Hogan Gidley, a former White House deputy press secretary during the Trump administration, says the significance of Elon Musk purchasing Twitter “cannot be understated.”
In an interview with NTD Wednesday, Gidley laid out his view that the $44 billion purchase of the social media platform will allow for a more diverse range of voices and opinions, making the app more of a “town square” of free speech, as Musk has called it.
Gidley points to outrage at the deal from the country’s political left which, in his view, previously dominated discourse on Twitter through the app’s algorithms.
“I mean, Elon Musk literally owns the libs right now by purchasing the outlet,” said Gidley. “Because on one hand, they’re saying ‘Twitter, it’s overblown, the influence is overblown.’ And then at the same time, they’re saying, ‘oh, my gosh, Elon Musk taking over Twitter is the death of democracy’ and all of those things. But they censor and shadow ban and use their algorithms to push people down that have any type of dissent at all, or just kick them off the platform.”
Gidley brings up the infamous example of the New York Post article published during the heat of the 2020 presidential race that exposed emails from a laptop owned by then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden. The article detailed how Hunter used his father’s political power as leverage in overseas business dealings.
Twitter, as well as Facebook, banned links to the Post article before reversing course days later under pressure from Republicans who accused the tech companies of biased political censorship. The laptop story also went largely unreported by other mainstream media outlets up until a New York Times article was published in March—more than a year after the fact—claiming to authenticate the emails while citing anonymous sources.
“These are serious questions the American people should know about,” said Gidley, referring to President Biden’s role in his son’s business dealings. “But instead, collectively, the left using their apparatus in the media decide to censor all of it. And that’s why it’s such a problem.”
Musk has indicated in statements that he wants to transform Twitter into a bastion of free speech and make the platform’s algorithms “open source, to increase trust.”
“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk said in a statement.
Musk’s purchase of Twitter comes alongside the launch of a new social media platform back by former President Donald Trump called Truth Social.
Truth Social, created by Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), also touts itself as a space for free speech and has topped recent app store downloads.
Trump’s Twitter account was suspended during his presidency following the events at the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021. While some have speculated that Musk’s intentions to make Twitter more conducive to free speech might mean that Trump’s account gets reinstated, Trump has indicated he has no intention of returning to Twitter in favor of Truth Social.
“I think he’s moving forward with new avenues, new ways to communicate directly with the American people,” said Gidley who indicated he had dinner with the former president a couple weeks ago at his home in Mar a Lago.