During the first half of a two-part exclusive interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, Twitter CEO Elon Musk revealed that the government had unfettered access to users’ private content under the previous ownership. That the political denizens of Washington, DC, had such little regard for the privacy of American citizens, however, is only half the story.
Much like the recent Twitter File releases pointing to interference in the free speech of the platform users, this latest bombshell also suffered the ignoble fate of being ignored by the left-leaning Fourth Estate.
“The degree to which government agencies effectively had full access to everything that was going on on Twitter blew my mind,” Musk exclaimed. When asked by Carlson if that included “people’s DMs [direct messages],” the Tesla boss responded: “Yes. Because the DMs aren’t encrypted.”
As evidenced by the notorious Twitter Files, federal departments communicated frequently with the company’s administration to request posts and users be either throttled or removed. With Musk’s statements that the government was permitted to access personal user information, one might wonder why the activist media has decided this is not a story worth covering.
A Deafening Silence
Websites of CNN, MSNBC, and ABC did not post a single story regarding the invasion of privacy enabled by Twitter’s former management, nor of the government’s potential misuse of its unique access. Although ABC ran stories on other comments made during the interview – specifically Musk’s concerns regarding the future of AI – not a word was spoken about the infringement of rights.
CNN ran five stories on the failed SpaceX launch, but nothing on the Fox News interview. DC’s most prominent paper covered the AI concerns in its digital edition while ignoring the revelations. The New York Times likewise avoided coverage, instead opting to publish a lengthy diatribe on the possible end of Twitter as a company.
Questions for Musk
The interview raised a number of significant questions, most notably, whether the possible intrusions were carried out through a legal court order. If so, it would be strange for Musk to highlight the actions in an interview, if not, it raises serious concerns over the cartelization of government and industry.
Also, as Musk points out, user information on Twitter is not presently encrypted. Noting that it took almost a whole year to add a barely-functional edit button to the site, how long will it take to implement an encryption process that can protect personal information?
Media on Notice
The key factor to consider here is that none of these alleged invasions of privacy by the federal government would have been known if Musk had not purchased Twitter. Gatekeepers within the company – according to the voluminous Twitter Files – were only too happy to coordinate and cooperate by granting government access to private citizens’ personal information and to shut down or throttle the accounts of those whom the tawdry finger of government chose to target.
That the Fourth Estate would opt for a self-imposed blackout on these revelations suggests that independent journalism on the political left is – at the very least – on life support. And yet, it was the slow bleed of journalistic integrity that pushed so many people away from “mainstream” media and toward social media platforms to get their news. The collusion of government and Big Tech has rendered trust in information nearly impossible. But perhaps the situation is not so dire.
When news becomes propaganda delivered through gatekeepers and filters of belief, the individual becomes a natural skeptic who curates sources worth keeping and disregards the rest. The Big Box media has struggled to maintain its heyday audience, and the whole edifice appears to be buckling under the weight of ideological, agenda-driven reportage. And many might speculate that it comes not a moment too soon.
All opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Liberty Nation.
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