Be careful what you wish for.

MAGA-Republicans have been very pleased with Elon Musk taking control of Twitter and promising a return to moderation-free “free speech.” At last MAGA-Republicans can tweet whatever they want without those pesky “woke” rules and obstacles such as bans on hate-speech and “alternative facts.” It is gonna be great, right?

Too bad that Musk did not comprehend the source of the revenues that somehow made Twitter worth $44 Billion, Here is a hint – it is paid advertising. And guess what? Major advertisers do not want to be associated with racism, misogyny, nativism, homophobia, sedition, hate speech, egregious LIES or gross incivility of any sort.

Musk is now trying to blame Twitter’s imploding revenues on “activists.” Uh, nope. It is his statements and actions that have convinced big advertisers that the un-moderated cesspool he is heading for will not be good for their brands. Simple.

George Takei has generously tried to explain this for Mr. Musk. . .

60 thoughts on “Be careful what you wish for.

  1. It has been pointed out that Tesla doesn’t advertise on Twitter. When Republicans take over Congress, maybe their CEO will be brought before a House Committee to explain why he is “extorting” Twitter by not spending money there?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The advertisers might well be the ones surprised.

    Cowardly CEOs have become accustomed to caving to the demands of the woke. But Musk’s supporters assembling lists of those who caved. Boycotts by those who actually buy things might look very different to them soon.

    And I have no problem with Twitter being subscription based.


    1. “The advertisers might be the ones surprised?”
      You going to boycott firms that don’t support your hate speech? Good luck with that. Here is a list of those leaving or suspending to get you started. . .

      United Airlines
      Coca Cola
      American Express
      Johnson and Johnson
      General Mills

      “Cowardly CEOs have become accustomed to caving to the demands of the woke.”

      So, it is beyond your comprehension that CEO’s want to protect their brands? They are just “cowardly.” Your point of view is both sad and laughable.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “You going to boycott firms that don’t support your hate speech?”

        Climate truth is hate speech?

        Isn’t boycotting those same companies to enforce cenorship a lot worse?


        1. “Climate truth is hate speech?”

          LOL! What you call “truth” is nothing more than your opinions.

          You slide into hate speech all the time with your accusations of corruption and dishonesty of those who disagree with your opinions and your accusations that those supporting, say, better mileage standards, are heartless mass murderers.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. And any opinion not in line with yours is hate speech that should be censored?

            Better milage standards will not achieve Net Zero. To get there, you will have to reduce Europe and the US to third world status and lock the actual third world in starvation and death forever.


          2. “And any opinion not in line with yours is hate speech that should be censored?”

            My actual view is that any “fact” that is not consistent with the truth is a LIE and ought to be treated as such.

            If you want to call a for-profit company interested in attracting advertisers maintaining measures to screen out egregious falsehoods, name-calling, incitement, slander and other forms of incivility “censorship” then knock yourself out.

            We understand why you people are whining. In the “marketplace of ideas” if egregious falsehoods, name-calling, incitement, slanders and other forms of incivility do not have a platform, you have not got much left to offer.

            Liked by 2 people

    2. What’s wrong with Gettr, Gab, Telegram, Parler and other sites that promise uncensored speech? Are they making money from advertisers or are they just funded by investors?

      A Chinese billionaire funded Gettr, but I don’t know if he is still the source. Do you think American Express would be interested?

      BTW doesn’t, or didn’t, RTwitter have a subscription base for extras?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Musk is correct about the activists. For free speech to exist it must be tolerated by the society in which it occurs. That the activists brought social pressure on Twitter’s advertisers to abandon the platform reflects their intolerance for free speech.

    It is a lie to describe this outcome as a market phenomenon. It is, rather, a social phenomenon; one that is disgraceful in many respects.

    Apart from that, it is close-minded to pretend that free speech is the only factor of interest in Musk’s purchase of Twitter. Another factor of potentially greater interest is Musk’s stated goal of transforming Twitter into an “everything application” or single user interface for all internet activities.

    Twitter’s transformation will take time. Only the most vain and shallow of critics would accuse Musk of lacking business acumen because a few loudmouth activists attacked his business.


    1. “For free speech to exist it must be tolerated by the society in which it occurs.”

      You mean how you people were so tolerant when Colin Kaepernick respectfully took a knee to protest injustice? Like that?

      Freedom of speech is a LEGAL matter and only that. The government cannot muzzle you no matter how ignorant, dishonest, divisive or hateful things you choose to say.

      But society and the individuals who make it up have ZERO obligation to tolerate offensive speech. You want to be offensive? Fine. It is your right. But you are not exempt from the social, economic, and romantic consequences if that is what you choose to be.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Romantic consequences? Oh dear, you mean trouble with the old lady too? Liberal women talking dirty seems to benefit them, what gives…


          1. “????LMAO”

            Here is something you seem not to know. Just because you are not aware of something does not mean it does not exist. In this case, there is plenty of reason to believe young Trumpsters when they whine they can’t find women willing to date them . . .



            Liked by 2 people

          2. That’s just projection again.

            If they weren’t getting laid, why are they always so happy? It’s the Democrats, and particularly Democrat women, who are always angry and depressed.


      2. “You mean how you people were so tolerant when Colin Kaepernick respectfully took a knee to protest injustice? ”

        Crickets…shame or bad memory or self induced gaslighting.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. RE: “Freedom of speech is a LEGAL matter and only that.”

      Two thoughts.

      (a) That is exactly the kind of simple-mindedness I want to criticize.

      (b) If you really believe freedom of speech is only a legal matter, your claim that Twitter lost advertisers for business reasons makes no sense.


      1. “(a) That is exactly the kind of simple-mindedness I want to criticize.”

        And yet it is true. The Constitutional protection of freedom of speech constrains ONLY the government. In my social or economic relations with you I am under no obligation to be tolerant of your shitheadedness should you choose to display it.

        (b) Twitter is losing business because the words and actions of its owner have convinced many past advertisers that it will become an ugly platform that they do not want to be associated with. There is no free speech issue anywhere in sight. They are making a business decision.

        The essential problem is that some people want to be offensive in their speech but do not want to suffer the consequences of being offensive. For example the new owner of Twitter, Elon Musk, was free to Tweet that Paul Pelosi was not attacked by a deranged fanatic but was in a drunken fight with a male prostitute but he is not free from the consequences of spreading that ugly lie – advertisers seeing his decision to do so as a bright red flag and taking their business elsewhere.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Free speech is protected by the Constitution from government interference, but free speech is also an important social ethic.

          Those who cancel and shout down ideas they do not want to hear are intellectually weak, and ethically corrupt.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. “Those who cancel and shout down ideas they do not want to hear are intellectually weak, and ethically corrupt.”

            You constantly get “ideas” and “facts” confused. Those who must support their “ideas” with alternative “facts” are the ones who are intellectually weak and ethically corrupt.

            Personally, I do not like LIES and LIARS and will continue to shout them down as best I can.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. Even Nazi’s have the right to speak.

            If you can’t defeat their hate in the marketplace of ideas, you need to up your game.

            If your only option is to try to silence them, they will just speak in forums where there are no sane minds to contradict them.


          3. “Even Nazi’s have the right to speak.”

            True enough. Does that mean if I host a social site I have to scroll though pages of hate and threats daily. It’s my site, my rules. Just like this site and your rules.

            Years ago, the Nazis and their ilk were here and pretty much ignored until they crawled out and got a parade permit to March in front of a half dozen hecklers. Few accepted their tenets and policies and the Nazis went home to iron their uniforms or clean their sheets.

            Today, with the blessings of “one of us” in Trump, social media and echo chambers, they are now at the forefront of the extremes of a major political party. Open debate forced on private media won’t change minds or dissuade. Just like the Big Lie, facts means nothing but publicity is manna from hell for them.

            No need to censor, just ignore. That used to work. Still can if private media is permitted to control the content from heinous postings about pedophilia and Nazism if they do choose. Their are plenty of sites that don’t care, but those that do should not be forced to host material they find abhorrent.

            That is “free to choose”.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. Twitter is what you make it.

            You choose who you will follow and who you will block. There is no need for you to follow Nazis and if one pops up unexpectedly you can block him and not see him again,


          5. What is your point?

            People you don’t like are allowed to present their case, you are not required to listen, but you have no right to make that choice for everyone else.


          6. Maybe I don’t , but the owner of the site does, in my opinion. But it seems you don’t want the owner to have a choice either.

            Liked by 1 person

          7. “Even Nazi’s have the right to speak.”

            Sure, but they do not have a right to any private forum they want. Duh!

            Your pompous admonitions about the marketplace of ideas rings very hollow when it is you who is constantly polluting it with bullshit and falsehoods. Constantly. Just today you FALSELY claimed that Trump did not say the 2016 election was rigged even though it was a recurring theme of his 2016 campaign. It is YOU who joined in with the ugly homophobic spin on the Pelosi attack. It is YOU who STILL does his best to spread the Big Lie that Trump was cheated in 2020.

            So, I reject your admonition and express the hope that social media companies will do their best to keep lying liars from having a bully pulpit from which to spread their lies. Let them get a soap box and go stand in the park to spew their filth.

            Liked by 1 person

          8. “So, you are pro censorship”

            Whatever floats your boat.

            My thinking is obviously a little more nuanced than yours. As noted earlier, you seem unable to distinguish between “ideas” and “facts.”

            You think every “fact” is somehow equal. Not surprising from a party who lives on “alternative facts.” Unlike you, I think it is important that “facts” have a close tie to reality and I applaud efforts by social media companies to make that happen as best they can. There does exist an actual objective reality and intellectually honest people can do the “censorship” that you want to whine about. IMHO.

            Liked by 1 person

          9. Nuanced and totally wrong are not mutually exclusive.

            Posts claiming school closings were unjustified were blocked as misinformation. Same for posts claiming cloth masks on children were useless.

            Yet both have proven true.

            How much damage was done by suppressing those points of view.

            The thing you ignore is that in an evolving situation, a lot of facts fall by the wayside and a lot of alternative facts become the truth. Suppression of other points of view only delays that process, often at great cost.


          10. “Yet both have proven true”

            No, they were not. They may seem so now that vaccinations are available, the most vulnerable have been killed off, and treatments have been found but in the early days of the pandemic the resistance to social distancing, closures, vaccination and mask wearing was deadly.

            With that said, I am not going to defend each and every decision ever made by a for-profit company to weed out garbage. Mistakes are always possible. That does not mean that the free flow of garbage is a good thing.

            Liked by 1 person

          11. Schools remained closed long after the virus was well dispersed in the population and cloth masks as used in classroom settings are absolutely useless.

            I’ll even tell you the next alternative fact that will be proven true. Vaccinations for children under 12 do more harm than good by inducing a negative immune response due to Antigenic Original Sin.

            Children who were at minimal risk from infection will get much sicker than necessary because their immune systems will be hampered.

            How many hundreds of thousands of lives would have been saved had we followed the suppressed Great Barrington Resolution?

            Want to go through the list of climate truths that proved false? It would take a long time.


      2. RE: “There is no free speech issue anywhere in sight.”

        It is a shame you didn’t notice that when you crafted your original post. Had you done so, you might have avoided the mistake of using the Twitter story to bash “MAGA Republicans.”

        You might then have been able to see that the activists in this story play a key role. Specifically, they make it impossible to assume that Musk’s “statements and actions” are solely responsible for advertisers’ decision to abandon the platform.

        And once that assumption becomes untenable, George Takei’s attack on Musk becomes invalid.


        1. Your post makes almost no sense.

          This is not an either/or situation. People pulling their advertising respond to many different forces and inputs at the same time. Activists exercising their rights and Musk exercising his. It is still not a “free speech” issue.

          Takei is not actually attacking Musk. In fact, he has made the decision to stay on Twitter. He is simply trying to bring Musk back down to earth where – as a matter of fact – his dismantling of moderation capabilities and homophobic tweeting are certain to be bad for his business.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. So any activist that might try to convince a company to drop Twitter needs to shut up?

          So much for free speech?

          Remember Trump crapped all over Harley Davidson during the I’ll fated trade war with the world. He encouraged a boycott. But others doing so is wrong?

          Remember that a sitting US president is a lot more influential than a fading actor. Or other activists, for that matter.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Any company that allows activists to coerce them into suppressing speech needs to be identified and boycotted by those who understand the value of free speech.


          2. Kind of a dictatorial outlook.

            Help me understand. If I advertise with media that then posts or permits posting of material that I find to be against my morals, beliefs, promotes violence or just an anathema to my customers, I still have to advertise with them just to not offend you?

            Liked by 1 person

          3. I think you have that backwards.

            If the maker of my breakfast cereal tries to coerce a public discussion platform into censoring certain political points of view to appease activists, am I obligated to continue eating that brand of cereal?

            Essentially, the cereal maker is going to have to choose between free speech and censorship, and if he chooses censorship, he will not have my patronage.

            The cancel culture activists have the same option, they can eat another cereal too.

            But the cereal maker is going to have to choose which customers he wants, or make his advertising policy transparently non-political.


          4. The capitalists running our corporations really don’t give a hoot about you, the activists or anyone else as much as they care about selling their products and services. Controversies are not good for sales and profit. If they determine that x number of customers don’t like nasty posts, but y number do like them, the bigger number will prevail if profits are assured.

            Like Tessio told Michael Corleone in The Godfather, “it is just business, Mike”.

            So boycott whomever you want, that is your right.

            But, I still stand by my earlier post that Trump, a president of our country, told Americans to boycott Harley Davidson because they did not obey his wishes. That is not freedom of speech or American values. That is extortion. His words mean a whole lot more than yours or any activist.

            Liked by 1 person

          5. “But the cereal maker is going to have to choose which customers he wants, or make his advertising policy transparently non-political.”

            Is that a threat or a demand by you to the company? Is it so hard for you to grasp that companies are not in business to please you on social media. If that is your criteria then so be it.

            There is a parallel to MTG threats to investigate companies that don’t donate to Republicans. Fascism rears it’s ugly face and you can’t see that.

            “You will advertise on my site and donate to my party…or else”.

            Is that Libertarian thinking?

            Liked by 2 people

          6. So, it’s OK for free speech opponents to threaten Twitter’s advertisers with boycotts if Musk allows free speech but not OK for me to take my business elsewhere if they continue to make those threats?


          7. Would it not be better for corporations to put their shareholders first and maintain a transparent, non-political advertising policy that does not submit to political pressure of any kind?


          8. Are you going to criticize American Airlines or AMEX for not advertising on Infowars or Stormfront. Conspiracists and Nazis fly and use credit cards too?

            The kind of neutrality you think exists, doesn’t. Image and publicity are very important for any company. Sports stars that do unpopular things are dumped regularly. Tiger Woods lost a few after his breakup with his wife. Kaepernick lost everything because of his peaceful protests. You had no problem with that as I recall. Trump delighted in insulting him daily for a while.

            Liked by 1 person

          9. “Would it not be better for corporations to put their shareholders first . . .”

            You can take it as given that corporations DO put their shareholders first. And that those who pull their advertising from cesspool social media are doing it to protect the interests of those shareholders. That is why they get the big bucks.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. I wonder what captain Kirk has to say about this. And this qualifies as news to radical left wing extremists who have no better argument than screaming Maga republican over and over? You’re killin me Smalls. Yawn….lmao


  5. “And I have no problem with Twitter being subscription based.”

    The “subscription” Musk is talking about is the blue verification checkmark by a person’s name that tells readers the name on the account is real. If anybody can pay for a subscription name that’s not verified, what’s the point?

    Musk lives in a fantasy world. He obviously sees no danger in turning Twitter into a QAnon style platform with no one being responsible for misinformation or hate speech.

    Think about it. If you were the CEO of a large corporation, would you pay to advertise next to a rant about JFK Jr coming to Dallas to be Trump’s Vice President? Or the Speaker of the House’s husband being attacked in his home by a gay lover? Or endless juvenile hate speech?

    People might come to doubt the honesty of your advertising.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “with no one being responsible for misinformation or hate speech.”

      There is the problem. Who decides what is “misinformation” and what is simple insult or hate speech?

      Would you be happy with me in charge? (I wouldn’t, but I’m not blind to my own biases.)

      Is a clique of silicon valley socialist nerds the absolute arbiter of truth?

      How about Rev Phelp’s Baptists? Want them to judge what is hate speech?

      The best approach I have seen so far is a crowd sourced context tag. For example, when Biden took credit for the increase in Social Security payments coming, large numbers of twitter users pointed out it was an automatic increase established by law in 1972 and a context tag was added to the tweet to that effect. The tweet was not censored, but the objections of the crowd were added to it.


      1. This is a lot like the argument I listened to as a kid. “What is pornography?” “Who gets to decide?” Sometimes there is a fine line. Most of the time there is not. Most of the time it’s obvious.

        In the past, I think Twitter has done a decent job of distinguishing between right and wrong. They’re human beings. They’ve never been perfect. But they have been better than 4chan and Breitbart and QAnon. From Musk’s example of “a small chance of another side,” I’d say he’s going full QAnon. Kinda like “there’s good people on both sides.” Never mind that one side are Nazis.

        As for Biden taking credit for a Social Security increase, I’d argue that it’s not totally unjustified. Republicans have said, next time they get power, they will cut Social Security. It’s not a stretch to imagine, had they been in power this year, there would be absolutely no increase in Social Security. Laws mean nothing to them… just like “Roe v Wade is established law.” When it comes to their personal agenda, there are no established laws.

        And, you are right about Twitter users jumping on anything they disagree with. I suspect, however, you don’t agree when a conservative viewpoint gets ratioed out of sight. Then it’s “just a bunch of know-nothing libtards on Twitter.”

        Liked by 1 person

        1. :Republicans have said, next time they get power, they will cut Social Security. ”

          Cite? I have never heard anything of the sort.

          I have heard that SS should be phased out in favor an investment based system. but those plans do not include abandoning anyone ct or near retirement.


          1. Mike Lee of Utah comes to mind:

            But many “less reputable” Republicans have echoed the same thing. The bottom line seems to be two choices: (1) raise taxes (2) cut benefits. Guess which one it the only option so far as Republicans are concerned.

            According to Politifacts, this is the bottom line:

            • If nothing changes, the Social Security trust funds will be depleted by 2034.
            • A Republican plan would keep the funds solvent by reducing future benefits, with no tax hikes.

            • Broadly, the GOP would shift money from those who earn more to those who earn less. But compared with current payment formulas, every group would get less


            “Every group would get less.” They will not raise taxes, even if the elderly starve.

            And that is the best case scenario.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. That is a speculative article but note that the claim was that Republicans were going to take away your social security.

            The article quotes Lee as saying NO CUTS for those already retired or close to it, changes would be for those retiring 10 to 20 years out.

            If nothing is done there will be automatic cuts, so they better get to negotiating.


  6. This is from one of Twitter’s senior Reliability Engineers. Elon’s grand policies on content moderation aren’t going to mean diddly squat without a platform to run them on. His incompetent management is breathtaking. I’m going to copy & paste the entire thread but, if you want to read it on Twitter, here’s the link:

    “Reliability engineer on the Twitter Command Center team (TCC)”:

    Oh, and while the press is focused on how advertisers will handle changes to content moderation, I really think they should be focused on this:

    Nobody is going to advertise on or subscribe to a site that isn’t reliable.

    And a whoooole bunch of SREs got laid off today.

    For the record, “SRE” stands for “site reliability engineer”. These are the people who keep this place functional – who make sure your tweet is published and your DMs delivered and your Space usable etc. – and they are, quite literally, the backbone of this company.

    It’s a tough job, but we had – past tense! – a world-class team of SREs keeping this place operational, even when whole datacenters go down (and then Queen Elizabeth dies, spiking traffic dramatically).

    We had laudable uptime, to the extent that Twitter was where people came to see if something else was down. (Case in point:

    Our stuff wasn’t perfect, but we kept it going.

    With skeleton crews of SREs, though,
    * incidents will be more frequent
    * incidents will be more severe
    * incidents will last longer
    * incidents will be more likely to repeat

    This is not sustainable.

    I’m still here, and I’ll still do my job while I’m here, but I don’t plan to stick around.

    Perhaps that’s the point – if you get rid of those expensive, experienced reliability types then you can save a bit of cash up front – but it’s a deeply, deeply shortsighted point at best.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Even Musk knew that he has grossly overpaid for Twitter. That is why he did his best to weasel out of the deal but, clearly, the seller’s lawyers were better than his.

      Not only did he grossly over-pay, he did so with OPM (Other People’s Money) and Twitter now has an extra BILLION dollars in interest to pay each year. So, out comes the knives to slash away at the people who have spent their careers building something of value. Completely expendable – gotta pay that interest. It comes first. To Hell with quality and reliability.

      It is a very common and very typical story of how our broken capitalist system works.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. This whole nonsense lost its legitimacy before the word
    Maga. Who cares what Hollywood has to say, much less Sulu. Oh, far left wing extremists, that’s who. Simply not worth a plug nickel in the real world except for its value as humor which isn’t much either.


    1. “Who cares what Hollywood has to say, much less Sulu.”

      Exactly. Don’s premise was blaming the entertainment business, among others, for our partisan woes.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s