After reinstating Donald Trump’s Twitter account and making nice with a slew of far-right figures online, Elon Musk has done very little to position himself as any kind of centrist. But on Monday, during a company-wide meeting, the billionaire owner reportedly claimed that he’s enacting a “moderate-wing takeover of Twitter.” The subject came up shortly after Musk discussed whether he plans to relocate Twitter’s headquarters from California to Texas, as he did with Tesla during the pandemic. “If we want to move the headquarters to Texas, I think it would play into the idea that Twitter has gone from being left-wing to right-wing, which is not the case,” he told employees, according to The Verge. “This is not a right-wing takeover of Twitter.”
The billionaire reportedly added that Twitter could become “dual-headquartered,” and concluded that the platform must strive to be a digital town square that represents “people with a wide array of views even if we disagree with those views.”
If we take Musk at his word—which history has proven to be ill-advised—then Twitter’s new owner is failing spectacularly at achieving his middle-of-the-road vision. Opening the door for a Trump return aside, Musk spent much of the past weekend interacting with numerous far-right bloggers, including Ian Miles Cheong, a Ron DeSantis supporter who falsely characterized the Buffalo mass shooter as a leftist. In many of Musk’s exchanges with various right-wing figures, the Tesla CEO was notably affable, fielding advice on how the platform should be managed and expressing a mutual hatred for the mainstream media. Likewise, the billionaire has cosigned tweets from his conservative fans painting Democrats as the enemy of Twitter. “[Musk] should prepare for increased attacks and retaliation from Biden administration, leftist politicians, media competitors,” wrote conservative activist Tom Fitton, to which Musk replied, “Sure as night follows day.” Earlier this month, Musk even urged his fan base to vote Republican in the midterm elections.
Meanwhile, Musk has also reinstated the accounts of Marjorie Taylor Greene, the GOP lawmaker who was suspended in January for violating Twitter’s policies on pandemic misinformation; James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas, a notorious mud-slinging rag; and Andrew Tate, a self-described “misogynist” who has blamed sexual assault on victims. Moreover, by lifting Twitter’s suspensions on Jordan Peterson and the Babylon Bee, Musk appears to have killed a Twitter policy that specifically barred the targeted harassment of trans people.
In an apparent attempt to balance out this murderers’ row of right-wingers, Musk decided to reactivate the account of anti-Trump comedian Kathy Griffin, who was suspended last month for mocking Musk’s Twitter Blue subscription scheme by impersonating him. (The relaunch of the $8-per-month service, which allows anyone to buy a verified check mark, hit yet another delay Monday.) But in reality, Musk has moved the platform so far to the right that it appears to be threatening the existence of Truth Social.