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Elon Musk Is Having A Real 'Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly' Kind Of Morning
His rocket exploded and so have his advertising dollars.
It has already been quite a day for Elon Musk. The second launch of Starship, SpaceX’s fancy new rocket, culminated in what SpaceX calls a “rapid unscheduled disassembly,” or what we would call “an explosion.”
On top of that, his social media site, formerly known as Twitter and still known as Twitter by people who don’t want to sound like douchebags, had its own “rapid unscheduled disassembly” of advertisers. Now, the site has struggled with advertisers since Musk’s purchase, due to the fact that he has worked very hard to make it as terrible as he can manage. Advertisers used to like having their ads next to cool celebrity tweets and feel less great about having them next to posts from someone calling themselves Catturd.
In a bid to win back some advertisers, Musk promised that if companies didn’t want to be featured near Nazi tweets, they didn’t have to be. And it kinda worked! Well, in terms of getting some advertising dollars back, anyway. Not so much in terms of not actually showing their ads near Nazi propaganda, as a recent investigation from Media Matters uncovered.
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Media Matters created an account on Musk’s site, followed a bunch of white supremacists and other spectacularly awful human beings and then kept track of what ads were being shown under that content. It was a lot! And from major, major brands like Amazon, NBCUniversal, Samsung, Major League Baseball, The Wall Street Journal, etc. etc.
Since the publication, IBM and Apple, two of the site’s largest advertisers, have pulled their ads.
And how has Musk reacted to this?
In a post on the social media site, Musk announced that he will be filing a “thermonuclear lawsuit against Media Matters and ALL those who colluded in this fraudulent attack on our company.”
The post also included a screenshot of a letter titled “Stand with X to protect free speech,” in which Musk tried to claim that somehow Media Matters did something nefarious in order to come up with those results, other than literally follow several accounts on the site that we can presume are followed by others as well. Indeed, one of them had 100,000 followers.
While trying to make the case that somehow the ads shown under those posts didn’t count, Musk also proclaimed that he is just trying to protect “free speech.” This is certainly an interesting take coming from someone who regularly announces that words and phrases frequently used by the Left will be considered “hate speech” on his site and those who use them will be banned. This past June, in an attempt to go after trans people like his daughter who won’t speak to him and the woman his ex dumped him for, he announced that the terms “cis” and “cisgender” would be considered slurs on the platform.
And just recently, he announced that the slogan “from the river to the sea” and the term “decolonization” were “genocidal” and would therefore not be allowed on the platform either.
Now, he claimed that his opposition to these terms was because he believed they involved killing all of the Jewish people in Israel, which is the interpretation of those terms favored by Netanyahu and his supporters, though not what those who say them say they mean when they say them. This, he says, is because he hates anti-Semitism. Perhaps this would be more believable if he were not simultaneously telling people who talk about how “the Jews” are trying to do a white genocide that they are speaking “the actual truth.”
I’m just gonna guess that his motivation with that one has a lot more to do with him being sensitive to criticism of “colonization” as a white South African whose daddy had an apartheid emerald mine than, uh, being concerned about anti-Semitism on the platform. Just given … literally everything else.
Or maybe he just wants to own the libs.
Once again, it is all of our most fervent hope that one of the Twitter replacements will replace it soon and we’ll never have to think of this man or his bizarre interpretations of what “free speech” entails (hint: it includes being allowed to criticize companies owned by Elon Musk).