Elon Musk made a deal to purchase Twitter for roughly $44 billion. The tech billionaire said, "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." On Friday, Bill Maher blasted current and previous Twitter management for "failing" to become an open town square for online discussion. Maher noted that it is time for Twitter to get a "new sheriff."
On Friday's episode of "Real Time with Bill Maher," the HBO host welcomed former Democratic Alabama Senator Doug Jones and MSNBC anchor Ali Velshi to discuss what – if any – moderation Twitter should have as the online town square.
Maher asked, "Has Twitter failed in setting itself up in the past as the judge of what can go out there?" He then answered his own question, "And I would say yes, you have."
Maher delivered a tongue-lashing to Twitter's management by saying, "You failed when you threw the New York Post off of Twitter for talking about Hunter Biden's emails. And it turned out that was a real story. You failed when you said we couldn't read about whether COVID had come from a lab. You failed!"
Weeks before the 2020 presidential election, Twitter banned the New York Post for 16 days for sharing damning accusations about an abandoned laptop owned by Hunter Biden and also censored the story. Last month, the New York Times and Washington Post finally got around to authenticating the laptop emails.
Earlier this month, Maher accused left-wing media outlets of burying the Hunter Biden laptop story.
"It looks like the left-wing media just buried the story because it wasn't part of their narrative and that's why people don't trust the media," Maher explained.
Christian satire website The Babylon Bee shared a video of a Twitter employee being too sensitive about Musk purchasing the social media platform.
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Twitter quickly and unironically slapped a warning on the video that claimed the comedic clip "might have sensitive content."
“Our video mocking Twitter employees for being too sensitive was flagged by Twitter for sensitive content,” Babylon Bee editor-in-chief Kyle Mann wrote. Musk replied with laughing emojis.
Maher described Twitter as having a "complete lack of self-awareness" for flagging the video.
"'Sensitive content,' Twitter said," Maher noted. "In the video, they were making fun of Twitter for being too sensitive. This is so 'Through the Looking Glass.'"
"This is well within what satire has always been," Maher said of The Babylon Bee video. "And the fact that they flagged this for being insensitive shows their complete lack of self-awareness about what their own problem is. If that's where the line is, you have failed Twitter. You do need a new sheriff."
Maher slammed Twitter for becoming a "left-wing place," according to Fox News. The liberal talk show host stressed, "Twitter could be a place where you might see an opinion that you didn't formally consider, and we need that desperately in America."
The HBO host noted, "I'd much rather have Elon Musk making the rules than a 23-year-old who can't take the joke on Babylon Beeswax, or whatever the f*** that is."
Maher said of Gen Z, "I mean, this is a generation that doesn't know what the word ‘violence’ means. They think ‘violence’ means 'anything I don't like.' Their standard of free speech is 'I'm uncomfortable.' That's not where the standard is, right?"
The "Real Time with Bill Maher" host pilloried the education system for failing to teach civics to young Americans.
"Civics doesn't exist anymore. They don't know … ‘Free speech? What the f*** does that mean? It hurt my feelings.’ That's what matters to them. That's what I worry about. I mean, I hear it all the time," Maher declared.
Is Twitter the New Town Square? | Real Time with Maher (HBO) www.youtube.com