Elon Musk, the CEO of X (formerly known as Twitter), has made sensational claims that conservative users on the platform faced suppression at a rate allegedly ten times higher than their liberal counterparts before he acquired the company in October 2022.
Musk’s revelations have sparked a fresh debate on political bias and content moderation in social media.
Musk’s remarks come after his high-profile takeover of X and authorization of a series of reports known as the “Twitter Files.”
These reports, penned by independent journalist Matt Taibbi in late 2022, suggest that the previous ownership, led by Twitter’s founder and former CEO, Jack Dorsey, had collaborated with the federal government to censor conservative and Republican content on the platform.
During an interview with podcaster Joe Rogan, Musk characterized Twitter’s prior actions as acting “as an arm of the government.”
It asserted that Dorsey might not have been fully aware of the extent of such practices.
Musk went on to claim that the old version of the platform suppressed not only “far-right” views but also content that could be considered “middle of the road” or “mildly right.”
He stated that Republicans experienced suppression at a rate ten times higher than Democrats.
These allegations have been a focal point for Musk and his allies, who have repeatedly argued that the US government played a role in censoring specific stories.
Notable among them is the controversial 2020 New York Post article about Hunter Biden’s laptop.
The “Twitter Files” also reported that Twitter officials, with the involvement of the federal government, actively monitored posts by former President Donald Trump and other officials, particularly those disseminating baseless information about voting procedures and voter fraud.
In response to these claims, attorneys for Twitter have contested the assertion that the company’s previous close relationship with the FBI amounted to government coercion and censorship.
A hearing in February involving former Twitter employees testifying about the Hunter Biden laptop story did not yield substantial evidence of government-led censorship on the platform.
In April, X’s safety division announced a new approach with “Twitter 2.0,” emphasizing a commitment to promoting and protecting “public conversation” while ensuring that users have the right to express their opinions and ideas without fear of censorship.
Musk’s revelations have reignited the ongoing debate on transparency and neutrality in content moderation on social media platforms.