Impending destruction of Twitter has consequences small and large

Twitter was never perfect, but when it works relatively well, it is an excellent vehicle for spreading news, including local news that might not otherwise find an audience. Incompetent management has put all that in jeopardy.

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Editorials

November 23, 2022 - 11:34 AM

Elon Musk set up a poll on Twitter to determine whether former President Donald Trump should be allowed back on the site, and Trump narrowly prevailed. (Maja Hitij/Getty Images/TNS)

The mercurial Master of the Universe who bought one of the world’s most powerful social networks made a rare decent decision over the weekend when Elon Musk let Donald Trump back on Twitter. There’s little doubt Trump violated the social network’s terms of service on and around Jan. 6, but indefinite bans should be based on the consistent application of rules. This was a bill of attainder aimed at the most popular Republican in America.

Of course, true to form, Musk in this case did even the right thing in the wrong way. Just three weeks ago, he said he was creating a council of wiseheads to advise him on content moderation before making any rash judgments. Friday, he conducted an unscientific poll of Twitter users on his feed and Saturday cited the results of that poll feed to justify the Trump decision.

Pile the whiplash atop the debacle that was Musk’s pay-to-play $8-a-month verification mark, which led to a free-for-all of fakers claiming to be senators, celebrities and companies, fooling their followers and the stock market; a systematic failure to police hate speech and harassment; Musk’s personal spreading of a poisonous conspiracy theory about the attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband; and a rash raft of chaotic layoffs that prompted thousands more to jump off what they understandably think is a foundering ship.

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