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Has the Left Lost its Right Hand?

Has the Left Lost its Right Hand?

Sunday, 30 October, 2022 - 11:15
Tariq Al-Homayed
Saudi journalist and writer, and former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper

Yes… The title of this column is ironic. However, the intention is not to engage in schadenfreude but to ask if the liberal-left lost its right hand in propaganda and whipping up tensions after Elon Musk purchased Twitter? Musk, who is disgruntled with the left, recently tweeted that “the bird is freed” and “let the good times roll” in celebration of his purchase of Twitter. His acquisition comes after the left went to unprecedented lengths to exclude rivals from the platform, going further than the most notorious of dictatorial regimes. It demonized whomever it wanted to demonize and sought to grant legitimacy to those it considered worthy.


Acquiring Twitter is not a business decision. Rather, it is part of a bone-breaking battle with the left, which has been vicious in imposing its agenda, not only in the US but across the world. The left did not merely seek to impose its political agenda through social media. It decided to rule the world, decide which ideas are right and which are wrong, determine how we should raise our children, and what should and should not be said. It did so in an ugly dictatorial manner as it sought to turn people living in rural India into copies of those living in California.


Twitter banned former US President Donald Trump from tweeting while he was still in office. Whether you agree or disagree with Trump, this is bigger than that. How can we allow an unregulated company to impose regulations?


Musk’s acquisition of Twitter is thus no ordinary event. It is a turning point. The question is: Will the left try to create another competing platform and social media version of the competition between Fox News and CNN?


Has Musk paralyzed the left’s right hand by purchasing Twitter? Or will it spark a social media battle that negates the value of these platforms? Will it impose regulations like those imposed on the media? Would the media benefit from such a decision, given that the entire battle is over credibility?


We are faced with a credibility crisis. We cannot depend on a single US broadcaster today and have to follow several broadcasters to uncover the facts of matters, the motivations behind them, and whether the news we are reading is credible or part of an organized campaign.


Musk tweeted: “The New York Times has emerged as a new, chaotic actor in global politics. The paper’s interventions in some of the world’s most combustible conflicts have sometimes been a boon, but their messaging has also caused problems.”


He then added that this is “according to unnamed sources close to the matter who wish to remain anonymous,” in a jab at how the paper has covered his recent acquisition of Twitter. Indeed, he accuses liberals, including the newspaper, of representing the “woke wing” of America.


Musk also tweeted: “A beautiful thing about Twitter is how it empowers citizen journalism – people are able to disseminate news without an establishment bias.” This bias is a major problem, and it is not true. How can a tweeter determine, for example, the varsity news regarding something that happened between two states? What are the criteria? We have already seen such over-simplistic rhetoric on Facebook.


We are looking at a real credibility crisis precipitated by the left, whether on social media platforms, which brought pitiful figures to prominence or on media outlets, which also brought pitiful figures to prominence. Indeed, the latter gave like of the Houthi terrorists a platform. They also gave voice even more pitiful figures, who think they can shape the scene with their grudges!


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