Twitter is a far-right social network

Twitter has long been described as a hell site by even its most avid users. But under Elon Musk, Twitter has evolved into a platform indistinguishable from the wastelands of alternative social media sites like Truth Social and Parler. It is now a real social network.

In December, I argued that if we were to judge Musk strictly by his actions as a Twitter owner, it was correct to label him a far-right activist. As a public figure, he has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the right’s culture war against progressivism – which he calls the “woke mind virus” – and his $44 billion Twitter purchase can easily be seen as an explicitly political act Promote this specific phenomenon are considered ideology. Now, even under his stewardship, the site has undoubtedly morphed into an alternative social media platform – a platform that provides a haven for far-right influencers and promotes the interests, prejudice and conspiracy theories of right-wing American politics.

NBC News reported today that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is scheduled to kick off his 2024 presidential campaign in a Twitter Spaces event with Musk. Twitter is quite literally a launching pad for right-wing political leaders. Also today, The Daily Wire, the conservative media giant that is home to Ben Shapiro and political commentators Matt Walsh and Michael Knowles, who are known for arguing against trans rights, announced that it is reviving its entire podcast offering Twitter would release starting next week. And earlier this month, former Fox News host Tucker Carlson announced that he would be bringing his prime-time broadcast format — a dog-whistling style of broadcasting known for its scaremongering and bigotry — to Musk’s platform.

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Both Carlson and certain Daily Wire hosts have been banned from the platform elsewhere — Carlson, of course, only recently lost his cable TV sinecure, and Walsh’s popular YouTube channel was demonetized for his transphobic commentary. And while they’ve reportedly not negotiated any official deals with the platform, Carlson and The Daily Wire are likely to take advantage of Twitter’s new subscription features and ad revenue sharing to monetize their audiences.

This should look familiar to you. Twitter is essentially following the playbook of platforms like Rumble, which used to be the go-to place for canceled and deplated rights seeking a soft landing and the promise of revenue. Like Rumble, which evolved from a struggling YouTube alternative into a full-fledged far-right platform in the late 2010s, Twitter seems to be drawing on the support of popular right-wing shock journalists to revitalize the financially struggling site.

The move makes sense. In just a few short months, Musk has been actively working to spread a specific right-wing anti-Wake ideology. He has restored legions of accounts previously banned for violating the Twitter Rules and has emboldened trolls, white nationalist accounts and January 6 culprits. From trolling to dog whistle to outright conspiracy theory, Musk’s own rhetoric has grown in recent months, culminating in his recent anti-Semitic remarks about George Soros. A stroll through Musk’s replies on the site reveals just how much one of the world’s richest men spends his time replying to far-right influencers and nodding approvingly at their racist memes.

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A social media platform always reflects the values ​​of its owners, and Twitter’s creed is nearly identical to that of the lesser-known alt-tech sites. Though Musk appears to be giving in to the demands of autocratic governments and censoring links to competing platforms, he has sought to position himself as a free speech absolutist, much like his fellow right-wing activists. Before Parler was shut down after a failed takeover by Ye (formerly known as Kanye West), Parler billed itself as a “social platform for free speech.” Truth Social, a website partially supported by Donald Trump, says it encourages “an open, free and honest global conversation without discrimination based on political ideology.” That language is no different than the way Carlson spoke of Musk’s Twitter, arguing that “there aren’t many free speech platforms left” and that the site is “the last major site in the world.” If it behaves like a right-wing website and markets itself as a right-wing website, it could also be a right-wing website.

Twitter has taken on the role of a far-right platform so much that it may be shutting down its competitors. When Parler closed in April, the parent company stated that “no sane person anymore believes that a Twitter clone is a viable business for conservatives only.” The reason remains unsaid: Twitter has become a right-wing echo chamber.

If Musk weren’t too busy garnering approval from trolls, reactionaries, and Dogecoin enthusiasts — a few of the voters on his website who still seem to adore him — Parler’s testimony should worry him. Right-wing alt-tech platforms may lure investors with paranoia and a flood of outraged new users, but ultimately they’re bad business. That’s precisely because they lack the one thing that drives far-right discourse: a way to appropriate the liberals. A culture clash is no fun when there’s no real conflict, and while some journalists and die-hard pundits remain, many of Twitter’s prolific users are posting less and on other platforms. Social media platforms that cater to right-wing ideology eventually become weary and predictable—the result of the same loud fist bumps against digital clouds. History has shown us that there are many ways a social network can die, but the quickest way is through boredom.

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