WaPo columnist, CFR fellow and Pulitzer finalist calls for more censorship on social media

Columnist Max Boot calls Musk "the world’s richest troll."
Image
Max Boot, New York City, Oct. 8, 2016
Max Boot, New York City, Oct. 8, 2016
Anna Webber/Getty Images for The New Yorker

Washington Post columnist Max Boot came out against Elon Musk wanting to buy Twitter by calling for more censorship on social media.

"I’m tired of hearing from Trump fans that I’m pro-dictatorship because I don’t want disinformation and conspiracy theories to be given free rein on social media. They’re the ones who tried to overthrow the election and destroy our democracy," Boot, a Council on Foreign Relations fellow, tweeted on Monday including a link to his WaPo opinion article titled "Elon Musk is the last person who should take over Twitter."

In the article, Boot discusses the responses to a tweet he wrote against Musk, whom he called "the world’s richest troll."

Boot wrote on Twitter last week: "I am frightened by the impact on society and politics if Elon Musk acquires Twitter. He seems to believe that on social media anything goes. For democracy to survive, we need more content moderation, not less."

Boot, a Pulitzer prize finalist, mocked Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) for her response to his tweet.

After she called him a "communist," Boot said: "Should I be worried that she might send the gazpacho police after me?" This is a reference to how Greene meant to say Gestapo when she said gazpacho, a type of soup.

"Thank you for making my point, trolls. There is way too much nonsense online — too much name-calling, too much dishonesty, too many conspiracy theories," he wrote in his article attacking other media figures such as The Federalist's Mollie Hemmingway.

He argues that Twitter is in need of reform that will not happen if the Tesla CEO buys the platform.

"He engages in online bullying and traffics in hyperbole and outrage, such as comparing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Adolf Hitler for imposing public health regulations," Boot wrote. 

The WaPo columnist said that he is concerned about what Musk's purchase of Twitter means for "our embattled democracy."

He concluded, "Anyone who thinks the problem with social media is too much content moderation, rather than too little, should not own one of the most powerful platforms online."

The Twitter board adopted a plan last week to prevent Musk from buying the platform by using a so-called "poison pill."