In a Friday piece for Time magazine, the outlet’s national correspondent Charlotte Alter dismissed Elon Musk’s quest for free speech on Twitter as a white male “obsession,” and merely an entrepreneurial way to acquire influence and power in the world.
She also claimed that Musk’s idea of free speech is about the right to spread “disinformation” and has nothing to do with the Founding Fathers’ original intent.
Alter began her piece by insinuating that Musk should have put his $44 billion into something more worthwhile than what he sees as “free speech,” a phrase she put in scare quotes throughout the piece.
She wrote, “They say that something is worth what someone will pay for it. If that’s true, then protecting ‘free speech,’ which Elon Musk has cited as a central reason he agreed to buy Twitter for $44 billion this week, may be worth twice as much as solving America’s homelessness problem, and seven times as much as solving world hunger.”
She added, “It’s worth more (to him, at least) than educating every child in nearly 50 countries, more than the GDP of Serbia, Jordan, or Paraguay.”
The author then proceeded to wonder why a rich techie like Musk would even care about freedom of speech and how it “had become paramount concern of the techno-moral universe.”
She asked, “Why does Musk care so much about this? Why would a guy who has pushed the boundaries of electric-vehicle manufacturing and plumbed the limits of commercial space flight care about who can say what on Twitter?”
She then cited professor of communication at Stanford University Fred Turner for the answer, who agreed, “It does seem to be a dominant obsession with the most elite.” He stated, “[F]ree speech seems to be much more of an obsession among men,” and part of “the entrepreneurial push: I did it in business, I did it in space, and now I’m going to do it in the world.“