"Elon Musk: space Karen", "launching toward bankruptcy" and other projections on Twitter HQ went viral Thursday, after half of the company’s remaining workforce walked out and quit.
I started projecting at this exact spot, in 2017. Projection is a nonviolent silent protest, which allows people to engage with it as little or as much as they please. Legally, it’s like holding up a big sign made of light.
Then, I wanted a new way to call out Twitter’s hypocrisy, for failing to enforce their own policies against hate speech by broadcasting Trump’s tweets. In years since I’ve learned tech companies, such as Meta and YouTube, like to have pretty outward facing policies, which they have no desire to honor. They deny moderators sufficient resources to quality control their product, or in Twitter’s case, fire them all entirely.
Musk seems to have no concept of free speech. Or he knows what it is but is gaslighting people. Think of Twitter as his private property, his house. He can invite anyone he wishes inside, and it's equally within his rights to kick anyone out. So if someone, say, Kanye West, comes in and starts spouting Nazi propaganda, Elon Musk can and should tell the white supremacist to get out. If Elon Musk says in the interest of free speech the Nazi must stay, the CEO is lying to you.
He has every power and right to show the Nazi the door, and his decision not to speaks volumes. Further, everyone in his house who isn't also a white supremacist will be made to feel uncomfortable. They will fall silent and slip out at first opportunity. By welcoming hateful ideas to his house, to Twitter, Elon Musk is silencing diverse voices and encouraging the majority to leave.
This is not hypothetical. When Elon Musk officially took over, hate speech jumped almost 500% in the first twelve hours. White supremacists heard his dog whistles loud and clear. Since then, he fired the VP of diversity, content moderators, and the entire human rights team. This is as reported by Free Press Action, a group encouraging Twitter's advertisers to protect their brands from Twitter's hate. Their hashtag is #StopToxicTwitter."
Editor's Note: Alan Marling is a projection activist and Livermore resident.