The free-speech wing of the internet cheered when billionaire Elon Musk, a vocal critic of social media censorship, said he would purchase Twitter for $44 billion.
But by backing out of the deal earlier this month over Twitter’s alleged undercounting of spam accounts, the Tesla CEO may have emboldened the social media platform to resume or expand its aggressive moderation of tweets that offend elite opinion.
Since the Musk deal fell through, Twitter has imposed a raft of suspensions and lockouts against medical experts and critics of gender ideology, including one it recently reinstated.
While it has publicly demanded Musk complete the deal, Twitter could also try to compel him to pay the $1 billion back-out penalty if it wanted to preserve its flexibility to crack down on purported COVID-19 misinformation, abusive behavior and “hateful conduct.”
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, suspended for several months for calling hydroxychloroquine a “safe drug,” said he noticed a “remarkable uptick in followers” to his account after Musk announced his intended purchase.