Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who is in the process of acquiring Twitter, said the social media platform obviously has a “strong” left-wing bias, commenting on Twitter’s apparent lack of action against a Rewire News Group journalist who tweeted a call for violence against pro-lifers.
“Twitter has a strong left wing bias,” Musk tweeted.
He had been responding to conservative influencer Mike Cernovich. Cernovich highlighted a tweet from Rewire News Group journalist Caroline Reilly, who responded to an arson attack against a pro-life non-profit by calling for more violence.
“More of this. May these people never know a moment of peace or safety until they rot in the ground,” Caroline Reilly wrote in a now-deleted tweet Sunday evening, responding to a report from The New York Times about the arson attack, which came with pro-choice vandalism.
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“Here you go @elonmusk, when Twitter employees invariably lie to you about enforcement policy, maybe they can explain why a verified account is allowed to incite terrorism without any care in the world about being banned,” Cernovich tweeted.
It remains unclear whether Twitter took any enforcement action against Reilly. The company did not immediately respond to an after-hours request for comment on that matter.
After commenting on Twitter’s left-wing bias, Musk stated his opposition to censorship, saying he would prefer to follow the laws of countries in which Twitter operates.
“Like I said, my preference is to hew close to the laws of countries in which Twitter operates,” he wrote. “If the citizens want something banned, then pass a law to do so, otherwise it should be allowed.”
Incitement to violence is a crime under the US Constitution.
Twitter has faced sustained criticism for its apparent left-wing bias.
Twitter employees and their immediate family members donated $193,443 to the Biden campaign compared to $3,023 to the Trump campaign in 2020, records show.
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According to the Media Research Center’s TechWatch, Twitter labeled, fact-checked, and removed tweets from then-President Trump and his campaign 64 times since his election in 2016. Twitter put “public interest” notices on Trump’s tweets about mail-in voting, COVID-19, and the George Floyd protests. In 2017, a Twitter employee deactivated Trump’s account on the employee’s last day of work. Twitter removed four of the Trump campaign’s videos.
Twitter notoriously blocked The New York Post’s story about Hunter Biden’s laptop, released just a few weeks before Election Day 2020. Twitter went so far as to lock the Post’s account in an effort to force the outlet to delete the tweets sharing the story. The platform also suspended the Trump campaign account for sharing the story.
Twitter has also adopted rules that favor liberal causes, such as bans on using certain pronouns for transgender people. In 2018, the platform announced that it would consider “targeted misgendering or dead naming of transgender individuals” to be a violation of its “hateful conduct” policy. The Christian satire site The Babylon Bee ran afoul of this policy by tweeting that Rachel Levine had won its “Man of the Year” award.
Twitter also famously banned President Trump after January 6, 2021, while allowing highly controversial figures, including dictators and users who have been accused of murder.
Twitter released a study in Oct. 2021 claim that “Tweets posted by accounts from the political right receive more algorithmic amplification than the political left when studied as a group” in the US and other countries. Twitter’s defenders have pointed to the success of certain conservative and Republican social media accounts to counter the notion that these platforms are biased against conservatives.
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Twitter did not immediately respond to an after-hours request for comment on its alleged liberal bias.