Twitter had almost become a nice place to hang. A certain former president, infamous for spewing nonsense and inspiring violence, was permanently banned. The same went for other purveyors of misinformation. It wasn’t perfect, but it was something. Then Elon Musk, who appeared to be trying to back out of a deal he realized he didn’t want, had one of his unpredictable changes of heart. He bought it after all, and wouldn’t you know that overnight the service was clogged with garbage. Though at least O.J. approved.
A new report by Bloomberg found that as soon as Twitter had been taken over by the “free speech absolutist” head of Tesla and SpaceX, there was a spike in slurs, misinformation, even a resurgence in COVID flimflam that had all but disappeared. Some, Bloomberg speculated, were merely testing the boundaries of what could now be permitted, one-upping each other on offensive, combative content.
For example, the report mentions that an unnamed “racist slur” went from being mentioned at only a “low volume” to blowing up, seeing a 1,300% increase. What was said racial slur? Your guess is probably right.
Meanwhile, mentions of ivermectin — the deworming medication figures like Joe Rogan took to treat COVID instead of a safe, free, and reliable vaccine — shot up 2,900%. Also returning was “plandemic,” the term for claims that the once-in-a-century public health crisis had been orchestrated by some shadowy cabal. Also enjoying an resurgence: anti-Semitism, no doubt thanks in part to a certain rapper’s alarming, career-destroying activity.
Musk has vowed that Twitter under his rule won’t devolve into a “free-for-all hellscape.” At the same time, after firing top execs, he set up a council to review banned accounts, which could very well see the return of such figures as Alex Jones, the personal account of Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Steve Bannon, who was booted after threatening to decapitate Dr. Anthony Fauci. You might even see Tila Tequila, who sang the praises of Adolf Hitler, once again hobnobbing amongst polite — an impolite — company once more.