The Media Research Center has reported an increase in censorship and harsher penalties for users since Elon Musk took over as CEO of Twitter. Tweets critical of the transgender movement resulted in 62 percent of censorship since the company has been owned by alleged “free speech absolutist” Elon Musk.
According to a recently released study by the Media Research Center (MRC), Twitter has tightened its speech restrictions on the platform since Elon Musk bought the platform. The data gathered by the MRC’s CensorTrack.org database shows a marked increase in censorship cases under Musk’s leadership, despite his prior claims that he is a “free speech absolutist.”
From November 4, 2022, to March 4, 2023, there were 293 documented instances of censorship on Twitter, according to the MRC. Comparing this to the 226 cases reported during the same time period the year before, there has been a noticeable increase. The study also showed that censorship practices have gotten harsher.
“In 245 of the 293 (84%) documented cases of censorship on CensorTrack.org, Twitter locked users’ accounts, and in nearly all cases, users were required to delete the content to regain access to their accounts,” the MRC reported. In contrast, only 136 of the 226 (or 60%) documented cases under the previous Twitter administration involved locked accounts.
Furthermore, the MRC discovered that tweets criticizing transgenderism were involved in 62 percent of the censorship cases under Musk. “At least 182 of the 293 (62%) documented cases of censorship recorded in the CensorTrack.org database for Twitter under Musk involved users being censored for speech critical of the left’s woke ‘transgender’ narrative.”
.@elonmusk promised free speech on Twitter, but censorship is on the rise since he took over and @theMRC is currently suspended.
We deserve answers. https://t.co/PrzwnG0prR
— Brent Bozell (@BrentBozell) March 30, 2023
This escalating censorship has impacted numerous prominent users, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Federalist CEO Sean Davis, and several journalists. After a transgender shooter tragically murdered three children and three staff members at the Christian Covenant School in Nashvillle, Tennessee, multiple Twitter accounts were locked for reporting on the “Trans Day Of Vengeance.”
Davis was both locked out of his account and accused of promoting violence by Twitter, both of which he vehemently denies. Twitter justified the censorship by asserting that Davis’ tweet broke the platform’s “against violent speech” rules. “Twitter has a right to ban me for whatever reason it wants, but it doesn’t have a right to viciously lie about me,” Davis wrote in response to the ban.
Other users have also experienced Twitter’s more stringent censorship practices, including the senior editor of the Federalist, John Davidson, who was banned for tweeting that Rachel Levine, the transgender assistant secretary for health in the Biden administration, is biologically male. Davidson has been banned from his account for a full year. Since Musk bought Twitter, Davis and Davidson have both appealed their cases, but their accounts are still blocked.
Musk once referred to Twitter as the “de facto town square” and argued that “failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy.” However, the data and anecdotal evidence provided by the MRC’s study paint a different picture, suggesting that Musk’s vision of a “free speech absolutist” Twitter has not come to fruition.
“No amount of lofty rhetoric or grandiose plans from Musk about his love of free speech and facts can compete with the cold, hard reality that the service he owns doesn’t just oppose free speech; Twitter detests it,” Davis commented on the matter.
Read more at CensorTrack here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan