Image From Creative Commons

TW: Transphobia, Homophobia, Anti-Semitism

Elon Musk’s trek down the alt-right pipeline throughout his  purchase of X, formerly known as Twitter, unsurprisingly is the result of an out lash against his transgender daughter. I know that’s a lot to take in but just stick with me.

Last year Musk’s daughter applied to legally change her name, stating she doesn’t want “to be related to [her] biological father in any way, shape or form.” And to no one’s surprise, in a childish outcry, Musk increased his posting of hate speech, particularly transphobia.

Elon Musk’s biographer recently revealed that Musk’s purchase of X was in response to his fear that his transgender daughter had become infected with the “woke mind virus” running rampant on the social media platform. In this same discussion, Musk went on to state that “[his daughter] went beyond socialism to being a full communist and thinking that anyone rich is evil.”

Musk said that his daughter’s decision to cut ties with him had completely “pained him.” However, this can’t be totally true considering Musk’s alt-right rhetoric skyrocketed intensely after she cut him off.

We’ve all seen the rampage that Musk has been on since purchasing X, and truthfully, it’s kind of sickening to watch his daughter get dragged into all of his controversy. Her personal life and identity has become a catalyst for Musk’s political rants and anti-trans hate.

Musk had apparently been ‘“sanguine” towards his daughter’s transition prior to her separation from him. In 2022, Musk’s shift became very apparent when he said that “wokeness is pushing civilization towards suicide.” Before this, Elon Musk’s politics had been unclear as he spent years claiming to be politically indifferent with a history of voting Democratic. This changed ‘coincidentally’ last year when Musk announced he had swapped to voting Republican while also promoting that he would vote for Gov. Ron DeSantis.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, DeSantis is Florida’s Governor. DeSantis has also a Republican candidate who has been passing transphobic and queerphobic bills in Florida. He is best known for his “Don’t Say Gay” bill that bans classroom instruction on gender and sexuality at all grade levels in all schools. Supporting him politically says a lot about Musk’s views regarding queer people and
his support of DeSantis goes directly against his daughter’s identity as a transgender woman.

Regardless, since Musk’s daughter legally changed her name, Musk has been seen “pronouns suck,” rolling back X’s safety guidelines meant to protect trans-users and aggressively opposing access to gender affirmation services. My favorite is when Musk announced that Cis and Cisgender would be considered slurs on the platform to ensure everyone can scroll safely without being harassed. It says a lot about who he thinks needs protecting. Prior to the life context given by Musk’s biography, it felt like Musk was simply just toying around on the app.

Musk has been making X an unsafe platform form.  Alt-right accounts with QAnon and anti-Semitic rhetoric have had their accounts restored after being permanently banned, including Donald Trump and Kanye West. A study conducted by the institute for strategic dialogue found that anti-Semitic posts increased by 76% since Musk’s take over. This is so bad that the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an anti-hate organization, has come forward and accused Musk of “enabling purveyors of lies and conspiracies” by restoring these white supremacists back into the platform.

Musk has been denying the accusations of hate speech, instead, promoting the idea that he believes in ‘freedom of speech.’ Musk has stated that “our policy worldwide is to fight for maximum freedom of speech under the law” when discussing hate speech on the app. It’s like he took this role of being the all-time advocate of free speech on social media, but the app has become almost unusable.

Worst of all, Musk is now attempting to get rid of the  block button from the platform, stating that it “makes no sense.” This means people are about to be exposed to abhorrent harassment with no way to protect their accounts or combat harassment online. These changes have caused over 1,000 advertisers to pull away from the company alongside a massive wave of layoffs over the site. Musk’s anti-transgender rhetoric was even the cause of X’s head of trust and safety to quit the company.

Musk’s delusions run so deep that he has now entered a $22 billion lawsuit against ADL, stating the organization was “trying to kill” the platform with false accusations. He claimed the organization was responsible for a 60% drop in advertising revenue. This court case is also cruel when considering the ADL is an organization  reliant on donations. In contrast, Musk is a billionaire with considerable financial resources and capabilities to entertain a lawsuit of this size.

Recognizing the fact that his purchase was done in part to combat the ‘woke mind virus’ that ‘infected’ his daughter, it just seems like a father lashing out at the fact that he can’t control his daughter. When someone so unimaginably wealthy has gone through life with everything in his favor (his accomplishments like PayPal and all of his wealth being given to him) you could only imagine the meltdown he’d have when they can’t manage to exert control over their own children.

Worst of all, the impacts of his little pity party are detrimental to millions of minorities on the app. I don’t know about you guys, but my timeline has been unbearable. Every news article is followed by hundreds of thousands of replies debating whether minority groups deserve rights or not, and I feel like it has taken a mental toll on everyone. Especially while watching the Don’t Say Gay bill passing across the states, there’s been a mind-numbingly large increase in homophobic and transphobic think pieces on the app.

Something in me aches knowing that Elon Musk’s daughter has to watch her ex-communicated father amplify hate speech that directly impacts her community. It must pain her to watch her father support efforts to erase trans people from the next generation. Even with the distance she’s put between herself and Musk, it’s clear he won’t let go of this political feud, instead bringing it onto X where he can promote his hateful ideology.