As Censorship Hits Substack Users, Even Elon Musk’s Close Allies Are Getting Burned

Twitter’s censorship is continuing to run rampant thanks to Elon Musk. With Substack getting censored, Musk’s allies are getting hit.

Far right wingers and conspiracy theorists often go hand in hand these days. Whether it is Alex Jones, Garrison comics, Joe Rogan, Donald Trump, or others, it is often the case that no conspiracy theory is too outlandish as long as it somehow fits with anything that supports the ideology of far right wingers. Any semblance of critical thinking or acceptance of facts that don’t necessarily bolster those beliefs tend to get cast aside. The more reality pushes, right wingers tend to push back that much harder.

One well known example of this in action is the conspiracy theory that platforms are continually engaging in so-called “Liberal bias”. Accusing anything with having “Liberal bias” isn’t anything new and it even got to the extreme of some right wingers trying to re-write the Bible because, allegedly, it has Liberal bias in parts of it (Conservative Bible Project). At any rate, for years, some loud right wing individuals have been long accusing platforms of right wing censorship and Liberal bias. The accusations had no basis and the reality was that platforms are actually a mega-phone for the very people doing the accusing, ultimately winding up having pro-Conservative bias if anything else.

So, in an effort to try and promote these conspiracy theories, Twitters current owner, Elon Musk, decided to rummage through internal messages at the company and release the so-called “Twitter files”. It was supposed to be this Wikileaks like expose of the platform censoring conservative speech and colluding with various government agencies to do so. In the end, the “Twitter files” wound up being a massive dud with pretty much no evidence to support the theories. The most they ever showed were government agencies basically flagging some posts that might violate Twitters community policies, and ultimately leaving it up to Twitter to decide (most of the time, the content was left up).

Like so much about far right wing political ideology, accusations typically wind up being confessions. After Musk said that he would eliminate censorship and make free speech the norm on the platform (ala ‘the bird is free’ comment), censorship began blanketing the platform. Journalists, Mastodon URLs, critics and many other things began getting heavily censored or outright banned. This over top of the fact that Musk fired any engineers that dared to question him in the process of his decision making.

Since we last had a chance to report on what all is happening on the platform, it seems that the censorship has only continued to get worse. Word is that Substack is now also on the receiving end of being heavily censored on the platform. This is a problem because a lot of writers – agree with them or not – use Substack for their writing. Now, even Musk’s own allies are getting censored as a result.

Matt Taibbi, who is – or rather, was – a staunch supporter of Musk. Despite the Twitter files being a massive dud, Taibbi insisted that the Twitter files showed evidence of widespread wrongdoing and promoted the idea that the Twitter files proved that governments and platforms have been colluding to censor conservative voices. To say that his credibility took a massive nose dive in response would be a massive understatement.

The problem in all of this, however, is the fact that Taibbi also uses Substack. In fact, it turns out, Taibbi uses Twitter primarily to promote his Substack. This proved to be quite the problem because if you can no longer promote your primary source of your work, then it makes it much harder to find a reason to use the platform. Taibbi wound up admitting that Twitter is now unusable to him. Techdirt notes that the schadenfreude only grew from there.

Apparently, Taibbi decided to stick with Substack while also asking Musk why likes and links to Substack posts have been blocked. After a period of time with no response, apparently, Musk decided to unfollow Taibbi.

The developments resulted in a lot of references to Leopards Eating People’s Faces Party.

One thing is for sure, the usability and functionality continues to worsen as Musk continues to own the platform. Between the rampant censorship, the growing legal liabilities, and the growing rounds of downtime, it’s probably little wonder why more and more users are flocking to alternatives as they pick up the pieces and try to rebuild what was lost in the platform that was once basically home to them.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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