Do journalists defend free speech only when they are personally concerned?

Posted on January 10, 2023


On December 15, Elon Musk decided to temporarily suspend the Twitter accounts of a handful of journalists. This decision immediately triggered a series of vitriolic reactions that shed light on the prejudices of the media, political institutions and…Wikipedia.

It seems surprising that this billionaire who trumpeted his commitment to freedom of expression has suspended the Twitter accounts of several journalists.

A little context, however, explains his reaction pretty well: Musk has a private plane whose movements are not publicly known. In fact, he explained that he does not want his position and his movements to be tracked by certain activists present in particular on Twitter, believing that this information concerns his private life and, more importantly, could put his life or that of his relatives in danger.

This observation is not light: in the past and recently, the leader of Tesla, SpaceX and Twitter has found himself confronted with individuals with ambiguous intentions. Recently, his youngest son was present, which probably alarmed the billionaire who therefore decided to ban, at least on his platform, any form of doxing that could endanger the people involved: from now on, the disclosure of personal information of a Twitter user (whoever that user may be) is subject to suspension.

Since this change was clearly indicated in the policy for using the platform, several journalists, however, and unsurprisingly, persisted and continued to broadcast the positions and movements, however private of Musk and his plane. Not surprisingly, they were therefore suspended.

Stupor and howls, journalists were suspended for breaking the rules on Twitter!

We understand here that the usual despisers of Musk’s platform and the takeover of the former by the latter had a great time, stubbornly insisting on the idea that the billionaire would have thus changed his tone on freedom of expression, that he would follow a very politically witch-hunting path oriented and that soon no one would have the right to express themselves on this damn social network. In an impetus quite typical of the troops I woke upA whole section of journalism then began to bet on a collapse of Twitter (which has not yet occurred) and to root for a mass departure for Mastodon (that platform, however, known for hosting child pornography content), a leak that did not occurred to translate into reality as well.

Less anecdotally, we should, however, note three other important reactions after this micronews on a social platform.

For one thing, and as you’d expect, the mainstream press has largely done its usual work of blatantly biased propaganda: through a tired headline suggesting an arbitrary suspension (“Musk suspends journalists who write about him”) or video featuring The facts truncated, she painted the portrait of an erratic and capricious character who will be easy to bring back to each of her new decisions. The technique is well known and is reminiscent in many ways of the systematic defamation to which certain American conservatives (Trump first) were subjected, a method that is also not alien to the abysmal loss of audience of these media.

On the other hand, official institutions quickly joined the dance. While one can understand one or another more or less concerned statement by the Biden administration, it is strange to read the statements of elected politicians, especially European ones.

In an interesting series of speeches, the French and German ministers thus hastened to make known their disapproval of what they consider to be an attack on freedom of expression: here, too, it is not surprising that we find the cream of the crop useless embellishments such as Jean-Noel Barrot (who would be deputy minister in France, according to rumours) or the bland German Buschman, Justice ministry. The non-existent Roland Lescure, also presumed Minister Delegate for Industry, would have opted to get off the platform to protest ; he returned very quickly (and if you didn’t notice his departure or his return, this is completely normal).

More surprisingly, there are also small bumps by European Commissioner and Vice-President of the European Commission Vera Jurova, even calling for sanctions. We are still trying to understand why the European Commission, as well as the French or German institutions represented by these paltoquets, could have a say in the management of a private platform, especially since, as noted political clenching their metaphorical fists, these people are as useless as they are powerless to thwart Musk’s decisions.

Finally, watch the reaction from… Wikipedia: Although news of the suspension hadn’t yet spread around the world, users of the world’s encyclopedia rushed to celebrate the decision with an article titled “Thursday Night Massacre (Twitter) (Thursday Night Massacre) – since renamed more soberly as “December 15, 2022 Suspensions”. We admire the speed of production of such an article due to what now seems to be a detail, both for its scope (less than a dozen journalists are mentioned) and for its duration (only a few days of suspension) and for its theme (we can talk about freedom of expression on the real-time position of a private plane? The debate remains open).

In short, in a very remarkable general movement, all that information for the general public that includes outposts ready to transmit a single message began to vibrate in unison during this event, however very modest, in order to make it clear that an unbearable attack on the freedom of speech was taking place and that we had to roll on the floor in anger and frustration (at least).

This unanimous reaction is disconcerting and requires us to ask ourselves some questions.

Where were these media when the twitter archives (mentioned here and there) left?

However, revealing unprecedented attacks on this freedom of expression, these files revealed on Twitter have absolutely not mobilized these clusters of tartufs: the continental press has not said a word when it is, without a doubt, one of the biggest scandals in terms of intelligence agency collusion, administrations and journalists to censor citizens; the European Commission and the skewer of ministers from member countries made no comment and showed no exasperation to see these social networks thus truly hijacked by administrations and powers for partisan and political purposes to crush any dissent in speech.

As for Wikipedia, the presence of a symbolic article about these explosive files does not clarify it at all, and the reason for its silence is easy enough to understand when we learn that, like these agencies, like these administrations, like these media, the online encyclopedia is now ultra-politicized and almost entirely in line with the same collectivist goals as the American progressive far left, which obviously has no interest in detailing the revelations of the Twitter archives: by regularly appealing for donations from individuals, it appears that the funds raised do not essentially go to the maintenance of the website.

Click on the image to access the Twitter feed and unroll it

In practice, most of these collections are full of foundations, non-governmental organizations and projects that most donors have never heard of and whose objective is perfectly clear and similar to the objectives of administrations and the western mainstream media, that is, a cultural revolution collectivist western.

In short, by suspending some journalists for a few days, Musk has once again shown where self-proclaimed free speech advocates really are, i.e. nowhere where they are expected. It also revealed the true intellectual capture of the media, institutions and even Wikipedia by a fringe fringe of society determined to silence every single one of its opponents by any means possible…

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