Despite calling himself a ‘free speech absolutist,’ Elon Musk has a history of retaliating against employees and critics

Elon Musk Saturday criticized Twitter for “failing to uphold the principles of freedom of expression”, which he said “fundamentally undermines democracy”.

“I was terminated from Tesla in February with my YouTube cited as the reason. Even though my uploads are from my personal vehicle out of company time or my property with software I paid for,” said Bernard in a video update released earlier this month.

Bernal did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Bernal’s firing isn’t the only example of Musk taking action against public criticism. In one case, Fast Company reported that Musk found the identity of a potential anonymous blogger who posted a negative stock analysis of Tesla and contacted his employer, threatening to sue, according to the blogger.

I don’t know what Mr. Musk’s specific complaints are about me. I do not believe he has a valid legal claim, and I would not hesitate to defend myself vigorously should he ever press charges,” Montana Skeptic wrote in their farewell message. “My response to his threats was simply to protect my employer and save my job.”

The musk has denied allegations of rage shooting employees and says his criticism of Twitter is based on a fundamental belief in free speech. He argued in a tweet that since Twitter is “a de facto public square”, the company’s posting policy “undermines democracy”.

Twitter operates with terms of service that users are required to follow to access the platform. First Amendment protections apply only in cases where the government, not a private company, imposes a sanction for protected speech.

In another tweet, Musk asked “is a new platform needed?” which, to someflagged the possibility of the Tesla CEO creating a new social media platform.

Musk did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment for this article.

Jack Dorsey, former CEO of Twitter replied to Musk’s tweetsclaiming that “the choice of which algorithm to use (or not) should be open to everyone”.

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