Popular topics: Community Guidelines, Cookie Policy

"Ban the ADL!" Said No Free Speech Absolutist Ever

By Jeffrey Wernick*

Musk has now officially embraced cancel culture. The Free Speech absolutist wants to Ban the ADL. Not argue nor debate nor discuss nor disagree, but ban.

It seems he wants to ban the ADL for being a nuisance by pointing out minor infractions.

Then Musk adds that it is the ADL is who is actually responsible for antisemitism. As if the ADL represents the entire Jewish community and what the ADL does reflects upon every Jew, everywhere. That every Jew is responsible for the actions of the ADL.

Further, Musk incorrectly states that the only business of the ADL is antisemitism. Here is what the original Charter states:

OBJECT: The immediate object of the League is to stop, by appeals to reason and conscience, and if necessary, by appeals to law, the defamation of the Jewish people. Its ultimate purpose is to secure justice and fair treatment to all citizens alike and to put an end forever to unjust and unfair discrimination against and ridicule of any sect or body of citizens.

Musk has stated emphatically using an explanation point that the only mission of the ADL is antisemitism.  Who knows, maybe he assumed that because he actually is an antisemite. I will not judge that. What I will judge is his carelessness in making a statement--and an emphatic one at that--and not even caring enough to check if it is an accurate statement. Is this his routine practice?  To practice verbal diarrhea?

As the expression goes: follow the money. Many organizations which started from some noble purpose have strayed, allowing themselves to be diverted by the hyperpartisan world we currently reside in. It seems, that no matter what an organization calls itself at its founding, it is now always ending up political--and politically biased.

Maybe the most neutral acts we can expect today are the donations to candidates of both parties by corporatists, donations given in hopes of maintaining and preserving the crony, corrupt, corporatist cartel?

What I also find amusing, ironic, sad and tragic is that many of the same people who defend Musk and X against attempts by the ADL to “cancel” them, also unapologetically embrace “Go woke and go broke” and advocate for the boycott of companies that meet their definition of “woke.”

Apparently they do not like symmetry.  They can give but they cannot take. They do not practice what they preach. Hypocrisy!

Cancel is the preferred tool today. Independent of ideology.

I think I am more qualified to speak about this concept than anyone else. Musk whines about losing ad revenues, supposedly due only or primarily to the so-called intimidation tactics of the ADL. Well, Elon, you are still getting advertising, you are still in the Appple App Store and Google Play Store, AWS is not canceling you, and your entire infrastructure is not abandoning you.

Elon, you have decided to destroy the ADL. So have fun trying to destroy each other, embracing mutually assured destruction.  That is what cancel culture represents.  

I lived through the destruction of Parler as an insider to the events. The allegations and claims against Parler have been proven false. And, given the conversations with potential investors prior to the seemingly coordinated defamation, demonization and destruction of Parler, Parler was probably worth in excess of a billion dollars.  

So Elon, if the actions of the ADL justify excusing antisemitism, then who should one hate when not only ad revenue is lost but also the entire infrastructure supporting one's company is withdrawn--and with little to no advance notice?  Should we call for the banning of Apple?  How about Google?  How about banning AWS?  Does it justify hating all of their employees?  

Elon, you like everyone else understand that money is power, and the fun of having power is using it and abusing it. At the holder of power’s discretion.

At Parler, I spoke with the Jewish organizations which were concerned about the content on Parler. I am Jewish myself. There was disagreement regarding the content on Parler. They explained their perspectives and I, on behalf of Parler, explained the philosophy of Parler.

The government, via Section 230, gave platforms the power to moderate content and to enjoy broad discretion in doing so. I oppose Section 230. As long as 230 exists, groups and individuals will use it to remove content. Section 230 encourages that. Section 230 subsidizes that.

Instead of courting the favor of those who would ban the ADL, be a true and sincere free speech absolutist and join me in supporting the repeal of Section 230.

Content moderation is frequently a zero sum game. Algorithmic intervention is manipulation and corruption of the ledger of activity. It picks winners and, by consequence, losers.  It distorts the marketplace of ideas.

Instead of banning the ADL, confront it. Invite Greenblatt on a Space and debate with him. Person to person. Show courage, not cowardice.

After the destruction of Parler, Parler was not given a voice. You, Elon, have a megaphone. Use it to actually promote free speech. Invite Greenblatt on to discuss, as adults, if you have that capacity.

Whoever started the cancel culture wars is irrelevant. Never embrace the math that two wrongs make a right. That is how things escalate. One bad act turns into a vicious cycle.  Let’s end this vicious cycle. Let’s not ban anyone unless the content they're posting is illegal. Advertisers have the right to associate with the content of their choice. That is the history of media and what funded radio programs, TV programs, and all forms of entertainment. The sponsors have the money and they have the right to use it to promote their interests. It is called capitalism. And Elon, you know that.

There were numerous groups who overtly stated their objective to destroy Parler. Sabotage Parler. And my statement has been proven prophetic and true: the destruction of Parler destroyed free speech in the App Store and in the Google Play store.  I never felt that Parler would receive many advertising dollars. As big as Parler became, I did not see the free speecher Elon supporting Parler either as a user nor by placing ads on Parler. Did you think that, among the 20 million or so accounts on Parler, that none would be interested in a Tesla?  Or did you make a choice to not want to affiliate with the reputation of the brand of Parler, even if that reputation was undeserved?

Elon, the simplest way for you to avoid content moderation decisions that will always create losers--and thereby inspire anger, frustration and a sense of injustice--is to get out of the content moderation business and support the repeal of 230. In my opinion, that is the only proper course of action for someone who is a free speech absolutist.

Also, Elon, I make no judgment regarding you retweeting a person who had, as reported, once described himself as a raging antisemite. Yes,  I guess if you want to look for an authority on antisemitism, the person to seek for the correct perspective is a raging antisemite. Makes sense to me.

Elon, prove yourself better than the ADL. Debate, discuss, disagree. Engage in discourse and do it on a level playing field.  Trust the marketplace to be the judge. Reject authoritarianism!

If we have any hope for some sort of civil society, we must never embrace cancel culture in any form; we must be willing to engage constructively with all. And if they refuse to engage constructively, respect the will and judgment of the marketplace. People will always understand reality better than any propaganda-wielding authoritarian would hope. Not perfectly, but better.

The lesson I tried to convey to the people I spoke with when I was involved with Parler is that the marketplace worked well. Almost all the content presented to Parler as being hateful had little organic viewership. The Parler community did not engage with the content that others brought to the attention of Parler. The content existed. But almost no one looked at it, engaged with it, followed those who produced it. Almost no one indicated they liked the content. Almost no one shared the content with others.

We must never stop talking!  To do so would be to accept hopelessness!


*Jeffrey is a strategic investor in BitChute

Was this article helpful?

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

Our customer support team is here for you.

Contact Support

BitChute is a peer-to-peer content sharing platform. Creators are allowed to post content they produce to the platform, so long as they comply with our policies. The content posted to the platform is not reflective or representative of the views of Bit Chute Limited, its staff or owners. © 2017-2023 Bit Chute Limited, Box 813, Andover House, George Yard, Andover, Hampshire, SP10 1PB. United Kingdom. Company number 10637289.