‘Free Speech Absolutist’ Elon Musk Censors Staff, Critics



  • Elon Musk referred to himself as a ‘free speech absolutist’ and criticized Twitter for censorship. 
  • Musk has threatened to sue bloggers for crucial protection and fired workers for arguing with him.
  • “Appears @elonmusk is a free speech absolutist… except it includes security issues IMO,” a former worker tweeted.

Elon Musk on Saturday criticized Twitter for “failing to stick to free speech ideas,” which he mentioned “essentially undermines democracy.”

The Tesla CEO, who has beforehand referred to himself as a “free speech absolutist,” has a monitor report of silencing critics with threats of lawsuits and firing workers who disagree with him.

“Appears @elonmusk is a free speech absolutist… except it includes security issues IMO,” tweeted John Bernal, a former Tesla worker who was fired after he posted YouTube evaluations of Tesla’s autopilot features on his channel, AI Addict

Bernal’s video evaluations contained solely end-user options and included footage of the automobile’s autopilot disengaging, which triggered Bernal to take management to keep away from harmful conditions, together with a doable crash. 

“I used to be fired from Tesla in February with my YouTube being cited as the rationale why. Despite the fact that my uploads are from my private automobile off firm time or property with software program I paid for,” Bernal mentioned in a video replace posted earlier this month.

Bernal didn’t instantly reply to Insider’s request for remark.

Bernal’s firing will not be the one instance of Musk taking motion towards public criticism. In a single occasion, Quick Firm reported that Musk discovered the identification of a would-be nameless blogger who posted a adverse inventory evaluation of Tesla and contacted their employer, threatening to sue, in keeping with the blogger.

The poster deactivated his social media accounts and stopped posting about Tesla altogether. 

I have no idea what Mr. Musk’s exact complaints are about me. I don’t imagine he has any legitimate authorized declare, and I’d haven’t any trepidation in defending myself vigorously have been he to convey any declare,” Montana Skeptic wrote in their farewell put up. “My response to his threats was merely to guard my employer and protect my employment.”

In one other incident, a journalist who had been crucial of the Tesla Mannequin X launch occasion was known as by Musk personally and had their order for a Mannequin X canceled.

Former workers have reported being fired for disagreeing with the CEO, for reporting racist harassment, or for merely being in his manner

Musk has denied allegations of rage-firing workers and says his criticism of Twitter is predicated on a elementary perception in freedom of speech. He argued in a tweet that since Twitter is “a de facto public city sq.,” the corporate’s posting coverage “undermines democracy.”

Twitter operates with phrases of service that customers are required to stick to in an effort to entry the platform. First Modification protections solely apply in circumstances the place the federal government, not a non-public enterprise, imposes punishment for protected speech. 

In one other tweet, Musk requested “is a brand new platform wanted?” which, to some, signaled a risk that the Tesla CEO would create a brand new social media platform. 

Musk didn’t instantly reply to Insider’s request for remark for this text.

Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey responded to Musk’s tweets, saying “the selection of which algorithm to make use of (or not) ought to be open to everybody.”