Jack White Mocks Elon Musk’s ‘Free Speech’ Hypocrisy After Kanye Twitter Ban
“It’s nice to watch in real time as you learn that all things need to be regulated,” wrote the musician
Jack White has been keeping up with Elon Musk’s Twitter regime — and has some pointed words about it. On Friday, the “Love Is Blindness” musician shared his thoughts on Musk’s allowance of certain people (read: Donald Trump, neo-Nazis) and certain hate (read: antisemitism, white supremacy) on his platform.
“So Elon, how’s that ‘free speech’ thing working out?” wrote White, who left Twitter last month, on Instagram. “Oh, I see, so you have to CHOOSE who gets free speech and who doesn’t then? What kind of crybaby liberal suspends someone’s free speech? Hmm….”
White shared screenshots of Kanye West’s suspended account — it happened after the rapper tweeted a Swastika and Musk said it violated a Twitter rule about inciting violence. White also shared a screenshot of a tweet from Musk saying he wouldn’t let Alex Jones back on the platform since he has “no mercy for anyone who would use the deaths of children for… fame.”
“Conspiracy liar Alex Jones doesn’t get ‘free speech’ either? I see. So you’re learning that these folks incite violence and hatred but trump…DOESN’T?” he tweeted. (White said before that he left Twitter because of Musk’s decision to allow the former president back on the platform.) “Or is it that liar Jones, and anti-Semite egomaniac Kanye can’t provide tax breaks for billionaires the way the former president could?”
“Or that maybe the controller of this ‘free speech’ is insulted personally?” White continued with the rhetorical questions. “It’s nice to watch in real time as you learn that all things need to be regulated, whether that be guns, drugs, alcohol, assembly, or speech because of the danger of someone or something being hurt or destroyed. They’re sometimes called ‘laws.’”
White continued to drag Musk, saying that the billionaire was likely learning “how harmful it can be when you let dangerous, hateful people say whatever they want on your stage.” White closed comments on his post, and made such decision a point, since he can “regulate the platforms I control.”
“Do the right thing Elon and don’t provide other hate mongers a stage, let them go talk in [the] town square,” he ended his rant. “And no, twitter isn’t town square owned by the govt., it’s a private company owned by Elon Musk.”
White had originally explained his decision to leave Twitter in a similarly lengthy Instagram post dedicated to Musk in November, accusing the Tesla owner of giving back a platform to “known liars” like Trump, while calling the reinstatement of Trump’s account “an asshole move.”
Musk gave Trump back his account after more than 15 million people allegedly voted in a Twitter poll, with 51.8 percent suggesting that the former president’s account should be reinstated. “Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Musk wrote about his decision. (A Twitter insider recently told Rolling Stone that Twitter polls are plagued with bots.)
“That’s not ‘free speech’ or ‘what the poll decided’ or whatever nonsense you’re claiming it to be; this is straight up you trying to help a fascist have a platform so you can eventually get your tax breaks,” White wrote. “I mean, how many more billions do you need that you have to risk democracy itself to obtain it?”
I’m a journalist who specializes in investigative reporting and writing. I have written for the New York Times and other publications.