Elon Musk, the greatest innovator of our time,Â has reportedly closed the deal toÂ takeÂ over Twitter, and any supporter of free speech should be cheering him on. But howeverÂ theÂ dealÂ turns out, the reaction to itÂ over the past two weeksÂ hasÂ shown that Twitter is an ideologically discriminating cesspool of negativity, andÂ whatever faÃ§ade of independence, free-thinking, or commitment to free speech the company once had has been permanently washed away.Â
This will be a long campaign even for Musk, a man who seems to know no limits, not just to finalize the finer points of the deal, but also to start the process of clearing out the woke warriors infesting the company.
Recent Twitter employeeÂ statementsÂ online and in the media have made clear thereâ€™s no appetite to change the culture inside the company, and soon weÂ will all quickly see thereâ€™s a big difference between controllingÂ TwitterÂ and controlling Twitterâ€™sÂ policies.Â Â
Muskâ€™sÂ simpleÂ vision for TwitterÂ â€“ that it should evolve back into a platform where free speech reigns supreme and users are free to express their opinions and share information â€“ is only extreme in the sense that so many people both inside and outside of Twitter are radically against it.Â The culture of Twitter has clearly become so embroiled in Leftist politics that the thought of a return to free speech principles – which means allowing conservatives to speak freely on the platform – has led to a meltdown.Â
Twitterâ€™sÂ business modelÂ relies on misery, as the Washington Postâ€™s Megan McArdle so smartly wrote last November, and it simplyÂ doesÂ notÂ provideÂ a positive user experience. This is the fundamental reason the company has never been as profitable or as popular as its Big Tech cousins.
And ironically, the same people who lectured conservatives about private companies and the free market when Twitter permanently banned President Trump are suddenly up in arms over the prospect of the free market taking Twitter out of their hands.Â
â€œI do think that we want to be just very reluctant to delete things,â€ Musk recently explained, and â€œjust be very cautious with permanent bans.â€Â That approachÂ may sound like common-sense, but it doesnâ€™tÂ work for the committed Leftists running Twitter and the liberal establishment that benefits from a powerful social media platform that routinely censors conservative viewpoints and flags conservatives for spreading â€œmisinformation,â€ even when the information is true.Â
Musk is realizing what we have known for years: Twitter isÂ rotten to its core andÂ cannot beÂ repairedÂ by simply tinkering at the margins.Â TwitterÂ abuses itsÂ technology to discriminate against users instead of building a platform where free speech is respected andÂ information and opinions flow both ways.
Itâ€™s clear that if Twitter is to be a force for free speech again, it needs a wholesale tear-down to the foundation. Its leadership must be removed and the politically discriminating ideologues running day to day operations must be replaced. ThisÂ would include programmers and nearly everyone else who works there – and thatâ€™s an incredible, if not impossible,Â undertaking.Â
In short, Musk the innovator may find it easier to land a rocket on Mars than toÂ change Twitterâ€™s culture.
And, of course, the overarching litmus test that cannot be ignored is whether Twitter will ever restore the account of President Donald J. Trump.Â Without that, Twitter will never truly be a place for free speech.
But the solution to Americaâ€™s free speech crisis doesnâ€™t lie with Twitter. It lies with alternative platforms that the free market has built to compete with Twitter, challenge the existing Big Tech orthodoxy and leverageÂ itsÂ fundamental failures againstÂ it.Â
The Big Tech titans running these censorship regimes may not change their ways, but they can be starved of customers, who will naturally gravitate to platforms that protect their right to hear and be heard.Â Musk recently polled Twitter users asking if they believe the platform adheres to the principles of free speech and over 70% voted no. The market is hungry for a platform that operates differently.Â
Thatâ€™s what GETTR is all about. GETTR launched last year on the simple yet revolutionary premise that free speech is worth fighting for and that our usersâ€™ voices are worth protecting. The market has responded,Â andÂ GETTR is now the fastest growing social media platform in history, already surpassing five million users.
Whether itâ€™s GETTR or something else,Â Muskâ€™s offer to Twitter proves that the social media market is ready to be disrupted, and people areÂ hungryÂ to take their social media businessÂ elsewhere. For that, they need alternative options.Â
Instead of trying to fix the unfixable, letâ€™s focus on building up new platforms that ensure Silicon Valley doesnâ€™t have a censorship monopoly on our countryâ€™s civic dialogue.Â
Jason Miller is the Chief Executive Officer of the social media platform GETTR