Talk about breaking the internet.
The news of Tesla CEO Elon Musk's $44 billion purchase of Twitter has excited many of Musk's devoted followers, especially those on the right.
But for many liberal-minded people, Musk's purchase indicates a coming return to the bad old days of Twitter when bigotry and extremism were allowed to proliferate unchecked. And some of them are ditching the platform in response.
The Good Place actor Jameela Jamil quit the platform with a goodbye tweet, seen below.
Ah he got twitter. I would like this to be my what lies here as my last tweet. Just really *any* excuse to show pics of Barold. I fear this free speech bid is going to help this hell platform reach its final form of totally lawless hate, bigotry, and misogyny. Best of luck. pic.twitter.com/fBDOuEYI3e— Jameela Jamil \ud83c\udf08 (@Jameela Jamil \ud83c\udf08) 1650915740
Along with photos of her and her dog Barold, Jamil wrote:
"Ah [Musk] got twitter."
"I would like this to be my what lies here as my last tweet. Just really *any* excuse to show pics of Barold."
"I fear this free speech bid is going to help this hell platform reach its final form of totally lawless hate, bigotry, and misogyny. Best of luck. ❤️"
Among Musk's stated goals for purchasing Twitter is to return the platform to the haven of free speech he claims it once was.
But Musk, a self-proclaimed "free speech absolutist" has a definition of "free speech" many find dangerous. Among many dalliances with the far-right, Musk has frequently sided with right-wing voices who claim Twitter's bans of far-right accounts for propagating COVID-19 misinformation, right-wing extremism and hate speech amount to a tyrannical violation of the freedom of speech.
Jamil is far from the only left-wing voice who isn't buying Musk's positive spin on his Twitter purchase and is dreading what a Musk-defined version of "free speech" might do to Twitter. But not all of them are planning to leave the platform.
New York Times columnist Charles Blow, Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, journalist Joy Reid, The View co-host Sunny Hostin and comic book creator Erik Larsen shared Jamil's dark view of Twitter's new Musk-led era.
If y'all are so excited about this site turning back into a hellhole, well good on you. But you don't have a right to the presence of the very people you yearn to harass. They are free to leave you to blather, stupidly, among yourselves.— Joy-Ann (Pro-Democracy) Reid \ud83d\ude37 (@Joy-Ann (Pro-Democracy) Reid \ud83d\ude37) 1650903631
One billionaire\u2014whose estimated net worth has gotten about 10 times larger since the start of the pandemic\u2014is about to have the power to decide how millions of people can communicate with each other. It\u2019s dangerous for our democracy to have so much power in so few hands.— Elizabeth Warren (@Elizabeth Warren) 1650990262
Savage Dragon Creator Erik Larsen Keeps Promise Deletes Twitter Account After Elon Musk Buys\u00a0Companyhttps://boundingintocomics.com/2022/04/25/savage-dragon-creator-erik-larsen-keeps-promise-deletes-twitter-account-after-elon-musk-buys-company/\u00a0\u2026— Bounding Into Comics (@Bounding Into Comics) 1650936395
Looks like I\u2019m about to say goodbye to Twitter as well. I\u2019ve been pulling back a bit from social media anyway. This will be just the push I need to go all the way on this app.https://twitter.com/nytimes/status/1518480111510638592\u00a0\u2026— Charles M. Blow (@Charles M. Blow) 1650878374
Meanwhile, the list of those who have been jubilant about Musk's purchase is a veritable who's who of right-wing extremists.
They include Fox News host Tucker Carlson, Georgia Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, White nationalist Nick Fuentes and Trump sycophant and conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell, among scores of others.
Prepare for blue check mark full scale meltdown after @elonmusk seals the deal and I should get my personal Twitter account restored.pic.twitter.com/MKBQvHCoAH— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (@Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene) 1650889679
Elon Musk purchasing Twitter is the biggest development for free speech in decades.\n \nThere is a reason why Big Tech liberals want to silence conservatives \u2013 they know that freedom and free enterprise wins!pic.twitter.com/Pb7WH4lLqD— Senator Ted Cruz (@Senator Ted Cruz) 1651027354
Welcome back freedom lovers!\n\nThere are millions coming back to Twitter right now, I have gained thousands today already.\n\nI lost over 75,000 followers after January 2021 and now everyone is coming back!— Nick Adams (@Nick Adams) 1650927619
Another group of people who share Jamil's lack of enthusiasm for Musk's takeover?
Stock market investors. Tesla's stock plummeted more than 12% following the announcement, wiping away more than $125 billion in the company's value.
That's nearly three times as much as Musk paid for Twitter, if you're keeping track.