Elon, You Have Much To Learn About Free Speech
Hey, Elon. Big fan, albeit one of those who believed (and still believes) that your talents are a lot better suited to building cool cars and rockets and stuff than running Twitter, that great open sewer of contemporary public life. I’m not looking for a job—the last time I went to work for a jumped-up media dilettante enthroned atop a vast heap of Silicon Valley money, it went poorly—but, buddy, you need a tutor.
If you’re going to be in the free-speech business, then you need to learn a little bit about free speech. You’re not in South Africa anymore—hell, you’re not in Canada anymore.
In defending your decision to bend the knee to Turkish caudillo Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, you wrote: “By ‘free speech,’ I simply mean that which matches the law. I am against censorship that goes beyond the law. If people want less free speech, they will ask government to pass laws to that effect. Therefore, going beyond the law is contrary to the will of the people.”
That may have been the dumbest thing published on Twitter during that particular 24-hour period—no mean feat—or maybe just the most childish, as my colleague Nick Catoggio wrote recently. It even made me rethink my conviction that you are poorly suited to run Twitter: If you really believe that the limit on free speech is whatever the “will of the people” says it is, then Twitter, with its ochlocratic mob mentality, is just the right place for you—which is just about the worst thing you can say about someone, I’m afraid.