Free speech is something all Americans need

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has purchased Twitter for a whopping $44 billion dollars. There were mixed reactions after the April 26 deal was announced, particularly from those involved on both sides of the political spectrum. 

Many Republicans have reacted by praising Musk, while Democrats have been quicker to ask what Musk’s motives in buying Twitter are. One of the big questions floating in the air is if former President Donald Trump’s Twitter will be unbanned. 

In an April 27 tweet, Musk said Twitter must be politically neutral to deserve public trust. 

“(This) effectively means upsetting the far right and the far left equally,” Musk’s vision of a revitalized Twitter is commendable. 

Regardless of someone’s political leanings, it’s important that free speech is not limited. 

The only time accounts should be suspended is if they promote hate speech and/or threaten someone or a group of people. The fact that a former president is suspended from Twitter is not a good look for the platform. For a quick recap: Trump’s suspension stems from the Jan. 6 riots in Washington, D.C., in which far right mobs rushed the Capitol. According to the New York Times, four civilians died on the scene, while one police officer died from injuries sustained by the mob of people. Following the events, Twitter Safety’s account released a statement on Jan. 8 that would change the landscape of the platform and social media in general. 

“After a close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” the account said. 

Many Democrats rejoiced, while Republicans were shocked. Although there are some arguments that Trump’s statements motivated his supporters to terrorize Washington, these supporters still had to act on their own accord. 

President Joe Biden won the election fair and square, and most Republicans would agree. What happened Jan. 6 is not an accurate representation of the Republican Party. Although Trump has said plenty of things that aren’t backed up by facts, to censor him is going against the First Amendment. 

If Twitter was inclined to ban everyone who has bended the truth, the platform would be a ghost town. The problem nowadays is the rarity that comes with a civil political discussion. Name-calling and screaming at one another has become normalized, especially here in the U.S. In a time where diversity is being rightfully encouraged, there is more segregation than ever before. While not always the case, it often seems neither Republicans nor Democrats will give someone the time of day if that person shares a different political ideology. Whether we stand proudly or kneel in solidarity during the National Anthem, we are still Americans. It is my hope and belief that Musk will bring back the values of the First Amendment that our ancestors fought for by unbanning both Republicans and Democrats alike in the name of free speech.  

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