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Foreign interference, Twitter, and other fun stuff

Things that don’t make sense … or do they? Since Elon Musk took over Twitter he has talked about free speech, among other things. It’s the free speech thingy that has prompted Twitter to allow previously banned users back onto the platform i.e. Donald Trump and such.

Fair enough. I ran a lot of letters to the editor in my day, in the name of free speech, that wouldn’t see the light of day today (sorry too many ‘days’ but I love alliteration among other allocutions).

So, colour me puzzled when the new great defender of free speech decided to restrict writers’ ability to share their work by hiding Substack previews and limiting the distribution of Substack links (for those unfamiliar with Substack, it is a subscription-based online platform where individual writers can publish their work and, if they’re lucky, or good, can make some money).

Twitter has also cut Substack off from its API, which means writers can no longer embed tweets in their posts.

As the old saying goes: “Freedom of the press belongs to those who own the presses (or platform nowadays).”

More Twitter shenanigans. A couple of weeks ago Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre wrote a letter to Elon Musk asking him to put a stamp on the CBC Twitter feed saying it was a ‘government-funded’ news organization. Musk, who was doing so to news organizations such as NPR and the BBC, obliged before reversing the policy.

Let’s be clear … this was done for the sole purpose of discrediting these independent news sources.

Poilievre’s request is wrong on so many levels it’s hard to decide where to begin.

Firstly, he didn’t ask Musk to put such labels on the ‘legacy’ media in this country that pocketed $600 million in federal bail-out money and are in as dire financial shape now as they were before. It’s not like Poilievre wasn’t aware of that because he sure railed against it when it happened.

Secondly, Poilievre is now screaming about Chinese interference in our elections and is calling for a public inquiry. I’m with him on that one. However, what I want to know is how can someone who is so hot-to-trot about foreign interference in our affairs send a letter to a foreign entity asking it to do just that?

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