Tesla founder and billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has refused calls from western governments to censor Russian media sources over claims of “disinformation.” He said he would only comply with those requests if it was done “at gunpoint.”
“Starlink has been told by some governments (not Ukraine) to block Russian news sources,” Musk tweeted. “We will not do so unless at gunpoint. Sorry to be a free speech absolutist.”
Musk faced a backlash for his position from many who pointed out that Russian news is “propaganda,” to which he responded, “All news sources are partially propaganda, some more than others.”
Musk made SpaceX’s Starlink satellite broadband service available to Ukrainians last week, providing the country’s civilians with free internet access in the event that local telecommunications services are knocked out in the course of the ongoing conflict.
Musk stated that more terminals are currently en route to Ukraine following a request from Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Federov, who tweeted “@elonmusk, while you try to colonize Mars — Russia try to occupy Ukraine! While your rockets successfully land from space — Russian rockets attack Ukrainian civil people! We ask you to provide Ukraine with Starlink stations and to address sane Russians to stand.”
Ukraine’s Twitter account highlighted the tweet, writing: “Dear @elonmusk, Ukraine needs your support. Your stance and your actions matter. An appeal by our Minister of Digital Transformation here.”
“Starlink service is now active in Ukraine,” Musk responded. “More terminals en route.”