it turns out, Musk is indeed a free speech absolutist, if and only if it is speech he agrees with. Other speech he quickly censors. Which is his right. It also makes him a liar and a hypocrite.


Everybody is for free speech so long as it agrees with them. Heck, Stalin was in favor of this kind of free speech. It’s when you encourage (or even just tolerate) speech which you adamantly oppose that you can claim to be in favor of free speech.

It is obvious to all but the most ardent fanbois now that Elon does not fit that category.

Meanwhile he’s still dicking around with Twitter, even as Tesla faces union and production problems in Europe, dramatic escalation of competition in China, and an aging line-up in the US. I think he’s soon to find out that his $44 billion free speech platform is pretty far away from “free.”


Safety Third. Watch for the key parliament, Captain to Mike Rowe:

“My job is to get you home rich. Getting home safe is on you.”

Learning from dirty jobs | Mike Rowe

The Captain

PS: This video is 15 years old. Mike Rowe was already talking about the shortage of trade workers. Maybe he was on to something.


While I appreciate Mike Rowe’s work to get more people into the trades, his view regarding occupational safety is overly simplistic. Sure, workers have responsibility for their own safety. But, don’t business owners also bear some of the responsibility?

For example - There are numerous workers who die in trench collapses each year - most because the trench isn’t protected. Unless we’re expecting workers to show up with their own trench boxes, this is the company’s responsibility.

Sometimes people get injured or killed when they don’t understand the hazard, or they’re compelled to work in known dangerous conditions so they can keep their job.

There are a lot of companies who do right by their employees, many don’t. OSHA exists because of the latter.


How Elon Musk does his rules or non-rules is basically irrelevant.

Free speech depends on workable public forums. From the ancient Greek agoras up even through broadcast television (using PUBLIC owned and regulated airwaves) the essence of a public forum existed well enough. With cable we went into a transition, but CNN and the rest of the cablecasters kept old habits and mores from broadcast days, and so workable public forums survived even if diminshed. Even old Murdoch Fox news was merely egregious.

However, the dominance of internet sites fueled by proftimaking from “views” is a death knell of normal public forums. The collapse of sane public discourse has spread from the internet to cable and broadcast, with private agendas (whether for power or lucre) now driving most decisons. See this excellent albeit left-center ranting regarding the collapse (start at 12:25):

Musk or no Musk, I do not see a way to escape the basic catastrophe as “social media” habits take over public forums.

d fb


I took Musk at his word. Then I heard he allowed anti semitic speech. I was concerned so I found out more about it. My conclusion was that the speech in question was not anti semitic. Why do I relate this? Because I think there is too much bias in these judgements. People do disagree and non of us is the arbiter of truth.

BTW, I don’t tune in to X/Twitter. I gave it a try when it was new but dropped it after a while. I used it mainly to create traffic for my websites. It’s not the same as having a real conversation like we are having here. (I do mute lots of threads)

Like I mentioned in another thread, my interest in Elon Musk is only that he keeps running Tesla well. His politics are his business. I don’t like Jeff Bezos’ politics yet Amazon remains my favorite online store.

All this Elon love/hate is a waste of time.

The Captain


Yep. That’s a great one. And very often it is smaller ma and pa operators who cut corners on sloping and shoring trenches because of the cost, and the person who gets killed is a family member.

I’ve been the health and safety officer on a number of sites, and it is true that many of the regulations are a pain, bordering on BS. But it is also true that all of the rules were written in blood. One of the rules of jobsite health and safety is you can’t rely on individual workers to take care of their own health and safety. The jobsite has to be structured and managed such that workers aren’t in a position to get hurt in the first place. In practice, that is never 100% possible, but that’s the goal.


I heartily agree with the part in bold. But we’re not talking about speech he’s allowing, we’re talking about speech he is censoring. Musk objectively blocks speech he disagrees with. It is his platform, he has a right to do that. But he can’t claim to be a free speech absolutist if he only allows speech he agrees with.