MATTHEWS: Elon Musk’s Twitter reign begins with mixed results

FILE - Elon Musk speaks at the SATELLITE Conference and Exhibition March 9, 2020, in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

After months of business and legal maneuverings, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk now owns Twitter. 

Barely a week into his reign, Musk has already kicked some chairs and turned over a few tables while simultaneously trying to assure advertisers being targeted by left-wing activist groups that the popular social media platform will not become a “free-for-all hellscape.” 

He’s also pledged to Twitter users that he will make it a more accommodating place, free of the heavy-handed censorship of conservative viewpoints that Twitter had become infamous for over the years, most notably during the 2020 presidential election when a bombshell October 2020 New York Post report on emails found on then-Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden’s laptop — emails which raised questions about influence peddling — was deliberately suppressed. 

Mass layoffs have already started under Musk. Several top executives have also been handed their walking papers, including chief executive officer Parag Agrawal and chief financial officer Ned Sega. 

Musk has also instituted a new monthly paid subscription plan, where for $8 Twitter users with the much-coveted “blue check” verification symbol beside their name can keep it. Users without the blue check beside their name can obtain one by signing up for the paid monthly subscription plan. 

This is, of course, one way Musk plans to generate revenue for Twitter, something that will be essential for its survival, especially considering his announcement last week that revenue was way down thanks to a concerted push by the activist left to convince ad buyers to pause their spending. 

“Twitter has had a massive drop in revenue, due to activist groups pressuring advertisers, even though nothing has changed with content moderation and we did everything we could to appease the activists,” Musk wrote Friday on Twitter. “Extremely messed up! They’re trying to destroy free speech in America.” 

Now one would think that considering Musk’s position in the world and how he’s indicated that he gets that the hard left aren’t the proponents of free speech and open dialogue they pretend to be, he would have already understood that appeasing them never works. Ever. 

They don’t stop no matter what their opposition does. They just keep on pushing because the goal is either forced capitulation to their political demands or societal cancellation — punishment for WrongThink. 

After Musk was advised by other Twitter users in the aftermath to stop appeasing the radical, Very Online Left because they would do everything they could to bring it down, he noted he was in full agreement. 

“You’re right,” Musk acknowledged, signaling an important shift in how he’ll deal with his disingenuous critics on the left going forward.

Though he’s still in the early days of his time as captain of the Twitter ship, perhaps Musk has learned one of the most valuable lessons someone who has been targeted by cancel culturalists can learn. 

Sometimes the best response to woke mobs on the left is to yawn, stretch your legs a little bit, and keep on keeping on by speaking out even louder. That approach has worked for a lot of popular public figures, including podcaster Joe Rogan and “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling. 

Surely it can work for the world’s richest man, too. 

North Carolina native Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym Sister Toldjah and is a media analyst and regular contributor to RedState and Legal Insurrection.