Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk expressed his concerns over the censorship efforts of Big Tech, following the ban of President Donald Trump across every major social media platform and the de-platforming of thousands of his supporters.
Posting on Twitter, Musk replied to a satirical article by the Babylon Bee, stating, “a lot of people are going to be super unhappy with West Coast high tech as the de facto arbiter of free speech.”
Musk’s comments come following a widespread crackdown on conservative speech on social media platforms. In addition to banning President Donald Trump, a number of influential conservatives have been excised from the public space in an apparent move to silence conservative speech.
While many of the accounts removed from the platforms were associated with the QAnon fringe conspiracy theory group and with the violence at the Capitol last week, the censorship sweeps have caught many other conservatives, including mainstream voices, in their net.
Social media outlet Parler has also been subject to de-platforming by Apple, Google and Amazon, which removed the social media platform’s apps as well as its hosting within hours of each other.
Musk, a veteran of Silicon Valley, having co-founded Paypal along with Peter Thiel and two others in 1998, left California for Texas in 2020, and has been critical of Big Tech.
During the widespread protests in support of Donald Trump, Musk advised his readers to use the app Signal, an encrypted messaging app previously recommended by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey at the height of the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer.
Musk has built a strong reputation among free speech advocates, including podcaster Joe Rogan, and recently surpassed Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos as the richest man in the world with a net worth of $185 billion.