For years, Twitter has essentially served as ground zero when it comes to the current culture wars fought between the Woke Left and everyone else. The company has sided with the radicals on almost every occasion, booting dissenting voices from the platform for anything that even rubs shoulders with the slightest infraction.
The cultural purge has been a double-edged sword for Twitter, dragging them into the spotlight over a debate surrounding free speech and censorship. Rather than course correct, the company appointed a particularly nefarious figure by the name of Parag Agrawal as its new CEO, following Jack Dorsey’s departure.
Agrawal has made no secret about the fact that he despises the concept of free speech, and will actively work to undermine it with more censorship and suppression. However, the recent acquisition of over 9% of Twitter stock by celebrity tech billionaire Elon Musk might have thrown a spanner into his plans.
Musk is now the company’s largest shareholder, with hints that he’ll gobble up more stock in order to gain a stronger foothold on the company. Even worse (for Agrawal), Musk has just been appointed to the Board of Directors, which means he’ll have special influence within the company.
Obviously, Musk does not have majority shareholder status, which means he can’t do as he pleases, contrary to what many have been clamoring for since the news broke. However, the very presence of Musk has caused a dramatic paradigm shift within Twitter’s internal operations, and it’s only going to grow in strength.
Yesterday, Substack VP of Communications Lulu Cheng Meservey announced that the company was hiring, but made sure to tell disgruntled Twitter employees that they are not welcome. Substack has long been an ardent proponent of free speech, attracting the likes of influential voices like Glenn Greenwald and Bari Weiss.
Indeed, many far-Left Wokesters lost their minds when Musk’s involvement with Twitter was announced, with many saying they’d leave the platform altogether. That also includes radicalized activist employees who have spent years putting enormous pressure on the company to mirror a far-Left political stance.
Toss in the nightmare debacle over Twitter’s involvement in covering up the Hunter Biden laptop scandal, just for laughs. As the investigation into the junior Biden picks up steam, so too does the possibility of indictments and further investigations into the current sitting President of the United States.
Musk, for his part, has been something of a champion on the Right, ever since he began jabbing at fraudulent politicians like 1/1024th native American Elizabeth Warren. The billionaire has been sounding the alarm over suppression of free speech as a direct threat to a healthy democracy.
Some on the Left have attempted to connect the dots between Musk and his use of Twitter to promote his electric vehicle company Tesla, suggesting that he profits off of its use. While that might be true, it’s no different than Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos owning the Washington Post in order to insulate himself and his circle from political damage.
We see no criticism of Bezos for this, because the Washington Post consistently acts as a partner to Democrats, either by carrying their water, or wiping their bloody noses.
The real battle, of course, is for the fate of the culture, and Musk is now the wild card that might undo the Woke Left’s oligarchic power. While Twitter has long been considered an extension of the Democratic Party’s press wing, Musk has established himself as a much-loathed ideological opponent to that same party.
The question is whether Musk has enough influence to push the type of change needed to affect the way free speech is handled on Twitter, and what that means for pop culture, overall.
It’s highly doubtful Musk will have a direct say in Twitter’s policies regarding content moderation and the practice of banning dissenting voices, because no single board member has that power. However, Musk’s publicized criticism of Twitter and other social media platforms is enough to force change from within, whether the company wants it or not.
There is some speculation that Musk will hunker down and work on making Twitter a profitable company, but this is a man who has never been afraid to speak his mind about anything, consequences be damned. He’s already made headlines by putting out a poll asking Twitter users whether the company should implement an Edit button for posts.
Clearly, he has a lot of symbolic pull within the company, even if he can’t legally force any policy changes. Twitter, for its part, needs to be extremely careful where it steps with Musk on board, lest they suffer a greater backlash. For all intents and purposes, Musk is an infiltrator meant to destabilize the company’s status quo at a time when it’s taking beatings from every side.
Initially, Musk will focus a lot on attracting new users, which is something Twitter has struggled with for years. He’ll also be involved in the development of the company’s open source, decentralized protocol known as Bluesky. It’s here that Musk may ironically wield quite a bit of power.
The Twitter PR team was quick to paint Bluesky as a benevolent system whereby massive big tech giants would give up their monopolistic power in favor of greater communication, and (theoretically) more free speech. However, the company is notorious for its blatant gaslighting and lies regarding this very same issue.
Could Bluesky be the convenient get-out-of-jail-free card that Twitter needs to shake off criticism about free speech? Again, the initiative seems to run in contradiction to Parag Agrawal’s extremely disturbing stance on free speech and censorship.
The West is currently reaching a breaking point in the culture wars, and the Woke Left is losing more and more ground with each passing day. Musk’s self-injection into Twitter’s internal operations is a massive blow in favor of Conservatives and traditional liberals who are fed up with the imperialism and weaponization of speech.
It’s way too early to tell if Twitter will start reinstating accounts banned for no discernible reason, or opting for a balanced approach as to which voices are silenced, and which are allowed to keep on trucking. It’s been a long-running joke that former U.S. President Donald Trump was banned from Twitter, while the Ayatollah of Iran is allowed to tweet out calls for violence and bloodshed.
It’s also worth considering the political timing as well. Joe Biden’s poll numbers are in the sewer, yet he still hasn’t found his floor, and that’s bad news for the Democratic Party going into the midterms. Even the mainstream Leftist media are getting ready to toss Joe Biden off the side of the ship, especially as the Hunter Biden investigation unfolds.
Under normal circumstances, Twitter would no doubt double down on its bad decisions, leading to more negative scrutiny as we head into the midterms and the 2024 Presidential race. The presence of Musk on the Board of Directors might just convince the company to start turning over a new leaf, albeit slowly.
For those convinced that Musk will simply buy out Twitter wholesale, that’s a hard sell. Current rules stipulate that Musk cannot own more than 14.9% of Twitter’s stock whilst remaining on the Board of Directors. If he gives up that position in favor of majority ownership, he loses a seat of major influence.
Again, the very notion that Musk is involved in Twitter in any fashion might be enough to turn the tides. The last thing Twitter needs right now is negative press, especially with the Leftist narrative spiraling downwards in flames. Musk isn’t one to shy away from speaking bluntly about his own company’s missteps, and his unpredictability in the press should make the Twitter board (rightfully) nervous.
Whatever is destined to occur will unfold slowly, as is the standard practice with large mega-corporations. Musk’s ability to cut through bureaucracy and red tape could be a massive shot in the arm for Twitter, but if it tries to go against his pro-free speech advocacy, the company may end up regretting it.
For those invested in pop culture wondering if they’ll have a fair shot at utilizing Twitter as the free speech platform it was intended to be, they should hold off on the celebrations, at least for now. Musk’s success with Twitter will have ripple effects across the entire industry, especially if Twitter manages to do everything right, and become profitable.
If that happens, it will be a massive event that may spur other companies held hostage by their Woke activist employees to shed the load, and restructure. Fear is the number one motivator contributing to stupid and malfeasant business practices from the likes of Disney, DC Comics, Marvel, Warner Bros., and a host of other pop culture entities.
If a corporation with the vast brand recognition and sheer influential power of Twitter manages to abandon the Woke, and get back to the purpose it was intended for, expect other companies to follow that same model. That, right there, could be the turning point that single-handedly crushes the Woke, and ends the culture war.
Like all grueling conflicts, it’ll take time.