Elon Musk’s Twitter Files Revelations Are Instructive but Not Surprising

from The Wall Street Journal,

They tell us what we already knew but bring into focus the mindset of the professional left.

The Twitter Files have exposed how a powerful class of like-minded people control and limit the flow of information to advantage their monolithically progressive agenda. The Twitter Files tell us nothing new. There’s no shocking revelation in there about government censorship or covert manipulation by political campaigns. They merely bring to the surface the internal deliberations of a company dealing with complex issues in ways consistent with its values.

Unlike much of the media, which have chosen to ignore or deride it, we should welcome Elon Musk’s exercise in transparency.

There is, however, something instructive in the documents: They provide a valuable picture of the minds of those who make decisions about what gets amplified and what gets suppressed in our public discourse. While there were some dissenters at the company, the key decisions almost all went the way you would expect. What we get is an unsettling insight into the approach to knowledge by which our cultural elites operate—what we might call an epistemological asymmetry between progressive ideologues and the rest of us.

It’s not that executives, editors, reporters and algorithm-writers at big media and tech companies consciously promote their ideological nostrums, mindful of and striving to overcome competing ideas. It’s much worse. If you’re an executive at Twitter with the Orwellian title of “head of trust and safety” or a “disinformation” and “extremism” reporter at NBC News, or an executive at the New York Times charged with enforcing intellectual homogeneity, you’re not simply promoting a view of the world that you espouse. You are doing something much more important, which compels compliance and tolerates no alternatives: promulgating the One True Faith, a set of orthodoxies from which there is no legitimate dissent. Here is the asymmetry: Most conservatives, or intellectually curious people, don’t think like this. They don’t think that someone with differing opinions on say, immigration restrictions, the right level of taxation, or the case for affirmative action is voicing a provably false and intrinsically illegitimate view that amounts to misinformation. They think their opponents’ beliefs are wrong and reflect flawed analysis or erroneous evidence. But they don’t think there is only one acceptable belief and that dissent from it is analytically impossible, intellectually dishonest and morally contemptible. But this is the left’s mindset.

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