Elon Musk announces ‘comedy is now legal on Twitter’ amid controversial takeover

Billionaire Elon Musk celebrated his delayed purchase of Twitter with a wry tweet saying “comedy is now legal on Twitter”.

The SpaceX supremo, who is comfortably the richest person in the world, paid $44billion (just under £38billion) for the social networking platform, saying he didn't buy the firm "to make more money. I did it to try to help humanity, whom I love".

Musk has promised to allow more “free speech” on Twitter, saying wanted "civilisation to have a common digital town square”.

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He’s widely expected to bring Donald Trump back to the platform. The former president was permanently banned in January 2021 after he posted rabble-rousing tweets that, according to Twitter managers at the time, were “highly likely to encourage and inspire people to replicate the criminal acts that took place at the US Capitol on 6 January 2021”.

However, Musk has promised to reverse that ban, saying Twitter was “left-biased”, and one of his first acts as owner was to sack the executive responsible for the Trump decision.

“I do think it was not correct to ban Donald Trump,” the Tesla chief executive said in May. “I think that was a mistake. It alienated the country and did not result in Donald Trump not having a voice. I think it was a morally bad decision and foolish in the extreme.”

Twitter users are split on whether Musk will be a positive influence on the fast-moving social site.

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John Rich, owner of the Nashville bar Redneck Riviera claimed to have gained 7,300 new Twitter followers in 24 hours after Musk related the “chokehold” on right-wingers tweets.

Twitter has so far made no changes to its moderation policy, according to a company statement.

Podcaster Aaron Maté tweeted that some prominent right-wing voices were returning to the site, tweeting: “Former Marine Corps Intelligence officer and UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter is back on Twitter, after being censored for dissenting views on the Ukraine proxy war”.

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But many others are unhappy at Musk’s arrival. Cold War Steve, an artist who has gained a massive following for his satirical collages, posted a mocking image portraying Musk as the “King” of a hellish landscape.

Others have tested Musk’s new “free speech” policy by openly accusing the site’s new owner of being a paedophile, daring moderators to ban them.

Another popular tweeter, comics writer Gail Simone, posted her views on the large number of people saying they planned to close their accounts: "Okay, here are my thoughts on Buttwipe Magoo taking over Twitter.

“He sucks, he makes most of the stuff he touches suck, he may make Twitter suck. I don't know.

“But I ain't leaving yet. I am stubborn”.


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