Elon Musk’s Bold Move Revives Alex Jones’ Voice in the Name of Free Speech


Elon Musk Upholds Free Speech: Why Restoring Alex Jones to X is the Right Call

When Elon Musk bought X, previously known as Twitter, he promised to restore free speech to the social media platform. He has often strayed from that promise in the year since, flip-flopping and engaging in censorship on multiple occasions. But Musk’s recent—and highly controversial—decision to restore conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to the platform is entirely in keeping with his free speech promises, and, as vile as some of Jones’ past work may be, Musk is making the right call.

Jones’ Ban and the Slippery Slope of Censorship

Jones was one of the first major figures banned from all the major social media platforms, Twitter included, all the way back in 2018. At the time, many tried to justify this by arguing that Jones was a particularly noxious and conspiratorial voice. Yet the slope was, in fact, just as slippery as I warned at the time.

Consequences of Precedent

In the years after the precedent was set to effectively erase Jones from the online discourse, we saw Big Tech platforms censor everything from one of America’s biggest newspapers to senator’s speeches on the Senate floor to then-President Donald Trump’s entire accounts.

The Case for Free Speech

You either have a culture of free speech on social media or you don’t. And we’re all better off in a world where the open exchange of ideas is permitted online rather than one where some ideas and voices are deemed by detached Silicon Valley bureaucrats—with their own stark political biases—too “dangerous” for the public to handle.

Musk’s Free Speech Promise

Yes, social media companies are not bound by the First Amendment, and they do have a legal right to moderate content. Yet Musk, for his part, repeatedly promised to allow all lawful speech on Twitter—excluding threats, direct incitement of violence, etc. And under that standard, while individual posts of Jones’ could be taken down if they cross the line, a lifetime ban on a political commentator simply because his ideas are distasteful doesn’t pass muster.

The Antidote to Misinformation

But won’t Jones spread “misinformation” now that he’s back on Twitter? Sure. Yet the antidote to bad speech is not censorship; it’s more speech. And Twitter’s new “Community Notes” feature, the best change Musk has implemented on the platform, has already proven adept at fact-checking inaccurate posts that are drawing large numbers of eyeballs—even fact-checking Musk himself!

Response to Misinformation

If Jones returns to his old ways of spreading lies online, like the defamatory lie that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax, he can and will be brutally fact-checked by other people. X can also take down any individual post by Jones that violates the law and even demonetize his content, all without resorting to the heavy-handed censorship of a permanent ban. And it’s actually better that Jones’ followers see his content on a platform like X, where they’ll also encounter fact-checks and rebuttals, than if he is censored and they instead view his content directly on his website, where they’ll never encounter the same kind of pushback and scrutiny.

Freedom of Speech for All

It’s easy to point to all the vile things Alex Jones has said over the years and justify a free speech exception “just in this case.” Yet it never actually works like that. As the leftist academic Noam Chomsky has famously pointed out, “If you believe in freedom of speech, you believe in freedom of speech for views you don’t like.Goebbels was in favor of freedom of speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you’re in favor of freedom of speech, that means you’re in favor of freedom of speech precisely for views you despise.”

Elon Musk’s Commitment to Free Speech

The toughest cases, like that of Alex Jones, are what will really put Elon Musk’s commitment to free speech to test. And, at least this time, he’s passing with flying colors.

Brad Polumbo (@Brad_Polumbo) is an independent journalist, YouTuber, and co-founder of BASEDPolitics.

Uncommon Knowledge

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.


Micheal Kurt

I earned a bachelor's degree in exercise and sport science from Oregon State University. He is an avid sports lover who enjoys tennis, football, and a variety of other activities. He is from Tucson, Arizona, and is a huge Cardinals supporter.

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