James Woods is one of the best follows on “X”, formerly known as Twitter. Woods is an unabashed conservative, and the veteran actor has no fear in terms of giving his opinions on everything from January 6 to Covid. Naturally, this often runs afoul of social media and their usual draconian censorship rules, and Woods has been de-platformed numerous times, even though he almost always is right.
When Jack Dorsey finally surrendered the rotting husk of Twitter to free-speech advocate Elon Musk, many, including Woods, celebrated a return to open discourse of the platform. Initially, it seemed as if Woods would be right.
While liberal tears flowed, and leftist actors, politicians, and celebrities rattled sabers and threatened to leave Twitter, formerly banned users, including former president Trump were reinstated. For free speech advocates, it seemed as though the party was back on.
Sadly, as months have passed, Twitter, now X, seems to be regressing back to a version that more closely resembles Dorsey’s liberal hellscape. This hasn’t set well with James Woods, and he is letting Musk know about it in what is quickly becoming a better fight than Mark Zuckerberg could ever give Musk in the Octagon.
The most recent scrap between Musk and Woods is over Elon’s decision to eliminate the ability for users to block other users. It is unknown what Musk’s reasoning is, but whatever it is, it hasn’t passed Woods sniff test.
Musk said last week: “Block is going to be deleted as a ‘feature’, except for [Direct Messages]. It makes no sense.”
Woods quickly responded: “In the midst of a libel suit I was targeted by thirty trolls the defendant enlisted to harass me. X will be untenable for people like me, who are willing to share their identities. If he does this, I will have no choice but to retire from this site.”
Unlike most celebrities that only threaten to quit X, Woods would likely keep his word, and X would be the worse because of it. Woods went on to say: “If [Elon Musk] removes the ability to block concerted harassment by trolls or organized political entities, how will ‘X’ be any different from Jack Dorsey’s horrid Twitter? Musk, whom I once championed, is only doing this to protect his advertisers anyway. Users of X are mere pawns to turn the site into an electronic shopping mall. The man I thought was a defender of free speech is just another greedy capitalist. Disappointing, but not surprising.”
Musk has been very clear about his desire to actually turn a profit at X. The platform had been bleeding cash year over year under Jack Dorsey, and Musk, being a businessman, knows he has to turn a profit to keep X viable.
Elon replied to Woods with a simple: “Then delete your account.” This reply isn’t surprising, as Musk has always been quick to call out his detractors and low-key troll them himself. In fact, Musk continued by actually blocking Woods and Tweeted: “Pretty fun blocking people who complain that blocking is going away,” Musk wrote. “How does the medicine taste?”
This prompted the veteran conservative actor to Tweet: “You[r] prerogative, sir, which is exactly my point. Have a nice day.”
Woods has long championed Musk and his purchase of the platform, but it appears as though the honeymoon is over. The hope is Elon can find a balance between making money and promoting free speech, but recent developments haven’t been encouraging. At least for now, and hopefully, through the election cycle, X can remain focused on an open exchange of ideas. Maybe then James Woods and Elon Musk can make peace.
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