Musk, Twitter, and Free Speech

Elon Musk said, “I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe.” This sounds awesome. I have only one question: How would you actually do it? Not hypothetically, but actually. Step by step. How would you do it?

We live in a world where truth is subjective and the best narrative wins. This is unfortunate, but this assessment agrees with the observed facts.

What would a “free speech” first Twitter look like? Elon could force every user to clearly identify themselves, ensuring that every word was traceable to a specific known source. He could remove all unauthorized bots (some bots are needed for news gathering and dissemination). Then, the algorithm could be removed, which would end AI bias and any attempt at “right person, right message, right time.” With these changes, the best you could hope for would be a hot mess. Now, take it a step further. Let’s remove all censorship. In other words, allow all points of view and all subjects. The result?

Let’s just say that many, many versions of the above have been tried, and all have produced environments filled with subjects and images that most polite society finds highly objectionable. But… what about our freedom of speech?

Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit



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