Twitter users wasted no time Friday testing the limits of free speech on the platform under new owner Elon Musk, with posts questioning transgender identity and masks.
Hours after Musk took total ownership of the platform, conservative voices celebrated what they said was their newly-reclaimed right to free speech.
Podcaster Buck Sexton (@BuckSexton) jumped straight in, tweeting: “BTW turns out men *CANT* get pregnant, Bring it, libs.”
BTW turns out men *CANT* get pregnant
Bring it, libs 👊🏻
— Buck Sexton (@BuckSexton) October 28, 2022
The tweet sparked both support and derision, with those apparently in agreement replying with tweets like “Truth,” and “This is gonna be a great day.”
Others opted to mock the familiar attempt to “own” liberal opponents.
“Turns out you CAN’T get laid,” tweeted @sawthrewit.
The masks that were widely adopted during the Covid-19 pandemic, and which proved divisive in the United States despite scientists recommending their use, were also a popular topic.
“Now that we can tell the truth here after Elon Musk officially took over, I’m just going to come out and say it: Masks don’t work,” tweeted @ianmSC.
Now that we can tell the truth here after Elon Musk officially took over, I’m just going to come out and say it:
Masks don’t work
— Ian Miller (@ianmSC) October 28, 2022
Almost like it was 2020 all over again, the tweet sparked a number of supportive comments and videos showing steamy breath escaping from the side of masks.
It also provoked the expected replies from the other side of the debate.
“So if you need surgery you’d be okay with the medical staff not wearing masks? I mean since they don’t work, right?” tweeted @marynol51.
So if you need surgery you’d be okay with the medical staff not wearing masks? I mean since they don’t work, right? 🤷🏻♀️
— Mary MacLean (@marynol51) October 28, 2022
The world’s richest man, a self-declared “free speech absolutist,” finalised his will-he-won’t-he takeover of Twitter late Thursday.
The mercurial Tesla chief tweeted, “let the good times roll,” his latest lighthearted gesture signaling his tumultuous, $44 billion bid to take Twitter private was finally done.
Musk has vowed to dial back content moderation, which conservatives say unfairly targets their views.
But detractors warn that without standards, the world’s “digital town square” is at risk of becoming a free-for-all of misinformation, with possibly perilous consequences for democracy and public health.
In true Twitter fashion, the conservative-led effort to test boundaries on Friday generated a few tongue-in-cheek efforts.
“Since this platform is allowing free-speech again I would just like to say that cool ranch Doritos are better than nacho cheese,” tweeted @KFILE.
Since this platform is allowing free-speech again I would just like to say that cool ranch Doritos are better than nacho cheese.
— andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) October 28, 2022
While @Alyssafarah looked to set the cat amongst the pigeons with an old saw that never fails to prove incendiary: “The Rolling Stones > the Beatles”
The Rolling Stones > the Beatles https://t.co/Z1dPmzTysX
— Alyssa Farah Griffin (@Alyssafarah) October 28, 2022
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)