By Jack Gist April 23, 2022 at 11:48am
The lowest layer of Dante’s hell isn’t fire and brimstone. It’s ice cold. So is Twitter’s stock performance over the last ten years.
Shark Tank investor Kevin O’Leary knows this. That’s why he’s backing Elon Musk’s bid to take over free speech enemy Twitter.
In an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box, O’Leary told Andrew Sorkin that Twitter “is the most miserable investment you could have put your dollars into in social media. It has totally lagged all its other competitors.”
“The biggest risk for shareholders here, whether you believe in the free speech issue or not, is if Musk goes away,” O’Leary said. “When you start to try and figure out who should have a voice and who shouldn’t, you’re stepping on the basic principles of free speech in America. And that really doesn’t sit well with a majority of the population.”
Sorkin wasn’t having it. If social media sites aren’t moderated, pornography and snuff films would inundate social media platforms, he claimed. He didn’t bother with the elephant in the room: censorship of whatever Twitter might deem “fringe views” or “misinformation.”
“The cost of free speech, the cost to society, is allowing the lunatic fringe to have a voice,” O’Leary shot back. “And that’s always been the case, back to when they were writing newspapers by hand. You gotta get over that, Andrew.”
O’Leary is right. The “lunatic fringe” we will always have with us. The free-speech question is, “Who gets to decide who the lunatic fringe is?”
(There are people at Twitter and other big tech companies who would slap that label on your forehead just for reading this commentary. They’d love to shut The Western Journal down, but you can help us continue our work and protect free speech by becoming a member today.)
This doesn’t mean, however, that social media platforms need to be radically laissez-faire. Businesses are allowed to have standards. They need them. If social media platforms descended into a free-for-all, their stocks would quickly grow as cold as Twitter’s has been over the last decade. The ensuing cacophony would drive users to platforms that filtered out some of the unwanted noise.
Do you think Twitter’s stock price would rise under Musk’s leadership?
Prohibiting pornography, snuff films, and the like isn’t suppressing free speech. It’s targeting customers. If depraved souls seek porn and other debaucheries, they can go elsewhere on the internet. It’s all out there. Sin is ubiquitous these days.
A company that sells Bibles, for example, isn’t required to carry smut. It wouldn’t make sense. Few would accuse such a business of suppressing free speech. (They’d probably be on the lunatic fringe.)
A social media platform like Twitter that suppresses political views through bogus fact checks and arbitrary and biased rulings on what is true and what is not, is a different story. It turns into an echo chamber. The stock suffers. People go elsewhere. Why wouldn’t they?
Even if we were to give big tech companies the benefit of the doubt regarding their motives, the fact would remain that by declaring themselves arbiters of truth, they have set themselves up for failure. Only one man ever walked the earth who could unfailingly discern truth from falsehood — and we killed Him for it.
O’Leary backed Musk’s bid to take over the company and suggested that Twitter board members should be “fired” for mismanaging the company.
“It’s horrific what this company has done to their shareholders,” O’Leary said. “I wouldn’t touch this stock. However, if Elon Musk gave me a piece of the deal … I’d back him because of executional performance on everything he touches.”
Investors love a good track record. Musk has a great one. Twitter doesn’t. Get the Twitter board out of the way, and the company might finally pay off for stockholders. Musk is a good bet.
And Musk is preparing to make his move. On Thursday morning he made it known that he has commitment letters for $46.5 billion in funding to purchase Twitter. The Twitter board did not respond to the billionaire. They’re mighty afraid too. They’re shivering with fear in their self-imposed hell.
The lowest circle of Dante’s hell is cold because it is so far away from the warmth and the light of God. In the world of social media, Elon Musk intends to shine the light of free speech on the darkness that the Twitter board imposed. Maybe that’ll warm things up and get things moving.
The leftists are afraid. They’re allergic to light. It melts them like water melted the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz.
If the Twitter board is the Wicked Witch of Free Speech, Musk is Dorothy with a bucket of water. The board members can feel themselves melting.
I’ll bet it’s so cold, it burns.