Elon Musk; the "Free Speech Absolutist" is "Not What He Claims to Be"

Published April 27th, 2022 - 06:19 GMT
Elon Musk Freedom of Speech
(Photo Illustration by Scott Olson/Getty Images) (Photo by SCOTT OLSON / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

This week's top news has been the massive purchase of the Twitter platform by Elon Musk for $44 billion after the world's richest man accused the popular social media network of "failing to adhere to democratic principles" on multiple occasions, including criticizing free speech guidelines. 

Despite Elon Musk's latest venture being promoted as "mainly focused on free speech," some online users expressed shock at anecdotes of a former Tesla worker who claimed that he was "fired" by Elon Musk's unicorn company for "expressing his own views to another coworker."

According to a report published by the New York Times in March 2021 and re-shared online following the Twitter deal, in 2019 a former security worker at Tesla, Richard Ortiz, was fired after leading an effort to start a union for workers at the electric cars unicorn.

The story was confirmed following a ruling by the National Labor Relations Board, which stated that Elon Musk had "illegally threatened workers with the loss of stock options if they organized a union," especially after Musk had tweeted "why pay union dues & give up stock options for nothing?", a few words ordered to be removed by the board, which also called on Musk to reinstate Richard Ortiz with compensation. 

This news has triggered many Twitter users to re-share the story, saying that the businessman who calls himself a "free speech absolutist" is "not what he claims to be," suggesting that his efforts are only meant to "protect certain political views," particularly ones that are not always welcome on social media.


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