FIRST ON THE DAILY SIGNAL: Alliance Defending Freedom International is calling on Elon Musk to take a stand against state censorship one year after he took over the “helm of X,” formerly known as Twitter.
In a letter first obtained by The Daily Signal, ADF International praises Musk for being a “global champion of free speech,” which it says is “foundational to a flourishing society, and yet under increasing threat.”
That letter is signed by over 50 international free speech advocates, as well as journalists, academics, and commentators, including journalist Andy Ngo, Human Events senior editor Jack Posobiec, commentator Ashley St. Clair, Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon, ADF CEO Kristen Waggoner, and others.
“As you rightfully have spotlighted, threats to free expression often come at the hands of businesses treating employees unfairly for sharing their views,” the legal advocacy organization said. “Even more insidious is the mounting trend of government suppression of speech with the imposition of serious penalties, and even criminal sanctions, for free expression.”
ADF International requested that Musk extend his offer to fund the legal bills of those unfairly treated by their employers to “cases of state-driven censorship,” specifically highlighting the cases of Finnish parliamentarian Päivi Räsänen, who has been criminally tried for “hate speech” over tweeting a Bible verse.
The letter also highlights the plight of former Mexican Congressman Rodrigo Ivan Cortes and sitting Mexican Congressman Gabriel Quadri, both of whom have been convicted of “gender-based political violence” over X posts.
Räsänen, Cortes, and Quadri are all signers of the letter.
ADF International also drew Musk’s attention to the European Commission’s efforts to make “hate speech” a European Union crime “on the same legal level as trafficking and terrorism.”
“These are far from isolated threats,” the letter said. “If X is to be a free marketplace of ideas, everyone must be able to peacefully debate the issues of our time without fear of government punishment.”
“Given your commitment to free speech and unrivaled capacity to effect change, we ask that you harness X to make clear that no one should be punished under the law for peaceful expression on X or any platform,” the letter urges Musk.
Their requests include designating funds to support legal action challenging state-sponsored censorship of views that have been expressed on X, creating an intake mechanism for individuals to apply for that support, and hosting X spaces to bring “worldwide attention to censorship cases involving both governments and the workplace.”
“Free speech is the cornerstone of a free society,” Waggoner, the CEO of Alliance Defending Freedom, said in a statement announcing the open letter. “Unfortunately, we see state-driven censorship on the rise across the world with individuals being punished at the hands of government for peaceful expression, including for what they say on Twitter/X. This trend not only makes self-government impossible, but it impairs true social progress.”
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