Musk’s X Platform: Good and Bad
 
Musk’s X Platform: Good and Bad
Written By David E. Smith   |   06.17.24
Reading Time: 6 minutes

For years now, we’ve heard the legacy media lament the spread of “misinformation” and “fake news.” These self-proclaimed arbiters of truth are quick to demand the censorship of conservative perspectives and dissenting views – especially on social media. Wringing their hands, left-wing media types declare conservative news and opinion as “dangerous,” “hateful,” and full of conspiracy theories.

One only has to watch Don Lemon’s interview with Elon Musk after Lemon was fired from CNN. The tone-deaf Lemon not only bristled at the idea that he and CNN were on the left side of the political spectrum in their programming, but he also repeatedly pushed Musk to censor so-called hate speech on X.

Consider also the BBC interview with Elon Musk. Correspondent James Clayton questioned Musk for nearly an hour with a similar narrative from the leftist playbook. Musk did an amazing job pushing back and asking for specific examples, which Clayton could not provide. Musk turned the tables on Clayton and asked him to explain what he meant when he claimed that there was more “hateful content” on the platform:

Elon Musk: Content you don’t like, or hateful. Describe a hateful thing?

James Clayton: Yeah, I mean just content that will solicit a reaction. Something that may include something that is slightly racist or slightly sexist. Those kinds of things.

Elon Musk: So you think if it’s something is slightly sexist it should be banned?

James Clayton: No, I’m not saying anything. I’m saying-

Elon Musk: I’m just curious. I’m trying to understand what you mean by “hateful content.” And I’m asking for specific examples. And you just said that if something is slightly sexist, that’s hateful content. Does that mean that it should be banned?

James Clayton: Well, you’ve asked me whether my feed, whether it’s got less or more. I’d say it’s got slightly more.

Elon Musk: That’s why I’m asking for examples. Can you name one example?

James Clayton: I honestly don’t…

Elon Musk: You can’t name a single example?

James Clayton: I’m not sure I’ve used that feed for the last three or four weeks. And I honestly couldn’t-

Elon Musk: Then how could you see the hateful content?

How very illuminating!

In 2023, X sued the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), accusing the nonprofit of asserting false claims about hate speech on the platform and encouraging advertisers to pause investment. X claimed hate speech occurs at extremely low rates and that the CCDH was attempting to censor opposing viewpoints and illegally gain access to the social media platform’s data. The case was dismissed in 2024 by a federal judge who claimed that X failed to “allege losses based on technological harms” (financial losses).

The Bad News

Unfortunately, Musk’s libertarian tendencies have led him to make updates for X that may corrupt the platform and chase Christian conservatives away, specifically regarding pornography. TheVerg.com reports that X will now

let users “share consensually produced and distributed adult nudity or sexual behavior” as long as it’s labeled and not in a prominent location, such as a profile picture or banner.

Family Research Council’s The Washington Stand tells us that

The newly defined guidelines on pornography do not reflect a change in the platform’s policy, as it previously allowed users to post and share sexually explicit content before business magnate Elon Musk purchased the company in 2022.

In that same article, Meg Kilgannon, senior fellow for Education Studies at FRC, is quoted as saying, “Pornography is so exploitive, it’s impossible to ethically produce it or fully ‘consent’ to being part of its production.” She continues:

Pornography is at the top of the list of billion-dollar industries on the march to capture our children. That X wants to be officially complicit in platforming this content is deeply disturbing, especially given Elon Musk’s skepticism of the gender cult, so obviously fueled by porn consumption.

IFI writer and investigator Thomas Hampson points out that

Pornography desensitizes those exposed to it to all manner of sexual activities. Eventually, almost anything seems acceptable, including using others for your personal sexual gratification. The desires pornography arouses serve as the fuel for sexual exploitation and for the sex trafficking industry.

Under Elon Musk’s leadership, X has become a much improved social media platform for citizens to express political viewpoints. Christian Conservatives have no reason to fear that their biblically informed views on the sanctity of life, marriage, sexual morality, drug use, education choice, and a host of other topics will be labeled as “fake” or censored. When was the last time you heard someone talk about being in X jail (as opposed to Facebook jail) because of the content they posted?

Ironically, just this week, Facebook removed our post “Twenty Important Reasons to Get Your Child OUT of Public School – NOW!,” claiming it violated their so-called standards. In reality, they do not like us encouraging parents to get their children out of government indoctrination centers. We can only assume that Facebook has allied itself with left-wing teacher’s unions.

Pornography is a Problem

The inclusion of smut — including content that could be considered sexploitation — serves no public purpose. It is not good to consume, it is highly addictive, and it could incite people to act out sexually against others. It is especially problematic for the impressionable minds of children.

Parents need to be proactive in protecting their children from obscene materials online and on their smartphones. The Washington Stand reports that those who do not want this X-rated garbage in their X feeds:

will have the option of either ignoring filtered content and continuing their scrolling or else removing the filter and viewing the content. Users who either register using a birth date denoting them as under the age of 18 or who do not use a birth date when registering will be blocked from removing the filter. There is currently no mechanism to verify ages or ensure birth dates entered are accurate.

More specifically, to restrict pornography on an iPhone, you can follow these steps:

1.) Set up Screen Time: If you haven’t already, navigate to Settings > Screen Time and tap “Turn On Screen Time.” If you’re setting this up for a child’s device, select “This is My Child’s iPhone.”

2.) Enable Content Restrictions: Go to Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions. Enter your Screen Time passcode if prompted.

3.) Limit Adult Websites: Tap on “Content Restrictions” and then select “Web Content.” Choose the “Limit Adult Websites” option.

4.) Add Restricted Websites: If you want to block specific websites, tap on “Add Website” under the “Never Allow” section and enter the URL of the website you want to restrict.

5.) Adjust Privacy Settings: To hide sensitive content from your searches, go to Settings > Privacy and Safety > Content you see. Check the box next to “Hide sensitive content.”

To keep your Android phone free of unwanted adult content, follow these steps:

1.) Enable Google SafeSearch: Open the Google app, tap your profile icon, head to settings, and choose SafeSearch. Select “Filter” or “Blur” to hide explicit content.

2.) Set up Screen Time: On your Android device, navigate to Settings > Screen Time. Set up content restrictions to block adult websites and apps.

3.) Use a Safe Browser: Consider using a browser like SPIN that automatically blocks adult content.

4.) Monitor and Adjust as Needed: Regularly check and adjust your settings to ensure they are working effectively.

These settings will help you restrict explicit content on X, but they’re not foolproof. It’s important to monitor the websites your child visits and have open conversations about online safety. Internet filters like Covenant Eyes, Netsanity, Net Nanny, and Qustodio help keep unwanted material at bay.

Conservatives owe Musk a debt of gratitude for pulling Twitter out of the hands of the thought police, rebranding it, and enabling it to become a popular, safe, and fair online public square for us all. We can be grateful that Musk said he would ensure a “porn-free” experience for those who do not want to watch such content.

Yet the problem persists: pornography degrades and objectifies human beings, changes attitudes, and contributes to criminal sexual activity. In other words, it spills over and corrupts our culture in general. As a husband and father, I am disturbed by the idea of my wife and children rubbing shoulders with porn users in public.

It would be good to encourage Elon Musk to ban it altogether. We suggest sending him that very message by

1.) Tweeting at him: Musk is known to be quite active on X, so you can try your luck by sending him a direct message at @elonmusk. Just remember, he gets a lot of tweets, so your chances of getting a response are about as high as finding a unicorn in a haystack.

2.) Emailing him: You can try sending an email to elon@tesla.com. But be warned, this method is about as effective as trying to catch a greased pig at a county fair.

If enough of us contact Musk and encourage him to make X family-friendly, maybe he will rethink the policy. Let me encourage you not to remain silent.

Remember, social media platforms like X are tools for us to use – and we should do so in a way that will glorify God and advance biblical truth. If you are not yet on X and wish to engage with others in this modern public square, please click HERE and join as soon as you can.

And please, follow us @ProFamilyIFI and @ILfamilyaction.


David  E. Smith
Dave Smith is the executive director of Illinois Family Institute (501c3) and Illinois Family Action (501c4). David has 30 years of experience in public policy and grass-roots activism that includes countless interviews for numerous radio, television, cable programs and newspaper articles on topics such as the sanctity of life, natural marriage, broadcast decency, sex education, marijuana, gambling, abortion, homosexuality, tax policy, drug decriminalization and pornography. He and his wife of 29 years are blessed to be the parents of eight children. They strongly believe that their first duty before God is to disciple their children in the Christian faith, and...
IFI Featured Video
Hands Off Christian Home Education… Its Working
Get Our New App!