Musk – a noted supporter and supposed friend of West’s – booted the disgraced rapper from Twitter on Friday (December 2), shortly after the latter tweeted an illustration of a swastika inside a Star of David. Earlier in the day, West appeared on an episode of Infowars – a talk show hosted by far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones – during which he openly praised Adolf Hitler and defended Nazism.
According to Musk, West was banned from Twitter (for a third time in two months) for violating the platform’s policies “against incitement to violence”. In response, White shared an open message to Musk on Instagram, calling the latter out for his perceived hypocrisy.
In opening his post, White wrote mockingly: “So Elon, how’s that ‘free speech’ thing working out? Oh, I see, so you have to CHOOSE who gets free speech and who doesn’t then? What kind of crybaby liberal suspends someone’s free speech? Hmm…”
The former White Stripe went on to reference Musk’s recent move to reinstate Donald Trump‘s account on Twitter – and the fact that Alex Jones also remains banned – continuing: “Conspiracy liar Alex Jones doesn’t get ‘free speech’ either? I see. So you’re learning that these folks incite violence and hatred but Trump… DOESN’T? Hmmm.
“Or is it that liar Jones, and [antisemite] egomaniac Kanye can’t provide tax breaks for billionaires the way the former president could? Or that maybe the controller of this ‘free speech’ is insulted personally? Or that just maybe, there needs to be, oh I don’t know, RULES and REGULATIONS or else you breed chaos?”
White then suggested that Musk’s choice to ban West could be a sign that he’s learning about the necessity of discretionary censorship, quipping that “it’s nice to watch in real time as [Musk] learn[s] that all things need to be regulated, whether that be guns, drugs, alcohol, assembly, or speech because of the danger of someone or something being hurt or destroyed”.
“They’re sometimes called ‘laws’,” White added. “And perhaps you’re learning how harmful it can be when you let dangerous, hateful people say whatever they want on your stage.”
In closing, White noted that he’d blocked users from commenting on the post because it “isn’t a debate forum”, explaining that he’s “talking on [his] front porch, not debating in [a] town square”.
Taking a swipe at Musk’s recent comments about Twitter being “the de facto town square” for the digital age, White finished: “I regulate the platforms I control too. Do the right thing Elon and don’t provide other hate mongers a stage, let them go talk in [a] town square. (And no, twitter isn’t [a] town square owned by the gov[ernment], it’s a private company owned by Elon Musk).”
White similarly hit out at Musk last Monday (November 21), calling Trump’s return to Twitter “absolutely disgusting” and “an asshole move” on Musk’s part. In another open letter to Musk, the artist implored him to “be truthful” and “tell it like it is” – that “people like [him] and Joe Rogan (who gives platforms to liars like Alex Jones etc.)” are financially incentivised to throw their support behind figures spreading hate speech.
In the same interview that saw West share overt neo-Nazi sentiments, he was joined by open white supremacist Nick Fuentes, who’d also joined the rapper for a meeting with Trump last week. Trump would later call West a “seriously troubled man”.