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August 7, 2023

Musk Takes on a New Fight

By offering to pay the legal bills of employees who were fired for expressing opinions on Twitter, Elon Musk put woke corporate America on notice.

It was a stunning offer, and it came seemingly out of nowhere: “If you were unfairly treated by your employer due to posting or liking something on this platform, we will fund your legal bill. No limit. Please let us know.”

That was Elon Musk on Saturday, with an announcement that might cause more than a few woke boardrooms to wonder about their legal exposure for vindictive targeting of their employees.

But wait; there’s more: “And we won’t just sue,” said Musk, the CEO of the platform formerly known as Twitter, “it will be extremely loud and we will go after the boards of directors of the companies too.”

This is gonna be good. And it got us to thinking: Two things that tend to attract the attention of corporate boards are big lawsuits and bad publicity, and Musk is promising to bring both. Not surprisingly — at least not to anyone even remotely familiar the wave of wokeness that’s swept across corporate America in recent years — there appears to be no shortage of potential victims. As the Washington Examiner’s Jenny Goldsberry reports: “Users flocked to the post to respond in the tens of thousands to share their stories of workplace discrimination as a result of their X posts. Many posted about former President Donald Trump, who was removed from the platform over his posts and accused of inciting the Jan. 6 riot online.”

Yowsa. “In the tens of thousands”? How can even Musk’s seemingly bottomless pockets possibly fund such a lengthy list of potential litigants?

If we had to guess, we’d say he’ll do it selectively, and with the goal of winning a few precedent-setting cases. Musk is a free-speech champion, which is why he bought Twitter in the first place. And so, in order to break corporate America of its speech-suppressing habit, he might take on the legal bills of a handful of high-profile plaintiffs — plaintiffs like, say, Kara Lynne, who was introduced to Musk by Libs of TikTok creator Chaya Raichik. It seems that Lynne, a video game manager, was canned by her employer for the crime of following Libs of TikTok and other subversive behaviors, such as tweeting her support for a then soon-to-be-released Harry Potter game.

“[Kara] was fired for following Libs of TikTok,” Raichik posted in Musk’s thread. To which Musk himself responded, “Kara, is this accurate?”

To which Lynne replied: “Yes. It was [led] by someone who dug through my tweets and found a single one from 2016 regarding hesitation of people taking advantage of the bathroom discussion. Started a witch hunt and I was fired the same day. Happy to chat more about it if you are interested, @elonmusk.”

“YUGE!” Raichik responded. “Elon is a true free speech warrior.” Raichik then went on to tag Twitter users who’d been fired for having merely followed Libs of TikTok.

Gina Carano was fired by Disney over a tweet. She told Elon, “I think I qualify.” Same goes for NASCAR driver Noah Gragson, who was just suspended this past weekend for liking a tasteless meme about George Floyd.

Musk’s offer, though, isn’t the only front in his war against censorship. As The Daily Wire reports, “X filed a lawsuit last week against a non-profit organization accusing it of unlawfully accessing private data and cherry-picking posts to show a rise in hate speech on the social media platform under Musk’s ownership.”

“There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about,” said poet and playwright Oscar Wilde, “and that is not being talked about.”

Elon Musk clearly understands this — which is why his platform notched a new monthly high of more than 541,000,000 users last month.

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