THE purchase of Twitter earlier this week by Elon Musk offers a welcome ray of hope for proponents of free speech everywhere.
The billionaire’s takeover of this influential social media platform for £44 billion does seem to signify that the era of cancel culture is coming to an end.
With Musk promising that free speech will be the bedrock of the platform under his control.
Such is the nature of global communications today, there will be ramifications for Wales as well as a result of this development.
As Wales has also been infected by this pernicious desire to shut down speech, suppress opinions, and neuter the robust exchange of views which we all used to consider a normal feature of our lives until fairly recently.
A frame of mind which the leftist Big Tech giants of Twitter and Facebook have been facilitating for a number of years now.
While open censorship of alternative opinions is bad enough, it also leads to the much worse outcome of self-censorship, with people deciding it safer not to express their opinions in public, lest they be ‘banned’ and shamed.
A spokesman for Gwlad said the buy-out, and Musk’s initial promise regarding freedom of speech, was an encouraging development.
‘As a party, we are very much in favour of free speech, as it is the foundational value of any real democracy’ he said.
‘A free and open exchange of opinions from all directions is the only way a society can truly thrive and develop.’
He added that the promise of new openness at Twitter was also relevant here, with Wales in dire need of more transparency and vigorous debate about all aspects of its national life.
‘Does anyone really think that Welsh Labour could have clung on to power here for a 100 years, if we had a real open society here, with citizens fully informed and involved in the public square’?
‘Labour have had a huge vested interest in keeping all of us uninformed and uninspired over the years’.
‘Granted, Twitter can’t become the main square for public debate here, but it could set an important example we could follow in real life.’
Before the take-over, Twitter was notorious for cancelling and suspending individuals from the platform, for what they claimed to be ‘disinformation’.
Claiming the moral high ground of virtuosity, when in truth it was all about narrative control, and the promotion of a particular Big Tech agenda.
Some may baulk at the idea of the world’s richest man now owning the most influential social media platform in the world.
And of course, such absolute power in the hands of one man has its own potential pitfalls.
But, if Musk stays true to his promise of free speech, maybe we can admit that capitalism, for all it’s faults, can yet deliver better outcomes for ordinary people.
With social media recognised to be around 5 years ahead of conventional media, a revamped, open Twitter can be a platform to exchange important information and knowledge so that the public can self-empower itself.
Its new emphasis can also perhaps encourage all of us again to value each other’s opinions across the spectrum in order to learn and grow as individuals.