Gene Simmons Responds to Elon Musk’s Twitter Purchase: “Hate Speech Should Not be Part of Free Speech”

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Gene Simmons of Kiss and several other musicians are beginning to react to the news of Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter for $44 billion, questioning Musk’s desire for more “free speech” and how it may impact the spread of more hate and misinformation.

“Fantastic news, at the outset,” tweeted Simmons. “[Elon Musk is now the proud owner of Twitter. Free speech, important, but, hate speech, factual misinformation (lies) should not be part of Free Speech, in my humble opinion. Good luck to Elon.”

If the deal goes through, Musk, one of the richest men in the world and founder of SpaceX and Tesla, would own the social media site hosting more than 200 million users. A proponent of free speech, Musk has called himself a “free speech absolutist” and Twitter would be a vehicle for more freedom of speech as a private company. Opponents question the future of Twitter under Musk and his intentions to allow social media site to become a platform spreading more misinformation and hate speech under the guise of “free speech.”

Fans responded to Simmons’ comment saying freedom of speech is “either all of it or none of it.”

“You’re talking out of your ass,” responded Simmons. “You do not have the right to stand up in a movie theater and yell ‘Fire,’ just because you feel like it. That’s incitement to riot. You know that, right?”

David Draiman of Distrubed, who is Jewish and has been outspoken about anti-Semitism, also chimed in on the Musk purchase. “Nothing will improve,” said Draiman, “but at least things might be a bit more even, hopefully.”

Draiman also responded to the possibility of Donald Trump’s account being reinstated to Twitter. The former president was removed from the site in 2021, shortly after the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

“I hope he gets it back,” said Draiman, “not because I like the guy (because I really don’t), but because it’s the right thing to do, and his posts were immeasurably entertaining.”

Musk has also come under fire for some of his more recent posts, including a tweet that appeared to be poking fun at Microsoft founder Bill Gates’ physique.

“I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter,” said Musk in a follow-up tweet, “because that is what free speech means.”

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

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