When Elon Musk announced his offer to buy Twitter for more than $40 billion, he told the public his vision for the social media site was to make sure it’s “an inclusive arena for free speech.”
Musk’s actions since closing the deal last year have illuminated how he sees the balance internet platforms must strike in protecting free expression versus user safety. While he’s lifted restrictions on many previously-suspended accounts including former President Donald Trump’s, he’s also placed new limitations on journalists’ and others’ accounts for posting publicly available flight information he’s equated to doxxing.
The saga of Musk’s Twitter takeover has underscored the complexity of determining what speech is truly protected. That question is particularly difficult when it comes to online platforms, which create policies that impact wide swaths of users from different cultures and legal systems across the world.