Policies to Discourage Stalking Do Not Equal Suppression of Political Speech
Posting real time coordinates of people's whereabouts is an entirely different kind of 'unsafe' than someone posting an opinion or belief we don't like.
Thanks Abigail for covering this development so articulately. Musk is correct to draw a line in the sand when it comes to safety concerns around his family. Suck it up, all you folks who've been given time outs!
It's shocking to me how quickly "free speech" has deteriorated into a nebulous blob that can be shaped and reshaped according to whatever agenda is on the table, and the people who do it must know they're doing it. That is diabolical. The activist journalists who were menacing Musk with real-time coverage of his whereabouts absolutely should have been suspended. But I doubt their time in the corner will lead to meaningful introspection.
Criticism of Musk on this is total bullshit. Posting where famous people are is NOT free speech. It IS incitement.
Thank you, Abigail, for this common sense perspective on tracking in real time. I think it is crazy to promote such a policy especially at a time when our population seems to have lost the ability to see the humanity of those we don’t agree with.
I’m eager to give Elon Musk a chance to make Twitter a true public square. After experiencing the capture and decline of all of our public institutions, mine is not a blind trust. I am hopeful, though, because Elon has an amazing mind which may lead us to an exciting future that the average American can enjoy. As a woman, I am very aware of how tracking can lead to stalking, which can, and often does, lead to violence. I agree that tracking in real time is more information than the public needs to know.
The location of Elon’s jet may be available through the FAA. So let a stalker do the work to get that. Journalists should not do the work for them.
This is the best take yet that I have seen on this topic. Musk’s banning of those journalists was a disappointment to me when it first happened, and I have followed the story and various responses to it. As the story has unfolded, I can absolutely understand his concerns about personal safety and the safety of his family. And every critic of Musk’s actions here, deep in their true hearts, would feel the same way were they to find themselves under the same circumstances. Hopefully Musk will be able to craft a better (and more consistent and evenly applied) response to so-called “doxxing” and reinstate these banned journalists - - but those journalists need to behave responsibly, like true journalists, not extremist activist SJW’s who would love nothing more than to see some unhinged fellow traveler make an attempt on Musk’s life or the life of a family member. Making threats against someone’s life is not protected speech, whether privately or in a public square. And I agree with Shirer here that there is no legitimate reason for publicizing public figures’ exact locations other than to facilitate the harassment of those public figures. It is a fuzzy line, no doubt, but public figures’ lives are more important than any bizarre interest some people may have about those public figures’ real-time location. A line must be drawn, and it think is reasonable to draw it here. Now that line must be applied consistently and equally, regardless of the viewpoints of the actors...
I just cannot equate free speech to identifying a person’s location. As a private citizen, I wouldn’t want it, so why does anyone think it’s ok for someone else, particularly someone who has such a big target on his back?
I just don’t get it.
Abigail I'm glad you've mentioned some analysis of the gender critical campaigners suppressed by twitter. Despite saying that Musk is listening and despite musk saying there would be an amnesty for the cancelled, most prominent GC suspended accounts have not been restored, including Kellie Jay Keen, Graham Linehan, Fred Sargent and Holly Lawford. I hope you can be part of a fuller twitterfiles on the GC scandal that goes alongside those accounts being restored.
Right or wrong, I experience glee when the corporate “journalists” get some of their own crap dumped on them. I also don’t use the little bird app and I don’t worship billionaires. That is very much Late Roman Republic stuff, and dangerous.
Abigail, good piece!
It’s hard to keep track of Musk’s children, wives, and marital status. However, I will simply point out that there’s no more sure-fired way to lose custody of one’s child than to have a family court judge or some caseworker opine that their environment is unsafe. So, without pointing it out, which would make it even worse than it is, Musk has gone about doing what he absolutely needs to do in order to protect his children. This has nothing at all to do with First Amendment rights, as you so clearly point out.
"Because when the crazies come for your children, you experience something captured by the phrase “she saw red.” And you aren’t a rational thinker any longer, nor really a person. You’re just a mammal, red in tooth and claw. And you will do anything—anything—to protect your young."
This is pretty much how I feel about the promotion of Radical Gender theory in the schools, "affirmation", the mutilation of children, and the Biden Administration's role. Hurrah for Gays Against Groomers!
This was my perspective too and I've seen little of it in the reacts. Did he overreach? Maybe. Did he just have his kid stalked, and told people not to doxx him, and they did it anyway? Yes. I don't think there is any scenario more forgiving of a bit of overreach than that.
Doxxing has never been part of free speech so of course it is not contradictory for Musk to ban the ones who doxxed. Before you read this and think to yourself that it wasn't doxxing because it was public record, dig deeper. It was not public records alone that led to the man on the hood of the car. Elon had a PIA and was flying in a private jet not a public one. Sweeny knew both of these things, bragged about it, and continued. This is illegal and doxxing by definition. Also please ask yourself, even if it wasn't illegal, is it right? Should this posting people's public flight records online be legal? Should people's personal info (besides criminal record) be online at all? Why do we call it personal if it is not personal? I ask you to forget your career, political affiliation, and opinion of Musk for a moment and just answer as a fellow human. Is it right?
Musk made a fair and rational decision which you and all other rational people affirm, yet multiple times you explicitly doubt his future intentions and commitment to free speech. You are genuine and fair in your writing, so can you please explain which actions caused you to be so pessimistic about Elon’s commitment to free speech? Based on what he has done so far at great personal cost, should he not get the benefit of the doubt until he actually makes decisions contrary to his commitment? Your pessimism seems unwarranted and unfair.
Just want to point out something that I think is VERY important.
From the article;
“The Twitter Files remain a vital revelation—evidence of a systemic attempt by Twitter executives to shape public debate and even political outcomes.”
While it is true that there was a systemic attempt by Twitter executives to ‘shape public debate and even political outcomes’ there is something not mentioned that is a hell of a lot more important.......
IT WAS ALSO A SYSTEMIC ATTEMPT BY THE FBI TO SHAPE PUBLIC DEBATE AND POLITICAL OUTCOMES......
In other words, the FBI was giving in-kind contributions to the Democratic Party by censoring and disrupting their opponents.