Analysis A new benchmark on the rights descent into surreality
In the end, its probably useful that Elon Musk decided to rename Twitter to X. It allows us to better differentiate two increasingly divergent products: Twitter, which worked to stem abuse and misinformation, granting verification to reliable sources of information, and X, which has taken a different tack.
Over the weekend, that included Musks lifting of a ban on Alex Jones instituted by the social media platforms previous leadership. Jones, as you are likely aware, was long the voice of the fringiest element of the right-wing fringe, using his broadcasting platform Infowars to elevate myriad and evolving conspiracy theories. It was the sort of nonsense that was very effective at building an audience that was definitionally deeply credulous and then selling them snake-oil nutritional supplements.
There was a time when Jones, despite his obvious right-wing orientation, was simply too ridiculous and too out-there to be offered any attention by establishment Republicans. But that slowly shifted over the past few years, culminating in a Sunday night live chat in which Musk welcomed back Jones to the public conversation. Long-shot Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy was there, too a mark of how intertwined this transition is with broader Republican politics.....
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