On Twitter, Free Speech Is Hanging On [Updated]

Elon Musk pledged to make Twitter a free speech zone, but it hasn’t always turned out that way. Yesterday a controversy unfolded over the Daily Wire’s plan to stream the movie “What Is a Woman?” for free on Twitter.

First of all, if you haven’t seen the movie, you should. It was produced and directed by my friend Justin Folk and stars the Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh. Despite its depressing subject matter, the film is actually entertaining, and in places riveting. So the more people who see it, the better.

When the Wire announced its intention to stream “What Is a Woman?” on Twitter, it encountered censorship based on the fact that it includes a couple of instances of “misgendering,” i.e. people on screen using someone’s grammatically correct pronouns rather than delusional ones:

When Twitter abruptly balked after viewing the film and realizing some people use a transgender individual’s correct pronoun, Daily Wire reminded the company that it had removed “misgendering” from its hate speech policy. [Daily Wire CEO Jeremy] Boering noted enforcing such a policy places Twitter on the side of the most radical elements in society, the ones most vehemently opposed to Twitter’s commitment to free speech.

According to Boering, employees working on the deal insisted that misgendering was removed because the policy did not need to be that specific. They assured him that misgendering is still considered abuse and harassment. Daily Wire was given the option to edit the film or lose technical support and limit the film’s reach. Daily Wire declined to make the requested change and was told that not even their Twitter followers would be able to see the movie.

Elon Musk then stepped in, defending the Wire’s right to show the film. As of yesterday afternoon, it wasn’t clear what was going to happen. But the free screening went forward, and as of a few moments ago the video had been viewed 35,600,000 77,100,000 times. It had 55,000 retweets and 138,000 likes. Musk retweeted the movie and endorsed it:

So for now, it is a happy ending–but also a reminder that many who work in the social media industry, likely most, are left-wing, anti-free speech ideologues.

The battle over “What Is a Woman?” is particularly ironic, given current polling that shows the “trans” ideology that some at Twitter wanted to enforce is subscribed to by only a small minority of Americans. They are a small minority, but they have undue influence because they are bullies. Let’s not let them get away with it.

UPDATE: Twitter’s “head of trust and safety” has resigned.

I might add that my organization held the first-ever theater screening of “What Is a Woman?” a year ago, courtesy of Justin Folk and the Daily Wire.

Notice: All comments are subject to moderation. Our comments are intended to be a forum for civil discourse bearing on the subject under discussion. Commenters who stray beyond the bounds of civility or employ what we deem gratuitous vulgarity in a comment — including, but not limited to, “s***,” “f***,” “a*******,” or one of their many variants — will be banned without further notice in the sole discretion of the site moderator.