With all that’s going on in the world right now, folks could sure use a good laugh, and as “Chief Twit,” billionaire Elon Musk is doing his part, declaring on Friday that “comedy is now legal” on his newly-acquired social media platform.
Comedy is now legal on Twitter
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 28, 2022
It’s no joking matter, however. Comedy in the hands of such masters as the late George Carlin, Lenny Bruce, and Robin Williams (to name just a few) has long been one of the most subversive weapons in the arsenals of those who wish to see society change and the government held accountable for the messes it reliably makes.
Comedians such as Dave Chappelle have been “canceled” for daring to poke fun at such woke issues as the transgender movement, and, were it not for Twitter’s suspension of the satirical Babylon Bee account, one wonders if Musk would have purchased the platform in the first place.
So it’s no surprise that those on the left responded to Musk’s proclamation without a shred of humor.
“No one wants satire misinformation,” one user sulked.
“Offensive comedy is not protected by the First Amendment,” another falsely claimed.
“But what he fails to mention in this manipulative dishonest tweet, is: fascism/lies/disinformation/malign foreign influence/ & troll farm operations meant to manipulate markets & install far right extremists into power while sticking a knife in democracy, are now legal on Twitter,” a third ranted.
No one wants satire misinformation
— Ny718 🇺🇸🇨🇴 (@Ny718allday) October 28, 2022
Offensive comedy is not protected by the First Amendment
— Three Year Letterman (@3YearLetterman) October 28, 2022
Others, determined, it would seem, to put Musk’s commitment to free speech to the test, took a far darker approach, becoming in an instant all that they profess to despise.
— Creepy Steeple Resident (@clown_depot) October 29, 2022
But free speech wouldn’t be free if it only applied to people you agree with, as Musk knows all too well.
In a separate post, Musk stated, “Anyone suspended for minor and dubious reason will be free from Twitter jail.”
Anyone suspended for minor & dubious reasons will be freed from Twitter jail
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 28, 2022
In retrospect, it isn’t surprising that Musk would highlight the power of comedy while working to squash censorship on his new 44-billion-dollar baby.
Comedy has been on his mind for quite a while.
“Legalize comedy,” he demanded in January 2021, before finally deciding to do it himself.
“I aspire to comedy,” he tweeted in November of the same year.
And as early as 2017, he managed to work humor into the Tesla automobiles he manufactures.
“In the US, you can ask your Tesla to play any Monty Python (or other comedy) skit,” he announced at the time, adding, “Doesn’t work outside US yet.”
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 13, 2021
I aspire to comedy
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 22, 2021
In the US, you can ask your Tesla to play any Monty Python (or other comedy) skit. Doesn't work outside US yet.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 8, 2017
But, while Musk has vowed to transform Twitter into a place where all views are welcome, he is, wisely, taking measured steps toward achieving that goal.
“Twitter will be forming a content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints,” he tweeted on Friday. “No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes.”
Later, he stressed the point.
“To be super clear,” he tweeted, “we have not yet made any changes to Twitter’s content moderation policies.”
To be super clear, we have not yet made any changes to Twitter’s content moderation policies https://t.co/k4guTsXOIu
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 29, 2022
In the meantime, many are happy to yuk it up with the quirky billionaire.
— DJ Lil 🗣DJTW (@truths4_u) October 29, 2022
— UkraineNews (@Ukraine66251776) October 29, 2022
FREE AT LAST! pic.twitter.com/G6xV9MVZwj
— ERICA ⬆️ 🤌🏼 (@ZiaErica) October 29, 2022
— Aman Gupta (@iamangpt) October 28, 2022
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